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Experiment 4


page 20


It was just one brief week,
A space of days cut from the calendar -
This was my holiday. I speak
Of a time for rest and relaxation
Which was strongly recommended
By a former friend of mine...
Potato-picking - ah ! the ideal occupation,
Potato-picking - ah, the fine
The vibrant touch of sun and wind combined,
Ah, that peasant closeness to the earth !

That closeness was indeed too close for me -
In convalescence painfully I find
That as each vertabra unshackles free
Prom its arched agony, as each bone
Creaks complainingly, this verdict must I pass
Upon potato-picking:

If there is a place that smells of brimstone
Where sulphurous smoke and red flames licking
Illumine an eternal scene of woe,
Then any failure on the part of sinners
To stoke the fires according to each order
Of those horned characters who run the show,
Will be punished by a trip across the border
To a fair land where there is no brimstone smell
But where there are potatoes, big potatoes,
Just waiting to be picked - like hell !