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Ashlar Home > Poems > W.H.G. Redfern
> The Ladies Toast

The Ladies Toast

By W.H.G. Redfern

When you are getting ready

To go out to a do

These words of worldly wisdom

I would like to offer you.



I speak from past experience

And know just what can happen,

When we men are bathed and dressed

And you girls are still in wrappers.



Now darling I must tell you

The time is half past five

The reception is at six o'clock

And we have five miles to drive.



Now Brethren as well you know

If these words you utter,

The next thing that will happen

Is a very ominous mutter.



With water hot up to the brim

Into the bath she climbs

And never seems to give a thought

To the passing of the time.



By now we are on tenterhooks

As the time it seems to flash

And all that we can hear of her

Is splash and splash and splash.



We listen to the gurgle

Of the water running out

When to the bathroom we are called

By a loud imperious shout.



Come inside and shut the door

It's draughty if you don't,

Pass the towel off the rail,

And mind the powder on your coat.



Now down into the lounge we go

Perhaps to have a drink,

To dull the thoughts of passing time

Of which we dare not think.



By now it's almost six o'clock

And your ulcer starts to twitch

And yet she seems so unconcerned,

Still, we think, without a stitch.





And then we think we're hearing things

As wife is heard to shout,

My dress has got a little crease,

I'll have to iron it out.



Now we poor men

so patient are driven to suggest,

The reception will be over

And we'll be the latest guests.



But this mistake is fatal

To utter words so true

It was our fault right from the start

As I will show to you.



Shirt and socks and evening dress

Were ready in our sight,

When we began preparing

For our festive night.



What would we do without you

Preparing for occasions of this sort,

What would we do without you

And your help and your support.



Tie my tie and cufflinks link

Are personal requests,

They all take time for you to do

Before you can get dressed.



So please accept our grateful thanks

For everything you do,

And to say again how pleased we are

To have ladies such as you.



So to the ladies here today

Be they friends, sweethearts or wives,

We wish to thank you very much

For lighting up our lives,



And so before my chair resume

My toast to you complete,

There is a message from the Brethren

Which to you I must repeat.



Our wish to all you gorgeous girls

Be you long or short or tall

Is to wish you health and happiness

And to say we love you all.

Commentary

Alternate title: Words of Wisdom to the Brethren
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