I am always amazed by what I find on the Futility Closet website. The following are light verses with a somber subject by Jocelyn Henry Clive “Harry” Graham (1874-1936)—journalist, military hero, lyricist for light operas, and humorous verses employing the darkest of humor. Here are a few selections taken from Futility Closet’s posting of June 9, 2011:
Little Willie, in the best of sashes,
Fell in the fire and was burned to ashes.
By and by the room grew chilly,
But no one liked to poke up Willie.
In the drinking-well
(Which the plumber built her)
Aunt Eliza fell–
We must buy a filter.
I had written to Aunt Maud,
Who was on a trip abroad,
When I heard she’d died of cramp
Just too late to save the stamp.
Weep not for little Léonie,
Abducted by a French Marquis!
Though loss of honour was a wrench,
Just think how it’s improved her French.
“There’s been an accident,” they said,
“Your servant’s cut in half; he’s dead!”
“Indeed!” said Mr. Jones, “and please
Send me the half that’s got my keys.”
He wrote in one preface:
Fond parent, you whose children are
Of tender age (from two to eight),
Pray keep this little volume far
From reach of such, and relegate
My verses to an upper shelf,–
Where you may study them yourself.