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* And all trade seems half dead, and the farmers can't pay
their rent, While the landlords are only too happy to give them back
twenty per cent. Farmers !-and pay no rent? Well, the rent perhaps could
be borne, But giving back twenty per cent. won't make up for American
But the child so weak and sickly, and me, but an old man
now, Asking no better, though, Lord knows, than to work in the
sweat of my brow.
But work is not to be had, though I seek it from morning
till night : Not to be had by me; there are men who are younger, a
sight ; Younger and stronger, too, who take what is to he had ; And bread has gone up and cold is sharp, and times is very
To be sure, Lord Beaconsfield says that we're an Imperial
race, And an unscientific frontier is really a sort of disgrace ; And Stafford and Holker- I hear them too-iheir voices
are sweet, But they can't very well expect me to get fat on American
At page 127 of Snatches of Song, by F. B. Doveton (Wyman and Sons, 1880) will be found another long parody of the same original.
And to tell you the good plain truth, I never can quite
understand What it is Lord Beaconsfield means, or what he's got in his
hand ; He conjures eggs out of his hat, he keeps fireworks under
his bed, I really am not always certain he's not going to stand on his
head. And the Liberals make it their text as they go to the hustings,
no doubt! Even those who do nothing in office understand what to
promise when out; There wouldn't be waste any more-- not enough to make
meat for a mouse If Gladstone was at the Exchequer, and Hartington leading
Pattering upon the platform-they'll all be pattering soon, When Beaconsfield makes up his mind to dissolve them
some fine afternoon, I seem to be sick of it all-I know every word they'll say, And perhaps it will come even sooner, for some are beginning • to-day.
THE SPITEFUL LETTER. Of course, it is here, all snarl and sneer,
A letter from my Tutor.
For he was far acuter.
Did you never prefer the pages
To the lore of Eastern sages ?
Relieved your mind dejected ?
Of things you had rejected ?
Of the callow moderator :
The age of perambulator.
And, I shall live to see it?
And mine said “Yes, so be it."
Had filled my thoughts with folly,
The name of our love was Molly.
So this is a time of peace of peace with honour, you know ; And empty have grown my pockets—they never used to
be so ; At least, not often, I think. I never was one to boast, But I seem to be sick of it all--and of empty pockets the
Prize parody from The World, November 19, 1879.
From The Shotover Papers, Oxford 1874.
The second prize parody on the same topic commenced thus :
Bread has gone up again. Was that what you said to me,
child ? Bread and coals gone up, and the weather wet and wild ; Bread gone up again, and cold and hunger severe ; An' me not knowing which way to turn, an' you but a child,
In Fun of February 1, 1868, it was asked, Who sent The Spiteful Letter to Alfred Tennyson ?"
“If anybody did—and nobody doubts that it really was somebody-everybody ought to know about it. Fun has, therefore, addressed a circular to everybody who is anybody in the round of rhyme, putting the direct question—'Was it you, you, or you ?i Down to the latest moment answers had been received from George Macdonald, the Poet Close, Algernon Swinburne, and Walt Whitman,”
Don't look at me that way, Mary, with eyes that plead for
bread-O Lord, I could bear it well enough, if it only fell on my head !
As the two last-named parodies are the best they are quoted, although it will be seen that they give not the slightest explanation of the origin of The Spiteful Letter :
From A.....N S ...... E. Sick of the perfume of praise, and faint with the fervid
caresses, Flushing his face with a flame that is fair, like the blood on
a dove; Weary of pangs that have pleased him, the poet refrains and
confessesShrinks from the rapture of death, and the lips and the
languors of love ; The rootless rose of delight, and the love that lasts only to
blossom, Blossom and die without fruit, as the kisses that feed and not
fill ; Famishing pleasure, dry-lipped, with the sting and the stain
on her bosom, And all of a sin that is good, and all of a good that is ill !
SONG OF THE UNSUCCESSFUL STOCK EXCHANGE
It's a serious thing to see,
The cheques that are forged by me !
That is able to toddle away!
That goes to no Botany Bay !
To find him whose name's on the bill
And a glass of the wine that is still !
It's little of me you will see;
From Faust and 'Phisto, 1876.
(This explicit language of Mr. S...... E's will, we are sure, be satisfactory to all our readers. No explanation could make his reply clearer and more readily intelligible. — ED. Fun.)
FROM W..TW..TM.. N.
(An American, one of the roughs, a kosmos.) Nature, continuous ME ! Saltness, and vigorous, never-torpid yeast of Me! Florid, unceasing, for ever expansive; Not schooled, not dizened, not washed and powdered ; Strait-laced not at all ; far otherwise than polite ; Not modest, nor immodest; Divinely tanned and freckled ; gloriously unkempt ; Ultimate yet unceasing ; capricious though determined ; Speak as thou listest, and tell the askers that which they
seek to know. Thy speech to them will be not quite intelligible. Never mind! utter thy wild common-places; Yawp them loudly, shrilly ; Silence with shrill noise the lisps of the foo-fuos. Answer in precise terms of barbaric vagueness, The question that the Fun editor hath sparked through
Atlantic cable To W..TW. . TM . . N, the speaker of the pass
word primeval ; The signaller of the signal of democracy; The seer and hearer of things in general ; The poet translucent ; fleshy, disorderly, sensually inclined ; Each tag and part of whom is a miracle ,
Tithonus was the subject of two long prize parodies, concerning Lord Beaconsfield, which appeared in The World, July 30, 1879.
The opening stanzas of the first parody are now of almost historical interest :
Au me! the times decay, and rent-rolls fall,
Alas for these gray tresses, once so black,
In the The Shotover Papers, page 181, will be found, Tithonus in Oxford.
“ The men come up, the men come up, go down. The mighty Proctor prowls along the streets,
Dons come and plough the men, and let them through,
And never tongue of ours was furled,
As on we went with spirits free; The railway was our little world,
Though not a little whirled were we. The winds and rain might blow and cease-
What cared we for wind or rain ? We'd paid our one pound ten apiece,
And this was our Excursion Train !
The Lawyer's SoliloQUY. " I hold it clear, as one who sings
The party song in divers tones,
That men may rise on stepping stones Of brazen speech to higher things."
The following is an extract from a parody on The Lotus Eaters. It was written by Captain Barlow, and obtained the second prize offered by the Editor of The World, in which paper it appeared in September, 1879:
This is the first of sixteen verses contained in the St. Fames's Gazette, of June 18, 1881.
A TENNYSONIAN LYRIC. I hold this truth with one who sings
That when a donkey will not go,
The kick, the curse, the brutal blow Should be exchanged for milder things. But who that sees the donkey's ears
Droop downward, and his hind legs rise,
While from the creature's back he flies,
And ragamuffin imps deride,
Despite “Gee-woa !” or “ Kim-up, Ned !'
I should, methinks, use arts instead Of supplemented provender.
From Funny Folks.
THE MINISTERS AT GREENWICH. "GREENWICH,' they said, and pointed into space ;
“ The steaming train will bear us thither soon," In time for dinner came they to that place,
In which it seemed always dinner-time.
Slow dropping down the stream, to feast did go; And those by quicker train did there repair
Who deemed all other locomotion slow,
Nor cared to watch the muddy river's Now. The sky looked showery, as is oft the case
Now, when no two days ever seem the same ; But yei, despite of Nature's frowning face,
To dine the whitebait-eating members came. Baskets they saw of that delightful fish
Whose llavour is seductive, and doth make Those who have tasted say that never dish Was so delicious, and when they partake
Of these, all other food they straight forsake. Then some one said, “Why further should we pace ?" And all at once they sang, “This is the place To spend a happy day. Rest we a little space.
