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Wallflower



Till midnight her needle she plied
To finish her pretty pink dress;
"Oh, bless you, my darling," she sighed;
"I hope you will be a success."
As she entered the Oddfellow's Hall
With the shy thrill of maiden romance
She felt like the belle of the Ball,
But . . . nobody asked her to dance.

Her programme was clutched in her hand;
Her smile was a tiny bit wan;
She listened, applauding the band,
Pretending she liked to look on.
Each girl had her favourite swain,
She watched them retreat and advance;
She waited and waited in vain,
but nobody asked her to dance.

Said Mother to me: "You'll agree
That any young girl who wears specs,
however so clever she be,
Is lacking in glamour of sex."
Said I: "There is one by the wall
Who doesn't seem having a chance.
She's ready to weep - Dash it all,
I'm going to ask her to dance."

I caught her just slipping away
So quietly no one would know;
But bravely she tried to seem gay,
Though her heart might be aching with woe.
Poor kid! She looked only sixteen,
And she gave me a half frightened glance
When I bowed as if she were a Queen,
And I begged: "May I please have this dance?"

She gave me her card: what a bluff!
She'd written "Sir G." and "Sir G."
So I cut out that Galahad stuff,
And I scribbled "M.E" and "M.E.";
She looked so forlorn and so frail,
Submitting like one in a trance,
So I acted the conquering male,
And guided her into the dance.

Then lo! to my joy and surprise
Her waltzing I found was divine;
And she took those damn specs from her eyes,
And behold they were jewels a-shine;
No lipstick nor rouge she had on,
But no powder or paint could enhance
On her cheeks the twin roses shone
As I had with her dance after dance.

Then all of a sudden I knew
As we waltzed and reversed round the hall
That all eyes were watching us two,
And that she was the Belle of the Ball.
The fellows came buzzing like bees,
With swagger and posture and prance,
But her programme was full of "M.E."s,
So she couldn't afford them a dance.

Said mother: "You've been a nice boy,
But had a good time I suppose.
You've filled that poor kid's heart with joy,
From now she'll have plenty of beaus." . . .
So fellows, please listen to me:
Don't look at a wallflower askance;
If a girl sitting lonely you see,
Just bow, smile and beg for a dance.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:16 min read
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Robert William Service

Robert William Service was a poet and writer sometimes referred to as the Bard of the Yukon He is best-known for his writings on the Canadian North including the poems The Shooting of Dan McGrew The Law of the Yukon and The Cremation of Sam McGee His writing was so expressive that his readers took him for a hard-bitten old Klondike prospector not the later-arriving bank clerk he actually was Robert William Service was born 16 January 1874 in Preston England but also lived in Scotland before emigrating to Canada in 1894 Service went to the Yukon Territory in 1904 as a bank clerk and became famous for his poems about this region which are mostly in his first two books of poetry He wrote quite a bit of prose as well and worked as a reporter for some time but those writings are not nearly as well known as his poems He travelled around the world quite a bit and narrowly escaped from France at the beginning of the Second World War during which time he lived in Hollywood California He died 11 September 1958 in France Incidentally he played himself in a movie called The Spoilers starring John Wayne and Marlene Dietrich more…

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    "Wallflower" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2021. Web. 27 Nov. 2021. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/32737/wallflower>.

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