Daily Chronicle, January 31, 1903

(Lord Kitchener is said to dislike dancing.)

Oh, terror of Great Britain’s foes,
 In you is said to lurk a
Dislike of light fantastic toes,
 A scorn of the mazurka.
For valse (or Vaals) you do not long,
 Nor even can the lancers
Attract you to the merry throng
 To join the other dancers.

Full many military men,
 Though tough (like you) as hickory,
Delight to practise now and then
 The worship of Terpsichore.
Then why should you alone, they ask,
 From such amusements shrink so?
It can’t be that you fear the task.
 Who, knowing you, could think so?

And yet, on second thoughts, perchance
 It may, I feel, be caution
That makes you fly the mazy dance,
 The smooth and polished floor shun.
For lesser men we’ll keep the ball:
 No harm to see them slipping.
But you—it wouldn’t do at all,
 If people caught you tripping.

P. G. W. 



“WHAT KITCHENER CAN’T DO. Lord Kitchener took part in the State Lancers, dancing with Mrs. Bourdillon. His knowledge of the figures was of the vaguest kind, and in consequence whenever the call ‘Sides’ was given, all he succeeded in doing was to tie himself and his partner in the most absurd knot, to the intense amusement of the others in the set and of the large crowd looking on. The hero of Khartoum was beaming with delight, and so he blundered through to the end. When the music ceased he was in the middle of the floor looking for his partner.” (Evening Telegraph, January 29, 1903)

John Dawson