Works in the Herald 1931

According to a European cable recent excavations in Roman settlements have proved that the constituents of lipsticks have remained practically unchanged for 1700 years.

Down thro' the ages these same sticks
Have played on man their knavish tricks.
   Down thro' the ages these false lips
   Have been as blessings or as whips
To scourge poor man to actions rash
In waging wars or wasting cash.
   Down thro' the years, when Adam grieves,
   Look to those painted lips of Eve's.

Once, modesty suggested stealth In simulating glowing health; But now, alas, no shame restrains Toilets performed in trams, in trains, At table; for these candid days Make nothing of the frank displays Of carmine, lard and lanoline To make plain Jane a beauteous queen.
Down thro' the ages pig and sheep Have tribute paid that men might weep Or laugh or love or go quite mad Because of lips in grease-paint clad. Down thro' the years, when heroes fall Look not for mortal wound at all - Seek on his brow the thin red line Of carmined lips - Eve's fatal sign.

Herald, 27 January 1931, p8

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2002-03