Phantasmagoria and Other Poems/Size and Tears

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SIZE AND TEARS.

 

When on the sandy shore I sit,
Beside the salt sea-wave,
And fall into a weeping fit
Because I dare not shave —
A little whisper at my ear
Enquires the reason of my fear.

I answer "If that ruffian Jones,
Should recognise me here,
He'd bellow out my name in tones
Offensive to the ear:
He chaffs me so on being stout
(A thing that always puts me out)."


Ah me! I see him on the cliff!
Farewell, farewell to hope,
If he should look this way, and if
He's got his telescope!
To whatsoever place I flee,
My odious rival follows me!

For every night, and everywhere,
I meet him out at dinner;
And when I've found some charming fair,
And vowed to die or win her,
The wretch (he's thin and I am stout)
Is sure to come and cut me out!

The girls (just like, them !) all agree
To praise J. Jones, Esquire:
I ask them what on earth they see
About him to admire?
They cry " He is so sleek and slim,
It's quite a treat to look at him!"


They vanish in tobacco smoke,
Those visionary maids—
I feel a sharp and sudden poke
Between the shoulder-blades—
"Why, Brown, my boy! You're growing stout!"
(I told you he would find me out!)

"My growth is not your business, Sir!"
"No more it is, my boy !
But if it's yours, as I infer,
Why, Brown, I give you joy!
A man whose business prospers so
Is just the sort of man to know!

"It's hardly safe, though, talking here—
I'd best get out of reach:
For such a weight as yours, I fear,
Must shortly sink the beach!"—
Insult me thus because I'm stout!
I vow I'll go and call him out!