Have Some Madeira M’Dear: Flanders and Swan

She was young! She was pure! She was new! she was nice!
She was fair! She was sweet seventeen!
He was old! He was vile, and no stranger to vice!
He was base, he was bad, he was mean!
He had slyly inveigled her up to his flat
To view his collection of stamps,
And he said, as he hastened to put out the cat,
The wine, his cigar and the lamps.

“Have some madeira, m’dear!
You really have nothing to fear;
I’m not trying to tempt you, that wouldn’t be right,
You shouldn’t drink spirits at this time of night,
Have some madeira, m’dear!
It’s very much nicer than beer.
I don’t care for sherry, one cannot drink stout,
And port is a wine I can well do without,
It’s simply a case of Chacun à son Gout
Have some madeira, m’dear!”

Unaware of the wiles of the snake in the grass,
Or the fate of the maiden who topes,
She lowered her standards by raising her glass,
Her courage, her eyes and his hopes!
She sipped it, she drank it, she drained it, she did,
He quietly refilled it again,
And he said, as he secretly carved one more notch
On the butt of his gold-handled cane:

“Have some madeira, m’dear!
I’ve got a small cask of it here
And once it’s been opened, you know it won’t keep;
Do finish it up, it will help you to sleep;
Have some madeira, m’dear,
It’s really an excellent year
Now if it were gin, you’d be wrong to say yes,
The evil gin does would be hard to assess
(Besides it’s inclined to affect m’prowess!)
Have some madeira, m’dear!”

Then there flashed through her mind
what her mother had said,
With her antepenultimate breath:
“Oh my child, should you look on the wine when ’tis red
Be prepared for a fate worse than death!”
She let go her glass with a shrill little cry – Ah!
Crash, tinkle! It fell to the floor.
When he asked, “What in Heaven…?” she made no reply
Up her mind, and a dash for the door…

“Have some madeira, m’dear!”,
Rang out down the hall loud and clear
A tremulous cry that was filled with despair
As she paused to take breath in the cool midnight air,
“Have some madeira, m’dear”,
The words seemed to ring in her ear;
Until the next morning, she woke up in bed
With a smile on her lips and an ache in her head
And a beard in her earhole that tickled and said
“Have some madeira, m’dear!”

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About layanglicana

Author of books on Calcutta, Delhi and Dar es Salaam, I am now blogging as a lay person about the Church of England and the Anglican Communion. I am also blogging about the effects of World War One on the village of St Mary Bourne, Hampshire.
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One Response to Have Some Madeira M’Dear: Flanders and Swan

  1. Dana H. says:

    A song I’ve sung to my daughters when they were looking towards entering the big wide world – some things never change, unfortunately,

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