‘She was a very quiet sort of girl ..’
Indeed, indeed, Repentance oft before
‘She was very young, she was very young, .. ‘
I swore – but was I sober when I swore?
‘..she was just a young girl.’
And then and then came Spring,
‘.. she would be a very reserved young woman.’
and Rose-in hand
‘.. very quiet sort of girl ..’
My thread-bare Penitence apieces tore.
‘.. and even today, I don’t know what the girl’s surname was.’
Littlemore: ‘That’s funny isn’t it, because she knew yours.’
The meaning (of V70) is clear enough: The writer intended to mend his ways often enough, but never quite made it! The Spring and the Rose are here symbols of the attraction back to his old ways.
Boxall’s responses lifted from Stuart Littlemore’s interview notes.
The incongruity evidenced above might lead to the conclusion that the inscription was not written by the same very young, quiet and reserved woman Alf Boxall remembered.