Midsummer (J.K.S.)

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Persons at various times have said
That the hot dank steam of a sun-scorched day
Is a thing to thank God for: strike me dead
If I let such a falsehood lack its nay.

When Philip of Spain, or our own red Mary,
Desired to be rid of an impious man,
Did they freeze him to death? they were not so chary
Of man's worst weapon, the frying pan.

The fire, or the frying pan—well, the adage
Tells us the difference is but small,
And the fact remains that in that last bad age
When man had all torture-tricks at call,

They knew what was best and did it duly,
And broiled those most whom they loved the least
Man, is it thou that hast proved unruly?
They are broiling thee, thou sinful beast.

Languid and frenzied, most despairing
When least's to despair at, such we grow,
When the sun's rays down on our heads, naught sparing,
Burn and blister. I'd have you know

I have strung together these sad reflections
To prove to my tutor, a stern stark man,
That my chance of a decent place in collections
Drooped and died when the heat began.

This work was published before January 1, 1924, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.