Works in the Herald 1935

"A further grave evil in our midst is the recrudescence of gin drinking among young women." - The Moderator of the Presbyterian Church.
"'Mrs Harris,' I says, 'leave the bottle on the chimley-piece, and don't ask me to take none, but let me put my lips to it when I am so dispoged.'" Sairey Gamp.

Oh, foolish flapper, keen to be
   Considered cute and up-to-date,
Sit down a while and hark to me,
   And I shall truly read your fate --
Not in a tea-cup, sweetling mine;
   But in the leas of a gin-and-two,
Manhattans swigged before the wine,
Martinis guzzled ere you dine;
   There shall I trace your fortune true.

What see we in the stickly smear
   Where still the liquor lingers, damp?
A sorry group of hags are here --
   Gin-eaters, such as Mistress Gamp.
Here lurks a warning, precious pet,
   For those who walk the wobbly path.
That crystal fluid, don't forget,
Was ne'er ingurgitated yet
   Without some awful aftermath.

And here we see your own sweet self
   Sipping some hocussed hypocrene.
Innocuous?  Nay, charming elf,
   It may be colored pink or green,
Ambrosial amber; 'spite the hue --
   Such dopes deceptive men sneak in --
Its basic bane yet lingers true;
It's giggle-juice, a droll's brew,
   It's "mother's ruin," per; it's GIN!

Gin that has brought the shame of age,
   The maudlin speech, the muddled mind,
Since olden days to saint and sage,
   To Sairey Gamp and all her kind.
And if you (as I'll not suppose)
   Be "so dispoged" to misbehave,
I read your progress to the close:
The glazing eye, the reddening nose,
   The hobnail liver, and the grave.

Herald, 9 May 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003