Lapsus Calami (Aug 1891)/To a Lady

To a Lady  (1891) 

Dated 27 June 1891, "To a Lady" was first published in the "Rescued from the Waste Paper Basket" section of the third edition of Lapsus Calami.

A pipe's a merry madrigal,
A stately sonnet a cigar,
The homely clay at close of day
A stanza to the evening star,
The cigarette a canzonette
Both amorous and musical.

But as the song requires an air,
A madrigal must aptly rhyme,
A sonnet shines in measured lines,
Each foot must walk in proper time,
And music's aid is best displayed
When duly matched with verses fair:

So sweetest meerschaum needs a case,
Cigars are clipped with dainty blade,
The seasoned briar will still aspire
To lights in silvern casket laid,
The cigarette is duly set
In holder rich with every grace.

And every cigarette consumed
Is fragrant homage offered thee;
The mellow streak, from week to week,
Embrowns thy gift bestowed on me:—
So every hour proclaims the power
Of her whose gift the smoke perfumed.

This work was published before January 1, 1928, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.