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Title: Verse and Worse
Author: Graham, Harry, 1874-1936
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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VERSE AND WORSE



VERSE AND WORSE



VERSE AND WORSE

BY

HARRY GRAHAM
('COL. D. STREAMER')

AUTHOR OF 'BALLADS OF THE BOER WAR,' 'RUTHLESS RHYMES
FOR HEARTLESS HOMES,' 'MISREPRESENTATIVE MEN,'
'FISCAL BALLADS,' ETC., ETC.


LONDON
EDWARD ARNOLD
41 & 43 MADDOX STREET, BOND STREET, W.

1905

[_All rights reserved_]



NOTE


THE BABY'S BAEDEKER and PERVERTED PROVERBS have been published in
America by Mr. R. H. Russell and Messrs. Harper Bros. of New York.

'The Ballad of Ping-pong,' 'Bill,' and 'The Place where the Old Cleek
Broke,' have appeared in _The Century Magazine_, _The Outlook_, and
_Golf_ respectively.

'Uncle Joe,' 'Aunt Eliza,' 'John,' 'The Cat,' and 'Bluebeard,' were
included in Mr. Russell's American edition of _Ruthless Rhymes for
Heartless Homes_.



CONTENTS


                                                          PAGE

AUTHOR'S PREFACE                                            ix

FOREWORD                                                    xi


PART I

_THE BABY'S BAEDEKER_

I.     ABROAD                                                3

II.    UNITED STATES OF AMERICA                              6

III.   GREAT BRITAIN                                         9

IV.    SCOTLAND                                             11

V.     IRELAND                                              13

VI.    WALES                                                15

VII.   CHINA                                                16

VIII.  FRANCE                                               19

IX.    GERMANY                                              21

X.     HOLLAND                                              23

XI.    ICELAND                                              26

XII.   ITALY                                                27

XIII.  JAPAN                                                30

XIV.   PORTUGAL                                             32

XV.    RUSSIA                                               33

XVI.   SPAIN                                                36

XVII.  SWITZERLAND                                          39

XVIII. TURKEY                                               41

XIX.   DREAMLAND                                            44

XX.    STAGELAND                                            47

XXI.   LOVERLAND                                            48

XXII.  HOMELAND                                             53


PART II

_CHILDISH COMPLAINTS AND OTHER RUTHLESS RHYMES_

CHILDISH COMPLAINTS--

PRELUDE                                                     57

APPENDICITIS                                                61

WHOOPING-COUGH                                              61

MEASLES                                                     62

ADENOIDS                                                    62

CROUP                                                       62


RUTHLESS RHYMES--

I.   MOTHER-WIT                                             63

II.  UNCLE JOE                                              64

III. AUNT ELIZA                                             65

IV.  ABSENT-MINDEDNESS                                      66

V.   JOHN                                                   68

VI.  BABY                                                   71

VII. THE CAT                                                72


PART III

_PERVERTED PROVERBS_

I.    'VIRTUE IS ITS OWN REWARD'                            77

II.   'ENOUGH IS AS GOOD AS A FEAST'                        86

III.  'DON'T BUY A PIG IN A POKE'                           89

IV.   'LEARN TO TAKE THINGS EASILY'                         91

V.    'A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS'                     92

VI.   'IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND'                        96

VII.  'A BAD WORKMAN COMPLAINS OF HIS TOOLS'                99

VIII. 'DON'T LOOK A GIFT-HORSE IN THE MOUTH'               100

IX.   POTPOURRI                                            103


PART IV

_OTHER VERSES_

BILL                                                       111

THE LEGEND OF THE AUTHOR                                   114

THE MOTRIOT                                                128

THE BALLAD OF THE ARTIST                                   130

THE BALLAD OF PING-PONG                                    135

THE PESSIMIST                                              138

THE PLACE WHERE THE OLD CLEEK BROKE                        140

THE HOMES OF LONDON                                        143

THE HAPPIEST LAND                                          146

A LONDON INVOLUNTARY                                       151

BLUEBEARD                                                  154

THE WOMAN WITH THE DEAD SOLES                              166

ROSEMARY (A BALLAD OF THE BOUDOIR)                         170

PORTKNOCKIE'S PORTER                                       172

THE BALLAD OF THE LITTLE JINGLANDER                        176

AFTWORD                                                    182

ENVOI                                                      185



AUTHOR'S PREFACE


    With guilty, conscience-stricken tears,
      I offer up these rhymes of mine
    To children of maturer years
      (From Seventeen to Ninety-nine).
    A special solace may they be
    In days of second infancy.

    The frenzied mother who observes
      This volume in her offspring's hand,
    And trembles for the darling's nerves,
      Must please to clearly understand,
    If baby suffers by and by
    The Publisher's at fault, not _I_!

    But should the little brat survive,
      And fatten on this style of Rhyme,
    To raise a Heartless Home and thrive
      Through a successful life of crime,
    The Publisher would have you see
    That _I_ am to be thanked, not _he_!

    Fond parent, you whose children are
      Of tender age (from two to eight),
    Pray keep this little volume far
      From reach of such, and relegate
    My verses to an upper shelf;
    Where you may study them yourself.



FOREWORD


    The Press may pass my Verses by
      With sentiments of indignation,
    And say, like Greeks of old, that I
      Corrupt the Youthful Generation;
    I am unmoved by taunts like these--
    (And so, I think, was Socrates).

    Howe'er the Critics may revile,
      I pick no journalistic quarrels,
    Quite realising that my Style
      Makes up for any lack of Morals;
    For which I feel no shred of shame--
    (And Byron would have felt the same).

    I don't intend a Child to read
      These lines, which are not for the Young;
    For, if I did, I should indeed
      Feel fully worthy to be hung.
    (Is 'hanged' the perfect tense of 'hang'?
    Correct me, Mr. Andrew Lang!)

    O Young of Heart, tho' in your prime,
      By you these verses may be seen!
    Accept the Moral with the Rhyme,
      And try to gather what I mean.
    But, if you can't, it won't hurt me!
    (And Browning would, I know, agree.)

    Be reassured, I have not got
      The style of Stephen Phillips' heroes,
    Nor Henry Jones's pow'r of Plot,
      Nor wit like Arthur Wing Pinero's!
    (If so, I should not waste my time
    In writing you this sort of rhyme.)

    I strive to paint things as they Are,
      Of Realism the true Apostle;
    All flow'ry metaphors I bar,
      Nor call the homely thrush a 'throstle.'
    Such synonyms would make me smile.
    (And so they would have made Carlyle.)

    My Style may be, at times, I own,
      A trifle cryptic or abstruse;
    In this I do not stand alone,
      And need but mention, in excuse,
    A thousand world-familiar names,
    From Meredith to Henry James.

    From these my fruitless fancy roams
      To Aesop's or La Fontaine's Fable,
    From Doyle's or Hemans' 'Stately Ho(l)mes,'
      To t'other of The Breakfast Table;
    Like Galahad, I wish (in vain)
    'My wit were as the wit of Twain!

    Had I but Whitman's rugged skill,
      (And managed to escape the Censor),
    The Accuracy of a Mill,
      The Reason of a Herbert Spencer,
    The literary talents even
    Of Sidney Lee or Leslie Stephen,

    The pow'r of Patmore's placid pen,
      Or Watson's gift of execration,
    The sugar of Le Gallienne,
      Or Algernon's alliteration,
    One post there is I'd not be lost in,
    --Tho' I might find it most ex-Austin'!

    Some day, if I but study hard,
      The public, vanquished by my pen, 'll
    Acclaim me as a Minor Bard,
      Like Norman Gale or Mrs. Meynell;
    And listen to my lyre a-rippling
    Imperial banjo-spasms like Kipling.

    Were I, like him, a syndicate,
      Which publishers would put their trust in;
    A Walter Pater up-to-date,
      Or flippant scholar like Augustine;
    With pen as light as lark or squirrel,
    I'd love to kipple, pate and birrell.

    So don't ignore me. If you should,
      'Twill touch me to the very heart oh!
    To be as much misunderstood
      As once was Andrea del Sarto;
    Unrecognised, to toil away,
    Like Millet,--(not, of course, Mill_ais_).

    And, pray, for Morals do not look
      In this unique agglomeration,
    --This unpretentious little book
      Of Infelicitous Quotation.
    I deem you foolish if you do,
    (And Mr. Arnold thinks so, too).



PART I

_THE BABY'S BAEDEKER_


An International Guide-Book for the young of all ages;
peculiarly adapted to the wants of first and second Childhood.



I

ABROAD

    Abroad is where we tourists spend,
      In divers unalluring ways,
    The brief occasional week-end,
      Or annual Easter holidays;
    And earn the (not ill-founded) charge
    Of being lunatics at large.

    Abroad, we lose our self-respect;
      Wear whiskers; let our teeth protrude;
    Consider any garb correct,
      And no display of temper rude;
    Descending, when we cross the foam,
    To depths we dare not plumb at home.

    (Small wonder that the natives gaze,
      With hostile eyes, at foreign freaks,
    Who patronise their Passion-plays,
      In lemon-coloured chessboard breeks;
    An op'ra-glass about each neck,
    And on each head a cap of check.)

    Abroad, where needy younger sons,
      When void the parent's treasure-chest,
    Take refuge from insistent duns,
      At urgent relatives' request;
    To live upon their slender wits,
    Or sums some maiden-aunt remits.

    Abroad, whence (with a wisdom rare)
      Regardless of nostalgic pains,
    The weary New York millionaire
      Retires with his oil-gotten gains,
    And learns how deep a pleasure 'tis
    To found our Public Libraries.

    For ours is the primeval clan,
      From which all lesser lights descend;
    Is Crockett not our countryman?
      And call we not Corelli friend?
    Our brotherhood has bred the brain
    Whose offspring bear the brand of Caine.

    Tho' nowadays we seldom hear
      Miss Proctor, who mislaid a chord,
    Or Tennyson, the poet peer,
      Who came into the garden, Mord;
    Tho' Burns be dead, and Keats unread,
    We have a prophet still in Stead.

    And so we stare, with nose in air;
      And speak in condescending tone,
    Of foreigners whose climes compare
      So favourably with our own;
    And aliens we cannot applaud
    Who call themselves At Home Abroad!


II

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

    This is the Country of the Free,
      The Cocktail and the Ten Cent Chew;
    Where you're as good a man as me,
      And I'm a better man than you!
    (O Liberty, how free we make!
    Freedom, what liberties we take!)

    'Tis here the startled tourist meets,
      'Mid clanging of a thousand bells,
    The railways running through the streets,
      Skyscraping flats and vast hotels,
    Where rest, on the resplendent floors,
    The necessary cuspidors.

    And here you may encounter too
      The pauper immigrants in shoals,
    The Swede, the German, and the Jew,
      The Irishman, who rules the polls
    And is employed to keep the peace,
    A venal and corrupt police.

    They are so busy here, you know,
      They have no time at all for play;
    Each morning to their work they go
      And stay there all the livelong day;
    Their dreams of happiness depend
    On making more than they can spend.

    The ladies of this land are all
      Developed to a pitch sublime,
    Some inches over six foot tall,
      With perfect figures all the time.
    (For further notice of their looks
    See Mr. Dana Gibson's books.)

    And, if they happen to possess
      Sufficient balance at the bank,
    They have the chance of saying 'Yes!'
      To needy foreigners of rank;
    The future dukes of all the earth
    Are half American by birth.


    _MORAL_

    A 'dot' combining cash with charms
    Is worth a thousand coats-of-arms.


III

GREAT BRITAIN

    The British are a chilly race.
      The Englishman is thin and tall;
    He screws an eyeglass in his face,
      And talks with a reluctant drawl.
    'Good Gwacious! This is doosid slow!
    By Jove! Haw demmy! Don't-cher-know!'

    The English_woman_ ev'rywhere
      A meed of admiration wins;
    She has a crown of silken hair,
      And quite the loveliest of skins.
    (Go forth and seek an English maid,
    Your trouble will be well repaid.)

    Where Britain's banner is unfurled
      There's room for nothing else beside,
    She owns one-quarter of the world,
      And still she is not satisfied.
    The Briton thinks himself, by birth,
    To be the lord of all the earth.

    Some call his manners wanting, or
      His sense of humour poor, and yet
    Whatever he is striving for
      He as a rule contrives to get;
    His methods may be much to blame,
    But he arrives there just the same.


    _MORAL_

    If you can get your wish, you bet it
    Doesn't much matter _how_ you get it!


IV

SCOTLAND

    In Scotland all the people wear
      Red hair and freckles, and one sees
    The men in women's dresses there,
      With stout, décolleté, low-necked knees.
    ('Eblins ye dinna ken, I doot,
    We're unco guid, so hoot, mon, hoot!')

    They love 'ta whuskey' and 'ta Kirk';
      I don't know which they like the most.
    They aren't the least afraid of work;
      No sense of humour can they boast;
    And you require an axe to coax
    The canny Scot to see your jokes.

    They play an instrument they call
      The bagpipes; and the sound of these
    Is reminiscent of the squall
      Of infant pigs attacked by bees;
    Music that might drive cats away
    Or make reluctant chickens lay.


    _MORAL_

    Wear kilts, and, tho' men look askance,
    Go out and give your knees a chance.


V

IRELAND

    The Irishman is never quite
      Contented with his little lot;
    He's ever thirsting for a fight,
      A grievance he has always got;
    And all his energy is bent
    On trying not to pay his rent.

    He lives upon a frugal fare
      (The few potatoes that he digs),
    And hospitably loves to share
      His bedroom with his wife and pigs;
    But cannot settle even here,
    And gets evicted once a year.

    In order to amuse himself,
      At any time when things are slack,
    He takes his gun down from the shelf
      And shoots a landlord in the back;
    If he is lucky in the chase,
    He may contrive to bag a brace.


    _MORAL_

    Procure a grievance and a gun
    And you can have no end of fun.


VI

WALES

    The natives of the land of Wales
      Are not a very truthful lot,
    And the imagination fails
      To paint the language they have got;
    Bettws-y-coed-llan-dud-nod-
    Dolgelly-rhiwlas-cwn-wm-dod!


    _MORAL_

    If you _must_ talk, then do it, pray,
    In an intelligible way.


VII

CHINA

    The Chinaman from early youth
      Is by his wise preceptors taught
    To have no dealings with the Truth,
      In fact, romancing is his 'forte.'
    In juggling words he takes the prize,
    By the sheer beauty of his lies.

    For laundrywork he has a knack;
      He takes in shirts and makes them blue;
    When he omits to send them back
      He takes his customers in too.
    He must be ranked in the 'élite'
    Of those whose hobby is deceit.

    For ladies 'tis the fashion here
      To pinch their feet and make them small,
    Which, to the civilised idea,
      Is not a proper thing at all.
    Our modern Western woman's taste
    In pinching leans towards the waist.

    The Chinese Empire is the field
      Where foreign missionaries go;
    A poor result their labours yield,
      And they have little fruit to show;
    For, if you would convert Wun Lung,
    You have to catch him very young.

    The Chinaman has got a creed
      And a religion of his own,
    And would be much obliged indeed
      If you could leave his soul alone;
    And he prefers, which may seem odd,
    His own to other people's god.

    Yet still the missionary tries
      To point him out his wickedness,
    Until the badgered natives rise,--
      And there's one missionary less!
    Then foreign Pow'rs step in, you see,
    And ask for an indemnity.


    _MORAL_

    Adhere to facts, avoid romance,
      And you a clergyman may be;
    To lie is wrong, except perchance
      In matters of Diplomacy.
    And, when you start out to convert,
    Make certain that you don't get hurt!


VIII

FRANCE

    The natives here remark 'Mon Dieu!'
      'Que voulez-vous?' 'Comment ça va?'
    'Sapristi! Par exemple! Un peu!'
      'Tiens donc! Mais qu'est-ce que c'est que ça?'
    They shave one portion of their dogs,
    And live exclusively on frogs.

    They get excited very quick,
      And crowds will gather before long
    If you should stand and wave your stick
      And shout, 'À bas le Presidong!'
    Still more amusing would it be
    To say, 'Conspuez la Patrie!'

    The French are so polite, you know,
      They take their hats off very well,
    And, should they tread upon your toe,
      Remark, 'Pardon, Mademoiselle!'
    And you would gladly bear the pain
    To see them make that bow again.

    Their ladies too have got a way
      Which even curates can't resist;
    'Twould make an Alderman feel gay
      Or soothe a yellow journalist;
    And then the things they say are so
    Extremely--well, in fact,--you know!


    _MORAL_

    The closest scrutiny can find
    No morals here of any kind.


IX

GERMANY

    The German is a stolid soul,
      And finds best suited to his taste
    A pipe with an enormous bowl,
      A fraulein with an ample waist;
    He loves his beer, his Kaiser, and
    (Donner und blitz!) his Fatherland!

    He's perfectly contented if
      He listens in the Op'ra-house
    To Wagner's well-concealed 'motif,'
      Or waltzes of the nimble Strauss;
    And all discordant bands he sends
    Abroad, to soothe his foreign friends.

    When he is glad at anything
      He cheers like a dyspeptic goat,
    'Hoch! hoch!' You'd think him suffering
      From some affection of the throat.
    A disagreeable noise, 'tis true,
    But pleases him and don't hurt you!


    _MORAL_

    A glass of lager underneath the bough,
    A long 'churchwarden' and an ample 'frau'
      Beside me sitting in a Biergarten,
    Ach! Biergarten were paradise enow!


X

HOLLAND

    This country is extremely flat,
      Just like your father's head, and were
    It not for dykes and things like that
      There would not be much country there,
    For, if these banks should broken be,
    What now is land would soon be sea.

    So, any child who glory seeks,
      And in a dyke observes a hole,
    Must hold his finger there for weeks,
      And keep the water from its goal,
    Until the local plumbers come,
    Or other persons who can plumb.

    The Hollanders have somehow got
      The name of Dutch (why, goodness knows!),
    But Mrs. Hollander is not
      A 'duchess' as you might suppose;
    Mynheer Von Vanderpump is much
    More used to style her his 'Old Dutch.'

    Their cities' names are somewhat odd,
      But much in vogue with golfing men
    Who miss a 'put' or slice a sod,
      (Whose thoughts I would not dare to pen),
    'Oh, Rotterdam!' they can exclaim,
    And blamelessly resume the game.

    The Dutchman's dress is very neat;
      He minds his little flock of goats
    In cotton blouse, and on his feet
      He dons a pair of wooden boats.
    (He evidently does not trust
    Those dykes I mentioned not to bust).

    He has the reputation too
      Of being what is known as 'slim,'
    Which merely means he does to you
      What you had hoped to do to him;
    He has a business head, that's all,
    And takes some beating, does Oom Paul.


    _MORAL_

    Avoid a country where the sea
    May any day drop in to tea,
    Rememb'ring that, at golf, one touch
    Of bunker makes the whole world Dutch!


XI

ICELAND

    The climate is intensely cold;
      Wild curates would not drag me there;
    Not tho' they brought great bags of gold,
      And piled them underneath my chair.
    If twenty bishops bade me go,
    I should decidedly say, 'No!'


    _MORAL_

    If ev'ry man has got his price,
      As generally is agreed,
    You will, by taking my advice,
      Let yours be very large indeed.
    Corruption is not nice at all,
    Unless the bribe be far from small.


XII

ITALY

    In Italy the sky is blue;
      The native loafs and lolls about,
    He's nothing in the world to do,
      And does it fairly well, no doubt;
    (Ital-i-ans are disinclined
    To honest work of any kind).

    A light Chianti wine he drinks,
      And fancies it extremely good;
    (It tastes like Stephens' Blue-black Inks);--
      While macaroni is his food.
    (I think it must be rather hard
    To eat one's breakfast by the yard).

    And, when he leaves his country for
      Some northern climate, 'tis his dream
    To be an organ grinder, or
      Retail bacilli in ice-cream.
    (The French or German student terms
    These creatures '_Paris_ites' or '_Germs_.')

    Sometimes an anarchist is he,
      And wants to slay a king or queen;
    So with some dynamite, may be,
      Concocts a murderous machine;
    'Here goes!' he shouts, 'For Freedom's sake!'
    Then blows himself up by mistake.

    Naples and Florence both repay
      A visit, and, if fortune takes
    Your toddling little feet that way,
      Do stop a moment at The Lakes.
    While, should you go to Rome, I hope
    You'll leave your card upon the Pope.


    _MORAL_

    Don't work too hard, but use a wise discretion;
    Adopt the least laborious profession.
    Don't be an anarchist, but, if you must,
    Don't let your bombshell prematurely bust.


XIII

JAPAN

    Inhabitants of far Japan
      Are happy as the day is long
    To sit behind a paper fan
      And sing a kind of tuneless song,
    Desisting, ev'ry little while,
    To have a public bath, or smile.

    The members of the fairer sex
      Are clad in a becoming dress,
    One garment reaching from their necks
      Down to the ankles more or less;
    Behind each dainty ear they wear
    A cherry-blossom in their hair.

    If 'Imitation's flattery'
      (We learn it at our mother's lap),
    A flatterer by birth must be
      Our clever little friend the Jap,
    Who does whatever we can do,
    And does it rather better too.


    _MORAL_

    Be happy all the time, and plan
    To wash as often as you can.


XIV

PORTUGAL

    You are requested, if you please,
      To note that here a people lives
    Referred to as the Portuguese;
      A fact which naturally gives
    The funny man a good excuse
    To call his friend a Portugoose.


    _MORAL_

    Avoid the obvious, if you can,
    And _never_ be a funny man.


XV

RUSSIA

    The Russian Empire, as you see,
      Is governed by an Autocrat,
    A sort of human target he
      For anarchists to practise at;
    And much relieved most people are
    Not to be lodging with the Czar.

    The Russian lets his whiskers grow,
      Smokes cigarettes at meal-times, and
    Imbibes more 'vodki' than 'il faut';
      A habit which (I understand)
    Enables him with ease to tell
    His name, which nobody could spell.

    The climate here is cold, with snow,
      And you go driving in a sleigh,
    With bells and all the rest, you know,
      Just like a Henry Irving play;
    While, all around you, glare the eyes
    Of secret officers and spies!

    The Russian prisons have no drains,
      No windows or such things as that;
    You have no playthings there but chains,
      And no companion but a rat;
    When once behind the dungeon door,
    Your friends don't see you any more.

    I further could enlarge, 'tis true,
      But fear my trembling pen confines;
    I have no wish to travel to
      Siberia and work the mines.
    (In Russia you must write with care,
    Or the police will take you there.)


    _MORAL_

    If you hold morbid views about
      A monarch's premature decease,
    You only need a--Hi! Look out!
      Here comes an agent of police!
              . . . . .
    (In future my address will be
    'Siberia, Cell 63.')


XVI

SPAIN

    'Tis here the Spanish onion grows,
      And they eat garlic all the day,
    So, if you have a tender nose,
      'Tis best to go the other way,
    Or else you may discern, at length,
    The fact that 'Onion is strength.'

    The chestnuts flourish in this land,
      Quite good to eat, as you will find,
    For they are not, you understand,
      The ancient after-dinner kind
    That Yankees are accustomed to
    From Mr. Chauncey M. Depew.

    The Spanish lady, by the bye,
      Is an alluring person who
    Has got a bright and flashing eye,
      And knows just how to use it too;
    It's quite a treat to see her meet
    The proud hidalgo on the street.

    He wears a sort of soft felt hat,
      A dagger, and a cloak, you know,
    Just like the wicked villains that
      We met in plays of long ago,
    Who sneaked about with aspect glum,
    Remarking, 'Ha! A time will come!'

    His blood, of blue cerulean hue,
      Runs in his veins like liquid fire,
    And he can be most rude if you
      Should rob him of his heart's desire;
    'Caramba!' he exclaims, and whack!
    His dagger perforates your back!

    If you should care to patronise
      A bull-fight, as you will no doubt,
    You'll see a horse with blinded eyes
      Be very badly mauled about;
    By such a scene a weak inside
    Is sometimes rather sorely tried.

    And, if the bull is full of fun,
      The horse is generally gored,
    So then they fetch another one,
      Or else the first one is encored;
    The humour of the sport, of course,
    Is not so patent to the horse.


    _MORAL_

    Be kind to ev'ry bull you meet,
      Remember how the creature feels;
    Don't wink at ladies in the street;
      And don't make speeches after meals;
    And lastly, I need not explain,
    If you're a horse, don't go to Spain.


XVII

SWITZERLAND

    This atmosphere is pure ozone!
      To climb the hills you promptly start;
    Unless you happen to be prone
      To palpitations of the heart;
    In which case swarming up the Alps
    Brings on a bad attack of palps.

    The nicest method is to stay
      Quite comfortably down below,
    And, from the steps of your chalet,
      Watch other people upwards go.
    Then you can buy an alpenstock,
    And scratch your name upon a rock.


    _MORAL_

    Don't do fatiguing things which you
    Can pay another man to do.
    Let friends assume (they may be wrong),
    That you each year ascend Mong Blong.
    Some things you can _pretend_ you've done,
    And climbing up the Alps is one.


XVIII

TURKEY

    The Sultan of the Purple East
      Is quite a cynic, in his way,
    And really doesn't mind the least
      His nickname of 'Abdul the ----' (Nay!
    I might perhaps come in for blame
    If I divulged this monarch's name.)

    The Turk is such a kindly man,
      But his ideas of sport are crude;
    He to the poor Armenian
      Is not intentionally rude,
    But still it is his heartless habit
    To treat him as _we_ treat the rabbit.

    If he wants bracing up a bit,
      His pleasing little custom is
    To take a hatchet and commit
      A series of atrocities.
    I should not fancy, after dark,
    To meet him, say, in Regent's Park.

    A deeply married man is he,
      'Early and often' is his rule;
    He practises polygamy
      Directly after leaving school,
    And so arranges that his wives
    Live happy but secluded lives.

    If they attend a public place,
      They have to do so in disguise,
    And so conceal one-half their face
      That nothing but a pair of eyes
    Suggests the hidden charm that lurks
    Beneath the veils of lady Turks.

    Then too in Turkey all the men
      Smoke water-pipes and cross their legs;
    They watch their harem as a hen
      That guards her first attempt at eggs.
    (If you don't know what harems are,
    Just run and ask your dear papa.)


    _MORAL_

    Wives of great men oft remind us
      We should make our wives sublime,
    But the years advancing find us
      Vainly working over-time.
    We could minimise our work
    By the methods of the Turk.


XIX

DREAMLAND

    Here you will see strange happenings
      With absolutely placid eyes;
    If all your uncles sprouted wings
      You would not feel the least surprise;
    The oddest things that you can do
    Don't seem a bit absurd to you.

    You go (in Dreamland) to a ball,
      And suddenly are shocked to find
    That you have nothing on at all,--
      But somehow no one seems to mind;
    And, naturally, _you_ don't care,
    If they can bear what you can bare!

    Then, in a moment, you're pursued
      By engines on a railway track!
    Your legs are tied, your feet are glued,
      The train comes snorting down your back!
    One last attempt at flight you make
    And so (in bed) perspiring wake.

    You feel so free from weight of cares
      That, if the staircase you should climb,
    You gaily mount, not single stairs,
      But whole battalions at a time;
    (My metaphor is mixed, may be,
    I quote from Shakespeare, as you see).

    If you should eat too much, you pay
      (In dreams) the penalty for this;
    A nightmare carries you away
      And drops you down a precipice!
    Down! down! until, with sudden smack,
    You strike the mattress with your back.


    _MORAL_

    At meals decline to be a beast;
    'Too much is better than a feast.'


XX

STAGELAND

    The customs of this land have all
      Been published in a bulky tome.
    The author is a man they call
      Jer_ome_ K. J_er_ome _K_. Jer_ome_.
    So, lest on his preserves I poach,
    This subject I refuse to broach.


    _MORAL_

    The moral here is plain to see.
      If true the hackneyed witticism
    Which stamps Originality
      As 'undetected plagiarism,'
    What a vocation I have miss'd
    As undetected plagiarist!


XXI

LOVERLAND

    This is the land where minor bards
      And other lunatics repair,
    To live in houses made of cards,
      Or build their castles in the air;
    To feed on hope, and idly dream
    That things are really what they seem.

    The natives are a motley lot,
      Of ev'ry age and creed and race,
    But each inhabitant has got
      The same expression on his face;
    They look, when this their features fills,
    Like angels with internal chills.

    The lover sits, the livelong day,
      Quite inarticulate of speech;
    He simply brims with things to say;
      Alas! the words he cannot reach,
    And, silent, lets occasion pass,
    Feeling a fulminating ass.

    It is the lady lover's wont
      To blush, and look demure or coy,
    To say, 'You mustn't!' and, 'Oh! don't!'
      Or, 'Please leave off, you naughty boy!'
    (But this, of course, is just her way,
    She wouldn't wish you to obey.)

    The lover, in a trembling voice,
      Demands the hand of his lovee,
    And begs the lady of his choice
      To share some cottage-by-the-sea;
    With _her_ a prison would be nice,
    A coal-cellar a Paradise!

    'Love in a cottage' sounds so well;
      But oh, my too impatient bride,
    No drainage and a constant smell
      Of something being over-fried
    Is not the sort of atmosphere
    That makes for wedded bliss, my dear.

    And when the bills are rather high,
      And when the money's rather low,
    See poor Virginia sit and sigh,
      And ask why Paul _must_ grumble so!
    He slams the door and strides about,
    And, through the window, Love creeps out.

    'Tis said that Cupid blinds our sight
      With fire of passion from above,
    Nor ever bids us see aright
      The many faults in those we love;
    Ah no! I deem it otherwise,
    For lovers have the clearest eyes.

    They see the faults, the failures, and
      The great temptations, and they know,
    Although they cannot understand,
      That they would have the loved one so.
    Believe me, Love is never blind,
    His smiling eyes are wise and kind.

    Tho' lovers quarrel, yet, I ween,
      'Tis but to make it up again;
    The sunshine seems the more serene
      That follows after April rain;
    And love should lead, if love be true,
    To perfect understanding too.

    If in our hearts this love beats strong,
      We shall not ever seek to earn
    Forgiveness for some fancied wrong,
      Nor need to pardon in return;
    But learn this lesson as we live,
    'To understand is to forgive.'

    And all you little girls and boys
      Will find this out yourselves, some day,
    When you have done with childish toys
      And put your infant books away.
    Ah! then I pray that hand-in-hand
    You tread the paths of Loverland.


    _MORAL_

    Don't fall in love, but, when you do,
    Take care that he (or she) does too;
    And, lastly, to misquote the bard,
    If you _must_ love, don't love too hard.


XXII

HOMELAND

    The tour is over! We must part!
      Our mutual journey at an end.
    O bid farewell, with aching heart,
      To guide, philosopher, and friend;
    And note, as you remark 'Good-bye!'
    The kindly tear that dims his eye.

    The tour is ended! Sad but true!
      No more together may we roam!
    We turn our lonely footsteps to
      The spot that's known as Home, Sweet Home.
    Nor time nor temper can afford
    A more protracted trip abroad.

    O Home! where we must always be
      So hopelessly misunderstood;
    Where waits a tactless family,
      To tell us things 'for our own good';
    Where relatives, with searchlight eyes,
    Can penetrate our choicest lies.

    Where all our kith and kin combine
      To prove that we are worse than rude,
    If we should criticise the wine
      Or make complaints about the food.
    Thank goodness, then, to quote the pome,
    Thank goodness there's 'no place like Home!'



PART II

_CHILDISH COMPLAINTS_

AND

_OTHER RUTHLESS RHYMES_



CHILDISH COMPLAINTS


PRELUDE

(_By Way of Advertisement_)

    I have no knowledge of disease,
      No notion what ill-health may be,
    Since Housemaid's Throat and Smoker's Knees
      Mean something different to me
    To what they do to other folk.
    (This is, I vow, no vulgar joke.)

    Of course, when young, I had complaints,
      And little childish accidents;
    For twice I ate a box of paints,
      And once I swallowed eighteen pence.
    (_N.B._, I missed the paints a lot,
    But got the coins back on the spot.)

    But no practitioner has seen
      My tongue since then, down to the present,
    And I, alas! have never been
      An interesting convalescent.
    Ah! why am I alone denied
    The Humour of a weak inside?

    Why is it? I will tell you why;
      A certain mixture is to blame.
    One day for fun I chanced to try
      A bottle of--what _is_ the name?
    That thing they advertise a lot,--
    (Oh, what a memory I've got!)

    It's stuff you must, of course, have seen,
      Retailed in bottles, tins, or pots,
    In cakes or little pills, I mean--
      (Oh goodness me! I've bought such lots,
    That I am really much to blame
    For not remembering the name!)

    Still, let me recommend a keg
      (With maker's name, be sure, above it),
    'Tis sweeter than a new-mown egg,
      And village idiots simply love it;
    Old persons sit and scream for it,--
    I do so hope you'll try a bit!

    So efficacious is this stuff,
      Its virtue and its strength are such,
    One single bottle is enough,--
      In fact, at times, 'tis far too much.
    (The patient dies in frightful pain,
    Or else survives, and tries again.)

    An aunt of mine felt anyhow,
      All kind-of-odd, and gone-to-bits,
    Had freckles badly too; but now
      She doesn't have a thing but fits.
    She's just as strong as any horse,--
    Tho' still an invalid, of course.

    I had an uncle, too, that way,
      His health was in a dreadful plight;
    Would often spend a sleepless day,
      And lie unconscious half the night.
    He took two bottles, large and small,
    And now--he has no health at all!

    The Moral plainly bids you buy
      This stuff, whose name I have forgotten;
    You won't regret it, if you try--
      (My memory is simply rotten!)
    My funds will profit, in addition,
    Since I enjoy a small commission!


CHILDISH COMPLAINTS

_No. 1 (Appendicitis)_

    I've got Appendicitis
      In my Appendicit,
          But I don't mind,
          Because I find
      I'm quite 'cut out' for it.


_No. 2. (Whooping-cough)_

    If only I had Whooping-cough!
        I'd join a Circus troupe!
    And folks would clamour at the door,
    And pay a shilling--even more,
        To see me 'Whoop The Whoop.'


_No. 3. (Measles)_

    Of illnesses like chickenpox
          And measles I've had lots;
    I do not like them much, you know,
    They are not really nice, altho'
          They're rather nice in spots.


_No. 4. (Adenoids)_

    A Cockney maid produced such snores,
        Folks left the City to avoid them;
            And all becos,
            She said, it was
        Her adenoids that 'ad annoyed them!


_No. 5. (Croup)_

    I had the Croup, in years gone by,
        And that is why to-day,
    Altho' no longer youthful, I
        Am still a Croupier.



RUTHLESS RHYMES


I

MOTHER-WIT

    When wilful little Willie Black
      Threw all the tea-things at his mother,
    She murmured, as she hurled them back,
      'One good Tea-urn deserves another!'


II

UNCLE JOE

    Poor Uncle Joe has gone, you know,
      To rest beyond the stars.
    I miss him, oh! I miss him so,--
      He had _such_ good cigars.


III

AUNT ELIZA

    In the drinking-well
      (Which the plumber built her)
    Aunt Eliza fell,----
      We must buy a filter.


IV

ABSENT-MINDEDNESS

    Absent-minded Edward Brown
        Drove his lady into town;
        Suddenly the horse fell down!
            Mrs. Ned
            (Newly wed)
    Threw a fit and lay for dead.

    Edward, lacking in resource,
    Chafed the fetlocks of his horse,
    Sitting with unpleasant force
            (Just like lead)
            On the head
        Of the prostrate Mrs. Ned.

    She demanded a divorce,
    Jealous of the favoured horse.
    Edward had it shot, of course.

              . . . . .

            Years have sped;
            She and Ned
        Drive a motor now instead.


V

JOHN

    John, across the broad Atlantic,
      Tried to navigate a barque,
    But he met an unromantic
      And extremely hungry shark.

    John (I blame his childhood's teachers)
      Thought to treat this as a lark,
    Ignorant of how these creatures
      Do delight to bite a barque.

    Said, 'This animal's a bore!' and,
      With a scornful sort of grin,
    Handled an adjacent oar and
      Chucked it underneath the chin.

    At this unexpected juncture,
      Which he had not reckoned on,
    Mr. Shark he made a puncture
      In the barque--and then in John.

              . . . . .

    Sad am I, and sore at thinking
      John had on some clothes of mine;
    I can almost see them shrinking,
      Washed repeatedly in brine.

    I shall never cease regretting
      That I lent my hat to him,
    For I fear a thorough wetting
      Cannot well improve the brim.

    Oh! to know a shark is browsing,
      Boldly, blandly, on my boots!
    Coldly, cruelly carousing
      On the choicest of my suits!

    Creatures I regard with loathing,
      Who can calmly take their fill
    Of one's Jaeger underclothing:--
      Down, my aching heart, be still!


VI

BABY

    Baby roused its father's ire,
      By a cold and formal lisp;
    So he placed it on the fire,
      And reduced it to a crisp.
    Mother said, 'Oh, stop a bit!
    This is _overdoing_ it!'


VII

THE CAT

(_Advice to the Young_)

    My children, you should imitate
      The harmless, necessary cat,
    Who eats whatever's on his plate,
      And doesn't even leave the fat;
    Who never stays in bed too late,
      Or does immoral things like that;
    Instead of saying, 'Shan't!' or 'Bosh!'
    He'll sit and wash, and wash, and wash!

    When shadows fall and lights grow dim,
      He sits beneath the kitchen stair;
    Regardless as to life and limb,
      A shady lair he chooses there;
    And if you tumble over him,
      He simply loves to hear you swear.
    And, while bad language _you_ prefer,
    He'll sit and purr, and purr, and purr!



PART III

_PERVERTED PROVERBS_



I

'VIRTUE IS ITS OWN REWARD'

    Virtue its own reward? Alas!
      And what a poor one, as a rule!
    Be Virtuous, and Life will pass
      Like one long term of Sunday-school.
    (No prospect, truly, could one find
    More unalluring to the mind.)

    The Model Child has got to keep
      His fingers and his garments white;
    In church he may not go to sleep,
      Nor ask to stop up late at night.
    In fact he must not ever do
    A single thing he wishes to.

    He may not paddle in his boots,
      Like naughty children, at the sea;
    The sweetness of Forbidden Fruits
      Is not, alas! for such as he.
    He watches, with pathetic eyes,
    His weaker brethren make mud-pies.

    He must not answer back, oh no!
      However rude grown-ups may be;
    But keep politely silent, tho'
      He brim with scathing repartee;
    For nothing is considered worse
    Than scoring off Mamma or Nurse.

    He must not eat too much at meals,
      Nor scatter crumbs upon the floor;
    However vacuous he feels,
      He may not pass his plate for more;
    --Not tho' his ev'ry organ ache
    For further slabs of Christmas cake.

    He is commanded not to waste
      The fleeting hours of childhood's days,
    By giving way to any taste
      For circuses or matinées;
    For him the entertainments planned
    Are 'Lectures on the Holy Land.'

    He never reads a story-book
      By Rider H. or Winston C.,
    In vain upon his desk you'd look
      For tales by Arthur Conan D.,
    Nor could you find upon his shelf
    The works of Rudyard--or myself!

    He always fears that he may do
      Some action that is _infra dig._,
    And so he lives his short life through
      In the most noxious rôle of Prig.
    ('Short Life' I say, for it's agreed
    The Good die very young indeed.)

    Ah me! how sad it is to think
      He could have lived like me--or you!
    With practice, and a taste for drink,
      Our joys he might have known, he too!
    And shared the pleasure _we_ have had
    In being gloriously bad!

    The Naughty Boy gets much delight
      From doing what he should not do;
    But, as such conduct isn't Right,
      He sometimes suffers for it, too.
    Yet, what's a spanking to the fun
    Of leaving vital things Undone?

    The Wicked flourish like the bay,
      At Cards or Love they always win,
    Good Fortune dogs their steps all day,
      They fatten while the Good grow thin.
    The Righteous Man has much to bear;
    The Bad becomes a Bullionaire!

    For, though he be the greatest sham,
      Luck favours him, his whole life through;
    At 'Bridge' he always makes a Slam
      After declaring 'Sans atout';
    With ev'ry deal his fate has planned
    A hundred Aces in his hand.

    Yes, it is always just the same;
      He somehow manages to win,
    By mere good fortune, any game
      That he may be competing in.
    At Golf no bunker breaks his club,
    For him the green provides no 'rub.'

    At Billiards, too, he flukes away
      (With quite unnecessary 'side');
    No matter what he tries to play,
      For him the pockets open wide;
    He never finds both balls in baulk,
    Or makes miss-cues for want of chalk.

    He swears; he very likely bets;
      He even wears a flaming necktie;
    Inhales Egyptian cigarettes,
      And has a 'Mens Inconscia Recti';
    Yet, spite of all, one must confess
    That nought succeeds like his excess.

    There's no occasion to be Just,
      No need for motives that are fine,
    To be Director of a Trust,
      Or Manager of a Combine;
    Your Corner is a public curse,
    Perhaps, but it will fill your purse.

    Then stride across the Public's bones,
      Crush all opponents under you,
    Until you 'rise on stepping-stones
      Of their dead selves'; and, when you do,
    The widow's and the orphan's tears
    Shall comfort your declining years!

              . . . . .

    Myself, how lucky I must be,
      That need not fear so gross an end;
    Since Fortune has not favoured me
      With many million pounds to spend.
    (Still, did that fickle Dame relent,
    I'd show you how they _should_ be spent!)

    I am not saint enough to feel
      My shoulder ripen to a wing,
    Nor have I wits enough to steal
      His title from the Copper King;
    And there's a vasty gulf between
    The man I Am and Might Have Been;

    But tho' at dinner I may take
      Too much of Heidsick (extra dry),
    And underneath the table make
      My simple couch just where I lie,
    My mode of roosting on the floor
    Is just a trick and nothing more.

    And when, not Wisely but too Well,
      My thirst I have contrived to quench,
    The stories I am apt to tell
      May be, perhaps, a trifle French;--
    (For 'tis in anecdote, no doubt,
    That what's Bred in the Beaune comes out.)--

    It does not render me unfit
      To give advice, both wise and right,
    Because I do not follow it
      Myself as closely as I might;
    There's nothing that I wouldn't do
    To point the proper road to _you_.

    And this I'm sure of, more or less,
      And trust that you will all agree--
    The Elements of Happiness
      Consist in being--just like Me;
    No sinner, nor a saint perhaps,
    But--well, the very best of chaps.

    Share the Experience I have had,
      Consider all I've known and seen,
    And Don't be Good, and Don't be Bad,
      But cultivate a Golden Mean.

              . . . . .

    What makes Existence _really_ nice
    Is Virtue--with a dash of Vice.


II

'ENOUGH IS AS GOOD AS A FEAST'

    What is Enough? An idle dream!
      One cannot have enough, I swear,
    Of Ices or Meringues-and-Cream,
      Nougat or Chocolate Éclairs,
    Of Oysters or of Caviar,
    Of Prawns or Pâté de Foie _Grar_!

    Who would not willingly forsake
      Kindred and Home, without a fuss,
    For Icing from a Birthday Cake,
      Or juicy fat Asparagus,
    And journey over countless seas
    For New Potatoes and Green Peas?

    They say that a Contented Mind
      Is a Continual Feast;--but where
    The mental frame, and how to find,
      Which can with Turtle Soup compare?
    No mind, however full of Ease,
    Could be Continual Toasted Cheese.

    For dinner have a sole to eat
      (Some Perrier Jouet, '92),
    An Entrée then (and, with the meat,
      A bottle of Lafitte will do),
    A quail, a glass of port (just one),
    Liqueurs and coffee, and you've done.

    Your tastes may be of simpler type;--
      A homely pint of 'half-and-half,'
    An onion and a dish of tripe,
      Or headpiece of the kindly calf.
    (Cruel perhaps, but then, you know,
    ''_Faut tout souffrir pour être veau_!')

    'Tis a mistake to eat too much
      Of any dishes but the best;
    And you, of course, should never touch
      A thing you _know_ you can't digest;
    For instance, lobster:--if you _do_,
    Well,--I'm amayonnaised at you!

    Let this be your heraldic crest:
      A bottle (chargé) of Champagne,
    A chicken (gorged) with salad (dress'd),
      Below, this motto to explain--
    'Enough is Very Good, may be;
    Too Much is Good Enough for Me!'


III

'DON'T BUY A PIG IN A POKE'

    Unscrupulous Pigmongers will
      Attempt to wheedle and to coax
    The ignorant young housewife till
      She purchases her pigs in pokes;
    Beasts that have got a Lurid Past,
    Or else are far Too Good to Last.

    So, should you not desire to be
      The victim of a cruel hoax,
    Then promise me, ah! promise me,
      You will not purchase pigs in pokes!
    ('Twould be an error just as big
    To poke your purchase in a pig.)

    Too well I know the bitter cost,
      To turn this subject off with jokes;
    How many fortunes have been lost
      By men who purchased pigs in pokes.
    (Ah! think on such when you would talk
    With mouths that are replete with pork!)

    And, after dinner, round the fire,
      Astride of Grandpa's rugged knee,
    Implore your bored but patient sire
      To tell you what a Poke may be.
    The fact he might disclose to you--
    Which is far more than _I_ can do.

              . . . . .

    The Moral of The Pigs and Pokes
      Is not to make your choice too quick.
    In purchasing a Book of Jokes,
      Pray poke around and take your pick.
    Who knows how rich a mental meal
    The covers of _this_ book conceal?


IV

'LEARN TO TAKE THINGS EASILY'

    To these few words, it seems to me,
      A wealth of sound instruction clings;
    O Learn to Take things easily--
      Espeshly Other People's Things;
    And Time will make your fingers deft
    At what is known as Petty Theft.

    'Fools and Their Money soon must part!'
      And you can help this on, may be,
    If, in the kindness of your Heart,
      You Learn to Take things easily;
    And be, with little education,
    A Prince of Misappropriation.


V

'A ROLLING STONE GATHERS NO MOSS'

    I never understood, I own,
      What anybody (with a soul)
    Could mean by offering a Stone
      This needless warning not to Roll;
    And what inducement there can be
    To gather Moss, I fail to see.

    I'd sooner gather anything,
      Like primroses, or news perhaps,
    Or even wool (when suffering
      A momentary mental lapse);
    But could forgo my share of moss,
    Nor ever realise the loss.

    'Tis a botanical disease,
      And worthy of remark as such;
    Lending a dignity to trees,
      To ruins a romantic touch;
    A timely adjunct, I've no doubt,
    But not worth writing home about.

    Of all the Stones I ever met,
      In calm repose upon the ground,
    I really never found one yet
      With a desire to roll around;
    Theirs is a stationary rôle.
    (A joke,--and feeble on the whole.)

    But, if I were a stone, I swear
      I'd sooner move and view the World,
    Than sit and grow the greenest hair
      That ever Nature combed and curled.
    I see no single saving grace
    In being known as 'Mossyface'!

    Instead, I might prove useful for
      A weapon in the hand of Crime,
    A paperweight, a milestone, or
      A missile at Election-time;
    In each capacity I could
    Do quite incalculable good.

    When well directed from the Pit,
      I might promote a welcome death,
    If fortunate enough to hit
      Some budding Hamlet or Macbeth,
    Who twice each day the playhouse fills,--
    (For Further Notice see Small Bills).

    At concerts, too, if you prefer,
      I could prevent your growing deaf
    By silencing the amateur
      Before she reached that upper F;
    Or else, in lieu of half-a-brick,
    Restrain some local Kubelik.

    Then, human stones, take my advice,
      (As you should always do, indeed);
    This proverb may be very nice,
      But don't you pay it any heed,
    And, tho' you make the critics cross,
    Roll on, and never mind the moss!


VI

'IT IS NEVER TOO LATE TO MEND'

    Since it can never be too late
      To change your life, or else renew it,
    Let the unpleasant process wait,
      Until you are _compelled_ to do it.
    The State provides (and gratis too)
    Establishments for such as you.

    Remember this, and pluck up heart,
      That, be you publican or parson,
    Your ev'ry art must have a start,
      From petty larceny to arson;
    And even in the burglar's trade,
    The cracksman is not born, but made.

    So, if in your career of crime,
      You fail to carry out some 'coup,'
    Then try again a second time,
      And yet again, until you _do_;
    And don't despair, or fear the worst,
    Because you get found out at first.

    Perhaps the battle will not go,
      On all occasions, to the strongest;
    You may be fairly certain tho'
      That He Laughs Last who Laughs the Longest.
    So keep a good reserve of laughter,
    Which may be found of use hereafter.

    Believe me that, howe'er well meant,
      A good resolve is always brief;
    Don't let your precious hours be spent
      In turning over a new leaf.
    Such leaves, like Nature's, soon decay,
    And then are only in the way.

    The Road to--well, a certain spot
      (A road of very fair dimensions),
    Has, so the proverb tells us, got
      A parquet-floor of Good Intentions.
    Take care, in your desire to please,
    You do not add a brick to these.

    For there may come a moment when
      You shall be mended, willy-nilly,
    With many more misguided men,
      Whose skill is undermined with skilly.
    Till then procrastinate, my friend;
    'It _Never_ is Too Late to Mend!'


VII

'A BAD WORKMAN COMPLAINS OF HIS TOOLS'

    This pen of mine is simply grand,
      I never loved a pen so much;
    This paper (underneath my hand)
      Is really a delight to touch;
    And never in my life, I think,
    Did I make use of finer ink.

    The subject upon which I write
      Is ev'rything that I could choose;
    I seldom knew my wits more bright,
      More cosmopolitan my views;
    Nor ever did my head contain
    So surplus a supply of brain!


VIII

'DON'T LOOK A GIFT-HORSE IN THE MOUTH'

    I knew a man who lived down South;
      He thought this maxim to defy;
    He looked a Gift-horse in the Mouth;
      The Gift-horse bit him in the Eye!
    And, while the steed enjoyed his bite,
    My Southern friend mislaid his sight.

    Now, had this foolish man, that day,
      Observed the Gift-horse in the _Heel_,
    It might have kicked his brains away,
      But that's a loss he would not feel;
    Because, you see (need I explain?),
    My Southern friend has got no brain.

    When any one to you presents
      A poodle, or a pocket-knife,
    A set of Ping-pong instruments,
      A banjo or a lady-wife,
    'Tis churlish, as I understand,
    To grumble that they're second-hand.

    And he who termed Ingratitude
      As 'worser nor a servant's tooth'
    Was evidently well imbued
      With all the elements of Truth;
    (While he who said 'Uneasy lies
    The tooth that wears a crown' was wise).

    'One must be poor,' George Eliot said,
      'To know the luxury of giving';
    So too one really should be dead
      To realise the joy of living.
    (I'd sooner be--I don't know which--
    I'd _like_ to be alive and rich!)

    _This_ book may be a Gift-horse too,
      And one you surely ought to prize;
    If so, I beg you, read it through,
      With kindly and uncaptious eyes,
    Not grumbling because this particular line doesn't happen to scan,
    And this one doesn't rhyme!


IX

POTPOURRI

    There are many more Maxims to which
      I would like to accord a front place,
    But alas! I have got
    To omit a whole lot,
      For the lack of available space;
    And the rest I am forced to boil down and condense
    To the following Essence of Sound without Sense:

    Now the Pitcher that journeys too oft
      To the Well will get broken at last.
    But you'll find it a fact
    That, by using some tact,
      Such a danger as this can be past.
    (There's an obvious way, and a simple, you'll own,
    Which is, if you're a Pitcher, to Let Well alone.)

    Half a loafer is never well-bred,
      And Self-Praise is a Dangerous Thing.
    And the mice are at play
    When the Cat is away,
      For a moment, inspecting a King.
    (Tho' if Care kills a Cat, as the Proverbs declare,
    It is right to suppose that the King will take care.)

    Don't Halloo till you're out of the Wood,
      When a Stitch in Good Time will save Nine,
    While a Bird in the Hand
    Is worth Two, understand,
      In the Bush that Needs no Good Wine.
    (Tho' the two, if they _Can_ sing but Won't, have been known,
    By an accurate aim to be killed with one Stone.)

    Never Harness the Cart to the Horse;
      Since the latter should be _à la carte_.
    Also, Birds of a Feather
    Come Flocking Together,
      --Because they can't well Flock Apart.
    (You may cast any Bread on the Waters, I think,
    But, unless I'm mistaken, you can't make it Sink.)

    It is only the Fool who remarks
      That there Can't be a Fire without Smoke;
    Has he never yet learned
    How the gas can be turned
      On the best incombustible coke?
    (Would you value a man by the checks on his suits,
    And forget '_que c'est le premier passbook qui Coutts?_')

    Now '_De Mortuis Nil Nisi Bonum_,'
      Is Latin, as ev'ry one owns;
    If your domicile be
    Near a Mortuaree,
      You should always avoid throwing bones.
    (I would further remark, if I could,--but I couldn't--
    That People Residing in Glasshouses shouldn't.)

    You have heard of the Punctual Bird,
      Who was First in presenting his Bill;
    But I pray you'll be firm,
    And remember the Worm
      Had to get up much earlier still;
    (So that, if you _can't_ rise in the morning, then Don't;
    And be certain that Where there's a Will there's a Won't.)

    You can give a bad name to a Dog,
      And hang him by way of excuse;
    Whereas Hunger, of course;
      Is by far the Best Sauce
    For the Gander as well as the Goose.
    (But you shouldn't judge any one just by his looks,
    For a Surfeit of Broth ruins too many Cooks.)

    With the fact that Necessity knows
      Nine Points of the Law, you'll agree.
    There are just as Good Fish
    To be found on a Dish
      As you ever could catch in the Sea.
    (You should Look ere you Leap on a Weasel Asleep,
    And I've also remarked that Still Daughters Run Cheap.)

    The much trodden-on Lane _will_ Turn,
      And a Friend is in Need of a Friend;
    But the Wisest of Saws,
    Like the Camel's Last Straws,
      Or the Longest of Worms, have an end.
    So, before out of Patience a Virtue you make,
    A decisive farewell of these maxims we'll take.



PART IV

_OTHER VERSES_



BILL

(_Told by the Hospital Orderly_)

    At Modder, where I met 'im fust,
      I thought as 'ow ole Bill was dead;
    A splinter, from a shell wot bust,
      'Ad fetched 'im somewheres in the 'ead;
    But there! It takes a deal to kill
    Them thick-thatched sort o' blokes like Bill.

    In the field-'orspital, nex' day,
      The doctors was a-makin' out
    The 'casualty returns,' an' they
      Comes up an' pulls ole Bill about;
    Ole Colonel Wilks, 'e turns to me,
    'Report this "dangerous,"' sez 'e.

    But Bill, 'oo must 'ave 'eard it too,
      'E calls the doctor, quick as thought:
    'I'd take it kindly, sir, if you
      'Could keep me out o' the report.
    'For tho' I'm 'it, an' 'it severe,
    'I doesn't want my friends to 'ear.

    'I've a ole mother, 'way in Kent,
      ''Oo thinks the very world o' me;
    'I'd thank you if I wasn't sent
      'As "wounded dangerous,"' sez 'e;
    'For if she 'ears I'm badly hit,
    'I lay she won't get over it.

    'At Landman's Drift she lost a lad
      '(With the 18th 'Ussars 'e fell),
    'Poor soul, she'd take it mighty bad
      'To think o' losin' me as well;
    'So please, sir, if it's hall the same,
    'I'd ask you not to send my name.'

    The Colonel bloke 'e thinks a bit,
      'Oh, well,' sez 'e, 'per'aps you're right.
    'And, now I come to look at it,
      'I'll send you in as "scalp-wound, slight."
    'O' course it's wrong of me, but still--'
    'Gawd bless you, sir, an' thanks!' sez Bill.

              . . . . . .

    'E didn't die; 'e scrambled through.
      They hoperated on 'is 'ead,
    An' Gawd knows wot they didn't do,--
      'Tripoded' 'im, I think they said.
    I see'd 'im, Toosday, in Pall Mall,
    Nor never knowed 'im look so well.

    Yes, Bill 'e's going strong just now,
      In London, an' employed again;
    Tho' it's a fact, 'e sez, as 'ow
      The doctors took out 'alf 'is brain!
    Ho well, 'e won't 'ave need o' this--
    'E's working at the War Office.


THE LEGEND OF THE AUTHOR

(_A long way after Ingoldsby_)

    When Anthony Adamson first went to school
    The reception he got was decidedly cool;
    And, because he was utterly hopeless at games,
    He was given all sorts of opprobrious names,
    Which ranged the whole gamut from 'fat-head' to 'fool';
    For boys as a rule, Are what nurses call 'crool,'
    'Tis their natural instinct, which nobody blames,
    Any more than the habits Peculiar to rabbits,
    To label a duffer 'old woman' or 'muff,' or
    Some name calculated to cause him to suffer.
    They failed in their treatment this time, on the whole,
    Since our Anthony thoroughly pitied the rôle
    Of the oaf who is muddied, (For Kipling he'd studied),
    However strong-hearted, broad-limbed, and warm-blooded,
    Who sits in a goal, Quite deficient of soul,
    And as blind to the beauties of Life as a mole.
    He was rather a curious boy, was this youth,
    And a bit of a prig, if you must know the truth,
    And his comrades considered him weird and uncouth,
    For he didn't much mind When they left him behind,
    And, intent upon cricket, Went off to the wicket;
    Some other less heating employment he'd find,
    And, while his young playfellows fielded and batted,
    This curious fat-head, Ink-fingered, hair-matted,
    Would take a new pen from his pocket, and lick it,
    Then into the ink-bottle thoughtfully stick it,
    And, chewing the holder ('Twas fashioned of gold,
    Or at least so 'twas sold By a stationer bold,
    And at any rate furnished a good imitation),
    In deep rumination, With much mastication,
    And wonderful patience, Await inspirations;
    And brilliant ideas would arrive on occasions;
    When frequently followed, The pen being swallowed,
    As up to his eyes in the inkpot he wallowed.

    So all the day long and for half of the night
    Would young Anthony Adamson nibble and write,
    With extravagant feelings of joy and delight,
    And it may sound absurd, But 'twas thus, as I've heard,
    That he learnt to acquire the appropriate word;
    And altho' composition, Which was his ambition,
    At first proved a trifle untamed and refractory;
    Arrived in a while At evolving a style
    Which a Stevenson even might deem satisfactory.

    Now when Anthony A. was as yet in his 'teens
    He began to take aim at the big magazines,
    With articles, verses, and little love-scenes;
    And short stories he wrote, Which he sent with a note
    (Which I haven't the space nor the leisure to quote),
    Containing a humble request, and a hope,
    And some stamps and a clearly addressed envelope.

    Now a few of these got to the Editor's desk,
    And he found them well-written and quite picturesque,
    And he sighed to see talent like this go to waste
    On what couldn't appeal to the popular taste.
    For the Public, you see (With a capital P),
    Doesn't care what it reads, just so long as it be
    Something really exciting, however bad writing,
    With wonderful heroes, And villains like Neroes,
    Who, running as serials, Wearing imperials,
    Revel in bloodshed and bombast and fighting.

    So back to the Author his manuscript went;
    Altho' sometimes a friendly old Editor sent
    An encouraging letter, To say he'd do better
    To lower his style to the popular level;
    When Anthony proudly (Of course not out loudly,
    But mentally) told him to go to the devil!

    But a few of his articles never came back,
    And their whereabouts no one was able to track,
    For some persons who edited, (Can it be credited?)
    Finding it paid them, Unduly mislaid them
    (Behaviour most rare Nowadays anywhere,
    And to ev'ry tradition entirely opposed),
    And grew fat on the numerous stamps he enclosed.
    Tho' to this I am really unable to swear,
    Or at any rate haven't the courage to dare.

    Now when Anthony Adamson grew rather older,
    And wiser, and bolder, And broader of shoulder,
    He thought he'd a fancy to write for the Press,--
    'Tis a common idea with the young, more or less;--
    And he saw himself doing Critiques and reviewing
    The latest new books as they came from the printers;
    To set them on thrones or to smash them to splinters,
    To damn with faint praise, Or with eulogies raise,
    As he banned or he blest, Just whatever seemed best
    To the wit and the wisdom of twenty-three winters.
    But when he had carefully read thro' the papers,
    Arranged to the taste of our nation of drapers,
    And wisely as Solomon Studied each column, an
    Awful attack of despair and depression
    Assailed him, and then, As he threw down his pen,
    He was forced to confess To no hope of success,
    If he entered the great journalistic profession.

    For the only description of 'copy' that pays,
    In the journals that ev'ry one reads nowadays,
    Is the personal matter, Impertinent chatter,
    The tales of the tailor, the barber, the hatter;
    Society small talk, And mere servants'-hall talk,
    The sort of what's-nobody's-business-at-all-talk;
    And those who can handle The latest big scandal
    With the taste of a Thug and the tact of a Vandal,
    Whatever society paper they write in,
    Can always provide what their readers delight in.
    An article, vulgarly written, which deals
    With the food that celebrities eat at their meals
    To the popular intellect always appeals.
    People laugh themselves hoarse At the latest divorce,
    While a peer's breach of promise is comic, of course;
    How eager each face is, As ev'ry one races
    To read the details of the Cruelty cases!
    And a magistrate's pun Is considered good fun,
    And arouses the bench of reporters from torpor,
    When it's at the expense of some broken-down pauper!

    So Anthony pondered the different ways
    Of attaining and gaining the popular praise;
    And selected a score of his brightest essays,
    Just enough for a book, Which he hopefully took
    To some publishers, thinking perhaps they would look
    At what might (as he couldn't help modestly hinting)
    Repay the expense and the trouble of printing.
    Now the publishers all were extremely polite,
    And encouraging quite, For they saw he could write;
    But the answer they gave him was always the same.
    'You are not,' so they said, 'in the least bit to blame,
    And your style is so good, Be it well understood,
    We'd be happy to publish your work if we could;
    But alas! All the people who know are agreed
    This is not what the Public demands, or would read.
    'It is over the head Of the people,' they said.
    'If you'd only write down to the popular level!'
    (Once more, he replied, they could go to the devil!)
    The result to our author was not unexpected,
    And, as on his failures he sadly reflected,
    He took out his pen and a nib he selected,
    Then wrote (and his verses Were studded with curses)
    This poem, the Lay of the Author (Rejected).

      _The rejected Author's cup
        Comes from out a bitter bin,
      Constable won't 'take him up,'
        Chambers will not 'take him in.'_

      _Publishers, when interviewed,
        Each alas! in turn looks Black;
      De la Rue is De-la-rude,
        Nutt is far too hard to crack._

      _Author, humble as a vassal
        (He is feeling Low as well),
      Sadly waits without the Cassell,
        Vainly tries to press the Bell._

      _Author, hourly growing leaner,
        Finds each day his jokes more rare,
      Asks the Longman if he's Green, or
        Spottiswoode to take the Eyre._

      _Author, blithe as lark each morning,
        Finds each night his tale unheard,
      And, when Fred'rick gives him Warn(e)ing,
        Is not Gay as any Bird._

      _Author, to his writings partial,
        Musters their array en bloc,
      Which the Simpkins will not Marshall,
        And the Elliot will not Stock._

      _Tho' for little he be yearning,
        Yet that little Long he'll want,
      When the Lane has got no turning,
        And the Richards will not Grant._

    Now when Anthony's life it grew harder and harder;
    Less coal in the cellar, less meat in the larder;
    He thought for a while, And at last (with a smile)
    He determined to sacrifice even his style.
    So he wrote just whatever came into his head,
    Without any regard for the living or dead,
    Or for what his friends thought or his enemies said.
    From his style he effaced, As incentives to waste,
    All the canons of grammar and even good taste;
    And so book after book after book he brought out,
    Which you've probably read, and you know all about;
    For the publishers bought them, And ev'ry one thought them
    So splendidly vulgar, that no one had ever
    Read anything quite so improperly clever.

    He tried ev'ry style, from the fashion of Ouida's
    (His characters being Society Leaders;
    The Heroine, suited to middle-class readers,--
    A governess she, who might well have been humbler;
    The Hero a Duke, an inveterate grumbler;
    And a Guardsman who drank crême-de-menthe from a tumbler)
    To that of another more popular lady,
    And wrote about aristocrats who were shady,
    And showed that the persons you happen to meet
    In the Very Best Houses are always effete;
    That they gamble all night, in particular sets,
    And (Oh, hasn't she said it, Tho' can it be credit-
    Ed?) have no intention of paying their debts!

    His best, which the Critics said 'teemed with expression,'
    Was the one-volume novel 'A Drunkard's Confession';
    The next, 'My Good Woman. A Love Tale'; another,
    Most popular this, 'The Flirtations of Mother';
    And lastly, the crowning success of his life,
    'How the Other Half Lives. By a Baronet's Wife.'
    And the Publishers now are all down on their knees,
    As they offer what fees He may happen to please;
    And success he discerns As with rapture he learns
    The amount that he earns From his roy'lty returns.
    (N.B.--I omit the last 'a' here in Royalty,
    For reasons of scansion and not from disloyalty.)

    The moral of this is quite easy to see;
    If a popular author you're anxious to be,
    You won't care a digamma For truth or for grammar,
    Be far from straitlaced Upon questions of taste,
    And don't trouble to polish your style or to bevel,
    But always write down to the popular level;
    Be vulgar and smart, And you'll get to the heart
    Of the persons directing the lit'rary mart,
    And your writings must reach (It's a figure of speech)
    The--(well, what shall we call it--compositor's) devil!


THE MOTRIOT

(_After Robert Browning_)

    'It was chickens, chickens, all the way,
      With children crossing the road like mad;
    Police disguised in the hedgerows lay,
      Stop-watches and large white flags they had,
    At nine o'clock o' this very day.

    'I broke the record to Tunbridge Wells,
      And I shouted aloud, to all concerned,
    "Give room, good folk, do you hear my bells?"
      But my motor skidded and overturned;
    Then exploded--and afterwards, what smells!

    'Alack! it was I rode over the son
      Of a butcher; rolled him all of a heap!
    Nought man could do did I leave undone;
      And I thought that butcher's boys were cheap,--
    But this, poor man, 'twas his only one.

    'There's nobody in my motor now,--
      Just a tangled car in the ditch upset;
    For the fun of the fair is, all allow,
      At the County Court, or, better yet,
    By the very foot of the dock, I trow.

              . . . . .

    'Thus I entered, and thus I go;
      In Court the magistrate sternly said,
    "Five guineas fine, and the costs you owe!"
      I might not question, so promptly paid.
    Henceforth I _walk_; I am safer so.'


THE BALLAD OF THE ARTIST

    Archibald Ames is an artist,
      And a widely renowned R.A.,
    For albeit his pictures are thoroughly bad,
    The greatest success he has always had,
      And he makes his profession pay.

    He has no idea of proportion,
      No notion of colour or line,
    But perhaps for such there is little need,
    Since everybody is fully agreed
      That his _subjects_ are quite divine.

    His pictures are sweetly simple;
      The ingredients all must know,--
    Just a fair-haired child and a dog or two,
    A very old man, and a baby's shoe,
      And some bunches of mistletoe.

    In some, an angelic infant
      Is helping a kitten to play,
    Or dressing a cat in Grandpapa's hat
    (Which is equally hard on the hat and the cat),
      Or teaching a 'dolly' to pray.

    Or else there's a runaway couple,
      With a distant view of papa,
    An elderly party with rich man's gout,
    Who swears himself rapidly inside out,
      In a broken-down motor-car.

    Or it may be a scene in the Workhouse,
      Where a widow of high degree,
    With almost suspiciously puce-coloured hair,
    Has arrived in a gorgeous carriage-and-pair,
      To distribute a pound of tea.

    Sometimes he portrays a battle,
      With a 'square' like a Rugby scrum,
    Where a bugler, the colours grasped in his hand,
    And making a final determined stand,
      Plays 'God Save the King' on a drum.

    This is the kind of subject
      That he gives to us day by day;
    You may jeer at the absence of all technique,
    But these are the pictures the people seek
      From this justly renowned R.A.

    In distant suburban boudoirs
      You will find them, in gilded frames,
    'The Prodigal Calf' (a homely scene)
    'Grandmamma's Boots,' or 'To Gretna Green,'
      The Works of Archibald Ames.

    And, if they appeal to the public,
      In the usual course of events,
    Some enterprising manager comes,
    And buys them up for enormous sums,
      And they serve as advertisements.

    Where the child is painting the kitten
      With Potter's Indelible Dye,
    While Grandpapa shows to the reckless cat
    McBride's Indestructible Gibus Hat,
      (Which Ev'ry one ought to buy).

    And the Gretna Green arrangement
      An interest new acquires,
    By depicting how great the advantages are
    Of the Patented Spoofenhauss Auto-car,
      With unpuncturable tyres.

    And the widow (Try Kay's for mourning),
      As black as Stevenson's Ink,
    Is curing the paupers of sundry ills
    By the gift of a box of the Palest Pills
      For persons who may be Pink.

    And the bugler-boy in the battle,
      With trousers of Blackett's Blue,
    Unshrinking as Simpson's Serge, and free
    As Winkleson's Patent Ear-drum he,
      And steadfast as Holdhard's Glue.

    This is the modern fashion
      In the popular art of the day,
    And this is the reason that Archibald Ames
    Ranks high among other familiar names
      As a very well-known R.A.


THE BALLAD OF PING-PONG

(_After Swinburne_)

    The murmurous moments of May-time,
      What bountiful blessings they bring!
    As dew to the dawn of the day-time,
      Suspicions of Summer to Spring!

    Let others imagine the time light,
      With maidens or books on their knee,
    Or live in the languorous limelight
      That tinges the trunk of the Tree.

    Let the timorous turn to their tennis,
      Or the bowls to which bumpkins belong,
    But the thing for grown women and men is
      The pastime of ping and of pong.

    The game of the glorious glamour!
      The feeling to fight till you fall!
    The hurricane hail and the hammer!
      The batter and bruise of the ball!

    The glory of getting behind it!
      The brief but bewildering bliss!
    The fear of the failure to find it!
      The madness at making a miss!

    The sound of the sphere as you smack it,
      Derisive, decisive, divine!
    The riotous rush of your racket,
      To mix and to mingle with mine!

    The diadem dear to the King is,
      How sweet to the singer his song;
    To me so the plea of the ping is,
      And the passionate plaint of the pong.

    I live for it, love for it, like it;
      Delight of my dearest of dreams!
    To stand and to strive and to strike it,--
      So certain, so simple it seems!

    Then give me the game of the gay time,
      The ball on its wandering wing,
    The pastime for night or for day-time,
      The Pong, not to mention the Ping!


THE PESSIMIST

(_After Maeterlinck_)

    Life's bed is full of crumbs and rice,
      No roses float on my lagoon;
    There are no fingers, white and nice,
    To rub my head with scented ice,
      Or feed me with a spoon.

    I think of all the days gone by,
      Replete with black and blue regret;
    No comets light my glaucous sky,
    My tears are hardly ever dry,
      I never can forget!

    I see the yellow dog, Desire,
      That strains against the lead of Hope,
    With lilac eyes and lips of fire,
    As all in vain he strives to tire
      The hand that holds the rope.

    I see the kisses of the past,
      Like lambkins dying in the snow,
    The honeymoon that did not last,
    The tinted youth that flew so fast,
      And all this vale of woe.

    So, raising high my raucous cry,
      I ask (and Fates no answer give),
    Why am I pre-ordained to die?
    O cruel Fortune, tell me, why
      Am I allowed to live?


THE PLACE WHERE THE OLD CLEEK BROKE

(_After Whyte-Melville_)

Life is hollow to the golfer, of however high his rank,
  If the dock-leaf and the nettle grow too free,
If a bramble bar his progress, if he's bunkered by a bank,
  If his golf-ball jerks and wobbles off the tee.
There's a ditch I never pass, full of stones and broken glass,
  And I'd sooner lift my ball and count a stroke,
For the tears my vision blot when I see the fatal spot,
  'Tis the place where my old cleek broke.

There's his haft upon the table, there's his head upon a chair;
  And a better never felt the summer rain;
I may curse and I may swear, my umbrella-stand is bare,
  I shall never use my gallant cleek again!
With what unaccustomed speed would he strike the Golf-ball teed!
  How it sounded on his metal at each stroke!
Not a flyer in the game such parabolas could claim,
  At the place where the old cleek broke!

Was he cracked? I hardly think it. Did he slip? I do not know.
  He had struck the ball for forty yards or more;
He was driving smooth and even, just as hard as he could go,
  I had never seen him striking so before.
But I hardly can complain, for there must have been a strain
  I had forced beyond the compass of a joke--
And no club, however strong, could have lasted over long
  At the place where the old cleek broke!

There are men, both staid and sound, who hold it happiness unique,
  At which only the irreverent can scoff,
That is reached by means of brassey, driver, niblick, spoon, or cleek,
  And that life is not worth living without Golf.
Well, I hope it may be so; for myself I only know
  That I never more shall try another stroke;
Yes, I've wearied of the sport, since a lesson I was taught,
  At the place where the old cleek broke.


THE HOMES OF LONDON

(_After Mrs. Hemans_)

    The happy homes of London,
      How beautiful they stand!
    The crowded human rookeries
      That mar this Christian land.
    Where cats in hordes upon the roof
      For nightly music meet,
    And the horse, with non-adhesive hoof,
      Skates slowly down the street.

    The merry homes of London!
      Around bare hearths at night,
    With hungry looks and sickly mien,
      The children wail and fight.
    There woman's voice is only heard
      In shrill, abusive key,
    And men can hardly speak a word
      That is not blasphemy.

    The healthy homes of London!
      With weekly wifely wage,
    The hopeless husbands, out of work,
      Their daily thirst assuage.
    The overcrowded tenement
      Is comfortless and bare,
    The atmosphere is redolent
      Of hunger and despair.

    The blessed homes of London!
      By thousands, on her stones,
    The helpless, homeless, destitute,
      Do nightly rest their bones.
    On pavements Piccadilly way,
      In slumber like the dead,
    Their wan pathetic forms they lay,
      And make their humble bed.

    The free, fair homes of London!
      From all the thinking throng,
    Who mourn a nation's apathy,
      The cry goes up, 'How long!'
    And those who love old England's name,
      Her welfare and renown,
    Can only contemplate with shame
      The homes of London town.


THE HAPPIEST LAND

(_After Longfellow_)

    There sat one day in a tavern,
      Somewhere near Lincoln's Inn,
    Six sleepy-looking working men,
      Imbibing 'twos' of gin.

    The Potman filled their tankards
      With the liquor each preferred,
    Torpid and somnolent they sat,
      And spake not one rude word.

    But when the potman vanished,
      A brawny Scot stood forth;
    'Change here,' quoth he, 'for Aberdeen,
      Strathpeffer and the North!

    'No country in the world, I ken,
      With Scotia can compare,
    With all the dour and canny men,
      And the bonnie lasses there.

    'I hae a wee bit hoosie,
      An' a burn runs greetin' by,
    An' unco crockit Minister
      An' a bairn to milk the ki';

    'I hae a muckle haggis,
      A bap an' a skian-dhu,
    A cairngorm and a bannock,
      An' a sonsy kailyard too!'

    'Bejabers!' said an Irishman,
      'Acushla and Ochone!
    There's but one country on the Earth,
      Ould Oireland stands alone!

    'Give me the Emerald Isle, avick!
      With murphies for to ate,
    An' as many pigs and childer
      As the fingers on me _fate_.'

    Exclaimed a Frenchman, 'Par Exemple!
      Donnez-moi ma Patrie!
    Vin ordinaire and savoir faire
      Are good enough for me!

    'Have you the penknife of my Aunt?
      Mais non, hélas! but then,
    The female gardener has got
      Some paper and a pen!'

    Then spoke a Greek, 'The Isles of Greece!
      What can compare with those?
    Thalassa! and Eurêka!
      Rhododaktylos êôs!'

    'On London streets I'm working,
      With a vat of asphalt stew,
    Putting off the old macadam,
      And a-laying down the new;

    'But the country of my childhood
      Is the best that man may know,
    Oh didêmi also phêmi,
      Zôê mou sas agapô!'

    Straight rose a German and remarked
      'Vot of die Vaterland?
    Ach Himmel! Unberüfen!
      And the luffly German band?

    'Gif me some Gotterdammerung,
      And nuddings more I need,
    But ewigkeit and sauerkraut
      And niebelungenlied!'

    'Nonsense!' exclaimed an Englishman.
      ('I surely ought to know!)
    Old England is the only place
      Where any man should go!

    'Show me the something furriner
      Who such a fact denies,
    And, if I can't convince 'im,
      I can black 'is bloomin' eyes!'

    Then entered in the potman,
      And pointed to the door;
    'Outside,' said he, 'is where _you_'ll go,
      If I have any more!'

              . . . . .

    It was six friendly working men,
      Brimming with 'twos' of gin,
    Who crept from out the tavern,
      As the Dawn came creeping in.


A LONDON INVOLUNTARY

(_After W. E. Henley_)

_Spizzicato non poco skirtsando_

    Old Palace Yard!
    Hark how their breath draws lank and hard,
    The sallow stern police!
    Breaking the desultory midnight peace
    With plangent call, to cry
    'Division'! This their first especial charge.
    And now, low, luminous, and large,
    The slumbrous Member hurries by.
    Let us take cab, Dear Heart, take cab and go
    From out the lith of this loud world (I know
    The meaning of the word). Come, let us hie
    To where the lamp-posts ouch the troubled sky,--
    (And if there is one thing for which I vouch
    It is my knowledge of the verb to ouch.)
    So, as we steal
    Homeward together, we shall feel
    The buxom breeze,--
    (Observe the epithet; an apt one, if you please.)
    Down through the sober paven street,
    Which, purged and sweet,
    Gleams in the ambient deluge of the water-cart,
    Bemused and blurred and pinkly lustrous, where
    The blandest lion in Trafalgar Square
    Seems but a part
    Of the great continent of light,--
    An attribute of the embittered night,--
    How new, how naked and how clean!
    Couchant, slow, shimmering, superb!
    Constant to one environment, nor even seen
    Pottering aimlessly along the kerb.
    Lo!
    On the pavement, one of those
    Grim men who go down to the sea in ships,
    Blaspheming, reeling in a foul ellipse,
    Home to some tangled alley-bedside goes,--
    Oozing and flushed, sharing his elemental mirth
    With all the jocund undissembling earth;
    Drooping his shameless nose,
    Nor hitching up his drifting, shifting clothes.
    And here is Piccadilly! Loudly dense,
    Intractable, voluminous, immense!
    (Dear, dear my heart's desire, can I be talking sense?)


BLUEBEARD

    Yes, I am Bluebeard, and my name
      Is one that children cannot stand;
    Yet once I used to be so tame
      I'd eat out of a person's hand;
    So gentle was I wont to be,
    A Curate might have played with me.

    People accord me little praise,
      Yet I am not the least alarming;
    I can recall, in bygone days,
      A maid once said she thought me charming.
    She was my friend,--no more I vow,--
    And--she's in an asylum now.

    Girls used to clamour for my hand,
      Girls I refused in simple dozens;
    I said I'd be their brother, and
      They promised they would be my cousins.
    (One I accepted,--more or less,--
    But I've forgotten her address.)

    They worried me like anything
      By their proposals ev'ry day;
    Until at last I had to ring
      The bell, and have them cleared away;
    They longed to share my lofty rank,
    Also my balance at the bank.

    My hospitality to those
      Whom I invite to come and stay
    Is famed; my wine like water flows,--
      Exactly like, some people say;
    But this is mere impertinence
    To one who never spares expense.

    When through the streets I walk about,
      My subjects stand and kiss their hands,
    Raise a refined metallic shout,
      Wave flags and warble tunes on bands;
    While bunting hangs on ev'ry front,--
    With my commands to let it bunt!

    When I come home again, of course,
      Retainers are employed to cheer,
    My paid domestics get quite hoarse
      Acclaiming me, and you can hear
    The welkin ringing to the sky,--
    Ay, ay, and let it welk, say I!

    And yet, in spite of this, there are
      Some persons who, at diff'rent times,
    --(Because I am so popular)--
      Accuse me of most awful crimes;
    A girl once said I was a flirt!
    Oh my! how the expression hurt!

    I _never_ flirted in the least,
      Never for very long, I mean,--
    Ask any lady (now deceased)
      Who partner of my life has been;--
    Oh well, of course, sometimes, perhaps,
    I meet a girl, like other chaps,--

    And, if I like her very much,
      And if she cares for me a bit,
    Where is the harm of look or touch,
      If neither of us mentions it?
    It isn't right, I don't suppose,
    But no one's hurt if no one knows!

    One should not break oneself _too_ fast
      Of little habits of this sort,
    Which may be definitely classed
      With gambling, or a taste for port;
    They should be _slowly_ dropped, until
    The Heart is subject to the Will.

    I knew a man (in Regent Street)
      Who, at a very slight expense,
    By persevering, was complete-
      Ly cured of Total Abstinence
    An altered life he has begun
    And takes a glass with any one.

    I knew another man, whose wife
      Was an invet'rate suicide;
    She daily strove to take her life,
      And (naturally) nearly died;
    But some such system she essayed,
    And now--she's eighty in the shade.

    Ah, the new leaves I try to turn!
      But, like so many men in town,
    I seem (as with regret I learn)
      Merely to turn the corner down;
    A habit which, I fear, alack!
    Makes it more easy to turn back.

    I have been criticised a lot;
      I venture to inquire what for?
    Because, forsooth, I have not got
      The instincts of a bachelor!
    Just hear my story, you will find
    How grossly I have been maligned.

    I was unlucky with my wives,
      So are the most of married men;
    Undoubtedly they lost their lives,--
      Of course, but even so, what then?
    I loved them like no other man,
    And I _can_ love, you bet I can!

    My first was little Emmeline,
      More beautiful than day was she;
    Her proud, aristocratic mien
      Was what at once attracted me.
    I naturally did not know
    That I should soon dislike her so.

    But there it was! And you'll infer
      I had not very long to wait
    Before my red-hot love for her
      Turned to unutterable hate.
    So, when this state of things I found,
    I had her casually drowned.

    My next was Sarah, sweet but shy,
      And quite inordinately meek;
    Yes, even now I wonder why
      I had her hanged within the week;
    Perhaps I felt a bit upset,
    Or else she bored me. I forget.

    Then came Evangeline, my third,
      And when I chanced to be away,
    She, so I subsequently heard,
      Was wont (I deeply grieve to say)
    With my small retinue to flirt.
    I strangled her. I hope it hurt.

    Isabel was, I think, my next,--
      (That is, if I remember right),--
    And I was really very vexed
      To find her hair come off at night;
    To falsehood I could not connive,
    And so I had her boiled alive.

    Then came Sophia, I believe,
      Her coiffure was at least her own;
    Alas! she fancied to deceive
      Her friends, by altering its tone.
    She dyed her locks a flaming red!
    I suffocated her in bed.

    Susannah Maud was number six,
      But she did not survive a day;
    Poor Sue, she had no parlour tricks,
      And hardly anything to say.
    A little strychnine in her tea
    Finished her off, and I was free.

    Yet I did not despair, and soon,
      In spite of failures, started off
    Upon my seventh honeymoon,
      With Jane; but could not stand her cough.
    'Twas chronic. Kindness was in vain.
    I pushed her underneath the train.

    Well, after her, I married Kate,
      A most unpleasant woman. Oh!
    I caught her at the garden gate,
      Kissing a man I didn't know;
    And, as that didn't suit me quite,
    I blew her up with dynamite.

    Most married men, so sorely tried
      As this, would have been rather bored.
    Not I, but chose another bride,
      And married Ruth. Alas! she snored!
    I served her just the same as Kate,
    And so she joined the other eight.

    My last was Grace; I am not clear,
      I _think_ she didn't like me much;
    She used to scream when I came near,
      And shuddered at my lightest touch.
    She seemed to wish to keep aloof,
    And so I threw her off the roof.

    This is the point I wish to make;--
      From all the wives for whom I grieve,
    Whose lives I had perforce to take,
      Not one complaint did I receive;
    And no expense was spared to please
    My spouses at their obsequies.

    My habits, I would have you know,
      Are perfect, as they've always been;
    You ask if I am good, and go
      To church, and keep my fingers clean?
    I do, I mean to say I am,
    I have the morals of a lamb.

    In my domains there is no sin,
      Virtue is rampant all the time,
    Since I so thoughtfully brought in
      A bill which legalises crime;
    Committing things that are not wrong
    Must pall before so very long.

    And if what you imagine vice
      Is not considered so at all,
    Crime doesn't seem the least bit nice,
      There's no temptation then to fall;
    For half the charm of things we do
    Is knowing that we oughtn't to.

    Believe me, then, I am not bad,
      Though in my youth I had to trek,
    Because I happened to have had
      Some difficulties with a cheque.
    What forgery in some might be
    Is absent-mindedness in me!

    I know that I was much abused,
      No doubt when I was young and rash,
    But I should not have been accused
      Of misappropriating cash.
    I may have sneaked a silver dish;--
    Well, you may search me if you wish!

    So, now you see me, more or less,
      As I would figure in your thoughts;
    A trifle given to excess,
      And prone perhaps to vice of sorts;
    When tempted, rather apt to fall,
    But still--a good chap after all!


'THE WOMAN WITH THE DEAD SOLES'

(_After Stephen Phillips_)

    Attracted to the frozen river's brink,
    Where on a small impromptu snow-swept rink,
    The happy skaters darted left and right,
    Or circled amorously out of sight,
    Some self-supporting; some, like falling stars,
    Spread-eagling ankle-weak parabolas;
    I watched the human swarm, and I was 'ware
    A woman, disarranged, knelt on a chair.
    She had cold feet on which she could not run,
    And piteously she thawed them in the sun.
    Those feet were of a woman that alone
    Was kneeling; a pink liquid by her shone,
    Which raising to her luminous, lantern jaw,
    She sipped; or idly stirred it with a straw.
    Upon her hat she wore a kind of fowl,
    An hummingbird, I ween, or else an owl.
    Then turned to me. I looked the other way,
    Trembling; I knew the words she wished to say.
    So warm her gaze the blood rushed to my head,
    Instinctively I knew her feet were dead.
    Amorphous feet, like monumental moons,
    Pavement-obliterating, vast, pontoons,
    Superbly varnished, to the ice had come,
    And now, snow-kissed, frost-fettered, dangled numb.
    Gently she spoke,--the while my senses whirled,
    Of 'largest circulations in the world';
    Wildly she spoke, as babble men in dreams,
    Of feeling life's blood 'rushing to extremes';
    But I ignored her with deliberate stare,
    Until the indelicate thing began to swear.
    Sensations as of pins and needles rose,
    Apollinaris-like, in tingled toes.
    She felt the hungry frost that punctured holes,
    Like concentrated seidlitz, in her soles.
    Feebly she stept; and sudden was aware
    Her feet had gone,--they were no longer there,--
    And from her boots was willing to be freed;
    She would not keep what she could never need.
    Sullenly I consented, and withdrew
    From either heel a huge chaotic shoe;
    Yet for a time laboriously and slow
    She journeyed with her ponderous boots, as though
    Along with her she could not help but bear
    The bargelike burdens she was wont to wear.
    Towards me she reeled; and 'Oh! my Uncle,' cried,
    'My Uncle!' but I pushed her to one side,
    Then smiled upon her so she could not stay,--
    (My smile can frighten motor-cars away):--
    While thus I grinned, not knowing what to do,
    A belted beadle, in immaculate blue,
    Plucked at my sleeve, and shattered my romance,
    Wheeling on cushion tires an ambulance.
    Deliberately then he laid her there,
    Tucked in and bore away; I did not care!


ROSEMARY

(_A Ballad of the Boudoir_)

    'E'er August be turned to September,
      Nor Summer to Autumn as yet,
    My darling, you Autumn remember
      What Summer so sure to forget.

    'Though age may extinguish the ember
      That glowed in our hearts when we met,
    Remember, my love, to remember,
      And I will forget to forget.

    'Who knows but the winds of December
      May drift us asunder, my pet;
    And if I forget to remember,
      Remember, my sweet, to forget!

    'My beauty will fade, as the posy
      You gave me that night on the stairs;
    My lips will not always be rosy,
      My head cannot give itself 'airs.

    'Alas! as we both become older,
      Existence draws nigh to a close;
    So, until I've forgotten your shoulder,
      You must not remember my nose.

