The Ruined Maid

Thomas Hardy

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"O 'Melia, my dear, this does everything crown!
Who could have supposed I should meet you in Town?
And whence such fair garments, such prosperi-ty?" --
"O didn't you know I'd been ruined?" said she.
-- "You left us in tatters, without shoes or socks,
Tired of digging potatoes, and spudding up docks;
And now you've gay bracelets and bright feathers three!" --
"Yes: that's how we dress when we're ruined," said she.
-- "At home in the barton you said `thee' and `thou,'
And `thik oon,' and `theƤs oon,' and `t'other'; but now
Your talking quite fits 'ee for high compa-ny!" --
"Some polish is gained with one's ruin," said she.

-- "Your hands were like paws then, your face blue and bleak
But now I'm bewitched by your delicate cheek,
And your little gloves fit as on any la-dy!" --
"We never do work when we're ruined," said she.

-- "You used to call home-life a hag-ridden dream,
And you'd sigh, and you'd sock; but at present you seem
To know not of megrims or melancho-ly!" --
"True. One's pretty lively when ruined," said she.

-- "I wish I had feathers, a fine sweeping gown,
And a delicate face, and could strut about Town!" --
"My dear -- a raw country girl, such as you be,
Cannot quite expect that. You ain't ruined," said she.

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