David Lewis Paget

(22.11.1944 / Nottingham, England/live in Australia)

A Walk in the Park

‘Will you not go walking with me, Michelle,
Will you not come out in the park?
There are lights between each tree, Michelle
So you’ll not be caught in the dark.
I have looked for you since the Winter Ball
When you turned, and gave me a glance,
And winked an eye with a long-drawn sigh
Could it be, I’m in with a chance? ’

Michelle was walking, her shoulders bowed
With her eyes still fixed on the ground,
The weight of the world was on her back
When she looked aside, and frowned,
‘I would love to walk in the park with you
But I can’t, there isn’t a chance,
For eyes are watching my every move
They report each thing to Lance.’

I’d seen this Lance at the Winter Ball,
Lance Gordon George Dupree,
They say that he’s an ‘Honourable’
From some vaunted family tree,
But his eyes are beady, his mouth is grim
There’s a jealous look in his eye,
And he’d pulled Michelle from the ballroom floor
When he’d heard that long-drawn sigh.

‘My father promised my hand to him
When I’d barely turned thirteen,
Exchanged for some of his gambling debts
As my sister was, Lurline,
She hanged herself on her wedding night
In her silk, beribboned dress,
She would rather death than shame, she said
And I shall do nothing less! ’

The wedding was barely a week away
I heard, from a friend I sought,
I got a job in the stables there
At La Maison de Villacourt,
I saw Michelle through a window where
They’d locked her into a room,
And watched her cry, and dab at her eye
Through a long drawn afternoon.

They posted a sentry at her door
Let nobody in or out,
I tried to attract her attention but
I couldn’t afford to shout,
So I pitched a stone at her window pane
And she finally got the hint,
Opened the casement window then
And smiled, with her eyes a-glint.

I helped her down, onto a horse
And we galloped out of the yard,
I knew wherever we went from there
We’d have to be on our guard,
She guided me to a wayside Inn
Where she slid on down to the floor,
Then threw me a kiss as she clambered in
Post-haste to a coach and four!

‘I’ll never forget you, ’ called Michelle,
‘And what you have done for us! ’
Then kissed the man in the coach and four
As I sat in shock, nonplussed.
‘I never promised a thing, ’ her voice
Came drifting back in the dark,
‘But one day soon in the afternoon
We’ll take that walk in the park! ’

16 November 2013

Submitted: Friday, November 15, 2013

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