There’s a wind up that licks like a flame,
   And the sun is a porthole of hell.
Now evanish prim notions of shame,
   And the craving to look rather well –
In pyjamas you’re never a swell,
   And you’ve chosen some roomily made.
Oh! for ices these pangs to dispel –
   It’s one hundred and nine in the shade!

We have limped in from tennis. That game ! – I’d as soon with the damned where they dwell Stoke a furnace and bathe in the same! There’s no drink human craving to quell, Not thin chablis nor sweet muscatel. Never more shall we see, I’m afraid, The cool shallows, the pale asphodel. It’s one hundred and nine in the shade.
You recline an invertebrate frame In the moisture your atoms expel, ‘Gainst the fates very feebly declaim, All too limp to rise up and rebel. Action flies and mosquitoes compel. We make pitiful fight ‘gainst the raid With a cloying and nauseous smell In one hundred and nine in the shade.
ENVOY Here might solids of Hamlet dispel. Quick the answer to prayer that he prayed. Human flesh turns to dew ‘neath the spell Of one hundred and nine in the shade.

Bulletin, 27 January 1921, p16

  Return to the Literature page.