'Tis an Ill Wind -- A Heat Wave Homily by C.J. Dennis

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While the majority of people in town and country grumbled peevishly about the heat yesterday, many citizens engaged in summer trades hailed such weather as a belated godsend after an uncertain and profitless summer season.

We stand and gasp in the city street
   Or pant in the country glare,
Hurling a curse at the humid heat
   And the unrefreshing air;
And we weakly vow this heat-wave can
   Bring joy to none who thinks.
Aye.  But what about the ice-cream man,
  And the cove who sells cool drinks?

Are never these to know the joy
   Of a sudden profit earned
And a quick reward in their employ
   While the fickle sunlight burned?
But the mercury that never drops
   Awakes our dismal wails.
Yet what about the drapers' shops
   And the need for summer sales?

We thirst, we drink, we thirst again,
   And drink, turn and about,
And realise all effort vain
   To ease this endless drought.
We long for grey skies, vapor-hung,
   And wish chill winter here.
But what about your old friend Bung
   And the steady sale of beer?

Then grieve no more, oh, selfish wight,
   When summer suns burn down,
And harp no more upon your plight
   By heat-struck field or town.
Rather, in altruistic mood,
   Thus let your thought be bent:
"E'en hot north winds may blow some good
   To someone.  Be content."

First published in The Herald, 28 February 1935

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on February 28, 2013 7:29 AM.

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