by Arthur Wade (1947)
I'd been camping in the back-blocks for a half a year or so,
During which I think it never ceased to rain,
I was seedy, I was tired, I considered life was slow
And, like Solomon, I thought that life was vain.
So I emptied out my knapsack for some soothing book to read,
And this is what I found – a painful lot-
A Webster, a discussion on the Athanasian Creed,
Some tables mathematical, a Scott.
A dismal lot, I'd read the Scott a hundred times before,
So I turned the Webster over with a yawn
When out came crowds of highbrows through an academic door
Whose symposia kept me spellbound till the dawn.
I was sitting on a frustum; (that's a slice cut off a tree
Parenthetically also I may state,
'Twould be abecedarian and 'twould cause you ennui
If each word I used I did elucidate).
I gathered that abkari might be nocuous to some,
Not finical I felt I had to urge,
Abstersion wouldn't hurt if deglutition was to come,
Though indulgential ways may cause a splurge.
Now such ratiocination, palliative to the mind,
Only caused me panidrosis since I knew
That I hadn't even usufruct or ownership in kind
Of any real anacreontic brew.
Etiolated I withdrew into my cucullated tent
And called the coryphaeus of my men,
Who on acanthopterygia had diurnally been bent
And on icthyophagy – well, now and then.
Him I told, with objurgations, to coadunate the band,
With cacophony he drove 'em from my lair,
Impedimenta was concatenated straightway out of hand
For nostalgia was now more than I could bear.
Beware the dictionary, child! 'Tis not a catalyst
For acquiring etymology at school.
As for me I'm bradypeptic, have been since an abacist
Incognitient! Don't it make you feel a fool!
Arthur Wade (1947)
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