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And tastes divergent served the end in view;
And soon the viands wholly passed from sight.
The plot of the Idyll, "Gareth and Lynnette," was given, in burlesque style, by Mr. Martin Wood in "The Bath and Cheltenham Gazette' shortly after the appearance of the original.
"The Quest of the Holy Poker," a parody in blank verse appeared in Punch, March 5, 1870.
Three long Idyllic parodies, entitled "Willie and Minnie" appeared in Kottabos, a Trinity College magazine, published in Dublin by Mr. W. McGee, in 1876.
The St. Paul's Magazine of January, 1872, contained a most amusing political Idyll, entitled "The Latest Tournament "-an Idyll of the Queen (respectfully inscribed to Alfred Tennyson, Esq., Poet Laureate). This parody, which consists of nearly 400 lines, describes, in a mock-heroic style, all the principal political celebrities of the day, its satire being aimed at the supposed Republican tendencies of the Liberal party.
"The Prince's Noses," a modern Idyll, by W. J. Linton, a parody of Tennyson's blank verse, appeared in Scribner's Monthly Magazine, April, 1880.
Punch, May 27, 1882, contained at poem entitled "On the Hill; or, Tennysonian Fragments, picked up near the Grand Stand." This was an imitation of style only.
"Tory Revels" (slightly altered from Tennyson) in Punch, August 26, 1882, commenced thus:"SIR GYPES TOLLODDLE, all an Autumn day, Gave his broad, breezy lands, till set of sun, Up to the Tories."
and described a Conservative political picnic. It concluded:
"Then there were fireworks; and overhead
The Wheel World, October, 1882, contained a long parody, entitled "London to Leicester; a Bicycling Idyl, by Talfred Ennyson (Poet Laureate to the Mental Wanderers, B.C.)" This is written in very blank verse, and is chiefly interesting to 'Cyclists.
Pastime, June 29, 1883, contained "TENNIS, a Fragment of the Lost Tennisiad," and July 27, "The Lay of the Seventh Tournament," 1883, both being parodies of Tennyson's "Idylls of the King."
The small detached poems which Lord Tennyson has written for the magazines of late years, have been the cause of numerous and very unflattering parodies.
The following "Prefatory Poem," by Alfred Tennyson, appeared in the first number of the "Nineteenth Century," published in March, 1877, by Messrs. Henry S. King and Co., London :— THOSE that of late had fleeted far and fast To touch all shores, now leaving to the skill Of others their old craft, seaworthy still, Have charter'd this; where mindful of the past, Our true co-mates regather round the mast; Of diverse tongue, but with a common will, Here, in this roaring moon of daffodil And crocus, to put forth and brave the blast; For some descending from the sacred peak Of hoar, high-templed faith, have leagued again Their lot with ours, to rove the world about ; And some are wilder comrades, sworn to seek If any golden harbour be for men
In seas of Death and sunless gulfs of Doubt. Upon which Mr. John Whyte (of the Public Library, Inverness) wrote the following:
"I felt sure on reading the above lines that I had seen among my papers something nearly as prosy. The following is, I consider, not only quite as stiff as the foregoing, but it seems to me to prove beyond question that the one was suggested by the other. Whether the Poet Laureate or the author of The Last Hat' is the plagiarist, I leave others to decide.
THE LAST HAT LEFT.
THOSE low-born cubs who sneaked away so fast,
I must go creeping forth, or brave the blast
O, smallest among steeples! Precious throne
Punch, December 11, 1880.
(Written expressly for this collection).
RAILING, railing, railing, the crowd from town and lea, When William's voice was heard, "O poet a peer to be!" "Why should he call me, I wonder, in that high-born house to go,
For my politics won't bear searching, and my creed's rather mixed, you know?
"We should be laughed at, my William, 'twould be the jest of the town;
Even the knights would jeer, and the press sure to cry it down.
Why, I can but rule my own land; when I tried awhile for the stage,
I only drew empty houses, in this cynical latter age.
Anything failed again? Nay, what is there left to fail?— 'Harold,' or 'Mary,' or ' May,' or even the 'Lover's Tale?' What am I saying, and why? fails!-that must be a lie! Fails-what fails?-not my faith in play writing, not I. "Why will you call up here?—who are you ?—what have you heard
That you all sit so solemn and quiet?-nobody's spoken a word.
O, to make of me—yes, his lordship! none of the scribbling
Have crept in by their rhymes before, as I have dared to do. "Ah! you that have lived so soft, what do you know of the spite,
The cutting and slashing critiques that the wretched papers write?
I have known it; when you were amused in the stalls the first night of a play,
And chattered and gossipped together, and forgot it the very next day.
