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Poem by Robert William Service

The Contrast

Fat lady, in your four-wheeled chair,
Dolled up to beat the band,
At me you arrogantly stare
With gold lorgnette in hand.
Oh how you differ from the dame
So shabby, gaunt and grey,
With legs rheumatically lame,
Who steers you on your way.

Nay, jewelled lady, look not back
Lest you should be disturbed
To see the skinny hag in black
Who boosts you up the curb.
Of course I know you get her cheap,
Since she's a lady too,
And bite to eat and bed to sleep
Maybe are all her due.

Alas for those who give us aid
Yet need more help than we!
And though she thinks the wages paid
Are almost charity,
I'd love to see that lady fat
Lug round that hefty chair,
While with lorgnette and feathered hat
Her handmaid lounges there.

Robert William Service

Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. The Wee Shop
  2. The Sum-Up
  3. Resolutions
  4. The Robbers
  5. Pedlar

Poems of the other poets with the same name:

  • Horace Smith The Contrast ("Written under Windsor Terrace")
  • Helen Cone The Contrast ("He loved her; having felt his love begin")

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