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"The Eagle," of each of which there are some excellent parodies. The old legend of Lady Godiva has recently been sadly vulgarised by the processions at Coventry, and the following poem describes the scene in which a somewhat prominent actress stooped to sustain the part of the Lady Godiva.


I journeyed by the train to Coventry;

I pleased a groom with porter near the bridge,
And asked which way the pageant came; and then
I saw it pass—twas passing strange—and this
Is what they've turned the City's legend to.

NOT even were it to remove a tax

Could a Godiva ride abroad to-day

As she rode forth a thousand summers back:
Lord Campbell's Act, and Collette both forbid !
Still did the people clamour for a show;
So was it settled there should be forthwith
A pageant such as Coventry did love.

Whence came it that, whilst yet the sunny moon
Of roses showed her crescent horn; the day
Fix'd for the pageant dawn'd on Coventry;
And Sanger-he of circus fame-arose
Betimes; for much was on his mind. Perchance
An elephant had shed its trunk; perchance
Some giant camel had "the hump" too much;
Or piebald horse had moulted all its spots.
Most feared he, though, lest she who had agreed
To act Godiva, having slept on it,

Should from her bargain flinch; so sought he her
With, "Well, and ride you through the town to-day?"

And she-for eggs and toast had made her bold-"Ay, that will I ! ' Then he: "Tis well!" and went And whistled as he walked.

She, left alone,

When the effect of eggs and toast had gone,
Did half repent her promise; then again
Thought of her fee, and so grew bold once more.
And as she sat, rejoicing that 'twas warm,
There came the sound of trumpet and of drum,
And driving past she saw the circus car,

And on it was a placard calling all
Good people to come forth and gaze at her.

Then knew she that undressing time had come,
So sped her to the inner room, and there
Unhook'd the clinging bodice of her frock,
Hair-pinned on locks to show'r down to her knee,
Donned the rose "fleshings" that she was to wear;
Then throwing on a shawl she waited there
Till such time as they brought her palfrey, trapt
In purple, blazoned with armorial gold.

So came at last the sound of pattering hoofs,
And up the stairs a voice, "The 'oss is come!"
And tripping to the door, she found a steed,
Milk-white and bony, meek, and pink of eye,
And with a chair, and Mr. Sanger's help
Clomb on his back, and then one bang'd a door
And shouted, "Right!" and so the charger past.

Thus rode she forth, clothed on with scantiness,
And in the pageant duly took her place,
Along with camels, and with elephants,
And men-in-armour, weakest at the knee,

And Foresters with horns that wouldn't blow,
And clumsy bows, and Odd-fellows as well,
In fool regalia! and the Volunteers,
And Fire Brigade, and several brazen bands.
But chiefly 'twas on her all eyes were fix'd,
And women wondered what she could have got
For making of herself a show; and men
Opined that cotton wool she'd freely used;
And one low churl, compact of thankless earth,
Drawing a pin and rushing at her horse
Prick'd-but it was no good, the steed jogged on
As heretofore and thanks to frequent bangs
And shouts of "Right" did reach the end at last
Of the day's progress, much to its delight.
And she was glad, and hastening to her room
She slipp'd her garments on, and issuing claim'd
Her fee, and took the earliest train to town,
And in the ballet, in the foremost row,
Danced with her fellows, winning great renown,
As one who rode through Coventry in " tights,"
And built herself an evanescent name.

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'BREAK, break, break,

On thy cold gray stones, O sea! And I would that my tongue could utter The thoughts that arise in me."

"O well for the fisherman's boy,

That he shouts with his sister at play! O well for the sailor lad,

That he sings in his boat on the bay!" "And the stately ships go on

To their haven under the hill;

But O for the touch of a vanish'd hand, And the sound of a voice that is still! "

"Break, break, break,

At the foot of thy crags, O Sea! But the tender grace of a day that is dead Will never come back to me,"

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And I'm glad that my tongue can't utter,
The oaths that my soul points out.
It's well for the china-shop man,

Who gets a fresh order each day;
And deucedly well for yourself,

Who are in the said china-man's pay. And my stately vases go

To your uncle's, I ween, to be cashed; But it's O for the light of my broken lamp, And the tick of my clock that is smashed.

Break, break, break!

At the foot of thy stairs in glee;

But the coin I have spent in glass that is smashed Will never come back to me.


The Shotover Papers. Oxford, 1875.


ACHE! ache! ache!

