ODE Upon the Death of the King of Tonga, the Last ENGLISH Man
The King of Tonga which is far away at sea
Was far away a better Englishman that you or I could be:
Listen children while I tell you his famous history!
His suits they were Bespoken and his English wasn’t Scouse
His English was the Queen’s and it followed all the rules!
He wore a Helmet made of Pith out in the Noonday Sun
And he stood to attention when they fired the Noonday Gun!
Yes when in Hong Kong fair in the Zenith of the Day
He saluted when they fired the Gun that stands on Causeway Bay!
Yes me lad he saluted when the Gunners fired away
Hopefully usin’ blank rounds and never getting gay!
(And never getting Gay!)
He took Tea no earlier than Three and preferably closer to Four
He was a Friend to all of men save for Bounder, Cad, or Bore.
(Save for Bounder, Cad or Bore!)
He passed the Port the right way or is it left stun me
For I am not an Englishman, I’m from Chicago, can’t you see!
And when a Toast was to the Queen propos’d he stood up save at sea,
And never wore shorts to the saloon bar in Suva, down in old Fee-Jee!
(Way down in the De-fence Club in Suva downtown in old Fi Fi Jee!)
So take from me, the Morality, of this my Improving Story:
Tho yer skin be white as snow, and ye live amongst England’s fading Glory
In Chelsea or in Isle o’ Dogs, in Clapham or the Strand,
In Brighton or in Brixton or in Bristol on the sea or on the Land,
You may be less an Englishman than yonder wee brown man!
Edward G. Nilges (with profuse apologies to Kipling and Noel Coward) 18 May 2012. Moral rights have been asserted, so there.