Song of William, Inspector of Drains

Let others betake them to Western Plains
And ease the redman of his ill-gotten gains;
No Tomahawk ever shall injure the brains
Of William, the local inspector of Dreains.

He mounts his tall trap, gives his charger the reins,
And gallops away through the green country lanes,
The Board pays the posting – the balance remains –
With William, the Local Inspector of Drains.

He finds out the holding and what it contains,
Then maps out his system in furlongs and chains
And points out positions for “miners” and “mains” –
Such wisdom has william, the Local Inspector of Drains.

He plunges through marshes long haunted by cranes,
Unmindful of how dark bog-water stains;
Traducers assert that this ardour he feigns,
They little know William, Inspector of Drains!

He stays in his quarters, of cours, if it rains,
And wakes the piano’s voluptuous strains,
And if of delay the bold tenant complains,
He’s sat on by William, Inspector of Drains.

The fair maids of Cavan (this William maintains),
Tho’ I think one should take it with salt, a few grains,
Have left in a body their woe-begone swains
For William, the Local Inspector of Drains!

‘Tis an onerous post – but the writer refrains
From dwelling at lenghton its pleasures and pains,
It may not last long, but as yet he remains
Yours faithfully,

Inspector of Drains.

Prose, Poems & Parodies of Percy French, 1980, Helicon Limited, Dublin.


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The 15th Percy French Festival

French Awakenings

19th, 20th, 21st July 2023

At Castlecoote House

Honorary President of the Festival, the President of Ireland, Michael D Higgins.

Informed Social & Cultural Discussion of Ireland Today.