Scotch Rhapsody

‘Do not take a bath in Jordan,
On the holy Sabbath, on the peaceful day!’
Said the huntsman, playing on his old bagpipe,
Boring to death the pheasant and the snipe—
Boring the ptarmigan and grouse for fun—
Boring them worse than a nine-bore gun.
Till the flaxen leaves where the prunes are ripe
Heard the tartan wind a-droning in the pipe,
And they heard MacPherson say:
‘Where do the waves go? What hotels
Hide their bustles and their gay ombrelles?
And would there be room?—Would there be room ?
  Would there be room for me?’
There is a hotel at Ostend
Cold as the wind, without an end,
Haunted by ghostly poor relations
Of Bostonian conversations
(Bagpipes rotting through the walls)
And there the pearl-ropes fall like shawls
With a noise like marine waterfalls.
And ‘Another little drink wouldn't do us any harm’
Pierces through the Sabbatical calm.
And that is the place for me!
So do not take a bath in Jordon,
On the holy Sabbath, on the peaceful day—
Or you'll never go to heaven, Gordon Macpherson,
And speaking purely as a private person
That is the place— that is the place—that is the place for me!
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