Jonathan ROBIN (22 September / London)
Cosy, kept from crowd’s curiosity
Her palanquin traversed the city streets.
In silk, feet, pigtails bound, through summer heats.
November, March well padded frieze freeze free.
All sorties, comforts, curtained secrecy.
Peiping, Canton, Shanghai, saw scene's repeats,
Always discretion peeping Toms defeats
Lest dark disgrace dishonour purity,
Advance lost face to cost integrity.
Now, times have changed: such sight no longer greets
Questive roving eyes' boundless conceits.
Unbridled horse. Cut pigtail century.
In bric-a-brac palanquin idle lies,
No opiates now rise to sweeten skies.
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