The Immortal.

Vanity Fair (UK), May 24, 1906

[Father Gapon has been seen again in St. Petersburg.]

They took him, and they hanged him,
 And they filled him up with lead;
They put a noose around his neck,
 A bullet through his head.
They left him in his country-house,
 Suspended from the ceiling.
And he merely said he rather liked the feeling.

They lit their bombs beneath his nose,
 They plunged their daggers in,
And smiled with triumph as they viewed
 The punctures in his skin.
They picked him off with Maxim guns;
 Assaulted, with a sword, him:
And he simply yawned as if the fellows bored him.

Oh! bitter the assassin’s lot!
 How keen the cutthroat’s pain!
Who, try and try, and try once more,
 But always try in vain.
Oh! never will the Russian serf
 For Father G. put crape on—
No power on earth can settle deathless Gapon.



Printed unsigned in Vanity Fair; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work.



“FATHER GAPON. M. Margoline, the lawyer who recently received a letter from Berlin announcing the assassination of Father Gapon today received a second letter, also from the German capital, containing a bank transfer of 1,300 roubles understood to belong to Father Gapon. A Times telegram from St. Petersburg says “Father Gapon’s murder by the engineer Rattenberg is disparaged by his relatives. Considerable doubt has arisen whether Father Gapon is really dead. The Dvadtzatie Viek this morning published a statement declaring that he was yesterday seen in the streets of St. Petersburg. (Dundee Courier, May 19, 1906)
  Georgy Gapon was a Russian Orthodox priest and a popular working class leader before the Russian Revolution of 1905. He actually died on April 10th.


John Dawson