The Shah of Lower Belchistan
Was not a very well-bred man.
His courtiers he didn’t trust;
He viewed them with ill-hid disgust.
And likewise they viewed him, because
The Shah had two annoying flaws.
When entertaining heads of state,
The Shah cared little how he ate;
His fingers splashed in every dish,
No matter whether fowl or fish.
His manners were deplorable,
Not easily ignorable.
As sloppy as his eating was,
It was the lesser of his flaws.
The greater flaw was how he smoked,
About which courtiers daily joked:
He cut ropes into big cigars,
And let them burn for hours and hours.
At last one night, while eating fruit
(Which dribbled down his nicest suit)
The Shah lit up a good ripe quince
And ate a rope cigar—and since
The rope was lit, it burned his throat.
His language was too strong to quote.
When he was well again, the Shah
Got rid of every rope cigar,
And studied etiquette in books,
Which stopped his courtiers’ dirty looks.
At length he grew polite, and ate
More like an Eastern potentate.