The Family Dart is a race quite apart,
A renowned and intelligent crew;
Their historical setting and prolific begetting
Make them always the first of the few.
Do you have any doubt? To leave in, or take out?
To sit? Or to stand? Or to kneel?
To make the right choice? To culture your voice?
To make them all think you’re “genteel”?
Do you know what to wear? What make-up, what hair?
What car do you take to the “do”?
What answers to make? What hands do you shake?
Do you speak when he motions to you?
All these answers and more, correct etiquette and law,
What to do to preserve “status quo”,
Are the kinds of stuff Darts roll off their cuff
With an ease that makes others look slow.
Are you going abroad? Have you rightly deplored
The Guides that you can’t understand?
Then go into Town; dispense with that frown,
Dart’s Agency’s always at hand!
Circumstances have led you both to get wed,
And the whole thing takes you by surprise!
Leave your worries behind, in the Church you will find
There’s a Dart in the Place to advise!
You’re not quite sure what the Prayer Book’s for
When you go to your Church once a year;
But lucky for you there’s Dart in the pew
Who will make the whole rigmarole clear!
When you go out to dine, what colour of wine
Do you choose with your fowl or your steak?
There’s the Waiter! Why yes! (His name you can guess!)
He won’t let you make a mistake!
How on earth do you find how to speak to mankind
When they come from the ranks of “noblesse”?
Can you find a clear guide and there look inside
And find the true mode of address?
All the Gentry of Note you’ll be able to quote
From “Dart’s Peerage”, (a Volume Immense),
And then requisition the umpteenth edition
Of “Dart’s Etiquette”, (Fifty New Pence).
When Adam and Eve were about to take leave
Of their senses, (to quote the Good Book),
A Dart went ahead with a needle and thread
To instruct them how fig leaves should look.
And so throughout time, in each age and clime,
The Darts have observed and advised
On how to behave from birth to the grave,
Their knowledge has ever been prized.
When Judgement Day comes, and the sound of the drums
Comes forth from the Great White Throne;
And the people recline in an endless line
While they wait there to hear what they’ve done,
The Darts will be there mitigating despair,
Those wearying souls to sustain;
“God is not so unkind, when you get there you’ll find
He’ll exonerate you all from the blame!”
So the masses believe, and gladly receive,
What all through their lives they have had!
It isn’t too late to alter their fate!
With the Darts, could their future be bad?
But when the time came for each to proclaim
Their “grand raison d’etre” of life,
Their tongues became tied, their words failed and died,
And the Truth came at last like a knife.
To trust in the Darts with their well-polished arts
Had stopped them from knowing the Real;
At last they could see they had never been free,
That the Darts came to plunder and steal.
“O why had I learned to be so concerned
That I always did that which was done?
Why did Tradition defeat erudition
And deflect from the right way to run?”
“Where ARE the Darts with their well-polished arts?
O God, won’t you deal them a Blow?
Just take ev’ry Dart and tear him apart
For his shameful behaviour below!”
“My child, in your days you gave the Darts praise,
Whilst others declared them as False;
So how can you now blame others for how
You behaved, ignoring MY calls?”
“To all men alive it is given to strive
For the things that are Honest and True;
So can you declare My ways as unfair?
You must stand by the things that you do.”
“Your life could have been a more purposeful scene
If only you’d learned to be Real;
Your punishment now is your knowledge of how
You made the wrong choice in your zeal.”
Written 10th September 1972
(DART reversed becomes TRAD)