Verse > Anthologies > Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. > Yale Book of American Verse
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Thomas R. Lounsbury, ed. (1838–1915). Yale Book of American Verse.  1912.
 
Eugene Field. 1850–1895
 
226. The Tea-Gown
 
MY lady has a tea-gown 
  That is wondrous fair to see,— 
It is flounced and ruffed and plaited and puffed, 
  As a tea-gown ought to be; 
And I thought she must be jesting         5
  Last night at supper when 
She remarked, by chance, that it came from France, 
  And had cost but two pounds ten. 
  
Had she told me fifty shillings, 
  I might (and would n't you?)  10
Have referred to that dress in a way folks express 
  By an eloquent dash or two; 
But the guileful little creature 
  Knew well her tactics when 
She casually said that that dream in red  15
  Had cost but two pounds ten. 
  
Yet our home is all the brighter 
  For that dainty, sentient thing, 
That floats away where it properly may, 
  And clings where it ought to cling;  20
And I count myself the luckiest 
  Of all us married men 
That I have a wife whose joy in life 
  Is a gown at two pounds ten. 
  
It is n't the gown compels me  25
  Condone this venial sin; 
It 's the pretty face above the lace, 
  And the gentle heart within. 
And with her arms about me 
  I say, and say again,  30
"'T was wondrous cheap,"—and I think a heap 
  Of that gown at two pounds ten! 
 
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