In my throbbing jaw, O tooth!

And I would that my tongue could utter
A groan that expressed half the truth.
O plague take the neighbour's lad!

How he shouts with his sister at play;
And plague take the newspaper boy,

How he howls in the street all the day, And the terrible ache will go on

Till the dentist's chair I fill,

But oh! what a wrench by that savoury hand Ere this jumping nerve is still.

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By Tennyson Minor.

BREAK, break, break,

On thy cold hard stones, O Sea!

And I hope that my tongue won't utter
The curses that rise in me.

O well for the fisherman's boy,

If he likes to be soused with the spray!

O well for the sailor lad,

As he paddles about in the bay!

And the ships swim happily on

To their haven under the hill:

But O, for a clutch at that vanish'd hand, And a kick-for I'm catching a chill!

Break, break, break,

At my poor bare feet, O Sea!

But the artful scamp who has collar'd my clothes

Will never come back to me.

From Funny Folks, 1879.

The two following are taken from Punch:


BREAK, break, break,

O voice!-let me urge thy plea !

O lower the Pitch, lest utter

Despair be the end of me!

'Tis well for the fiddles to squeak, The bassoon to grunt in its play: 'Twere well had I lungs of brass,

Or that nothing but s rings gave way! Break, break, break,

O voice! I must urge thy plea,

For the tender skin of my larynx is torn, And I fail in my upper G!


(Apropos of the Ring of Wholesale Fish Dealers.) TAKE! Take! Take!

O grabber of swag from the sea,
And I shouldn't quite like to utter
The thoughts that occur to me !
Oh, ill for the fisherman poor

That he toils for a trifle all day,
And ill for the much-diddled public
That has through the nose to pay.
And the swelling monopolist drives
To his villa at Haverstock Hill,

But it's O for the number of poor men's lives
Food-stinted to plump his till!

Take! Take! Take!

Oh grabber of swag from the sea,

But you'll render a reckoning one of these days

To the Public and Mr. P.


In June, 1882, the Editor of The Weekly Dispatch awarded a prize of Two Guineas to M. Percivale, for a parody on Locksley Hall. appears to allude to Mr. Oscar Wilde, who had recently published a volume of poems.

COUSINS, leave me here a little, in lawn tennis you excei ; Leave me here, you only bore me, I shall come at luncheon bell!"

'Tis the place (but rather older)-I was in my eighteenth year,

When I first met utter Oscar, and I thought him such a dear!

How about the beach I wandered, listening while that youth sublime

Spouted verses by the dozen, which he said he wrote for

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And he turned, his face was frightful, pale with anger for poor me;

Was it fancy that he muttered something like a big, big D-? *

As my husband is, his wife is, rich, the envy of the town; How a life in shabby lodgings would have dragged my spirit down!

How my beauty would have faded, growing daily paler, thinner!

Making puddings, washing clothing, planning for the children's dinner.

Comes the butler, "Lunch is ready, madam!" iced champagne, I know

Mayonnaise and lobster salad; I am hungry and I go.


CRONIES leave me in the bar-room, while as yet I've cash to spend,

Leave me here, and if I'm wanted, 'mum's' the word to every friend,

'Tis the place I can assure you, if from funds you wish to part;

Yet for these you'll get a mixture, wisely stirred will warm the heart.

This old house is situated in a street well-known as High ; Here the choicest spirits gather, when the moon is in the sky.

Oft at night I've seen the taper seemingly to multiply
And assume these quaintish fashions so deceptive to the eye.
Till in fancy I've been lifted high above this earthly ball;
And the lights, like stars have twinkled, in the mirrors on the

In the happiness that followed, I've forgot life's cankering


Yet from these Elysian dreamings I've waked to misery and despair.

In this mood I've heard, with pleasure common mortals cannot know,

Grand debates, and songs and speeches, which from sparkling genius flow.

Then I've built aerial castles towering up to heights sublime, And I've questioned in my fancy, if such blissfulness were mine.

For the nonce, a powerful statesman, I have ruled with iron sway,

Millions of my fellow-creatures, who, of course, were rougher clay.

Changing, then, to mighty warrior, at the head of armies


I've crushed all who dared oppose me, just for glory, not for gold.

Or, again, as learned historian, I've noted down the deeds of yore,

Woven in a graceful fashion, mines of thought from ancient lore.

