Works in the Herald 1935

Although summer opened officially this week, and policemen offer encouragement to the sun with white helmets, dull, wintry conditions with cloud and fog have been hanging over many parts of the State.

When Summer comes
To silence the retreating drums
   Of stubborn Winter, when content
   Shall salve my chill predicament.
And I shall loll beneath the sun
And dream of duties to be done;
   While Phyllis my tall beaker fills
   And Strephon dances on the hills
And pipes a lay, I'll take my ease
And listen to the laboring bees.
   And mock their dull industrious hums --
            When Summer comes.

When Summer's here
And laborers look upon their beer
   Most lovingly, while winking foam
   Lisps, "Send me home!  Ah, send me home!"
And they, intoning briefly, "'Sluck!"
Its gladness 'neath their pinnies tuck,
   I, too, mayhap, shall send a pot,
   Spurlos versunken, to that spot
Its magic warms; lest that stern man
Who rules my dietetic plan
   Burbles, "Verboten!" as I fear
            When Summer's here.

When Summer shines,
Then to blue seas my choice inclines
   Where nymphs upon the golden sands
   Hold out Nirvana in glad hands,
Or run to greet the languorous sea
And, with mermaiden modesty,
   Frisk in foam.  Then would I seize --
   Despite my ageing arteries --
Joy by the beard!  Unless, alack,
A flock of olden ills come back,
   As come they will, by all the signs,
            When Summer shines.

When Summer comes
Oh, let me loll 'neath sunlit gums --
   Yet, I don't know.  A man must eat,
   Come winter hail or summer heat;
And, that he eat, a man must toil.
Aye, tho' arterial systems boil.
   Wherefore, 'twill likely be my lot,
   As hitherto when days wax hot,
To yearn again in longing lays
For brisk, crisp, Winter's bracing days
   To earn a few poor meagre crumbs
            When Summer comes.

Herald, 17 October 1935, p6

Copyright © Perry Middlemiss 2003