Louise Bogan





The Romantic

Admit the ruse to fix and name her chaste 
With those who sleep the spring through, one and one, 
Cool nights, when laurel builds up, without haste, 
Its precise flower, like a pentagon. 

In her obedient breast, all that ran free 
You thought to bind, like echoes in a shell. 
At the year's end, you promised, it would be 
The unstrung leaves, and not her heart, that fell. 

So the year broke and vanished on the screen 
You cast about her; summer went to haws. 
This, by your leave, is what she should have been, 
Another man will tell you what she was.