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THOMAS Hood (continued).
THE SONG OF THE LINES.
With heavy and weary eyes,
For the last Vice-Chancellor's prize.
'Mid Grinders, Lectures, and lines,
He sang the Song of the Lines.
When the bell is ringing aloof,
When we leave our Grinder's roof,
In the Godless College of Cork,
If this be Christian's work.
Oh, Fellows with nephews and sons,
But Senior Freshman's Duns,
Because of the Bills I owe,
Jude and Kinsley and Roe.
Till term after term fulfils,
As minors wait for wills,
We've looked at the College gate,
To speak of ninety-eight.
With heavy and weary eyes,
For the last Vice-Chancellor's prize.
'Mid Grinders, Lectures, and fines,
C. P. MULVANY. Kottabos, Dublin (William McGee), 1873.
It's oh ! to be a beast,
Without a soul to save,
And no Hell beyond the grave.
Rum, and brandy, and gin, 'Till wild delirium come,
And we rave in the pit of sin.
Oh! men with starving wives,
But your wives and children's lives.
Let them all be ragged and bare, Drink, drink, drink,
Is the drunkard's only care. Drink, drink, drink,
Our guzzling never flags, And our wages go, and our homes are woe,
And our children skulk in rags.
By night a Noor their bed,
And where are they when dead ?
Let us fight and curse and swear, Drink, drink, drink,
'Till our breath pollute the air. Brandy, and gin, and rum,
Rum, and brandy, and gin, 'Till wasted frame and fever come,
And the sorrows of Hell begin. Drink, drink, drink,
'Till staggering home we go, Drink, drink, drink,
'Till we blast that home with woe. Drink, curses, murder, and shame,
Make up the drunkard's life, With the rags and vice of a starving child,
And the groans of a sickly wife. With body shrivelled and worn,
With eyeballs glaring and red, A savage man in plight forlorn,
Lay, raving loud on his bed. Drink, drink, drink,
In racking fever and pain, And still he raved of his murderous drink,
'Mid the frenzies of his brain.
The following imitation was written by Father McCarthy, and appeared in The Catholic Herald (Jersey), about forty years ago :
THE SONG OF THE DRUNKARD.
With eyeballs bloodshot and red,
Lay moaning sore in bed.
In poverty, fever, and pain,
Mid the whirlings of his brain.
Oh! there's nothing like Crink for man,
Till the head reel round again.
A distinguished officer writes that the recent spell of warm weather has reminded him of a parody he read in India twenty-five years ago. It describes, in no exaggerated manner, a very disagreeable complaint to which Anglo-Indians are liable in the hot season :
The Song of “THE PRICKLY HEAT."
With cuticle measly red,
Itching from ankles to head
Scratch, scratch, scratchAt a rate few North-Britons could beat, And still with a voice of dolorous pitch Thus sang he of“ Prickly Heat.”
II. “ Itch, itch, itch, Till my brain begins to swim,
And scratch, scratch, scratch, Till I bleed in every limb.
Thighs, and body, and arms, Back, and body, and thighs,
Till weary with scratching I fall asleep, And scratch with sleep-sealed eyes.
Oh! men all greedy of wealth !
Itch, itch, itch,
Sowing at once with a double seed,
Though goulard water might ease my pain
The antidote I dread,
With cuticle measly red,
Scratch, scratch, scratch,
And still with a voice of dolorous pitch (Would that its tone could cure the itch !) Thus sang he of “ The Prickly Heat.”
The Calcutta Englishman, 1859.
There was another parody of Hood's Song of the Shirt, written by Mr. Clement Scott, entitled The Song of the Clerk. The Editor of this col. lection would be glad to know when, and in what work it appeared.
ABOUT THE WEATHER.
(4 Fragment). I remember, I remember,
Ere my childhood fitted by,
And was warmer in July.
In the summer there were thaws;
The Man in the Moon, Vol. 5.
IV. “They say it is not disease,
This villanous pimply glow, If not disease's tangible shape,
'Tis deuced like it though,
'Tis deuced like it though, If healthy skins are pale.
Oh, God! that suns should be so strong And flesh and blood so frail.
My labour never flags;
Lint, plaisters, and swathing rags,
Dyspepsia and gloom alway, And a brain so blank, each ninny I thank Who drones me through the day.
VI. “ Itch, itch, itch,
When good dinners glad the sight, And scratch, scratch, scratch,
When I'm longing to bite, bite, bite,
Rich viands my servants bring,
of the cowslip and primrose sweet, Where the sky above one's head
Is not of this melting heat ; For only one short hour
To feel as I used to feel Before I knew Calcutta's suns Flay men as men the eel.
A respite just to snatch !
