Alarming Sights

When Eliot, with London pride,
Set out to tramp the night-time streets,
A lamp-lit lady he descried
Reminded him of crooked sheets,
And curling tongs. Though Tom was pissed,
It drove him almost round the twist.

I likewise had a shocking flash
When, hapless, in rhapsodic mood,
I heard a strange and sudden splash
And saw a mermaid, wholly nude.
The incident, on Blackpool Pier,
Has left me rather full of fear,

For once the scales dropped from my eyes
(Which also dropped to see her scales)
All women took me by surprise.
I fancied they had fishy tails.
For all my life, itís tried my patience,
And put me off Illuminations.

From the book Rime Present