John Milton Hayes

John Milton Hayes

Lancashire, England
John Milton Hayes
Lancashire, England
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John Milton Hayes, better known as J. Milton Hayes, was an English actor and poet, best known for his 1911 dramatic monologue The Green Eye of the Yellow God, much parodied by his contemporary Stanley Holloway and later by The Goon Show. He also wrote and performed many other monologues. Curiously little is known about Hayes, save that he was from ...
Popular Poems
1.
The Green Eye Of The Little Yellow God
There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,
There's a little marble cross below the town;
There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew,
And the Yellow God forever gazes down.
...
2.
My Old Football
YOU can keep your antique silver and your statuettes of bronze,
Your curios and tapestries so fine,
But of all your treasures rare there is nothing to compare
With this patched up, wornout football pal o’ mine.
...
3.
The Dream Ring Of The Desert
THE MERCHANT Abu Khan shunned the customs of his race,
And sought the cultured wisdom of the West.
His daughter fair Leola had the desert’s supple grace,
With an English education of the best.
...
4.
Orange Peel
THE COLONEL stopped, and glared around,
Then, pointing sternly to the ground,
‘What does this mean?’ demanded he,
‘A piece of orange peel I see!’
...
5.
The Whitest Man I Know
HE’S acruisin’ in a pearler with a dirty nigger crew,
Abuyin’ pearls and copra for a stingy Spanish Jew,
And his face is tann’d like leather ’neath a blazin’ tropic Sun,
And he’s workin’ out a penance for the things he hasn’t done.
...

Comments

Madeleine Smith 10 September 2019
My Dad used to recite this to us, his children, many years ago. Because he was also always reciting poems by Rudyard Kipling, I always thought it was written by Kipling. My late apologies to John Milton Hayes, who must also now be ‘the late...’. The rhythm is very like Kipling’s.
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Peter Miller 03 January 2007
There is more known about Milton Hayes than I have found on any internet site. It stated somewhere that he was born 'probably in Lancashire'. In fact he came from Manchester. He served in the First World War and was awarded the Military Cross. Two poems well worth adding to any anthology are 'Let Me Awake', written under fire in the trenches, and 'Orders' written in 1936. Many references get the title of 'The Green Eye of the Yellow God' wrong - there is no 'Little' in the title. Hayes was also a comedian and made a series of recordings in the 1920's entitled 'The Meanderings of Monty'. One of these has 'You know what I mean? ' on the reverse. Amongst those who parodied his verse was Billy Bennet with 'The Green Tie on the Little Yellow Dog' and 'The Tightest Man I know' Hayes retired from the stage in about 1928 and wrote a number of articles for the 'Manchester Guardian' in the 1930's. He died in the South of France (I THINK in Marseille) and is buried there. I can provide copies of 'Orders' and 'Let me Awake', but only by post. I haven't yet mastered the scanner! Peter Miller
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