My Lady is dancing so lightly,
The belle of the Embassy Ball;
I lied as I kissed her politely,
And hurried away from it all.
I'm taxiing up to Montmartre,
With never a pang of regret,
To toy for awhile with the garter
Of her whom I know as Babette.
My Lady's an exquisite creature,
As rare as a queen on a throne;
She's faultless in form and in feature,
But oh, she is cold as a stone.
And so from her presence I hurry,
Her iciness quick to forget
In sensuous joy as I bury
My face in the breast of Babette.
She's only a flower of the pavement;
With Paris and Spring in her eyes;
Yet I who foresaw what the grave meant
Of passion behold with surprise,
When she greets me as gay as a linnet,
Afar from life's fever and fret
I'm twenty years younger the minute
I enter the room of Babette.
The poor little supper she offers
Is more than a banquet to me;
A different bif-tik she proffers,
Pommes frit and a morsel of Brie;
We finish with coffee and kisses,
Then sit on the sofa and pet . . .
At the Embassy Mumm never misses,
But pinard's my drink with Babette.
Somehow and somewhere to my thinking,
There's a bit of apache in us all;
In bistros I'd rather be drinking,
Than dance at the Embassy Ball.
How often I feel I would barter
My place in the social set,
To roam in a moonlit Montmartre,
Alone with my little Babette.
I'm no longer young and I'm greying;
I'm tailored, top-hatted, kid-gloved,
And though in dark ways i be straying,
It's heaven to love and beloved;
The passion of youth to re-capture. . . .
My Lady's perfection and yet
When I kiss her I think of the rapture
I find in the charms of Babette -
Entwined in the arms of Babettte.
Robert William Service