Tumbledown Tom

Tumbledown Tom (illustration)
He came down the road like a roistering riot
Now forwards, now backwards, as though just to try it
And singing — such singing! — now loud, and now quiet
A song such as no one could how it or why it
“Who are you, young man?” we cried out as one
“I’m Fumbledown, Stumbledown, Tumbledown Tom!”
He stopped, pirouetted, then held that position
As though being struck by a daring decision
Then leapt like a leopard, with lightning precision
And thrice somersaulted, that bold man of vision!
“Who are you, young man? It’s vital we know!”
“I’m Grumbledown, Humbledown, Jumbledown — Joe!”
We said (it was something we much marvelled at)
“Your name, it has changed! How can it do that?”
And he, like a man who was telling it pat,
Said, “I change my name just as you change your hat!”
“Then tell us, oh tell us, what now is your name?”
“I’m Rumbledown, Scrumbledown, Bumbledown — James!”
We danced and we sang and we tumbled about
We whistled and twittered and drummed without doubt
In pairs and in threes, with a grin and a pout
We jumped and we juggled and joined in the shout:
“Oh welcome, oh welcome, most glorious man!”
“Call me Numbledown, Mumbledown, Dumbledown — Stan!”
And onward he went, and was soon out of sight
Onward through afternoon, evening and night
Turning to left — then about — then to right
Walking then dancing — perhaps taking flight!
“Thank you,” we called, “for so cheering us all!
“Be you Tumbledown Tom, now, or — Pumbledown Paul!”
And all of us, we shall remember the day
That Tom-Joe-James-Stan-and-Paul headed our way
Then ambled, and tumbled, and bumbled away
Was it ten years ago, or but yesterday?
So, “Thank you,” we cry, though he is now long gone
To Fumbledown, Stumbledown, Tumbledown Tom!
Copyright © 2018 Murray Ewing.