Page:Poets of John Company.djvu/90

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HENRY MEREDITH PARKER.


Then on a Sunday after prayers, while waiting in the porch.
His talk was of the Bishop, and the vestry, and the church;
And two or three select young men would dine with him that day
To taste his old Madeira, and his curry called Malay.

For famous was the table that good Mr. Simms did keep
With his home fed ducks, his Madras fowls, and gram fed Patna sheep,
And the fruits from his own garden, and the dried fish from the Bay,
Sent up by bold Branch Pilot Stout—Alas! and well-a-day!

And he was full of anecdote, and spiced his prime Pale Ale
With many a cheerful bit of talk, and many a curious tale,
How Dexter ate his buttons off, and in a one horse chay
My Lord Cornwallis drove about—Alas! and well-a-day!

And every Doorga Poojah would good Mr. Simms explore,
The famous river Hoogly up as high as Barrackpore,
And visit the menagerie, and in his pleasant way,
Declare that all the bears were bores—Alas! and well-a-day!

Then, if the weather it was fine, to Chinsura he'd go,
With his nieces three in a Pinnace, and a smart young man or so,
In bright blue coats, and waistcoats, which were sparkling as the day.
And curly hair, and white kid gloves, a lover like array.

And at Chinsura, they walked about and then they went to tea,
With the ancient merchant Van der Zank, and the widow Van der Zee,
They were old friends of Mr. Simms, and parting he would say,
"Perchance we ne'er may meet again"—Alas, and well-a-day!