Philip Larkin

He Hears That His Beloved Has Become Engaged

For C.G.B.

When she came on, you couldn't keep your seat; Fighting your way up through the orchestra, Tup-heavy bumpkin, you confused your feet, Fell in the drum - how we went ha ha ha! But once you gained her side and started waltzing We all began to cheer; the way she leant Her cheek on yours and laughed was so exalting We thought you were stooging for the management. But no. What you did, any of us might. And saying so I see our difference: Not your aplomb (I used mine to sit tight), But fancying you improve her. Where's the sense In saying love, but meaning indifference ? You'll only change her. Still, I'm sure you're right.

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