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Dublinesque

 Down stucco sidestreets,
Where light is pewter
And afternoon mist
Brings lights on in shops
Above race-guides and rosaries,
A funeral passes.
The hearse is ahead, But after there follows A troop of streetwalkers In wide flowered hats, Leg-of-mutton sleeves, And ankle-length dresses.
There is an air of great friendliness, As if they were honouring One they were fond of; Some caper a few steps, Skirts held skilfully (Someone claps time), And of great sadness also.
As they wend away A voice is heard singing Of Kitty, or Katy, As if the name meant once All love, all beauty.

by Philip Larkin
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