The Books of To-day and the Books of To-morrow, January 1907

Farewell to 1906.

YOU’RE on your death-bed, 1906;
And so perhaps you should be spared
The keen home-truths which I’ve prepared:
Pity with wrath I ought to mix . . .
But candidly, you know, I fear
You’ve been a baddish sort of year.

The public acts which you have done—
Can you look back on them with pride?
Mark what’s resulted, far and wide:
You’ve made a hash of things, my son.
Yes—and I don’t care if it stings—
I say you’ve made a hash of things.

When you were barely one month old,
You turned the Tories out, you know,
And handed to C.-B. and Co.
The nation’s helm, to have and hold.
Well, look at Parliament to-day:
D’you call it an improvement, eh?

For that, maybe, you’ve an excuse:
You’ll say, and not without some truth,
’Twas but the foolishness of youth.
But, to speak bluntly, why the deuce,
If that was so, did you not try
To mend your ways as time went by?

You kept on getting worse and worse:
What with the ’Frisco earthquake, and
The fighting out in Zululand—
By George! you were a perfect curse.
I never met, to be sincere,
So thoroughly depraved a year.

But, worse than all your public crimes,
You’ve played some scurvy tricks on me:
Four motor-spills and two or three
Police hold-ups at other times.
You’ve given me Yarboroughs and to spare,
More than one mortal’s proper share.

You gave me flu. I’ve got it still.
I sit indoors with aching head:
On tasteless messes I am fed,
And rather think I’ll make my will . . .
Yes . . . you have played some pretty tricks,
You wretched creature, 1906!



Printed unsigned; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work as “To 1906.”