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.

by William Ernest Henley

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👍👍👍