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Robert William Service (Роберт Уильям Сервис)


Babette


My Lady is dancing so lightly,
The belle of the Embassy Ball;
I lied as I kissed her politely,
And hurried away from it all.
I'm taxiing up to Montmartre,
With never a pang of regret,
To toy for awhile with the garter
Of her whom I know as Babette.

My Lady's an exquisite creature,
As rare as a queen on a throne;
She's faultless in form and in feature,
But oh, she is cold as a stone.
And so from her presence I hurry,
Her iciness quick to forget
In sensuous joy as I bury
My face in the breast of Babette.

She's only a flower of the pavement;
With Paris and Spring in her eyes;
Yet I who foresaw what the grave meant
Of passion behold with surprise,
When she greets me as gay as a linnet,
Afar from life's fever and fret
I'm twenty years younger the minute
I enter the room of Babette.

The poor little supper she offers
Is more than a banquet to me;
A different bif-tik she proffers,
Pommes frit and a morsel of Brie;
We finish with coffee and kisses,
Then sit on the sofa and pet...
At the Embassy Mumm never misses,
But pinard's my drink with Babette.

Somehow and somewhere to my thinking,
There's a bit of apache in us all;
In bistros I'd rather be drinking,
Than dance at the Embassy Ball.
How often I feel I would barter
My place in the social set,
To roam in a moonlit Montmartre,
Alone with my little Babette.

I'm no longer young and I'm greying;
I'm tailored, top-hatted, kid-gloved,
And though in dark ways i be straying,
It's heaven to love and beloved;
The passion of youth to re-capture...
My Lady's perfection and yet
When I kiss her I think of the rapture
I find in the charms of Babette -
Entwined in the arms of Babettte.



Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. The Prospector
  2. The Pines
  3. On the Wire
  4. Henry
  5. It is Later than You Think


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