I Was A Bustlemaker Once, Girls
When I was a lad of twenty and was working in High Street, Ken.,
I made quite a pile in a very little while - I was a bustle maker then.
Then there was work in plenty, and I was a thriving man
But things have decayed in the bustle making trade, since the bustle making trade began.
I built bustles with a will then, I made bustles with a wit,
I made bustles as a Yankee hustles, simply for the love of it.
I built bustles with a skill then, surpassed, they say, by none,
But those were the days when bustles were the craze, and now those days are done.
I was a bustle maker once, girls, many many years ago,
I put my heart in the bustle maker's art and I don't mind saying so.
I may have had the brains of a dunce, girls, I may have had the mind of a muff,
I may have been plain and deficient in the brain but I did know a bustle maker's stuff.
I built bustles for the slender, I built bustles for the stout,
I built bustles for the girls with muscles, and bustles for the girls without.
I built bustles by the thousands, in the good old days of yore,
But things have decayed in the bustle making trade and I don't build bustles any more.
Many were the models worn once; but mine were unique, tis said,
No rival design was so elegant as mine; I was a bustle maker bred.
I was a bustle maker born once, an artist through and through,
But things have decayed in the bustle making trade
And what can a bustle maker do?
I built bustles to enchant, girls, I built bustles to amaze,
I built bustles for the skirt that rustles, and bustles for the skirt that sways.
I built bustles for my aunt, girls, when other business fled,
But a bustle maker can't make bustles for his aunt when a bustle maker's aunt is dead.
I was a bustle maker once, girls, once in the days gone by,
I lost my heart to the bustle maker's art, and that I don't deny.
I may have had the brains of a dunce, girls, as many men appear to suppose,
I may have been obtuse and of little other use
But I could make a bustle when I chose.
I built bustles for the bulging, I built bustles for the lithe,
I built bustles for the girls in Brussels and bustles for the girls in Hythe.
I built bustles for all Europe once, but I've been badly hit,
Things have decayed in the bustle making trade
And that it the truth of it.
Patrick Barrington's Other Poems
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