The Songs of a Sentimental Bloke/IV. Doreen

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Doreen


"IWISH'T yeh meant it, Bill." Oh, 'ow me 'eart
 Went out to 'er that ev'nin' on the beach.  
I knoo she weren't no ordinary tart,
   My little peach!
I tell yeh, square an' all, me 'eart stood still
To 'ear 'er say, "I wish't yeh meant it, Bill."


To 'ear 'er voice! Its gentle sort o' tone,
 Like soft dream-music of some Dago band.
An' me all out; an' 'oldin' in me own
   'Er little 'and,
An' 'ow she blushed! O, strike! it was divine
The way she raised 'er shinin' eyes to mine.


'Er eyes! Soft in the moon; such boshter eyes!
 An' when they sight a bloke… O, spare me days
'E goes all loose inside; such glamour lies
   In 'er sweet gaze.
It makes 'im all ashamed uv wot 'e's been
To look into the eyes of my Doreen.

The wet sands glistened, an' the gleamin' moon
 Shone yeller on the sea, all streakin' down.
A band was playin' some soft, dreamy toon;
   An' up the town
We 'eard the distant tram-cars whir an' clash.
An' there I told 'er 'ow I'd done me dash.


"I wish't yeh meant it." 'Struth! And did I, fair?
 A bloke 'ud be a dawg to kid a skirt
Like 'er. An' me well knowin' she was square.
   It 'ud be dirt!
'Ed be no man to point wiv her, an' kid.
I meant it honest; an' she knoo I did.


She knoo. I've done me block in on 'er, straight.
 A cove 'as got to think some time in life
An' git some decent tart, ere it's too late,
   To be 'is wife.
But, Gawd! 'Oo would 'a' thort it could 'a' been
My luck to strike the likes uv 'er?… Doreen!


Aw, I can stand their chuckin' off, I can.
 It's 'ard; an' I'd delight to take 'em on.
The dawgs! But it gets that way wiv a man
   When 'e's fair gone.
She'll sight no stoush; an' so I 'ave to take
Their mag, an' do a duck fer 'er sweet sake.

Fer 'er sweet sake I've gone and chucked it clean:
 The pubs an' schools an' all that leery game.
Fer when a bloke 'as come to know Doreen,
    It ain't the same.
There's 'igher things, she sez, fer blokes to do.
An' I am 'arf believin' that it's true.


Yes, 'igher things—that wus the way she spoke;
 An' when she looked at me I sort o' felt
That bosker feelin' that comes o'er a bloke,
   An' makes 'im melt;
Makes 'im all 'ot to maul 'er, an' to shove
'Is arms about 'er… Bli'me? but it's love!


That's wot it is. An' when a man 'as grown
 Like that 'e gets a sort o' yearn inside
To be a little 'ero on 'is own;
   An' see the pride
Glow in the eyes of 'er 'e calls 'is queen;
An' 'ear 'er say 'e is a shine champeen


"I wish't yeh meant it," I can 'ear 'er yet,
 My bit o' fluff! The moon wus shinin' bright,
Turnin' the waves all yeller where it set—
   A bonzer night!
The sparklin' sea all sort o' gold an' green;
An' on the pier the band—O, 'Ell!… Doreen!