Helen Mina (Purvis) Mrs. Benjamin.

An anthology of humorous verse online

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The sly ould Divil, undernathe the stairs.

Then the cannons thunder'd, and the people wonder'd,

Crying, lt God save Victoria, our Royal Queen ! "
Och ! if myself should live to be a hundred,

Sure it's the proudest day that I'll have seen !
And now I've ended, what I pretended,

This narration splendid in swate poe-thry,
Ye dear bewitcher, just hand the pitcher,

Faith, it's myself that's getting mighty dhry.

RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM

("Thomas Ingoldsby ")




124



AN ANTHOLOGY OF
HUMOROUS VERSE



THE JACKDAW OF RHEIMS

THE Jackdaw sat on the Cardinal's chair !
Bishop and abbot and prior were there ;

Many a monk, and many a friar,

Many a knight, and many a squire,
With a great many more of lesser degree,
In sooth a goodly company ;
And they served the Lord Primate on bended knee.

Never, I ween, Was a prouder seen,

Read of in books, or dreamt of in dreams,
Than the Cardinal Lord Archbishop of Rheims.

In and out Through the motley rout,

That little Jackdaw kept hopping about ;

Here and there Like a dog in a fair,

Over comfits and cakes, And dishes and plates,

Cowl and cope, and rochet, and pall,
Mitre and crosier ! he hopp'd upon all !

With saucy air, He perch'd on the chair

Where, in state, the great Lord Cardinal sat
In the great Lord Cardinal's great red hat ;

And he peer'd in the face Of his Lordship's

Grace,

With a satisfied look, as if he would say,
" We two are the greatest folks here to-day ! "

And the priests, with awe, As such freaks

they saw,
Said, " The Devil must be in that little Jackdaw."

The feast was over, the board was clear 'd,
The flawns and the custards had all disappear'd,
And six little Singing-boys, dear little souls !
In nice clean faces, and nice white stoles,

Came, in order due, Two by two

Marching that great refectory through !
A nice little boy held a golden ewer,
Emboss'd and fill'd with water, as pure
As any that flows between Rheims and Namur,

125



SSS F^3 K?1 f^ KH AN ANTHOLOGY OF [ySJ

sa 53 Ks fcss ESS HUMOROUS VERSE sy

Which a nice little boy stood ready to catch
In a fine golden hand-basin made to match.
Two nice little boys, rather more grown,
Carried lavender-water, and eau de Cologne,
And a nice little boy had a nice cake of soap,
Worthy of washing the hands of the Pope.

One little boy more A napkin bore,

Of the best white diaper, fringed with pink,
And a Cardinal's Hat mark'd in " permanent ink."

The great Lord Cardinal turns at the sight
Of these nice little boys dress'd all in white :

From his finger he draws His costly turquoise ;

And, not thinking at all about little Jackdaws,

Deposits it straight By the side of his plate,

While the nice little boys on his Eminence wait ;
Till, when nobody's dreaming of any such thing,
That little Jackdaw hops off with the ring !

There's a cry and a shout, And a deuce of a

rout,

And nobody seems to know what they're about,
But the monks have their pockets all turn'd inside out ;

The friars are kneeling, And hunting, and

feeling
The carpet, the floor, and the walls, and the ceiling.

The Cardinal drew Off each plum-colour'd

shoe,
And left his red stockings exposed to the view ;

He peeps and he feels In the toes and the

heels ;

They turn up the dishes, they turn up the plates,
They take up the poker and poke out the grates,

They turn up the rugs, They examine the

mugs :
But no ! no such thing ; They can't find

THE RING !

And the Abbot declared that, " when nobody twigg'd it,
Some rascal or other had popp'd in and prigg'd it ! "
126



[vSq AN ANTHOLOGY OF RT7J RE3 [SQ fsT/J RSI
CEJ HUMOROUS VERSE ES ESS cla EK3 E2H

The Cardinal rose with a dignified look,

He call'd for his candle, his bell, and his book !

In holy anger and pious grief,

He solemnly cursed that rascally thief!

