Works in the Bulletin 1915
The Confessions of a Lady in Distress
I sent a white feather to George to-night -
   The coward who stays behind!
Was ever a maiden in such a plight?
My lover is sailing away to fight!
   And - why is a man so blind?

I hope he will write when he sees the thing, I hope he will guess 'twas I! I want him to squirm at the scorn I fing; I'd love to be near him and see it sting, And - I wonder if he'll reply?
I sent a white feather to George. Ah, me! To Gus I have waved farewell - Dear Gus, who is faring across the sea To fight for his country, his flag - and me! And the other - how can I tell?
Oh, how can I tell of the awful mess I've made of the whole affair? Yet how was a poor little girl to guess The end of it all would be dire distress, When I played with that spoony pair?
Yes, Gussie and George they were courting me, And both of them seemed quite nice; For George is as handsome as he can be, And Gussie is little, but jolly and free; And neither was prone to vice.
Now, wasn't I luck with two such swains? And how could a maiden choose? For Gussie was witty and blest with brains; But George offered dresses and sundry gains That prudence should not refuse.
I think, on the whole, it was George that led. He had - oh, such splendid eyes! But darling old Gus, with the things he said, Would easily turn any poor maid's head Of she wasn't extremely wise.
So I played with them both, as a maiden will, And smiled at their fret and fuss. Dear george was my choice; but I flirted till The war came upon us. Then, prudent still, I said: "Well, it must be Gus!"
For George seemed so handsome, so strong and brave, I thought he was sure to go. One boy of the two for myself to save Was just: so my answer I sweetly gave, And sent him away with "No."
Ah, me! I accepted poor Gus next day. I had it worked out so grand! Dear George, broken-hearted, would sail away To bury his sorrow; while Gus would stay. Now, wasn't that nicely planned?
Oh I dreamed of it all as I sat alone. If each had but played his part! Poor George was to die with a love-lorn moan, And then, ever after, would Gus atone To my bruised, remoseful heart.
But _ I sent a white feather to George to-night; And my lover I've kissed good-bye. Brave Gus, who is sailing away to fight! And what holds the other? Mere craven fright! Oh - I wonder if he'll reply?

The Bulletin, 29 April 1915, p11

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003