Salome's Dancing-Lesson

Dorothy Parker 1893 (Long Branch) – 1967 (New York City)



She that begs a little boon
(Heel and toe! Heel and toe!)
Little gets- and nothing, soon.
(No, no, no! No, no, no!)
She that calls for costly things
Priceless finds her offerings-
What's impossible to kings?
(Heel and toe! Heel and toe!)

Kings are shaped as other men.
(Step and turn! Step and turn!)
Ask what none may ask again.
(Will you learn? Will you learn?)
Lovers whine, and kisses pall,
Jewels tarnish, kingdoms fall-
Death's the rarest prize of all!
(Step and turn! Step and turn!)

Veils are woven to be dropped.
(One, two, three! One, two, three!)
Aging eyes are slowest stopped.
(Quietly! Quietly!)
She whose body's young and cool
Has no need of dancing-school-
Scratch a king and find a fool!
(One, two, three! One, two, three!)

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

43 sec read
128

Quick analysis:

Scheme aBabcccB dEdexffE gHghiiiH
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 725
Words 142
Stanzas 3
Stanza Lengths 8, 8, 8

Dorothy Parker

Dorothy Parker was an American poet, short story writer, critic and satirist, best known for her wit, wisecracks, and eye for 20th-century urban foibles. more…

All Dorothy Parker poems | Dorothy Parker Books

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