Slike strani

Drop of Water in her lifetime.

At the door on fine spring evenings, Played the little Drop o' Wather, Heard the cry of "Buy my inguns!" Heard the cry "Young raddy shees, yere!" Calls of cadger, costermonger; "Bilin'-apples! "said the huckster; "Pies-all 'ot!" still said the pieman.

Saw the pot-boy, Wall-eyed Tommy,
Trudging through the dusk of evening,
With the shrillness of his whistle
Piercing all the courts and alleys.
And he sang the song of street-boys.
Sang the song the pot-boy taught him ;—
"Wall-eyed Tommy, he's the cove, boys!
He's the ranting, roaring blade, boys!
Ile's the lad, the daring fellow!
He's the chap, to carry ale-cans,
Pots of beer, and all them 'ere boys!

Saw the balls at the pawnbroker's,

Balls alike, and three in number,

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Bawled, "What are those? I say, mother!

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Seized his ball, and bowling, threw it

Up against the shop times threefold,
Right against the shop he threw it;
'Tis its tri-ghost that you see there."
Saw the gallows near the prison,
In the morning sky, the gallows;
Bawled, "What is that? I say, mother!"
And the fuddled Norah answered,
"'Tis the gallows-tree, the gibbet,
All the naughty boys of London,
All the wicked ones and careless,
When in town they steal and pilfer,
Hang on that 'ere tree above us.

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When he heard the thieves at midnight, Hooting, laughing in the alley,

"What is that?" he cried half frightened; "What is that? Now tell me, mother!" And the fuddled Norah answered,

"That's the thieves and prigs together,

Talking in their own cant language,
Hoaxing, chaffing one another."

Then the little Drop o' Wather

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Learned of all the thieves their language; Learned their slang and learned their by-words, Twigged their nicknames, knew their lodgings, Where they hid themselves from justice; Talked with them whene'er he met them, Called them "Drop o' Wather's cronies."

Of all prigs he learned the language,
Learned their gag, and all their secrets.
Found out all their haunts and dodges,
Picked up where they hid their booty,
How they packed the swag so closely,
Why they fought so shy and wary;

Talked with them whene'er he met them,
Called them "Drop o' Wather's Brothers."



OUT of childhood into manhood,
Now had grown young Drop o' Wather,
Skilled in all the craft of filchers,

Learned in all the slang of robbers,

In all ways and means of cribbing,

In all knowing arts and dodges.

Swift of foot was Drop o' Wather; He could pitch a pebble from him, And run forward with such fleetness, That the pebble fell behind him! Strong of arm was Drop o' Wather; He could fling ten pebbles upward,

Fling them with such strength and swiftness, That the tenth had left his fingers

Ere the first to ground had fallen.

He had bludgeon, Millemlikefun,

Good strong bludgeon, made of ash-wood;
When into his hand he took it,

He could smite a fellow's head off,
He could knock him into next week.
He had ankle-boots so jemmy,
Good strong ankle-boots of calf-skin;
When he put them on his trotters,
When he laced them up so tightly,
At each step three feet he measured.

From his lair went Drop o' Wather
Dressed for roving, armed for plunder;
Dressed in shooting-jacket natty,
Velveteen with pearl-white buttons;
On his head a spick-and-span tile,
Round his waist a vest of scarlet;
In his mouth a sprig of shamrock,
In his breast a dashing brooch-pin,
Gold mosaic, set with sham stones;
With his bludgeon, Millemlikefun,
With his ankle-boots so jemmy.

Warning said old fuddled Norah,
"Go not forth, son Drop o'Wather,
To the quarter of the West-End,
To the regions, Hyde-Park, May Fair,
Lest they nab you (chaps from Bow-street),
Lest they clap you into prison."

But the daring Drop o' Wather
Heeded not her woman's warning;
Forth he went along the alley,

At each step three feet be measured;
Tempting looked the shops about him,
Tempting looked the things within them;
Bright and fine the showy jewels,
Smart and gay the newest fashions,
Brown and smooth cigars in boxes,
All that set his heart a-longing,
Longing with the wish to crib them.


DROP O' WATHER'S Departure.

