Red-Faced as old carousal, and with eyes
A hard, hot blue; her hair a frowsy flame,
Bold, dowdy-bosomed, from her widow-frame
She leans, her mouth all insult and all lies.
Or slattern-slippered and in sluttish gown,
With ribald mirth and words too vile to name,
A new Doll Tearsheet, glorying in her shame,
Armed with her Falstaff now she takes the town.
The flaring lights of alley-way saloons,
The reek of hideous gutters and black oaths
Of drunkenness from vice-infested dens,
Are to her senses what the silvery moon's
Chaste splendor is, and what the blossoming growths
Of earth and bird-song are to innocence.

More verses by Madison Julius Cawein

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