Burning passions, that consumed me, caused my throbbing heart to swell,

Or, when seized with poet's fancy, I've attempted oft to tell. But the finest of our fancies very quickly disappear,

If from thoughtfulness we're wakened by the foolish jest or jeer.

White-sleeved waiters can't appreciate thoughts superior to red wine,

And that Act, by one Mackenzie, foeman is to Muses Nine.

In my rev'rie I was shaken, by a hand, and gruffly told That the hour had just departed, when with safety wine was sold.

From The Modern Athenian, 18th March, 1876.


JOHNSON, mix another tumbler; Johnson, light a fresh cigar,

Don't be off to the Casino, but be happy where you are.

Listen, Johnson, taking warning from my spirit-crushing tale,

Taking, too, your muddy bluchers from that fender's polish'd rail.

Proudly stands the house of Vivian Grey the Younger, Grosvenor Gate;

Six doors off there lived a lady, and her christian name was Kate.

Oh, the bright and fresh young morning; oh, the upward springing lark,

Oh! the getting up at seven, to take a ramble in the Park.

Cursed be the loud alarum, fixed at random over night, When one talks of early rising in a style absurdly light! Cursed be the maid who calls you-brings hot water to your door,

Waking you at five because the sweeps have waked herself at four !

Did I lay that gravel walk down, did I plant those elms and oaks,

Did I set those snug alcoves like traps for catching single folks?

Many a morning did I meet her-I was always reading Locke,

While she sat and gleaned a lighter mental food from Paul de Kock.

Wherefore came a ribald urchin, in unseemly corderoy, Creeping near her, unsuspected, then uncouthly bawling, "Hoy!"

Wherefore turned she pale and fainted, nearly falling from her seat?

Wherefore howled he at the whopping which I tendered for his feat?

Then I said, "O Miss. or Madame, you look white as any paper;

Trust me, lady, he'll think twice before he dares encore that caper."

Then the ice was broken, Johnson,-broken, Johnson, in a trice;

Would my neck, before that day, had shared the fortune of the ice!

Many a morning did I meet her, never more I brought my Locke,

Never more she studied morals at the feet of Paul de Kock.

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But we sat and spake at first of divers inoffensive things, Opera music, Vernon pictures, Popes, and cattle-shows, and Kings.

Then came on to closer matters, sympathy, and kindred thought,

(Johnson, rogue, you understand it, though you know you didn't ought.)

Finally with hands ingrappled, and with faces in a flame, Changed we vows, and other trifles, inexpedient to name.

O my Kate! False hearted Kitty! Katty mia, most unkind; Kit-cats have but half a body, thou had'st only half a mind: Half a mind to share my lodgings (Brompton breezes gently fan 'em),

Share my joys, and share my sorrows, and my £90 per


Is it well to wish thee happy, having known me, to recline On a heart whose owner's income's several times as large as mine?

Thou hast been and gone and done it, thou hast wedded Herbert Brooks;

Yesterday you spelt together one of Verrey's* indexed books. Yes, I saw you, as you entered. I was standing in the rainVerrey's room (I owe him something) never sees my face again.

Ha! thy lord will treat thee often to a trip to Hampton Court,

Or to dine at Waytes's, Gravesend, ere the days become too short.

Go with him-it is thy duty; I had never done it, ha! Ninety pounds a year opposes to excursionists a bar. He will talk without a 16 purpose," easy things to understand;

I had spoke high art into thee, Kant, and Goethe, and
George Sand.

Merry farces he delights in, and will take his wife to see 'em
I had read her how they're proved all rubbish by the

One day thou wilt have a baby-well, 'twill serve thee very right;

But beware, and don't baptise it Peter Nicodemus Blight. Johnson, you've had too much brandy, and my clock is rather slow;

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Purple, and primrose. And the artist rose
And overhead the swift spring-curtains drew
This way and that in many a subtle shift

For fine effect of light and shade, and placed
Background of statuary and drooping boughs,
With cloud and curtain, tower and portico.

O British Public, hearken ere I die!

I heard great Heré. She to Paris made
Proffer of popular power, public rule,
Unquestioned, an elastic revenue
Wherewith to buoy and back Imperial plans.
Honour (with Peace) she said, and tax and roll
From many a Place of Arms and haven large,
And Scientific Frontiers, and all else
That patriotic potency may crave;

To all most welcome, seeing men in power
Then only are like gods, having attained
Rest in "another place," and quiet seats
Above the tumult, safe from Dissolution,
In shelter of their great majority.

