So much of the compliments given
Are spread with the basest intent.
Self-serving, such praises are driven;
You’re never quite sure what they meant.
Like waitress who tells me I’m handsome
(Though truth of her statement is clear)
She’s angling for tip like a ransom —
Else why should such praising appear?
Disgusted, forsaking pretensions,
Such smarminess ever I’ll bar;
But say — did I happen to mention
Just what a good reader you are?