Ottawa Citizen, 3 January 1867, page 2

 

Getty Images, from BBC.co.uk
Getty Images, from BBC.co.uk

A VOICE FROM TURKEY

 

Dinner was o’er on New Year’s Day, and as I sat alone,

Methought that from the table rose a deep, unearthly groan,-

Tables have groaned in ancient time, should they not in our own!

 

“A hospitable sign,” said I, not in the least dismayed,

Not if the shades of slaughtered fowls, erst victimized, afraid,

Though scattered remnants of the feast were on the table laid.

 

Surely it was a dream, from out a heap of well-picked bones,

Though unlearnt in such lore, methought I heard mysterious tones,

And thus they wailed, and thus they plained, “Ye miserable ones.”

 

“Poor victims of relentless Fate, dear fellow suff’rers all!

This day beholds of our proud race the universal fall,

And well displays the cruelty which held us long in thrall.”

 

“What joys were ours in those calm days of verdant innocence,

When we the spacious farmyard ranged, nor feared to give offence,

Before the cook, with wily arts, strove to begull us thence!”

 

“Oh, fatal, fatal day on which, for the last time, we took,

In solemn state, the savory mess brought by that treach’rous cook,

How could be with composure meet our unsuspecting look.”

 

“But cooks have such cruel hearts, – beneath their blandest smiles will lurk

The cold, unfeeling selfishness which fits them for their work,

And though we come from Turkey they are “cruel as the Turk.”

 

Bluebell.