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Ballade at Thirty-five

 This, no song of an ingénue, 
This, no ballad of innocence; 
This, the rhyme of a lady who 
Followed ever her natural bents.
This, a solo of sapience, This, a chantey of sophistry, This, the sum of experiments, -- I loved them until they loved me.
Decked in garments of sable hue, Daubed with ashes of myriad Lents, Wearing shower bouquets of rue, Walk I ever in penitence.
Oft I roam, as my heart repents, Through God's acre of memory, Marking stones, in my reverence, "I loved them until they loved me.
" Pictures pass me in long review,-- Marching columns of dead events.
I was tender, and, often, true; Ever a prey to coincidence.
Always knew I the consequence; Always saw what the end would be.
We're as Nature has made us -- hence I loved them until they loved me.

by Dorothy Parker
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