Harry Graham (poet)
Jocelyn Henry Clive "Harry" Graham (23 December 1874 – 30 October 1936) was an English writer. He was a successful journalist and later, after distinguished military service, a leading lyricist for operettas and musical comedies. He is now best remembered as a writer of humorous verse in the tradition of grotesquerie and black humour, exemplified by the verses of W. S. Gilbert and Hilaire Belloc, in his "Ruthless Rhymes."
- What hours I spent of precious time,
What pints of ink I used to waste,
Attempting to secure a rhyme
To suit the public taste,
Until I found a simple plan
Which makes the lamest lyric scan!
When I’ve a syllable de trop,
I cut it off, without apol.:
This verbal sacrifice, I know,
May irritate the schol.;
But all must praise my dev’lish cunn.
Who realise that Time is Mon.
- Poetical economy, Lines 1-12
A Macaronic Poem
Kaiser Wilhelm II, visiting Brussels, spoke at length with Baron de Haulleville, Director of the Congo Museum, in French, German and English. Harry Graham imagined their conversation.
- "Guten Morgen, mon ami!
Heute ist es schönes Wetter!
Charmé de vous voir ici!
Never saw you looking better!"
- Lines 1-4
- "Ich muss cherchez mon hôtel.
What a charming Schwätzerei, sir!
Lebe wohl! Adieu! Farewell!
Vive le Congo! Hoch der Kaiser!"
- Lines 13-16
Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes (1899)
- Billy, in one of his nice new sashes,
Fell in the fire and was burnt to ashes;
Now, although the room grows chilly,
I haven't the heart to poke poor Billy.
- When Grandmamma fell off the boat,
And couldn’t swim, and wouldn’t float,
Maria just sat by and smiled -
I almost could have slapped the child!
- Weep not for little Leonie,
Abducted by a French Marquis!
Though loss of honour was a wrench,
Just think how it's improved her French.
- O'er the rugged mountain's brow
Clara threw the twins she nursed,
And remarked, "I wonder now
Which will reach the bottom first?"
- Calculating Clara
- That morning, when my wife eloped
With James, our chauffeur, how I moped!
What tragedies in life there are!
I'm dashed if I can start the car.
- When Baby's cries grew hard to bear
I popped him in the Frigidaire.
I never would have done so if
I'd known that he'd be frozen stiff.
My wife said: 'George, I'm so unhappé!
Our darling's now completely frappé!
- L'Enfant Glacé
- Uncle, whose inventive brains
kept evolving aeroplanes,
fell from an enormous height
upon my garden lawn last night.
Flying is a fatal sport,
uncle wrecked the tennis court.
- "There's been an accident!" they said,
"Your servant's cut in half; he's dead."
"Indeed!" said Mr Jones, "and please
Give me the half that's got my keys."