Robert William Service - Tourist

To Italy a random tour
I took to crown my education,
Returning relatively poor
In purse yet rich in conversation.
Old Rome put up a jolly show,
But I am not a classic purist,
Preferring to Mike Angelo
The slim stems of a lady tourist.

Venice, they say, was built on piles;
I used to muse, how did they do it?
I tramped the narrow streets for miles,
Religiously I gondoled through it.
But though to shrines I bowed my head,
My stomach’s an aesthetic sinner,
For in St. Mark’s I yawned and said:
“I hope we’ll have lasagne for dinner.”

Florence, I’ll say, was mighty swell,
With heaps of statues stark and lusty;
I liked the Pitti Palace well,
The Offusi I found to fusty.
But though I “did” the best of it,
My taste, I fear, is low and nasty,
For in its bars I’d rather sit
Imbibing cups of sparkling Asti.

And so we go, a tourist host,
And pass art treasures little heeding,
While memories that haunt us most
Are those of rich and copious feeding.
In sooth I see no need to roam,
Since all I want this side of Hades,
I’ll comfortably find at home –
Just eating, drinking and the Ladies.

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