"Nay, but it's kind of you, William, to gild my declining life,
And make me a peer, a baron, above all this petty strife; But I haven't left off scribbling, and shall not-no, not I; But I'll write whenever I will, for the public's sure to buy. "I whipt Miss Bulwer for jeering, and gave it him, slightly riled,
For mocking at me, or my poems, has always driven me wild.
To be idle-I couldn't be idle-I do not write for a whim, And a guinea a line is better than a short "Italian Hymn.' "So, William, I thank you gladly; I think you meant to be kind;
And I will not heed the mob, whilst they'll very quickly find
The poems will read as well by a Lord as ever they did before,
And the publishers sell more copies, and more, and more,
See how it reads for yourself, to be stuck up on every wall, Lord Tennyson's Poems complete, in a specially printed Vol."
The Nineteenth Century for November, 1881, contained a very uncomfortable kind of poem, by Tennyson, entitled "DESPAIR, a Dramatic Monologue." The argument of the poem was that "a man and his wife having lost faith in a God, and hope of a life to come, and being utterly miserable in this, resolve to end themselves by drowning. The woman is drowned, but the man is rescued by a minister of the sect he had abandoned."
The Fortnightly Review of the following month contained a parody which not only turned inside out the arguments of the original poem, but was
• so exquisitely worded as a burlesque that it was by many attributed to the pen of no less a poet than Mr. A. C. Swinburne.
DISGUST: A DRAMATIC MONOLOGUE.
(A woman and her husband, having been converted from free thought to Calvinism, and being utterly miserable in consequence, resolve to end themselves by poison. The man dies, but the woman is rescued by application of the stomach-pump).
PILLS? talk to me of your pills? Well, that, I must say is cool.
Can't bring my old man round? he was always a stubborn old fool.
If I hadn't taken precautions-a warning to all that wiveHe might not have been dead, and I might not have been alive.
You would like to know, if I please, how it was that our troubles began?
You see, we were brought up Agnostics, I and my poor old
And we got some idea of selection and evolution, you know— Professor Huxley's doing-where does he expect to go!
Well, then came trouble on trouble on trouble-I may say, a peck
And his cousin was wanted one day on the charge of forging a cheque
And his puppy died of the mange-my parrot choked on its perch.
This was the consequence, was it, of not going weekly to church?
So we felt that the best if not only thing that remained to be done
On an earth everlastingly moving about a perpetual sun, Where worms breed worms to be eaten of worms that have eaten their betters
And reviewers are barely civil-and people get spiteful letters
And a famous man is forgot ere the minute hand can tick nine
Was to send in our P.P.C., and purchase a packet of strychnine.
Nay--but first we thought it was rational-only fair
To give both parties a hearing-and went to the meetinghouse there,
And duty, said I, distinctly points out-and vocation, said he, Demands as distinctly-that I shouid kill you, and that you should kill me.
The reason is obvious-we cannot exist without creeds-who can ?
So we went to the chemist's-a highly respectable churchgoing man
And bought two packets of poison. You wouldn't have done so. Wait.
It's evident, Providence is not with you, ma'am, the same thing as Fate.
Unconscious cerebration educes God from a fog,
But spell God backwards, what then? Give it up? the answer is, dog.
(I don't exactly see how this last verse is to scan,
But that's a consideration I leave to the secular man).
I meant of course to go with him-as far as I pleased-but first
To see how my old man liked it-I thought perhaps he might burst.
I didn't wish it-but still it's a blessed release for a wifeAnd he saw that I thought so-and grinned in derision-and threatened my life
If I made wry faces-and so I took just a sip-and he-
Terrible, isn't it? Still, on reflection, it might have been
He might have been the unhappy survivor, and followed my hearse.
"Never do it again?" Why, certainly not. You don't Suppose I should think of it, surely? But anyhow-thereI won't.
There still remain a great many parodies of Tennyson's poems to be quoted, and every day increases their number. It will, therefore, be necessary to return to this author in some future part of this collection; the following references. are given to some of the more easily accessible parodies, which space will not now permit me to quote in full:—
"Edinburgh Sketches and Miscellanies." By ERIC. Edinburgh and Glasgow: John Menzies and Company, 1876, contains Codger's Hall, a long and humorous parody of Locksley Hall; Once a Week, Echoes from the Clubs, and The Weekly Dispatch, October 19, 1884, also contained parodies of the same poem.
Lady Clara Vere de Vere was the subject of an advertising parody, of which the best verse
"The Song of the 'Skyed' one, as sung at the Academy on the first Monday in May," was a parody, in ten verses, commencing:
AWAKE I must, and early, a proceeding that I hate,
This appeared in Punch, May 11, 1861.
