Bradley T. Van Deusen

Bradley T. Van Deusen

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I May Deceive a A Woman
but Disappoint Her - Never!
University of Chicago Daily Maroon, 23 Nov 1828
By L'Envoi

The final word (once more) has been said on the subject of "Our Women." To those few to whom satirical comment is not completely unknown this poem has been affectionately dedicated. The results of the various diatribes are as usual, negative. Wherefore this poem so delightfully nil is distinctly apropos. The subject is closed.

A war-worn warrior 
And a beautiful girl 
Met in the darkness 
Where black banners furl. 

She was lovely 
Her heart was warm. 
He sought quiet 
Out of the storm. 

My hands are spatulate 
Designed to caress 
To mold tall columns 
White limbs to press..."

She said, "Lover 
I know you of old 
In my dreams you're younger. 
Not bitter or old...

My love's a warrior 
Straight limbed and tall 
With the pride of a peacock 
On a marble wall....

You're bent and bitter. 
Sword-scarred and worn 
My love's a boy 
White limbs untorn.

What would you have of me 
Ghost of my love... 
Dark bodied jungle beast 
Tearing a dove."

"Girl," said the warrior 
In ironed bodied might 
You've lain beside me 
In the star stabbed night

You've known my glories 
Laughed at my fears 
Why do you turn from me 
In blinding tears.

Shall I cast my altar 
Into the mere? 
You are my Host of Hosts 
Why should you fear?

Immaculate you came here 
Virgin you go 
My love's dreams' love 
This you should know.

Your fresh mouth to mine, Love 
Your body mine to press; 
Close your eyes, so, Love 
Dream Loves' caress.

By hands and mouth I build here 
A dream to buoy on... 
Something to cherish 
When you are gone.

I shall know Beauty 
Before I come to die  
With bleeding, gaping mouth upturned  
To a brazen, ghastly sky..."

The Girl said, "Warrior! 
You have known Death 
Hot, bright moments 
And panting breath.

If I trust my visions 
To you for a toy 
It shall bring you happiness 
But what of the boy?

Your ribbons tell of glory 
Your eyes tell of pain. 
Swordsman I come to you 
Leave me without stain!"


What matters future, past 
Or Gods above... 
Two in the darkness 
Have found Love...

Historical Notes



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