IN SPITE OF GERMS by Don Marquis

Disease, says a prominent scientist, is often transmitted by kissing. — News item

The scientist
Will still insist
There’s danger in romances.
And yet the stupid
Mister Cupid
Keeps on taking chances.

Though they affirm
A deadly germ
Lurks in the sweetest kisses,
Let’s hope the day
Is far away
Of antiseptic blisses!

While Listerine
And carboline
Are very useful drugs,
Yet would you sip
Them from her lip
Or would you risk the “bugs”?

My observation
Of osculation
Has led me to opine
That there are few,
If any, who
Persistently decline

But sterilize
A lady’s sighs?
Why, that would be outrageous!
I’d much prefer
To humor her
And let her be contagious!


From “Notes and Comment,” Don’s first column in The (New York) Evening Sun, Sept. 24, 1912: