Thursday, January 20, 2011


The Saviours

A.P. Herbert (1890-1971), The Saviours:
Sir Thingummy Jig was breakfasting on bacon and ham and eggs,
And kidney and toast and mushrooms, and a couple of partridge legs,
And all the time in the Sunday Chime, as a baronet ought to do,
He studied the state of the Universe and saw that it was blue.

“Death!” remarked Sir Thingummy Jig. “Bring me a pen and ink!
Bring me a fair white writing-pad, and something strong to drink,
And wrap a towel about my head and don't let anyone in,
For I must write to The Times tonight and save the world from sin.”

But Admiral Bunkum sits in his bed and quietly chews a roll
And sausage and mash, and marmalade, the simple, manly soul!
He lights his pipe and he reads the tripe Sir Thingummy wrote, and then
With a nautical cry of "Hell!" or "Hi!" he snatches a fountain-pen.

And far away in a leather chair the Duke of Doodledoo
Nibbles a rusk with a single tusk and scans the papers through,
And things look worse with the Universe, and the Admiral gives him pain,
So he rings for a young stenographer and saves the world again.

Civilisation seems to me to be just a trifle queer;
Rack and ruin are all around, and look at the price of beer!
Black with fate are the clouds to date, but if ever the skies are blue,
Oh, don't forget 'twas Thingummy Jig that pulled the nation through;
Not to speak of the Admiral and the Duke of Doodledoo!
This poem was first published in Punch (1922). I pieced it together from "snippet view" on Google Books, but I think it's accurate.

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