The Pessimistic Ballade of Arbitrary Behaviour

Nathaniel thought the way ahead
was clear. He looked at Clementine
(a silly name) and softly said
"My only love, will you be mine?
A word, a nod, a glance, a sign
that I'm your Jack and you're my Jill?"
But then he swallowed turpentine
for people do as people will.

She laid him on her mother's bed.
(Her dad had gone to Lichtenstein
in search of mirth and maidenhead,
which some considered out of line.)
She called the priest at ten to nine.
He leaned across the window-sill
and purred, "Your arse is very fine!"
for people do as people will.

He died (Nathaniel) but, instead
of grieving, she went out to dine
(that's Clementine) on garlic bread
and marinated porcupine.
She choked (of course). A lonely spine
that lay concealed in fronds of dill.
The waiter gave her shoes a shine
for people do as people will.

Rational souls, though you decline
to heed my dismal codicil,
pull up a chair, uncork the wine
for people do as people will.