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Title: Dagonet Ditties
Author: Sims, George R.
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.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Dagonet Ditties" ***

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                            DAGONET DITTIES

                       WORKS BY GEORGE R. SIMS.

_Post 8vo., illustrated boards_, =2s.= _each; cloth limp_, =2s. 6d.= _each_.






     =DRAMAS OF LIFE.= With 60 Illustrations.


_Crown 8vo., picture cover_, =1s.= _each; cloth_, =1s. 6d.= _each_.


     =THE DAGONET RECITER AND READER=: being Readings and Recitations in
     Prose and Verse, selected from his own Works by GEORGE R. SIMS.



                            DAGONET DITTIES

                        [_FROM ‘THE REFEREE’_]


                            GEORGE R. SIMS


                       [Illustration: colophon]

                           _SECOND EDITION_

                      CHATTO & WINDUS, PICCADILLY



LONDON DAY BY DAY                                                      1

FOR E’ER AND HAIR                                                      3

THE ARTIST’S DILEMMA                                                   5

A DOMESTIC TRAGEDY                                                     7

THE PICK-ME-UP                                                         9

AD COR MEUM                                                           11

ICHABOD                                                               12

A DERBY DITTY                                                         14

SHALL WE REMEMBER?                                                    15

PARADISE AND THE SINNER                                               16

THE INCOME TAX                                                        19

NONSENSE                                                              20

LE MARDI GRAS                                                         23

TWO SUNDAYS                                                           24

THE MAILS ABOARD                                                      25

AT THE PHOTOGRAPHER’S                                                 27

IN GAY JAPAN                                                          29

THE BALACLAVA HEROES                                                  31

A CHILD’S IDEA                                                        32

SANITATION AT SEA                                                     34

GUIGNOL                                                               35

THE ENGLISH SUMMER                                                    35

A PERFECT PARADISE                                                    36

THAT BREEZE                                                           38

BALLAD OF OLD-TIME FOGS                                               39

UNDER THE CLOCK                                                       40

THE GIRL OF FORTY-SEVEN                                               41

CONVENTIONAL MALGRÉ LUI                                               42

HOME, SWEET HOME                                                      44

IN PORTLAND PLACE                                                     45

THE SHIRT BUTTONS                                                     46

THE LONDONER TO HIS LOVE                                              48

THE EIFFEL BONNET                                                     49

TO A FAIR MUSICIAN                                                    51

A WORD FOR THE POLICE                                                 52

THE OLD CLOCK ON THE STAIRS                                           53

MY AMBITION                                                           55

A WISH                                                                56

THE SONG OF HEREDITY                                                  57

SCOTCH’D, NOT KILT                                                    58

THE LAST RESOURCE                                                     59

YE BARS AND GATES                                                     60

PORTRAIT OF A PRINCE                                                  61

THE STRONG MEN                                                        63

A BALLAD OF SOAP                                                      65

THE JOKELETEER                                                        67

BILL SIKES’S PROTEST                                                  68

THE CLARINET                                                          69

NO EVENING DRESS                                                      70

ALONE IN LONDON                                                       70

THE VOLUNTEER                                                         71

THOSE BOOTS                                                           73

A SUNDAY SONG                                                         74

UP THE RIGI                                                           75

A PLEA FOR MERCY                                                      77

IF YOU WERE HERE                                                      78

LE BRAV’ GÉNÉRAL                                                      80

THE PARIS EXHIBITION                                                  81

THE NEW LEGEND                                                        82

A MILD DECEMBER                                                       84

THE LAST DUKE                                                         86

TO THE FOG                                                            88

THE REMINISCENCES OF MR. JOHN DOBBS                                   89

PICKPOCKET POEMS                                                      91

THE CIGARETTE                                                         94

THE EARLY MILK-CART                                                   95

THE COLLABORATORS                                                     98

THE WEN CURE                                                         101

THAT NEW-BORN BABE                                                   103

THE BUTTON                                                           106

A FAÇON DE PARLER                                                    109

JACKSON                                                              110

ANOTHER DANGER                                                       112

AFTER THE ACT                                                        114

THE RIGADOON                                                         117

HOW TO WRITE A NOVEL                                                 121

THE GERMAN GYM                                                       124

TOTTIE                                                               126

THE WELSHMAN IN LONDON                                               127

THE MAGISTRATE                                                       129

THE IMPERIAL INSTITUTE                                               131

THE PLAN OF CAMPAIGN                                                 132

THE PEOPLE’S PALACE                                                  133

A CHARADE                                                            135

A TRUE STORY                                                         137

THE PIRATE ’BUS                                                      138

THE WAR-CRY                                                          141

THE “LANCET”                                                         143

A TALE OF A TUB                                                      148

THE COMIC KING                                                       150


          London Day by Day.

    The smoke in vaster volumes rolls,
    The fever fiend takes larger tolls,
    And sin a fiercer grip of souls,
          In London day by day.

    Still Buggins builds on swampy site,
    And Eiffel houses block the light,
    And make a town of dreadful night
          Of London day by day.

    In fashion’s long and busy street,
    The outcast foreign harlots meet,
    While Robert smiles upon his beat,
          In London day by day.

    Still modest maidens’ cheeks are stung
    With foulest words from wanton’s tongue,
    And oaths yelled out with leathern lung,
          In London day by day.

    Wealth riots in a mad excess,
    While thousands, poor and penniless,
    Starve in the mighty wilderness,
          Of London day by day.

    Wrong proudly rears its wicked head,
    While Right’s sad eyes with tears are red,
    And sluggard Justice lies abed,
          In London day by day.

    The liar triumphs, and the knave
    Rides buoyant on the rolling wave,
    And Liberty makes many a slave
          In London day by day.

    Yet Hope and Trust and Faith and Love,
    And God’s fair dowers from above,
    Still find a branch, like Noah’s dove,
          In London day by day.

    And onward still, though slow the pace,
    Press pilgrims of our grand old race,
    Who seek the Right with firm-set face,
    And shed Truth’s light by God’s good grace
          O’er London day by day.

          For E’er and Hair.

    I said to my sweet in the morning,
      “We must start on our journey at ten”--
    She was up in her bedroom adorning,
      She’d been there a goodish time then;
    And she answered me tenderly, “Poppet,”
      As she came to the top of the stair,
    “If you see a cab pass you can stop it,
      For I’ve only to finish my hair.”

    It was ten by the clock of St. Stephen’s
      As I sat and looked glum in the hall,
    And I offered to wager her evens
      She would never be ready at all.
    I counted the half and the quarters--
      At eleven I ventured to swear;
    Then she answered, like one of Eve’s daughters,
      “All right, dear--I _must_ do my hair.”

    I waited till daylight was waning,
      I waited till darkness began,
    Upbraiding myself for complaining
      Like a selfish and bad-tempered man.
    But when midnight rang out from the steeple
      I ventured to whisper a prayer,
    And she answered, “I hate surly people;
      You _must_ let me finish my hair!”

    I paid for the cab and dismissed it,
      I took off my coat and my hat,
    I held her fair hand and I kissed it,
      And I curled myself up on the mat.
    And when I awoke on the morrow,
      I cried, “Oh, where art thou, my fair?”
    And she answered, “Oh, run out and borrow
      A hairpin or two for my hair.”

    The summers have faded to winters,
      The winters have melted to springs;
    My patience is shivered to splinters,
      And still, as she “puts on her things,”
    My sweet, though I’m weary of waiting,
      And groan in my bitter despair,
    Contents herself simply by stating
      “She’s just got to finish her hair.”

    If she’s here when the world’s at its finish,
      And lists to the last crack of doom,
    She will watch our poor planet diminish
      From the window upstairs in her room.
    And when the last trumpet is blowing,
      And the angel says, “Hurry up, there!”
    She will answer, “All right, sir, I’m going,
      But you _must_ let me finish my hair!”

          The Artist’s Dilemma.

    The artist was out on the stormy seas,
      When his vessel turned upside down,
    And his body was blown by the autumn breeze
      To the shores of a seaside town.
    The fisher-folk spied him miles away,
      And, raising a hearty cheer,
    They rowed the lifeboat across the bay,
      And shouted that help was near.

    The artist had sunk for the second time,
      He’d a shark on his starboard tack,
    But he looked on the boat with a look sublime,
      And he told them to take it back.
    “My bones may bleach in the mermaid’s cave,
      But to art will I e’er be true,
    And never a man my life shall save
      In a boat of that vulgar blue.”

    They found his body at break of day,
      It lay on the briny beach,
    But he soon got better and stole away
      To the house of a local leech.
    He took a draught, and he went to bed
      In a garret that was to spare;
    And when he awoke his host had fled,
      For the place had begun to flare.

    He was up in a garret against the sky,
      And a fire had broken out,
    The flames about him were broad and high,
      And he heard the people shout.
    “Oh, come to the window!” the people cried,
      As they bellowed a mighty cheer;
    “You’d better come down before you’re fried,
      For the fire-escape is here.”

    He opened the casement wide, and reeled
      Back through the flame and smoke--
    For the fire-escape the light revealed--
      And then to the crowd he spoke:
    “I’ll leap in the jaws of the flames that gape,
      For I’d rather be picked up dead
    Than save my life in a fire-escape
      That is painted a vulgar red.”

    They gathered him up with a broom and pan
      From the pavement where he fell,
    And they sent for the undertaker’s man,
      And they toll’d him a passing bell.
    They gave him a funeral plain but good,
      And out of the local purse
    They bought him a coffin of polished wood,
      Which they put in a pair-horse hearse.

    But the artist-spirit in death was strong,
      And it lifted the coffin-lid
    While the horses lazily jogged along,
      And out of the hearse it slid.
    It raised its body and yelled a curse,
      And it shouted and cried “Alack!
    I’m blest if I ride in a beastly hearse
      That is painted a vulgar black.”

          A Domestic Tragedy.

    She was a housemaid, tall and slim,
      A well-conducted, modest girl;
    Her dress was always neat and trim,
      She never sported fringe or curl.
    She did her work, and kept her mind
      Intent upon her household cares;
    One fault alone there was to find--
      She left her dustpan on the stairs.

    She loved her mistress very much,
      She held her master in respect;
    Her grief the hardest heart would touch
      When they’d occasion to correct;
    But still, in spite of all they said--
      In spite of scolding and of prayers--
    Ah, me! to what at last it led!--
      She left her dustpan on the stairs.

    One morn while breakfasting below,
      And glancing at the _Morning Post_,
    She heard a wild and sudden “Oh!”
      That made her drop her buttered toast.
    She heard a heavy fall--and groans;
      The master, taken unawares,
    Had slipped and broken sev’ral bones--
      She’d left the dustpan on the stairs.

    They sent for doctors by the score,
      They fetched in haste Sir Andrew Clark;
    But master’s sufferings soon were o’er--
      That night he sat in Charon’s barque.
    Now in a cell at Colney Hatch
      A gibbering housemaid groans and glares,
    And tries with trembling hands to snatch
      A ghostly dustpan from the stairs.


    Ye housemaids who this tale may read,
      Remember, backs are hard to mend,
    And injured noses freely bleed,
      And falls may cause untimely end;
    Your masters are but mortal men,
      A neck once broken naught repairs.
    Oh! think of this, ye housemaids, when
      You leave the dustpan on the stairs.

          The Pick-me-up.


    In the market-place or forum,
    If you’re dull, my cockalorum,
    Never heed the censor morum,
    But just brew yourself a jorum,
        In a beaker or a cup,
    Of this stimulating liquor,
    Which, when life begins to flicker,
    And your soul grows slowly sicker,
    And you feel a bucket-kicker,
        Is a patent pick-me-up.

    It was near the Yorkshire Stingo
    That in modern London lingo,
    With a face like a flamingo,
    Said a friend of mine, “By Jingo!
        What a wretched wreck you are!”
    I replied, “I’m melancholic,
    And my pains are diabolic.
    I, who once was frisk and frolic,
    Now am glum and vitriolic--
        Every nerve is on the jar!”

    Then a smile that was sardonic
    Beamed about his brow Byronic,
    And he said, “This is masonic,
    But I think you want a tonic--
        Try the famous (something) wine.”
    And he further said with unction
    That I need have no compunction
    In obeying his injunction,
    ’Twould renew each vital function,
        And just suit a case like mine.

    I have drunk and I’m a giant
    Quite refreshed and grown defiant;
    All my limbs are free and pliant,
    And now neither May nor Bryant
        Can supply a match to me.
    Now my pen again grows graphic,
    And my verse is strictly sapphic,
    And my tricycle in traffic
    I can ride with smile seraphic,
        From all nervous tremors free.

    I can laugh at Punch and Judy,
    And enjoy a book from Mudie;
    I am spick and span and dudey,
    And I freely spend my scudi,
        And I feel that I could fly.
    I’ve a bearing that is regal,
    All my acts are strictly legal,
    And I’ll wager that an eagle,
    Though he’d taken Mother Seigel,
        Couldn’t show as clear an eye.

    So in market-place or forum,
    If you’re dull, my cockalorum,
    Never heed the censor morum,
    But just brew yourself a jorum,
        In a beaker or a cup,
    Of this stimulating liquor,
    Which, when life begins to flicker,
    And your soul grows slowly sicker,
    And you feel a bucket-kicker,
        Is a patent pick-me-up.

          Ad Cor Meum.

    O heart, my heart, that faintly flutters
      And sinks within my coward breast
    At every sound a demon utters--
      The demon of a wild unrest--
    What poison is it in you lurking
      That taints the rich red stream of life,
    And leaves your trembling owner shirking
      The storm and stress of daily strife?

    The skies are black as Night’s dark daughters,
      The Haven’s far, and fierce the sea;
    Ill-omened birds above the waters
      Fly low and shriek with evil glee.
    O, sinking heart, to hope a traitor,
      If through the storm’s the peace we prize,
    Bid me sail on--the risk is greater
      For him who here at anchor lies.

    Beat, heart, again with brave endeavour;
      Beat, heart, with faith in God’s right hand,
    Stretched out to those who ask it ever
      To lead them to the Promised Land.
    Mine eyes to earth no more inclining,
      I watch the storm that clears the sky;
    Who’d see the sun in splendour shining
      Must boldly fix his gaze on high.


    Write it up with falt’ring fingers,
      Write it with a blush of shame,
    Since no ray of glory lingers
      ’Mid the temples of our fame.
    O’er a Christian Church blaspheming,
      Which has dragged the name of God
    Through the mire of party scheming,
      Write the legend “Ichabod.”

    Write it where our peers assemble,
      Dullards decked in solemn state,
    Though their sires made Europe tremble
      In the days when we were great.
    Peers to-day the land encumber,
      Lazy lords no spur can prod;
    O’er the House where now they slumber
      Write the legend “Ichabod.”

    Shrined in History’s grandest pages
      Are the deeds of those who bent
    Tyrant kings in kingly rages
      To the will of Parliament.
    Now but placemen, bores, and traitors
      Tread the halls that Hampden trod;
    O’er the House of idle praters
      Write the legend “Ichabod.”

    Once old England’s pride and glory
      Was that all her sons were free;
    Ah, to-day how changed the story!
      Where is now our liberty?
    Cranks and faddists forge our fetters,
      Every day we feel the rod,
    “Grandmamma” in sampler letters
      Works o’er England “Ichabod.”

          A Derby Ditty.

    Mud in my eyes, and mud on my cheek,
    My hat that drips, and my boots that leak,
    And a voice so hoarse that I scarce can speak--
        That’s how I went to the Derby.

    A fight with a man at the station-gate,
    Apoplexy through being late,
    A score in a carriage that seated eight--
        That’s how I went to the Derby.

    Never a cab for love or oof,
    The dye running out of my waterproof,
    Through chalk and water I pad the hoof--
        That’s how I got to the Derby.

    Smashed and crushed in a crowded pen,
    Bruised and battered by bustling men,
    A lamb in a roaring lion’s den--
        That’s how I saw the Derby.

    “The favourite’s beat!” the millions cry,
    The next umbrella extracts my eye,
    And I’ve laid two thousand to one with Fry--
        That’s how I liked the Derby.

