Out of Sorts



When you find you're a broken-down critter,
Who is all of a trimmle and twitter,
With your palate unpleasantly bitter,
As if you'd just bitten a pill -
When your legs are as thin as dividers,
And you're plagued with unruly insiders,
And your spine is all creepy with spiders,
And you're highly gamboge in the gill -
When you've got a beehive in your head,
And a sewing machine in each ear,
And you feel that you've eaten your bed,
And you've got a bad headache DOWN HERE -
When such facts are about,
And these symptoms you find
In your body or crown -
Well, it's time to look out,
You may make up your mind
You had better lie down!

When your lips are all smeary - like tallow,
And your tongue is decidedly yallow,
With a pint of warm oil in your swAllow,
And a pound of tin-tacks in your chest -
When you're down in the mouth with the vapours,
And all over your new Morris papers
Black-beetles are cutting their capers,
And crawly things never at rest -
When you doubt if your head is your own,
And you jump when an open door slams -
Then you've got to a state which is known
To the medical world as "jim-jams."
If such symptoms you find
In your body or head,
They're not easy to quell -
You may make up your mind
You are better in bed,
For you're not at all well!

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

Modified on March 05, 2023

1:19 min read
101

Quick analysis:

Scheme aaabcccbdedefghfGh ibijcccjkckcgdlGdl
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 1,237
Words 253
Stanzas 2
Stanza Lengths 18, 18

William Schwenck Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist librettist poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan of which the most famous include HMS Pinafore The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre The Mikado These as well as most of their other Savoy operas continue to be performed regularly throughout the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies repertory companies schools and community theatre groups Lines from these works have become part of the English language such as short sharp shock What never Well hardly ever and Let the punishment fit the crime Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads an extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical drawings His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti numerous stories poems lyrics and various other comic and serious pieces His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired other dramatists including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw According to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature Gilberts lyrical facility and his mastery of metre raised the poetical quality of comic opera to a position that it had never reached before and has not reached since Source - Wikipedia more…

All William Schwenck Gilbert poems | William Schwenck Gilbert Books

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