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268 A CENTURY OF BALLADS
hardly in accordance with the composer's galloping accompaniment. In a fit of fine frenzy Kellie sat down and dashed off a version of his own, which he sent to the publishers with an ironic note asking them whether they didn't think this was equally "suitable"? This amusing parody, needless to say, was not published, but I cannot refrain from quoting it here.
ROT IN THE DESERT
Rot! rot! in the desert
In the heat of the noontide sun ; While the birds of prey ere the close of day
Shall clean thy bones every one ! What a banquet now is before them spread,
See how the vultures gloat! They have finished thy body, there is still thy head,
Thy boots, thy collar, and coat.
Rot! rot! in the desert,
etc., etc. etc.
Long before I had met Kellie, or heard him sing, I had acquired what might be called a "personal" interest in his career, for the reason that I was frequently being mistaken for him. I mention this fact, painful as it may be to him, because it has been the cause of one or two amusing experiences. One of these happened at the Cape, when I was staying at an hotel at Wynberg. A man at the table next to mine stared at me so hard all through dinner that I