He cursed him at board, he cursed him in bed ;

From the sole of his foot to the crown of his head ;

He cursed him in sleeping, that every night

He should dream of the devil, and wake in a fright ;

He cursed him in eating, he cursed him in drinking,

He cursed him in coughing, in sneezing, in winking ;

He cursed him in sitting, in standing, in lying ;

He cursed him in walking, in riding, in flying,

He cursed him in living, he cursed him dying !
Never was heard such a terrible curse !

But what gave rise To no little surprise,

Nobody seem'd one penny the worse !

The day was gone, The night came on,

The Monks and the Friars they search'd till dawn ;

When the sacristan saw, On crumpled claw,

Come limping a poor little lame Jackdaw !

No longer gay, As on yesterday ;

His feathers all seem'd to be turn'd the wrong way ;
His pinions droop'd he could hardly stand,
His head was as bald as the palm of your hand ;

His eye so dim, So wasted each limb,

That, heedless of grammar, they all cried " THAT'S HIM !
That's the scamp that has done this scandalous thing!
That's the thief that has got my Lord Cardinal's Ring ! "

The poor little Jackdaw, When the monks he

saw,

Feebly gave vent to the ghost of a caw ;
And turn'd his bald head, as much as to say ;
" Pray be so good as to walk this way ! "

Slower and slower He limped on before,

Till they came to the back of the belfry door,

Where the first thing they saw, 'Midst the

sticks and the straw,
Was the RING in the nest of that little Jackdaw !

127



ANTHOLOGY OF fCT

a s a sa ESS HUMOROUS VERSE KB

Then the great Lord Cardinal call'd for his book,
And off that terrible curse he took ;

The mute expression Served in lieu of

confession,

And, being thus coupled with full restitution,
The Jackdaw got plenary absolution !

When those words were heard, That poor

little bird
Was so changed in a moment, 'twas really absurd,

He grew sleek, and fat, In addition to that,

A fresh crop of feathers came thick as a mat !

His tail waggled more Even than before ;

But no longer it wagged with an impudent air,
No longer he perch'd on the Cardinal's chair.

He hopp'd now about With a gait devout ;

At Matins, at Vespers, he never was out ;
And, so far from any more pilfering deeds,
He always seem'd telling the Confessor's beads.
If any one lied, or if any one swore,
Or slumber'd in prayer-time and happen'd to snore,

That good Jackdaw, Would give a great

"Caw,"

As much as to say, " Don't do so any more ! "
While many remark'd, as his manners they saw,
That they " never had known such a pious Jackdaw ! "

He long lived the pride Of that country side,

And at last in the odour of sanctity died ;

When, as words were too faint, His merits to

paint,

The Conclave determined to make him a Saint ;
And on newly-made Saints and Popes, as you know,
It's the custom, at Rome, new names to bestow,
So they canonized him by the name of Jim Crow.
RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM

("Thomas Ingoldsby ")



128



AN ANTHOLOGY OF
HUMOROUS VERSE



MISADVENTURES AT MARGATE

A LEGEND OF JAEVIs's JETTY

MR. SIMPKINSON (loquitur)

'TWAS in Margate last July, I walk'd upon the pier,

I saw a little vulgar Boy I said, " What make you here ?

The gloom upon your youthful cheek speaks anything but

)y ; "

Again I said, tf What make you here, you little vulgar
Boy ? "

He frown' d, that little vulgar Boy he deem'd I meant

to scoff

And when the little heart is big, a little sets it off."
He put his finger in his mouth, his little bosom rose,
He had no little handkerchief to wipe his little nose !

" Hark ! don't you hear, my little man ? it's striking

Nine," I said,
" An hour when all good little boys and girls should be in

bed.
Run home and get your supper, else your Ma' will scold

Oh ! fie !
It's very wrong indeed for little boys to stand and cry ! "

The tear-drop in his little eye again began to spring,

His bosom throbb'd with agony, he cried like anything !

I stooped, and thus amidst his sobs I heard him murmur

"Ah!
I haven't got no supper ! and I haven't got no Ma' ! !

" My father, he is on the seas my mother's dead and gone !
And I am here, on this here pier, to roam the world alone ;
I have not had, this live-long day, one drop to cheer my

heart,
Nor ' brown ' to buy a bit of bread with, let alone a tart.

