papa would take me to the park to see the swans
by hansom cab trotting so high
holding his hand to see the swans
hissing louder than rustling dresses of gracious ladies bustling by

see swan ships come sailing in
white as the clouds on a windy day

James I suppose would be in school
James I suppose would be in school

I was I was learning to spell
laughing at loud smells
avoiding the rod of the codfaced master
was it your absence made me quiet at noon
playing british bulldogs on the gravel
was it your presence coloured my dream
I burrowed in cupboards like a mole all saturday
under old chairs and old ladies knees
I framed your half remembered face
with frail white embroideries
calling for you down the mousey garden
calling for you down the mousey garden

o did you meet him at the ball
eighteen years on
tall soldier now and you full grown
Belle did you meet him at the ball

o do you remember me
thin girl with cold hands
you in your scarlet and you knew my name
step to the veranda under the wisteria
in the mysterious november
dancing as if with death or fate
to the moon black ballroom
of the silk skinned lake
kissing me you lifted my skirt
under the willow trees

keep the home fires burning
though your heart is yearning
though the boys are far away
they dream of home
there's a silver lining
in the dark clouds shining
turn that lining inside out
till the boys come home

o did I see you march to the train
did I cry was my nose red
my two day bride can you feel me in your memory
I will be the redness in your iron fire
how could i write
my words would seem sad or gay
we regret to inform you
we regret to inform you

meet me by gaslight in the dark dawn
on waterloo bridge we will walk arm in arm
hearing the leaves fall with whisper into the foggy dew
when we are dead
when we are dead

now she sits in her brother's window's house
skin like a lizard aura like a daffodil
migrant guest from relative to inlaw
she stares into the embers and remembers

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