Evening News (London), June 10, 1903

A Hard Choice.

A new tie has been put on the market of such a calibre that it is impossible to wear a moustache with it.

From boyhood up I’d toiled amain
 (Forsaking light frivolity)
A genuine moustache to train
 Of military quality.
Without remorse each year I paid
 A quite surprising sum
To purchase artificial aid;
 I yearned for it to come.

At last one morning in the glass
 I peered, as usual, warily;
A miracle had come to pass,
 My lip was sprouting hairily.
I bade farewell to doubt and pain,
 To sorrow said good-bye;
I deemed that nought was left to gain
 —Until I saw that tie.

Ah, me! that monumental tie!
 I gazed in silent gratitude;
But soon a notice met my eye
 And shattered my beatitude.
I rued the day when I was born,
 For thus the notice ran:—
“This tie (it said) cannot be worn
 Save by clean-shaven man.”

And now an air of settled gloom
 Pervades my physiognomy,
A blank despair that leaves no room
 For bright display of bonhomie.
By day, by night, I’m rent with woe,
 No comfort can I see;
Either moustache or tie must go,
 But which is it to be?


Printed unsigned in newspaper; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work.