Annus Venereus

(with apologies to Philip Larkin)

Contemporary romance peaked
In nineteen-fifty-eight
(Which of course was rather late)
When mousy Midtown office girls
Sought out rich men to date.

Now, since then there’s only been
A sort of echoing
Of Heyer’s style of thing;
A virgin beauty’s quest to find
A duke for marrying.

For all at once, the smut appeared:
Everyone fucked the same
And every book became
A drenched and dizzy bacchanal
Quite free from tact or shame.

So books were never better than
In nineteen-fifty-eight;
And now is far too late
For those mousy Midtown office girls
And the wealthy men they date.