by: Guy Wetmore Carryl (1873-1904)

      ISS Guinevere Platt
      Was so beautiful that
      She couldn't remember the day
      When one of her swains
      Hadn't taken the pains
      To send her a mammoth bouquet.
      And the postman had found,
      On the whole of his round,
      That no one received such a lot
      Of bulky epistles
      As, waiting his whistles,
      The beautiful Guinevere got!
      A significant sign
      That her charm was divine
      Was seen in society, when
      The chaperons sniffed
      With their eyebrows alift:
      "Whatever's got into the men?"
      There was always a man
      Who was holding her fan,
      And twenty that danced in details,
      And a couple of mourners,
      Who brooded in corners,
      And gnawed their mustaches and nails.
      John Jeremy Platt
      Wouldn't stay in the flat,
      For his beautiful daughter he missed:
      When he'd taken his tub,
      He would hie to his club,
      And dally with poker or whist.
      At the end of a year
      It was perfectly clear
      That he'd never computed the cost,
      For he hadn't a penny
      To settle the many
      Ten thousands of dollars he'd lost!
      F. Ferdinand Fife
      Was a student of life:
      He was coarse, and excessively fat,
      With a beard like a goat's,
      But he held all the notes
      Of ruined John Jeremy Platt!
      With an adamant smile
      That was brimming with guile,
      He said: "I am took with the face
      Of your beautiful daughter,
      And wed me she ought ter,
      To save you from utter disgrace!"
      Miss Guinevere Platt
      Didn't hesitate at
      Her duty's imperative call.
      When they looked at the bride
      All the chaperons cried:
      "She isn't so bad, after all!"
      Of the desolate men
      There were something like ten
      Who took up political lives,
      And the flower of the flock
      Went and fell off a dock,
      And the rest married hideous wives!
      But the beautiful wife
      Of F. Ferdinand Fife
      Was the wildest that ever was known:
      She'd grumble and glare,
      Till the man didn't dare
      To say that his soul was his own.
      She sneered at his ills,
      And quadrupled his bills,
      And spent nearly twice what he earned;
      Her husband deserted,
      And frivoled, and flirted,
      Till Ferdinand's reason was turned.
      He repented too late,
      And his terrible fate
      Upon him so heavily sat,
      That he swore at the day
      When he sat down to play
      At cards with John Jeremy Platt.
      He was dead in a year,
      And the fair Guinevere
      In society sparkled again,
      While the chaperons fluttered
      Their fans, as they muttered:
      "She's getting exceedingly plain!"
      The Moral: Predicaments often are found
      That beautiful duty is apt to get round:
      But greedy extortioners better beware
      For dutiful beauty is apt to get square!

"How Beauty Contrived to Get Square With the Beast" is reprinted from Grimm Tales Made Gay. Guy Wetmore Carryl. Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1902.




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