Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
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Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
 
Coming out
By Owen Seaman
 
JUST a week more of waiting, a week and a day,
  And the night of delight will be here;
So ply me your very best pinions, I pray,
            Wednesday, dear!
 
We’ve considered the question, and find that I must        5
  Have arrived (beyond rational doubt)
“Unto years of discretion,” and that’s why I’m just
            Coming out.
 
So we’re giving a dance, to establish the fact
  That I’m one with the World and his Wife;        10
And may join, if I choose, in the popular game
            Known as Life.
 
Yes, we’re giving a dance—on an excellent floor—
  To announce that I ’ve come on the scene,
And that men for the future must say nothing more        15
            Than they mean.
 
And the dress I’m to wear is a wonder of white,
  Suggesting a fugitive dove;
And, I’m happy to say, it embraces me quite
            Like a glove.        20
 
And the household will come and inspect my array,
  While I try to look careless and bland,
Like a hair-dresser’s doll pirouetting away
            On a stand.
 
And I fancy a bouquet in quite the best style        25
  From a gallant anonymous swain,
Whose ingenuous blushes will render his guile
            Very vain.
 
And I dream of the partners that jump and that jig,
  And the couples that charge and chase;        30
And the men who convey you about like a big
            Double-bass.
 
And the fun is to last from a fit time for bed,
  All the lovely night through up to five;
Till the danc’d and the dancers are rather more dead        35
            Than alive.
 
Then follows discussion, when every one goes,
  Of the dresses and who wore what;
Of the men who were perfect to dance with, and those
            Who were not.        40
 
And at last and alone I shall probably scan
  My programme and gravely reflect
That I’ve danced with one partner more frequently than
            Was correct.
 
And the whole to conclude about noon the next day        45
  With a stiffness and something of pique,
To think that one cannot come out in this way
            Once a week.
 
And the moral?—oh, bubbles will burst at a touch,
  And I sha’n’t be a child any more;        50
Only sadder and wiser by ever so much
            Than before.
 
 
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