Conventionality




Passion and Fire—bah! are they ever linked with beauty?
Beauty and fairness of face? The devils below can tell
The upper-world folk, if they will,
How it's not the lovely alone that enter the gates of hell.

Heroes and dames of fiction, so wicked , so fair, so accurst,
How we praise their faults and applaud each claptrap speech on the stage!
But red hands may be raised to kill—
The white-mouse eye can sparkle as well as the eagle's with rage.

I knew two people so. Romance! She was nothing at all—
Weak-mouthed and chalky-white, limping, and stuttering too.
He was as dull as ever lead,
Dumb; and we wondered how he had found him words to woo.

Then—God knows how it happened!—there came the crime, and we saw—
The two, how they held together through the trial and all the rest—
Of the dragging chain of the law;—
But alas for Romance! we cut them as though they had been the pest.