Robert William Service (16 January 1874 - 11 September 1958 / Preston)
Her smile ineffably is sweet,
Devinely she is slim;
Yet oh how weary are her feet,
How aches her every limb!
Thank God it's near to closing time,
--Merciful midnight chime.
Then in her mackintosh she'll go
Up seven flights of stairs,
And on her bed her body throw,
Too tired to say her prayers;
Yet not too sleepy to forget
Her cheap alarm to set.
She dreams . . . That lonely bank-clerk boy
Who comes each day for tea,--
Oh how his eyes light up with joy
Her comeliness to see!
And yet he is too shy to speak,
Far less to touch her cheek.
He dreams . . . If only I were King
I'd make of her my Queen.
If I were laureate I'd sing
Her loveliness serene.
--How wistfully romance can haunt
A city restaurant!
For as I watch that pensive pair
There stirs within my heart
From Arcady an April air
That shames the sordid mart:
A sense of Spring and singing rills,
--Love mid the daffodils.
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