Cheeks of an ominous crimson,
Eyebrows arched to a frown,
Pretty red lips a-quiver
With holding their sweetnes down;

Glance that is never lifted
From the hands that, in cruel play,
Are tearing the white rose petals,
And tossing their hearts away.

Only to think that a whisper,
An idle, meaningless jest,
Should stir such a world of passion
In a dear little loving breast.

Yet ever for such light trifles
Will lover and lass fall out,
And the humblest lad grow haughty,
And the gentlest maiden pout.

Of course, I must sue for pardon;
For what, I can hardly say! -
But, deaf to opposing reason,
A woman will have have her way.

And when, in despite her frowning,
The scorn, the grief, and the rue,
She looks so bewitchingly pretty,
Why-what can a fellow do?

More verses by Ina D. Coolbrith