An American parody
of the Burial Service

‘Man that is born of woman is small potatoes and few in the hill. He riseth up to-day and flourisheth like a rank weed, and to-morrow or the undertaker putteth him in the icebox. He goeth forth in the morning warbling like the lark, and is knocked out in one round and two seconds. In the midst of life he is in debt, and the tax-collector pursueth him where’er he goeth. The banister of life is full of splinters and he slideth down it with considerable rapidity. He walketh forth in the bright sunlight to absorb ozone, and meeteth the bank teller with a sight draft for $357. He cometh home at eventide and meeteth the wheelbarrow in his path, and the wheelbarrow riseth up and smiteth him to the earth, and falleth upon him and runneth one of its legs into his ear. In the gentle spring-time he puteth on hif summer clothes, and a blizzard striketh him far away from home, and filleth him with woe and rheumatism. He layeth up riches in the bank, and the president calulateth in margins and then goeth to Canada for his health. In the autumn he putteth on his winter trowser, and a wasp that abideth in them filleth him full of intense ___ement. He starteth down cell__ an olcander, and goeth first ha_____d the olcander cometh after him and sitteth upon him. He sitteth up all night to get the returns from Ohio, and in the end learneth that the other fellows have carried it. He buyeth a watch-dog, and when he cometh home late from the lodge, the watch-dog treeth him and sitteth under until rosy morn. He goeth to the horse trot and betteth his money on the brown mare, and the bay gelding with a blazed face winneth He marrieth a red-headed heiress with a wart on her nose, and the next day her parental ancestor goeth under, with few assets and great liabilities, and cometh home to live with his beloved son-in-law. ______ ‘


John Radcliffe writes: This particular item is not part of an obituary, but was included in a scrapbook of clippings – undated – that I have or have copies of. All the dated or datable items in that scrapbook are in the 1880s predating Kipling’s 1890 use of it. People used to clip poetry or interesting items they liked and included them in their clipping scrapbooks. Once in a while I get one with penciled dates on the clipping, but often not as in this case. Always when we have dates, we include them. We would never omit a date.  [J.R.]