A puffing man in tennis shorts
he stoppeth one of four.
"By thy haggard face and ragged garb,
I cannot stay here more,
I must attend a wedding feast,
this evening at eight."
The player holds him with his gaze
and starteth to orate.
The car was stacked, our rackets packed,
happily were we met;
chatting until we realised
our fourth had not come yet.
Midst creeping fear, the time grew near;
to the lost one's domicile fleeing
we scanned each passing omnibus
lest that we pass unseeing.
Her father said, 'she's gone to camp,
I fear she has forgotten';
we drove at random round the streets
discussing the misbegotten.
Our first reserve left a tasty serve
of dinner on her plate,
and mourned her repast as we set off fast,
but thirty minutes late.
And now the storm-blast came, and drenched
our car, as cold and blind
we threaded through, our wheels askew,
what gap that we could find.
Cars were here and cars were there,
the cars were all about;
they snarled and honked and barred our way
with many an uncouth shout.
At last we stopped, and the weather cleared;
we heard with faces pale,
'You should not be at Moonee Ponds,
but down at Aspendale!"
Inching along through a motionless throng
of cars just setting out
to get away for the school holiday,
we first began to doubt.
We stopped and saw a red light sign
which hung upon a height.
In mist or cloud, above the crowd
it perched for vespers nine;
until, as bloody oaths I vowed,
I ran that red stop light!
And I had done a hellish thing,
and it would work me woe!
For all averred, with every word,
that I was 'gunna go!'
'Ah wretch', they cried, 'this awful ride
will get us killed, I know!'
There passed a weary time. Each throat
was parched, and glazed each eye.
A weary time! A weary time!
How glazed each weary eye,
when looking westward I beheld
a something in the sky.
At first it seemed a little speck,
and then it seemed a globe.
It seemed to dominate the sky;
and then it launched a probe.
We woke in cubes, our heads in tubes
which made their thoughts our own.
They learned our ways, then in a daze
we heard them give a groan.
To our disgrace, the human race
was not to be approached.
Our ways of war would be our bar
if ever we encroached.
Lost to the empires of the stars,
we felt lost and reproached.
They asked where we would like to be,
and set us near this place.
Without a fuss they abandoned us
here in our disgrace.
The listeners stare and tear their hair.
They hear their leader say,
"All right, your story has touched our hearts.
Put back the nets; we'll play"