Vanity Fair (UK), November 17, 1904

(The shareholders of the Aërated Bread Co. complain that the A.B.C. girls are not pretty enough.)

Time was when office cares perplexed
 And rendered me unhappy,
When “dumping” made the chiefs quite vexed,
 And consequently snappy,
When one had chimed, I’d fade from view
 And seek the nearest tea-shop:
I looked for sympathy from you,
 Maid of the A.B.C. shop.

As when a thirsty traveller, who
 Is touring desert places,
Detects at last, when all seems blue,
 A genuine oasis;
He flings himself upon the sward,
 And rises fit for duty—
Just so was I bucked up, restored,
 By gazing on your beauty.

As on my penny roll I pressed
 Its complement of butter,
The thoughts that rose within my breast
 Were more than I could utter.
Your beauty set my heart ablaze,
 I longed for words to hymn it:
In fact, to use a Yankee phrase,
 I thought you “just the limit.”

But now I hear my taste’s at fault,
 My judgment, I am told, errs:
They say she is not worth her salt,
 Those callous, cold shareholders.
My hopes are crumbled into dust,
 My fondest dreams are scattered,
Ah, well, it’s really only just
 One more illusion shattered.





THE A.B.C.’s.   Shareholders of the Aerated Bread Company are customers of the company’s numerous establishments. The suggestions put forward had behind them not a little practical experience of the ways of the waitresses. That the fair Hebes are appreciated there could be no doubt. “We have a good many pretty girls in the A.B.C. Shops,” said one, “and I hope we’ll have more,” but one more critical gentleman suggested they might be “neater and nicer.” (Dundee Courier, November 9, 1904)


John Dawson