Nix On the Fluffy Stuff

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Propertius: Book I, Elegy 2.

_"Quid iuvat ornato procedere, vita, capillo
  Et tenues Coa veste movere sinus?"_

Why, my love, the yellow trinkets
  In your tresses' purer gold?
Why the Syrian perfume? Think it's
  Nice to be thus aureoled?
Why the silken robes that rustle?
  Why the pigment on the map?
Think you all that fume and fuss'll
  Ever charm a chap?

Mother Earth is unaffected--
  Is her beauty therefore less?
Is she gray or ill-complected?
  I should call her some success.
Soft the murmur of the river,
  Bright the shore that lines the sea--
Is the universe a flivver?
  No, take it from me.

Castor loved the lady Phoebe
For no bought or borrowed wile;
Hillaira--wasn't she be-
Loved without excessive style?
Hippodamia slaved no fashions--
All that braver, elder time
Is replete with simple passions
  Difficult to rhyme.

Nay, my Cynthia, sweet and smile-ish,
Take it from your own Propert,
Don't essay to be so stylish,
Don't attempt the harem skirt.
I am ever Yours Sincerely,
Past the shadow of a doubt,
Yours Forever, if you'll merely
  Cut the frivol out.

© Franklin Pierce Adams