Page:American Poetry 1922.djvu/34

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Amy Lowell

LA RONDE DU DIABLE

"Here we go round the ivy-bush,"
And that's a tune we all dance to.
Little poet people snatching ivy,
Trying to prevent one another from snatching ivy.
If you get a leaf, there's another for me;
Look at the bush.
But I want your leaf, Brother, and you mine,
Therefore, of course, we push.

"Here we go round the laurel-tree."
Do we want laurels for ourselves most,
Or most that no one else shall have any?
We cannot stop to discuss the question.
We cannot stop to plait them into crowns
Or notice whether they become us.
We scarcely see the laurel-tree,
The crowd about us is all we see,
And there's no room in it for you and me.
Therefore, Sisters, it's my belief
We've none of us very much chance at a leaf.

"Here we go round the barberry-bush."
It's a bitter, blood-red fruit at best,
Which puckers the mouth and burns the heart.
To tell the truth, only one or two
Want the berries enough to strive
For more than he has, more than she.
An acid berry for you and me.

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