A Ballad of Burial

“Saint Praxed’s ever was
the Church for peace”

If down here I chance to die,
  Solemnly I beg you take
All that is left of “I”
  To the Hills for old sake’s sake,
Pack me very thoroughly
  In the ice that used to slake
Pegs I drank when I was dry—
  This observe for old sake’s sake.

To the railway station hie,
  There a single ticket take
For Umballa—goods-train—
  I Shall not mind delay or shake.
I shall rest contentedly
  Spite of clamor coolies make;
Thus in state and dignity
  Send me up for old sake’s sake.

Next the sleepy Babu wake,
  Book a Kalka van “for four.”
Few, I think, will care to make
  Journeys with me any more
As they used to do of yore.
  I shall need a “special” break—
Thing I never took before—
  Get me one for old sake’s sake.

After that—arrangements make.
  No hotel will take me in,
And a bullock’s back would break
  ’Neath the teak and leaden skin
Tonga ropes are frail and thin,
  Or, did I a back-seat take,
In a tonga I might spin,—
  Do your best for old sake’s sake.

After that — your work is done.
  Recollect a Padre must
Mourn the dear departed one—
  Throw the ashes and the dust.
Don’t go down at once.
  I trust You will find excuse to “snake
Three days’ casual on the bust.”—
  Get your fun for old sake’s sake.

I could never stand the Plains.
  Think of blazing June and May
Think of those September rains
  Yearly till the Judgment Day!
I should never rest in peace,
  I should sweat and lie awake.
Rail me then, on my decease,
  To the Hills for old sake’s sake.

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