«Brown Studies» — Poems by G. P. Brown, Punta Arenas, Chile, 1940


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The Book

Publisher's Acknowledgment Author's Foreword


Could I forget? The Cross What Profit a Man? May 1940 June 1940 Hyde Park Orators Are You Doing Your Bit? Home The Haven of Love Afterglow The Six Dolls Forget-me-not My Little Ship Mother's Day The Easy Way Mother Flea The Stockings' Lament The Gamble Who Was It? A Mother's Right Teach me to be Humble


Duncan Campbell


M O T H E R   F L E A

Old Mother Flea with her children three,
           on the back of a mongrel dog,
Was heard to say to her children one day, while
           out in the rain and the fog:
"Oh, children dear, come gather near, I've a
           story for your little ears;
'Tis of days gone past – too good to last, so
           gather up close little dears.

When I was free, and plain Miss Flea, I was
           happy and well to do,
No need to bide – on an old dog's hide, or
           sleep in an old worn shoe;
My home was sweet – in a real plush seat,
           adorning the very front row
Of a wonderful hall – where Royalty call, and
           other great people go.

There I would stay, and sleep all day, but the
           evenings from eight to eleven,
Were almost divine – with the glitter and shine,
           and sometimes I thought it was Heaven;
The rustle of gowns – the acting of clowns – the
           music so mellow and sweet,
All came to my ears – my pretty wee dears, as
           I sat snuggled up in my seat.

One night divine – which I always call mine, a
           wonderful singer appeared;
He sang with much grace – had a beautiful face,
           and the people applauded and cheered;
Yet, somehow that night – I couldn't catch quite,
           all the words of his glorious song,
So I left my wee nest, and hopping my best, I
           gradually worked through the throng.

I hopped on his arm, and I heard him say
           "Darn", as he tried to brush me away,
But, I'd travelled so far – to get to my star, and
           I'd made up my mind I would stay,
So I gave a big jump – while my heart gave a
           thump; it was quite a big hop for me rather,
And there on his pate – I met a flea mate, who
           later became your dear father.

There we set up our home, and started to roam,
           with our singer we travelled the world;
Played Hide and Seek, and Little Bo-Peep, when–
           ever he had his hair curled;
You wee mites were born – before it was shorn;
           I remember the evening, so clear,
Father hopped full of pride – forgetting to hide,
           when he saw the big comb drawing near.

It descended so quick – with a horrible click,
           poor father was taken away;
He was swept out of sight – on that terrible night,
           and he's never come back to this day;
I stayed on my dears – ever dodging those shears,
           although my wee home was thread bare,
But sad to relate – my poor singer's pate, at
           last was devoid of all hair.

Imagine my plight – cast out in the night, with
           three little mites on my hands;
Not able to hop – I carried the lot, and wand-
           ered to foreign lands;
On a small Chimpanzee – true friend of the
           flea, - I managed to stay for a spell,
But they dipped him one day, and my home took
           away, someone thought they detected a smell.

In a cold world like this – so sadly I miss, the
           love of your dear father flea;
I'm hoping some day we will meet on our way,
           it may be in town or at sea;
And, if ever I do – I'll sure promise you, we'll
           live where all good things abound,
And never again will be build our domain – on
           the back of a stray mongrel hound."