You could be sitting now in a carrel
Turning some liver-spotted page,
Or rising in an elevator-cage
Toward Ladies’ Apparel.
You could be planting a raucous bed
Of salvia, in rubber gloves,
Or lunching through a screed of someone’s loves
With pitying head,
Or making some unhappy setter
Heel, or listening to a bleak
Lecture on Schoenberg’s serial technique.
Isn’t this better?
Think of all the time you are not
Wasting, and would not care to waste,
Such things, thank God not being to your taste.
Think what a lot
Of time, by woman’s reckoning,
You’ve saved, and so may spend on this
You who had rather lie in bed and kiss
It’s almost noon, you say? If so,
Time flies, and I need not rehearse
The rosebuds-theme of centuries of verse,
If you must go,
Wait for a while, then slip downstairs
And bring us up some chilled white wine,
And some blue cheese, and crackers, and some fine
Richard Wilbur (b. 1921)
Aubade: a poem or piece of music appropriate to the dawn or early morning.