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Ballade D’une Grande Dame
by [?]


Heaven shall forgive you Bridge at dawn,
The clothes you wear–or do not wear–
And Ladies’ Leap-frog on the lawn
And dyes and drugs, and petits verres.
Your vicious things shall melt in air …
… But for the Virtuous Things you do,
The Righteous Work, the Public Care,
It shall not be forgiven you.

Because you could not even yawn
When your Committees would prepare
To have the teeth of paupers drawn,
Or strip the slums of Human Hair;
Because a Doctor Otto Maehr
Spoke of “a segregated few”–
And you sat smiling in your chair–
It shall not be forgiven you.

Though your sins cried to—Father Vaughan,
These desperate you could not spare
Who steal, with nothing left to pawn;
You caged a man up like a bear
For ever in a jailor’s care
Because his sins were more than two
… I know a house in Hoxton where
It shall not be forgiven you.

ENVOI

Princess, you trapped a guileless Mayor
To meet some people that you knew …
When the Last Trumpet rends the air
It shall not be forgiven you.