WHO WAS TOO FREELY MOVED TO TEARS, AND THEREBY RUINED HIS POLITICAL CAREER
by: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)
- ord Lundy from his earliest years
- Was far too freely moved to Tears.
- For instance if his Mother said,
- “Lundy! It’s time to go to Bed!”
- He bellowed like a Little Turk.
- Or if his father Lord Dunquerque
- Said “Hi!” in a Commanding Tone,
- “Hi, Lundy! Leave the Cat alone!”
- Lord Lundy, letting go its tail,
- Would raise so terrible a wail
- As moved
- To utter the severe rebuke:
- “When I, Sir! was a little Boy,
- An Animal was not a Toy!”
- His father’s Elder Sister, who
- Was married to a Parvenoo,
- Confided to Her Husband, “Drat!
- The Miserable, Peevish Brat!
- Why don’t they drown the Little Beast?”
- Suggestions which, to say the least,
- Are not what we expect to hear
- From Daughters of an English Peer.
- His grandmamma, His Mother’s Mother,
- Who had some dignity or other,
- The Garter, or no matter what,
- I can’t remember all the Lot!
- Said “Oh! that I were Brisk and Spry
- To give him that for which to cry!”
- (An empty wish, alas! for she
- Was Blind and nearly ninety-three).
- The Dear Old Butler thoughtbut there!
- I really neither know nor care
- For what the Dear Old Butler thought!
- In my opinion, Butlers ought
- To know their place, and not to play
- The Old Retainer night and day
- I’m getting tired and so are you,
- Let’s cut the Poem into two!
- (SECOND CANTO)
- It happened to Lord Lundy then,
- As happens to so many men:
- Towards the age of twenty-six,
- They shoved him into politics;
- In which profession he commanded
- The income that his rank demanded
- In turn as Secretary for
- India, the Colonies, and War.
- But very soon his friends began
- To doubt if he were quite the man:
- Thus, if a member rose to say
- (As members do from day to day),
- “Arising out of that reply ...!”
- Lord Lundy would begin to cry.
- A Hint at harmless little jobs
- Would shake him with convulsive sobs.
- While as for Revelations, these
- Would simply bring him to his knees,
- And leave him whimpering like a child.
- It drove his Colleagues raving wild!
- They let him sink from Post to Post,
- From fifteen hundred at the most
- To eight, and barely sixand then
- To be Curator of Big Ben!...
- And finally there came a Threat
- To oust him from the Cabinet!
- The Dukehis aged grand-sirebore
- The shame till he could bear no more.
- He rallied his declining powers,
- Summoned the youth to Brackley Towers,
- And bitterly addressed him thus
- “Sir! you have disappointed us!
- We had intended you to be
- The next Prime Minister but three:
- The stocks were sold; the Press was squared:
- The Middle Class was quite prepared.
- But as it is!... My language fails!
- Go out and govern New South Wales!”
- The Aged Patriot groaned and died:
- And gracious! how Lord Lundy cried!
POEMS BY HILAIRE BELLOC
|"Lord Lundy" is reprinted from Cautionary Tales for Children. Hilaire Belloc. 1907.