Philip Larkin

Wild Oats

About twenty years ago Two girls came in where I worked - A bosomy English rose And her friend in specs I could talk to. Faces in those days sparked The whole shooting-match off, and I doubt If ever one had like hers: But it was the friend I took out, And in seven years after that Wrote over four hundred letters, Gave a ten-guinea ring I got back in the end, and met At numerous cathedral cities Unknown to the clergy. I believe I met beautiful twice. She was trying Both times (so I thought) not to laugh. Parting, after about five Rehearsals, was an agreement That I was too selfish, withdrawn And easily bored to love. Well, useful to get that learnt, In my wallet are still two snaps, Of bosomy rose with fur gloves on. Unlucky charms, perhaps.

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