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A Backyard Ballade

From The Times Dispatch, July 19, 1914. By J. H. Greene.

A gray expanse of weathered wall
    I view from my lone window seat,
Whose other windows, one and all,
    So empty, lifeless and effete,
Above a yard burnt up with heat,
    Fill me with fancies saturnine—
When something makes my gloom retreat—
    White lingerie upon a line!

Light, laughing laces flirt and fall,
    And stockings, wind-filled to the feet,
Dance tangoes at an airy ball
    To music that the breezes beat.
Oh, swirling skirts so indiscreet,
    You dance away black moods of mine!
Encore, oh hurricane, I entreat,
    This lingerie upon a line!

Oh, dance from dawn to even fall,
    Wind-woman, zephyr-souled and sweet!
What sarabands are at your call?
    Where did you learn that ballet suite?
Yours is an art of the elite,
    Oh, silken, swinging columbine,
Abstracted of all sex conceit—
    Just lingerie upon a line!

But disillusion comes complete—
    When something surely masculine
Is added to that silken cheat
    Of lingerie upon a line!

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