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I looked at the carpets, and wallets and bags,
But resisted entreaties to buy them.
Then, followed around by young urchins in rags,
I pulled out the dates for to try them.
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“Ashley Grimes!” cried a young lad, barefooted and tanned,
To my total and utter astonishment.
He tried to reach up to the date in my hand,
But I stopped him with a gentle admonishment.
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I stared at the fruit, purchased in the bazaar,
With a feeling of rising hilarity.
For the date that I held, and the ex-Ireland star,
Bore a rather uncanny similarity.
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“Ashley Grimes! AshleyGrimes!” called the lads at my feet,
And I felt a small increase in tension.
I looked for a place to escape from the street,
And avoid the unwanted attention.
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But now, quite a sizeable crowd had assembled,
Old women and men and stall-holders,
And I amn’t ashamed to admit that I trembled,
When they hoisted me up on their shoulders.
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Through the streets of the city, they bore me on high,
As I held up the date for inspection.
“Ashley Grimes! Ashley Grimes!” came the colourful cry,
With a little Moroccan inflection.
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He looked at the date, and his eyes filled with moisture,
It broke my poor heart just to see ‘em,
And he said, “Now I see why the crowd chose to hoist ya –
This fruit should be in a museum.”
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“It’s only a date,” I protested, quite rashly,
“Though the resemblance is certainly striking.”
He darkened his brow and replied, “You know Ashley
Is much to Moroccan folk’s liking.
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‘This fruit that you bought with his likeness thereon,
Ginger hair and the deathly-pale pallor,
Is surely a sign that he’ll visit anon,
With the will and the goodness of Allah.”