Etchings II: In the Bar

1A hand that twists the broidered veil
2Above the drooping flower-red mouth
3Upon the straight and delicate nose,
4And, gloveless, one, snow-white and frail,
5Whereon a glittering emerald glows
6That lifts a tumbler to your mouth:
7Soft eyes that throw a languid glance
8Across the golden blazing bar,
9And leave a weary smile with me:
10Ah, who can tell the ways of chance,
11Or why to-night divided we
12Exchange bored smiles across the bar?
13But age who sits beside you knows
14His worth, and by the right of gold
15Is claimant of your charms to-night;
16While youth takes up a distant pose
17And watches you from far in flight
18Before the majesty of gold.
19Clatter and babbling voices, and
20Cabs rattling by the open door:
21Most commonplace, but even here
23Now when you rise and disappear
24Beside your partner through the door!


22] sere: wither. Back to Line
Publication Notes: 
Orchids: Poems by Theodore Wratislaw (London: Leonard Smithers, 1896): 19. Facsimile edition (New York and London: Garland, 1984). PR 6045 R34 C3 1984
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: