Who when he kisses tells;
But poets must have bread and meat:
Verse packed with sighs and kisses sweet
Is still the sort that sells;
So, shamelessly, I write of how
I kissed Miranda on the brow.
I've sung my love for Lalage
And earned a fortnight's rent:
Bold Bertha, with the wicked eye,
Helped me some furniture buy.
An ev'ning that I spent
With Mabel, when reduced to verse,
Put fifteen shillings in my purse.
Of how I cuddled Dorothy,
And flirted with Chlorine,
And dallied for a while with Ruth,
I've written; but the painful truth
Makes me look still more mean.
The plain, unvarnished fact is this --
Although I tell, I do not kiss!
First published in The Bulletin, 18 April 1918