Verse > Anthologies > Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. > A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895
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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908).  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895.  1895.
 
From “Modern Love.” II. Hiding the Skeleton
 
George Meredith (1828–1909)
 
 
AT dinner she is hostess, I am host.
Went the feast ever cheerfuller? She keeps
The topic over intellectual deeps
In buoyancy afloat. They see no ghost.
With sparkling surface-eyes we ply the ball:        5
It is in truth a most contagious game;
HIDING THE SKELETON shall be its name.
Such play as this the devils might appall!
But here ’s the greater wonder; in that we,
Enamor’d of our acting and our wits,        10
Admire each other like true hypocrites.
Warm-lighted glances, Love’s Ephemeræ,
Shoot gayly o’er the dishes and the wine.
We waken envy of our happy lot.
Fast, sweet, and golden, shows our marriage-knot.        15
Dear guests, you now have seen Love’s corpse-light shine!
 

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