Sonntag, 28. Mai 2017

Harry Graham (31)

Das Sonntagsgedicht aus »Canned Classics«:
Harry Graham: Sounding the Toxin

(Milk from excited or irritated cows is, according to the latest scientific opinion, more harmful than that which contains disease germs. The blood of an excited animal throws out poisonous toxins that are most insalubrious.)

O Milkman, be candid and tell me, I pray,
   If your wares are with toxins infected;
If Clara the cow, when you milked her to-day,
   Was unruffled, sedate and collected.
Did she wake in a temper and scornfully laugh
   At the short-horn who came from Strathpeffer?
Did she spurn the advances of Clarence the calf?
   Did she quarrel with Hannah the heifer?
If so, to her produce no time I'll devote,
But rely for my tea upon Gilbert the goat.

O my Butcher, please that if Susannah the sow,
   Whom you recently turned into bacon,
Wore a look of ineffable peace on her brow,
   If her nerves were unstrung or were shaken.
Oh, had Oswald the ox, when you severed his tail,
   Been a martyr to mental disquiet?
Was there anything known about Constance the quail
   Which would make her unfit for my diet?
Pray explain, ere his ham on my platter I pile,
Whether Patrick the pig met his death with a smile.

O, my Dairyman, tell me, I earnestly beg,
   Lest my prospects of breakfast be blighted,
Whether Hetty the hen, on evolving her egg,
   Was upset, overwrought or excited.
O my Grocer, bring news about Sam the sardine,
   When he swam as a child in the ocean,
Was his character tranquil, his outlook serene?
   Was he swayed by blind gusts of emotion?
For, if so, with a grief that is deep and acute,
I must really confine my attentions to fruit!

While the heart of Louisa the lettuce is dead,
   And can harbour no poisonous acid,
Clementina the cabbage, though losing her head,
   Is by nature proverbially placid,
And though Bill the banana (whose coat one must strip)
   Provides suitable food for the glutton,
And Orlando the orange, though prone to »the pip,«
   Is more wholesome than Mildred the mutton,
Without fear of bacilli my tastes I may glut
Upon Percy the pumpkin and Norah the nut!

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