Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, THE URGE, by FAIRFAX DOWNEY

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THE URGE, by            
First Line: A girl however hard she tries
Last Line: Few can withstand the urge of style.
Subject(s): Girls; Obesity

A girl however hard she tries,
Grows tubby without exercise.
Her teddy bear and all of that
Won't fit her when she's put on fat.
She gets what exercise she may
By doing dozens every day,
But that will fail to help her when
She cuts it down by nine or ten.

Now tubbiness is just the thing
Which sets a suitor wondering.
His wooing's clearly less devout,
If he foresees a stylish stout.
She pines, "If only I were thin!"
But fails to work the action in.
He sees her forty, fat, and fair,
And plans to give the girl the air.

For many weeks Peg thought she'd roll
And knock her poundage for a goal.
She envied those who walked about,
But only went and talked about.
She thought of classic dancing skips
For making slenderer her hips.
In vain she was massaged and oiled
And battened down in vats and boiled.

She seriously considered diet,
But never got around to try it.
She struck the generous papa
For passage to a famous spa,
But there her banting was remote --
She battled with the table d'hote --
She could not face sans weeps and wails
The stern accusing bathroom scales.

One night it happened that she took
A peep at an old picture-book.
She gazed upon Madame du Barry.
Reflecting how she used to carry
On, and also Pompadour,
Who used to get away with more.
If fat, would they have had a chance
With those exacting Kings of France?

Our Peg took on like anything
On seeing this or that old King.
In portly majesty they sat;
The great majority were fat.
She swore away, "It isn't right
A buxom girl should seem a fright,
While any man although a tub,
Can laugh it off, the poor old dub!"

A gentleman though far from hollow,
Can make the grade, as if Apollo.
The fault for it his very own is;
He might train down and be Adonis.
But no, he isn't in the race.
He goes ahead and feeds his face,
For he can be indifferent wholly,
Whether or not he's roly-poly.

So Peggy pondered dismally,
Finding in life no equity.
"What is the stuff called love," she'd scold,
"That knocks so many people cold?
It positively is one-sided
And by the man is all decided.
The system's fixed and can't be beat,
So why should ladies starve? Let's eat!"

It happened that she met a man,
Distinctively Parisian,
A plump man with a twinkling eye,
But one whose charm you'd not deny.
Half of him poet, half a dreamer,
More a designer than a schemer.
He whispered words in Peggy's ear
That brought back to her long-lost cheer.

To Peggy not a word would come.
It wasn't that the girl was dumb,
But she could only look and look
Into the stout man's picture-book.
"Could he," she cried, "do that for me,
If minus adiposity?
Impossible," she thought, "but still
I'll let him try and pay the bill."

"Are you," she said, "by any chance
The best couturier in France?"
He answered quickly, "Je le suis."
Which means in English, "Yep, that's me."
Then said, "Excuse, but were you thin,
Ah, what a gown I'd put you in.
So slim and svelte, cut very low."
He paged a model -- "Even so."

So Peggy lived on lemon juice
And exercised and did reduce
And being quite determined, she
Arrived at splendid symmetry.
Whenever she stepped out, her gown
Became at once the talk of town --
Which proves: Though love may not beguile,
Few can withstand the urge of style.

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