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To where the new Law Courts were made, Attended by a cavalcade. 0, how the English crowd hoorayed !
And all was joy and revelry.
Then shook the sky with thunder riven,
Attended by her soldiery.
In The Referee for December 2, 1882, the following parodies were published. It will be noticed that the first part imitates Cowper's Fohn Gilpin, the second part Tennyson's May Queen, and the third part Campbell's Hohenlinden,
" I beg very humbly to submit a poem to the " royal family, the Bench, the Bar, and the “ British public on the opening of the new Law " Courts."
A Medley FOR MONDAY.
Of credit and renown,
Of famous London town.
Though living here we've been
Have never seen the Queen.
Our sovereign does repair ;”.
Dear mother, we'll be there.”
His aged ma did kiss ;
Did softly warble this :
dearTo-morrow 'll be the happiest time of all this famous
year ; of all this famous year, mother, the grandest, jolliest
The longest and most important work (by many also considered the finest) of Alfred Tennyson is the collection of Arthurian Idyls, known as the Idyls of the King. These were originally published in detached parts, in somewhat irregular order, but in recent editions Mr. Tennyson has striven to arrange them in a consecutive and connected form.
The first to appear in order of date was the Morte d'Arthur, which was published in the 1842 volume, in the later arrangement of the poems this has been absorbed into the last Idyl, entitled “ The Passing of Arthur.”
For look on our Queen we may, mother, look on our Queen
In the original it commenced thus :
“ So all day long the noise of battle roll'd
There's many a loyal heart, they say, but none so true as
mine, There's Sandy and there's Dougal. across the Border
line ; But none so true as Johnny, not e'en by Alum So look on my Queen I may, mother, look on my Queen
I may. All the Strand, dear mother, 'll be gay with flag and
green, And they're selling seats in windows for gold to see the
Queen ; O long shall Johnny remember the Law Courts' opening
day, When look on the Queen he may, mother, look on the Queen he may.
In London when the Queen was low,
Did loyalty fade rapidly.
Through arches, flags, and greenery,
Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere : “ The sequel of to day unsolders all The goodliest fellowship of famous knights Whereof this world holds record. Such a sleep They sleep-the men I loved. I think that we Shall never more, at any future time, Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds, Walking about the gardens and the halls Of Camelot, as in the days that were. I perish by this people which I made, Tho' Merlin sware that I should come again To rule once more-but let what will be, be, I am so deeply smitten thro' the helm That without help I cannot last till morn. Thou, therefore, iake my brand Excalibur, Which was my pride :
take Excalibur, And fling him far into the middle mere : Watch what thou seest, and lightly bring me word.”
The King is cross, and knows not what he says. What record, or what relic of my lord, Should be to aftertime, but empty breath Condensed in Hansard's books ? But were this kept, Preserved in some Mechanics’ Institute, It might be brought out by some lecturer, Saying, “King Guillaume's axe, Exbrummagem, With which he cut down trees at Hawarden!' So might he illustrate a stupid speech To all the people, winning reverence."
So spake he, thinking of constituents, And kepi Exbrummagem for future use.
This mission was distasteful to Sir Bedivere, who ex. claims :
" And if indeed I cast the brand away,
Saying, “King Arthur's sword, Excalibur.'”. Thus much of the original must indeed be in one's thoughts ere the Voyage de Guillaume can be appreciated ; it recounts the holiday trip of the Prime Minister to the north last September. It will be remembered that Mr. Gladstone was the guest of Sir Donald Currie, on board the Pembroke Castle, and that Mr. Tennyson was also one of the party.
Then came Sir Donald, gave the King his arm, And brought him to the margin of the sea. And at his call there hove a roomy barge, Manned with a gallant crew from stem to stern; And so they entered, and put off, and reached The stately Pembroke Castle, and were ware That all the decks were dense with manly forms In naval caps and jackets, and with these Three dames in yachting suits; and from them rose A cheer of greeting, and they stretched their hands, Took him on board, and laughed, and petted him. And so they sailed ; and while the sea was calm They talked, and sang, and feasted much, and had, In Yankee parlance, “ quite a high old time.” But when the wind blew, and the waves arose, It sometimes happened that the grand old face Was white and colourless, and cries of “Steward !” Proceeded from the lips of eloquence. And like a prostrate oak-tree lay the King Wrapped in a shepherd's plaid and mackintosh : Not like that Guillaume who, with collars high, From brow to boot a meteor of debate, Shot through the lists at Westminster, and charged The serried ranks of bold Conservatives.
