Alnaschar

‘The rate of Exchange in Bombay on Saturday,
November 20th was 1s. 6d, and the market was firm.’

So runs the telegram. Prepare
      The fatted calf—the firstling slay!
Wife of my Soul! Our meagre fare 
      Shall be a Persian feast today.
The Widow 's vintage must be poured
This night above our humble board.

Bring forth the Bank-book—let us con 
      The total of our savings small.
Draw draughts the London branch upon; 
      Tomorrow we remit it all.
There is a tide—but no one knows
How soon it ebbs—how far it flows.

Methinks there is a suaver touch,
      A blander influence o'er the Earth;
The pauper East from Prome to Cutch
      Is radiant with returning mirth. 
The very sky that hems us in,
Beams with a fine financial grin.  

The fervid Sun seems almost kind,
      My evening mutton almost tender;
Yea, at this moment, I could find
      Heart to believe my spouse is—slender.
Long vistas of enormous wealth 
Confront me as I drink her health. 

Now Thomas Timpkins—he my son, 
      A lad of rare and curious parts—
Shall blossom as the seasons run 
      Into a Bachelor of Arts.
Oxford in after years shall claim
A share of his illustrious name.

Amelia—Yes—a ladies' school
      At Brighton. Then, a year or twain
At Paris under Convent rule— 
      Then to her parents' arms again.
And last—Oh joy for us and her!—
Wife of a full Commissioner.

And—let me see—my leave next year 
      Is due. I really think we might—
Eh, Mrs Timpkins ?—save a clear
      Three thou . . .
                                The Cliquot's finished quite.
Alas! To think so poor am I—
A penny sets me leaping high!