The Great War

from Poems of the Great War, an electronic edition

Her "Allowance!"

'Er looked at me bunnet (I knows 'e aint noo!)

'Er turned up 'er nose at the patch on me shoe!

And 'er sez, pointed like, "Liza, what do 'e do

With yer 'llowance?"

'Er looked at the children (they'm clean and they'm neat,

But their clothes be as plain as the victuals they eat):

And 'er sez, "Why not dress 'em up fine for a treat

With yer 'llowance?"

I sees 'er long feather and trimmy-up gown:

I sez, as I looks 'er quite square up and down,

"Do 'e think us keeps 'oliday 'ere in the town

With my 'llowance?"

"Not likely!" I sez. And I bids 'er "Good-day!"

And I kneels on the shabby old canvas to pray

For Bill, who's out fightin' such brave miles away.

(And I put back a foo o' they coins for 'e may

Be needin' a part -- may my Bill -- who can say? --

Of my 'llowance!)