Jessie Pope

(18 March 1868 - 14 December 1941 / Leicestershire, England)

The Niggers - Poem by Jessie Pope

When Sibyl sits upon the beach
With Kate and Madeline,
Dick, Tom and Jack, the swain of each,
Loll gloomily between,
With savage glances at the throng
Of stripe-bedizened figures
Who stain the breeze with strident song,
In other words the Niggers.

In vain the lovers hint or nudge,
Suggest a sail, a walk,
Their promised brides refuse to budge,
And beg them not to talk.
For Sibyl loves the corner man,
Kate drinks the Tenor's tones,
While Madeline, behind her fan,
Beams rapture on the Bones.

They whisper of 'romantic eyes,'
Of 'teeth like milky pearls,'
Perceiving through a thin disguise
A row of fallen Earls.
Jack loathes the tenor's unctuous smirks,
And Tom the corner-prattle,
And frowns defy the man that works
What Richard calls the rattle.

Their old allurements they rehearse,
Exhaust each manly wile,
But matters go from bad to worse,
They never win a smile;
Till, hitting on a way by which
To better their condition,
They black their faces, hire a pitch,
And start an opposition.

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Poem Submitted: Tuesday, May 15, 2012

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