Last summer, lazing by the sea,
I met a most entrancing creature,
Her black eyes quite bewildered me—
She had a Spanish cast of feature.

She often smoked a cigarette,
And did it in the cutest fashion.
Before a week passed by she set
My young heart in a raging passion.

I swore I loved her as my life,
I gave her gems (don’t tell my tailor).
She promised to become my wife,
But whispered, ‘Papa is my jailer.’

‘We must be very sly, you see,
For Papa will not list to reason.
You must not come to call on me
Until he’s gone from home a season.

‘I’ll send you word, now don’t forget,
Take this as pledge, I will remember.’
She gave me a perfumed cigarette,
And turned and left me with September.

To-day she sent her ‘cards’ to me.
‘My presence asked’ to see her marry
That millionaire old banker C—
She has my ‘presents,’ so I’ll tarry.

And still I feel a keen regret
(About the jewels that I gave her)
I’ve smoked the little cigarette—
It had a most delicious flavour.

Analysis, meaning and summary of Ella Wheeler Wilcox's poem Smoke

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