Sir Owen Seaman

(1861-1936 / England)

Fashions For Men - Poem by Sir Owen Seaman

There are who hanker for a touch of colour,
So to relieve their sombre air;
For me, I like my clothes to be much duller
Than what the nigger minstrels wear;
I hold by sable, drab and grey;
I do not wish to be a popinjay.

In vain my poor imagination grapples
With these new lines in fancy shades,
These purple evening coats with yellow lapels,
These vests composed in flowered brocades;
Nor can I think that noisy checks
Would help me to attract the other sex.

With gaudy schemes that rouse my solemn dander
I leave our frivolous youth to flirt;
A riband round my straw--for choice, Leander;
A subtle nuance in my shirt;
For tie, the colours of my school--
These are the limits of my austere rule.

But, when they'd have me swathe the clamorous tartan
In lieu of trousers round my waist,
Then they evoke the spirit of the Spartan
Inherent in my simple taste;
Inexorably I decline
To drape the kilt on any hips of mine.

It may be they will count me over-modest,
Deem me Victorian, dub me prude;
I may have early views, the very oddest,
On what is chaste and what is rude;
Yet am I certain that my leg
Would not look right beneath a filibeg.

I love the Scot as being truly British;
Golf (and the Union) makes us one;
Yet to my nature, which is far from skittish
And lacks his local sense of fun,
There is a something almost foreign
About his strange attachment to the sporran.

So, when a bargain-sale is held of chattels
Surviving from the recent War--
Textiles and woollens, built for use in battles--
And Scotland's there inquiring for
The kilt department, I shall not
Be found competing. She can have the lot.

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Poem Submitted: Monday, September 20, 2010

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