FREE BOOKS

Author's List




PREV.   NEXT  
|<   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   >>  
, AND MAY HE SEND FOR 'IS PARROT?"] * * * * * THE GENERAL. Last night, as I was washing up, And just had rinsed the final cup, All of a sudden, 'midst the steam, I fell asleep and dreamt a dream. I saw myself an old, old man, Nearing the end of mortal span, Bent, bald and toothless, lean and spare, Hunched in an ancient beehive chair. Before me stood a little lad Alive with questions. "Please, Granddad, Did Daddy fight, and Uncle Joe, In the Great War of long ago?" I nodded as I made reply: "Your Dad was in the H.L.I., And Uncle Joseph sailed the sea, Commander of a T.B.D., And Uncle Jack was Major too----" "And what," he asked me, "what were you?" I stroked the little golden head; "I was a General," I said. "Come, and I'll tell you something more Of what I did in the Great War." At once the wonder-waiting eyes Were opened in a mild surmise; Smiling, I helped the little man To mount my knee, and so began: "When first the War broke out, you see, Grandma became a V.A.D.; Your Aunties spent laborious days In working at Y.M.C.A.'s; The servants vanished. Cook was found Doing the conscript baker's round; The housemaid, Jane, in shortened skirt (She always was a brazen flirt), Forsook her dusters, brooms and pails To carry on with endless mails. The parlourmaid became a vet., The tweeny a conductorette, And both the others found their missions In manufacturing munitions. I was a City man. I knew No useful trade. What could I do? Your Granddad, boy, was not the sort To yield to fate; he was a sport. I set to work; I rose at six, Summer and winter; chopped the sticks, Kindled the fire, made early tea For Aunties and the V.A.D. I cooked the porridge, eggs and ham, Set out the marmalade and jam, And packed the workers off, well fed, Well warmed, well brushed, well valeted. I spent the morning in a rush With dustpan, pail and scrubbing-brush; Then with a string-bag sallied out To net the cabbage or the sprout, Or in the neighbouring butcher's shop Select the juiciest steak or chop. So when the sun had sought the West, And brought my toilers home to rest, Savours more sweet than scent of roses Greeted their eager-sniffing noses-- Savours of dishes most divine Prepared and cooked by skill of mine. I was a General. Now you know How Gene
PREV.   NEXT  
|<   15   16   17   18   19   20   21   22   23   24   25   26   27   28   29   30   31   32   33   34   35   >>  



Top keywords:
cooked
 

Aunties

 

General

 
Savours
 

Granddad

 

Summer

 
sticks
 
winter
 

Kindled

 
chopped

endless

 

parlourmaid

 

conductorette

 

tweeny

 

Forsook

 

dusters

 

brooms

 

manufacturing

 

missions

 

munitions


warmed

 

toilers

 
brought
 

sought

 

juiciest

 

Greeted

 

Prepared

 

sniffing

 

dishes

 

divine


Select

 
brazen
 
brushed
 
morning
 

valeted

 
workers
 

marmalade

 
packed
 
cabbage
 

sprout


butcher

 
neighbouring
 
sallied
 

dustpan

 

scrubbing

 

string

 

porridge

 

ancient

 

Hunched

 
beehive