To Barine

A poem by Eugene Field

If for your oath broken, or word lightly spoken,
A plague comes, Barine, to grieve you;
If on tooth or on finger a black mark shall linger
Your beauty to mar, I'll believe you.

But no sooner, the fact is, you bind, as your tact is,
Your head with the vows of untruth,
Than you shine out more charming, and, what's more alarming,
You come forth beloved of our youth.

It is advantageous, but no less outrageous,
Your poor mother's ashes to cheat;
While the gods of creation and each constellation
You seem to regard as your meat.

Now Venus, I own it, is pleased to condone it;
The good-natured nymphs merely smile;
And Cupid is merry,--'t is humorous, very,--
And sharpens his arrows the while.

Our boys you are making the slaves for your taking,
A new band is joined to the old;
While the horrified matrons your juvenile patrons
In vain would bring back to the fold.

The thrifty old fellows your loveliness mellows
Confess to a dread of your house;
But a more pressing duty, in view of your beauty,
Is the young wife's concern for her spouse.

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