Spats

When young I was a Socialist
Despite my tender years;
No blessed chance I ever missed
To slam the profiteers.
Yet though a fanatic I was,
And cursed aristocrats,
The Party chucked me out because
I sported Spats.

Aye, though on soap boxes I stood,
And spouted in the parks,
They grizzled that my foot-wear would
Be disavowed my Marx.
It's buttons of a pearly sheen
Bourgois they deemed and thus
They told me; 'You must choose between
Your spats and us.'

Alas! I loved my gaitered feet
Of smoothly fitting fawn;
They were so snappy and so neat,
A gift from Uncle John
Who had a fortune in the Bank
That one day might be mine:
'Give up my spats!' said I, 'I thank
You--but resign.'

Today when red or pink I see
In stripy pants of state,
I think of how they lost in me
A demon of debate.
I muse as leaders strut about
In frock-coats and high hats . . .
The bloody party chucked me out
Because of Spats.

by Robert William Service

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