Isle of Wight Observer September 21, 1878
Oh dear! Oh dear! what shall I say?
I don’t know what to do;
I am so worried day by day,
And that by ladies too!
They come by morn – they come at noon –
They come at eventide –
They come too in the afternoon,
From every part of Ryde.
For all day long the ladies come –
What for I cannot tell;
They seem to make my shop their home,
Yet nothing do I sell!
The fair, the dark, the tall, the short,
Are always popping in
To waste my time without a thought,
But never buy a pin.
If I were rude, like some men are,
I’d ask them not to call;
But ‘twould, I fear, their pleasure mar,
As so I bear it all.
I get an honest livelihood
By taking strangers in –
At least, if there’s a likelihood
Of fingering their tin.
And so I go on, day by day,
Without profit, without pay,
Neglecting all my sales.
My temper, thank the Lord, is good,
My disposition sweet;
But still I’ve got to earn my food,
My daily bread and meat.
Each day, I say, shall be my last,
I will be “plagued” no more;
But then the ladies are so fast,
My resolution’s poor.
I haven’t the pluck to say to them,
“Get on – ‘don’t bother me;”
And so it is that thus I am
So “plagued” the livelong day.
The wonder is how I can float,
On my assistant pay,
How manage to lay by a note
Against a rainy day!
But still the ladies are a “plague”,
Why won’t they stay at home?
Why will they, with their wants so vague,
A-shopping choose to come?
Why don’t they take what’s offered them,
If suitable or no?
Take red for blue, take pills for jam,
And ’bout their business go.