Fair Mistress,
to my Lasting Sorrow







Fair Mistress,
To my lasting sorrow,
I learn you leave Lahore tomorrow.
Conceive my grief (Experto crede)
I've smashed my master's cart already—
I've bit my syce. Poor consolation,
For your approaching emigration!
And, in my stall, I think with fury
Of lucky 'tats' in far Mussoorie.
Thrice happy beasts, who have the power
To bear you out to cool Landour.
But, lest their lot should be too pleasant,
Accept, I pray, my little present.
Spare not to use it when they shirk
(As I have shirked) their daily work
Their ways shall bring you back, may be,
Some memories of your rides on me:—
Your evening canters down the drear,
White road that leads to Mian Mir,
When, hat in hand, with loosened rein,
You 'bucketted' along the plain—
Remember, if a pony rears,
Don't bring the butt down on his ears;
And when he shies (as I have shied),
A stiff 'rib-bender' on his side
Will keep him straight—These few last lines
End up my letter—So I signs
Myself, as long as I can go, From heel to headstall, Yours,
'Old Joe'