But only time to scratch.
THE DREAM OF EUGENE ARAM. 'Twas in the prime of summer time,
An evening calm and cool, And four-and-twenty happy boys
Came bounding out of.school : There were some that ran and some that leapt,
Like troutlets in a pool.
That very night, while gentle sleep
The urchin eyelids kiss'd,
Through the cold and heavy mist;
THE FALL OF THE EMINENT I. 'Twas in the prime of autumn time, An evening calm and cool, And full two thousand cockneys went To see him play the fool ;-And the critics filled the stalls as thick As the balls ir, a billiard pool.
Away they sped when the play was done,
When Mr. Henry Irving produced The Iron Chest, at the Lyceum Theatre, the Editor of The World offered two prizes for the best two parodies on the subject, the model chosen being Hood's Dream of Eugene Aram. The successful parodies were printed in The IVorld, October 22, 1879:-
For seats was quite the rule ;
The stalls and boxes full.
A solitary stool.
Unable to find rest;
Beneath his spotless breast.
Pork he could not digest.
And then he found a place,
The great tragedian's face —
He hadn't any space.
With ill-dissembled care,
And on his flowing hair,
You only heard them there.
Or like an eagle's scream-
His eyes like theirs did gleam-
But then 'twas in a dream.
When conscience pricks them sore ;
And strewed it on the floor ;
He'd done it all before.
Or foul assassination,
With obvious perturbation.
Provoked no observation.
Of stares and glares and guggles,
Which he so neatly smuggles' 'Twas ecstacy to see him die
Of aggravated struggles.
Then leaping on his feet upright,
“Now, Mrs. B., what is't you read ?". Ask'd he, with top-lip curving.
Queen Mary? A play by Mr. Wills, Or something more deserving ?" Said Mrs. B., with an upturned glance, “It is · The Fall of Irving !'” “ His fall !" gasped he, “in sooth you jest ! O, prithee say what mean ye? Know ye not, they call him Kemble-ish, And speak of his style as Kean-y? On the modern stage he stands alone.” She murmur'd one word—“ Salvini !" “ Avaunt !” he cried ; "that name again! Its mention ne'er will cease ; Does he still dare my throne to share, And threaten my fame's short lease?" But here the call-boy came to say, That his absence stopped the piece.
One night, months thence, whilst gentle sleep
The Figaro, October 9, 1875.
SECOND PRIZE. The sky was clear ; no ripple marked
The course of silver Tyne;
On the necks of the grazing kine.
Last of an ancient line.
His face was fair, but it did not wear
The sign of a soul at rest ;
A sigh broke from his breast;
O'ermastering woe oppressed.
Than thine no prouder name,
A scutcheon void of blame;
Thus bow thy head in shame? “Men call thee good, they know thee kind
Yet more, if aught beside
Thou hast a peerless bride ;
A mocking demon cried, “Hell-hound ! and art thou here to taunt
My last-Yet 'tis thy meed : 'Twas thou that in this fevered breast
Wrath and revenge didst feed, Till-woe unutterable !-I
Wrought the accursèd deed.
I learnt this lying art ;
To play this loathly part !
I cloak so black a heart !
“If thou wert Abel, then I were Cain !
But, 'fore I tell thee, swear-
Till on end arose our hair ;
If there'd been a magistrate there.
Was exciting the murderer's nose,
In a scanty assortment of clothes ;
As we do when our “general ” goes.
In a most ingenious way,
And Wilford was tried next day ;
Yet the end is gained and the secret sure :
They shall lay the tortured clod
With honour beneath the sod.”
The peculiar rhythm, and quaint conceits of fancy, in Hood's Miss Kilmansegg and her Precious Leg have been admirably imitated by Mr. H. Cholmondeley Pennell in The Thread of Life. This poem (the last in Puck on Pegasus) resembles its original also in the exquisite blending of the pathetic and the humorous, of which, unfortunately, disjointed extracts can give but a faint idea :
The following was also published :'Twas in the dim Lyceum pit
(And, O, that pit was hot)
And I amongst the lot ;
From mug or pewter.pot.
The merry poaching clan,
As only robbers can ;
A conscience-stricken man.
And he strode with Irving's stride ;
in the chest Kept ever by his side ; Much painting had made him very pale
And wan and hollow-eyed. And he saw his secretarial clerk,
One Wilford (Norman Forbes), Go prying about in the ancient room
Hung round with family daubs ; And he “ went" forthwith for that timid clerk,
Whose name was Norman Forbes,
LIFE! What depths of mystery wide
To quench the spark – VITALITY !
In the thread - INDIVIDUALITY.
Give sophistry a handle ;
Or the dip-a ha'penny candle.