Home  »  A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895  »  From “Modern Love.” II. Hiding the Skeleton

Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

George Meredith 1828–1909

From “Modern Love.” II. Hiding the Skeleton


AT dinner she is hostess, I am host.

Went the feast ever cheerfuller? She keeps

The topic over intellectual deeps

In buoyancy afloat. They see no ghost.

With sparkling surface-eyes we ply the ball:

It is in truth a most contagious game;

HIDING THE SKELETON shall be its name.

Such play as this the devils might appall!

But here ’s the greater wonder; in that we,

Enamor’d of our acting and our wits,

Admire each other like true hypocrites.

Warm-lighted glances, Love’s Ephemeræ,

Shoot gayly o’er the dishes and the wine.

We waken envy of our happy lot.

Fast, sweet, and golden, shows our marriage-knot.

Dear guests, you now have seen Love’s corpse-light shine!