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At the Cafe

Aldrich, T. B. "At the Cafe." New-York Saturday Press. 24 Dec. 1859: 2.

The speaker presents himself as conflicted and troubled amid the revels at Pfaff's bar.

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We were all very merry at Pfaff's. Did you think
While I laughed with the rest, just a trifle too gay,
That ma mignonne was false, that I buried my friend,
That my castles in Spain had been plundered that day--
Did you think?

Did you think, as you watched me and weighed every word
And then smiling complacently, understood all,
That my heart, as I passed the Rhine wine to the boys,
Was as black as the midnight and bitter as gall--
Did you think?

Did you think that those small, wary, twinkling gray eyes
That look over and under and into things so,
Could read me--a primer? that you could let drop
A sly plummet right down in the depths of my wo--
Did you think?

You will kill me with laughter, some day, you dear owl
I was happy that night, though the girl was a cheat
Could I grieve for a flirt, when the man that I loved
Was so sweetly at rest from his head to his feet--
Did you think?

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