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Collected Poems

To my Butcher

To my Butcher

On having a pound of steak delivered in the 'Sunday Express'.

Sir, I protest. You've sent my meat
wrapped in this blood-stained Sunday sheet;
and now, it seems, my dinner must
smell rank with other people's lust,
page 167 and gossip of the stage and screen,
and crimes of blood and cash and spleen,
and turf-notes, and the dirty tricks
of men who play at politics.
Pray you in future, sir, to use

the 'Philatelist' or the 'Poulterers' News';
or stay! for what were weeklies made?
here is our safe and fitting aid.
No active germ could find gestation
inside the 'Week-End' or the 'Nation';
it would not even spoil my lunch
to find my viands wrapped in 'Punch'.
So keep your Sunday sheets, my friend,
and put them to a better end.
For meat, use weeklies — safe, and cheap:
employ your weeklies, sir, and keep
the custom (else, good sir, we part!)
of one who, in his simple heart,
finds Sunday papers running sores,
and weeklies merely harmless bores.