Works in the Herald 1935
DOWN, BUT NOT OUT

Lines written while bed-bound by a distressing attack of a prevailing epidemic and dedicated to all fellow sufferers.

Oh, how I hate these chills, these winter ills,
   Bleak blasts and breezes;
Abominate the "flu," the fierce "Tishoo" -
   All inappropriate sneezes;
How I detest th' uneasy, wheezy chest.
   Yet (tho' the declaration may seem priggish)
Fate I defy; and to Cold's cohorts cry,
   Indomitable ever: "Ick! ... Ip! ... Iggish!"
 
I dream of coral isles where sunlight smiles
   And high noon blazes,
Where luscious tropic green, is vaguely seen
   Thro' dancing hazes.
I long for these; and then some biting breeze
   Pierces my being like an icy splinter;
Yet once more I, with shrill defiance, cry
   And fling taunts in the teeth of woeful Winter.
 
I know this dread disease brings me unease
   Most deleterious;
And well, indeed, I know I often grow
   Slightly delirious.
But, all the same, nought may my spirit tame;
   Fears I have never felt nor eke confessed any;
Tho' some have said I'm partly off my head
   When I bark challenges at brooding Destiny.
 
Oft  Ip! (Excuse me) Snisch! ... Often I wish
   For sword and buckler
To slake my seething hate.  To sneering Fate
   I am no truckler.
Tho' my poor head, pain-wreathed, sinks to the bed,
   Ah, bleak battalions, I would smite and smash you!
For, don't forget, I am my own man yet
   While my unconquerable soul shouts, "Ack! ... Harrashoo!"

"Den"
Herald, 16 May 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2004-07