Robert Kirkland Kernighan

(25 April 1854 – 3 November 1926 / Ontario)

Jonah And The Whale - Poem by Robert Kirkland Kernighan

Were I to say that Jonah was n't swollered by the whale
The Pharisees would wag their beards, and raise a fearful

gale!

Do n't get so much oxsited, me orthodox gazelles !
Ner be so ready all to onst to talk of infidels

I 'm ready to admit, fer all yore feelins sakes,
Thet Aaron's sarpint got outside the gypsy fakir's

snakes ;

Thet Pharaoh an his host in the Red Sea went to grass ;
Thet Samson whacked the Boers with the fragment of an

ass;

Thet, in that awful battle at the foot of Adjalon,
The sun above fergot to move, an wondering looked on ;
Thet David with a pebble cracked the great Goliath's

crown ;
Thet a fifteen dollar she-ass turned the prophet Baalam

down ;

Elijer on the chariot ! I believe it without fail ;
But I draw the line, me bucco, at Jonah an the whale !

Of course it 's in the Bible an it shorely beats creation
You ax me what I stumble at : I answer Ventilation !
Wher wuz the ventilation fer a gent like Jonah was ?
He cud n't keep his head outside the annermile's big jaws !
Many 's the able prophet an preacher hez gone dead,
Fer sleepin jist one night in the famerly spare bed !
Then think uv thish yer Jonah brought up from infancy,
Without a thought uv sorrer, in the lap uv luxury



203

Compelled inside that creechur three days to make his

home,
Without a change of underclothes, a tooth brush er a

comb !

I tell ye its reediclous ! an you kin rip an rail
I draw the line, me bucco, at Jonah an the whale !

I think I see the angels comin down an peepin in,
To see the pore ole prophet gettin punished fer his sin :
To crawl behind the liver he found some room to spare
The angels sez : ' Ah ! Peek a boo ! we see you hiding

there !
You 're tickled half to death, it seems ; it 's pretty cold

to-day :

You 're glad you did n't hump yoreself an go to Nineveh ;
Do n't be so bashful, Jonah, it 's ages since we met
Friends, see the pore ole hoo-doo he 's soakin with the

wet!

He 's down the mouth, fer certain ; but it cannot be denied
He 's hit his luck this time, fer sure, an got on the inside !'
What ye think uv thet ther start fer a common circus tale?
I draw the line, me bucco, at Jonah an the whale !

******

The whale is all the world around, an Jonah's each uv us !
Thet whale is swallerin, every day, some pore onlucky

cuss

Dishonesty, deceit, the lie, and broken trust ;
Vice an morbid appertite, with laziness an lust ;
Envy, hatred, malice, the charity that fails
Ev course, me bucco, understand there 's many kind of

whales !

Sometimes it is an office, a title, er a name ;
Sometimes it is a bucket-shop, er other little game :



204 THE KHAN'S CANTICLES.

The brothel an the bar-room ; the insufficient pay,

Thet barely keeps the body not the soul from day to

day;
The whales thet tempt the children when they 're only in

their teens ;

The educated asses that should be raising beans ;
The wild revival meeting where young folks weep and

w r ail,
Then straggle home at twelve p. m. 's a slippry kind of

whale.
In short, their mouths are open the gate that leads to

hell!
Them 's the whales what swallers Jonahs, me gentle

young gazelle !


Comments about Jonah And The Whale by Robert Kirkland Kernighan

  • Brian Jani (6/9/2014 6:31:00 AM)


    Robert im a fan of this poem, bravo! ! ! ! (Report) Reply

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Poem Submitted: Monday, May 14, 2012



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