Harry Graham: Spring
When the hand of ev'ry Briton, 'spite of glove or woolly mitten,
By the frost severely bitten, grows as frigid as a stone,
When he scuttles like a lizard through the bitter biting blizzard,
Which benumbs his very gizzard and which chills him to the bone;
When the constable stands scowling, where the hurricane is howling,
Or goes miserably prowling, with no shelter from the storm,
And the working-man, half-fuddled, jug to bosom closely cuddled,
In each public-house is huddled, in his efforts to get warm;
Then the poet (known as 'minor') deems it suitable to sing
That there's nothing much diviner than the pleasures of the Spring!
When the maiden, matinéeing, from some playhouse portals straying
(Where her favourite is playing), grows as crusty as a crab,
While her fiancé ungainly—so unlike dear Harry Ainley!—
In the snow is seeking vainly (ah! how vainly!) for a cab;
When he cusses and she fusses, as they note how full each 'bus is
Of that crowd of oafs and hussies it refuses to disgorge,
Till they hail some passing taxi, with expressions wild and waxy
(Like the language Leo Maxse always uses of Lloyd George)!
With her windswept skirt she battles, to his hat he tries to cling,
While the poet sweetly prattles of the pleasures of the Spring!
Though I hate to be pedantic, and it may seem unromantic,
I am driven nearly frantic when I hear the praises sung
Of those ruthless vernal breezes which engender coughs and sneezes
And disseminate diseases in the ranks of old and young.
So, although it sounds like treason, when I celebrate this season,
I will mix my rhymes with reason, and substantiate, I trust,
That there's nought so uninviting, so depressing, and so blighting,
As the time of which I'm writing with such genuine disgust.
As I hover round the fender, and for fuel loudly ring,
I decline to see the splendour or the witchery of Spring!