    I’ve lost my temper, I’ve lost my tin;
    Where is my watch--my chain--my pin?
    And my boots are letting the water in--
        That’s how I left the Derby.

    A couple of doctors by my bed,
    A block of ice on my burning head,
    And somehow I wish that I was dead--
        That’s what came of the Derby.

    The brokers in on a bill of sale,
    Pills and potions of no avail,
    A jerry-built tomb with a rusty rail--
        That’s what came of the Derby.

    R.I.P. on a soot-grimed stone,
    And under my name these words alone:
    “The biggest juggins that ever was known”
        Has gone where’s there no more Derby.

          Shall we Remember?

    Ah, love, my love, as hand in hand,
      This glorious autumn weather,
    We stroll along the golden strand,
      And watch the ships together,
    We murmur vows we mean to keep,
      But by next year’s September,
    How many made beside the deep
            Shall We Remember?

    Old love is dead; new love awakes,
      And hearts are playthings ever;
    Though change may mar, ’tis change that makes;
      Time every link can sever;
    Though dull love’s fire, to glowing gold
      We fan the dying ember--
    Yet in new love, the love of old
            Shall We Remember?

    The race of life is to the strong,
      The pace grows fast and faster,
    The leader takes the field along,
      And brings the weak disaster.
    The prize is won! Yet what is fame?
      A rushlight in November.
    In twelve short months the victor’s name
            Shall We Remember?

          Paradise and the Sinner.

           (THE NEW VERSION.)

    One morn a sinner at the gate
      Of Eden stood disconsolate,
    And as he pondered on the things
      In life he’d done, his wild oats sowing,
    He felt the pang that conscience brings,
      And both his cheeks with shame were glowing.

    He thought of all the vows he’d broken,
      He thought of falsehoods lightly told,
    Of all the hasty words he’d spoken,
      And all the tricks he’d played for gold.
    “Ah me!” he cried, “I own my sin,
    So, pitying angel, let me in!”

    The angel heard the sinner’s tale,
    He blushed not, neither turned he pale,
    But “Think you then,” in wrath he cried,
    “For crimes like these to pass inside?
    Your life’s not been so badly spent;
      You must do something worse by far.
    Come back with something to repent,
      And then I’ll raise the crystal bar.”

    The sinner he flew from the spot sublime
      Away to the earth below,
    “I wonder,” he thought, “what kind of crime
      Is reckoned the worst _en haut_.”
    He picked a pocket and stole a purse;
      He plotted against the Crown;
    He changed two babies put out to nurse,
      And he left a dog to drown.

    “Good,” said the angel as he heard
      A list of the sinner’s sins;
    “But this is only about a third
      Of the crime that entrance wins.
    Your record, I trow, must be blacker far
    Before I can raise the crystal bar.”

    The sinner flew back to the earth once more,
    And he steeped his hands in his brother’s gore;
    He poisoned his wife by slow degrees,
    And hanged his twins on a couple of trees;
    And then with a broken and rusty saw
    He cut off the head of his mother-in-law;
    And he cried, as a shuddering world turned sick,
    “If the chaplain’s right I have done the trick.”

    Once more he stood before the gate
    And told his tale and asked his fate.
    The angel smiled--said, “Right you are,”
    And swiftly raised the crystal bar.
    But oh, when the sinner was once inside,
    “There is some mistake!” he in terror cried,
    As down in the bottomless pit he fell,
    And found he had knocked at the gate of hell.

    “It was your mistake,” the angel said,
    “To think that because your hands were red
    You could pass at once to the realms above,
    The beautiful realms of peace and love.
    The clerical gents may tell you so,
    _But this is the place to which murderers go_.”

          The Income Tax.

    Oh, Goschen, hear us groan,
      Relieve our burdened backs;
    We weep and wail and moan,
      “Reduce the income tax!”

    It is a wicked plan,
      And decency it lacks;
    It makes a Christian man
      Say, “Hang the income tax!”

    Poor Job, he had to bear
      Some very nasty smacks,
    But nothing to compare
      With this infernal tax.

    Not all his pains and aches
      Could put him in a wax;
    But he’d have shouted, “Snakes!”
      If asked for income tax.

    Oh, take the curse away,
      The cruel curse that racks:
    Why should free Britons pay
      This most un-British tax?

    For years has raged the fight,
      Be yours the cry of “Pax,”
    And, Britain’s wrongs to right,
      Remove the income tax.

    On earth that deed shall dwell
      Till all creation cracks,
    And Fame’s last trumpet tell
      How Goschen killed the tax.

    Do this, and you will forge
      A deathless battle-axe
    For England’s new St. George
      Who slew the income tax.


    The Strand was in a dreadful state,
      And so was Mary Ann
    They’d gone and raised the postal rate
      ’Twixt her and her young man.

    She might have sent by parcels post
      Her lover’s Christmas card,
    But gales were raging round the coast,
      And it was freezing hard.

    What was a poor distracted maid
      To do in such a case,
    When only half the odds were laid
      An hour before the race?

    She had a right to see the rules,
      According to the law;
    But as the staff were mostly fools,
      The time was all she saw.

    So, losing heart, she gave a groan
      And, taking off her socks,
    She dropped them (they were not her own)
      Inside the pillar-box.

    (Her socks, as you may shrewdly guess,
      Were stockings, truth to tell;
    For as to-day young ladies dress
      Socks would not look so well.)

    She left her boots to mark the place,
      And went to Drury Lane;
    But there was that in Gus’s face
      Which filled her heart with pain.

    He would not pass her to the pit;
      She said, “I’m on the Press.”
    She thought he would have had a fit,
      And burst his evening dress.

    “If you are on the Press,” he cried,
      “You ought to wear your shoes
    But, as there’s room for one inside,
      I cannot well refuse.”

    He put her in a private box,
      Which hid her to the knees;
    And sent to Alias for some frocks,
      And whispered, “Choose from these.”

    She chose a page’s trunks and hose,
      A fairy’s skirt of gauze,
    And while she dressed Augustus rose
      And left amid applause.

    Then back she went a fairy queen
      Into the G.P.O.;
    She passed the rows of clerks between,
      And all were bowing low.

    They weighed her card with smirk and smile,
      The stamps with care imposed;
    The postage was a pound a mile,
      Because the ends were closed.

    But in her fairy garment she
      Did look so sweet a gal,
    “O.H.M.S.” was put by the

    And ere her card her love unclosed
      Another knot was tied:
    The P.M.G. himself proposed,
      And now she is his bride.


    If information you would ask,
      When P.O. clerks are pressed,
    You’ll find it aid you in your task
      If you go nicely dressed!

          Le Mardi Gras.

    The Feast of Folly is spread,
      Let us eat and drink and be merry;
    While the fountains are running red
      With the juice of the glorious berry.
    Let us carry the forts of Joy
      With a series of madcap dashes,
    Ere the Feast of Flesh, my boy,
      Gives way to the Fast of Ashes.

    We have but a breath of life,
      A whiff off the world’s wide pleasure;
    A year of its strain and strife,
      For a day of its dancing measure.
    So, hey for the fatted calf,
      While the carnival music crashes!
    At the Feast of Flesh we’ll laugh,
      Ere we weep at the Fast of Ashes.

    O, sage with the grim gray face,
      With our quips is there cause to quarrel?
    We know ere we run our race
      We shall master the Mardi’s moral.
    We shall be as the monks who scourge
      Their skins with a hundred lashes:
    Youth’s Feast of the Flesh we must purge
      With our manhood’s Fast of Ashes.

          Two Sundays.

    The bigot, with his narrow mind,
    Can ill in every pleasure find;
    He makes his God a god of gloom,
    The pulsing world a living tomb,
    A curse in every blessing sees,
    And, thinking Heaven to appease,
    He cuts--Religion is his knife--
    The blossom from the Tree of Life.

    From fogs, that gave that bigot birth,
    Far off, in many a land of mirth
    Hearts full of faith in God above
    Look on Him as a God of Love--
    A God who bids His children play,
    And smiles to see His loved ones gay:
    As earthly fathers smile to see
    Their children sing and dance with glee.

    Oh, British Sabbath, bigot bred,
    Our youth’s despair, our childhood’s dread!
    God does not scowl in solemn state
    Behind a gloomy prison gate;
    He smiles enthroned in sunny skies,
    Where only joyous songs arise.
    To make God’s day, then, ’twere as well,
    Seem more like heaven and less like hell.

          The Mails Aboard.

    The captain of the _Cuckoo_ took
    His glasses from the starboard hook;
    He gazed across the raging main,
    Then put his glasses back again.
    The _Cuckoo’s_ mate remarked, “I guess
    You saw a signal of distress?”
    “I did, but it must be ignored;
    You see, we’ve got the mails aboard.”

    This was the captain’s curt reply;
    The first mate heard it with a sigh.
    But all the _Cuckoo’s_ captain said
    Was “Steady!” then “Full steam ahead!”
    He crossed the sinking vessel’s bows,
    As close as seamanship allows.
    “Can’t stop!” he through his trumpet roared,
    “Because I have the mails aboard.”

    The passengers and all the crew
    Replied, “Oh, please to save us--do!”
    And, plunging in the raging sea,
    Declined the captain’s R.I.P.
    They followed in the _Cuckoo’s_ wake,
    Till swimming made their stomachs ache;
    Their lot the captain much deplored,
    But waved them off with “Mails aboard!”

    The storm to fiercest tempest grew,
    But straight ahead the _Cuckoo_ flew;
    Till once again the captain took
    His glasses from the starboard hook;
    “Hullo!” he cried; “if I am not
    Mistaken, there’s the royal yacht;
    A hidden rock her side has bored,
    She signals! Answer, ‘Mails aboard!’”

    The yacht replied with haughty mien,
    “Stop, by the order of the Queen,
    Who, braving equinoctial gales,
    Now in this sinking vessel sails.”
    “Alas!” the _Cuckoo’s_ captain cried,
    “To save my Queen would be my pride”
    (Here he saluted with his sword),
    “But tell her I’ve the mails aboard.”

    “Ha!” cried the Queen, “for this I will
    Cut off his head on Tower Hill,
    The knave shall see the House of Guelph
    Respected still can make itself.”
    She sent a man to ev’ry gun,
    And, just to stop the captain’s fun,
    Into his ship a broadside poured,
    Although he had the mails aboard.

    The _Cuckoo’s_ captain cried, “The deuce!”
    And straight ran up a flag of truce;
    And then he sent a boat to save
    His sovereign from a watery grave.
    The Queen stepped nimbly on the deck,
    And left the royal yacht a wreck;
    But flung, though mercy he implored,
    The _Cuckoo’s_ captain overboard.

    When he recovered from the shock,
    He lay upon a lonely rock;
    And there ships’ captains as they pass
    Survey him sternly through the glass,
    And by Victoria’s orders scoff
    At all his cries of “Take me off!”
    And say, “By us your fate’s deplored,
    _But we can’t stop--we’ve mails aboard_.”

          At The Photographer’s.


    They coaxed me up a hundred stairs,
      They lured me to their den,
    For me they laid their artful snares--
      Those photographing men.
    They dragged me to a room of glass
      Beneath a blazing sun,
    I thought I should have died. Alas!
      I’m nearly fourteen stone!

    They saw their victim pant and blow,
      They heard him cry, “I melt!”
    But ne’er a one for all my woe
      One grain of pity felt.
    They seized my head and screwed it round,
      And fixed it in a vice,
    And simpered when they had me bound,
      “That pose is very nice!

    “Look up--look up, and wear a smile;
      Look pleasant, if you please.
    You must keep still a little while;
      Just straighten up your knees.”
    ’Tis thus they jeer and jibe at me
      As, faint and hot, I try
    An inch before my nose to see
      With sunstroke in my eye.

    I think of all the bitter wrongs
      My later life has known;
    I writhe beneath Fate’s cruel thongs,
      I knit my brow and groan.
    And still with many a smile and smirk
      The artist trips about,
    And gives my chin a little jerk
      And sticks my elbows out.

    Ye gods, am I a grinning ape
      To pose and posture thus?
    Am I a man in human shape
      Or turkey that they truss?

    My head is free; with fiendish mirth
      I raise a vengeful hand,
    And dash the camera to earth,
      And fell the iron stand.

    I take the artist by the throat
      And pin him to the wall,
    And jerk his chin and tear his coat,
      And hold his head in thrall.
    I bid the trembling victim smile,
      I cry, “Be gay and laugh,
    And in the very latest style
      _I’ll_ take _your_ photograph!”

    I twisted till I broke his neck,
      I baked him in the sun;
    I left the room an awful wreck,
      And then the deed was done.
    They held an inquest on the bits;
      Ye photographing crew,
    Before to you the writer sits
      Just read that inquest through.

          In Gay Japan.


    Mr. Lawson, if you please,
      Just a little line to say
    I’m a-taking of my ease
      In a Japaneasy way.

    Here I write “By Lands and Seas”
      For your “London Day by Day,”
    ’Neath the blossom-laden trees
      Of Japan, the glad and gay.

    Here I watch the pretty shes
      As they don their night array;
    And they ask me to their teas,
      And they sing to me and play.

    ’Tis ’mid pleasures such as these
      That I hope you’ll let me stay--
    ’Tis a climate that agrees
      With your faithful Edwin A.

    Now no more I have to seize
      Editorial pen to flay
    Home Rule freaks of Mr. G.’s
      Or to keep the Rads at bay.

    Mona’s “Marriage,” Lubbock’s bees,
      Mr. Stanley, Tottie Fay,
    Water rates, and School Board fees
      On my mind no longer prey.

    Glad Japan my spirit frees
      From its tenement of clay,
    And, my note-book on my knees,
      With the muses I can stray.

    So, dear Lawson, if you please,
      I will stop here if I may,
    Sending “Over Lands and Seas”
      From Japan, the glad and gay.

          The Balaclava Heroes.

           (JULY 2, 1890.)

    Open the workhouse doors to-day
    To the men who fought in that fearful fray;
    Weary and worn and scant of breath
    Are the men who rode through the valley of Death;
    But, clad in the pauper’s garb of shame,
    They are getting the meed of their deathless fame.

    These are the heroes our poet sang
    When over the world their story rang;
    These are the heroes, gnarled and bent,
    With the tale of whose deeds the skies were rent;
    These are the soldiers whose fame’s writ large
    On the glorious page of that deathless charge.

    Open the workhouse doors to-day
    To the penniless heroes old and gray;
    In each wrinkled face is a soldier’s pride,
    They have won the guerdon so long denied,
    And we honour their deed with--what do you think?--
    _A benefit at a skating rink_!

          A Child’s Idea.

    Lightly holding her mother’s hand,
    A little girl tripped o’er her father’s land;
    Squire of all the acres he,
    As far as the little one’s eyes could see,
    And his wife and his daughter, his “Baby May,”
    Were “seeing the folks” this Christmas Day.

    Six years old was the baby girl,
    And her brain was all in a dreamy whirl
    With the puddings and pies and the Christmas-trees
    And the bells and carols, and, if you please,
    The night before had St. Nicholas been
    With the loveliest dolly that ever was seen.

    “How good of the saint, mamma, to leave
    Such beautiful things upon Christmas Eve!”
    She had cried, as against her baby breast
    She hushed her dear little doll to rest.
    And then the wonders of Christmas Day
    Had almost taken her breath away.

    And now through the village she gaily trips,
    As the greeting comes from a score of lips:
    “A Merry Christmas and bright New Year!”
    And the air is heavy with Christmas cheer--
    Goose and pudding and beef galore--
    And the fires glow bright through each open door
    There’s a happy smile upon ev’ry face,
    The village is quite a fairy place;
    And in every cottage at which they call
    The green and holly are on the wall;
    And all the family gathered there
    Are seated around the Christmas fare.

    “How happy they are!” says Baby May,
    As she looks at the feast and the feasters gay;
    And then there comes to her childish mind
    A scene or two of a different kind--
    Of weeping women and frowning men,
    And nobody seems so happy then!

    She had grasped the fact in her childish way
    That the poor had “troubles” and “rents” to pay--
    That children ailed, and that some men’s wives
    Were “nearly worried out of their lives.”
    She had heard the gossip, as children do,
    And to-day it came back to her mind anew.