" If there's a soul will give me food, or find me in employ,
By day or night, then blow me tight ! " (he was a vulgar
Boy;)

i 129



ESS fOT Fffl RK? Kfl AN ANTHOLOGY OF [
C23 BS ES ESS ESH HUMOROUS VERSE ta

"And now I'm here, from this here pier it is my fixed

intent
To jump, as Mister Levi did from off the Monu-ment ! "

" Cheer up ! Cheer up ! my little man cheer up," I kindly

said,
" You are a naughty boy to take such things into your

head :
If you should jump from off the pier, you'd surely break

your legs,
Perhaps your neck then Bogey'd have you, sure as eggs

are eggs !

" Come home with me, my little man, come home with me

and sup ;

My landlady is Mrs. Jones we must not keep her up
There's roast potatoes at the fire, enough for me and

you
Come home, you little vulgar Boy I lodge at Number 2."

I took him home to Number 2, the house beside u The

Foy " ;

I bade him wipe his dirty shoes, that little vulgar Boy,
And then I said to Mistress Jones, the kindest of her sex,
" Pray be so good as go and fetch a pint of double X."

But Mrs. Jones was rather cross, she made a little noise,
She said she " did not like to wait on little vulgar Boys."
She with her apron wiped the plates, and as she rubbed

the delf
Said I might " go to Jericho, and fetch my beer myself! "

I did not go to Jericho I went to Mr. Cobb *

I changed a shilling (which in town the people call " a

Bob")

It was not so much for myself as for that vulgar child
And I said, " A pint of double X, and please to draw it

mild!"

* Qui facit per alium, facit per se. Deem not, gentle stranger,
that Mr. Cobb is a petty dealer and chapman, as Mr. Simpkinson
would here seem to imply. He is a maker, not a retailer of Stingo,
and mighty pretty tipple he makes.
130



JOT AN ANTHOLOGY OF KJ7J R273 fvSQ RT7J r\ffi
By HUMOROUS VERSE ^ E^ GJ ^2$ E2S

When I came back I gazed about I gazed on stool and

chair

I could not see my little friend because he was not there !
I peep'd beneath the table-cloth beneath the sofa too
I said, " You little vulgar Boy ! why what's become of you ? "

I could not see my table-spoons I look'd, but could not

see

The little fiddle-pattern' d ones I use when I'm at tea ;
I could not see my sugar-tongs my silver watch oh,

dear!
I know 'twas on the mantelpiece when I went out for

beer.

I could not see my Mackintosh it was not to be seen !
Nor yet my best white beaver hat, broad-brimm'd and lined

with green ;
My carpet-bag my cruet-stand, that holds my sauce and

soy,
My roast potatoes ! all are gone ! and so's that vulgar Boy !

I rang the bell for Mrs. Jones, for she was down below,
" Oh, Mrs. Jones ! what do you think ? ain't this a pretty

go?
That horrid little vulgar Boy whom I brought here

to-night,
He's stolen my things and run away ! ! " says she, " And

sarve you right ! ! "

Next morning I was up betimes I sent the Crier round,
All with his bell and gold-laced hat, to say I'd give a

pound

To find that little vulgar Boy, who'd gone and used me so ;
But when the Crier cried, " O yes ! " the people cried,

"Ono!"

I went to et Jarvis' Landing-place,'' the glory of the town,
There was a common Sailor-man a- walking up and down,
I told my tale he seem'd to think I'd not been treated

well,
And called me " Poor old Buffer ! " what that means I

cannot tell.

131



GiS SS2 33 K2 K9 AN ANTHOLOGY OF gj]
rffia Eaffi KB are KS HUMOROUS VERSE r^

That Sailor-man he said he'd seen that morning on the

shore,

A son of something 'twas a name I'd never heard before,
A little " gallows-looking chap " dear me ; what could he

mean ?
With a "carpet-swab" and " muckingtogs," and a hat

turned up with green.

He spoke about his " precious eyes/' and said he'd seen

him " sheer,"

It's very odd that Sailor-men should talk so very queer
And then he hitch'd his trousers up, as is, I'm told, their

use,
It's very odd that Sailor-men should wear those things

so loose.