Refreshing is this liquor dry,
Iced well as well can be ;
Funny Folks for January 23, 1875, contained a parody, in ten verses, on The Voyage; the first and last verse only are given, as the rest are of little interest :
The EXCURSION TRAIN.
That tosses at the harbour mouth;
THE VOYAGE. “ We left behind the painted boy
Who tumbles at the gutter's mouth,
In taking tickets for the south;
And crowded street and city roar,
Ere yet our holidays were o’er.
The AMIABLE DUN.
From Odd Echoes from Oxford, 1872.
A parody of the “ Lord of Burleigh" appeared in Figaro, January 22, 1873, and one entitled “ A Welcome to Alexandra (Palace)" in Funny Folks, May 18, 1875.
more of Robert Browning than the mere verbal eccentricities; “Wanderers" contains the very best of all parodies of Tennyson's “Brook” (quoted on page 30); Matthew Arnold is well imitated in “ Thoughts at a Railway Station;" whilst the “Ode to Tobacco" reads like a con. tinuation of Longfellow's “ Skeleton in Armour." For refined parody, as distinguished from mere verbal burlesque, Mr. Calverley wasunapproached, and no collection of humorous English poetry would be complete, which did not include several of his best pieces. His humour was ever genial and pleasant, without a tinge of malice or ill-will, and even those whom he so deftly parodied could have taken no offence at his clever banter. Mr. Calverley was also a considerable scholar, as his translations testify, and he left at Oxford (where he studied before going to Cambridge) a considerable reputation as a wit and conversa. tionalist.
H. W. Longfellow.
Has the Poet no friends about him who can point out that by the publication of such pain. fully weak effusions, the once great reputation of Tennyson is being surely, if slowly, undermined ; and that the rising generation will be little encouraged, by such specimens of his genius, to read his early works. It is well known that the Poet Laureate is exceedingly vain of his writings, and does not hesitate to place them on a par with those of Milton ; this is a point we may leave to posterity to decide, but it seems most improbable that even the finest works of the laurelled, pensioned, titled bard of our days, will ever be considered worthy of a place by the side of the glorious and imperishable poems of the stern old puritan.
As parodies of Tennyson's poems are constantly being produced, a supplementary col. lection of them will be published separately at some future date.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow was born at Portland, Maine, on February 27, 1807, and died on the 24th March, 1882, having thus just completed his 75th year. After graduating at the age of eighteen at Bowdoin College, he entered the office of his father to study the law. Soon afterwards, however, he left America for Europe, where he travelled for three years and a half, in order to qualify himself for a professorship of modern language, which had been offered to him in the college where he had received his education. A few years later he was appointed to a similar position in Harvard College. In order to become acquainted with the literature and language of Northern Europe he again left America and travelled in Scandi. navia, Germany, and Switzerland, entering upon his new duties in 1836. Mr. Longfellow commenced his career as an author while yet he was an undergraduate, and continued to write almost to the last. A mere list of his works would occupy considerable space. They are thoroughly well known wherever our language is spoken, and have obtained in this country a popularity second to that of no English writer, The Universities of Oxford and Cambridge both conferred degrees upon Mr, Longfellow, and he was also elected a member of the Russian Academy of Science and of the Spanish Academy.
The following are the poems which have been most frequently selected as the models for Parodies:-A Psalm of Life; Beware!; Evange
MR. CHARLES STEWART Calverley.
The death of “ C. S. C." will be heard of with regret by all who enjoy the lighter forms of English poetry, such as are to be found to perfection in his two little volumes, entitled " Fly Leaves” and “ Verses and Translations," pub. lished by Messrs. G. Bell and Sons.
Mr. Calverley had an extraordinary ear for rhythm, and could imitate, at will, the measure and metre of any poet. Taking some comically trifling topic, he could so write it up as to repro. duce not only the style, but even the very mode of thought of his original. Thus, in his poem, “ The Cock and the Bull," he has caught far