If there is a riot in Bareilly, O’Reilly gets sicky in his dicky

The following poem was written on April 1947 by a district officer (British) in Bareilly faced with the prospect of a religious riot. This is how it goes:

“Just listen to the handicaps

I have to labour under, chaps!

Whene’er there’s trouble in the offing

I seem to get attacks of coughing.

If there’s a riot in my area,

Why then I’m sure to get malaria;

And when some Muslim seeks the blood

Of Hindus all because some sod

Has gone and tweaked the old boy’s beaver

I’m sure to get a bout of fever;

And when there’s stabbing in the city

I get such pains in my dicky;

No sooner Night resounds with howls,

I get a gripping in my bowels.”



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