From the St. James's Gazette, Sept. 19, 1883.
So all the year the noise of talk had roared Before the Speaker's chair at Westminster, Until King Guillaume's council, man by man Were tired to death, as also was their Chief, King Guillaume. Then, observing he was bored, The bold Sir Donald C. invited him (Sir Donald C., the last of all his knights) And bore him off to Barrow by the seaBarrow-in-Furness, with a ruined church That stood beside the melancholy waves.
Then spoke King Guillaume to Sir Donald C. : “Next session will most probably upset The goodliest Ministry of virtuous men Whereof this world holds record. Not for long Shall we contrive our schemes of policy, Meeting within the offices and halls Of Downing Street, as in the days that were. I perish by these voters which I makeAlthough Sir Andrew says that I may live To rule once more; but let what will be, be. He tells me that it is not good for me To cut down oaks at Haw'rden, as before. Thou, therefore, take my axe Exbrummagem, Which was my pride-for thou rememberest how The lustiest tree would fall beneath my strokesBut now delay not ; take Exbrummagem, And fling him overboard when out at sea.'
Then bold Sir Donald took Exbrummagem, And went, and lighted his cigar, and thought : " And if, indeed, I cast the axe away, Surely a precious thing, one worthy note, Should thus be lost for ever from the earth, Which might have pleased the eyes of many men.
In the same 1842 volume, appeared “Godiva," “Locksley Hall,” “ Break, Break, Break," and “The Eagle,” of each of which there are some excellent parodies.—The old legend of Lady Godiva, so beautifully retold in blank verse by the Laureate, has recently been sadly vulgarised by the processions at Coventry, and the following poem describes, not unfairly, the scene, in which a somewhat prominent actress stooped to sustain the part of the Lady Godiva.
THE MODERN LADY Godiva.
Is what they've turned the City's legend to.
BREAK, BREAK, BREAK.
Whence came it that, whilst yet the sunny moon Or roses showed her crescent horn; the day Fix'd for the pageant dawn'd on Coventry ; And Sanger-he of circus fame-arose Betimes ; for much was on his mind. Perchance An elephant had shed its trunk ; perchance Some giant camel had “the hump" too much ; Or piebald horse had moulted all its spots. Most feared he, though, lest she who had agreed To act Godiva, having slept on it, Should from her bargain finch ; so sought he her With, “Well, and ride you through the town to-day?"
Tennyson writes thus:
“ Break, break, break,
On thy cold gray stones, o sea !
The thoughts that arise in me.”
That he shouts with his sister at play! O well for the sailor lad,
That he sings in his boat on the bay ! ” " And the stately ships go on
To their haven under the hill ;
And the sound of a voice that is still !" “ Break, break, break,
At the foot of thy crags, O Sea !
Will never come back to me.”
And she - for eggs and toast had marle her bold“Ay, that will I !" Then he: “ 'Tis well !" and went And whistled as he walked.
She, left alone,
Then knew she that undressing time had come, So sped her to the inner room, and there Unhook'd the clinging bodice of her frock, Hair-pinned on locks to show'r down to her knee, Donned the rose “fleshings” that she was to wear ; Then throwing on a shawl she waited there Till such time as they brought her palfrey, trapt In purple, blazoned with armorial gold.
So came at last a sound of pattering hoofs, And up the stairs a voice, “The 'oss is come !" And tripping to the door she found a steed, Milk-white and bony, meek, and pink of eye, And with a chair and Mr. Sanger's help Clomb on his back, and then one bang'd a door And shouted, “Right !" and so the charger past.
