by: Eugene O'Neill (1888-1953)

      WROTE a sonnet to her eyes,
      In terms Swinburnian and erotic;
      Poured out the burden of my sighs
      With language lurid and exotic--
      She did not heed.
      I wrote a ballad I deemed fair
      With sprithy play of silver rhyme
      To sing her glorious golden hair
      Aglow with sun in summer time--
      She did not hear.
      I wrote a soulful villanelle
      About the wonder of her mouth,
      Lips like the crimson flowers that dwell
      In forests of the tropic south--
      She made no sign.
      I wrote a musical rondeau
      To praise her roguish little nose,
      Dabbed at with powder, white as snow,
      Through which a freckle warmly glows--
      She would not see.
      I wrote a solemn, stately ode,
      Lauding her matchless symmetry,
      I thought that this might be a road
      To open up her heart to me--
      She spoke no word.
      Then in a feeble triolette,
      I told the keenness of her wit;
      A blush of anger o'er me crept
      I was so much ashamed of it
      --She fell for it--
      --And this is it--


      "What matters it if you are fair?
      I love you for your wit,
      Your mental poise, your wisdom rare,
      What matters it if you are fair?
      Beauty is fleeting, light as air
      I'll nought to do with it,
      What matters it if you are fair?
      I love you for your wit."
      She praised this assininity
      And scorned the good ones that I wrote,
      This bunch of femininity,
      On whom my fond affections dote--
      Has got my goat.
      She put my real ones on the pan,
      And gave my puerile one a puff,
      And said, "I'll love you if you'll can
      That horrid sentimental stuff--
      I've had enough."

"Sentimental Stuff" is reprinted from the New London Telegraph, 28 October, 1912.




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