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Collected Poems

An Old Tale Re-Told

page 177

An Old Tale Re-Told

I once knew a girl with a heart like an icicle
Who used to go riding around on a bicycle;
She never would stop when I called out or whistled:
If her eye caught mine she just pouted or bristled.
I loved her red hair and her bright blue socklets,
I wooed her with flowers and I wooed her with chocolates,
I sent her an apple, I sent her a book,
But she never would give me so much as a look.
I fell to despairing, but just at that juncture
I found her one day trying to fix up a puncture;
She had wrestled for hours and had given up trying,
She was just sitting there by the roadside and crying.
I patted her hand, said, 'There's no need to bellow,'
And mended her tyre like a chivalrous fellow.
Then just like a woman, perverse and mercurial,
She smiled a sweet smile and said, 'Please call me Muriel.'
She flung her arms round me and gave me a kiss,
And said she'd been waiting a long time for this.
She said, 'I'm all yours, you can take what you like.'
So I thought for a while — then, of course, took the bike.