Evening News (London), June 10, 1903
A Hard Choice.
A new tie has been put on the market of such a calibre that it is impossible to wear a moustache with it.
From boyhood up I’d toiled amain
(Forsaking light frivolity)
A genuine moustache to train
Of military quality.
Without remorse each year I paid
A quite surprising sum
To purchase artificial aid;
I yearned for it to come.
At last one morning in the glass
I peered, as usual, warily;
A miracle had come to pass,
My lip was sprouting hairily.
I bade farewell to doubt and pain,
To sorrow said good-bye;
I deemed that nought was left to gain
—Until I saw that tie.
Ah, me! that monumental tie!
I gazed in silent gratitude;
But soon a notice met my eye
And shattered my beatitude.
I rued the day when I was born,
For thus the notice ran:—
“This tie (it said) cannot be worn
Save by clean-shaven man.”
And now an air of settled gloom
Pervades my physiognomy,
A blank despair that leaves no room
For bright display of bonhomie.
By day, by night, I’m rent with woe,
No comfort can I see;
Either moustache or tie must go,
But which is it to be?
Printed unsigned in newspaper; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work.