John Betjeman




Thoughts in a Train

No doubt she is somebody’s mistress,
    With that Greta Garbo hair,
And she sits, mascara-lidded,
    In the corner seat over there.

But why, if she’s somebody’s mistress,
    Is he travelling up in a Third?
Her luggage is leather, not plastic,
    Her jewelry rich and absurd.

‘Oh I am nobody’s mistress:
    The jewels I wear, you see,
Were, like this leather luggage,
    A present from Mummy to me.

‘If you want to get on with the Government,
    You’ve got to be like it, I’ve heard;
So I’ve booked my suite in the Ritz Hotel
    and I’m travelling up in a Third.’