Marriott Edgar ( )

The Recumbent Posture

The day after Christmas, young Albert
Were whats called, confined to his bed,
With a tight kind of pain in his stummick
And a light feeling up in his head.

His parents were all in a fluster
When they saw little lad were so sick,
They said, Put out your tongue!, When theyd seen it
They said, Put it back again - quick!

Ma made him a basin of gruel,
But that were a move for the worse;
Though the little lad tried hard to eat it,
At the finish he did the reverse.

The pain showed no signs of abating,
So at last they got Doctor to call.
He said it were in the ab-domain
And not in the stummick at all.

He sent up a bottle of physick,
With instructions on t label to say,
To be taken in a recumbent posture,
One teaspoon, three times a day.

As Ma stood there reading the label
Pa started to fidget about.
He said Get a teaspoon and dose him,
Before he gets better without.

I can manage the teaspoon said Mother
A look of distress on her face.
Its this ere recumbent posture...
I havent got one in the place.

Said Pa, What about Mrs Lupton?..
Next door ere - youd better ask her;
A woman whos buried three husbands
Is sure to have one of them there.

So they went round and asked Mrs Lupton,
Aye, I know what you mean, she replied,
I ad one on order for Orace,
But poor dear got impatient and died.

She said, Youd best try the Co-Op shop,
Theyll have one in stock I dare say;
 Fact I think I saw one in the winder
Last time I was passing that way.

So round they went to the Co-Op shop,
And at the counter for household supplies;
Pa asked for a recumbent posture
And the shopman said Yes sir... what size?

Said Ma, Its for our little Albert,
I dont know what size he would use,
I know he takes thirteen in collars,
And sixes, four fittings, in shoes.

If its little lads size as youre wanting,
Said the shopman, Im sorry to say,
We nobbut had one in the building,
And that one were sold yesterday.

He sent them across to a tin-smith,
Who said, I know what youve in mind;
If youll draw me a pattern, Ill make one.
But Pad left his pencil behind.

They tried every shop they could think of,
They walked for two hours by the clock,
And though most places reckoned to keep them,
Theyd none of them got one in stock.

The last place they tried was the chemist,
He looked at them both with a frown.
And told them a recumbent posture
Were Latin, and meant lying down.

It means Lying down - put in Latin
Said Father, Thats just what I thowt.
Then he picked up a side-glance from Mother,
And pretended he hadnt said nowt.

Theyre not dosing my lad with Latin.
Said Mother, her face looking grim,
Just plain Castor Oils all hes getting
And Im leaving the posture to him.

Marriott Edgar's other poems:
  1. Alberts Return
  2. Henry the Seventh
  3. Albert and the Eadsman
  4. Queen Matilda
  5. Richard Coeur-de-Lion

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