Thus rode she forth, clothed on with scantiness, And in the pageant duly took her place, Along with camels and with elephants And men-in-armour, weakest at the knee, And Foresters with horns that wouldn't blow, And clumsy bows, and Odd-fellows as well, In fool regalia ; and the Volunteers, And Fire Brigade, and several brazen bands. But chiefly 'twas on her all eyes were fix'd, And women wondered what she could have got For making of herself a show ; and men Opined that cotton wool she'd freely used ; And one low churl, compact of thankless earth, Drawing a pin and rushing at her horse Prick'd—but it was no good, the steed jogged on As theretofore: and thanks to frequent bangs And shouts of “Right” did reach the end at last Of the day's progress, much to its delight. And she was glad, and hastening to her room She slipp'd her garments on, and issuing claim'd Her see, and took the earliest train to town, And in the ballet, in the foremost row, Danced with her fellows, winning great renown, As one who rode through Coventry in “ tights," Arid built herself an evanescent name.
Of this he has had numerous imitators :
To My Scout.
Plate, decanter, and glass !
And loosen the tongue of an ass.
That your “helbow " caught in the door,
And you're very sorry, you're sure.
Three troublesome duns to stop,
I've paid to that china-shop.
You must order another new set.
From Odd Echoes from Oxfori, 1872. Here is another in a similar vein :
Break, break, break,
My cups and my saucers, O scout!
The oaths that my soul points out.
Who gets a fresh order each day;
Who are in the said china-man's pay.
To your uncle's, I ween, to be cashed;
And the tick of my clock that is smashed.
At the foot of thy stairs in glee;
From the “Shotover Papers,” Oxford, 1875. In June, 1882, the Editor of The Weekly Dispatch awarded a prize of Two Guineas to M. Percivale, for a parody on Lycksley Hall. The somewhat uncomplimentary allusions to a young Æsthetic poet are too obvious to require any elucidation.
THE BATHER'S DIRGE.
By Tennyson Minor, Break, break, break,
On thy cold hard stones, O Sea !
The curses that rise in me.
If he likes to be soused with the spray!
As he paddles about in the bay !
To their haven under the hill :
And a kick-for I'm catching a chill!
At my poor bare feet, O Sea ! But the artful scamp who has collar'd my clothes Will never come back to me.
From Funny Folks, 1879.
Cousins, leave me here a little, in lawn tennis you excel; Leave me here, you only bore me, I shall come at “luncheon
bell!" 'Tis the place (but rather older)— I was in my eighteenth
year, When I first met utter Oscar, and I thought him such a
dear! How about the beach I wandered, listening while that youth
sublime Spouted verses by the dozen, which he said he wrote for
Time. But his form was somewhat fatter than should be for one so
young, And his round eyes spoke the language of his glib and oily
tongue. In the spring the fleshly poet writes a sweet and soothing
sonnet : In the spring a wise young woman buys a more becoming
bonnet. And he said, “Oh, have you anything in Consols or Per For my property's in Ireland, and I cannot get the rents ? ', Oh, my Oscar ! Impecunious! Oh, intense : -if nothing
worseOh, those too-too precious poems! Oh, that too-too empty
The two following are taken from Punch:
The Musical Pitch.
O voice !- let me urge thy plea !-
Despair be the end of me!
The bassoon to grunt in its play:
Or that nothing but strings gave way!
O voice ! I must urge thy plea,
And I fail in my upper G!
Then I said, “I've an allowance from an old maternal aunt, Just enough for dress; but as to victuals-no, I really can't!" And he turned, his face was frightsul, pale with anger for
poor me ; Was it fancy that he muttered something like a big, big D-?
As my husband is, his wife is, rich, the envy of the town; How a life in shabby lodgings would have dragged my spirit
down! How my beauty would have faded, growing daily paler,
thinner! Making puddings, washing clothing, planning for the
children's dinner. Comes the butler, “ Lunch is ready, madam ! ” iced cham
pagne, I know, Mayonnaise and lobster salad ; I am hungry and—I go.
TENNYSON AT BILLINGSGATE IN 1882. Apropos of the Ring of Wholesale Fish Dealers.
Take! Take! Take!
Oh grabber of swag from the sea,
The thoughts that occur to me !
That he toils for a trifle all day,
That has through the nose to pay.
To his villa at Haverstock Hill,
Food-stinted to plump his till !
Oh grabber of swag from the sea,
To the public and Mr. P.
Here is another and an earlier imitation of the same original :
BACCHANALIAN DREAMINGS. Cronies leave me in the bar-room, while as yet I've cash 10
spend, Leave me here, and if I'm wanted, ‘mum's 'the word to