A Girl Named Jude by Tom Webb


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Please do imagine, this tale of poor Jude,
She was just past sixteen, in a bitter mood.
You see, it's the age for her to wed.
She has to breed, before she's dead.

Choices, choices, who to pick?
The saintly vicar, nice but thick.
The slobby merchant, filled with greed.
It must be one, choose with speed.

Her time had come, the village dance.
Her choices two, not worth a glance.
She wore a dress of the finest cotton,
White like snow, she still felt rotton.

Her hair in ringlets, her eyes a-fire,
Her hat fixed tight, with steel wire.
Heavy soul, she aged too fast,
Her spirit breaking, she couldn't last.

The vicar sat, his eyes were dull,
The merchant leery, manners null,
She watched both with distain,
Glancing out at the pouring rain.

BANG! The barn door crashed.
He stood a moment then he dashed
To the floor, in a suit of white,
His cane kept rhythm with the night.

His top hat twisted as he spun,
His legs a zephyr, a face of fun.
He pulled in Maggy, cheating whore,
Danced for moments, but no more.

With a whisper she was gone.
He smiled as her heart was won.
He flitted to the next, a plucky lass,
She'd stolen money during mass.

He chatted amicably, his feet a blur,
By now he'd caused quite a stir
She followed Maggy into the night,
Jude inhaled, the time was right.

She flew across into his arms.
His voice was quiet, full of charms.
"Oh Jude, I am not your escape,
You cannot hide within my cape."

"But sir, dear sir, I cannot lie
If I were to wed i'd surely die!"
She began to cry, her face in pain.
He laughed and hugged, but did abstain

To tell her where the others went,
For she was pure, his heart was rent.
A cry went up when his trousers rose,
The peasants saw a hoof expose.

"Satan, The Devil, Old Nick,
Vicar come, save her quick!"
With a laugh the devil leapt
Over the table, quite adept.

"Farewell friends, my work is done,
Your wicked are gone and I must run."
Good luck Jude, your life ahead.
Live it now, before you're dead.

Then he was gone, and all were quiet
Jude puzzled, then went to try it.
Freedom, bliss, what a plan.
She was a woman, she needs no man.

Across the fields, a dryad she leapt,
Through the grass, a wolf she crept,
Under the stars, an owl she flew,
Her heart untroubled, with nowt to rue.