When I was staying at Woolsthorpe to paint the Belvoir Hounds for the Master, Tommy Bouch, Saturday nights were often special occasions and the company would wear scarlet. I dedicated the following poem-written on the spot one morning after breakfast – to Bouch’s mother.
Last night we sat and drank too late,
We taxed our brains with all our might;
Unwisely we did sit and prate,
So let’s go quietly to-night.
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“Page, bring me in a glass of milk”,
For wine gives only false delight;
And milk is kind and soft as silk,
And better for me now to-night.
The morrow’s here with all its song;
The sun doth shed its golden light.
I’m glad we didn’t sit too long,
And went to bed at ten last night.
The puppies play upon the lawn,
My breakfast table glitters bright.
How foolish, staying up til dawn,
Why do we ever drink at night?
Again we sit us down to dine.
My glass of milk looks clean and white,
What happiness and joy is mine;
How calm will be my sleep to-night.
Afresh we start another day,
My faculties are at their height;
I feel so well, my mind is gay:-
I slept so peacefully last night.
The day is done the sun hath set.
We found a fox, my casts were right,
I lost him- but I’ll kill him yet-
“Page, we’ll have champagne to-night”.
Sir Alfred Munnings