Even so, Pamela, and she used to say, as we watched the silent flicker
In the privacy of her hallowed boudoir,
That here, here’s a proper evocation of history,
Her gin-dark eyes popping out of her head
At a silly girl slipping the mask off eminence
Only to cringe in horror as well the girl should.
For now it’s revealed – grisly countenance:
“Feast your eyes, girl, glut your soul on my accursed ugliness!”
It was the phantom, caped and worked up who
Had remarked thus—and it is what we do –
We feast and glut and call it beautiful,—
And then later, and the Bal Masqué de l’Opéra
(And can Apollinaire be far away?) ensues,
Or life, the perpetrators kicking up their heels
At the grand soirée, and still later, and history,
Costumed panache, is nervy splendour, is a police matter—
I, Aginthorpe, soft in my memory of Yvette.
Top of the year in Quebec and we’ve had
The thaw and now the snap.