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My boat has run ashore,
And my barque's beneath the sea,
And I fear I never more
Shall rule the Admiraltee !
Punch, November, 1875.
THE CATHOLIC CANDIDATE.
DAN O'Connell came down like a wolf on the fold,
Like the fell rebel Orr, in his livery of green,
And their hopes and their actions, 'tis very well known,
But the Protestant voice came strong on the blast,
And the precious Cat: Ass:were loud in their wail, And mute was the Corn-Exchange temple of Baal; For the might of the party, in spite of big words, Must melt like the snow before Protestant Lords. From "Spirit of the Age Newspaper" for 1828.
With thee, my Brough'm, I'll swiftly go
Nor care what shifts they put us to,
So 'tis not to resign.
Welcome, welcome, ye Whiggish slaves,
Welcome, ye ratting Tory knaves,
Figaro in London, May 4, 1833.
THE FLIGHT OF THE ALDERMEN.
A DOO, A! doo, my fav'rite scheme
The lawyers sigh, the brokers scream,
With thee, my cash, I'll swiftly go,
Nor care should fortune take me to
Welcome, welcome! ye bulls and bears;
And when I'm out of sight,
You're welcome to my worthless shares, My Capel Court, good night!
(The above refers to the Railway Panic in 1846.)
THE BATTLE OF WATERLOO.
THERE was a sound of revelry by night,
The lamps shone o'er fair women and brave men ;
A thousand hearts beat happily; and when
Music arose with its voluptuous swell,
Soft eyes look'd love to eyes which spake again,
But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell !
Did ye not hear it?-No; 'twas but the wind,
On with the dance! let joy be unconfined,
To chase the glowing Hours with flying feet
But, hark!—that heavy sound breaks in once more, As if the clouds its echo would repeat; And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before! Arm! arm! it is-it is--the cannon's opening roar !
Within a window'd niche of that high hall Sate Brunswick's fated Chieftain: he did hear That sound, the first amid'st the festival, And caught its tone with Death's prophetic ear; And when they smiled because he deem'd it near, His heart more truly knew that peal too well Which stretch'd his father on a bloody bier, And roused the vengeance blood alone could quell: He rush'd into the field, and, foremost fighting, fell.
* On the night previous to the action, a grand ball was given at Brussels.
Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And there was mounting in hot haste; the steed
Or whispering with white lips-"The foe! they come ! they come !"
CHILDE HAROLD, Canto III.
THE RAILWAY PANIC.
THERE was a sound that ceased not day or night,
To Capel Court rushed women, boys and, men,
With joyous glance, and eyes that spake again, 'Twas e'en more lucrative than marrying well ;— When, hark! that warning voice strikes like a rising knell. Nay, it is nothing, empty as the wind,
But a bear' whisper down Throgmorton street;
No rest for us, when rising premiums greet
The Bank has raised her rate, as she has done before,
And anxious thoughts and signs of sad distress,
Smiled at the thought of their own craftiness.
Of brokers and their clients. Who can guess
(This alludes to the panic subsequent on the Railway Mania of 1845-6)
Wellington, approaching Marshall Soult, said to him, 'Don't let your fellows fire until mine have'! a course which must have led them to destruction, had not General Widdicombe roared, with a voice of thunder, 'what the devil are you doing there, you stupid asses?' which produced the last grand charge. The following beautiful lines are but little known, and well deserve a place in this report. They are the production of Lord Byron, and were written at the request of the late Andrew Ducrow, Esq., describing the scene immediately before the commencement of the battle."
THERE was a sound of revelry by night;
The orchestra broke forth with brazen swell,
But hush! hark! what's that noise, just like our parlour
Did ye not hear it?—No, sir!-Never mind,
Hats off!-It is, it is-the bell from prompter's door!
Ah! then was hurry-skurry, to and fro;
And authors' oaths, and symptoms of a mess;
And men as soldiers, who, two nights ago,
Went round the circus in a chinese dress!
THE CHINESE WAR, 1856-7.*
THERE was a sound of orat'ry by night, And Britain's capital had gathered then
* In October 1856, the Chinese captured 12 of the crew of the lorcha Arrow in Canton river, on the plea that they were pirates. Commissioner Yeh, the Chinese commander, released the prisoners but refused to apologise for the outrage, thereupon Canton was bombarded and other acts of war committed. In March 1857 the House of Commons, by a majority of 19, censured Sir John Bowring, Governor of Hong Kong, for the "violent measures" he had pursued. The Ministry (who took his part) dissolved Parliament, and in the new one a large majority was returned to support Lord Palmerston, and the Chinese War. Messrs. Cobden, Bright, Milner Gibson, Layard and many other leading opponents of the Chinese policy were left without seats.
Her parliament'ry chivalry, and bright
The gas shone o'er these intellectual men ; Six hundred hearts beat hopefully; and when Cobden arose, that slaughter-hating swell, Dark eyes flash'd fire at eyes which flash'd again, And Cobden felt a second William Tell, Obsequious Hayter paled, and Pam's bold visage fell!
Had'st thou but heard, O gentle reader mine,
Ah! then and there were hurryings to and fro,
And British statesmen stoop to puff his Chinese lies?