    'Our days were not all sunny weather;
      Even so we have nought to regret,--
    Ah! let us remember together,
      Until we forget to forget!'


PORTKNOCKIE'S PORTER

(_With apologies to Porphyria's Lover_)

    The train came early in to-night,
      The sullen guard was soon awake,
    And threw my luggage down, for spite,
      To where the platform seemed a lake;
      And did his best my box to break.
    When sidled up a porter; straight,
      He mopped the platform with a broom,
    And, kneeling, made the well-filled grate
      Blaze up within the waiting-room,
      And so dispelled the usual gloom.
    Which done, he came and took his seat
      Beside me, doffed his coat, untied
    His bootlaces, and let his feet
      Peep coyly out on either side;
      Then called me. When no voice replied,
    He rolled his shirt-sleeve up, and rose,
      And laid his brawny biceps bare,
    And, where my eyebrows meet my nose,
      He slowly shook his fist, just there,
      And seized me by my yellow hair.
    Then roughly asked me, had I got
      A head as empty as a bubble?
    Bidding me sternly, did I not
      Desire henceforth to see things double,
      To give him something for his trouble.
    Nor could my arguments prevail;
      Entreaties, threats were all in vain!
    Returned he to the twice-told tale
      Of how, from out the midnight train,
      He bore my luggage through the rain.
    I fixed him with my cold grey eye,
      But all in vain; at last I knew
    That porter hated me; (though why
      I cannot understand, can you?)
      And what on earth was I to do!
    Next moment, though I still perspire
      To think of it, I quickly found
    A thing to do; and on the fire
      I pushed him backwards with a bound,
      And piled the coal up all around.
    Cremated him. No pain he felt.
      As a shut coop that holds a hen,
    I oped the register and smelt
      An odour as of burnt quill-pen.
      My laughter bubbled over then.
    I seized him lightly, with the tongs
      About his waist; and through the door
    I bore him, burning with my wrongs,
      And laid him on the line. What's more,
      The down express was due at four.

              . . . . .

    The mark is on the metals still,
      A gruesome stain, I must confess,
    And, when I pass, it makes me ill
      To note the somewhat painful mess
      Concocted by the down express.
    Portknockie's porter; so he died.
      The date of inquest is deferred.
    'Tis thought a case of suicide;
      And he who might have seen or heard,--
      The guard,--has never said a word.


THE BALLAD OF THE LITTLE JINGLANDER

'WHEN THE MOTHER COUNTRY CALLS!'

(_With apologies to all concerned_)

_North and South and East and West, the message travels fast!
East and West and North and South, the bugles blare and blast!
North and West and East and South, the battle-cry grows plain!
West and South and North and East, it echoes back again!_

For the East is calling Westwards, and the North is speaking South,
There's a threat on ev'ry curling lip, an oath in ev'ry mouth;
'Tis the shadow of an Empire o'er the Universe that falls,
And the winds of Heaven wonder when the Mother-country calls!

Now the call is carried coastwise, from Calay to Bungapore,
From the sunny South Pacific to the North Atlantic shore;
Gathers volume in its footsteps and grows grander as it goes,
From Jeboom to Pongawongo, where the Rumtumpootra flows.
The 'native-born' he sits alert beneath a deodar,
He sharpens up his 'cummerbund' and loads his 'khitmagar,'

His 'ekkah' stands untasted, as he girds upon his brow
The 'syce' his father gave him, saying 'unkah punkah jow!'

    _Come forth, you babu jemadar,
      No lackh of pice we bring,
    Bid the ferash comb your moustashe,
      And join the great White King!_

And Westward, where 'Our Lady of the Sunshine' (not 'the Snows')
Delights to herd the caribou, and where the chipmunk grows,
The 'habitant' he sits amid a grove of maple trees,
He decorates his shanty and he polishes his 'skis.'
And see! Through ranch or lumber-camp, where'er the news shall go,
The daughters cease to gather fruit, the sons to shovel snow!

They love the dear old Mother-land that they have never seen,
The Empire that they advertise as 'vaster than has been'!

    _Come forth, you mild militiaman,
      To conquer or to fail,
    Who is it helps the Lion's whelps
      Untwist the Lion's tail?_

The pride of race, the pride of place, and bond of blood they feel,
The Indies indicate it and New Zealand shows new zeal.
The daughters in their Mother's house are mistress in their own;
They are her heirs, her flesh is theirs, and they would share her bone!
Lo! Greater Britain stretches out her hands across the sea;
Australia forgets her impecuniositee;
On Afric's shore the wily Boer is ready now to fight,
For the Khaki and the rooinek, for the Empire and the Right!

    _Come forth, you valiant volunteer,
      Come forth to do or die,
    You give a hand to Mother, and
      She'll help you by and by!_

Upon her score of distant shores the sun is always bright;
(And always in her empire, too, it must somewhere be night!)
Her birthplace is the Ocean, where her pennon braves the breeze;
Her motto, 'What is ours we'll hold (and what is not we'll seize!)'
Her rule is strong, her purse is long, her sons are stern and true,
With iron hands she holds her lands (and other people's too).
She sees her chance and cries 'Advance,' while others stand and gape,
Her oxengoads shall claim the roads from Cairo to the Cape.

    _Come out, you big black Fuzzy-Wuz,
      You've got to take your share;
    We'll make you sweat till you forget
      You broke a British Square!_

_North and South and East and West, the message travels fast!
East and West and North and South, the bugles blare and blast!
Hear we but a whisper that the foe is at the walls,
And, by Gad, we'll show them something when the Mother Country calls!_


AFTWORD

    'Tis done! We reach the final page
      With feelings of relief, I'm certain;
    And there arrives, at such a stage,
      The moment to ring down the Curtain.
    (This metaphor is freely taken
    From Shakespeare,--or perhaps from Bacon.)

    The Book perused, our Future brings
      A plethora of blank to-morrows,
    When memories of Happier Things
      Will be our Sorrow's Crown of Sorrows.
    (I trust you recognise this line
    As being Tennyson's, not mine.)

    My verses may indeed be few,
      But are they not, to quote the poet,
    'The sweetest things that ever grew
      Beside a human door'? I know it!
    (What an _in_human door would be,
    Enquire of Wordsworth, please, not me.)

    'Twas one of my most cherished dreams
      To write a Moral Book some day;--
    What says the Bard? 'The best laid schemes
      Of Mice and Men gang aft agley!'
    (The Bard here mentioned, by the bye,
    Is Robbie Burns, of course,--not I.)

    And tho' my pen records each thought
      As swift as the phonetic Pitman,
    Morality is not my 'forte,'
      O Camarados! (_vide_ Whitman).
    And, like the Porcupine, I still
    Am forced to ply a fretful quill.

    We may be Masters of our Fate,
      (As Henley was inspired to mention),
    Yet am I but the Second Mate
      Upon the s.s. 'Good Intention';
    For me the course direct is lacking,--
    I have to do a deal of tacking.

    To seek for Morals here's a task
      Of which you well may be despairing;
    'What has become of them?' you ask.
      They've given me the slip,--like Waring.
    'Look East!' said Browning once, and I
    Would make a similar reply.

    Look East, where in a garret drear,
      The Author works, without cessation,
    Composing verses for a mere-
      Ly nominal remuneration;
    And, while he has the strength to write 'em,
    Will do so still--_ad infinitum!_


ENVOI

    Speed, flippant rhymes, throughout the land;
      Disperse yourselves with patient zeal!
    Go, perch upon the critic's hand,
      Just after he has had a meal.
    But should he still unfriendly be,
    Unperch and hasten back to me.

              . . . . .

    O gentle maid, O happy boy,
      This copy of my book is done;
    But don't forget that I enjoy
      A royalty on ev'ry one;
    Just think how wealthy I should be,
    If you would purchase two or three!


    _MORAL_

    No moral that I ever took
      Seemed quite so evident before.
    If purchasing an author's book
      Will keep the wolf from his back-door,
    It is our very obvious mission
    To buy up the entire edition.


FINIS.


Printed by T. and A. CONSTABLE, Printers to His Majesty
at the Edinburgh University Press



       *       *       *       *       *



_BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

Fiscal Ballads.

(SECOND IMPRESSION.)

_Fcap. 8vo. 1s. net._

'The fiscal controversy has not been very fruitful in verse. So far as
we are aware, only one balladist has found any genuine inspiration in
it. That is Mr. Harry Graham, whose skill as a rhymer in other
directions has already been abundantly proved. The ballads for the most
part take a colloquial form, and while containing much humour, are full
of sound doctrine.... Mr. Graham, it will be seen, has great facility
in rhyme, and in all this rhyme there is reason. When the General
Election comes this book should be a gold-mine for the political
reciter.'--_Westminster Gazette_.

'A most amusing contribution to the literature of the fiscal
controversy.'--_Daily Telegraph_.

'True ballads, with abundant vigour and piquancy.'--_Aberdeen Free
Press_.

'Good both in intention and execution.'--_Speaker_.

'These ballads ... are very good. Indeed, we cannot remember any recent
example of political truths expressed with such exactness as well as
spirit in humorous verse. The fun is as good as the argument.... Of
this admirable little book we will only say, in conclusion, that it
will amuse and delight even those who had imagined that nothing more
worth reading could possibly be printed on the fiscal question. We
would strongly urge such persons to invest a shilling in "Fiscal
Ballads," for we are confident they will not be disappointed. If the
Free-Trade organisations are wise, they will seek leave to reprint
selections from them in leaflets which can be circulated by the
million.'--_Spectator_.

LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43 MADDOX ST., W.



_BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes.

ILLUSTRATED BY 'G. H.'

_Oblong_ 4_to._ 3_s._ 6_d._


'It is impossible not to be amused by some of the "Ruthless Rhymes for
Heartless Homes," by Colonel D. Streamer, nor can any one with a sense
of humour fail to appreciate the many amusing points in the
illustrations.'--_Westminster._

'"Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes" is the name of a really charming
little book of rhymes. The words are by Col. D. Streamer, and the
illustrations by "G. H.," and 'tis hard to say whether words or
pictures are the cleverer.... The book is one which must, however, be
seen to be appreciated; to properly describe it is
impossible.'--_Calcutta Englishman._

'Wise parents will, however, keep strictly to themselves "Ruthless
Rhymes for Heartless Homes," by Col. D. Streamer. The illustrations by
"G. H." are very amusing, and especially happy is that to "Equanimity,"
when

    "Aunt Jane observed the second time
      She tumbled off a 'bus,
    The step is short from the sublime
      To the ridiculous."'

                        --_Daily Telegraph._

'Another charming whimsicality published by Mr. Edward Arnold is
"Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes."'--_Sydney Morning Herald._

'The veriest nonsense, possessing the quality that makes it akin to
Carroll's work.'--_New York Bookworm._

'It is difficult to see the humour of

    "Philip, foozling with his cleek,
    Drove his ball through Helen's cheek.
    Sad they bore her corpse away,
    Seven up and six to play."'

                        --_Scotsman._


LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43 MADDOX ST., W.



_BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

Ballads of the Boer War.

_Fcap. 8vo, buckram._ 3_s._ 6_d._ _net._

(_Second Edition._)


'There is unquestionably a good deal of human nature in the book, and
as an expression of sentiments which have remained hitherto
inarticulate, as a revelation not always edifying, but often
illuminating, of the heart of the man in the ranks, this little volume
is a distinct addition to the literature of the war.'--_Spectator._

'Racy expressions of Tommy Atkins' feelings in Tommy Atkins'
language.... "Coldstreamer's" verses in their kind are as good as any
we have seen.'--_Academy._

'These colloquial rhymes express the private soldier's views in his own
language.'--_The Times._

'These racy ballads make a book which many will read with interest and
sympathy.'--_Scotsman._

'As good as anything yet done in the vernacular of Mr. Thomas Atkins. A
book for every friend of the army.'--_Outlook._

'One of the liveliest books of light verse we have come across for a
long time.'--_County Gentleman._

'Vigorous Kiplingesque verses, with sound common-sense and genuine
feeling. Well worth reading and buying.'--_To-Day._

'Mephitic exhalations.'--_Daily News._


LONDON: GRANT RICHARDS, 48 LEICESTER SQUARE, W.C.



_BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

Misrepresentative Men.

ILLUSTRATED BY F. STROTHMAN.

(_Second Edition._)


OPINIONS OF THE AMERICAN PRESS.

'One of the most amusing books of the year. Mr. Graham is a fluent and
ingenious rhymester, with an alert mind and a well-controlled sense of
humour.'--_The Times_ (New York).

'"Misrepresentative Men" shows so high-spirited a mastery of words and
metre (the result, we take it, of laborious days) that it will be read
with pleasure by the most fastidious lover of what is amusing.'--_The
Nation_ (New York).

'Mr. Graham's verses are exceedingly clever, and Mr. Strothman's
illustrations add to their cleverness.'--_The Bookman_ (New York).

'A very amusing little book, by that cleverly humorous versifier "Col.
D. Streamer," whose _Ruthless Rhymes for Heartless Homes_ has had such
a deserved vogue.'--_Town Topics_ (New York).

'The most amusing biographical caricatures of celebrities that we have
read for a long time. There is not a dull line in the entire
collection.'--_The Bookseller_ (New York).

'These satirical verses have the same ingenious humour as the writer's
previous rhymes. The book is altogether refreshing.'--_Town and
Country_ (New York).

'The hit of the season.'--_The Lexington Herald._

'A most attractively humorous work.'--_The Pittsburg Despatch._

'A little book of really clever verse.'--_The Milwaukee Sentinel._


LONDON: GAY AND BIRD, 22 BEDFORD STREET, STRAND.



SELECTIONS FROM
MR. EDWARD ARNOLD'S LIST
OF NEW AND RECENT BOOKS.


THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE
RIGHT HON. CECIL JOHN RHODES.

By the HON. SIR LEWIS MICHELL.

_Illustrated._ _Two volumes, demy 8vo._, 30s. net.

This important work will take rank as the authoritative biography of
one of the greatest of modern Englishmen. Sir Lewis Michell, who has
been engaged upon the work for five years, is an executor of Mr.
Rhodes' will, and a trustee of the Rhodes Estate. He was an intimate
personal friend of Mr. Rhodes for many years, and has had access to all
the papers at Groote Schuur. Hitherto, although many partial
appreciations of the great man have been published in the Press or in
small volumes, no complete and well-informed life of him has appeared.
The gap has now been filled by Sir Lewis Michell so thoroughly that we
have in these two volumes what will undoubtedly be the final estimate
of Mr. Rhodes' career for many years to come.


THE REMINISCENCES OF ADMIRAL MONTAGU.

_With Illustrations._ _One volume, demy 8vo._, cloth, 15s. net.

