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My Return

FROM MY BERTH

Punch, XLIX - 21st October 1865


The big Channel steamer is rolling exceedingly,
  Frenchmen around me are bilious and fat,
And prone on the floor are behaving unheedingly,
  It's a "sick transit," but never mind that!

There's pleasure in feeling so coldly and clammily,
  Joy in the needles and pins in my leg;
Pleasure in watching that foreigner's family
  Eating stick chocolate mixed with hard egg.

There's joy in the berthing that's managed so scurvily,
  Pleasure in each individual lurch;
Joy in the pitching about topsy-turvily,
  Fun in the custom-house officers' search!

For I'm tired of long table-d'hôte-ing formalities,
  Sick of my costly devotion to "red";
I'm weary of fathoming gambling fatalities,
  Long for a night in a big British bed!

For whenever I visit the bad Baden rookery,
  Dreams that I dream have a single key-note;
That I'm fastened, in fetters of cast-iron cookery,
  Down to a complex roulette-table-d'hôte!

I grieve for my tub and its naked simplicity,
  (Grief that they ask me to drown in a "bowl"!)
And this is ascribed to inborn eccentricity —
  "Tiens donc ces Anglais! mais comme ils sont drôles!"

Tired am I of the sea-bathing merman-y,
  Tired am I of the sabot and blouse,
Tired am I of the natives of Germany,
  Tired am I of the noisy Mossoos!

After for weeks of my presence bereaving you,
  London, to rush to your bosom I yearn.
You remember the jokes that I uttered on leaving you?
  Twice as delighted, my boy, to return.

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