In Memoriam

If I have held my peace so long
        Here, in the bosom of the plains
        Trust me—'t was but because my brains
Would yield no echo of a song

A peaceful lot is mine to sing;
        In dullness deep my lines are laid
        Save when—to please some sporting maid,
I tilt (and tumble) at the Ring

Three black cheroots the day beguile;
        Week follows week—the long month goes,
        And Adlard sends his bill for 'close'
Which I receive and promptly—file.

No longer flies the fiery steed
        Ramping (on two rupees per diem, 
        To be refunded if you buy 'em)
Across the Annandyllic meads.

No longer by the Jhampan's side
        I frisk along the crowded Mall 
        From half past four till evenfall,
Or by Peliti's take my ride.

No longer through the stately pines
        The soft Hill breezes come and go,
        No longer, in the dusk below
The merry 'Rickshaw's lantern shines.

For Jakko's  woods are far away
        And, in the place of Combermere,
        Across the muddy chick  I hear 
The rain that 'raineth every day'.

Unharrowed is my tender soul
        By M-ss O'M-R-A's  bold black eye—
        For, far from any passer by 
I hear the sullen presses roll

The foul chaprassi in his lair
        Sits silent as a turban'd Sphinx;
        And all the city's million stinks 
Float inward on the frowy air,

And so I rest a graceful boot 
        Upon the table's inky baize,
        And think of other—happier  days
And sob above my cheap cheroot

I dream of lotos eating days,
        Of pleasant rides in pleasant places, 
        Of half a hundred pretty faces,
Of Solan beer  and Henry Clays. 

'A change' like that which Byron wrote,  
        Comes 'o'er the spirit of my dream;' 
        I hear the restless parrot scream
And watch the gay thermantidote; 

Too moved for words, its wings I study,— 
        Wipe well each glass protected eye 
        And, ere I throw the inkstand by
Subscribe myself your truly,
                                                  Ruddy.