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.



DAN O'Connell came down like a wolf on the fold,
And his priest-ridden voters look'd bloody and bold;
And the noise of their cheering resembled the roar
Of galley-slaves plying the criminal oar.

Like the fell rebel Orr, in his livery of green,
O'Connell and Catholic Clergy were seen;

And their hopes and their actions, 'tis very well known,
Are to level our Church, and to hurl down the Throne.

But the Protestant voice came strong on the blast,
And O'Connell and Treason grew sick as it passed,
And the hopes of his traitorous party grew chill,
And their hearts quaked with sorrow, their voices were


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
And some new scheme design,

Nor care what shifts they put us to,

So 'tis not to resign.

Welcome, welcome, ye Whiggish slaves,
But should you fail to fight,

Welcome, ye ratting Tory knaves,
My premiership, good night.

Figaro in London, May 4, 1833.


A DOO, A! doo, my fav'rite scheme
Low in the market falls ;

The lawyers sigh, the brokers scream,
They ask in vain for calls.
Yon bubble, bursting on the sea,
We follow in his flight:
Farewell! my simple allottee;
My engineer! good night.

With thee, my cash, I'll swiftly go,
Athwart the foaming brine;

Nor care should fortune take me to
The equinoctial line.

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!

Punch, 1846.

(The above refers to the Railway Panic in 1846.)

[blocks in formation]



THERE was a sound of revelry by night,
And Belgium's capital had gather'd then
Her Beauty and her Chivalry, and bright

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,
And all went merry as a marriage-bell*

But hush! hark! a deep sound strikes like a rising knell !

Did ye not hear it?-No; 'twas but the wind,
Or the car rattling o'er the stony street;

On with the dance! let joy be unconfined,
No sleep till morn, when youth and pleasure meet

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 gathering tears, and tremblings of distress,
And cheeks all pale, which but an hour ago
Blush'd at the praise of their own loveliness;
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The life from out young hearts, and choking sighs
Which ne'er might be repeated: who would guess
If ever more should meet those mutual eyes,
Since upon night so sweet, such awful morn could rise.

And there was mounting in hot haste; the steed
The mustering squadron, and the clattering car,
Went pouring forward with impetuous speed,
And swiftly forming in the ranks of war:
And the deep thunder peal on peal afar ;
And near, the beat of the alarming drum
Roused up the soldier ere the morning star;
While throng'd the citizens with terror dumb,

Or whispering with white lips-"The foe! they come ! they come !"



THERE was a sound that ceased not day or night,
Of Speculation. London gathered then
Unwonted crowds and moved by promise bright,

To Capel Court rushed women, boys and, men,
All seeking railway shares and scrip; and when
The market rose, how many a lad could tell,

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;
Wild enterprise shall still be unconfined;

No rest for us, when rising premiums greet
The morn, to pour their treasures at our feet;
When, hark; that solemn sound is heard once more,
The gathering "bears" its echoes yet repeat-
'Tis but too true, is now the general roar,

The Bank has raised her rate, as she has done before,
And then and there were hurryings to and fro,

And anxious thoughts and signs of sad distress,
Faces all pale, that but an hour ago

Smiled at the thought of their own craftiness.
And there were sudden partings, such as press
The coin from hungry pockets,—mutual sighs

Of brokers and their clients. Who can guess
How many a "stag" already panting flies,
When upon times so bright such awful panics rise?

(This alludes to the panic subsequent on the Railway Mania of 1845-6)

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]

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;
And Astley's Manager had gathered then
His supers and his cavalry; and bright
The gas blazed o'er tall women and loud men.
The audience waited happily, and when

The orchestra broke forth with brazen swell,
Apples were sold for most extensive gain;
And ginger beer popped merrily as well!-

But hush! hark! what's that noise, just like our parlour

Did ye not hear it?—No, sir!-Never mind,
P'haps it was the Atlas bus to Oxford Street.
Strike up, you fiddlers! Now, young feller, mind!
Don't scrouge, or you shall go where police meet.
To chase the knowing thieves with flying feet!-
But hark! that sound is heard again-once more!
And boys, with whistle shrill, its note repeat;
And nearer, clearer, queerer than before!

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!

[merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][merged small]


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,
The whispering talk, the noise of shuffling feet-
But mark'd the looks of men who wished to dine,
And dared not, for their lives, move from their seat,
Chafing within, without, with fervent heat,
Thou would'st have envied orators no more-
Thou would'st have owned no eyes could ever meet
A sight suggesting stronger the word "bore,"
And turned thee to thy bed contentedly to snore.

Ah! then and there were hurryings to and fro,
And notes delivered in a shocking mess,
And gents grew pale who, but a week ago,
Esteemed themselves "the cheese," and nothing less;
And there were sudden partings-I confess
These coalitions, ruptures, did surprise
The public gen' rally. Could any guess
That villain Yeh would break old English ties,

And British statesmen stoop to puff his Chinese lies?

Then ye might see cabs hurrying in hot haste
To Paddington, and Shoreditch, Euston-square,
And all the other stations-for no waste
Of time made Pam. nor did he even spare

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
The news by telegraph, and loud he calls
For ink and paper; and he dropt a tear
(Of course well'd up by sentiment, not fear)
Upon the sheet which stated he would stand

Once more for that great town he loved so dear.
Ungrateful Manchester, I say-for it

Saw its sick member stand and would not bid him sit! †

And Thames' waves murmur as the members leave,
And sigh beneath its bridges as they pass,
Grieving (if aught so muddy e'er can grieve)
Over the unreturning brave-alas!

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,
To vile obscurity by heartless foe,

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.


