“Yes? Come on in De’ath and close the door.
Sit down, dear boy, don’t clutter up the floor;
My old neck’s far too stiff for craning up
At anyone — including you, young pup.
“Now let’s not beat about the bush, young man,
The school has been in uproar since you ran
That missive on the notice board last week.
No! Let me finish, please, then you may speak.
“We all appreciate, of course, your choosing us
For this experiment. The media fuss
Was pretty bad, though much what we expected.
Then just as things calmed down, it’s resurrected...
“...if you’ll excuse the phrase, no pun intended.
De’ath? [Oh Lord, I see I have offended].
Apologies, dear boy, a Freudian slip.
Let’s order up some tea...[Must get a grip!]
“And now, this message on the notice board
For volunteers. It’s quite to be deplored
You never thought to mention or to clear
With masters on the staff this new idea.
“Hell’s bells! [Oh, dear, I do keep dropping bricks;
Too old a dog to learn new blasted tricks].
Look here, when first your fearful father wrote
Securing you a place here, and I quote:
“‘My Son Has Come To Learn From Mortal Men’
(He writes the board of governors) ‘Pro Tem,
The Method By Which Gentlemen and Ladies
May Cast The Angel Prejudice From Hades’.
“Now that seems pretty clear to me, at least
That there’s to be no spectre at the feast....
[Oh, dear, oh dear, oh dear! This just won’t do!
And after all my dear wife’s coaching, too].
“At any rate, your title in the rolls,
'Immortal De’ath, Prince of A Trillion Souls’,
Was not, I am informed, thereby included
As literal inducement to deluded
“Gangs of silly youths with plastic scythes
Terrorising townsmen and their wives;
Dressed from head to foot in matron’s sheets
And running round like madmen in the streets!
“Dear God [Oh dear, oh dear!] I mean to say,
It’s not that we’re not ‘p’‘c’ in our way,
But surely, my De’ath, you understand
There are such things as...well...laws of the land?
“Perhaps, in future, then, it might be best
If you would deign to keep us all abreast
Of similar notions? Trust me, I’d far rather
Not have to raise the matter with your father!”