The Garden Party
by Donald Davies
Above a stretch of still unravaged weald
In our Black Country, in a cedar-shade,
I found, shared out in tennis courts, a field
Where children of the local magnates played.
And I grew envious of their moneyed ease
In Scott Fitzgerald’s unembarrassed vein.
Let prigs, I thought, fool others as they please,
I only wish I had my time again.
To crown a situation as contrived
As any in ‘The Beautiful and Damned’,
The phantom of my earliest love arrived;
I shook absurdly as I shook her hand.
As dusk drew in on cultivated cries,
Faces hung pearls upon a cedar-bough;
And gin could blur the glitter of her eyes,
But it’s too late to learn to tango now.
My father, of a more submissive school,
Remarks the rich themselves are always sad.
There is that sort of equalizing rule;
But theirs is all the youth we might have had.