Daily Chronicle, April 11, 1903

(A cart is held by law not to be a public place, and a driver so long as he stays in his seat may be intoxicated with impunity.)

Some people envy dukes and lords
 Or multi-millionaires,
Or think that life upon the boards
 Is free from carking cares.
Some love a quiet country cot
 (Three acres, cows, and hay).
Mine seems to me the happier lot,
 When seated in my shay.

If dukes attack the flowing bowl
 With injudicious zest,
If millionaires, when walking, roll,
 They have to pass a test.
Perhaps their feet, perchance their lips
 Their shocking state betray.
In me the law condones these slips,
 When seated in my shay.

I’m blithe and gay both night and morn,
 Nor envy clown nor peer.
I never treat a friend with scorn,
 Who’s treating me with beer.
Whene’er, the moments to beguile,
 I wet my thirsty clay,
The law regards me with a smile.
 I’m seated in my shay.

For me the line of whitest chalk
 No keen officials draw.
No searching eyes regard my walk.
 I fear no liquor law.
For me no “sifted thistles” wait
 (A ticklish thing to say).
I have no fears whate’er my state,
 When seated in my shay.

P. G. W. 



sifted thistles: A classic tongue-twister, used as a test for drunkenness. In Jeeves and the Feudal Spirit (ch. 21), Mrs. Trotter accuses Jeeves of being intoxicated, and Bertie demonstrates that Jeeves can successfully repeat “Theodore Oswaldtwistle, the thistle sifter, in sifting a sack of thistles thrust three thorns through the thick of his thumb.”