Punch,  35 (1858), 75.

Mechi the Mourner



Poetry, Drollery


Pollution, Agriculture, Public Health, Disease

    Imagines 'Mechi' (a reference to John J Mechi), who stands 'upon a turbid river's bank', lamenting the fact that the 'phosphates' in the river are 'going to the sea' instead of being use to fertilise soil and thus to make 'riches'. Mechi thinks that ammonia is the 'sweetest [...] of all things flowing here' and instead of 'flying off to scent the thankless air', would like to see it 'to a proper acid wed' and 'then my fallow fields should form thy bridal bed'. Points out that 'mother Earth', which gave birth to the chemicals, will be left 'barren', and that 'while we had cesspools, we had you, we had manure'.

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