The Voice of the Sluggard by Anonymous

(From the "Leeds Mercury.")

Have you brought my boots, Jemima? Leave them at my chamber door.
Does the water boil, Jemima? Place it also on the floor.
Eight o'clock already, is it? How's the weather—pretty fine?
Eight is tolerably early; I can get away by nine.
Still I feel a little sleepy, though I came to bed at one.
Put the bacon on, Jemima; see the eggs are nicely done!
I'll be down in twenty minutes—or, if possible, in less;
I shall not be long, Jemima, when I once begin to dress.
She is gone, the brisk Jemima; she is gone, and little thinks
How the sluggard yearns to capture yet another forty winks,
Since the bard is human only—not an early village cock—
Why should he salute the morning at the hour of eight o'clock?
Stifled be the voice of Duty; Prudence, prythee, cease to chide,
While I turn me softly, gently, round upon my other side.
Sleep, resume thy downy empire; reassert thy sable reign!
Morpheus, why desert a fellow? Bring those poppies here again!
What's the matter, now, Jemima? Nine o'clock? It cannot be!
Hast prepared the eggs, the bacon, and the matutinal tea?
Take away the jug, Jemima, go, replenish it anon;
Since the charm of its caloric must be very nearly gone.
She has left me. Let me linger till she reappears again,
Let my lazy thoughts meander in a free and easy vein.
After Sleep's profoundest solace, nought refreshes like the doze.
Should I tumble off, no matter; she will wake me, I suppose.
Bless me, is it you, Jemima? Mercy on us, what a knock?
Can it be—I can't believe it—actually ten o'clock?
I will out of bed and shave me. Fetch me warmer water up!
Let the tea be strong, Jemima, I shall only want a cup!
Stop a minute! I remember some appointment by the way,
'Twould have brought me mints of money; 'twas for ten o'clock to-day.
Let me drown my disappointment, Slumber, in thy seventh heaven!
You may go away, Jemima. Come and call me at eleven!