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Poem by Robert William Service


Grumpy Grandpa


Grand-daughter of the Painted Nails,
As if they had been dipped in gore,
I'd like to set you lugging pails
And make you scrub the kitchen floor.
I'm old and crotchety of course,
And on this point my patience fails;
I'd sue my old girl for divorce
If she showed up with painted nails.

Grand-daughter of the Painted Nails,
Like to a Jezebel are you;
Do you expect to snare the males
With talons of such bloody hue?
I could forgive your smudging lips,
Your scarlet cheek that powder veils,
But not your sanguine finger-tips...
Don't paw me with your painted nails.

Grand-daughter of the Painted Nails,
Were I the sire of maidens ten,
I'd curse them over hills and dales,
And hold them to the scorn of men
If they had claws of crimson dye;
Aye, though they sang like nightingales,
Unto the welkin I would cry:
"Avaunt, ye hags with Painted Nails!"



Robert William Service


Robert William Service's other poems:
  1. Pullman Porter
  2. The Three Voices
  3. Mammy
  4. Trees against the Sky
  5. Old Codger


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