“How Like a Woman,” from Poems, by Alice and Caroline Duer (1896)

Women in tea-room

How Like a Woman

I wanted you to come to-day —
Or so I told you in my letter —
And yet, if you had stayed away,
I should have liked you so much better.
I should have sipped my tea unseen,
And thrilled at every door-bell’s pealing,
And thought how nice I could have been
Had you evinced a little feeling.

I should have guessed you drinking tea
With someone whom you loved to madness;
I should have thought you cold to me,
And reveled in a depth of sadness.
But, no! you came without delay
I could not feel myself neglected:
You said the things you always say,
In ways not wholly unexpected.

If you had let me wait in vain,
We should, in my imagination,
Have held, what we did not attain,
A most dramatic conversation.
Had you not come, I should have known
At least a vague anticipation,
Instead of which, I grieve to own,
You did not give me one sensation.

from Poems, by Alice and Caroline Duer
New York: George H. Richmond & Co., 1896

Available on the Internet Archive: Link

Alice Duer married Henry Wise Miller a few years after publishing this book of poems with her sister Caroline, and became Alice Duer Miller, who wrote “Forsaking All Others,” a verse short novel featured here recently (post).

This is one in a series of neglected poems taken from the Internet Archive.

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