    She thought of the village of then and now,
    And there came a cloud on her baby brow;
    She knew there was sorrow where now was mirth,
    And she whispered, “Mamma, when He made the earth,
    What a pity it was God did not say,
    ‘Let it be _always_ Christmas Day’!”

          Sanitation at Sea.

    I have sailed o’er the ocean to spots far away,
    I’ve also done “Margate and back” in the day;
    I have spent the long nights upon deck in a storm,
    And stood by the funnel to keep myself warm;
    And when I’ve been poorly as poorly can be,
    I have sighed for some slight “sanitation at sea.”

    I have been in the cabin where sufferers lay
    In an atmosphere fitted a nigger to slay,
    I have slept in a bunk where the air was so foul
    That I woke in the morn with an agonized howl,
    And I’ve staggered upstairs crying, “Oh, dearie me!
    Why will they ignore ‘sanitation at sea’?”

    By the smell of the engine, the dirt on the deck,
    By the stairs you descend at the risk of your neck,
    By the cabin whose odour is stuffy and stale,
    By the dirty old tub which is known as “the Mail,”
    By the horrors from which scarce a vessel is free,
    We’d welcome the least “sanitation at sea.”


    I pay two sous and take my chair
      Among the little girls and boys;
    The nurses turn their heads and stare,
      For puppet-shows are children’s joys.
    And yet, though Time has hit me hard,
      And life I’m given to revile,
    From every joy I’m not debarred,
      For Guignol still can make me smile.

    Dear Guignol of my golden youth!
      How oft in these Elysian fields
    I’ve listened to his words of truth,
      And watched the baton that he wields!
    And still in autumn’s pleasant glow
      A happy hour away I while,
    And with the babies “see the show,”
      For Guignol still can make me smile!

          The English Summer.

    On Monday the weather was fine and bright,
          Three fine days and a thunderstorm!
    On Tuesday the floods had reached their height,
    And a hurricane blew on Wednesday night,
    And the land was a swamp and a dismal sight--
          Three fine days and a thunderstorm!

    On Thursday the dogs all panting lay,
          Three fine days and a thunderstorm!
    And sunstroke settled two boys at play.
    On Friday the winter had come to stay--
          Three fine days and a thunderstorm!

    On Saturday snow was a good foot high,
          Three fine days and a thunderstorm!
    On Sunday there fell from the jet-black sky
    A deluge that covered the mountains high;
    And to-day in a tropical sun we fry--
          Three fine days and a thunderstorm!

          A Perfect Paradise.


    The quiet of the woodland way
    Bird-broken is by night and day,
    But ne’er a song-bird trills its lay
          In Gerrard Street, Soho.

    No breeze here bears the babel roar--
    Life’s ocean, tideless evermore,
    Lies dead upon the silent shore
          Of Gerrard Street, Soho.

    The hermit seeking holy calm
    May soothe his soul with Gilead balm
    Beneath the desert’s one green palm
          In Gerrard Street, Soho.

    But ’twas, oh, ’twas not always thus
    Men flying from life’s fume and fuss
    In urbe found a peaceful rus
          In Gerrard Street, Soho.

    There was a time when shout and shriek
    And song and oath and drunken freak
    Made matters lively all the week
          In Gerrard Street, Soho.

    Then, too, alas! the Sabbath eve
    Heard sounds to make the pious grieve,
    And quiet tenants thought they’d leave
          In Gerrard Street, Soho.

    When came the change from noise to peace,
    When did the clattering hansom cease,
    When rose the value of a lease
          In Gerrard Street, Soho?

    When came that sense of perfect rest
    Which makes the region doubly blest?
    ’Twas when, as members’ oaths attest,
    The Pelicans first built their nest
          In Gerrard Street, Soho!

          That Breeze.

    The poets who write in the magazines
    Have pitched their tents amid sylvan scenes;
    Treading with joy in their lazy lay
    The primrose path of the woodland way,
    They always stop on the road to sing
    Of “the balmy breeze of awakening Spring.”

    I know that breeze of the lilting line--
    That breeze is a very old friend of mine;
    That it takes bards in, need cause no surprise--
    For at throwing dust into people’s eyes,
    Facile princeps and also king
    Is “the balmy breeze of awakening Spring.”

    It’s the “poet” that’s balmy, and not the breeze,
    When he sings in praise of our English “bise,”
    The wind that blows ’neath the cold gray sky,
    That stabs the chest and inflames the eye;
    It is death that hovers with sable wing
    On “the balmy breeze of awakening Spring.”

    _I’d_ sing the song that this breeze deserves,
    But, alas! I’ve “liver” and also “nerves;”
    Sciatica racks me day and night,
    And I haven’t a bronchial tube that’s right;
    And the fiend that all these woes doth bring
    Is “the balmy breeze of awakening Spring.”

          Ballad of Old-Time Fogs.

    The sky above my head is fair--
      Not dark, as once it used to be--
    And joy and life are in the air,
      And green is every budding tree
      That, wind-swept, makes its bough to me;
    And all the world is glad and gay,
      Which makes me cry when this I see--
    “Where are the fogs of yesterday?”

    My heart is light and void of care--
      Though this year’s months are yet but three--
    I miss the mid-day gas-lamps’ glare,
      I meet the folks who used to flee
      To Southern France and Italy;
    In London now they gladly stay,
      In London spend their £ s. d.--
    Where are the fogs of yesterday?

    One shirt till eve I now can wear,
      Which once was quite a rarity,
    And even folks in Bedford Square
      And erstwhile blackest Bloomsbury,
      Can from their windows gaze with glee
    And nod to friends across the way,
      And Auguste says to Stephen G.,
    “Where are the fogs of yesterday?”

    Prince, since of them at last we’re free,
      And London ’scapes their cruel sway,
    Why need we care a single D?
      Where are the fogs of yesterday?

          Under the Clock.

       (AN ACTOR’S SONG.)

[“_For the remainder of cast see Under the Clock._”--_Theatrical

    “Under the Clock,” with the rank and file,
      That’s where you have to look for me;
    That is the End of the Century style--
      Vide the “ads.” in the great _D. T._
    Well, I suppose we can’t all be starred,
      So the special “ad.” ’s for the finer flock,
    And the common sheep, though it’s rather hard,
      Are huddled together “Beneath the Clock.”

    I do my best in my humble way
      When I’m cast for a part that is known as “small”;
    For the minor parts in a high-class play
      May help in its “making,” after all.
    And so when I’m placed below the salt,
      It gives my pride just a passing shock,
    And I own some day I should like to vault
      Up to the “stars” from “Beneath the Clock.”

    Actors’ vanity! Yes, you’re right!
      Though I’d rather you called it artists’ pride--
    It’s the battle of life in the mimic fight
      On the boards where so many have fought and died--
    On the world’s great stage, where they’re players all,
      And they feel the pains that we only mock;
    To a favoured few must the “star” “ads.” fall,
      The rest are only “Beneath the Clock.”

          The Girl of Forty-seven.

    Fond lover, when you come to woo,
      And whisper nothings tender,
    And try to span, as lovers do,
      A waist that once was slender,
    Be not upset if curt rebuff
      Your amorous joy should leaven;
    That sort of thing is apt to huff
      The girl of forty-seven.

    That girl, who’s up to every game,
      Knows more than you can teach her;
    With Cupid’s bow it’s vain to aim,
      His arrows rarely reach her.
    The only words to touch her heart
      Are “Coutts” or “Barclay Bevan;”
    Gold-tipped must be the Blind God’s dart
      For girls of forty-seven.

    Don’t think by gazing in her eyes
     With simulated rapture,
    Don’t think by sentimental sighs
     Her seasoned heart to capture;
    Just show your banker’s book, my son,
     And if the will of Heaven
    Has blessed your balance, you have won
     The girl of forty-seven.

          Conventional Malgré Lui.

    Convention is a thing I hate,
      Convention is a thing I scorn;
    And yet, alas! I grieve to state
      I was conventionally born.
    My father and my mother were
      (A curse be on Convention’s head!)
    Two sweethearts--youth and maiden--ere
      They were conventionally wed.

    Then came my vaccination, and,
      Convention though I cannot brook,
    I’m given now to understand
      It quite conventionally “took.”
    I cut my teeth--convention! Bah!
      A tear stood in my baby eye;
    Oh, why did I not learn from ma
      That teething babies always cry?

    I was an infant, then a child,
      And then a boy, and then a youth;
    Ah! even now it makes me wild--
      But I must tell the bitter truth.
    And then I came to man’s estate;
      You see that I no single jot
    Did from convention deviate,
      And yet I think convention “rot.”

    I fell in love! Ah, he who sits
      In judgment on the modern stage
    And tears the common play to bits
      Will understand my frenzied rage.
    I fell in love! Convention’s slave
      To dull convention bowed the knee;
    And in return the maiden gave
      Her love (conventional) to me.

    And now I have some girls and boys
      Who grow, and play, and go to school;
    Conventional are all my joys--
      I’m just like any other fool.
    I give off Ibsen to my wife,
      And quote the notes of W. A.;
    But still I lead a common life--
      Convention _won’t_ be kept at bay.

    The end, of course, will come at last.
      Oh, may I, like Elijah, rise
    In something safe upon the blast,
      And living pass beyond the skies!
    When quitting earth I’d keep my breath--
      I hope sincerely that I shall--
    I loathe the bare idea of death,
      It is so damn’d conventional.

          Home, Sweet Home.

       (A WINTER’S TALE.)

    Through every chink there roars the blast,
    My stock of coals is falling fast;
    I have a cold that’s come to last,
    I’m booked until the blizzard’s past--
            For home, sweet home.

    The fog has filled the house with gloom,
    The blacks lie thick in every room;
    Dim through the mist the gas-jets loom,
    And not unlike a living tomb
            Is home, sweet home.

    To devils blue I fall a prey,
    And sit and think the livelong day
    Of happier times when I was gay,
    In winter Edens, far away
            From home, sweet home.

    A prisoner I in climes accurst,
    Where fog and frost are at their worst;
    Hullo! What’s that? the pipes have burst!
    A plumber, quick! but save me first
            From home, sweet home!

    Fling wide the door and bring a light.
    Hi, cabman! ’Tis an awful night;
    Put down the glass and I’ll sit tight,
    But drive me from the dreadful sight
            Of home, sweet home.

    Poor horse, poor horse! Oh, spare the lash!
    His quivering carcass cease to thrash.
    He’s down! the cab has come to smash;
    The snow falls fast, I’ll make a dash
            For home, sweet home.

          In Portland Place.

    The world and wife are out of town,
      The blast sweeps down the empty street;
    The bobby in a study brown
      Thinks of the sea upon his beat.
    The cab-horse dozes on the rank,
      The empty ’buses cease to race;
    The hungry cat roams, lean and lank--
      The blinds are down in Portland Place.

    The birds still sing in Regent’s Park,
      The ducks emit their bronchial quack;
    But all day long from dawn to dark
      The crossing-sweeper’s trade is slack.
    The Langham porter’s wand’ring eye
      Encounters ne’er a human face;
    No smoke curls upward to the sky--
      The blinds are down in Portland Place.

    The thoroughfare is broad and wide,
      The vestry keeps the roadway clean,
    And I can walk on either side,
      Or ’gainst each separate lamp-post lean.
    I’m king of all that I survey--
      As sad as Selkirk’s is my case--
    Oh, soon, to save my reason, may
      The blinds go up in Portland Place!

          The Shirt Buttons.


    Off! at the neck and wristband!
      Off!--and laid on the bed!
    And she of the sweet white kist band
      Is the one whom I chose to wed.
    Off! the two pearl-white buttons!
      And yet it is laid out there
    (To return, as it were, to our muttons),
      The shirt I am going to wear.

    I list to the bells’ sweet chiming,
      In the still of the Sabbath morn,
    And I ask myself, in rhyming,
      How a buttonless shirt is worn.
    Shall I put myself in a passion,
      And curse the unwifely act,
    Or--which isn’t a poet’s fashion--
      Behave with a little tact?

    Shall I show her the shirt and scold her,
      My scarcely a month-wed wife,
    Or wait till our union’s older,
      For the frown and the wordy strife?
    Ah! soul of my soul, my darling,
      No buttonless shirt shall rise
    To set the old Adam snarling
      At his Eve in their Paradise.

    Are we twain made one to wrangle,
      That the wifely way’s unlearnt,
    That a shirt has gone wrong in the mangle
      Or a handkerchief’s badly burnt?
    No; never shall wrath be blighting
      The beautiful bliss that buds,
    And I’ll fasten--your love requiting--
      My buttonless shirt with studs.

          The Londoner to His Love.

       (SONG AND DANCE.)

     (_N.B.--This American song and dance can only be performed on the
     production of a certificate of lunacy signed by three members of
     the London County Council._)

    Oh, come, my love, where the fog lies thick,
      Down in the shadow where the microbes grow;
    We shall catch Na Nonna if we’re only quick,
      Down in the shadow where the microbes grow;
    For our bower is built on London clay,
    Where the gray mist hangs from the dawn of day,
    And the gay young germs of neuralgia play
      Down in the shadow where the microbes grow.

    Oh, come, my love, where the sun ne’er smirks,
      Down in the shadow where the microbes grow;
    To the wild wet waste where consumption lurks--
      Down in the shadow where the microbes grow.
    Where the cough makes music, and the bronchial wheeze
    Replies to the echo of the sniff and sneeze,
    And asthma flirts with the cut-throat breeze,
      Down in the shadow where the microbes grow.

    Oh, come, my love, and abide with me,
      Down in the shadow where the microbes grow;
    Where the weathercock always points N.E.,
      Down in the shadow where the microbes grow;
    Where the damp drips dank down the dismal wall,
    And the fungi flourish in the mildewed hall,
    And the undertaker is the lord of all,
      Down in the shadow where the microbes grow.

          The Eiffel Bonnet.

    Behind an Eiffel bonnet
      I sat one matinée,
    And, oh, the feathers on it
      Completely hid the play,
    Because that Eiffel bonnet
      Kept bobbing in my way.

    That awful Eiffel bonnet,
      It blotted out the scene
    And all the people on it
      Just like a giant screen:
    It was the sort of bonnet
      You couldn’t see between.

    The wearer of that bonnet
      Between two friends she sat,
    And swayed (and hence this sonnet)
      Now this way and now that,
    And bent her head and bonnet
      With either side to chat.

    To left she moved her bonnet,
      I bent my head to right
    The stage to look upon it;
      But ere I had a sight,
    Back came that Eiffel bonnet
      And blotted out the light.

    O awful Eiffel bonnet
      That towers to the sky!
    If ladies still will don it,
      ’Twill happen by-and-by,
    “Down with that Eiffel bonnet!”
      Poor playgoers will cry.

    To see a swaying bonnet
      We don’t go to the play,
    ’Tis not to gaze upon it
      Our ten-and-six we pay--
    So d---- the Eiffel bonnet
      That damns the matinée!

          To a Fair Musician.

    O lady next door, could your glance on me fall,
      There are times when my lot you would pity,
    And shut the piano that stands by the wall,
      And spare me your favourite ditty.

    That music hath charms I’m the last to deny,
      But music from eight to eleven
    Is apt the weak nerves of a poet to try,
      And to hasten his journey to heaven.

    In vain in my study on work I’ve in hand
      I endeavour to fix my attention--
    That moment you sit yourself down to your “grand,”
      And I use a nice word I won’t mention.

    O lady, I know you are gentle and fair,
      And I grant that you play very nicely;
    But if you are anxious my reason to spare,
      Don’t start, ma’am, at eight _so precisely_.

    I wait for that moment, each nerve on the strain--
      I tremble with wild agitation;
    A thousand sharp needles seem pricking my brain
      And I’m bathed in a cold perspiration.

    For I know you’ll commence on the last stroke of eight
      To perform all the morceaux that you know,
    From “ Dorothy,” “Doris,” and “Faust up to Date,”
      From Mendelssohn, Mozart, and Gounod.

