Ballade for the Birthday of Cyrano at the Coffee Time Coffee Shop

With apologies to Edmond Rostand

No words do justice to this grand affair
Beyond what Cyrano declared: How fate,
The arbitrator, loves a jest! Voltaire
Would blush to see how people celebrate
The birthday of a man who made his date
With Death wait while he gave his flame a ring,
A rosy dot over the i of Loving,
His nose aglow, red as Pinocchio's
When tendering his lies like thin smoke rising.
Ah! Whose nose plucks your heartstrings? Cyrano's!

Unless you're rocking in a straight-back chair,
You scratch your head attempting to relate
To Cyrano's restraint. Who's not aware
These days that plastic surgery's cut-rate?
No need for noses to protuberate
Like perches for the birds that come to sing,

Or blue cucumbers, say, or anything
Like razor-cases or portfolios.
Just whack 'em back to where they're ravishing.
Ah! Whose nose plucks your heartstrings? Cyrano's!

What is this thing called Love but nature's snare?
He queries, tête-à-tête with musket mate
Le Bret. Let every flitting bug beware:
Though dazzling light displays may fascinate,
The heat of contact will incinerate
The foxy one as well as the unwitting.
Yet Roxane fritters Love away while kissing
De Bergerac's frayed billets-doux, her woes
Compounded by the dividend she's missing.
Ah! Whose nose plucks your heartstrings? Cyrano's!

Those pretty nothings that are everything,
Those winds of jealous beauty ever blowing
Their dark fire and their music
... God help those
Who pass Love by with Truth and Beauty glowing.
Ah! Whose nose plucks your heartstrings? Cyrano's!

[Published in Encore, prize poem anthology of the National Federation of State Poetry Societies]