To Papua New Guinea, the Philippines,
And Beyond; a ship and fifty stout men
To yield the prize, the glory, foil the schemes
Of jealous rivals and have fortunate fame
And a famous fortune – spoils of the game.
Come dengue fever, come serpent’s venom,
Restless tribes of hungry natives with spears
Don’t fill our pure civilised hearts with fear.
Stock knife, cutlass, revolver and rifle
To slash vines, settle disputes, shoot tigers
And ensure specimens are plentiful.
The Queen herself shall receive our flowers,
So it’s worth the long, malarial hours.
Fools will say they’re just Dacylorhizas –
Not worth the risk – but what are the dangers
To those who pass the burden to strangers?