Bad Poetry: W. C. Hunter
The following is a poem composed by a western trader at
The feast spread out, the splendour round
Allowed the eye no rest:
The wealth of Kwang-Tung, of all
Appeared to greet each guest.
All tongues are still; no converse free
The solemn silence broke.
Because, alas! friend Se-Ta-Che
No word of Chinese spoke.
Now here, now there, he picked a bit
Of what he could not name;
And all he knew was that, in fact,
They made him sick the same!
Mingqua, his host, pressed on each dish
With polished Chinese grace;
And much, Ming thought, he relished them,
At every ugly face!
At last he swore he'd eat no more.
'Twas written in his looks:
For, 'Zounds!' said he, 'the devil here
Sends both the meat and cooks!'
But, covers changed, he brightened up,
And thought himself in luck
When close before him what he saw
Looked something like a duck!
Still cautious grown but, to be sure,
His brain he set to rack;
At length he turned to one behind,
And, pointing, cried 'Quack, Quack!'
The Chinese gravely shook his head,
Next made a reverend bow;
And then expressed what dish it was
By uttering 'Bow-wow-wow.'