I weary of the warnings of dead men —
always they return to dying blossoms
in the cheeks of women no longer young.

For what are women but blossoms waiting
to wither, unpressed and unpreserved?
But then, God gave men tongues who have no taste

and fools’ noses will mistake their quarry.
They did so, who called that sharp note beneath
the springtime air Vanity perfumed

rather than recognize its bitterness
as that of fruit still young in its becoming.