A Levée in the Plains

(Levéety in the Plains)

Come here, ye lasses av swate Parnassis!  
  Kape cool me hid while me pen recalls 
That night av tormint whan all Lahore wint 
  To honour the Quane an' our great Sorr Charles.

There was music brayin' an' punkahs swayin', 
  An' men dishplayin' their uniform;
An' the native ginthry they thronged the inthry; 
  An' oh, by Jabers! 'twas powerful warm!

There was Colonels more there than I could score there, 
  In white an' khaki an' knots an' bows;
An' the bowld Civilians they came in millions, 
  Meltin' away under toight dress-clo'es.

There was gowld in plastrons on epigastrons, 
  An' stand-up collars that lay down flat;
An' the Doctors splindid, wid swords attinded, 
  An' hearse-plumes wavin' above their hat.

The whole Punjab there, in sum'shus garb there, 
  Paraded grandly the Aujence Hall;
An' the Shubadars, wid their midals and shtars, 
  Stud up to attintion forninst the wall.

Thin spurs were scratchin' an' sword-belts catchin' 
  As they let the batch in at ten-fiftane,
An' we stud perspirin' wid zeal ontirin'
  To the greater glory av England's Quane.

But oh! the dignity, the moild benignity, 
  Whin the Chief Coort judges tuk the flure; 
A-standin' sinthry in the private inthry,
  An' watchin' the rest av us march before.

So some bowed nately, an' some too stately, 
  An' some went noddin' aisy an' free;
An' some went trippin', an' some went skippin', 
  But all went dhrippin' through the big Levee.

Thin down the stairway we ran for airway, 
  An' tuk refreshments whan all was done; 
Wid scabbards clinkin' an' men a-drinkin', 
  An' the shtars a-winkin' to watch the fun.