Legs And The Man

Alas, my dear, be you high-born,
Or just a Sydney cutie,
I fear you've earned a he-man's scorn
Thro' failing in your duty.
A lady would avert her eyes,
Taught by her caste to realise
That the male leg without disguise
Is not a thing of beauty.

Even when used to underpin
A dress-reforming dandy,
‘Tis still a prop of reddened skin,
Mostly knock-kneed, or bandy.
And, oh, my dear, you must have known
How sensitive are those who own
These knobby knuckles thickly sown
With ebon hairs, or sandy.

And oh, my dear, be you de Vere,
Or just some saucy Sadie,
To goggle when male shanks appear
Is positively shady.
But should you giggle - Oh, dear! Oh!
No matter how grotesque the show,
All proper gentlemen must know
You're low. You ain't no lady.

But oh, my dear, and ah, my dear,
Learn etiquette. For when, dear,
You in those fetching shorts appear
At tennis now and then, dear;
Men may stare hard, they may stare long,
Their heads a-whirl, their hearts a song;
Yet, save your scorn. There's nothing wrong.
They still are gentlemen, dear.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

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"Legs And The Man" Poetry.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2020. Web. 14 Jul 2020. <https://www.poetry.net/poem/6429/legs-and-the-man>.

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