Then ye might see cabs hurrying in hot haste
His co-mates; for the ripen'd wheat and tare
Must grow and bloom together here, until
The reck'ning comes, and men's hearts are laid bare. And well did Ministers their own plots till, And sway the supple country at their lordly will!
Within a niche of Romulus's halls
Sat Manchester's sick member. He did hear
Once more for that great town he loved so dear.
Saw its sick member stand and would not bid him sit! †
And Thames' waves murmur as the members leave,
So shortly to be stript of all their brass
As well as tin, and, friendless, left to go
O'er the wide, gloomy world- consigned, en masse,
Shorn of their proud "M. P." by base elector's "No!"
Last session found them full of lusty strife, Last month in House of Commons blythe and gayThe guns of Canton signall'd forth the strife And called 'em all to arms. And "Gov'nor Yeh !" The war-cry was which led them on that day; The husting's mob closed round them-forth they went Their hopes all wither'd, crush'd, in dust low layTo mourn their factious folly and repent Were Gibson, Cobden, Bright, by angry England sent.
+ Mr. Bright was absent on the continent for the benefit of his health during the whole of the session, and telegraphed from Rome his intention to stand again for Manchester, but he was defeated.
BILLIARDS AT OXFORD.
THERE was a clash of billiard balls by night,
Her members for a handicap, and bright
But hush! hark! a deep voice strikes like a rising knell.
Did ye not hear it? No; 'twas but a moke,
Or a cad yelling from the distant street;
On with the game! don't interrupt the stroke;
But hark! that fatal sound breaks in once more,
Within a windowed niche of those low walls
And these regretfully, with choking sighs,
The Figaro, February 26, 1876.
These lines refer to the first appearance of Mr. Henry Irving in the Character of "Othello." The success he met with then, induced him to revive it some time afterwards, and proves how reliable these verses were as a criticism. But at that time The Figaro persistently and indiscriminately ran down all Mr. Irving's impersonations.
THERE is a sound of revelry by night,
For England's capital has gathered then Her lowest and her foulest and too bright
The gas shines o'er frail women and fast men ! A thousand tongues wag noisily, and when
The music-halls the shameless concourse swells,
And drunken wretches reel from many a den,
The scene grows yet more like an earthly hell!—
But hush! Big Ben booms midnight, like some solemn knell !
Do they not hear it sounding on the wind,
These reckless haunters of the crowded street? Nay, on they course, their laughter unconfined, Prepared in all their brazen shame to greet
The ribald roysterers they haply meet!
But hark! that bell of doom breaks in once more,
Ah! now there's eager hurrying to and fro,
And frightful oaths and tears of deep distress
Which overwhelms the outcasts deep-drawn sigh,
And this in London ! in the very street
Which speaks the grandeur of the wealthy west! 'Tis here debauchery and riot meet;
'Tis here each night, when purity's at rest, There rages rampantly that moral pest
That saps our city's health and blasts her name,
And steals the reputation she posses't,
A bye-word for the nations, and all Europe's shame. Truth, Christmas Number, 1884.
A parody entitled Childe Snobson's Pilgrimage, in several parts, appeared in volume III. of Punch 1842; and again, in 1883, another long parody of Childe Harold ran through several numbers of the same periodical. This was called Childe Chappie's
CANTO THE SEVENTH.
I STOOD in London, on the bridge which lies
She looks a sprawling Mammoth from the river
But where is he, the Pilgrim of my song,
He comes no more-those flutterings were his last;
Wing-bruised, bloom-robbed aside, a thing that was ;
With "form" maintainers-these must let him pass, Vanish in Limbo's gloom, sink in Despair's morass.
Scattered his substance, linked life, honour, all With-what? A thing that silence fain must shroud, "Gone to the bad, poor beggar! What a fall!" "Under the very dingiest kind of cloud.'
'Thought he was 'cuter, or at least more proud."
Where plunge the witless dupes of flaunting shame,
Too late detected? Chappie's lost to fame.
Society no more hears? For never more
Shall he who's siren-mated be the same,
Unless high genius hush the social roar
Genius whose spell to miss were "quite too great a bore."
But I must end. My Pilgrim's shrine is won,
His task in life was the pursuit of "Fun;"
Each year breaks hundreds, and the wrecks few see.
Roll on, thou shallow stream of Pleasure !-roll!
When one more struggler, slackening the fierce strain, Sinks wave-choked, weed-encumbered, stark, alone, Gone to to the dogs, unstayed, unfriended, and unknown,
NAY, smile not at my garments now;
Yet Heaven avert that ever thou
And dost thou ask, why should I be
A garb, even thou must fail to mend?
It is not love, it is not hate,
Nor low Ambitions' honors lost
It is the contrast which will spring
And cannot hope for help before.
What fellow from himself can flee?
Whate'er I wear, I've worn the worst.
What is the worst? Nay, do not ask,-
My vest, and view the shirt that's there.
From Poems and Parodies. By Phoebe Carey. (Ticknor Reed, and Fields, Boston, United States, 1854.)
I STOOD in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
I saw from out the wave her structures rise
O'er the far times, when many a subject land
Where Venice sat in state, throned on her hundred isles!
She looks a sea Cybele. fresh from ocean,