Poetry of Kansas

No Such Thing As Love.

"There's no such thing as love." So said
    A flippant sneerer whom I met one day;___
And yet a child sat at her feet and played,
    And a sweet babe upon her bosom lay.
Greatly I wondered. "No such thing as love?
    Then what are these ?" Her thin lip curled.
"These? These are incidents. Your words but prove
    Your ignorance. You do not know the world.
"You wonder why I wed ?" Still curled her lip;
    Still flushed her dark eye with a bitter scorn;-
"Why, I am a woman___so obey the whip
    That swings it lash above all women born.
"It is our fate. Let one dare disobey,
    The whole world shun her. Let her dare to tread
In her own right, her independent way,
    Men pelt her with this word of scorn: old maid.
"Speak common sense. Don't talk of love to me.
    'Tis sickening___this stuff that poets sing.
You marry, you have filled your destiny;
    But love___I tell you there is no such thing."
Sadly I left her, sadly I went my way;
    And then I met another___it was you.
Had I believed her? Well, I cannot say;
    But now I know she did not tell me true.

__Ellen P. Allerton.

Walls of Corn and Other Poems
Ellen P. Allerton
(Hiawatha, KS: Harrington Printing Company. 1894)
Pages 195-196

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March 17, 2003 / John & Susan Howell / Wichita, Kansas / howell@kotn.org

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