Sonntag, 8. Januar 2017

Harry Graham (11)

Jeden Sonntag ein Gedicht von Harry Graham, heute eines aus »Canned Classics«:

Harry Graham: Amiability

How fond I was of Uncle Dan;
Not since creation first began
Was there a more good-natured man,
   More kindly or indulgent.
His ample face (he weighed a ton)
On ev'rything and ev'ry one
Shone like some vast, benignant sun,
   As warm and as effulgent –
A simple soul, devoid of guile,
His life was one unending smile.

He never lost his self-control
At golf when, at the eighteenth hole,
His »putt« was bunkered by a mole,
   Or he was laid a »stymie«;
He never got the least annoyed
When children (semi-anthropoid)
His priceless ornaments destroyed
   Or made his shirt-front grimy;
At bridge he took it as a joke
If partners happened to revoke.

I still remember how he smiled
When Gwendolen, his only child,
Was by a foreigner beguiled
   And afterwards deserted;
And when his youngest nephew, Phil,
Who forged his name upon a bill,
Presented it with cunning skil,
   And into cash converted,
A smile my uncle's face o'erspread:
»Boys will be boys!« was all he said.

And when his wife eloped one day,
Because she could no longer stay
With one who never would display
   The slightest sign of temper,
More wide my uncle's grins became,
He uttered not a word of blame,
His motto still remained the same:
   »Still smiling« (»Ridens semper«).
He helped his erring spouse to pack,
And, later on, he took her back.

At last his friends could bear no more.
They led him to the mad-house door,
Where he, poor soul! to swell the score
   Of demi-wits was added.
Such trials he was still above;
»Strait-waistcoats,« he remarked, »I love;
They really fit one like a glove;
   How well this cell is padded!
Cocaine is a delightful drug!
This water-bed is nice and snug!«

Though hearts by kindliness are won,
Good-nature can be overdone;
Excessive smiling we should shun,
   Such sweetness can be cloying;
And men who, when our temper's short,
Decline to quarrel or show sport,
But still with courtesy retort,
   Are terribly annoying.
A healthy grumble, now and then,
Is good for women and for men.

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