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Rudyard Kipling

Rudyard Kipling

Lady Geraldine's Hardship

E.B. Browning
--The Muse Among the Motors (1900-1930)
I turned--Heaven knows we women turn too much
To broken reeds, mistaken so for pine
That shame forbids confession--a handle I turned
(The wrong one, said the agent afterwards)
And so flung clean across your English street
Through the shrill-tinkling glass of the shop-front-paused,
Artemis mazed 'mid gauds to catch a man,
And piteous baby-caps and christening-gowns,
The worse for being worn on the radiator.

   .    .    .    .    .    .    .

My cousin Romney judged me from the bench:
Propounding one sleek forty-shillinged law
That takes no count of the Woman's oversoul.
I should have entered, purred he, by the door--
The man's retort--the open obvious door--
And since I chose not, he--not he--could change
The man's rule, not the Woman's, for the case.
Ten pounds or seven days... Just that... I paid!

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