ROMEO AND JULIET - Aline Murray Kilmer Poems


Poems » aline kilmer » romeo and juliet


Pop Montague's old brain was wried
    Through all its convolutions
With constant thoughts of Homicide
    And kindred institutions.

White-haired Giuseppi Capulet,
    Although he liked his daughter,
The pert, precocious Juliet,
    Was fonder still of slaughter.

Young Romeo was just designed
    To play Italian opera:
A looker, with a tenor mind --
    A perfect star for Wopera.

Each cutthroat father kept at hand,
    In their respective houses,
A low-browed, cloaked, romantic band
    Of swordsmen, thugs, and souses.

When ennui made Giuseppi sad
    He'd go a-Montagueing;
Pop Montague's perticuler fad
    Was Capulet-pursuing.

How could young lovers dodge their doom,
    With all these complications?
They gravitated to the tomb
    To join their near relations.

Their bloody story I might trace --
    How loved they but to rue it --
At length if I but had the face,
    But Shakespeare beat me to it.

(They're Shakespeare's corpses -- let him hop
    About his morgue and sort 'em --
I'll start where he came to a stop
    And pull a brief post-mortem.

Will for the dagger and the kiss,
    The poison and the quarrels,
But my preoccupation is,
    Far more than Will's, with morals.)

So when the feud had run its course
    And slain its scores and dozens
The ancient cutthroats got remorse --
    And gave it to their cousins.

Quoth Caputlet: "We're here to-day --
    But where are we to-morrow?"
Pop Montague would often say:
    "I feel a sort of sorrow!"

Remorse soon heightened to regret;
    They signed a bond one Monday --
Old Montague and Capulet --
    To slay no man on Sunday!

Their hearts grew softer with the years,.
    Their mood grew kind and pensive --
They mused, one morning, bathed in tears,
    "Some days, crime seems offensive!"

Salt globules furrowed each lank cheek,
    They thought of son and daughter,
And vowed that more than once a week
    They'd not indulge in slaughter.

Upon their own reform they'd gloat,
    In consciousness of virtue,
And murmur as they cut a throat:
    "I'm sorry if I hurt you!"

Thus Montague and Capulet,
    They took to heart the lesson,
And so the death of Juliet
    In some ways proved a blessin'.

And this reform of which I speak
    Made them far less rejected --
They stuck to murder once a week
    And died loved and respected!