WAYNE was looking near and far
After the theatre to find his car.
He had taken his wife to the play that night;
Broadway was glittering hard and bright
With every sort of electric light
Green and scarlet and diamond-white;
And moving letters against the sky
Told you exactly the reason why
This or that was the thing to buy.
And suddenly there at his side was Nell
Vainly seeking her car as well
They talked. for a moment. . . of meeting again. . .
And how were Edward and Ruth, and then
"I wonder," said Nell, "if you ever see
My lovely friend. . ." "You mean," said he,
"That blue-eyed lady I once sat next. . "
"Exactly," said Nellie. "I feel so vexed
With Lee. I haven't seen her this season,
And between you and me, I know the reason."
"Do you indeed?" said Wayne."Oh, yes,"
Nell answered. "I know. . . at least I guess.
When a woman like that whom I've seen so much
All of a sudden drops out of touch,
Is always busy and never can
Spare you a moment, it means a MAN."
Wayne did not smile. "I am sure you are
Right," he said. "Do you go so far
In the magic art as to tell us who
The man may be?" "I certainly do,"
Said Nell. "It's that handsome young romantic
Doctor who's driving the ladies frantic,
So that they flock to be cured in shoals
And talk of nothing but sex and souls,
And self-expression, and physical passion. .
Of course, no wonder the man's the fashion."
"Does Mrs. Kent flock?" "Oh, no, I meant
They've called him in to take care of Kent.
Imagine the long deep conversations,
The tears, the intimate revelations. . .
I wish to all ladies, lonely and sad,
Tied to a husband hopelessly mad
A handsome psychiatrist. . . good or bad.
Oh, there's my car," and so with a gay
Good night to Wayne she was driven away.
People will come for miles, they say,
To see a man burnt at the stake, yet none
Turned in that crowd to look at one
Standing quietly burning there,
Suffering more than a man can bear,
Consumed with hideous inner fire,
Believing his love a cheat and a liar. . .
Believing the moment that Nell had spoken,
For that day of all days Lee had broken
A date. . . at the time he had thought it queer,
And now, by God, it was perfectly clear,
Perfectly clear, no doubt whatever. . .
A doctor, handsome and young and clever,
With all this rotten erotic learning. . . .
Strange indeed that no head was turning
To watch this gentleman quietly burning,
In a trance of pain he heard Ruth say:
"Well, dear, what did you think of that play?"