I did not understand him well, but I think he meant to

say

He'd seen that little vulgar Boy, that morning swim away
In Captain Large's Royal George, about an hour before,
And they were now, as he supposed, " somewheres " about

the Nore.

A landsman said, fi I twig the chap he's been upon the

Mill-
And 'cause he gammons so the flats, ve calls him Veeping

Bill!
He said, " he'd done me wery brown," and nicely " stow'd

the swag,"
That's French, I fancy, for a hat or else a carpet-bag.

I went and told the constable my property to track ;
He ask'd me if " I did not wish that I might get it back ? "
I answered, " To be sure I do it's what I'm come about :
He smiled and said, " Sir, does your mother know that you
are out ? "

Not knowing what to do, I thought I'd hasten back to

town,
And beg our own Lord Mayor to catch the Boy who'd

" done me brown."
132



EN AN ANTHOLOGY OF fjfl KM gj] RTfl RJ2
tSa HUMOROUS VERSE BS EZB CSa H3 KM

His Lordship very kindly said he'd try and find him out,
But he rather thought that there were several vulgar boys
about.

He sent for Mr. Withair then, and I describ'd " the swag,"
My Macintosh, my sugar-tongs, my spoons and carpet-bag ;
He promised that the New Police should all their powers

employ !
But never to this hour have I beheld that vulgar Boy !



MORAL.

Remember, then, what when a boy I've heard my Grandma'

tell,
" BE WARN'D IN TIME BY OTHERS' HARM, AND YOU SHALL DO

FULL WELL! "
Don't link yourself with vulgar folks, who've got no fixed

abode,
Tell lies, use naughty words, and say " they wish they may

be blow'd ! "

Don't take too much of double X ! and don't at night

go out
To fetch your beer yourself, but make the pot-boy bring

your stout !
And when you go to Margate next, just stop, and ring the

bell,

Give my respects to Mrs. Jones, and say I'm pretty well !
RICHARD HARRIS BARHAM

(" Thomas Ingoldsby ")




133



AN ANTHOLOGY OF
HUMOROUS VERSE



VERSES ON A CAT



A CAT in distress,

Nothing more nor less ;
Good folks, I must faithfully tell ye,

As I am a sinner,

It waits for some dinner
To stuff out its own little belly.

You would not easily guess

All the modes of distress
Which torture the tenants of earth ;

And the various evils,

Which like so many devils,
Attend the poor souls from their birth.

Some a living require,

And others desire
An old fellow out of the way ;

And which is the best

I leave to be guessed,
For I cannot pretend to say.

One wants society,

Another variety,
Others a tranquil life ;

Some want food,

Others, as good,
Only want a wife.

But this poor little cat

Only wanted a rat,
To stuff out its own little maw ;

And it were as good

Some people had such food,
To make them hold their jaw !

PERCY BVSSHE SHELLEY



134



AN ANTHOLOGY OF
HUMOROUS VERSE



THE MAN WITH A TUFT

I EVER at college

From commoners shrank,
Still craving the knowledge

Of people of rank :
In my glass my lord's ticket

1 eagerly stuffed ;
And all called me " Riquet,"

The man with the Tuft.

My patron ! most noble !

Of highest degree !
Thou never canst probe all

My homage for thee !
Thy hand oh ! I'd lick it,

Though often rebuffd ;
And still I am " Riquet,"

The man with the Tuft !

Too oft the great, shutting

Their doors on the bold,
Do deeds that are cutting,

Say words that are cold !
Through flattery's wicket

My body I've stuffd,
And so I am " Riquet,"

The man with the Tuft !

His lordship's a poet,

Enraptured I sit ;
He's dull (and I know it)

/ call him a wit !
His fancy, I nick it,

By me he is puffd,
And still I am " Riquet,"

The man with the Tuft !

THOMAS HAYNES BAYLY



135



AN ANTHOLOGY OF
HUMOROUS VERSE



THE BOY AT. THE NORE

"Alone I did it ! Boy ! " CORIOLANUS

I SAY, little Boy at the Nore,

Do you come from the small Isle of Man ?
Why, your history a mystery must be,

Come tell us as much as you can,

Little Boy at the Nore !

You live, it seems, wholly on water,

Which your Gambier calls living in clover ;

But how comes it, if that is the case,
You're eternally half seas over,

Little Boy at the Nore ?

While you ride while you dance while you float-
Never mind your imperfect orthography ;

But give us as well as you can,
Your watery auto-biography,

Little Boy at the Nore !

LITTLE BOY AT THE NORE (loquitur)

I'm the tight little Boy at the Nore,

In a sort of sea-negus I dwells,
Half and half 'twixt salt water and port ;

I'm reckoned the first of the swells

I'm the Boy at the Nore !

I lives with my toes to the flounders,

And watches through long days and nights ;

Yet, cruelly eager, men look

To catch the first glimpse of my lights

I'm the Boy at the Nore !

I never gets cold in the head,

So my life on salt water is sweet ;
I think I owes much of my health
To being well used to wet feet

As the Boy at the Nore !
136



Sf) AN ANTHOLOGY OF |S3 R3 E?J ftfTJ R

a HUMOROUS VERSE Ha EzH SB bsaJ E

There's one thing, I'm never in debt
Nay ! I liquidates more than I oughter ;

So the man to beat Cits as goes by,
In keeping the head above water,

Is the Boy at the Nore !

I've seen a good deal of distress,

Lots of breakers in Ocean's Gazette ;
They should do as I do rise o'er all,

Ay, a good floating capital get,

Like the Boy at the Nore '

I'm a'ter the sailor's own heart,

And cheers him, in deep water rolling ;

And the friend of all friends to Jack Junk,
Ben Backstay, Tom Pipes, and Tom Bowling,
Is the Boy at the Nore !

Could I e'er grow up, I'd be off

For a week to make love with my wheedles ;
If the tight little Boy at the Nore

Could but catch a nice girl at the Needles,

We'd have two at the Nore.

They thinks little of sizes on water,

On big waves the tiny one skulks
While the river has men-of-war on it

Yes the Thames is oppressed with great hulks,

And the Boy's at the Nore !

But I've done for the water is heaving

Round my body as though it would sink it !
And I've been so long pitching and tossing,
That sea-sick you'd hardly now think it

Is the Boy at the Nore !

THOMAS HOOD




137



AN ANTHOLOGY OF
HUMOROUS VERSE



A FEW LINES ON COMPLETING
FORTY-SEVEN

WHEN I reflect, with serious sense,
While years and years run on,

How soon I may be summoned hence
There's cook a-calling John.

Our lives are built so frail and poor,
On sand, and not on rocks,

We're hourly standing at Death's door
There's some one double-knocks.

All human days have settled terms,
Our fates we cannot force ;

This flesh of mine will feed the worms
They're come to lunch, of course.

And when my body's turned to clay,

And dear friends hear my knell,
Oh, let them give a sigh and say
I hear the upstairs bell.

THOMAS HOOD



TM NOT A SINGLE MAN

Double, single, and the nib. HOYLE
This, this is Solitude. BYRON

WELL, I confess, I did not guess

A simple marriage vow
Would make me find all women-kind
Such unkind women now !
They need not, sure, as distant be

As Java or Japan,
Yet every Miss reminds me this

I'm not a single man !
138



AN ANTHOLOGY OF RJ73 33 OS 1SJ/5 Kfl
HUMOROUS VERSE HS EZB CSa Ha Si

Once they made choice of my bass voice

To share in each duet ;
So well I danced, I somehow chanced

To stand in every set :
They now declare I cannot sing,

And dance on Bruin's plan ;
Me draw ! me paint ! me any thing !

I'm not a single man !

Once I was asked advice, and asked

What works to buy or not,
And " would I read that passage out

I so admired in Scott ? "
They then could bear to hear one read ;

But if I now began,
How they would snub, " My pretty page,"

I'm not a single man !

One used to stitch a collar then,

Another hemmed a frill ;
I had more purses netted then

Than I could hope to fill,
I once could get a button on,

But now I never can
My buttons then were Bachelor's

I'm not a single man !

Oh, how they hated politics

Thrust on me by papa :
But now my chat they all leave that

To entertain mamma.
Mamma, who praises her own self,

Instead of Jane or Ann,
And lays "her girls" upon the shelf

I'm not a single man !

