TO HER WARTHOG, OLIVIA
I rise and shake the dust from last night’s shoes;
I quake with mingled grief and buttered toast.
I see baboons in wild despair who choose
To bash a baby rather than to boast.
I cackle forcefully when I behold
A bootless bee on the blear bleak beach.
I shriek for tea when hawthorn buds unfold;
I weep for socks when blatant badgers screech.
And yet across the shadow of my soul
There lies a disconcerted fol-de-rol
That does my bread-boiled bean-bashed soul renew;
And in this shattered zone of glass and fear
Twixt ghastly gulfs of glue and seas of beer,
I wash my wits and rest my eyes – on you!
from The Melodious Abyss (Bugbear and Sons, 1879).