John Milton Hayes

(1884-1940 / Lancashire, England)

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The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God


There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,
There's a little marble cross below the town;
There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew,
And the Yellow God forever gazes down.

He was known as "Mad Carew" by the subs at Khatmandu,
He was hotter than they felt inclined to tell;
But for all his foolish pranks, he was worshipped in the ranks,
And the Colonel's daughter smiled on him as well.

He had loved her all along, with a passion of the strong,
The fact that she loved him was plain to all.
She was nearly twenty-one and arrangements had begun
To celebrate her birthday with a ball.

He wrote to ask what present she would like from Mad Carew;
They met next day as he dismissed a squad;
And jestingly she told him then that nothing else would do
But the green eye of the little Yellow God.

On the night before the dance, Mad Carew seemed in a trance,
And they chaffed him as they puffed at their cigars:
But for once he failed to smile, and he sat alone awhile,
Then went out into the night beneath the stars.

He returned before the dawn, with his shirt and tunic torn,
And a gash across his temple dripping red;
He was patched up right away, and he slept through all the day,
And the Colonel's daughter watched beside his bed.

He woke at last and asked if they could send his tunic through;
She brought it, and he thanked her with a nod;
He bade her search the pocket saying "That's from Mad Carew,"
And she found the little green eye of the god.

She upbraided poor Carew in the way that women do,
Though both her eyes were strangely hot and wet;
But she wouldn't take the stone and Mad Carew was left alone
With the jewel that he'd chanced his life to get.

When the ball was at its height, on that still and tropic night,
She thought of him and hurried to his room;
As she crossed the barrack square she could hear the dreamy air
Of a waltz tune softly stealing thro' the gloom.

His door was open wide, with silver moonlight shining through;
The place was wet and slipp'ry where she trod;
An ugly knife lay buried in the heart of Mad Carew,
'Twas the "Vengeance of the Little Yellow God."

There's a one-eyed yellow idol to the north of Khatmandu,
There's a little marble cross below the town;
There's a broken-hearted woman tends the grave of Mad Carew,
And the Yellow God forever gazes down.

Submitted: Friday, January 03, 2003

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Read poems about / on: daughter, woman, green, god, alone, women, dance, passion, silver, night, smile, red, star, thanks, sleep

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Comments about this poem (The Green Eye of the Little Yellow God by John Milton Hayes )

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  • Ramesh T A (7/24/2012 3:39:00 PM)

    It is so to say is an entertainment piece many may have missed it at first sight! (Report) Reply

  • Ingeborg Von Finsterwalde (7/24/2012 6:09:00 AM)

    It is always a pleasure reading the older classical poems. The moral of the story here is, be careful what you wish for, you may get it. (Report) Reply

  • Peter Stockwell (11/5/2009 9:05:00 AM)

    For a man of straitened means/Is allowed to have his dreams/And that emerald must be surely worth a bomb/So he pinched it just for him/And the girl was really dim/He was going to flog it off before too long. (Report) Reply

  • Nev Robinson (8/5/2009 4:48:00 AM)

    My dad used to perform this as a party piece when I was about 6 years old. Like in 1932. He accompanied on the piano from some very tattered paper music. I would be very interested to know about the music. I kept it and played it for years until about 1958, but it got lost when I migrated to New Zealand. I would love to hear from anyone with further interest or knowledge. (Report) Reply

  • Ian Howe (2/26/2006 2:59:00 PM)

    I was born in England and this particular piece was a music hall classic.In my student days it was a favoutite at parties after we had more than enough to drink. I have not read it or heard it for years. I now live in the USA, strange what you miss isn't it. (Report) Reply

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