The Waster


    From the date that the doors of his prep-school close
    On the lonely little son
    He is taught by precept, insult, and blows
    The Things that Are Never Done.
    Year after year, without favour or fear,
    From seven to twenty-two,
    His keepers insist he shall learn the list
    Of the things no fellow can do.
    (They are not so strict with the average Pict
    And it isn’t set to, etc.)

    For this and not for the profit it brings
    Or the good of his fellow-kind
    He is and suffers unspeakable things
    In body and soul and mind.
    But the net result of that Primitive Cult,
    Whatever else may be won,
    Is definite knowledge ere leaving College
    Of the Things that Are Never Done.
    (An interdict which is strange to the Pict
    And was never revealed to, etc.)

    Slack by training and slow by birth,
    Only quick to despise,
    Largely assessing his neighbour’s worth
    By the hue of his socks or ties,
    A loafer-in-grain, his foes maintain,
    And how shall we combat their view
    When, atop of his natural sloth, he holds
    There are Things no Fellow can do?
    (Which is why he is licked from the first by the Pict
    And left at the post by, etc.)


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