Letter to the Editor, the Pioneer, 25 February I886:
‘Sir,—A few days ago a correspondent in your columns
wanted to know what happened to an “obnoxious mariner”
in byegone days. He said the playful practice of dropping
the O.M. on a desert island rhymed to something.
So it does—a whole lot of things. Perhaps this may help ‘—
‘The Musical Toon Tree’.
The bold buccaneer, who had scuttled too soon (Id est, ere obtaining the last, least doubloon) Smack, brigantine, frigate, yacht, convoy or schoon– er was held by his crew an incompetent 'coon'; And, though he had brought them through gale and typhoon, Had given them treasure—and maidens to 'spoon', They were wont—like mad dogs at the full of the moon— To bind him and strip him to breeches and shoon; Then, seeking some 'key' where the blue breakers croon O'er the coral reef fringing the placid lagoon, Where the 'pig' men call 'long' is boiled, roasted or stewn By the innocent native at morn and at noon; Where life is affliction and death is a boon (Such islands e'en now o'er the south seas are strewn) They would drop there the Captain—a hapless Maroon. ENVOI Shah, Sultan, Prince, Kaiser, King, Negus, or Woon, You may search, if you like, from December to June, Rack Roget's Thesaurus and read till you swoon, But, unless you work in some allusion to 'dune', I don't think you'll get a fresh rhyme to Maroon. Rising to the challenge a little late (133 years) the People of the Kipling List have suggested this sequel on March 19th 2020: 'Take a swim if you need one, you useless gossoon !'. So, stripped to his shirt and a torn pantaloon Saying 'when I escape I will murder that goon He was probably naught but a third-rate quadroon Or even, God save us, a mere octaroon,' With nothing to eat save a stale macaroon And no green stuff in sight on the flanks of the dune And fearing a tiger or ravenous baboon, With a hideous cry like an ailing bassoon. Aghast at the echoing wails of a loon Saying 'I must take courage, else I'm a poltroon There's really no point in appearing jejune' He went onwards singing a heartening tune. Imagine his horror to meet a platoon Of mercenaries led by an ugly Walloon Who was – evidently – a tiresome buffoon And had just disembarked from a hot air balloon With a dire secret weapon, a savage raccoon. But he'd noticed a stone with a strange ancient rune Which confirmed his celestial role as Glaroon So plunging the beast in a handy spitoon He brandished a perfectly fearful harpoon Which he happened to find in a nearbye cocoon Refusing to plead or at worst importune And assuming French guise (from his schooldays a boon) To the mercenary crew he declared Salut! Une Amie indienne me confirme qu'une belle lune, (—His grip on the rhythm had gone—) qu'aucune dune Ne cache au Deccan, ou précisément Pune, Lui révèle le secret d'un combat sans rancune; Lui déclare que ce raton laveur (dit "raccoon") Cédera en vitesse au wombat, dont de Troon (En Ecosse) j'ai l'adresse— D'où Monsieur G Hoon* nous envoie LA SOLUTION: Le wombat Pachoun (c'est son nom) qui arrive, Vêtu de Paroun, muni d'aloo Bokhara— [A prune!] Se proclamera ROI ...Accompagné d'une des Wallonnes. *Anciennement ministre de la Défense ("Buffoon")