Henry Austin Dobson

18 January 1840 – 2 September 1921 / Plymouth

On A Nankin Plate

'Ah, me, but it might have been!
Was there ever so dismal a fate?' -
Quoth the little blue mandarin.

'Such a maid as was never seen!
She passed, though I cried to her 'Wait' -
Ah me, but it might have been!

'I cried, 'O my Flower, my Queen,
Be mine!' 'Twas precipitate' -
Quoth the little blue mandarin -

'But then . . . she was just sixteen,
Long-eyed - as a lily straight -
Ah me, but it might have been!

'As it was,from her palankeen,
She laughed - 'You're a week too late!' '
(Quoth the little blue mandarin.)

'That is why, in a mist of spleen,
I mourn on this Nankin Plate.
Ah me, but it might of been!' -
Quoth the little blue mandarin.
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