The Books of To-day and the Books of To-morrow, August 1905


THE asphalte bubbles in the sun,
Our canine pets become insane,
Stout gentlemen refuse to run
Even to catch the early train:
There seems some hitch inside my brain,
Some subtle flaw,—I can’t tell what.
It’s useless trying to explain,
I only know I’m very hot.

The streets I rigorously shun,
There’s not a sign of cooling rain:
Within my club, when work is done,
A tankard, iced, I slowly drain,
Then send it to be filled again:
It’s dangerous to drink a lot,
M.D.’s are careful to explain—
I only know I’m very hot.

I scan the papers one by one,
And whisper words that are profane.
I’m tired before I’ve well begun,
It’s much too warm for such a strain:
What’s this? A speech by Chamberlain?
Three hundred Warsaw workmen shot?
The Russian army crushed again?
I only know I’m very hot.

An infant poisoned by a bun?
Should Board School masters use the cane?
How much does radium cost a ton?
Well-known bull-fighter killed in Spain?
The Silly Season’s come, it’s plain:
To me it matters not a jot,
The only knowledge I retain
Is this—I know I’m very hot.



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