Decades ago wits, poets and dukes
Circled like planets round Gloria Jukes,
Bluestocking, tuft-hunter, grande amoureuse –
Was ever a salon brilliant as hers?
Her name still turns up though she’s turned up her toes,
You meet her in memoirs, they still quote her mots,
And old crones remember her faults and her furs –
Such foibles, my dear, such sables were hers!
A wrecker of homes and a breaker of hearts
She talked like a book and encouraged the arts,
Political hostesses envied her poise,
And said they preferred conversation to noise.
Her cook was a dream, her pearls were in ropes,
She furthered ambitions, she realized hopes,
Lent Dowson a fiver, put rouge on her eyebrows,
Enchanted grandees and recon
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