(1849 - 1902 / Gloucester / England)

Barmaid

Though, if you ask her name, she says Elise,
Being plain Elizabeth, e'en let it pass,
And own that, if her aspirates take their ease,
She ever makes a point, in washing glass,
Handling the engine, turning taps for tots,
And countering change, and scorning what men say,
Of posing as a dove among the pots,
Nor often gives her dignity away.
Her head's a work of art, and, if her eyes
Be tired and ignorant, she has a waist;
Cheaply the Mode she shadows; and she tries
From penny novels to amend her taste;
And, having mopped the zinc for certain years,
And faced the gas, she fades and disappears.

User Rating: 2,7 / 5 ( 19 votes ) 4

Comments (4)

He writes memorable lines but doesn't seem to have an individualistic view of people- -to him all barmaids are cheap, ignorant, and silly in their attempts to look better... I would have preferred a barmaid who has some quirks of her own, who works hard for her livelihood, and doesn't care if men are not pl; eased with the size of her waist or not.
She ever makes a point! ! Thanks for sharing this poem with us.
A piece of fine work
Such a great poem by William Ernest Henley👍👍👍