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A poem by William Ernest Henley : Barmaid

William Ernest Henley-1 William Ernest Henley-3 b (c) Julia Rushbury (Mrs Ramos); Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation

Barmaid

Though, if you ask her name, she says Elise,
Being plain Elizabeth, e’en let it pass,
And own that, if her aspirates take their ease,
She ever makes a point, in washing glass,
Handling the engine, turning taps for tots,
And countering change, and scorning what men say,
Of posing as a dove among the pots,
Nor often gives her dignity away.
Her head’s a work of art, and, if her eyes
Be tired and ignorant, she has a waist;
Cheaply the Mode she shadows; and she tries
From penny novels to amend her taste;
And, having mopped the zinc for certain years,
And faced the gas, she fades and disappears.

 

 

William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley-4

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