The Whistling Girl

by Dorothy Parker

Back of my back, they talk of me,

Gabble and honk and hiss;

Let them batten, and let them be-

Me, I can sing them this:



"Better to shiver beneath the stars,

Head on a faithless breast,

Than peer at the night through rusted bars,

And share an irksome rest.



"Better to see the dawn come up,

Along of a trifling one,

Than set a steady man's cloth and cup

And pray the day be done.



"Better be left by twenty dears

Than lie in a loveless bed;

Better a loaf that's wet with tears

Than cold, unsalted bread."



Back of my back, they wag their chins,

Whinny and bleat and sigh;

But better a heart a-bloom with sins

Than hearts gone yellow and dry!