The readers of the Boston Evening Transcript Sway in the wind like a field of ripe corn. When evening quickens faintly in the street, Wakening the appetites of life in some And to others bringing the Boston Evening Transcript, I mount the steps and ring the bell, turning Wearily, as one would turn to nod good-bye to Rochefoucauld, If the street were time and he at the end of the street, And I say, "Cousin Harriet, here is the Boston Evening Transcript."
Miss Helen Slingsby was my maiden aunt, And lived in a small house near a fashionable square Cared for by servants to the number of four. Now when she died there was silence in heaven And silence at her end of the street. The shutters were drawn and the undertaker wiped his feet-- He was aware that this sort of thing had occurred before. The dogs were handsomely provided for, But shortly afterwards the parrot died too. The Dresden clock continued ticking on the mantelpiece, And the footman sat upon the dining-table Holding the second housemaid on his knees-- Who had always been so careful while her mistress lived.
Miss Nancy Ellicott Strode across the hills and broke them, Rode across the hills and broke them-- The barren New England hills-- Riding to hounds Over the cow-pasture.
Miss Nancy Ellicott smoked And danced all the modern dances; And her aunts were not quite sure how they felt about it, But they knew that it was modern.
Upon the glazen shelves kept watch Matthew and Waldo, guardians of the faith, The army of unalterable law.
When Mr. Apollinax visited the United States His laughter tinkled among the teacups. I thought of Fragilion, that shy figure among the birch-trees, And of Priapus in the shrubbery Gaping at the lady in the swing. In the palace of Mrs. Phlaccus, at Professor Channing-Cheetah's He laughed like an irresponsible foetus. Otis laughter was submarine and profound Like the old man of the sea's Hidden under coral islands Where worried bodies of drowned men drift down in the green silence, Dropping from fingers of surf. I looked for the head of Mr. Apollinax rolling under a chair Or grinning over a screen With seaweed in its hair. I heard the beat of centaur's hoofs over the hard turf As his dry and passionate talk devoured the afternoon. "He is a charming man"--"But after all what did he mean?"-- "His pointed ears ... He must be unbalanced,"-- "There was something he said that I might have challenged." Of dowager Mrs. Phlaccus, and Professor and Mrs. Cheetah I remember a slice of lemon, and a bitten macaroon.
As she laughed I was aware of becoming involved in her laughter and being part of it, until her teeth were only accidental stars with a talent for squad-drill. I was drawn in by short gasps, inhaled at each momentary recovery, lost finally in the dark caverns of her throat, bruised by the ripple of unseen muscles. An elderly waiter with trembling hands was hurriedly spreading a pink and white checked cloth over the rusty green iron table, saying: "If the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden, if the lady and gentleman wish to take their tea in the garden ..." I decided that if the shaking of her breasts could be stopped, some of the fragments of the afternoon might be collected, and I concentrated my attention with careful subtlety to this end.