Daily Chronicle, February 15, 1904

[An eminent medical man states that the deteriorated physique of our recruits is largely due to the fact that they have been accustomed to drink too much tea.]

I asked the youth in uniform
 To say, for he knew best,
To what he owed his puny form,
 His microscopic chest.
“You miracle of weediness,
 Whence got you,” I exclaimed,
“That general air of seediness,
 For which your kind are famed?”

“Alas!” quoth he, “kind gentleman,”
 (And, really, on my word,
Though not a sentimental man,
 I wept at what I heard),
“When but a tiny stripling it
 Was quite a craze with me—
I spent my boyhood tippling it—
 To drink too much Bohea.

I might,” he added, bitterly,
 “Have got my muscle up,
And wrestled Hackenschmidtily,
 Had I but shunned the cup.
But oh! I drained it eagerly,
 And now through life I go
All shrunken Wee-Macgreegorly.”
 (I sobbed. It pained me so.)
In training up your families
 Don’t give them any tea.
The men who fought at Ramillies
 Drank beer in infancy;
When Marlborough won at Blenheim, he
 Led soldiers reared on stout.
The teapot is an enemy:
 Avoid its lethal spout.

P. G. W.