The May Queen was also imitated in a poem contained in Modern Society, March 29, 1884. It was entitled "Baron Honour," and was a very severe, and rather vulgar, skit on Lord Tennyson's adulation of the Royal Family.
In The Weekly Dispatch, September 9, 1883, five parodies were printed in a competition to anticipate the Poet Laureate's expected poem in commemoration of the late John Brown; a subject on which, however, Lord Tennyson has not as yet published a poem. In the same news
paper six parodies of Hands All Round were inserted on April 2, 1882.
These were very entertaining, and severally entitled: "Pots all Round;" "Tennysonian Toryism Developed;" "Drinks all Round" "Cheers all Round;" "Hands all Round (with the mask off)"; and "Howls all Round."
Truth, February 14, 1884, contained a parody entitled "In Memoriam; a Collie Dog." Punch also had a parody with the title "In Memoriam on July 9, 1864.
"The Two Voices, as heard by Jones of the Treasury about Vacation time," was the title of a long parody in Punch, September 7, 1861.
There was also a political parody, on the same original, in Punch, May 11, 1878.
"Recollections of the Stock Exchange," a long parody of Recollections of the Arabian Nights, and dealing with the topic of Turkish Stocks, appeared in Punch, December 18, 1875.
"The Duchess's Song," after Tennyson, was in Punch, September 3, 1881; and British Birds, by Mortimer Collins (1878), contained, amongst others, a capital parody of Tennyson.
THE POETASTERS: A DRAMATIC CANTATA.
AN itch of rhymes has seized the times
Rhyme, brothers, rhyme, vast odes and epics vaster,
Bards, pour your benison on Baron Tennyson,
Recitative and Aria: Lord Tennyson.
I greet with joy the cheerful sight,
For song and stave and madrigal
Of drivelling dedications, load
Call in the dustman'!-Lo! 'tis done!
The contract signed, I breathe again.
Finale: Chorus of Foetasters. Not return nor e'en acknowledge! Dares he treat our verses thus ? Knows he not the might malignant Of a poetaster's cuss ?" Dreads he not our 64 spiteful letters," Epigrams, satiric skits? Let him learn that would-be poets Also shine as would-be wits. Who is he to scorn our verses? British taxpayers are we; Is he not the Poet Laureate ? Don't we stand his salary? Straightway we'll transfer allegiance To some other, blander bard, Whom no paltry peerage renders Uppish, arrogant, and hard. Mr. browning, for example,
Won't treat brother poets thus. Though we may not understand him, Doubtless he'll appreciate us; He'll return with mild laudation Our effusions every one. Poetasters, snap your fingers At the played-out Tennyson!
St. James's Gazette, June 24, 1884.
The Reverend Charles Wolfe.
Since the June and July parts were published containing parodies on "The Burial of Sir John Moore," Truth has had a Parody Competition with that poem as the selected original. The Editor of Truth published no less than twentyfour parodies, many of which were very amusing.
Some of the best are given complete, with a few extracts from the remainder :
"THE BURIAL OF SIR JOHN MOORE.”
NOT half-sovereigns were we, but ten-shilling bits,
As some called us “Guilders,” some “Gilders."
In our life, which was brief, we received without stint
No useless retorts did we ever return
To those who so coldly received us :
But we patiently bore each contemptuous spurn,
We thought, as we lay in our embryo mould,
Of the fun we should have when grown older;
We never thought once of returning;
We passed over the "Styx" without passing the "Pyx, ' Or the wonders of life ever learning.
Slowly but gladly, too tired to laugh,
We made room for the use of our betters; Heavy our grave-stone, and our epitaph Was a column of newspaper letters.
THE BURIAL OF THE SEASON.
a "drum" was given, nor dance of note, From the " course at fair Goodwood we'd hurried; Not a soul here but uttered farewell, and shot Out of town, looking jaded and worried.
Slowly and smoothly we glided out
Of the station so grim and so gritty; We cared not a doit, and we raised not a doubt, For we'd left care behind in the "city!"
THE BURIAL OF MY FELLOW LODGER'S BANJO.
I buried it darkly at dead of night,
THE FATE OF GENERAL GORDON.
And there in the desert he's buried.
No useful soldiers were with him sent,
Because life and wealth he nought reckons ;
That of rescuing and retiring
He will not retire, for he has rescued none,
Slowly and sadly I lay my pen down,
God grant we mayn't have to carve on his stone, "England left him alone in his glory."
THE FUNERAL of One MORE VICTIM AT
NOT a franc he had, not a louis nor note,