    O lady next door, could your glance but once fall
      On the eye in which madness is lurking,
    You would move your piano away from the wall,
      And you’d play when the Bard wasn’t working.

          A Word for the Police.

    The soldiers of our “City Guard,”
      Through winter snows and summer heats,
    From all the soldiers’ joys debarred,
      Keep watch and ward in London streets.

    For them no martial trumpets sound,
      For them there waits no victor’s bay,
    But on the lonely midnight round,
      Unarmed, they face the fiercest fray.

    Alone, they brave the brawler’s blows,
      The burglar’s shot, the ruffian’s knife;
    Undaunted, dare a hundred foes,
      And risk, unflinching, limb and life
    What heroes, then, have more than they
      To London’s love and honour right,
    These quiet guardians of the day,
      These lonely soldiers of the night?

          The Old Clock on the Stairs.

       (A Ballad of Broadmoor.)

    There standeth in my entrance-hall
      A grim grandfather’s clock,
    That holds my inmost heart in thrall,
      And gives it many a shock.
    It has a cruel, cunning face,
      And two long hands that glide
    Like demon fates who run a race
      For ever by my side.

    So day by day, and year by year,
      It strikes a ceaseless knell,
    For all that to my heart was dear,
      For all I loved so well.
    It tolls for youth and love and trust,
      For joys and pleasures fled,
    For dreams long gathered to the dust,
      For hopes long cold and dead.

    In mournful beats it ticks away
      The moments of my span,
    And makes me, when I would be gay,
      A miserable man.
    No other sound the silence breaks,
      Save when with hollow boom
    Its sad sepulchral voice awakes
      The echoes of the tomb.

    It shall not tick my life away--
      Its raven croak no more
    Shall tell me that I’m old and gray
      And all my dreams are o’er!
    My fist is through its gloomy face,
      I wring its iron neck--
    Thus! thus! I smash its heartless case,
      And dance upon the wreck.

    Hurrah, hurrah! for hope returns,
      The mocking voice is still;
    Within my breast ambition burns,
      And all my pulses thrill.
    That fateful tongue, thank God, I miss,
      I know not how time flies;
    And oh, where ignorance is bliss,
      ’Tis folly to be wise.

          My Ambition.

    The hedges are green with the spring,
      The sun is on meadow and lea,
    The little birds merrily sing,
      And the blossom is sweet on the tree.
    I have wandered for many a mile--
      All around is a feast for the eye;
    So I’ll whittle a stick on this stile,
      And I’ll grin as the girls go by.

    I am far from the turmoil of town;
      Here is rest in this Devonshire lane--
    Here is rest from the world’s cruel frown,
      Here is rest from the passion and pain.
    Here, forgetting my woes for awhile,
      I will sit ’neath the blue southern sky,
    And whittle a stick on the stile,
      And grin as the girls go by.

    Sing on, little bird on the tree;
      Little sunbeam, dance on and be gay;
    Oh, the future is nothing to me!
      And, Memory, please go and play.
    Here, with nothing my temper to rile,
      I would like to remain till I die;
    And whittle a stick on the stile,
      And grin as the girls go by.

          A Wish.

    When London’s wrapped in filthy fogs,
    When seized are my unmuzzled dogs,
    When full and fierce the east winds blow,
    I wish myself in Jericho!

    When all night long the howling cad
    Disturbs my sleep and drives me mad,
    And milk-carts rattle to and fro,
    I wish myself in Jericho.

    When snow and slush block up the street,
    And “slides” send skyward both my feet,
    And bang upon my back I go,
    I wish myself in Jericho.

    When County Council cranks disgust,
    When schemes that drew my coin go bust,
    When bigots harass every show,
    I wish myself in Jericho.

    When frost gives way to sudden thaw,
    And all my pipes have got a flaw,
    And through my house the waters flow,
    I wish myself in Jericho.

    When for next Sunday’s _Referee_
    I have to do my M. and C.
    While in dyspepsia’s direst throe,
    I wish myself in Jericho.

          The Song of Heredity.

    My father was a madman, do you wonder I’m insane?
    My mother wasn’t pretty, do you wonder I am plain?
    My father was consumptive, and my hollow cheeks you see;
    Can you wonder I’m a drunkard when my mother had d.t.?
    Science speaks out pretty plainly on “hereditary taint,”
    And the sinner breeds a sinner, as the saint begets a saint;
    Then why call me Ananias, and reproach me, since, forsooth,
    My papa was such a liar that I _cannot_ tell the truth?

    When his ancestors for ages by their own mad acts have died,
    Do you wonder that a fellow has a taste for suicide?
    When a nose for generations is the feature of a race,
    And you know a fellow’s surname just by glancing at his face,--
    When this modern law of nature throughout all creation runs,
    And it’s odds on roaring racers having only roaring sons,
    Do you think that Ananias you should dub a luckless youth
    Whose papa was such a liar that he _cannot_ tell the truth?

          Scotch’d, not Kilt.


          AIR.--“_I winna gang back to my mammy again._”

    I winna gang back to auld Bizzy again,
    I’ll never gang back to auld Bizzy again;
    I’ve held by his coat-tails this aught months and ten,
    But I’ll never gang back to auld Bizzy again.
                I’ve held by his coat-tails, etc.

    Caprivi came down i’ the gloaming to woo,
    He lookit sae bonnie and honest and true;
    “Oh, com’ awa’, Willie, ne’er let Bizzy ken;”
    And I made young Caprivi the best o’ my men,
                Oh, com’ awa’, Willie, etc.

    He told me whatever I would I might do,
    And pressed hame his words wi’ a smile on his mou’,
    So I fell on his bosom, and said, “Ye maun reign,
    For aiblins ye’ll leave me a will o’ my ain.”
                So I fell on his bosom, etc.

    For many lang months sin’ I cam’ to the crown
    Auld Bizzy’s been hecklin’ and haudin’ me down;
    I’ve held by his coat-tails this aught months and ten,
    But I’ll never gang back to auld Bizzy again.
                I’ve held by his coat-tails, etc.

          The Last Resource.

    At forty-three, in broken health,
      The heel of Fate has crushed my pride;
    No joy I find in work or wealth--
      There’s nothing left but suicide.

    The wind blows ever from the east;
      It’s madness now my trike to ride;
    My pony’s lame, poor little beast--
      There’s nothing left but suicide.

    My hair is thin, my face is fat,
      My waist is spreading far and wide;
    Last week I lost my favourite cat--
      There’s nothing left but suicide.

    I am not starred on any bills,
      The critics all my work deride;
    I’m sick of taking draughts and pills--
      There’s nothing left but suicide.

    I am too sad to make a joke,
      The girl I love’s another’s bride;
    The doctors will not let me smoke--
      There’s nothing left but suicide.

    My house, I find, is built on clay,
      In vain to let it I have tried;
    The income tax is due to-day--
      There’s nothing left but suicide.

    What’s this?--a box of chocolates,
      With pale pink ribbon neatly tied?
    The “sweets of life” again, O Fates,
      I taste, and laugh at suicide.

          Ye Bars and Gates.

    Ye bars and gates o’ Bloomsbury,
      How can ye stand so silent there?
    How can ye, knowing ye are doomed,
      From some sma’ signs o’ grief forbear?
    He’ll break his heart, will Bedford’s duke,
      Whose grandeur County Councils spurn,
    As he bemoans his feudal rights--
      Departed never to return.

    Ye bars and gates, ye’re comin’ doon;
      No more ye’ll block the freeman’s path,
    And make the traveller lose his train,
      Or rouse the British cabman’s wrath.
    Wi’ lightsome heart we root ye up,
      And leave the streets o’ London free;
    And there’s but one will mourn your loss,
      And that’s his grace the Duke of B.

          Portrait of a Prince.


          He’s the dropsy, he’s the gout,
          And he looks like pegging out;
    And he’s sobbing and he’s sighing all the day--
                                    All the day.

          He is haggard, he is pale,
          And his limbs begin to fail,
    And his whiskers and moustache are going gray--
                                    Going gray.

          He is but a bag of bones,
          And he lies awake and groans,
    When he’s carried by his valet up to bed--
                                    Up to bed.

          He is hollow cheeked and eyed,
          And, though everything is tried,
    He never sleeps a moment for neuralgia in the head--
                                        In the head.

          Bitter tears are in his eyes
          Night and morning, as he cries,
    “Oh, my health is slowly breaking: I’m so ill--
                                        I’m so ill!

          “I shall soon be on the shelf,
          For I’m ‘going’ like a Guelph.
    Please oblige me with my mixture and a pill--
                                        And a pill.”

       (BY HIMSELF.)

          Which I simply answer, Rot!
          For Wales hasn’t gone to pot.
    Please to contradict the rumours that are rife--
                                        That are rife.

          Now he’s had a little rest
          Wales can go it with the best,
    And he never felt so jolly in his life--
                                        In his life.

          The Strong Men.

    They lined the quays on every shore,
    They fought for ships to take them o’er;
    They filled those ships from stern to stem,
    And still there was no end of them.

    They came by river, road, and rail,
    By every Continental mail,
    By White Star, Inman, and Cunard,
    And sent the managers a card.

    With iron bars and chains of steel,
    A mixture of the sham and real,
    With mighty weights and cannon-balls
    They sought the London music-halls.

    From every land beneath the sun,
    And each of them the strongest one,
    They all performed the self-same feats,
    And still they played to big receipts.

    Still fiercer grew the strong man boom,
    And still for more the shows made room;
    For, since so much one strong man drew,
    What wealth might there not be in _two_!

    The halls were crowded night and day
    To see strong men with dumb-bells play;
    The playhouse saw its public lost,
    And all but “strong man” was a “frost.”

    They put a strong man in the play--
    The first in “London Day by Day”;
    Then Willard cried to Jones, “A plan!
    Put Sandow in ‘The Middleman.’”

    “Ah, me!” Pinero said, “too late--
    We might have saved ‘The Profligate.’
    No Tosca and no Bernard-Beere,
    Had we but had a Samson here!”

    They filled the houses and the halls,
    They crammed the boxes and the stalls;
    Where’er a strong man did a show,
    They had to add “an extra row.”

    The men of strength were Britain’s pride--
    Adored, exalted, deified--
    Till suddenly John Bull awoke,
    And rubbed his eyes and saw the joke.

    “Good lord!” he cried, and danced with rage,
    “Have I gone daft in my old age?
    These chaps I’ve seen, I do declare,
    At every common country fair.

    “A hundred pounds a week for this!
    Pooh! bosh! here, hang it, let me hiss!
    The chap at fairs who did all that
    _Collected coppers in his hat_!”

     *       *       *       *       *

    The strong men, finding all is o’er,
    Have wisely sought another shore;
    But, though they search from sea to sea,
    They’ll never find such fools as we.

          A Ballad of Soap.


    The hours are passing slow,
        To see my watch I dread,
    ’Tis ten o’clock, I know,
        And yet I lie in bed,
        With dull and aching head.
    That pint of fizz with Joe,
        That big cigar with Fred,
    Have wrought dyspeptic woe.
        No more with friends I’ll tope.
    It’s twelve! Ho, Phyllis, ho!
        Hot water and some soap!

    I see the feet of crow
        Around my lids of lead;
    My pallid face also
        With yellow hues o’erspread.
        My eyes are very red!
    What good is growling so?
        I’ll wash myself instead.

      *       *       *       *       *

    What means this healthy glow?
        What means this new-born hope?
    Why rosy do I grow?
        _I’m using Samson’s soap!_

    My thoughts resume their flow,
        My garb of sloth is fled;
    I’m waltzing to and fro,
        And feel no longer dead.
        My gloomy hour has sped--
    A dashing, mashing beau;
        My yellow hue has fled--
    I’m game to ride or row.
        I envy not the Pope,
    I’m full of life and go,
        Thanks be to Samson’s Soap!


    Prince! whose pet name is “Ted,”
        When you are feeling low,
    And wake at dawn and mope,
    And tumble out of bed,
        And wash from top to toe,
    Use only Samson’s soap!

      The Jokeleteer.

    Over the sobs of mourners,
      Over the cry of pain,
    Where men gather with bloodless faces
        To search for the mangled slain,
    The sound of my mocking laughter
      In the silence is loud and clear;
    What do I care for corpses,
      Since I am a Jokeleteer?

    While the heart of the nation pulses
      In sympathy with woe,
    While the living claim their dead ones
      Who lie in a ghastly row,
    Into the weeping faces
      With a pitiless glance I peer,
    As I merrily crack my wheezes,
      For I am a Jokeleteer.

    While strong men reel and sicken,
      And their eyes grow dim and red,
    My poor little brains I cudgel
      For a joke about the dead.
    I’ve a jest for a man’s last moments,
      A pun for his open bier,
    And a jape for the Day of Judgment,
      For I am a Jokeleteer.

          Bill Sikes’s Protest.

    O England, can you hear it
      Without a blush of shame?
    Our lay, they mean to queer it,
      And stop our little game.
    It’s right down mean and sneaking--
      They’re going to give the blues,
    To stop their boots from creaking,
      New indiarubber shoes.

    It makes a Briton shirty,
      And sets his hair on end,
    To think to tricks so dirty
      The law should condescend,--
    That in the land of freedom
      And honourable views,
    The slops, e’en though they need ’em,
      Should walk in silent shoes.

    Fair play they say’s a jewel;
      There’s honour among thieves;
    But this new dodge is cruel--
      For look how it deceives!
    Our Mayor should call a meeting--
      His lordship can’t refuse--
    Denouncing law competing
      With crime in silent shoes.

    It’s hard enough at present
      For us to earn our bread,
    And always most unpleasant
      To hear the peeler’s tread;
    But we between starvation
      And honesty must choose,
    If once the British nation
      Allows these blarsted shoes.

          The Clarinet.

    When all the sunshine lies behind,
      And all the dusk before,
    When friends have turned to foes unkind,
      And love is love no more;
    When life is but a cruel ache,
      And living but a fret,
    ’Tis then, poor heart, the time to take
      Your good old clarinet.

    When wife and child have passed away,
      And health has broken down;
    When you are growing old and gray,
      And Fortune wears a frown,--
    When to your heart’s despairing cry
      No answer you can get,
    ’Tis then, if you are wise, you’ll try
      Your good old clarinet.

    Go, victim of life’s battle, go,
      And, heedless of your scars,
    Find solace here for all your woe
      In half a dozen bars.
    ’Twill reconcile us to our stay
      Here, where our task is set,
    To hear life’s million victims play
      The good old clarinet.

          No Evening Dress.

    The Church believes God will not bless
    A crowd that comes in evening dress.
    Of worldliness the antidote,
    Our “Arch.” proclaims the morning coat.
    What folly!--since God’s only care
    Is what we _are_, not what we _wear_.

          Alone in London.


    The dust blows through the empty street,
      The low skies gather grim and gray,
    The raindrops on the windows beat
      This cold and cheerless August day.
      And all my friends are far away
    Across the moors or by the sea,
    But I must linger, woe is me!
      Since cruel fortune so doth choose
    Then, friends who read the _Referee_,
      Forgive me if I get the blues.

          The Volunteer.

    It was a gallant Volunteer,
      He woke one wintry night,
    The long-expected sound to hear,
      “The foe is now in sight.”

    He leapt from out his cosy bed,
      He kissed his frightened wife,
    Then put his helmet on his head,
      To fight for home and life.

    He gaily donned his uniform--
      Such portions as he had--
    And then went out into the storm;
      The night was very bad.

    The snowflakes fell as large as eggs,
      The blast his bosom smote;
    He had no trousers on his legs,
      He had no overcoat.

    His heart was full of brave intent,
      He started at a trot;
    But O, he shivered as he went--
      Il n’avait pas de bottes!

    Ten thousand strong in legs all bare,
      And only in their socks,
    Our fellows made the Frenchmen stare,
      Yet stood their ground like rocks.

    But when the Frenchmen saw the foe,
      Our noble Volunteers,
    They laughed “Ha, ha!” and yelled “Ho, ho!”
      And greeted them with sneers.

    “C’est drôle,” they cried; “c’est bien drôle,
      Cette armée sans culottes,”
    And Alphonse yelled to Anatole,
      “Ils n’ont donc pas de bottes.”

