Ballade at Thirty-five

by Dorothy Parker

This, no song of an ingénue,

This, no ballad of innocence;

This, the rhyme of a lady who

Followed ever her natural bents.

This, a solo of sapience,

This, a chantey of sophistry,

This, the sum of experiments, --

I loved them until they loved me.

Decked in garments of sable hue,

Daubed with ashes of myriad Lents,

Wearing shower bouquets of rue,

Walk I ever in penitence.

Oft I roam, as my heart repents,

Through God's acre of memory,

Marking stones, in my reverence,

"I loved them until they loved me."

Pictures pass me in long review,--

Marching columns of dead events.

I was tender, and, often, true;

Ever a prey to coincidence.

Always knew I the consequence;

Always saw what the end would be.

We're as Nature has made us -- hence

I loved them until they loved me.