Poem: A Doggerel Bard's Difficulties by Allan F. Wilson

Before his writing table sits the bard with pen in hand,
Striving to get his scattered thoughts well under his command;
But this herculean efforts are of very little use,
For the children, oh, the children, are like bedlamites let loose.
From teatime until bedtime there is ne'er an interlude
Till the gentle poet almost feels homicidal in mood,
And he longs with fervent longings for the backblock's solitude.
The room wherein he strives to write, with childish glee resounds,
He might as well be sitting in a kennel full of hounds;
There's a child upon the sofa, there is one on every chair --
In fact, to him it seems that there are children everywhere;
The din that swells and rises in the half-dismantled room
Is like the roar of breakers, or the dreadful crack of doom.
His stern command for "order" does not seem to signify,
His voice remains unheeded, for the pack is in full cry.
When sometimes there occurs a lull, his wife will gently say --
"My dear, they are but children, let the little darlings
play. 'Tis very well for you to talk, now you are on the shelf;
But don't forget, my love, that you were once a child yourself.
So let the little dears rejoice and make a joyful noise,
For girls, you know, will still be girls, and boys be always boys.
Forbear that foolish scribbling that brings you no returns.
You'll never be a Byron, dear, nor yet a Bobbie Burns.
Come, gather up your writing things, and put them all away;
Come off your Pegasus a while, and with your offspring play."

The port in the mirror looks to see if he's gone grey;
He gazes at his helpmeet in a mild, reproachful way,
Then smiles a pale and wintry smile, and answers -- "Yes, I know
That I was formerly a boy, but that was long ago.
I know that my admirers are but far between and few,
But yet I did expect a little sympathy from you,
And you, of all the world, should strive my comforter to be,
For are you not aware that you're the other half of me?
I know my remuneration's quite inadequate --
That as a port I shall never rank among the great:
I know I'll not be recognised while I'm down here below,
And, oh, confound it! that's not half, alas! of what I know.
I know I'm neither Bobbie Burns nor Byron, as you say,
But, by my halidome! I know I'll very soon be Grey."
On this the wife her usual role of comforter resumes,
And Soon contrives -- as women can -- to smooth the ruffled plumes.
But, oh! 'tis hard upon a bard who sits him down to write,
To have his playful fancies thus disturbed and put to flight.

First published in Melbourne Punch, 8 December 1908

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on January 20, 2007 7:58 AM.

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