The Descent of the Punkah






Yes, lay the jharun coats aside,
Likewise my snow-white trews,
And bring me forth my sober tweeds
More fit for Autumn use.
And ope for me the bottled beer
That once I used to shun.
Who dares to hint at 'liver' now
The summer days are done?

Within the deep verandah's shade
There lurks a form I know,
It is the punkah-pulling fiend
Hi! Juldee chuti do
Noor Ahmed! chase him from my sight,
That evil form and brown.
And recollect, ere I return,
Have all the punkahs down.

A necessary evil he,
And somnolent withal,
Who snored through fifty steamy nights,
Nor wakened at my call.
But stay—my soul is filled with peace,
E'en towards my Aryan neighbours—
Eight annas shall be his beyond
The pittance of his labours.

Fresh faces at the Band appear—
Apace the station fills—
And half a hundred friends return
From half a hundred hills.
Yea, straightway to the Club will I,
(Though worldly prudence frown)
And drink in driest Monopole
My toast:—'The punkah's down.'