Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, SATIRE ON PAYING CALLS IN AUGUST, by CH'ENG HSIAO



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SATIRE ON PAYING CALLS IN AUGUST, by            
First Line: When I was young, throughout the hot season
Last Line: That august visitors should not be admitted.
Subject(s): August; Guests; Visiting


WHEN I was young, throughout the hot season
There were no carriages driving about the roads,
People shut their doors and lay down in the cool:
Or if they went out, it was not to pay calls.
Nowadays -- ill-bred, ignorant fellows,
When they feel the heat, make for a friend's house.
The unfortunate host, when he hears someone coming
Scowls and frowns, but can think of no escape.
"There's nothing for it but to rise and go to the door,"
And in his comfortable seat he groans and sighs.

The conversation does not end quickly:
Prattling and babbling, what a lot he says!
Only when one is almost dead with fatigue
He asks at last if one isn't finding him tiring.
[One's arm is almost in half with continual fanning:
The sweat is pouring down one's neck in streams.]
Do not say that this is a small matter:
I consider the practice a blot on our social life.
I therefore caution all wise men
That August visitors should not be admitted.





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