Mosquitoes

Original Text: 
Robert T. Anderson, The Old Timer and Other Poems (Edmonton: Edmonton Printing and Publishing, 1909): 24. Internet Archive
1My eyes in slumber tightly close,
2    Most welcome is the night's repose;
3    No troubled thoughts my sleep condemn;
5        Mosquitoes.
6Oft have my gluey eyelids blinked
7    As that dread sound grows more distinct
8    And bills are now presented, though
10        Mosquitoes.
11Still as I try to calm my mind
12    And to my fate grow more resigned,
13    While scratching at the itchiness
14    I grow as crooked as an S--
15        Mosquitoes.
16Quiet the eventide may bring,
17    As poets are inclined to sing,
18    But not to suffering mortals, who
20        Mosquitoes.
21Unvisited by pleasant dreams,
22    I lie and think; but as it seems,
23    On nothing can I think so true
24    As what I now present to U--
25        Mosquitoes.
26Imagine, reader, if you can,
27    The actions of a frantic man;
28    And yet you may not need to try,
29    For you may know as well as I--
30        Mosquitoes.
31Then taking it for granted so,
32    I need not any further go,
33    But hope you in these verses see
35        Mosquitoes.
36On bed of down a king may stretch
37    His wearied limbs; poor luckless wretch,
39    He can but scratch and mutter O--
40        Mosquitoes.
41Esconced beneath his counterpane,
42    Still troubled is that monarch's reign,
43    For tho' from skilled assassin free
44    Some other pests are worse than 'E
45        Mosquitoes.
46Scarce are my themes, O baleful Muse,
47    And scarce I can my talent use,
48    For twisted thus in sore distress,
49    The human frame becomes an S--
50        Mosquitoes.
51Then, sinful men, put up a prayer,
52    And I will help to rhyme it;
53If guilt should warrant change of air
54    And in a hotter climate,
55Tho' of a warm reception sure,
56    (Here all may lend their dittoes)
57Whatever pangs we there endure
58    May there be no mosquitoes.

Notes

4] 'M: a whine produced by the fastest wingbeats of any creature, the female mosquito hunting for blood. Back to Line
9] I O: "I owe." Back to Line
19] as Q: "askew." Back to Line
34] to a T: "to a tee" (perfectly). Back to Line
38] scitters: North American slang for flies and mosquitoes. Back to Line
RPO poem Editors: 
Ian Lancashire
RPO Edition: 
2011
Rhyme: 
Form: