In this “deserted village” on the shore:
We have no snow-clad hills, no ice-bound streams;
Our homely Winter dwells but in our dreams;
No chill November's surly blast is here;
No shrouding snow attends the dying year.
Even Christmas comes as if t’ were out of place,
And New – Year scarcely shows its face;
There are no merry gatherings, as we find
At home, to call that well-loved home to mind.
Still, we would wish to help you all we can
To make you fancy you’re not in Japan;
And so our meetings may make some amends
For what we miss – society and friends.
I thought of talking about business cares,
But there's no business here, as it appears:—Exports are principally tea—and, with
Regard to these, you’d best ask Cha-sze Sm-th.
Imports! When cargo comes, it's always found That consignees look glum if it is sound.
The only money's made from survey-fees,
Auction commissions, and such things as these.
In days of kinsats and of nibookin1—
(Though some bad niboos may have been called in)—
One can but sit and note the wondrous rage
Of that cantankerous article, Exchange;
Or muse and mutter, with a clouded brow,—
Niboos four-twenty-five! Where are we now?
That's not exciting; and excitement's scarce;
And now my duty calls on me once more
T’apologize for our Dramatic Corps:
Last season we were but a small array—
Now envious Kobe's called our best away;
If they were any good to them, we’d let them,
But when they only spoil them when they get them.
Our two new members I need scarcely name,
Save as they hold, with us, a common aim
Of pleasing you. And now, I’d only ask
Your kind indulgence in our arduous task.
Professionals we don't profess to be—
We’re but The Nagasaki A.D.C.
This lengthy prologue (abridged here) was recited by the principal actor, Mr. Drinkwater, before the Nagasaki Amateur Dramatic Corps took the stage at the Olympic Theatre to start its season in December, 1869.