The Happy Ending

A poem by John Kendall

STANZAS WRITTEN IN DEJECTION


I am tired of the day with its profitless labours,
And tired of the night with its lack of repose,
I am sick of myself, my surroundings, and neighbours,
Especially Aryan Brothers and crows;
O land of illusory hope for the needy,
O centre of soldiering, thirst, and shikar,
When a broken-down exile begins to get seedy,
What a beast of a country you are!

There are many, I know, that have honestly drawn a
Most moving description of pleasures to win
By the exquisite carnage of such of your fauna
As Nature provides with a 'head' or a 'skin';
I know that a pig is magnificent sticking;
But good as you are in the matter of sports,
When a person's alive, so to put it, and kicking,
You're a brute when a man's out of sorts.

For the moment he feels the effects of the weather -
A mild go of fever - a touch of the sun -
He arrives with a jerk at the end of his tether,
And finds your attractions a bit overdone;
Impatiently conscious of boredom and worry,
He sits in his misery, scowling at grief,
With a face like a pallid rechauffée of curry,
And a head like a lump of boiled beef.

I am sick of the day (as I happened to mention),
And sick of the night (as I stated before),
And it's oh, for the wings of a dove or a pension
To carry me home to a happier shore!
And oh, to be off, homeward bound, on the briny,
Away from the tropics - away from the heat,
And to take off a shocking old hat to the Shiny,
As I shake off her dust from my feet!

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