22 OCTOBER 1954, Page 14

Unlamented Summer

Summer is over at last. more than sixteen lines.

Song of Thanksgiving of not It/seemed to me, as the mere setter of this competition, that its terms clearly called for something nasty about this year's summer. Yet quite a surprising number of entrants treated it in the mood of a Harvest Festival Thanksgiving. One entry (not satirical) began: 'Oh, blissful summer . . .' Another competitor watched the flowers ripen 'amidst our toil in sun-drenched field'; and the Rev. G. Humphrey Evans was so thank- ful for the 'rainy, rainy summer' that I cannot believe he is glad it is over. I had to pass over a number of good and moving poems for much the same reason—their thanksgiving was not for the end of summer. For the rest, there were two very good Chaucerian imitations, an entry in Lallans, another in the Devon dialect; and a McGonagall from D. L. L. Clarke, which was much too regular in its rhyme and metre for that aspiring poet. I should like to wind up by mentioning the names of about a dozen entrants whose excellent efforts survived the second reading, but just missed a prize. They are: P. M., Mrs. M. Wersowska, S. H. Baynes, John L.Young, A. M. Sayers, Iris Mousley, W. Bernard Wake, Mrs. Betty Logan, Guy Kendall, Sir Patrick Laird, John S. Martin, Nancy Gunter, H. A. C. Evans and Douglas Howson. The prizewinners, among whoin the prize is shared equally, are: Leslie Johnson, Oswald Clark, Mrs. Philomena Stephens, and the , almost inevitable R. Kennard Davis.



We who have seen our kith and Return from aestival vacation Blear-eyed, enrheumed, indulging in Unseasonable sternutation, Presume that, summer having gone, Apollo now will grant indulgence, Unveiling ever and anon His greatly overdue effulgence, And that henceforth, when we have planne Some pleasant circumambulation, Such course will not be promptly banned By pluvial precipitation.

Wherefore, aware that we have plumbed The lowest depths of meteorology, In confidence, though still benumbed, We sing this paean or doxology.


Musing on summer's wicket Where sawdust sinks in mud, We thank the gods of cricket There was so little blood— No barracking nor booing, No words unfit for wooing, Only a constant cooing Across our English Flood.

And if in this our musing We miss the note of stress— For little fear of losing

May end in caring less—. We'll thank new gods on waking When Sydney's Hill is shaking, And what is in the making


0 Zummer, 0 Zummer, praaise be yu be paast! Oi be glaad yu be gone (Most bcvore yu'm bin born);

Ees, but whoilst 'ee were here

Oi was hoping 'ee were,

But 'ee wad'n, fer where was the zun?

Fer wi' raain an' wi' mud An' the long oors o' wet, Wi' wind an' the chill *ee put Intu me bones an' there's yet, Yu wad'n no zummer; of dunnaw wot 'twas: But the cows loike were craazed Wi' the floies yu did braid, An' the rottin' o' corn ", Wad'n scarce to be borne. Oi be glaad yu be gone.

(R. KENNARD DAVIS) The Summer is over. Come, let us be glad! No more will we linger unsuitably clad To hear the loud-speaker pronounce the refrain, 'The match is abandoned by reason of rain.'

No more will we flock, a disconsolate host, To watch the cold waves on the storm-battered coast, Nor nurse our illusions, against all the odds, With talk of 'occasional bright periods'!

Come, fetch me my woollies, come turn on the heat!

Bid the hot water bottle drive chill from the sheet!

Now kindle the logs to a welcoming blaze! Hurrah for long evenings and shortening days!

The Summer is over! We need not pretend. Far better the foe than the treacherous friend! Come, draw the thick curtains, and banish the blast!

The Winter is here—we'll be cosy at last!