I go to concert, party, ball -- What profit is in these? I sit alone against the wall And strive to look at ease. The incense that is mine by right They burn before her shrine; And that's because I'm seventeen And She is forty-nine.
I cannot check my girlish blush, My color comes and goes; I redden to my finger-tips, And sometimes to my nose. But She is white where white should be, And red where red should shine. The blush that flies at seventeen Is fixed at forty-nine.
I wish I had Her constant cheek; I wish that I could sing All sorts of funny little songs, Not quite the proper thing. I'm very gauche and very shy, Her jokes aren't in my line; And, worst of all, I'm seventeen While She is forty-nine.
The young men come, the young men go Each pink and white and neat, She's older than their mothers, but They grovel at Her feet. They walk beside Her 'rickshaw wheels -- None ever walk by mine; And that's because I'm seventeen And She is foty-nine.
She rides with half a dozen men, (She calls them "boys" and "mashers") I trot along the Mall alone; My prettiest frocks and sashes Don't help to fill my programme-card, And vainly I repine From ten to two A.M. Ah me! Would I were forty-nine!
She calls me "darling," "pet," and "dear," And "sweet retiring maid." I'm always at the back, I know, She puts me in the shade. She introduces me to men, "Cast" lovers, I opine, For sixty takes to seventeen, Nineteen to foty-nine.
But even She must older grow And end Her dancing days, She can't go on forever so At concerts, balls and plays. One ray of priceless hope I see Before my footsteps shine; Just think, that She'll be eighty-one When I am forty-nine.