Poets of John Company/Calcutta Stanzas for May

Calcutta Stanzas for the Month of May.

Happy the man, whose hair and beard
Are glittering stiff with ice and snow,
Whose purple face with sleet is sear'd.
His nose also.

Happy the man whose fingers five
Seem to have left him altogether.
And feet are scarcely more alive
In wintry weather.

And happier he, who heavenly cold.
From warmth and sunshine far away,
Lives till his freezing blood grows old
At Hudson's Bay.

He in a beauteous basin, wrought
Of frozen quicksilver, his feet
May lave in water down to nought
Of Fahrenheit.


The whole year round too, if he pleases,
Far from the sun's atrocious beams
He may, unbaked by burning breezes,
Live on ice creams.

And if for comfort, or for pride,
He wants shirt, breeches, coat, or vest;
Let him but bathe, then step outside,
And Lo—he's drest!

Drest in habiliments of ice,
More bright than those of old put on
At royal birthdays, by the nice
Beau Skeffington.

Happy the man, again I sing,
Who thus can freeze his life away,
Far from this hot blast's blustering.
At Hudson's Bay.

Oh that 'twere mine to be so blest.
For while my very bones are grilling,
The thoughts of such a place of rest
Are really thrilling.

Instead of jackets, I would wear
A coat of sleet, with snow lapelles,
Neatly embroidered here and there
With icicles.

Snow shoes should brace my burning feet.
And how I should enjoy a shiver,
While snow I'd drink, and snow I'd eat,
To cool my liver.

But all in vain I sigh for lands
Where happy cheeks with cold look blue.
While here i' the shade the mercury stands
At Ninety-two.