Saturday, July 7, 2012

The Picnic of 1919

[From the diary of Sgt. Robert Jameson, RAF]

We had before us the entire day
and went, with picnic baskets in hand,
to Bristol Park in jubilant May.
The sunshine was bright and grand
and all of the merry birds and squirrels
took notice of our troupe's arrival there.

It was I, my sister Rose, and her three girls;
my young nieces proved to be company fair:
Catherine, age twelve, was tallest and oldest;
Sarah was a pretty and lively ten.
Their youngest sister Emily was, by far, the boldest;
at just six she faced danger with a grin.

After a fine lunch of roasted chicken and salad,
we ate strawberries and laughed as Emily chased a bunny.
I then sang "Forget-me-not-never," a light-hearted ballad
about a soldier in love, which my nieces thought was funny.
We all played a few rounds of "Fox and Hound,"
a chasing game of which the girls were fond,
until little Emily was unable to be found.

At last, near dusk, we located her beside the pond,
sobbing, for her new white dress was dripping wet.
She had tried to pet a swan and fell headlong into the water.
Laughing, we wrapped her up with the picnic blanket
and walked to their home at Ashby and Potter.

I was to leave again for bleak Berlin the next day
and much hardship and sorrow I would afterwards endure,
but the glad memories I had of that little picnic in May
gave me, in those dark days, much solace simple and pure.

No comments: