Skin may be scorching, and brain may be batter;
Head may be swimming, and tongue may be white;
Liver uneasy—but what does it matter?
The mail brings Her into the station to-night!
Sadly the heat from July to September
Has soddened and shaken a fever-racked frame:
Complexions may change but She will remember
That, even in India, the Heart is the same.
Scant time indeed have I to be merry,
Little of leave and less of delight,
Stewing all day in that frowsy Kutcherry;
What do I care?— She is coming to-night!
Tennis be hanged! I am off to the Station,
"Tum-tum men tattu hamara rukkho!"
Ages it seems since in deep tribulation
I watched Her departure, just five months ago.
Back from Olympus to damp-laden, steamy
Plains, and her lover who longs for the sight,
My Darling returns; and Creation may seem to me
The happiest man in the Province to-night.
My bearer's a drunkard; my sais cribs the gram;
My one polo-pony's as lame as a post:
I know I shall mull my next Persian exam.
My pay is a scanty five-fifty at most.
I'm only a Stunt-sahib employed in the "Revenue;"
But yet I am dearer in Somebody's sight
Than all the big bosses at Simla She ever knew;
And I'm off to the station to meet her to-night.
(Climbs into tum-tum and exit tumultuously.)