    The British blushed with bitter shame,
      Their feelings were acute,
    And, though they were extremely game,
      They felt too pained to shoot.

    Their wail was borne upon the breeze,
      “The foe our army mocks,”
    But still the cold benumbed their knees,
      The snow soaked through their socks.

    And so because they weren’t equipped
      As Volunteers should be,
    The well-clad Frenchmen by them skipped,
      And it was all U P.

    O Britons, for your country’s sake,
      And all you hold most dear,
    A lesson from this story take,
      And clothe the Volunteer.

    For trousers, boots, and overcoats
      To Lord Mayor Whitehead hand
    A cheque or Bank of England notes,
      And save your native land.

          Those Boots.

    Our Prince a little change would seek,
      To town a short adieu he bids;
    In Paris spends his Whitsun week,
      And takes “the missus and the kids.”
    At Dover on the deck he stands
      (See ad.--“The shortest of sea routes”),
    And hies him o’er to Calais sands
      In tourist tweed and untanned boots.

    The cares of State no longer vex,
      From Fashion’s whirl he steps aside,
    And takes a trip, our future Rex,
      And with him goes his silver bride.
    They take their boys and girls to see
      The show no sceptred hand salutes,
    And start, from princely trammels free,
      In tourist tweeds and untanned boots.

    Prince! standing in the blazing light
      That beats upon a modern throne,
    ’Tis not in royal robes bedight,
      I ween, your happiest hours are known.
    The white stones on your road of life
      Mark where you pluck sweet leisure’s fruits,
    And with your boys and girls and wife
      Go trips in tweeds and untanned boots.

          A Sunday Song.

    I stood and I shivered last Sunday night
    Till I bade them set the fire alight,
    Then I sat with my feet on the fender bar,
    And I told them to bring me the whisky jar.
    I filled me a glass, and I held it high
    As I glared at the gray and the gloomy sky,
    And I sang to a sad funereal tune
    The doleful dirge of an English June.

    “O gruesome herald of Whitsun week,”
    I cried as I gazed on the prospect bleak,
    “The blazing heat of our one hot day
    Has fried us up and has passed away;
    And the weary summer of blights and chills
    Has come to us big with its thousand ills,
    And the lips of the lovers are blue who spoon
    In Regent’s Park in our English June.”

    A red nose pressed to the window-pane,
    The swirling dust and the threatening rain,
    A blue-black blight in the raw rough air,
    A cut-throat climate and dull despair;
    A tear for the days that will come no more,
    A dose of physic at twelve and four.
    And that is my Sunday afternoon
    In the Arctic arms of an English June.

          Up the Rigi.

    Riding up the mountain
      In an open car,
    Engine puffing bravely--
      O, how high we are!
    Higher we are climbing,
      To the clouds we sail;
    All the world’s beneath us
      On the Rigi Rail.

    Past the slopes of verdure,
      Gay with gold and white,
    Past the crags and fissures,
      Up the giddy height.
    Torrents down below us
      Dashing through the vale,
    Snowclad peaks above us,
      On the Rigi Rail.

    Up, still up to cloudland,
      While the world below
    Shrinks to dots and pigmies
      Higher as we go.
    All around grows barren;
      Timid girls grow pale
    As the snow surrounds us
      On the Rigi Rail.

    Up at last--the summit
      Puffing Billy gains,
    And the sight that greets us
      Pays for all our pains.
    Alp on alp far stretching,
      Lake and plain and vale
    Spread in glory round us
      On the Rigi Rail.

    Nerves with joy are thrilling
      In that wondrous air,
    Ne’er did eyes enchanted
      See a sight so fair.
    Ne’er till memory falters
      And my senses fail
    Shall I forget that journey
      Upon the Rigi Rail.

          A Plea for Mercy.

    O, do not flog the brutal rough
      Who jumps upon his wife,
    Or in a little drunken huff
      Prods children with a knife.
    O, do not flog the brute who takes
      The old man by the throat
    And chokes him while a search he makes
      Of trousers, vest, and coat.

    O, do not flog the coward cur
      Who pulps a woman’s face;
    It cannot do much good to her,
    And think of _his_ disgrace.
    O, think of all the smart and pain
      If his poor hide be thin;
    The cat, you know, must leave a stain
      On mind as well as skin.

    O, do not flog the prowling wretch
      Who bashes us for pelf,
    But some nice kind old parson fetch,
      Or talk to him yourself.
    Present him with a kindly tract,
      Or pray with him awhile;
    Explain that skulls should not be crackt
      In such a shocking style.

    And when you’ve turned his wrath away
      And shown him he was wrong,
    Then teach him, if you’ve time to stay,
      Some sweet Salvation song.
    Far better let ten thousand such
      Go free to bash again,
    Than one should know the cat’s vile touch
      Or feel a moment’s pain.

    O, do not flog--in mercy spare
      The burglar’s tender hide.
    Though murder’s rife, what need we care?
      The Scripture’s on our side.
    Come then, ye bashing burglar crew,
      Put up your sweet mouths--so,
    And let the cranks who plead for you
      Return you kiss for blow.

          If You Were Here.


    If you were here, if you were here,
    My butcher’s bill would be more clear,
    The Life Guards out for exercise
    Would not so often raise their eyes
    To where the housemaids smile and smirk,
    And play the hours away at work.
    If you were here my morning tea
    Perchance would slightly stronger be,
    My evenings, now so lone and long,
    Might know the solace of a song;
    I should not feel inclined to shriek
    When chairs and tables groan and creak.
    My midnight ghosts I should not fear
    If you were here, if you were here.

    ’Tis sad to be alone; but still
    There is some sugar round the pill.
    I’m master now, and have my way--
    There’s no one here to say me nay.
    Though all is silent as the tomb,
    I smoke my pipe in ev’ry room.
    When out no train I rush to catch--
    My key goes boldly in the latch.
    No more, lest I disturb your sleep,
    On tiptoe up the stairs I creep.
    Nor do I have to scratch my pate
    To think what kept me out so late.
    And that I’d oft to do, my dear,
    When you were here, when you were here.

          Le Brav’ General

    It costs some cash to catch the Gauls,
    And placard all the Paris walls,
    But his big balance never falls.
            Who finds the money?

    He travels like a little king,
    And “cuts a dash” and “does the thing,”
    And spares no cost to have his fling.
            Who finds the money?

    He’s no estate, he’s lost his pay,
    Yet thousands go from day to day
    In working France for Boulanger.
            Who finds the money?

    In London he has settled down;
    He means to have his fling in town--
    A little king without a crown.
            Who finds the money?

    When kings and princes meet at tea,
    When statesmen other statesmen see,
    They jerk their thumbs at General B----
    And whisper on the strict q.t.,
            Who finds the money?

          The Paris Exhibition.

    Within, without, abroad, at home,
    Though all appears a bilious chrome,
    With May shall flee dyspeptic throes
    And life assume a tint of rose--
    For France, the gay and debonair,
    Will ask us to her fancy fair,
          The Exhibition.

    Then East and West and South and North
    Will pour their choicest treasures forth,
    And all the world will hie away
    Upon a pleasant holiday;
    While Frenchmen cry, and chink the cash,
    “We’re glad Boulanger did not smash
         The Exhibition!”

    And you, ma mie, of years ago,
    Who with me wandered to and fro
    Through all the aisles of wonder set
    Like gems in some vast coronet--
    How sweet you were, ma’mselle, to me!--
    Will you be there this time to see
           The Exhibition?

    O’er both our heads the years have rolled,
    And I am stout and growing old;
    And you are married, I dare say,
    And know a mother’s cares to-day.
    Maybe our chairs--bath-chairs, I mean--
    May pass some day ere we’ve quite seen
          The Exhibition.

          The New Legend.

    When my liver’s out of order, and my nerves are all awry,
    And I want to sit in corners and to tear my hair and cry,
    When a demon stands behind me with a razor or a knife,
    And suggests the use of either as a short-cut out of life,
    When the gloom outside my window is the gloom inside my heart,
    And the ghostly sounds about make me shake and make me start,
    Then I walk about my dwelling, but my sorrows do not flee
    When I find my goods and chattels all were “made in Germany.”

    The globes upon my gas-lamps bear that exquisite device,
    It is worked upon my carpets and the trap that catches mice;
    It is stamped upon my dusters, and imprinted on my hat,
    And I half expect to find it on the collar of my cat.
    “Made in Germany”‘s the motto on my knocker and my bell,
    And the scraper and the doormat have it written large as well;
    From the basement to the attic all around those words I see,
    And e’en my patent chimney-pots were “made in Germany.”

    Then I wander forth for shelter from this legend, but in vain,
    For it polks in flaming letters through my agitated brain;
    It is stamped on all the lamp-posts and the flagstones at my feet,
    And I see it on the helmets of the bobbies on the street.
    “Give me respite from this legend!” in my agony I cry,
    And my gentle Albert Edward says to comfort me he’ll try;
    But while weeping on his bosom there is no relief for me,
    For, like everything about me, he was “made in Germany.”

          A Mild December.

    A balmy breeze o’er London plays,
      The summer sun is shining,
    The weather’s clerk has (scandal says)
      Undoubtedly been dining.

    Old fogeys sit about the parks,
      And “Dear, can you remember,”
    Old Darby to old Joan remarks,
      “Such mildness in December?”

    When Master Sandford takes his walks
      Abroad with Master Merton,
    He says, “O, ain’t I hot, O lawks,
      With my thick flannel shirt on!”

    “My pupils will take notice, please,”
      Exclaims the Reverend Barlow,
    “It’s warmer here by seven degrees
      Than ’tis in Monte Carlo.”

    For garden-seats the public run
      To Shoolbred’s and to Maple’s;
    It’s five degrees more in the sun
      In London than in Naples!

    I shut my eyes and dream a dream
      About our winter season,
    That does not seem to have a gleam
      Of common-sense or reason.

    I dream that from the southern land
      The foreigners are flocking;
    They promenade along the Strand,
      The Thames Embankment blocking.

    The train de luxe from every part
      Brings foreigners to London;
    The Riviera breaks its heart,
      Algeria is undone.

    In search of sun from Southern Spain
      The Andalusian wanders;
    The Roman lolls in Drury Lane,
      The Turk in Holborn ponders.

    The world this mild December flocks
      To our delightful climate;
    Rich Russian ’gainst rich German knocks,
      And princeling jostles primate.

    The great hotels are packed and jammed,
      And all the trades are booming,
    The theatres and cafés crammed,
      And summer roses blooming.

    I dream a dream of London made
      A winter spot delightful;
    I wake from sleep, and start dismayed
      To find the weather frightful!

    No balmy breeze o’er London plays,
      No summer sun is shining;
    ’Tis not the clerk (so scandal says)
      But _I_ who have been dining.

          The Last Duke.

    They had taken the brightest, the nicest, the best;
    They had carefully sorted and sampled the rest;
    America’s daughters no quarter had shown,
    And but one Duke of Britain was blooming alone.

    Belgravian mothers in frenzied despair
    Tore out by the roots their luxuriant hair,
    And the maidens of Albion shuddered and sighed,
    And but for their eyes would have certainly cried.

    Every prize of the season had gone to the States,
    The American girls had the best of the weights;
    The “piles” of the pa’s and their personal charms
    Had proved in the battle all-conquering arms.

    And now but one Duke there remained to be had.
    He was fat, he was fifty, and said to be mad;
    But the belles of Great Britain to rescue him swore
    From the sirens who hail from Columbia’s shore.

    Then the belles of Columbia picked up the glove,
    And encouraged his grace to make desperate love;
    They crowded Cunarders and weighted White Stars,
    And descended on London in drawing-room cars.

    But the maidens who flirt ’neath the Union Jack
    At the Yankee invasion weren’t taken aback,
    Though it must be confessed there were exquisite types
    Of feminine flirts ’neath the Stars and the Stripes.

    The Duke stood aghast ’twixt the double array,
    But endeavoured to all some attention to pay.
    First he smiled at a Briton, then ogled a Yank,
    Then bolted, and hailed the first cab on the rank.

    He drove to the station, and, catching the train,
    He sailed o’er the stormy and murderous main.
    He landed at Calais and fell at the feet
    Of the first pretty French girl he met in the street.

    He asked for her hand, and the maiden replied,
    “Avec plaisir, m’sieu. Here’s a church; step inside.”
    They were married at once, and next day they set sail
    By the London and Chatham’s first outgoing mail.

    Sir Algernon Borthwick, who edits the _Post_,
    Had received the first news from the opposite coast;
    And the maids of our isles and the maids of the States
    In special editions were told of their fates.

    “Peace with honour” at once was proclaimed ’twixt the fair
    (As neither had won what did either set care?);
    And the Duke was much praised on both sides by the Press,
    And the little French Duchess is quite a success.

          To the Fog.

    A thousand welcomes let us sing
      To that dear old November fog
    Which harbingers the days that bring
      The early gas, the flaming log.

    Ah! well we know, sweet fog, when first
      You wrap the town in your embrace,
    The winter from its shell has burst,
      And come to bless the human race.

    I love the merry winter when
      The day is darker than the night,
    For then, contented in my den,
      I sit beside the fire and write.

    I love the fog that wraps in gloom
      My second-class suburban square;
    For then within my dingy room
      I light the gas, and let it flare.

    I hate the dreary days and love
      The nights that shut the black world out;
    And so I prize, all things above,
      The fog that puts the day to rout.

          The Reminiscences of Mr. John Dobbs.



    My name is John Dobbs. In the year ’58
    I was born in a street which I fear was fifth-rate.
    My pa was a gent who had had a reverse,
    And my ma took in other folks’ babies to nurse.

    Thus early my life-long acquaintance began
    With the folks who are first in Society’s van;
    In the cradle next mine slept the son of a peer,
    Who had gone to the dogs all through skittles and beer.

    At six I developed a beautiful voice,
    Which made the fond hearts of my parents rejoice;
    I was sent out to sing with a man in the street,
    But I plied my vocation among the élite.

    We sang in the squares where proud nobles reside;
    And often a duchess’s face I espied,
    As she peered o’er the blind at the little artiste;
    Thus I grew to mind duchesses not in the least.

    I pass o’er my youth, merely pausing to state
    That I met many folks who were famous and great,
    And it frequently happened my supper I took
    With a tip-top celebrity’s housemaid or cook.

    I was just in the twentieth year of my age
    When I made my début on the music-hall stage;
    And ’twas there that I soon made a very big name,
    And earned all my subsequent fortune and fame.

    I’d a song with a chorus of “jammy jam-jam,”
    That was sung from Southend to Seringapatam;
    And often, when singing my song at the halls,
    I have seen lords and marquises smile in the stalls.

    Lord Beaconsfield once I’d the honour to meet--
    His lordship was walking up Parliament Street--
    By the merest of chances I trod on his toe,
    And his lordship looked up and remarked to me “Oh!”

    Conversations like these I have frequently had
    With the rich and the great, and the good and the bad;
    And I once had the pleasure and honour to dine
    With the Prince, who’s a very great patron of

    The banquet, I own, was a public affair,
    At which his Royal Highness had taken the chair.
    And I paid for my ticket; but still I’ve a right
    To say with the Prince I had dinner that night.

    And now, as folks’ memoirses seem all the go,
    I’ve thought that the public might p’raps like to know
    All about the great people of whom I can speak
    With the candour becoming a Lion Comique.

          Pickpocket Poems


    The way was long, the wind was cold,
      The minstrel was infirm and old.
    Of two bioncs I robbed the bard,
      For which I got three months with hard.


    She wore a wreath of roses
      The night that first we met,
    I went to call her carriage--
      Ne’er that night can I forget.
    I held the door a moment,
      And, as she stepped inside,
    I sneaked her lovely bracelet,
      And round the corner guyed.

    The next time that I met her
      ’Twas in the busy Strand;
    She wore a hat and feathers,
      And her purse was in her hand.
    I saw it in a moment,
      And methinks I see her now
    As I snatched her purse and hooked it
      Ere she’d time to make a row.

    Yet once again I saw her--
      It was in the witness-box--
    A fashionable bonnet
      Adorned her golden locks.
    She looked at me a moment,
      Then said what she’d to say;
    And that is why they sent me
      To gloomy Holloway.


    It was night in the month of October,
      And the stars were alight in the sky,
    When a gent as I thought wasn’t sober
      The corner I stood at passed by.

    I saw that his chain was a gold one;
      I guessed that his watch was the same;
    And so, as the gent was an old one,
      I thought him legitimate game.

    I’d got his gold chain in my fingers,
      And was going to give it a tug,
    When whack came a couple of stingers--
      Two beauties--and right on my lug.

    Then I’d one that struck stars from my peeper
      And another that shifted my jaw--
    A regular send-you-to-sleeper--
      And that is the last that I saw.

    The last that I saw till a peeler,
      To fill sorrow’s cup to the brim,
    Put my carcase inside a four-wheeler,
      And said, “What a flat to try him!”

    “Who is he?” I groaned, as in torture
      I nervously felt for my face;
    And he said, “Well, you tackled a scorcher;
      That elderly gent was Jem Mace.”

          The Cigarette.

    Young England, ’twixt its idle lips,
    A tiny twirl of ’baccy grips,
    And puffs a lazy cloud of blue,
    And rests between a draw or two.
    Our youth, alas! have grown of late
    So languid and effeminate,
    They’ve dropped cigars and heavy wet
    For lemon-squash and cigarette.

    The vulgar pipe is rarely seen
    Their dainty lisping lips between;
    The dude would scorn a big cigar,
    His tout ensemble a weed would mar;
    And so he rolls the paper toys
    We used to smoke as little boys,
    And all the dressed-up, mashing set
    Affect the foreign cigarette.

    But now they tremble and go pale--
    The doctors tell a dreadful tale.
    A wretched fellow writes to say
    They’d better throw such weeds away.
    Their faultless shirt-fronts quake with fear,
    And crease and tumble when they hear
    They in their breasts a viper pet--
    There’s poison in the cigarette.

    Go! let the foreign fellow puff
    His tissue-paper Turkish stuff,
    But let Young England scorn its yoke,
    And once more like a Briton smoke
    Between his lips a good cigar,
    Whose bright red glow one sees afar:
    He’ll feel a man, and soon forget
    The poisoned foreign cigarette.

          The Early Milk-Cart.

    I do not know what you are like--I know not where you go;
    I’ve never seen you as you jolt along the streets below.
    It’s always in the early morn my house you rattle by,
    And banish sleep that won’t return, however hard I try.

    I wonder if the fiend, who drives like mad through Gower Street,
    And on the asphalte likes to hear his horse’s heavy feet,
    And bangs against the kerb and makes his swaying milk-cans crash,
    _Desires_ to settle straight away a nervous mortal’s hash.

    Through weary hours I lie awake and toss from side to side,
    A genuine Jekyll tortured by a much too real Hyde;
    And when at last my drooping lids have shut that Hyde away,
    The early milk-cart rattles by and bids the demon stay.

    You little reck, you noisy thing, as ’neath the fading stars
    You jump and jolt, that every jerk on some poor toiler jars;
    You little reck, as merrily your cans together bang,
    You’ve roused a serpent in my breast which has a poisoned fang.

    All heedless of the web that fate has spun to hold me fast,
    Sometimes I sail o’er summer seas where ne’er a shadow’s cast;
    And youth and hope are mine again, and life’s a sweet green isle
    That sleeps upon the ocean’s breast and basks in heaven’s smile.

    My lazy barque floats placidly towards that haven fair,
    The sunny slopes grow nearer still--one moment, and I’m there;
    One little leap from deck to shore--I wake with quite a start,
    The milk-cans dance a carmagnole upon that early cart.

    Yet sometimes have I cause to bless the awful noise they make,
    ’Tis when from some infernal dream their crashing bids me wake;
    When on my breast a demon sits, who’s marked me for his prey,
    I’m glad that milk-carts go about so early in the day.

    Pass on, disturber of my rest--pass on thy way unseen;
    You little know how very near to murder you have been;
    Your reckless driver never dreams how great has been his share
    In making me the wreck I am--and p’r’aps he doesn’t care.

    Yet when I sleep the dreamless sleep in that great silent town,
    Where ne’er a cart of any kind goes rattling up and down--
    The coroner who sat on me may possibly suggest
    That “Died of too much early milk” would suit my tombstone best.

          The Collaborators.

    Once on a time ’twas the freak of fate
    That Fidgitt and Whims should collaborate,
    So they sat them down on a midsummer day
    To think of a plot and to write a play.

    They both shook hands ere the task began,
    Adopting the Prize Ring’s general plan,
    And said, “If each other we chance to kill,
    It isn’t a murder,” with right good will.

    They buried their heads in their hands awhile,
    Till Fidgitt looked up, with a sickly smile,
    And timidly stammered a first rough plot,
    Which Whims immediately said was “rot.”

    They buried their heads in their hands again,
    Till a notion fluttered in Whims’s brain;
    He got to the middle, and there he stuck,
    For Fidgitt declared the plot was “muck.”

    They argued the point till it came to blows,
    And Whims hit Fidgitt upon the nose,
    Then Fidgitt the inkstand seized, and threw
    At Whims’s head, which it split in two.

    Then each in sorrow resumed his seat,
    And their hands they wrung and their bosoms beat,
    And presently Fidgitt, his cheeks aflame,
    With pride declared he’d the hero’s name.

    It wasn’t a name that Whims would keep
    And he argued till Fidgitt began to weep.
    So Whims suggested a name instead,
    And that to another discussion led.

    They flew at each other like angry cats,
    They tore their shirts and they crushed their hats;
    They smashed the table and broke the chairs,
    And kicked each other right down the stairs.

    They banged each other against the wall,
    But made it up in the entrance-hall.
    They said they would go for a quiet walk,
    And begin again with a general talk.

    They talked so loudly in Bedford Square
    That the people about all stopped to stare,
    And a poor little child from a window fell,
    In terror at hearing Whims’s yell.

    They called each other such dreadful names
    That they shocked a couple of aged dames,
    Who called a bobby to stop the din;
    He tried and couldn’t, so ran them in.

    They explained to the sitting magistrate
    That they’d only tried to collaborate;
    But the magistrate said such scenes must cease,
    So he bound them over to keep the peace.

    They promised they would, and they’ve got it still,
    For up to the present the “piece” is nil;
    But see it finished perhaps we shall
    When they both come out of the hospital.

          The New Cure.


    Mr. Smith, you’re very worried,
      And your face looks very sad,
    By the Gladstonites you’re flurried,
      Their behaviour is so bad;
    And your liver is affected,
      And you’re bilious as well,
    But you need not be dejected,
      You’ll be sound, sir, as a bell
          If you switchback,
          If you switchback--
    If you switchback, sir, forthwith.
      It’s a patented health-giver,
      It will act upon your liver,
    If you switchback, Mr. Smith.


    Mr. D., I’m gay and jolly,
      And my fingers I can snap
    At the Opposition folly,
      And the Parnellites who yap.
    I can view the situation
      With a calm, contented smile,
    And, whate’er the aggravation,
      Keep my temper all the while;
          For I’ve switchbacked,
          For I’ve switchbacked--
    For I’ve switchbacked, Mr. D.;
      And that patented health-giver
      Has, in acting on my liver,
    Made another man of me.


    Henry Hawkins, people mutter,
      That dyspeptic pain at times
    Is the cause of words you utter
      When a-sitting upon crimes;
    When your liver’s wrong, your fury
      Can no murderer withstand,
    And you sum up to the jury
      With the black cap in your hand.
          You should switchback,
          You should switchback;
    Please, Sir Henry, don’t say “Fudge!”
      For the switchback it will shake you,
      Stir your liver up, and make you
    Quite a nice agreeable judge.


    Mr. D., no more dyspeptic,
      I am called a kindly man;
    Of a prisoner’s worth no sceptic,
      I defend him all I can.
    My delight and my endeavour
      Is the jury to restrain,
    And restore a culprit clever
      To his loving friends again.
          For I’ve switchbacked,
          For I’ve switchbacked--
    Yes, I’ve switchbacked, Mr. D.;
      And that patented health-giver
      Has, in acting on my liver,
    Made another judge of me.

          That New-born Babe.

    There was once a new-born infant; at the moment of its birth
    It became the greatest villain that was ever known on earth.
    For there wasn’t any item in the catalogue of crime
    Which that babe had not committed in the briefest space of time.

    When its little peepers opened to their primal ray of light
    They’d a look of dissipation and of being out all night,
    And, before a score of seconds had passed o’er its infant head,
    It had, in a fit of passion, kicked its mother out of bed.

    At a week, a scheme of murder floated through its baby brain,
    For the monthly nurse, unwisely, had displayed her watch and chain;
    So he slew her, and he stole them, with an infantile “Ha, ha!”
    As he managed that suspicion should be cast upon his pa.

    Then he crowed till he was purple, and his back they had to pat,
    When the famous Mr. Berry made his pa a new cravat;
    And when nobody was looking and the hour was nice and still,
    He secured his father’s papers, and he tampered with the will.

    He bequeathed himself the mansion, the carriages, and plate,
    And all the landed property and personal estate.
    When the law his pa had Berried, with a sly, Satanic mirth,
    He ante-dated twenty years his “stifficate” of birth.

    Then at once he took possession, and he told his ma to go,
    And because she made objections, pushed her out into the snow;
    She was taken to the workhouse, where her widowed heart soon broke,
    For she couldn’t stand the skilly, and she turned against the toke.

    Then this wretched new-born infant, knowing not a parent’s care,
    Began to blue the property to which he was the heir.
    Through keeping shady company, he went from bad to worse--
    He was not the sort of baby that a decent girl could nurse.

    At law and at morality that wicked baby mocked,
    He was such a thorough villain that Society was shocked;
    And it was not much astonished when, before completing three,
    He had wrecked his constitution and had suffered from d.t.

    At the age of four a bloated, shattered martyr to the gout,
    He arsoned so incautiously the Office found him out.
    To escape a prosecution he committed suicide,
    And the world has been much better since that little darling died.

          The Button.


    The Premier sat in the Premier’s chair,
    And he said to his colleagues assembled there,
    “The Cabinet meets, as you all are aware,
      To discuss the momentous button.
    The time for action has come at last,
    The French in the tunnel are gathering fast;
    Now is the time their plans to blast--
      I am going to touch the button!”

    He put out his finger to do the deed,
    But a Minister cried, “We are not agreed
    That the country stands in such desperate need
      Of a touch of that awful button.
    The tunnel’s a big commercial spec--
    Just think of the property we shall wreck!
    There are plenty of ways the foe to check--
      Let’s try ’em before the button.”

    And then there arose a big debate,
    And the Cabinet sat till rather late
    Before they could settle the final fate
      Of Sir Edward Watkin’s button.
    They argued con, and they argued pro,
    Till a message came to let them know
    The Commander-in-Chief was down below
      In a fury about the button.

    And while the statesmen were still in doubt
    The panting duke (he was rather stout)
    Rushed in, with his brolly blown inside out,
      And he yelled, “You fools! the button!”
    In vain did Sir Watkin weep and say--
    “O, think of the widows and orphans, pray;
    The finger of fate unless you stay,
      Their shares won’t be worth a button.”

    “What are the shares,” fierce Cambridge cried,
    “To the fall of Britain--the ocean’s pride!”
    He pushed Sir Watkin, who reeled aside,
      And placed his thumb on the button.
    But, alas! for the schemes of men and mice--
    He pressed it once and he pressed it twice;
    But his heart stood still and his blood was ice--
      _There was something wrong with the button!_

    The tricolour floats from St. Paul’s to-day,
    For, led by the General Boulanger,
    The French have come, and they mean to stay,
      Now they’ve passed the dangerous button.
    When out of order it proved to be,
    The whole French army came through with glee
    That wonderful tunnel beneath the sea--
      And so much for Sir Watkin’s button!

          A Façon de Parler.

     Sir Charles Russell: “When you said that jockeys are such d----d
     thieves, what did you mean?” The Duke of Portland: “It was merely a
     façon de parler.”

    When I say that a race is an infamous ramp,
    When I say that a man is a terrible scamp,
    These expressions are not of the genuine stamp,
          But merely a façon de parler.
    If my overwrought feelings find vent and relief
    In calling a fellow a thundering thief,
    You mustn’t conclude that I speak my belief--
          It’s merely a façon de parler.

    If I write to a friend on a matter that’s grave,
    And denounce so-and-so as a rascally knave,
    You mustn’t regard it as anything save
          What is known as a façon de parler.
    And the use of a word which I need not repeat
    In no way refers to Plutonian heat;
    It is always accepted among the élite
          As merely a façon de parler.


       (OR, “ON THE TRACK.”)

    We have heard of the Bird by which Roche won renown,
    The Bird to posterity Boyle handed down,
    The Bird which the schoolboy who is not a dunce
    Will remember could be in two places at once;
    But the Bird of Sir Boyle must now take a back seat,
    While we sing of John Jackson’s more wonderful feat.

    John Jackson has written his commonplace name
    In the boldest of hands on the parchment of fame.
    A convict, he played with his warder at spoof,
    Then brained him, and made his escape through the roof;
    Walked boldly away in a broad-arrow suit,
    And nobody seems to have noticed his route.

    None saw him depart, but, as if to atone,
    He has never gone anywhere since an unknown;
    All over the kingdom, in less than a week,
    He has swaggered about with most marvellous cheek,
    Appearing--no worse for his terrible crime--
    In Hampstead and Hull at the very same time.

    He’s been traced to Penzance with a tramp for his pal;
    At Thurso, when seen, he was treating a gal;
    At Epsom he passed a flash note in the ring,
    Backed Ayrshire, and then was again on the wing.
    Flying north, flying south, if we rumours believe,
    Reaching Brighton and Glasgow the very same eve.

    He’s been seen on the switchback, all over the town;
    At Epping he knocked many cocoanuts down;
    He has mixed with the parsons at Exeter Hall,
    And he’ll doubtless be seen at her Majesty’s ball.
    And he came up to London on purpose to see
    The Princess’s drama, the Something-my-Chree.

    So Jackson the murderer roams o’er the land--
    One day in the Highlands, the next in the Strand;
    Men, women, and children can see at a glance
    He’s the chap who has led the police such a dance.
    But they scorn to betray him by gesture or look,
    And are “mum” till the murderer’s taken his hook.

    O please, dear detectives, who’re still on the track,
    We know that no skill, no devotion you lack;
    We know that you’re bound the first moment you can
    To collar this wicked and wonderful man.
    But it’s better to let him go free for six “monce”
    Than to take him in twenty-five places at once.

          Another Danger.

    My house was in flames, and the smoke and the heat
    By the staircase, I found, would prevent my retreat;
    So I rushed to the window and opened it wide,
    And I shouted for help that I might not be fried.

    The window was many a foot from the ground.
    The people came running and gathered around;
    They asked me to jump, but I smiled and I said,
    “The pavement is rather too hard for my head.”

    My plans soon assuming a definite shape,
    I said I would wait while they fetched the escape.
    They went off to find it, but came back to shout
    That it wasn’t the time for escapes to be out.

    “I am burning,” I cried; “I am stifled with smoke;
    If you don’t get me out I shall certainly choke.
    Go tell the brave fellows who guard us from fire
    To bring the escape, or I’m bound to expire.”

    They went off again, and each man did his best--
    They scoured the east and they scoured the west;
    But wherever they went the result was the same--
    I was left to the mercy of smoke and of flame.

    They borrowed long ladders and a blanket and sheet,
    Then they asked me to jump about fifty-two feet;
    But, objecting to dash out my brains on the stone,
    I could only reply with a shriek and a groan.

    The flames would not wait, so they burst through the room,
    And I felt the hot breath of my terrible doom;
    One last look I gave, but escape saw I none--
    The men were off duty, their work being done.

         *       *       *       *       *

    My cinders together they carefully swept,
    The Press were indignant, my relatives wept;
    But I, who have passed to a sphere far away,
    Am able the blame at the right door to lay.

