Pagett, M.P – Rudyard Kipling

Got this on the Minstrels list today. Rather funny.

Pagett, M.P.

The toad beneath the harrow knows
Exactly where each tooth-point goes.
The butterfly upon the road
Preaches contentment to that toad.

Pagett, M.P., was a liar, and a fluent liar therewith —
He spoke of the heat of India as the “Asian Solar Myth”;
Came on a four months’ visit, to “study the East,” in November,
And I got him to sign an agreement vowing to stay till September.

March came in with the koil. Pagett was cool and gay,
Called me a “bloated Brahmin,” talked of my “princely pay.”
March went out with the roses. “Where is your heat?” said he.
“Coming,” said I to Pagett, “Skittles!” said Pagett, M.P.

April began with the punkah, coolies, and prickly-heat, —
Pagett was dear to mosquitoes, sandflies found him a treat.
He grew speckled and mumpy — hammered, I grieve to say,
Aryan brothers who fanned him, in an illiberal way.

May set in with a dust-storm, — Pagett went down with the sun.
All the delights of the season tickled him one by one.
Imprimis — ten day’s “liver” — due to his drinking beer;
Later, a dose of fever — slight, but he called it severe.

Dysent’ry touched him in June, after the Chota Bursat —
Lowered his portly person — made him yearn to depart.
He didn’t call me a “Brahmin,” or “bloated,” or “overpaid,”
But seemed to think it a wonder that any one stayed.

July was a trifle unhealthy, — Pagett was ill with fear.
‘Called it the “Cholera Morbus,” hinted that life was dear.
He babbled of “Eastern Exile,” and mentioned his home with tears;
But I haven’t seen my children for close upon seven years.

We reached a hundred and twenty once in the Court at noon,
(I’ve mentioned Pagett was portly) Pagett, went off in a swoon.
That was an end to the business; Pagett, the perjured, fled
With a practical, working knowledge of “Solar Myths” in his head.

And I laughed as I drove from the station, but the mirth died out on my lips
As I thought of the fools like Pagett who write of their “Eastern trips,”
And the sneers of the traveled idiots who duly misgovern the land,
And I prayed to the Lord to deliver another one into my hand.

— Rudyard Kipling

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Posted on August 1, 2006, in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. thanks, I enjoyed that, hope you enjoy this:

    Mad Dogs and Englishmen by Noel Coward

    In tropical climes there are certain times of day
    When all the citizens retire to tear their clothes off and perspire.
    It’s one of the rules that the greatest fools obey,
    Because the sun is much too sultry
    And one must avoid its ultry-violet ray.
    The natives grieve when the white men leave their huts,
    Because they’re obviously, definitely nuts!

    Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun,
    The Japanese don4t care to, the Chinese wouldn4t dare to,
    Hindus and Argentines sleep firmly from twelve to one
    But Englishmen detest-a siesta.
    In the Philippines they have lovely screens to protect you from the glare.
    In the Malay States, there are hats like plates which the Britishers won’t wear.
    At twelve noon the natives swoon and no further work is done,
    But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

    It’s such a surprise for the Eastern eyes to see,
    that though the English are effete, they’re quite impervious to heat,
    When the white man rides every native hides in glee,
    Because the simple creatures hope he will impale his solar topee on a tree.
    It seems such a shame when the English claim the earth,
    They give rise to such hilarity and mirth.
    Ha ha ha ha hoo hoo hoo hoo hee hee hee hee ……

    Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
    The toughest Burmese bandit can never understand it.
    In Rangoon the heat of noon is just what the natives shun,
    They put their Scotch or Rye down, and lie down.
    In a jungle town where the sun beats down to the rage of man and beast
    The English garb of the English sahib merely gets a bit more creased.
    In Bangkok at twelve o’clock they foam at the mouth and run,
    But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

    Mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.
    The smallest Malay rabbit deplores this foolish habit.
    In Hong Kong they strike a gong and fire off a noonday gun,
    To reprimand each inmate who’s in late.
    In the mangrove swamps where the python romps
    there is peace from twelve till two.
    Even caribous lie around and snooze, for there’s nothing else to do.
    In Bengal to move at all is seldom ever done,
    But mad dogs and Englishmen go out in the midday sun.

    • You won’t be believe this, but I got this poem on the Minstrels list today!! Amazing coincidence. Not in a poem mood presently, shall read later, and comment! đŸ™‚

  2. Hi

    Hi Arun,

    Please mail me your email address at amit_alampally@yahoo.com. I am planning an MBA this year and I have a couple of questions to ask you. It wouldn’t take much time.

    Thanks,
    Amit.

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