The vainest girls in forty states Were Gwendolyn and Gladys Gates; They warbled, slightly off the air, Romantic German songs, And each of them upon her hair Employed the curling tongs, And each with ardor most intense Her buxom figure laced, Until her wilful want of sense Procured a woeful waist: For bound to marry titled mates Were Gwendolyn and Gladys Gates. Yet, truth to tell, the swains were few Of Gwendolyn (and Gladys, too). So morning, afternoon, and night Upon their sister they Were wont to vent their selfish spite, And in the rudest way: For though her name was Leonore, That’s neither there nor here, They called her Cinderella, for The kitchen was her sphere, Save when the hair she had to do Of Gwendolyn (and Gladys, too). Each night to dances and to fêtes Went Gwendolyn and Gladys Gates, And Cinderella watched them go In silks and satins clad: A prince invited them, and so They put on all they had! But one fine night, as all alone She watched the flames leap higher, A small and stooping fairy crone Stept nimbly from the fire. Said she: “The pride upon me grates Of Gwendolyn and Gladys Gates.” “I’ll now,” she added, with a frown, “Call Gwendolyn and Gladys down!” And, ere your fingers you could snap, There stood before the door No paltry hired horse and trap, Oh, no!—a coach and four! And Cinderella, fitted out Regardless of expense, Made both her sisters look about Like thirty-seven cents! The prince, with one look at her gown, Turned Gwendolyn and Gladys down! Wall-flowers, when thus compared with her, Both Gwendolyn and Gladys were. The prince but gave them glances hard, No gracious word he said; He scratched their names from off his card, And wrote hers down instead: And where he would bestow his hand He showed them in a trice By handing her the kisses, and To each of them an ice! In sudden need of fire and fur Both Gwendolyn and Gladys were. At ten o’clock, in discontent, Both Gwendolyn and Gladys went. Their sister stayed till after two, And, with a joy sincere, The prince obtained her crystal shoe By way of souvenir. “Upon the bridal path,” he cried, “We’ll reign together! Since I love you, you must be my bride!” (He was no slouch, that prince!) And into sudden languishment Both Gwendolyn and Gladys went. The Moral: All the girls on earth Exaggerate their proper worth. They think the very shoes they wear Are worth the average millionaire; Whereas few pairs in any town Can be half-sold for half a crown!
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