    No blame must attach to the gallant Brigade,
    Overworked and--I’m sorry to say--underpaid;
    And I fail to discover a weakness or flaw
    In the rules as laid down by our brave Captain Shaw.

    No doubt the disaster which killed me was dire,
    But the whole of the blame must be laid on the fire,
    Which chose to break out, to its shame be it said,
    At a time when the firemen had gone home to bed.

          After the Act.

    The Act of Sir John had been passed by the State,
    And the shops were all closed as Big Ben thundered eight;
    The desolate streets were denuded of light,
    And only the gin-palace gas-jets were bright.

    The widow, whose poor little shop was her all,
    A tear on the shroud she was making let fall.
    One daughter, upstairs, in the garret lay dead,
    And another was dying, the doctor had said.

    Ah! bitter the doom that the widow foresaw--
    She was ruined and crushed by the “merciful” law;
    Her trade was all done with the people, you see,
    Who only at seven or eight are set free.

    So her trade had dropped off, for no customers came,
    She was called on to close in “humanity’s” name;
    For in England, the land where dear Liberty reigns,
    If you sell after eight you are fined for your pains.

    No matter that she by herself did the trade,
    And had neither shopman nor shopgirl to aid;
    The law of the Lubbock had settled her fate,
    A widow mayn’t work for herself after eight.

    To the butcher in debt, to the baker as well,
    How the rent would be met the poor soul couldn’t tell,
    And she thought, with a feeling of terror and dread,
    Of the funeral bill for the child who lay dead.

    Not a coin in the till, and to-morrow--O God!--
    To be laid with her darling at rest ’neath the sod,
    To have passed from a land where the fanatics rave,
    And free Britons load with the chains of the slave!

    Ha! a customer comes with her purse in her hand--
    She wants this, she wants that. But the law of the land
    Forbids the poor widow to sell--it’s too late;
    The curfew has tolled--it’s a minute past eight.

    But the silver is there, in the hand that’s held out;
    The poor widow weeps--the police are about;
    But the silver would save her, she knows it’s a crime,
    But she _sells half-a-crown’s worth of goods after time_.

    She sells them, and clutches the silver with joy,
    When a bobby pops in--a mere bit of a boy--
    And exclaims, “All right, missis, I’ve copped you at last;
    I’ve been watching the place for a week or two past.”

    She is summoned and fined--O, just think of her sins!--
    She had sold a young woman a packet of pins,
    Some paper, some envelopes, and--O, the crime!--
    A Bible and Prayer-book, and all after time!

    The widow is ruined, her stock seized for debt
    She is sent to the workhouse; the shop is to let.
    Let all honest widows be warned by her fate--
    How dared she do work at a minute past eight!

    O Lubbock, when moving your merciless Bill,
    You exclaimed, in a voice that made Westminster thrill,
    “What crimes are committed in Liberty’s name!”--
    “In _Humanity’s_” surely you meant to exclaim.

          The Rigadoon.


    The sweetest joy for him on earth
    Was not the Menad’s maddened mirth,
    For him no subtle joyance hid
    The blood-feast of the Bassarid;
    But when unto the village green,
    The Strephons came with modest mien,
    And bashful Chloes there would steal,
    He gaily danced a Highland reel.

    The manor’s lord--he knew not why--
    His cards bore only plain “Sir Guy”;
    Nor had he e’er been known to claim,
    In peace or war, another name.
    Of noble blood and ancient race,
    Of lissom limb and florid face,
    He scorned his rent-roll, though ’twas big,
    And revelled in the Irish jig.

    Of Irish blood and Scotch descent,
    New grace to jig and reel he lent;
    But, being British to the core,
    He would not England’s dance ignore.
    So, when his tenants flocked around
    To see him nimbly twist and bound.
    Before he blessed them and withdrew,
    He always danced a hornpipe too.

    From youth to manhood, day by day,
    Sir Guy would dance the years away,
    Beloved by all he lived among,
    The grave and gay, the old and young;
    Performing for the common weal
    The jig, the hornpipe, and the reel.
    And these he might be dancing yet,
    Had he not made a foolish bet.

    It happened thus. To Arcadee
    There came one day a young M.P.
    Who sneered, when flushed with beer and wine,
    At all things human and Divine.
    He joined the crowd upon the green,
    Assumed a supercilious mien,
    And when Sir Guy had done, he said,
    “A kid could lick him on its head.”

    The crowd drew back in sudden awe,
    Which, when the sneering stranger saw,
    He flung his glove upon the ground,
    And cried, “Sir Guy, a thousand pound
    I’ll bet you that you cannot dance
    A little thing I saw in France:
    Its English name’s the Rigadoon.”
    Sir Guy replied, “Good-afternoon.”

    The tenants eyed their lord askance--
    There was a step he could not dance!
    For jigs and reels they did not care,
    And said the hornpipe they could spare.
    Sir Guy exclaimed, while tears he wept,
    “The situation I accept;
    I’ll win that thousand of the loon,
    And you shall have your Rigadoon.”

    With saddened face and humbled head,
    To foreign shores the dancer fled--
    And haunted France’s village greens,
    And gay guinguettes and lowly scenes,
    He learned “Ça Ira” how to troll,
    He learned the curious Carmagnole;
    He found the can-can very soon,
    But could not find the Rigadoon.

       *       *       *       *       *

    A wanderer from a foreign strand
    One summer reached his native land,
    He sought the green of days gone by,
    But no one recognised Sir Guy.
    A crowd came up--he gave a bound--
    Cried, “See me win the thousand pound!
    Behold! my friends, this afternoon
    Your lord will dance a Rigadoon!”

    He danced his dance with pride and glee,
    But silence fell on Arcadee.
    The tenants frowned, and looked askance,
    They called it an improper dance,
    And begged he would at once desist,
    As Mr. Burns, the Socialist,
    Required the ground that afternoon,
    They didn’t want “no Rigadoon”!


    The young M.P. had run in debt,
    Was “broke,” and could not pay his bet.
    The natives jeered the twists and turns,
    And spurned their squire for Mr. Burns.
    This proves how mad we are to roam
    In search of steps too far from home;
    Prize British dances as a boon,
    And leave the French their Rigadoon.

          How to Write a Novel.


    You start with a murder and somebody’s killed--
    For the public still dearly delight to be thrilled.
    You make it a mystery--nobody knows
    Who gave John Tregennith those terrible blows.
    Since jealousy’s always a motive for crime,
    Your heroine’s loved by two men at a time--
    Poor John, who has gone where the good niggers go,
    And big Ethelbert Brown, who was always his foe.

    It is Ethelbert Brown who is charged with the deed;
    There’s a flaw in the evidence--Ethelbert’s freed.
    Then he parts with his sweetheart--a heartrending scene--
    For she vows that John’s body their love lies between;
    And ne’er, till it’s proved to the world far and wide
    Who committed the deed, will sweet Grace be a bride.
    So heavenward Ethelbert raises his eyes
    And swears he will prove it, and then claim his prize.

    Now, Ethelbert’s mother has views of her own,
    For she once found Miss Grace and Tregennith alone;
    They were both much excited--discussion ran high;
    But the good dame dissembled, not wishing to pry.
    Yet when Ethelbert goes his mamma stays behind,
    One awful--one dreadful idea on her mind.
    By her boy’s own affianced she thinks John was slain,
    But she daren’t tell her darling--’twould cause him such pain.

    From a half-witted servant the son gets a clue--
    The half-witted servant is known as “Mad Hugh.”
    But the story he tells blanches Ethelbert’s hair--
    On the night of the murder his mother was there.
    It seems she suspected his sweetheart and John,
    In the words of “Mad Hugh,” “were a-carrying on.”
    In her anger maternal she picked up a knife,
    And her boy’s hated rival departed this life.

    In the mansion paternal Grace lives with her dad,
    But her face once so sunny grows sallow and sad,
    For she thinks it a moral, from facts which transpire,
    John _did_ fall a victim to Ethelbert’s ire.
    So now you’ve the mother suspecting Miss G.,
    And the son half persuaded ’twas old Mrs. B.;
    While Miss G. feels convinced that the claret was spilt
    By her lover, who some day must swing for his guilt.

    You pile up the agony now to the end,
    And you’ve three loving bosoms with anguish to rend;
    If skilfully handled your plot will mislead,
    Till in turn the fogged reader thinks each did the deed.
    Then, when you have given your “harrowing” scope,
    You bring the brave hero right under the rope
    But just as his lordship assumes the black cap,
    You come to a startling dénouement, ker-slap.

    The half-witted servant comes in with a rush--
    There’s a hubbub in court, then a hum, then a hush;
    And the idiot explains--and gives proof that he’s right--
    That _he_ did the murder himself, out of spite.
    Now you wind up your story with weddings and glee,
    And the young married couple hug old Mrs. B.
    Then you put in three stars, to show time has flown past,
    And you drop in some babies in chapter the last.

          The German Gym.

       (A MEMORY.)

    We’ve been married ten years to-day, dear;
      Ah, me, how the time has flown
    Since I whispered in church one morning,
      “I will,” in an undertone.
    You’ve changed a little, my darling;
      Your figure is not so slim
    As it was when you won the medal
      That night at the German Gym.

    You’re stouter, and threads of silver
      Now shine in the curly locks
    That were black as the wing of raven
      The night that I saw you box.
    I can see you now with the gloves on,
      In the pride of your strength and limb,
    As you fought your man to his corner,
      That night at the German Gym.

    I noticed your socks of scarlet
      And your jersey of dainty cream,
    And I said to myself, “How handsome!”
      And I fell in a blissful dream.
    But, O! when your nose was bleeding
      My eyes with the tears grew dim,
    And I hated the man who punched you
      That night at the German Gym.

    And when, as the fight grew fiercer,
      He gave you a bad black eye,
    And the hard-hearted people cheered him,
      I felt I should have to cry;
    But, pulling yourself together,
      You hammered away at him,
    Till he reeled like a drunken gaby
      That night at the German Gym.

    And, O, when the nice kind judges
      Declared you had won the fight,
    And the people rose up and shouted,
      I trembled with wild delight.
    I felt so proud of my lover,
      That my eyes began to swim;
    I never knew _how_ I loved you
      Till that night at the German Gym.

    And now we’ve been ten years married,
      And Johnny our boy is eight;
    His daddy’s too stout for boxing,
      And has doubled his fighting weight.
    But I hope that in years to come, dear--
      It is only a mother’s whim--
    Our Johnny will put the gloves on,
      And box at the German Gym.

    I should like to sit there with you, dear,
      The night that our boy competes,
    And see him upholding bravely
      The fame of his father’s feats.
    It will carry us back in fancy
      To the past that no time can dim,
    When his dad was the champion boxer
      Of the dear old German Gym.



    As she walked along the street
    With her little “plates of meat,”
    And the summer sunshine falling
      On her golden “Barnet Fair,”
    Bright as angels from the skies
    Were her dark blue “mutton pies,”
    In my “East and West” Dan Cupid
      Shot a shaft and left it there.

    She’d a Grecian “I suppose,”
    And of “Hampstead Heath” two rows
    In her “sunny south” that glistened
      Like two pretty strings of pearls;
    Down upon my “bread and cheese”
    Did I drop and murmur, “Please
    Be my ‘storm and strife,’ dear Tottie,
      O, you darlingest of girls!”

    Then a bow-wow by her side,
    Who till then had stood and tried
    A “Jenny Lee” to banish,
      Which was on his “Jonah’s whale,”
    Gave a hydrophobic bark
    (She cried, “What a Noah’s ark!”),
    And right through my “rank and riches”
      Did my “cribbage-pegs” assail.

    Ere her bull-dog I could stop
    She had called a “ginger-pop,”
    Who said, “What the ‘Henry Neville’
      Do you think you’re doing there?”
    And I heard, as off I slunk,
    “Why, the fellow’s ‘Jumbo’s trunk!’”
    And the “Walter Joyce” was Tottie’s
      With the golden “Barnet Fair.”

          The Welshman in London.

    He came with his harp from the mountains of Wales--
      The spirit of poetry flowed in his blood;
    Declining the engine that runs on the rails,
      He tramped to the fortified City of Lud.

    For him had the universe paused in its course,
      For him had all progress been nipped in the bud;
    He came as a bard, haughty, hoary, and hoarse,
      To sing in the fortified City of Lud.

    He sought for a mountain to sit on its brow,
      And give off his lay after chewing the cud;
    And he found, after searching, the mount that is now
      “Snow Hill,” in the fortified City of Lud.

    He called on the Britons who gathered to jeer
      To list to a lay which would curdle their blood;
    But a bobby came up, and said, “None o’ that here!”
      Strange! in the fortified City of Lud.

    He saw no policeman--such things could not be--
      But the words of invective came forth in a flood
    And so the policeman 092 C
      Ran him in, in the fortified City of Lud.

    With his harp he was placed in the dock the next day,
      When the magistrate brought down his fist with a thud,
    And told him ten shillings he’d have for to pay
      For obstructing the road in the City of Lud.

    The bard has gone back to his mountain in Wales
      With his national vanity dragged through the mud,
    And his faith rudely shaken in Taffy-told tales
      Of the ancient and fortified City of Lud.

          The Magistrate.


    Gaily the constable kissed the book,
    And said with a smile, as his oath he took,
    “It’s only the facts as I mean to state”--
    “I believe you, my boy,” said the magistrate.

    Then the constable told the strangest tales,
    How the chap in the dock was the Prince of Wales,
    And he’d seen him begging at Albert Gate--
    “I believe you, my boy,” said the magistrate.

    He had watched the Prince till he saw him try
    The pockets of ladies walking by,
    And pass the swag to a swell-mob mate--
    “I believe you, my boy,” said the magistrate.

    Then the constable added he’d seen the Queen,
    Who said what a handful her boy had been,
    And she guessed that the gallows would be his fate--
    “I believe you, my boy,” said the magistrate.

    Then the constable said when he ran Wales in,
    He swore and struggled and kicked his shin,
    And bit off his ear and a portion ate--
    “I believe you, my boy,” said the magistrate.

    The Prince he called for his royal mamma,
    And into the box went Victoria;
    She proved an alibi full of weight--
    “You’re not on your oath!” yelled the magistrate.

    “The case is proved,” to the Prince said he;
    “You deserve six months, but I’ll give you three.”
    “I’ll write to the _Times_,” cried the Prince irate--
    “Take him away!” shrieked the magistrate.

    The Queen went out of the court in tears,
    As the Bench indulged in some parting sneers;
    And skilly and toke was the Prince’s fate--
    “It’ll do him good,” said the magistrate.

    But Parliament took up the Prince’s case,
    And the young P.C., with a scared, white face,
    Read out to his pal the big debate--
    “It’s awfully hot,” said the magistrate.

    Then the constable said, “It’s the blooming Press
    As has settled our nice little games, I guess;
    We’d better resign, as the row’s so great”--
    “_I believe you, my boy_,” said the magistrate.

          The Imperial Institute.


    Hail, O Imperial Institute!
    Strike the tabor, and play the lute,
    This is South Kensington’s latest fruit:
    Hail, O Imperial Institute!

    Rise in thy might and make envy mute,
    Slanderous sneer and snarl refute,
    Slap the face of the bellowing brute,
    Noble Imperial Institute!

    Our Prince he promised that, coûte que coûte,
    He’d find us a brand-new site to suit,
    And leave the “clique” and its ill-repute
    Outside the Imperial Institute.

    So, hail Imperial Institute!
    India, Colonies, Kyles of Bute,
    Lands of Britain by every route,
    Heligoland to far Tirhoot,
    Into our laps your treasure shoot,
    For you’ll guess if you’re only slightly cute
    That there’ll always be plenty of room for “loot”
    In the noble Imperial Institute.

          The Plan of Campaign.

    The heart of the nation is throbbing with grief
      At the tales that are told of the winter distress;
    We are longing to hear of some scheme of relief
      That will make London’s burthen of misery less.
    But what we’re to do, or how best to commence,
      There’s nobody able, it seems, to explain.
    O, isn’t there someone with courage and sense
      To draw up a workable Plan of Campaign?

