Since I was waist high to a flea,
Papa would take me on his knee
And, from time to time, decree
The life that I should live;
I’d always thought I’d go to sea,
Or be a farmer such as he,
But he insisted that I be
A Young Executive.
Acquaintance with my father’s boot
Had taught reluctance to dispute
Suggestions he might contribute
And so I acquiesced;
Requesting what might constitute
The Young Executive’s pursuit,
And what it is they execute
That had so much impressed.
Regretfully, Papa displayed
No detailed knowledge of the trade
Except that it was highly paid;
And made the resolution
That I could also make the grade
And join the business-man brigade
If I sufficiently displayed
Some gift for execution.
And so it was I came to buy
A natty suit and hat and tie
And felt that I was quite a guy
When first I was recruited;
But now, at forty-five, I try
To understand precisely why
And what, before I come to die
I’ve really executed.
If Fate would hand me back the dice,
Vouchsafing me to throw them twice,
I’d opt for something more precise.
I frequently have told her;
For I have come to realise
The Young Executive disguise
The fact of growing older.
But Old Executives, I’ve found,
Are rather thin upon the ground,
And why there are so few around
Shakes my resolution;
For could it be that I am bound
To where a failed career is crowned
While ghostly Boardroom bugles sound –
Last Call for Execution?