Yellow Eyes

By James Stanley Gilbert

 

You are going to have the fever,

Yellow eyes!

In about ten days from now

Iron bands will clamp your brow;

Your tongue resemble curdled cream,

A rusty streak the centre seam;

Your mouth will taste of untold things

With claws and horns and fins and wings;

Your head will weigh a ton or more,

And forty gales within it roar!

 

In about ten days from now

You will feebly wonder how

All your bones can break in twain

And so quickly knit again!

You will feel a score of Jaels*

In your temples driving nails!

You will wonder if you're shot

Through the liver-case, or what!

You will wonder if such heat

Isn't Hades—and repeat!

Then you'll sweat until, at length,

You—won't—have—a—kitten's—strength!

 

In about ten days from now

Make to health a parting bow;

For you're going to have the fever,

Yellow eyes!

 

*From Judges 4, 21-22:

21 Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died.

22 And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.