    The work of the nation is all in arrears:
      We tinker the laws that need thorough repair,
    We potter about between Commons and Peers,
      And fools in the Senate their eloquence air.
    To rout the obstruction that stands in the way,
      And wields a long tongue and gives battle to brain,
    Is there none who can marshal a force for the fray,
      And act on a sensible Plan of Campaign?

    There are women of England who toil for their bread--
      Poor hard-working sisters and mothers and wives,
    Whose years are a slavery, dreary and dread,
      Who drag out their cruel and colourless lives.
    Can nothing be done that may better their state?
      Shall the white women slaves in their bondage remain?
    O, manhood of Britain! think, think of their fate,
      And start the New Year with some Plan of Campaign.

          The People’s Palace.

    I sing of the People’s Palace, a tale of Arabian nights,
    A place where the toiling masses could feast on all true delights.
    It was opened with morning lectures, and closed with an evening hymn,
    And the Bishop of London whispered it was just the place for him.

    It was open for recreation from nine until six p.m.,
    Which times, said the working classes, were specially fixed for them.
    It was closed for the day on Sunday, and on Saturday afternoon,
    So the very select declared it “a perfectly priceless boon.”

    To cater for men and women who toil for their daily bread,
    The beer of their hearts was vetoed, and sherbet was sold instead,
    And they made it a coffee palace, with scones and a plate of “thick,”
    With counters for almond hardbake and liquorice in the stick.

    The pictures were all improving, the moral of all was “grand,”
    And at intervals there were concerts by the Blue Ribbon Army band;
    With exhibits in big glass cases of terrible temperance facts,
    And the entrance fee included a bundle of stirring tracts.

    It was built at the lavish outlay of a dozen of million pounds
    Which included the church and chapel, and the mission-hall in the grounds;
    But as nobody wanted sermons, and sherbet, and ginger-beer,
    It was sold at a great reduction to a philanthropic peer.

    And in less than a twelvemonth after the Palace had reared its head,
    On the top of it proudly floated a banner of vulgar red;
    And General Booth was shouting, and having a grand “all night”
    In our latest “gigantic failure,” the Palace of No Delight.

          A Charade.

    He wore three hats upon his head,
      And called aloud “Old clo’,”
    It would not be correct to say
      His Christian name was “Mo.”
    His home was in a lane that used
      Some time ago to bear
    The Anglicised French name we give
      A garment ladies wear.
    You’ve seen him as the comic man
      In plays at Drury Lane,
    And Mr. Irving showed him once
      A prey to grief and pain.
    In all the tales our authors write
      He’s painted at his worst;
    I’ll have a “go” at him myself,
      And here he stands--my _first_.

    It was a young and noble earl,
      An impecunious sinner,
    He’d won a lovely Yankee girl,
      And gave a little dinner.
    The restaurant, a tip-top one,
      Was in the town that ‘Arry,
    Who once, with Cook, the trip has done,
      Insists on calling “Parry.”

    The bride-elect and all her friends
      The noble earl invited,
    They said, “He don’t mind what he spends,”
      And all were much delighted.
    But when the splendid spread was o’er,
      The guests about departing,
    The landlord came and locked the door,
      This piece of news imparting:
    “His lordship’s had me twice on toast,
      So now, as you are going,
    I’d like to ask,” exclaimed mine host,
      “Who’ll pay me what is owing?
    Not one of you shall pass the door,
      The key is in my pocket;
    And not till someone’s paid the score
      Will this ’ere child unlock it.”
    “I’ve not enough!” gasped out the earl--
      Without his host he’d reckoned--
    The friends of that proud Yankee girl
      Went shares and paid my _second_.

    I stood at eve as the sun went down
      By the side of a flowing river
    That runs through the East of London town,
      And I turned me away with a shiver.
    I have smelt some smells in thy streets, Cologne,
      I have seen some filthy fluids,
    But nothing like this has the wide world known
      Since the days of the Ancient Druids.
    Let the essence of all the stinks be stirred
      And then you may fancy you smell my _third_.

    Where’er the flag of Britain
      Floats proudly on the breeze,
    In this our home of freedom
      And in lands beyond the seas;
    In India’s wondrous cities,
      On wild Australian tracks,
    In vast Canadian forests,
      And among the conquered blacks,--
    As far as sword and bayonet
      Extend _our_ freedom’s goal,
    Next year, as per arrangement,
      They’ll celebrate my _whole_.

          A True Story.


    The waves were high in Conway Bay,
      The wind it blew a gale;
    Five visitors that very day
      Had ventured on a sail.

    The tide ran high, the little boat
      Unmanageable grew,
    And scarce could it be kept afloat
      By its unskilful crew.

    Some fisher folk upon the beach,
      All in the hurricane,
    Put off, that little boat to reach
      And bring it back again.

    And when the gale was at its height,
      Those Conway boatmen brave
    Went off--it was a glorious sight--
      The drowning ones to save.

    They risked their lives, but Fate was kind--
      They reached the boat at last;
    Its occupants, to death resigned,
      Thought every hope was past.

    Their thanks to Heaven they freely gave,
      And when they reached the beach,
    They to those Conway boatmen brave
      Presented sixpence each!

          The Pirate ’Bus.

    It was a pirate omnibus, that plied its evil trade
    Along the London thoroughfares, and O, the games it played!
    It ran a stout old lady down, who wanted Temple Bar,
    And when they reached the Marble Arch, the cad cried, “Here you are;
    But ere you step ashore, old gal, your ransom you must pay.”
    He charged a shilling, slammed the door, and then he sailed away,
    While driver and conductor yelled, “No use to make a fuss;
    We snap our fingers at the law--we are a pirate ’bus!”

    The Grand Old Man one autumn day was walking, axe in hand,
    Along that busy thoroughfare the gay and crowded Strand;
    He hailed a passing ’bus, and said, “Are you a Hampstead, please?”
    At once they seized and flung him in right on a lady’s knees.
    They bore away the G.O.M. and set him down at Bow,
    And when he said, “The Vale of Health--that’s where I want to go!”
    The ’bus conductor said, “Get out, you are a queer old cuss;
    I’ll trouble you for four-and-six--this here’s a pirate ’bus!”

    A coloured bishop, just arrived in town from Timbuctoo,
    Who wanted Shoreditch Church, they took and left him at the Zoo.
    He walked about and round and round the wilds of Regent’s Park,
    And in the Inner Circle strayed, and lost himself at dark.
    In vain he looked for Shoreditch Church, he wandered round and round
    Until from rage and giddiness he tumbled on the ground;
    And when he heard the lions roar he funked, was taken “wuss,”
    And loss his wits; and now he’s mad, all through that pirate ’bus.

    Young Mr. Lawson heard the tale and went about the town,
    And found fresh victims here and there, all scattered up and down.
    He found a gray-haired gentleman, who left his home at Bow,
    As near as he could recollect, a dozen years ago,
    But who, through pirates on the road, had travelled here and there,
    And paid his income all away to meet the pirate fare,
    But could not get to Bow again. Said Lawson, “Is it thus?
    Then I’ll away to Parliament and board the pirate ’bus.”
    No more above the driver’s seat the black flag sweeps the seas,
    No more the skull and bones across flaunts out upon the breeze;
    The buccaneering ’bus is bust, conductor Kidd is done,
    Paul Jones the driver’s game is up, his pirate race is run.
    And o’er the parlour fire at home the country folks to-day
    Tell wondering babes of those old days when they were borne away
    To desert isle and lonely spot, and yielded watch and “puss,”
    To pay the ransom and escape the roving pirate ’bus.

          The War-Cry.

    O, it’s down with the German sausage,
      Away with the German yeast,
    And never shall Turkey rhubarb
      Come after an English feast.
    O, it’s death to the onion Spanish,
      And death to the Brussels sprout,
    And we’ll scatter the Persian sherbet
      In the general foreign rout.

    Let plaster of Paris vanish,
      And down with the old Dutch clock;
    No ship of old England’s commerce
      Shall strike on French almond rock
    A fig for the choice Havanna,
      And down with the black Japan,
    And never a Turkish towel
      Shall dry a true Englishman.

    No more shall the Roman candle
      At the Palace of Crystal rise,
    And the famed Italian iron
      Shall the laundry-maid despise.
    No more shall the Russian leather
      Envelop an English book;
    No more shall a French bean simmer
      ’Neath the eyes of an English cook.

    ’Tis the cry of the bankrupt trader
      That floats upon every breeze;
    French rolls they have “bust” the baker,
      And the cheesemonger hates Dutch cheese.
    O, buy but the goods of Britain,
      By the hands of the natives made,
    And if they should charge you double,
      All the better for English trade.

          The “Lancet.”

    I knew some jolly people, all as happy as could be,
    Always eager for their dinner, always ready for their tea;
    Cheeks had they for ever rosy, eyes that glistened and were bright--
    They could eat a hearty supper and sleep calmly through the night.
    They had neither pain nor aching, and, as none of them were ill,
    They had never taken physic and they paid no doctor’s bill.
    O, in all the British islands none were healthier, I ween,
    Or more happy and contented than the Browns of Walham Green.

    But one day, inside a carriage on the smoky “Underground,”
    Coming homeward from the City, pa a bulky journal found;
    ’Twas a _Lancet_, that some reader had forgotten and had left,
    So pa put it in his pocket--which of course was not a theft;
    If it was, upon the railway I’ve committed many crimes,
    For I’ve often in this manner seized and taken home the _Times_,
    But better, O far better, had that _Lancet_ never been
    On the seat in the compartment where sat Brown of Walham Green.

    Mr. Brown, he glanced it over while partaking of his tea.
    “Did you ever? Well, I never!” every moment muttered he;
    And he left his tea untasted, and he put his muffin down,
    And his manner altogether was so queer that Mrs. Brown
    Rose and screamed, “Good gracious, Thomas! what’s the
       matter--tell me true!
    You are going white and yellow, and your lips are turning blue;”
    And for answer out he read them all the awful things he’d seen
    In the _Lancet_, and a panic seized the Browns of Walham Green.

    For they knew the germs of fever were around them everywhere--
    They were told how very fatal was the family armchair;
    They were told that every morning when the slavey shook the mat
    Germs of death were scattered broadcast, and they shivered as they sat.
    They were told that death was lurking in the teapot and the tank,
    In the milk and in the water, and in everything they drank.
    In their terror ’gainst each other all the family did lean--
    Peace of mind had gone for ever from the Browns of Walham Green.

    From that day they took the _Lancet_, every week they read it through,
    And their faces changed from rosy to a sickly yellow hue;
    And they could not eat their dinner, and they could not sleep at night,
    For with every Friday’s _Lancet_ came a new and awful fright.
    Germs of all the fell diseases that lie lurking for mankind
    Were, according to the _Lancet_, blown on every passing wind;
    “How on earth from all these dangers shall our carcasses we screen?”
    Cried, in throes of hourly anguish, all the Browns of Walham Green.
    They were happy when they knew not of the germs that lie in wait--
    In the cottage of the lowly, in the castles of the great,
    In the street and in the parlour, in the train and in the ’bus.
    Round the corner germs are waiting, on the watch to spring on us.
    There are germs in clothes and customs--ah, the _Lancet’s_ eye is keen,
    It has even pierced the dustbin of the Browns of Walham Green!

    There, it told them, germs in thousands lay in waiting night and day,
    So they went and threw carbolic in a wildly lavish way.
    Then it warned them in a leader that they’d better all look out
    For a dreadful epidemic that came down the waterspout;
    Up they went upon the housetop and poured quarts of Condy down,
    Which they carried up in buckets--Mr., Miss, and Mrs. Brown--
    And the neighbours stood and wondered what the dickens it could mean,
    At the gath’ring on the housetop of the Browns of Walham Green.

    Every week came other terrors, every week their fears grew worse,
    Till they felt their lives a burthen, till they felt their home a curse;
    And they sat around the table with a look of nervous dread,
    So upset by fears of dying that they wished that they were dead.
    And when they all were turning to mere bags of skin and bone,
    And all the sound they uttered was a deep sepulchral groan,
    Up rose young Tom, the eldest--a youth of seventeen--
    And seized and flung the _Lancet_ right out on Walham Green.

    “Get out, you horrid bogey--you terrifying pest!”--
    Exclaimed young Tom in anger as he flung it east and west.
    Then pa rose up, and, lifting his hand to heaven’s dome,
    Swore that never more the _Lancet_ should come into the home.
    And from that hour there vanished their look of care and woe,
    And all of them grew happy as in the long ago.
    At germs they snap their fingers, and now with joyous mien
    They live in calm contentment--the Browns of Walham Green.


    Where ignorance is comfort, it is folly to be wise;
    In mercy lies the future concealed from mortal eyes.
    The thousand hidden dangers for man that lie in wait,
    If known, would lead him surely to share the madman’s fate.
    Life were not worth the living were we to dread the germs
    The _Lancet_ serves up weekly in scientific terms.
    So snap your fingers at them--the germs, of course, I mean--
    And take to heart the story of the Browns of Walham Green.

          A Tale of a Tub.

    It was the wife of Mr. G.,
      The Irish Grand Old Man,
    A little ditty carolled she,
      And thus the ditty ran:
    “I hear him in his dressing-room,
      My Willie dear, my hub;
    He little heeds his coming doom,
      He warbles in his tub.

    “When he is sad I hear no sound
      Except the water’s plash;
    A solemn silence reigns around
      When thoughts my Willie fash.
    But now the joyous sound of song
      Accompanies each rub;
    Things can’t have gone so very wrong--
      He warbles in his tub.

    “Although the country’s cut him dead,
      And given him the sack,
    He warbles while he wets his head
      And while he scrubs his back.
    I’m sure my Willie sees his way
      The Tory gang to drub,
    And that is why he’s blithe and gay
      And warbles in his tub.

    “He does not care for _Telegraph_,
      Or _Morning Post_, or _Times_;
    He reads therein with many a laugh
      The record of his crimes.
    He knows his fingers he can snap
      At all ‘ye streete of Grubbe’;
    They haven’t riled the dear old chap--
      He warbles in his tub.

    “There’s hope, he thinks, for Ireland yet,
      The ‘old hand’ isn’t ‘done’;
    With masses against classes set
      There’s sure to be some fun.
    He’ll hold his own in spite of groan
      And jest and jeer and snub,
    And that is why, with spirits high,
      He warbles in his tub.”


    O Erin, yet shall burst for thee
      The sunshine through the gloom--
    Take heart from all this melody
      In Gladstone’s dressing-room;
    Plank down your dollars, Yankee boys,
      And tell each doubting “sub,”
    No fear the Grand One’s faith alloys,
      “He warbles in his tub.”

          The Comic King.

    I’m going to sing you a simple song,
    To show that a king can do no wrong;
    A lay that is laden in every line
    With the grand old creed of “the right divine.”

    The merriest monarch of modern times
    Is the romping rex of these rambling rhymes:
    The beamishest boy of the bold, bad batch,
    The crack-crowned Kaiser of Colney Hatch.

    For many a year he played his pranks--
    He borrowed the balance of all the banks
    To build him a palace in every town,
    And when they were up he pulled them down.

    He sat on the throne, on days of state,
    With a coffee-pot jammed on his regal pate,
    And he showed his Court he could kiss his toes
    While he balanced his sceptre upon his nose.

    He danced a jig in the House of Peers,
    And offered to toss the lot for beers;
    And whenever a Cabinet Council sat
    He would make dirt-pies in the Premier’s hat.

    When the neighbouring monarchs came to call
    He would butter the steps and the marble hall;
    And when his visitors broke their legs
    He’d sit and he’d pelt them with hard-boiled eggs.

    He dressed his army in drawers and frocks,
    And little pink shoes and short white socks;
    And whenever he had a grand review
    He rode on a donkey painted blue.

    His coachman signed all the royal decrees,
    And he joined his footman in nightly sprees;
    He addressed his cook as “My dear old chap,”
    And in church he sat in his housemaid’s lap.

    And now that I’ve finished my simple song,
    If you say, “What whoppers!” you’ll just be wrong,
    As this isn’t a Lunatic Laureate’s lay--
    For the king was the King of Bavar_ia_.

                               THE END.


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