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Category: Funny Tribute Poems
       Classic humorous and funny poems using tribute, poetry intended to show respect, gratitude or admiration, but in a whimsical way.

  DIRGE OF THE MOOLLA OF KOTAL, RIVAL OF THE AKHOOND OF SWAT  

                             I

Alas, unhappy land; ill-fated spot
Kotal--though where or what
On earth Kotal is, the bard has forgot;
Further than this indeed he knoweth not--
It borders upon Swat!

                             II

When sorrows come, they come not single spies,
    But in battal-
Ions: the gloom that lay on Swat now lies
    Upon Kotal,
On sad Kotal whose people ululate
For their loved Moolla late.
Put away his little turban,
And his narghileh embrowned,
The lord of Kotal--rural urban--
'S gone unto his last Akhoond,
'S gone to meet his rival Swattan,
'S gone, indeed, but not forgotten.

                            III

His rival, but in what?
Wherein did the deceased Akhoond of Swat
Kotal's lamented Moolla late,
As it were, emulate?
Was it in the tented field
With crash of sword on shield,
While backward meaner champions reeled
And loud the tom-tom pealed?
Did they barter gash for scar
With the Persian scimetar
Or the Afghanistee tulwar,
While loud the tom-tom pealed--
While loud the tom-tom pealed,
And the jim-jam squealed,
And champions less well heeled
Their war-horses wheeled
And fled the presence of these mortal big bugs o' the field?
Was Kotal's proud citadel--
Bastioned, walled, and demi-luned,
Beaten down with shot and shell
By the guns of the Akhoond?
Or were wails despairing caught, as
The burghers pale of Swat
Cried in panic, "Moolla ad Portas?"
        --Or what?
Or made each in the cabinet his mark
Kotalese Gortschakoff, Swattish Bismarck?
Did they explain and render hazier
The policies of Central Asia?
Did they with speeches from the throne,
        Wars dynastic,
Entents cordiales,
Between Swat and Kotal;
Holy alliances,
And other appliances
Of statesmen with morals and consciences plastic
Come by much more than their own?
Made they mots, as "There to-day is
No more Himalayehs,"
Or, if you prefer it, "There to-day are
No more Himalaya?"
Or, said the Akhoond, "Sah,
L'Etat de Swat c'est moi?"
Khabu, did there come great fear
On thy Khabuldozed Ameer
        Ali Shere?
Or did the Khan of far
        Kashgar
Tremble at the menace hot
Of the Moolla of Kotal,
"I will extirpate thee, pal
Of my foe the Akhoond of Swat?"
        Who knows
Of Moolla and Akhoond aught more than I did?
Namely, in life they rivals were, or foes,
And in their deaths not very much divided?
If any one knows it,
Let him disclose it!

                                    George Thomas Lanigan.


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