Ah me, how strange it is the change,

In parlour and in hall,
They treat me so, if I but go

To make a morning call,

139



ANTHOLOGY OF
S3 as s as KB HUMOROUS VERSE

If they had hair in papers once,

Bolt up the stairs they ran ;
They now sit still in dishabille

I'm not a single man !

Miss Mary Bond was once so fond

Of Romans and of Greeks ;
She daily sought my cabinet

To study my antiques.
Well, now she doesn't care a dump

For ancient pot or pan,
Her taste at once is modernized

I'm not a single man !

My spouse is fond of homely life,

And all that sort of thing ;
I go to balls without my wife,

And never wear a ring :
And yet each Miss to whom I come,

As strange as Genghis Khan,
Knows by some sign, I can't divine

I'm not a single man !

Go where I will, I but intrude,

I'm left in crowded rooms,
Like Zimmerman on Solitude,

Or Hervey at his Tombs.
From head to heel, they make me feel

Of quite another clan ;
Compelled to own though left alone

I'm not a single man !

Miss Towne the toast, though she can boast

A nose of Roman line,
Will turn up even that in scorn

At compliments of mine :
She should have seen that I have been

Her sex's partisan,
And really married all I could

I'm not a single man !
140



AN ANTHOLOGY OF
HUMOROUS VERSE

Tis hard to see how others fare,

Whilst I rejected stand,
Will no one take my arm because

They cannot have my hand ?
Miss Parry, that for some would go

A trip to Hindostan,
With me don't care to mount a stair

I'm not a single man !

Some change, of course, should be in force,

But, surely, not so much
There may be hands I may not squeeze,

But must I never touch ?
Must I forbear to hand a chair

And not pick up a fan ?
But I have been myself picked up

I'm not a single man !

Others may hint a lady's tint

Is purest red and white
May say her eyes are like the skies

So very blue and bright
/ must not say that she has eyes,

Or if I so began,
I have my fears about my ears

I'm not a single man !

I must confess I did not guess

A simple marriage vow,
Would make me find all women-kind

Such unkind women now ;
I might be hashed to death, or smashed,

By Mr. Pickford's van,
Without, I fear, a single tear

I'm not a single man !

THOMAS HOOD



141



AN ANTHOLOGY OF
HUMOROUS VERSE



THE SCHOOLMASTER'S MOTTO

" The Admiral compelled them all to strike.''

LIFE OF NELSON

HUSH ! silence in school not a noise !
You soon shall see there's nothing to jeer at,
Master Marsh, most audacious of boys !
Come ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ! "

So this morn in the midst of the Psalm
The Miss Siffkins's school you must leer at,
You're complained of sir ! hold out your palm
There ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ! "

You wilful young rebel and dunce !
This offence all your sins shall appear at,
You shall have a good caning at once
There ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ! "

You are backward, you know, in each verb,
And your pronouns you are not more clear at,
But you're forward enough to disturb
There ! "Palmam qui meruit ferat! "

You said Master Twig stole the plums,
When the orchard he never was near at,
I'll not punish wrong fingers or thumbs
There ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ! "

You make Master Taylor your butt,
And this morning his face you threw beer at,
And you struck him do you like a cut ?
There ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ! "

Little Biddle you likewise distress,
You are always his hair or his ear at
He's my Opt, sir, and you are my Pess :
There ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ' "
142



5Q AN ANTHOLOGY OF K3 KTO (CT K?71 R
23 HUMOROUS VERSE 0S KB SB &3 E

Then you had a pitched fight with young Rouse,
An offence I am always severe at !
You discredit to Cicero house !
There ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ! "

You have made too a plot in the night,
To run off from the school that you rear at !
Come, your other hand, now, sir the right
There ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ! "

I'll teach you to draw, you young dog !
Such pictures as I'm looking here at!
" Old Mounseer making soup of a frog,"
There ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ! "

You have run up a bill at a shop,
That in paying you'll be a whole year at
You've but twopence a week, sir, to stop !
There ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ! "

Then at dinner you're quite cock-a-hoop,
And the soup you are certain to sneer at
I have sipped it it's very good soup
There ! " Palmam qui meruit ferat ! "


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