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The Ballad Of Punch-Drunk Bill

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Bill was a smuggler of punch.

He drank it for breakfast and lunch.

Each evening he travelled

Where parties unravelled

And drank past the morning to brunch.

But Bill had his weak spots –

A phobia for teapots.

Whenever he saw them

He cried, “I abhor them!

“They think I’m the worst of all sots!”

His friends to console him

And flavour his dire whim

Decided to change

All his punch-bowls, and range

Little teapots quite proper and prim.

But Bill who’d tripped over

To a party in Dover

Had heard such sad stories

Of changes in Tories

That he thought he would quit the gay rover.

He travelled through rain

And he wept with the strain

And he sipped from his rum

And he winked at his tum

With an eye like the wheel of a train.

But when he got back –

Why, he split like a sack.

All his punch bowls had changed!

In their places were ranged

All those teapots that grinned like a crack.

As if catapulted,

Bill tumbled and somersaulted

And rushed to the window

And threw himself down below

In a vault that had never been vaulted.

Ironic to state

(In the light of Bill’s fate)

Those teapots were filled

With a punch sweetly mulled,

But abstemious soul – he’s too late!

(from “The Light Of Day (I)”)

What do you think?

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