I'm waiting for the man I hope to wed. I've never seen him - that's the funny part. I promised I would wear a rose of red, Pinned on my coat above my fluttered heart, So that he'd know me - a precaution wise, Because I wrote him I was twenty-three, And Oh such heaps and heaps of silly lies. . . So when we meet what will he think of me?
It's funny, but it has its sorry side; I put an advert. in the evening Press: "A lonely maiden fain would be a bride." Oh it was shameless of me, I confess. But I am thirty-nine and in despair, Wanting a home and children ere too late, And I forget I'm no more young and fair - I'll hide my rose and run...No, no, I'll wait.
An hour has passed and I am waiting still. I ought to feel relieved, but I'm so sad. I would have liked to see him, just to thrill, And sigh and say: "There goes my lovely lad! My one romance!" Ah, Life's malign mishap! "Garcon, a cafè creme." I'll stay till nine. . . The cafè's empty, just an oldish chap Who's sitting at the table next to mine. . .
I'm waiting for the girl I mean to wed. She was to come at eight and now it's nine. She'd pin upon her coat a rose of red, And I would wear a marguerite in mine. No sign of her I see...It's true my eyes Need stronger glasses than the ones I wear, But Oh I feel my heart would recognize Her face without the rose - she is so fair.
Ah! what deceivers are we aging men! What vanity keeps youthful hope aglow! Poor girl! I sent a photo taken when I was a student, twenty years ago. (Hers is so Springlike, Oh so blossom sweet!) How she will shudder when she sees me now! I think I'd better hide that marguerite - How can I age and ugliness avow?
She does not come. It's after nine o'clock. What fools we fogeys are! I'll try to laugh; (Garcon, you might bring me another bock) Falling in love, just from a photograph. Well, that's the end. I'll go home and forget, Then realizing I am over ripe I'll throw away this silly cigarette And philosophically light my pipe.
* * * * *
The waiter brought the coffee and the beer, And there they sat, so woe-begone a pair, And seemed to think: "Why do we linger here?" When suddenly they turned, to start and stare. She spied a marguerite, he glimpsed a rose; Their eyes were joined and in a flash they knew. . . The sleepy waiter saw, when time to close, The sweet romance of those deceiving two, Whose lips were joined, their hearts, their future too.