Charles F. Lummis ~ My Cigarette


My cigarette! The amulet
That charms afar unrest and sorrow;
The magic wand that far beyond
To-day can conjure up to-morrow.
Like love’s desire, thy crown of fire
So softly with the twilight blending,
And ah! meseems, a poet’s dreams
Are in thy wreaths of smoke ascending.

My cigarette! Can I forget
How Kate and I, in sunny weather,
Sat in the shade the elm-tree made
And rolled the fragrant weed together?
I at her side beatified,
To hold and guide her fingers willing;
She rolling slow the paper’s snow,
Putting my heart in with the filling.

My cigarette! I see her yet,
The white smoke from her red lips curling,
Her dreaming eyes, her soft replies,
Her gentle sighs, her laughter purling!
Ah, dainty roll, whose parting soul
Ebbs out in many a snowy billow,
I, too, would burn if I might earn
Upon her lips so soft a pillow!

Ah, cigarette! The gay coquette
Has long forgot the flames she lighted,
And you and I unthinking by
Alike are thrown, alike are slighted.
The darkness gathers fast without,
A raindrop on my window plashes;
My cigarette and heart are out,
And naught is left me but the ashes.

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