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Category: Funny Narrative Poems
       Classic humorous and funny story poems. Narrative poems are written accounts of connected events in poetry format.

  AN EASTERN QUESTION  

My William was a soldier, and he says to me, says he,
"My Susan, I must sail across the South Pacific sea;
For we've got to go to Egypt for to fight the old Khedive;
But when he's dead I'll marry you, as sure as I'm alive!"

'Twere hard for me to part with him; he couldn't read nor write,
So I never had love letters for to keep my memory bright;
But Jim, who is our footman, took the Daily Telegraph,
And told me William's reg-i-ment mowed down the foe like chaff.

So every day Jim come to me to read the Eastern news,
And used to bring me bouquets, which I scarcely could refuse;
Till one fine day it happened--how it happened, goodness knows,--
He put his arm around me and he started to propose.

I put his hand from off me, and I said in thrilling tones,
"I like you, Jim, but never will I give up William Jones;
It ain't no good your talking, for my heart is firm and fixed,
For William is engaged to me, and naught shall come betwixt."

So Jim he turned a ghastly pale to find there was no hope;
And made remarks about a pond, and razors, and a rope;
The other servants pitied him, and Rosie said as much;
But Rosie was too flighty, and he didn't care for such.

The weeks and months passed slowly, till I heard the Eastern war
Was over, and my William would soon be home once more;
And I was proud and happy for I knew that I could say
I'd been true to my sweet William all the years he'd been away.

Says Jim to me, "I love you, Sue, you know full well I do,
And evermore whilst I draw breath I vow I will be true;
But my feelings are too sensitive, I really couldn't stand
A-seeing of that soldier taking hold your little hand.

"So I've made my mind up finally to throw myself away;
There's Rosie loves me truly, and no more I'll say her nay;
I've bought a hat on purpose, and I'm going to hire a ring,
And I've borrowed father's wedding suit that looks the very thing."

So Jim he married Rosie, just the very day before
My William's reg-i-ment was due to reach their native shore;
I was there to see him landed and to give him welcome home,
And take him to my arms from which he never more should roam.

But I couldn't see my William, for the men were all alike,
With their red coats and their rifles, and their helmets with a spike;
So I curtseys to a sergeant who was smiling very kind,
"Where's William Jones?" I asks him, "if so be you wouldn't mind?"

Then he calls a gawky, red-haired chap, that stood good six-feet two:
"Here, Jones," he cries, "this lady here's enquiring after you."
"Not me!" I says, "I want a man who 'listed from our Square;
With a small moustache, but growing fast, and bright brown curly hair."

The sergeant wiped his eye, and took his helmet from his head,
"I'm very sorry, ma'am," he said, "that William Jones is dead;
He died from getting sunstroke, and we envied him his lot,
For we were melted to our bones, the climate was that hot!"

So that's how 'tis that I'm condemned to lead a single life,
For the sergeant, who was struck with me, already had a wife;
And Jim is tied to Rosie, and can't get himself untied,
Whilst the man that I was faithful to has been and gone and died!

                                                                                                     H. M. Paull.


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