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Nursery Memories

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I. – THE FIRST FUNERAL           
 
(The first corpse I saw was on the
German wires, and couldn’t be buried)
 
The whole field was so smelly;
    We smelt the poor dog first:
His horrid swollen belly
    Looked just like going burst.
 
His fur was most untidy;
    He hadn’t any eyes.
It happened on Good Friday
    And there was lots of flies.
 
And then I felt the coldest
    I’d ever felt, and sick,
But Rose, ’cause she’s the oldest,
    Dared poke him with her stick.
 
He felt quite soft and horrid:
    The flies buzzed round his head
And settled on his forehead:
    Rose whispered: ‘That dog’s dead.
 
‘You bury all dead people,
    When they’re quite really dead,
Round churches with a steeple:
    Let’s bury this,’ Rose said.
 
‘And let’s put mint all round it
    To hide the nasty smell.’
I went to look and found it—
    Lots, growing near the well.
 
We poked him through the clover
    Into a hole, and then
We threw brown earth right over
    And said: ‘Poor dog, Amen!’


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Nursery Memories

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