The Wasp, by John Kendall (aka Dum-Dum)

Of those uncertain creatures
Who take a simple joy
In swelling up one’s features
On purpose to annoy,
Things void of natural sweetness,
Aggressive and inhosp.
(Pardon the incompleteness)
You are the first, O wasp.

There is no place we visit
In England’s pleasant land
(It isn’t your place, is it?)
But you must take a hand;
You set the nerves a-jangle,
You turn the tan to chalk
Of anglers when they angle,
Of walkers when they walk.

In no uncertain manner
You bid the bather flee;
You foil the caravanner
Who merely wants his tea;
You raid the earnest hopper,
You break upon our sports,
And are, I’m told, improper
To river girls in shorts.

We slap at you and swat you;
We fell you as we may
(The rapture when we’ve got you
Is more than words can say);
One may see great deeds daily
When men unused to strife
Brave you, albeit palely,
For screaming child or wife.

And we have learnt to fashion
A lure that cannot fail,
Born of a lasting passion
That you confess for ale;
An artful jar that cozens
You in and, when you’re tight,
Drowns you in drink by dozens,
A most immoral sight.

But when the day is sinking
And you retire to rest
That, to my private thinking,
Is where man comes out best;
Armed with his apparatus
He tracks you to the comb
Whence you come forth to bait us;
Then, when the last wasp’s home,

Bring forth, O man, your funnel;
With oil and poison come;
Take heed lest haply one’ll
Pass down a warning hum;
Insert with care the former;
Pour down the latter thick;
That should have made things warmer;
That will have done the trick.

Thus with discreet defiance
We tackle you, and yet,
For all the arts of science,
You don’t seem much upset;
Alert and undiminished
You still appear to prosp.;
I leave the word unfinished
To rhyme with you, O wasp.

by John Kaye Kendall (aka Dum-Dum)

4 Responses to “The Wasp, by John Kendall (aka Dum-Dum)”

  1. Anton Garrett Says:

    Yet they eat loads of aphids, and good luck to them in that.

    I’ve always thought that the tiny size of the connection between the first 2/3 of a wasp and the last third is amazing.

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