Dear Mr.Editor,-My first station as R.M. was in the South of Ireland, a charming district in every way. The only drawback to an otherwise very happy life, was the periodical flooding of the basement of my house. On returning late one night from a distant court, unduly prolonged by several cases, in which voracious goats demolished acres of cabbages, and which entailed a drive of fourteen miles each way, I found the periodical flood in possession. I retired to my sanctum, and tried to sooth my feelings by writing the following doggerel parody :-
I stood on the stairs at seven ;
My heart was sad and sore,
For the pangs of hunger drove me
To sniff at the kitchen door.
I saw a bright reflection.
And in misery I cried,
" The reflection of the gas light
In the rising of the tide."
I peeped around the corner,
And a sad sight broke on me,
The range was burning brightly
In the middle of a sea.
And on the kitchen table,
With dishes at her side.
The cook sat calmly waiting
For the waters to subside.
And bobbing and twisting below her
Two saucepans floated past
The disappeared into the scull'ry,
And bumped and o'erturned at last.
And then came a small leg of mutton,
Dragging and squirming along ;
It followed the pots to the scull'ry,
A moment, and it, too was gone.
I had ordered a curry of chicken,
Just a tit-bit to tempt me to eat,
The tit-bits were floating around me,
And bobbing right up to my feet
And then far away in a corner
Potatoes were dancing about.
Pats of butter spun round like tee-to-tums,
Here and there bobbed a green brussel sprout.
A tin of Bath Oliver biscuits
Was standing up straight as a lath
On a sudden it shook and turned over,
The Oliver's all went to " Bath."
Then my heart grew hot and angry,
And my language, I fear I swore ;
For an aching void was in me..
And my food floating out through the door.
And I thought of the empty larder,
And the still more empty me,
For my dinner was gone for ever,
And finding its way to the sea.
So I turned and crept back to my study,
And thought that for better or worse,
It might from my sorrows distract me,
If I put all my woes into verse.
It may be a help to others,
It may be a warning to them,
To hear of the woes and sorrows
Of a hungry and damp R.M.
E. J. D.*
Ref :- R.I.C. Mag, August , 1913. & R.I.C. Lists, July,1896-July, 1921.
* Edmund J. Dease. Late, Major. 4th Battalion Royal Irish Fusiliers.
Date of appointment to R.M., 5th February, 1896. ( still serving as R.M., July, 1921.)
Note, his first station was : Tralee District.