A Duty Done - 1935
The swallows are back, and I'm tuning my lyre,
For today 'tis my duty to sing
A melodious lay that is graciously gay
To welcome - officially - spring
So let's have a song with a swing.
High cockalorum and fal-de-rah, whack!
Young Spring's in the offing! The swallows are back!
To put sense in the song matters little so long
As the lift and the lilt of it ring.
And a mention be made of the wattle-hung glade
Where the blithering birds are a-wing
And the clamorous honey-bees cling.
Tho' I'm scarce in the humor, alas and alack!
Ho, merry-down-derry! The swallows are back!
So - officially - Hi! Oh, salubrious sky!
What a dear and delectable thing
To behold such a blue as old Arcady knew
When - er - Strephan or someone was king
And life held nor arrow nor sling.
Ah, the fervor is forced; but I mustn't get slack,
Tho' the rhymes may run low, for the swallows are back!
But - privily - oh, my vitality's low,
And a sneer at the season I fling
For I gasp and I wheeze in the weary unease
Of the plagues that the pollen days bring
I'm insipid as second-hand string.
Ah, ring down the curtain! I've gone to the pack!
But, a last word in closing: the swallows are back.