Tourist

'Twas in a village in Lorraine
Whose name I quite forget,
I found I needfully was fain
To buy a serviette.
I sought a shop wherein they sell
Such articles as these,
And told a smiling mademoiselle;
'I want a towel, please.'

'Of kinds,' said she, 'I've only two,'
And took the bundles down;
And one was coloured azure blue,
And one was khaki brown.
With doubt I scratched my hoary head;
The quality was right;
The size too, yet I gravely said:
'Too bad you haven't white.'

That pretty maid had sunny hair,
Her gaze was free from guile,
And while I hesitated there
She watched me with a smile.
Then as I went to take the blue
She said 'Non' meaning no.
'Ze khaki ones are best, M'sieu:
Ze dirts zey do not show.'

by Robert William Service

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