The Author of this entertaining book, Admiral the Hon. Victor Montagu,
has passed a long life divided between the amusements of aristocratic
society in this country and the duties of naval service afloat in many
parts of the world. His memory recalls many anecdotes of well-known
men, and he was honoured with the personal friendship of the late King
Edward VII. and of the German Emperor, by whom his seamanship, as well
as his social qualities, were highly esteemed. As a sportsman he has
something to say about shooting, fishing, hunting, and cricket, and his
stories of life in the great country houses where he was a frequent
guest have a flavour of their own.


LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43, MADDOX STREET, W.



NOVELS.


HOWARDS END.
By E. M. FORSTER,

AUTHOR OF 'A ROOM WITH A VIEW,' 'THE LONGEST JOURNEY,' ETC.

6s.

_BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

A ROOM WITH A VIEW. 6s.


THE RETURN.
By WALTER DE LA MARE.

6s.

'The Return' is the story of a man suddenly confronted, as if by the
caprice of chance, with an ordeal that cuts him adrift from every
certain hold he has upon the world immediately around him. He becomes
acutely conscious of those unseen powers which to many, whether in
reality or in imagination, are at all times vaguely present, haunting
life with their influences. In this solitude--a solitude of the mind
which the business of everyday life confuses and drives back--he faces
as best he can, and gropes his way through his difficulties, and wins
his way at last, if not to peace, at least to a clearer and quieter
knowledge of self.


THE GRAY MAN.
By JANE WARDLE.

6s.

The writer is one of the very few present-day novelists who have
consistently followed up the aim they originally set themselves--that
of striking a mean between the Realist and the Romanticist. In her
latest novel, 'The Gray Man,' which Miss Wardle herself believes to
contain the best work she has so far produced, it will be found that
she has as successfully avoided the bald one-sidedness of miscalled
'Realism' on the one hand, as the sloppy sentimentality of the ordinary
'Romance' on the other. At the same time, 'The Gray Man' contains both
realism and romance in full measure, in the truer sense of both words.

_BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

MARGERY PIGEON. 6s.
THE PASQUE FLOWER. 6s.


LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43, MADDOX STREET, W.



NOVELS.


THE PURSUIT.

By FRANK SAVILE.

6s.

That the risk of being kidnapped, to which their great riches exposes
multi-millionaires, is a very real one, is constantly being reaffirmed
in the reports that are published of the elaborate precautions many of
them take to preserve their personal liberty. In its present phase,
where there is the great wealth on one side and a powerful gang--or
rather syndicate--of clever rascals on the other, it possesses many
characteristics appealing to those who enjoy a good thrilling romance.
Mr. Savile has already won his spurs in this field, but his new tale
should place him well in the front ranks of contemporary romancers.

_BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

SEEKERS. _A Romance of the Balkans._ 6s. THE DESERT VENTURE. 6s.


ANNE DOUGLAS SEDGWICK'S LATEST NOVEL.

FRANKLIN KANE.

By ANNE DOUGLAS SEDGWICK,

AUTHOR OF 'VALERIE UPTON,' 'AMABEL CHANNICE,' ETC.

_Second Impression._ 6s.

'Anne Sedgwick is in the first rank of modern novelists, and nobody who
cares for good work can afford to miss one line that she
writes.'--_Punch._

'A figure never to be forgotten.'--_Standard._

'There are no stereotyped patterns here.'--_Daily Chronicle._

'A very graceful and charming comedy.'--_Manchester Guardian._


AN ADMIRABLE NOVEL BY A NEW WRITER.

A STEPSON OF THE SOIL.

By MARY J. H. SKRINE.

_Second Impression._ 6s.

'Mrs. Skrine's admirable novel is one of those unfortunately rare books
which, without extenuating the hard facts of life, maintain and raise
one's belief in human nature. The story is simple, but the manner of
its telling is admirably uncommon. Her portraits are quite
extraordinarily vivid.'--_Spectator._

LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43, MADDOX STREET, W.



BOOKS ON COUNTRY LIFE.

FLY-LEAVES FROM A FISHERMAN'S DIARY.

By CAPTAIN G. E. SHARP.

_With Photogravure Illustrations. Crown 8vo._, 5s. net.

This is a very charming little book containing the reflections on
things piscatorial of a 'dry-fly' fisherman on a south country stream.
Although the Author disclaims any right to pose as an expert, it is
clear that he knows well his trout, and how to catch them. He is an
enthusiast, who thinks nothing of cycling fifteen miles out for an
evening's fishing, and home again when the 'rise' is over. Indeed, he
confesses that there is no sport he loves so passionately, and this
love of his art--surely dry-fly fishing is an art?--makes for writing
that is pleasant to read, even as Isaac Walton's love thereof inspired
the immortal pages of 'The Compleat Angler.'


MEMORIES OF THE MONTHS.

By the RIGHT HON. SIR HERBERT MAXWELL, Bart.,

AUTHOR OF 'SCOTTISH GARDENS,' ETC.

_SERIES I. to V._

_With Photogravure Illustrations. Large crown 8vo._, 7s. 6d. each.

Every year brings new changes in the old order of Nature, and the
observant eye can always find fresh features on the face of the
Seasons. Sir Herbert Maxwell goes out to meet Nature on the moor and
loch, in garden and forest, and writes of what he sees and feels. This
is what gives his work its abiding charm, and makes these memories fill
the place of old friends on the library bookshelf.


COLONEL MEYSEY-THOMPSON'S HANDBOOKS.

A HUNTING CATECHISM.

By COLONEL R. F. MEYSEY-THOMPSON,

AUTHOR OF 'REMINISCENCES OF THE COURSE, THE CAMP, AND THE CHASE.'

_Fcap. 8vo._, 3s. 6d. net.


A FISHING CATECHISM. 3s. 6d. net.

A SHOOTING CATECHISM. 3s. 6d. net.

LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43, MADDOX STREET, W.


A GAMEKEEPER'S NOTE-BOOK. By OWEN JONES and MARCUS WOODWARD. With
Photogravure Illustrations. Large crown 8vo., cloth, 7s. 6d. net.

In this charming and romantic book we follow the gamekeeper in his
secret paths, stand by him while with deft fingers he arranges his
traps and snares, watch with what infinite care he tends his young game
through all the long days of spring and summer--and in autumn and
winter garners with equal eagerness the fruits of his labour. He takes
us into the coverts at night, and with him we keep the long
vigil--while poachers come, or come not.

The authors know their subject through and through. This is a real
series of studies from life, and the note-book from which all the
impressions are drawn and all the pictures painted is the real
note-book of a real gamekeeper.


TEN YEARS OF GAME-KEEPING. By OWEN JONES. With numerous Illustrations
from Photographs by the Author. One volume, demy 8vo., cloth, 10s. 6d.
net.

'This is a book for all sportsmen, for all who take an interest in
sport, and for all who love the English woodlands. Mr. Jones writes
from triple view-points--those of sportsman, naturalist, and
gamekeeper--and every page of his book reveals an intimate knowledge of
the ways of the English wild, a perfect mastery of all that the word
"woodcraft" may stand for, and a true instinct of sportsmanship. This
book at once takes its place as a standard work; and its freshness will
endure as surely as spring comes to the woods that inspired
it.'--_Evening Standard._


REGINALD FARRER'S GARDENING BOOKS.

IN A YORKSHIRE GARDEN.

By REGINALD FARRER.

_With numerous Illustrations. Demy 8vo._, 10s. 6d. net.

MY ROCK-GARDEN. Fully Illustrated. Large crown 8vo., 7s. 6d. net. Third
Impression.

ALPINES AND BOG-PLANTS. Fully Illustrated. Large crown 8vo., 7s. 6d.
net.


A BOOK ABOUT ROSES. By the late Very Rev. S. REYNOLDS HOLE, Dean of
Rochester. Illustrated by G. H. MOON and G. S. ELGOOD, R.I.
Twenty-fourth Impression. Presentation Edition, with Coloured Plates,
6s. Popular Edition, 3s. 6d.

A BOOK ABOUT THE GARDEN AND THE GARDENER. By the late Very Rev. S.
REYNOLDS HOLE, Dean of Rochester. Popular Edition. Crown 8vo., 3s. 6d.

LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43, MADDOX STREET, W.



BOOKS OF TRAVEL.

FOREST LIFE AND SPORT IN INDIA. By SAINTHILL EARDLEY-WILMOT, C.I.E.,
lately Inspector-General of Forests to the Indian Government;
Commissioner under the Development and Road Improvement Funds Act.
Fully Illustrated. Demy 8vo. 12s. 6d. net.

The Author of this volume was appointed to the Indian Forest Service in
days when the Indian Mutiny was fresh in the minds of his companions,
and life in the department full of hardships, loneliness, and
discomfort. These drawbacks, however, were largely compensated for by
the splendid opportunities for sports of all kinds which almost every
station in the Service offered, and it is in describing the pursuit of
game that the most exciting episodes of the book are to be found.
Tigers, spotted deer, wild buffaloes, mountain goats, sambhar, bears,
and panthers, are the subject of endless yarns, in the relation of
which innumerable useful hints, often the result of failure and even
disasters, are given.

IN FORBIDDEN SEAS: Recollections of Sea-Otter Hunting in the Kurils. By
H. J. SNOW, F.R.G.S. Illustrated. Demy 8vo. 12s. 6d. net.

The Author of this interesting book has had an experience probably
unique in an almost unknown part of the world. The stormy wind-swept
and fog-bound regions of the Kuril Islands, between Japan and
Kamchatka, have rarely been visited save by the adventurous hunters of
the sea-otter, and the animal is now becoming so scarce that the
hazardous occupation of these bold voyagers is no longer profitable.

SPORT AND NATURE IN SPAIN. By ABEL CHAPMAN and WALTER J. BUCK, British
Vice-Consul at Jerez. With 200 Illustrations by the AUTHORS, E.
CALDWELL, and others, Sketch Maps, and Photographs.

In Europe Spain is certainly far and away the wildest of wild
lands--due as much to her physical formation as to any historic or
racial causes. Naturally the Spanish fauna remains one of the richest
and most varied in Europe. It is of these wild regions and of their
wild inhabitants that the authors write, backed by lifelong experience.
The present work represents nearly forty years of constant study, of
practical experience in field and forest, combined with systematic
note-taking and analysis by men who are recognized as specialists in
their selected pursuits. These comprise every branch of sport with rod,
gun, and rifle; and, beyond all that, the ability to elaborate the
results in the light of modern zoological science.

LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43, MADDOX STREET, W.


TWENTY YEARS IN THE HIMALAYA. By Major the Hon. C. G. BRUCE, M.V.O.,
Fifth Gurkha Rifles. Fully Illustrated. With Map. Demy 8vo., cloth.
16s. net.

The Himalaya is a world in itself, comprising many regions which differ
widely from each other as regards their natural features, their fauna
and flora, and the races and languages of their inhabitants. Major
Bruce's relation to this world is absolutely unique--he has journeyed
through it, now in one part, now in another, sometimes mountaineering,
sometimes in pursuit of big game, sometimes in the performance of his
professional duties, for more than twenty years; and now his
acquaintance with it under all its diverse aspects, though naturally
far from complete, is more varied and extensive than has ever been
possessed by anyone else.

RECOLLECTIONS OF AN OLD MOUNTAINEER. By WALTER LARDEN. Fully
Illustrated. Demy 8vo., cloth. 14s. net.

There are a few men in every generation, such as A. F. Mummery and L.
Norman Neruda, who possess a natural genius for mountaineering. The
ordinary lover of the mountains reads the story of their climbs with
admiration and perhaps a tinge of envy, but with no thought of
following in their footsteps--such feats are not for him. The great and
special interest of Mr. Larden's book lies in the fact that he does not
belong to this small and distinguished class. He tells us, and
convinces us, that he began his Alpine career with no exceptional
endowment of nerve or activity, and describes, fully and with supreme
candour, how he made himself into what he very modestly calls a
second-class climber--not 'a Grepon-crack man,' but one capable of
securely and successfully leading a party of amateurs over such peaks
as Mont Collon or the Combin.

THE MISADVENTURES OF A HACK CRUISER. By F. CLAUDE KEMPSON, Author of
'The _Green Finch_ Cruise.' With 50 Illustrations from the Author's
sketches. Medium 8vo., cloth. 6s. net.

Mr. Kempson's amusing account of 'The _Green Finch_ Cruise,' which was
published last year, gave deep delight to the joyous fraternity of
amateur sailor-men, and the success that book enjoyed has encouraged
him to describe a rather more ambitious cruise he undertook
subsequently. Mr. Kempson is not an expert, but he shows how anyone
accustomed to a sportsman's life can, with a little instruction and
common sense, have a thoroughly enjoyable time sailing a small boat.
The book is full of 'tips and wrinkles' of all kinds, interspersed with
amusing anecdotes and reflections. The Author's sketches are
exquisitely humorous, and never more so than when he is depicting his
own substantial person.

LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43, MADDOX STREET, W.


THE COTTAGE HOMES OF ENGLAND.

CHARMINGLY ILLUSTRATED IN COLOUR BY MRS. ALLINGHAM.

_With 64 Full-page Coloured Plates from Pictures by HELEN ALLINGHAM,
never before reproduced_. 8_vo._ (9-1/2 _in._ by 7 _in._), 21s. net.
_Also a limited Edition de Luxe_, 42s. net.


A HISTORY OF THE LONDON HOSPITAL.

By E. W. MORRIS,

SECRETARY OF THE LONDON HOSPITAL.

_With Illustrations._ 6s. net.

'Besant long ago wrote "All Sorts and Conditions of Men," and won and
built thereby the People's Palace. Here is a better book. Its people
are real, its romance is facts, its palace is a hospital of a thousand
beds.'--_Daily Telegraph._


THE BOOK OF WINTER SPORTS.

With an Introduction by the Rt. Hon. the EARL OF LYTTON, and
contributions from experts in various branches of sport.

Edited by EDGAR SYERS.

_Fully Illustrated. Demy 8vo._, 15s. net.


THE DUDLEY BOOK OF COOKERY AND HOUSEHOLD RECIPES.

By GEORGIANA, COUNTESS OF DUDLEY.

_Handsomely printed and bound. Third Impression._ 7s. 6d. net.

COMMON-SENSE COOKERY: Based on Modern English and Continental
Principles worked out in Detail. By Colonel A. KENNEY-HERBERT. Over 500
pages. Illustrated. 6s. net.

_BY THE SAME AUTHOR._

FIFTY BREAKFASTS. 2s. 6d.

FIFTY LUNCHEONS. 2s. 6d.

FIFTY DINNERS. 2s. 6d.

LONDON: EDWARD ARNOLD, 41 & 43, MADDOX STREET, W.



       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes

Pages 148 and 149: The words noted below are transliterations of the
original Greek characters.

 Then spoke a Greek, 'The Isles of Greece!
      What can compare with those?
    [Greek: Thalassa]! and [Greek: Eurêka]!
      [Greek: Rhododaktylos êôs]!'

    'But the country of my childhood
      Is the best that man may know,
    Oh [Greek: didêmi] also [Greek: phêmi],
      [Greek: Zôê mou sas agapô]!'





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