Edwardian Christmas

Father’s opinion of savages
And dogs, a gay Bloomsbury epigram:
‘The brutes may possibly have souls,’ he says,
‘But reason, no. Nevertheless, I am
Prepared not to extend this to my spouse
And children.’ This demands a careful pity:
Poor Father! Whooping and romping in their house,
A holiday from ruin in the City.
His wit falls flat, his tie just will not tie.
The dog’s in chains, the reasonable books
Grazed by his children as they learn to fly.
He takes his dear wife’s arm (his hands grow hooks).
Pirates and pudding! Come, such cruelty!

His beard is branching like a burning tree.

“Edwardian Christmas” from Collected Poems, published by Chatto & Windus

by John Fuller

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