By the docks in a number of cities,
where the sailors make short-time friends,
the woman with a hat for a handbag
clacks needles with two pointed ends.
Her pye-dog cocks an eye at a policeman,
and lays an effluvious egg
- for fear of a night-stick or truncheon -
he wisely demurs with a leg.
She's friends with the local pick-pockets,
for hers contain only lint,
a page from the Book of Mormon
and a fragment of Polo mint.
She talks and it sounds like a poem,
by Blake out of doggerel verse,
she sings when she sees a nun's habit
and dances on sight of a hearse.
She dies one day of exposure,
or something no-one should get,
needles fall silent in mourning
and the policeman collects on his bet.