Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
In London City I evade
For charming Burlington Arcade -
For thee in youth I met a maid
By name of Mazie,
Who lost no time in telling me
The Ritz put up a topping tea,
But having only shillings three
My smile was hazy.
:Instead," said I, "it might be sport
To take a bus to Hampton Court,"
(Her manner, I remarked, was short,)
But she assented.
We climbed on top, and all the way
I held her hand, I felt quite gay,
Bu Mazie, I regret to say,
In fact we almost had a tiff.
It's true it rained and she was stiff,
And all she did was sneeze and sniff
And shudder coldly.
So I said: "Mazzie, there's the maze;
Let's frolic in its leafy ways,"
And buying tickets where one pays
I entered boldly.
The, as the game is, we were lots;
We dashed and darted, crissed and crossed,
But Mazie she got vexed and sauced
Me rather smartly.
There wasn't but us two about;
We hollered, no one heard our shout;
The rain poured down: "Oh let's get out,"
Cried Mazie tartly.
"Keep cool, says I. "You fool," says she;
"I'm sopping wet, I want my tea,
Please take me home," she wailed to me
In accents bitter.
Again we tried, this way and that,
Yet came to where we started at,
And Mazie acted like a cat,
A champion spitter.
She stomped and romped till all was blue,
Then sought herself to find the clue,
And when I saw her next 'twas through
A leafy screening;
"Come on, she cooed, "and join me here;
You'll take me to the Savoy, dear,
And Heidsieck shall our spirits cheer."
I got her meaning.
And yet I sought her everywhere;
I hurried here, I scurried there,
I took each likely lane, I swar,
As I surmised it:
The suddenly I saw once more,
Confronting me, the exit door,
And I was dashing through before
I realized it.
And there I spied a passing bus.
Thinks I: "It's mean to leave her thus,
But after all her fret and fuss
I can't abide her.
So I sped back to London town
And grubbed alone for half-a-crown,
On steak and kidney pie washed down
With sparkling cider.
But since I left that damsel fair,
The thought she may have perished there,
Of cold, starvation and dispair
Nigh drives me crazy.
So, stranger, if you should invade
The charming Burlington Arcade,
Tell me if you behold a shade,
Ghost of a most unhappy maid
By name of Mazie.
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