William Ernest Henley

(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

Barmaid - Poem by William Ernest Henley

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.


Comments about Barmaid by William Ernest Henley

  • Susan Williams (6/6/2018 9:52:00 PM)


    He writes memorable lines but doesn't seem to have an individualistic view of people- -to him all barmaids are cheap, ignorant, and silly in their attempts to look better... I would have preferred a barmaid who has some quirks of her own, who works hard for her livelihood, and doesn't care if men are not pl; eased with the size of her waist or not. (Report) Reply

    0 person liked.
    0 person did not like.
  • Edward Kofi Louis (6/6/2018 1:04:00 PM)


    She ever makes a point! !

    Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
    (Report) Reply

  • (6/6/2018 8:42:00 AM)


    A piece of fine work (Report) Reply

  • Bernard F. Asuncion (6/6/2018 1:08:00 AM)


    Such a great poem by William Ernest Henley👍👍👍 (Report) Reply

Read all 4 comments »



Read this poem in other languages

This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.

I would like to translate this poem »

word flags

What do you think this poem is about?

Read poems about / on: change, work



Poem Submitted: Friday, January 3, 2003



Famous Poems

  1. Still I Rise
    Maya Angelou
  2. The Road Not Taken
    Robert Frost
  3. If You Forget Me
    Pablo Neruda
  4. Dreams
    Langston Hughes
  5. Annabel Lee
    Edgar Allan Poe
  6. Stopping By Woods On A Snowy Evening
    Robert Frost
  7. If
    Rudyard Kipling
  8. Do Not Stand At My Grave And Weep
    Mary Elizabeth Frye
  9. I Do Not Love You Except Because I Love You
    Pablo Neruda
  10. Television
    Roald Dahl
[Report Error]