THE STORY OF A BATTLE-AXE
by Leonard Pounds A battle-axe, tells this story, A battle-axe, worn and grim It hangs on the wall, old and hoary, Next the photo of Uncle Jim. Pray silence! That cat on the fender, Pray silence! that armchair that creaks, Pray silence! each creature and gender, Pray silence!... The Battle-Axe speaks. ''Tis centuries now' the Axe started 'Since the workshop I left, new and gay But my usefulness now has departed And my glories have faded away. But I once was a power in the land, sirs And feared by all foes was my name And I flashed in my bold master's hand, sirs Like a terrible weapon of flame. He kept me all polished and bright, sirs Until like the sun's rays I shone And ne'er was I vanquished in fight, sirs Until... but I'll tell you anon. From father to son I descended In genealogical line And ne'er did I need to be mended 'Twas long e'er my power did decline. But at last out of fashion I went, sirs And they pensioned me off on the wall With scarcely a chip or a dent, sirs In the fam'ly's baronial hall. 'Twas thought that I'd finished my battles Such thoughts were erroneous quite For e'er my mem'ry there rattles The din of that last awful fight. My master one evening, I mind, sirs Had looked on the wine when 'twas red With some medical students he'd dined, sirs And at 3.30 got into bed. In the Buffet at Charing Cross Station My master had sat about one And was having a strong altercation About the Refreshment Room bun. Some fellows surrounded that bun, sirs And conjectured with awe at its age Saying, 'Nothing could sever that bun, sirs If it dies it will be of old age.' Quoth my master, 'You're all talking rot, sirs Speak only on subjects you know I'll wager five pounds on the spot, sirs That I'll sever that bun at a blow.' Some sportsman accepted his wager And fixed up the night and the hour Then he came and told me, the 'Old Stager' And grinned as he thought of my power. I seemed to smell blood once again, sirs Once more I would romp o'er the slain To get at that bun I was fain, sirs To smash it again and again. At last came the eve stipulated Spectators stood round in a ring The betting was quite animated Which to me seemed a marvellous thing. For what chance did a bun stand with me, sirs Who the finest chain-armour had split? I determined that bun shouldn't flee, sirs If only I got a fair hit. 'Stand clear!' called the umpire, 'Stand by, sirs Three strokes with the axe are allowed.' My master then raised me on high, sirs And sneeringly smiled on the crowd. Then 'Crash'... down I came all my might, sirs With every knack that I knew Twelve glasses fell down on the right, sirs Into pieces the white counter flew. Two dozen bottles of sherry Fell smash on five more of port wine But the face of the bun remained merry Which is more than I dared say of mine. My master, quite dazed at the sight, sirs With a crash gave his other two blows Nine cab-horses promptly took fright, sirs And some glass cut the referee's nose. But still that old bun didn't sever The shrivelled old currents shewed plain My edge had now vanished for ever So they put me along with the slain That's the story of my sad disgrace, sirs 'Tis the history true of my fall That's the cause of my poor battered face, sirs Which I always keep turned to the wall. Still, often the story is told, sirs Of the great bun and battle-axe fight And the bun even now is not sold, sirs So the next thing to try's dynamite.
The end