The Belle's Soliloquy
by Ella Wheeler Wilcox
Heigh ho! well, the season's over!
Once again we've come to Lent!
Programme's changed from balls and parties --
Now we're ordered to repent.
Forty days of self-denial!
Tell you what I think it pays --
Know't'l freshen my complexion
Going slow for forty days.
No more savoury Frenchy suppers --
Such as Madame R - can give.
Well, I need a little thinning --
Just a trifle - sure's you live!
Sometimes been afraid my plumpness
Might grow into downright fat.
Rector urges need of fasting --
Think there's lot of truth in that.
We must meditate, he tells us,
On our several acts of sin.
And repent them. Let me see now --
Whereabouts shall I begin!
Flirting - yes, they say 'tis wicked;
Well, I'm awful penitent.
(Wonder if my handsome major
Goes to early Mass through Lent?)
Love of dress! I'm guilty there too --
Guess it's my besetting sin.
Still I'm somewhat like the lilies,
For I neither toil nor spin.
Forty days I'll wear my plainest --
Could repentance be more true?
What a saving on my dresses!
They'll make over just like new.
Pride, and worldliness and all that,
Rector bade us pray about
Every day through Lenten season,
And I mean to be devout!
Papa always talks retrenchment --
Lent is just the very thing.
Hope he'll get enough in pocket
So we'll move up town next spring.
Source:Poems of Ella Wheeler Wilcox
W.P. Nimmo, Hay, and Mitchell, Edinburgh