The Books of To-day and the Books of To-morrow, May 1907

The Colonial Premiers.

GIVE us no more.
No ostriches are we,
But men with human organs, just like you.
If you must entertain us, we could do
With a dry rusk and a weak cup of tea.
Give us no more.

Give us no more.
In error you suppose
Our Little Maries to be made of teak.
We like a banquet. But six times a week . . .
Let's stop while we can still descry our toes.
Give us no more.

Give us no more.
Please stop that cheery shout,
‘Premier, old man, another glass of fizz?’
We like it, mark you: but the trouble is
We have a certain tendency to gout.
Give us no more.

Give us no more.
We yearn not to eclipse
J. Trundley, who in Peckham’s pleasant vale
At twenty stone or so has turned the scale.
Remove the festive beaker from our lips.
Give us no more.

Give us no more.
Let us, we beg, be freed
From roast and boiled, from soups both thick and clear.
The Stomach Tax is proving too severe.
Protection, not Free Food, is what we need.
Give us no more.



Printed unsigned; entered by Wodehouse in Money Received for Literary Work as “The Colonial Premier.”


This poem’s meter and rhyme scheme parody Tennyson’s “Ask me no more” from The Princess.
Trundley: John Trunley or Trundley (1898–1944), known as “the fat boy of Peckham.” By age four he weighed 12 stone (168 lbs.) and at age six had a 44-inch chest and a 46-inch waist.