Claude McKay

Alfonso, Dressing to Wait at Table

Alfonso is a handsome bronze-hued lad 
Of subtly-changing and surprising parts; 
His moods are storms that frighten and make glad, 
His eyes were made to capture women’s hearts. 

Down in the glory-hole Alfonso sings 
An olden song of wine and clinking glasses 
And riotous rakes; magnificently flings 
Gay kisses to imaginary lasses. 

Alfonso’s voice of mellow music thrills 
Our swaying forms and steals our hearts with joy; 
And when he soars, his fine falsetto trills 
Are rarest notes of gold without alloy. 

But, O Alfonso! wherefore do you sing 
Dream-songs of carefree men and ancient places? 
Soon we shall be beset by clamouring 
Of hungry and importunate palefaces.

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