Have Some Madeira, M'dear

Flanders & Swann

She was young, she was pure, she was new, she was nice!          X sound: Have Some Madeira, M'dear.mp3 
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 mean1
      He had slyly enveigled 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 - it wouldn't be right.
You shouldn't drink spirits at this time of night;
Have some Madeira, m'dear!
It's so 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 a son GOUT!
Have some Madeira, m'dear!"

Unaware of the wiles of the snake in the grass
And 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 though her mind what her mother had said
With her antepenultimate breath:
"Oh my child, should you look on the wine when it's red
Be prepared for a fate worse than death!"
      She let go her glass with a shrill little cry.
      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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