Eugene Field

2 September 1850 - 4 November 1895 / St Louis / Missouri / United States

A Tardy Apology

You ask me, friend,
Why I don't send
The long since due-and-paid-for numbers;
Why, songless, I
As drunken lie
Abandoned to Lethean slumbers.

Long time ago
(As well you know)
I started in upon that carmen;
My work was vain,--
But why complain?
When gods forbid, how helpless are men!

Some ages back,
The sage Anack
Courted a frisky Samian body,
Singing her praise
In metered phrase
As flowing as his bowls of toddy.

Till I was hoarse
Might I discourse
Upon the cruelties of Venus;
'T were waste of time
As well of rhyme,
For you've been there yourself, Maecenas!

Perfect your bliss
If some fair miss
Love you yourself and _not_ your minae;
I, fortune's sport,
All vainly court
The beauteous, polyandrous Phryne!
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