THERE was a clash of billiard balls by night,
And University had gathered then

Her members for a handicap, and bright
The lamps shone o'er fair tables and dark men;
A hundred went up rapidly; and when
The clock struck nine a wild tumultuous yell
Bade them play on until the hour of ten
Brought into sound the evening chapel bell;

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;
No one should budge when two such players meet
To give us all an exhibition treat-

But hark! that fatal sound breaks in once more,
Alas! no pen its terrors could repeat ;'
And nearer, clearer, deadlier than before !
Fly! fly it is-it is-the Proctor at the door!

Within a windowed niche of those low walls
Sate Univ.'s famous dandy; he did hear
That sound the first amidst the billiard balls,
And caught its tones with sad, prophetic ear;
And when they smiled because he deemed it near,
His heart more truly knew that sound too well
Which cost his father several pounds a year,
And roused the instinct flight alone could quell
He rushed into the street, and foremost victim fell
A. HASKETT SMITH, Univ. Coll: Oxford.

[blocks in formation]

And these regretfully, with choking sighs,
Sat the performance through, for who could guess
If ever more, before the critics' eyes,
The curtain on such cruel sacrilege would rise?

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,
And some lone hearts its echoes now repeat;
But louder, shriller, ghastlier than before,
Rises that hideous midnight Market's odious roar !

Ah! now there's eager hurrying to and fro,

And frightful oaths and tears of deep distress
And cheeks are drabbled which an hour ago
Were brave with artificial loveliness.
And there are sudden quarrels as the press
Of desperate women swirls and surges by,
With laughter forced and words of bitterness,

Which overwhelms the outcasts deep-drawn sigh,
As the pale moon breaks through the sombre-clouded

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,
Leaving her rifled of her once fair fame,

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

[blocks in formation]


I STOOD in London, on the bridge which lies
Tall tower and swelling dome on either hand.
From out the stream Saint Stephen's spires arise,
St. Paul's huge summit dominates the land;
Between them runs the noisy, wheel-worn Strand,
Hushed now awhile, for early morning smiles
O'er the swift river, and the grey, yet grand
Wide-winged old city of Titanic piles,
Huge capital of our little, lordliest of all isles.

She looks a sprawling Mammoth from the river
Risen, with unspanned bulk and ungauged powers,
O'er league on league the silver morn-mists quiver
Upon her mighty maze of roofs and towers.
And what brings she, what are her dearest dowers
To wealth-spoilt golden youth? The Comus feast,
The Rahab lap piled high with gems and flowers,
The Circe draught proffered by Pleasure's priest,
Which lures the eager lip, and leaves the man—a beast,

But where is he, the Pilgrim of my song,
Who 'midst this city lived the life called "fast"?
Doth he upon his pillow tarry long?

He comes no more-those flutterings were his last;
The butterfly is stricken, netted, cast,

Wing-bruised, bloom-robbed aside, a thing that was ;
To-day a phantasy, not to be classed

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."
"Yes-regular church and ring affair, a craze
Most melancholy, -can't be squared, too loud!"
So cackle they, in vague slang-garnished phrase,
The "other Johnnies,"-chums of his exuberant days.
What profits prying into the abyss

Where plunge the witless dupes of flaunting shame,
Of vulgar Mélusines who writhe and hiss,

Too late detected? Chappie's lost to fame.
Who'll wipe the dirt from the dishonoured name

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,
And he and I must part-so let it be.

His task in life was the pursuit of "Fun;"
In Babylon there are thousands such as he ;

Each year breaks hundreds, and the wrecks few see.
That venturous Muse were voted all too bold
Who golden youth in their gregarious glee
Should paint, or the veracious tale unfold
Of dull esurient lives in gilded styes outrolled.

Roll on, thou shallow stream of Pleasure !-roll!
Ten thousand skiffs float over thee in vain,
Prows prone to rapids, helms beyond control;
Awhile they dance upon thy watery plain,
Then fleet to wreck, and nothing doth remain
Save a sad memory of the bitter groan

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;
Alas! I cannot smile again :

Yet Heaven avert that ever thou
Should'st dress, and haply dress so plain.

And dost thou ask, why should I be
The jest of every foe and friend?
And wilt thou vainly seek to see

A garb, even thou must fail to mend?

It is not love, it is not hate,

Nor low Ambitions' honors lost
That bids me loathe my present state,
And fly from all I loved the most.

It is the contrast which will spring
From all I meet, or hear, or see,
To me no garments tailors bring,-
Their shops have scarce a charm for me.
It is a something all who rub
Would know the owner long had wore ;
That may not look beyond the tub,

And cannot hope for help before.

What fellow from himself can flee?
To zones, though more and more remote,
Still, still pursues, where'er I be,
The blight of life,-the ragged Coat.
Yet others wrapt in broadcloth seem,
And taste of all that I forsake!
O, may they still of transport dream,
And ne'er, at least like me, awake!
Through many a clime 'tis mine to go,
With many a retrospection curst,
And all my solace is to know,

Whate'er I wear, I've worn the worst.

What is the worst? Nay, do not ask,-
In pity from the search forbear :
Smile on,-nor venture to unclasp

My vest, and view the shirt that's there.

From Poems and Parodies. By Phoebe Carey. (Ticknor Reed, and Fields, Boston, United States, 1854.)

[ocr errors][merged small]

I STOOD in Venice, on the Bridge of Sighs;
A palace and a prison on each hand :

I saw from out the wave her structures rise
As from the stroke of the enchanter's wand:
A thousand years their cloudy wings expand
Around me, and a dying Glory smiles

O'er the far times, when many a subject land
Look'd to the wingèd Lion's marble piles,

Where Venice sat in state, throned on her hundred isles!

She looks a sea Cybele. fresh from ocean,
Rising with her tiara of proud towers
At airy distance, with majestic motion,
A ruler of the waters and their powers:

« ElőzőTovább »