A Rainy Day In Camp

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A rainy day in camp! how you draw the blankets closer,
  As the big drops patter, patter on the shingles overhead,
  How you shudder when recalling your wife's "You ought to know, sir,
  That it’s dangerous and improper to smoke a pipe in bed."

  A rainy day in camp! is it possible to find better?
  Tho' the lake is like a caldron, and aloft the thunder rolls;
  Yet the old canoe is safely on the shore where you can let her
  Stay as long as Jupiter Pluvius in the clouds is punching holes.

  A rainy day in camp! and the latest publication
  That the mice have left unnibbled, tells you all about "Eclipse,"
  How the Derby fell before him, how he beat equine creation,
  But the story yields to slumber with the pipe between your lips.

  Wake again and turn the pages, where they speak of Lester Wallack
  And the heroes of the buskin over thirty years ago--
  Then in case the damp surroundings cause an inconvenient colic,
  What’s the matter with the treatment neutralizing H(sub 2)O?

  A rainy day in camp! what an interesting collection,
  In this magazine so ancient, of items small and great--
  The History of the Negro, illustrating every section,
  So different from the present White House Colored Fashion Plate!

  A rainy day in camp! and you wonder how the C. P.
  And the G. T. competition will affect the Golden West--
  But these problematic matters only tend to make you sleepy,
  And again beneath the blankets, like a babe you sink to rest.

  Cometh now the giant moose heads, that no eye of man can number--
  Every rain-drop on the roof-tree is a plunging three-pound trout--
  Till a musk ox in a snow-drift turns and butts you out of slumber,
  And you wake to hear Bateese say, "Dat’s too bad,
  de fire’s gone out."

  A rainy night in camp! with the blazing logs before us,
  Let the wolf howl in the forest and the loon scream on the lake,
  Turn them loose, the wild performers of Nature's Opera Chorus
  And ask if Civilization can sweeter music make.

© William Henry Drummond