A poem by John Kendall


['Never do To-day what can be postponed till To-morrow, save at the dictates of your personal convenience.' - Maxims of the Wicked, No. 3.]

Sweet Word, by whose unwearying assistance
We of the Ruling Race, when sorely tried,
Can keep intrusive persons at a distance,
And let unseasonable matters slide;
Thou at whose blast the powers of irritation
Yield to a soft and gentlemanly lull
Of solid peace and flat Procrastination,
These to thy praise and honour, good old Kal!

For we are greatly plagued by sacrilegious
Monsters in human form, who care for naught
Save with incessant papers to besiege us,
E'en to the solemn hour of silent thought;
They draw no line; the frightful joy of giving
Pain is their guerdon; but for Thee alone,
Life would be hardly worth the bore of living,
No one could call his very soul his own.

But in thy Name th' importunate besetter
Meets a repelling force that none can stem;
Varlets may come (they do) and go (they'd better!),
Kal is the word that always does for them!
To-morrow they may join the usual muster;
To-day shall pass inviolably by;
BEELZEBUB Himself, for all his bluster,
Would get the same old sickening reply.

And, for thine aid in baffling the malignant,
Who, with unholy art, conspire to see
Our ease dis-eased, our dignity indignant,
We do Thee homage on the bended knee.
And I would add a word of common gratitude
To those thy coadjutors, ao and lao,[1]
Who take, with Thee, th' uncompromising attitude
From which the dullest mind deduces jao.

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