O British Public harken ere I die!
She ceased, and Paris held the golden fruit

Out at arm's length, so much the thought of power
Flattered his spirit; but Pallas where she stood
Somewhat apart, her straight and stately limbs
Uplifted, and her aspect high, if cold.
The while above her full and earnest eye
Over her firm set mouth and haughty cheek
Kept watch, waiting decision, made reply.
"Unselfishness, high honour, justice clear,
These three alone give worth to sovereign power.
Yet not for power (power of itself

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Is a base burden) but to hold as law
The fiat high, Be just and do not fear.'
And because right is right to follow right.
With a serene contempt of consequence."

And Paris pondered, and I cried, "Oh! Paris,
Give it to Pallas!" But he heard me not,
Or hearing, would not heed me. Woe is me!

O British Public, many-headed Public,
Crass British Public, hearken ere I die!
Audacious Aphrodite, beautiful,
Fresh as the purple hyacinth's rain-washed bells,
With soft seductive fingers backward drew
From her bold brow and bosom her long hair
Auricomous, and bared her shining throat
And shoulder; on the carpet her small feet
Shone lily-like, and on her rounded form,
Between the shadows of the studio blinds,
Shifted the cunning "high lights" as she moved.

O British Public, harken ere I die.
She, with a subtle smile in her bold eyes,
The herald of her triumph, well assured,
Half whispered in his ear, "I promise thee
The negative of my next photograph!"

She spoke and laughed, I shut my eyes in fear,
And when I looked, Paris had not the apple.
And I beheld great Heré's angry eyes

As she withdrew from forth the studio door,
And I was left alone within the place.

From Punch. December, 1879.

There still remain to be quoted some amusing parodies of Tennyson's early poems, the first in order being Mariana.


By Alfred Tennyson.

WITH blackest mud, the locked-up sots Were splashed and covered, one and all. And rusty nails, and callous knots,

Stuck from the bench against the wall. The wooden bed felt hard and strange;

Lost was the key that oped the latch ; To light his pipe he had no match, Within the Bow Street station's range.

He only said, "It's very dreary ;"
"Bail will not come," he said;
He said, "I have been very beery,
I would I were a-bed !"

The rain fell like a sluice that even;

His Clarence boots could not be dried, But had been soaked since half-past sevenTo get them off in vain he tried.

After the smashing of his hat,

Just as the new police came by,
And took him into custody,

He thought, I've been a precious flat.

He only said, "The cell is dreary ;"
"Bail cometh not," he said ;
He said, "I must be very beery,
I wish I were in bed !"

Upon the middle of the night,

Waking, he heard a stunning row;
Some jolly cocks sang out till light,
And would not keep still anyhow.
He wished to bribe, but had no change
Within his pockets, all forlorn,
And so he kept awake till morn
Within that lonely Bow Street grange.

He only said, "The cell is dreary;"
"Bail cometh not," he said;
He said, "I must be very beery,
I'd rather be in bed !""

All night within that gloomy cell

The keys within the padlock creaked; The tipsy 'gents' bawled out as well,

And in the dungeons yelled and shrieked. Policemen slyly prowled about;

Their faces glimmered through the door, But brought not, though he did implore, One humble glass of cold without.

He only said, "The night is dreary;"
"Bail cometh not," he said;
He said, "I have been very beery,
I would I were in bed!"

At morn, the noise of boys aloof,
Inspectors orders, and the chaff

Of cads upon the busses' roof,

To Poplar bound, too much by half

Did prove; but most he loathed the hour
When Mr. Jardine chose to say
Five shillings he would have to pay,
Now he was in policeman's power.

Then said he, "This is very dreary ;"
"Bail will not come," he said;
He said, "I'll never more get beery,
But go straight home to bed!”
George Cruikshank's Comic Almanack, 1846.


In 1855, Messrs. George Routledge & Co., published a small volume, by Frank E. Smedley and Edmund Hodgson Yates, entitled Mirth and Metre, which contained several excellent parodies, one entitled Boreäna, after The Ballad of Oriana; and another called Vauxhall, which imitated Locksley Hall. Most of the parodies in the book were written by Mr. Edmund H. Yates, but he gave the credit of Boreäna to Mr. Frank Smedley, (the author of Lewis Arundel, Frank Fairlegh, and several other well-known novels,) who died in May, 1864.

My brain is wearied with thy prate,

I sit and curse my hapless fate,


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