Now remains for me to tell of
How he ended, Drop o' Wather;
What befell him, after all his
Knowing doings in the course of
His career, his life in London.
He had run his rigs so clever,
He had risked so very closely,
He had just avoided Newgate,
He had narrowly 'scaped hanging;
And a dream he had one midnight,
Brought him to a sense of danger.
Thus he dreamed; 'twas really awful.
Not far off from Bedford Bury,
By the muddy Big-Thame-Water,
At the doorway of his lodging,
Thought he stood one rainy morning,

Thought he stood there, lounging idly, Watching fall the sooty raindrops From the eaves and roofs of houses, Watching fill the dirty puddles, Splashed and speckled with the drizzle Flowed in filthy streams the gutters, Flowed the spouts as they ran over ; Fouring, pelting, came the shower.

Through the alley, sudden, briskly,
Something in the hazy distance,
Something in the misty morning,
Came along the dripping pavement,

Now seemed hurrying, now seemed hasting,
Coming nearer, nearer, nearer.

Was it Dingledong, the dustman?
Was it Twopenny, the postman?
Or the cobbler, Shoe-shoe-mender,
Or the milkman, Water-well-it,
With the raindrops dripping, dashing
Profitably in the milk-cans?

It was neither milkman, dustman,
Cobbler, postman, none of those men,
Coming on that misty morning;
But a set of sturdy fellows,
Fast advancing up the alley,

Striding, splashing through the raindrops,
Come with warrant strictly formal,
From the distant Police-office,
From Marlborough Street that morning,
Come with magistrate's command to
Apprehend and promptly take up
Drop o' Wather for his trial.

Then he thought he dreamed the scene of
His conviction, condemnation ;
How he saw the Court dense crowded,
Crowded with indignant faces;
How he saw the dock, where he stood,

How he saw the Bench, where Judge sat,
How he saw the box for jury,

Where the twelve sat looking fateful;
Saw the Judge rise up and cover

With black cap his hair of silver;

Heard the word of solemn verdict,

Guilty!" Words of fearful sentence,

"Hanged by neck," and "dead, dead, dead," last. Thought he fainted quite away there,

And was carried straight to Newgate;
In the dreary cell of felon,

In condemned cell chained with fetters,
There to 'wait the time appointed

For his final execution.

Dreamed he saw the black-robed Chaplain
Come to speak of consolation;
Dreamed he heard the words of comfort
Sounding strangely (Ah, how strangely !—
Sad to think how very strangely
Come those words to ear of culprit,
Never taught to seek their lessons,
Never taught to know their meaning!)
Dreamed he saw the fatal gibbet,
Dreamed he saw the upturned faces
Of the multitude below him;
Dreamed he felt Jack Ketch's fingers
Busy round his neck, adjusting
Noose of rope that was to hang him
Like a dog, not human creature!

Dreamed that in that awful moment,
Came a shout, a cry, a calling;

Dreamed he heard "Reprieve!" loud shouted. Dreained he heard of transportation

Being his commuted sentence.

This last thought possessed him wholly When he woke, and found he'd dreamed all. Grave he pondered, till it struck him, That he'd carry out the substance Of that portion of his dreaming, Where he felt relieved from terror. He resolved to seek his fortune In a fresh new scene of action; He determined on the scheme of Nothing less than transportation. Voluntary transportation, Willing, prompt, self-transportation, Most transporting transportation, In words other, emigration.

And he said to mother Norah, To his wife, his Minnie Wather, Better half, his Frisky-Whisky

'I've made up my mind to try and Live a new life, life more dacent; So let's go and try what turns up In the New World over yonder.'

On the deck stood Drop o' Wather, Turned and waved his hat at parting: On the deck of the good vessel, Outward bound for the long voyage, Stood and waved his hat at parting From the dear old Mother Country.

Then a pause; and then he shouted,
Shouted loudly Drop o Wather:

"Southward! Southward! now then, Southward!"
And the ship went sailing forward

On her way of trust and promise,
Southward, southward; Drop o' Wather
Looking steadfastly before him,
As confronting firm the future.

And his people gave a loud cheer,
Just to cheer him up at parting,

As the ship sailed southward, southward;
And they cried "Good-bye, my boy, then!
Good-bye, Norah! Good-bye, Minnie!
Take good care of yourselves, darlints!
Let us know how you all get on!
Best of all good luck go wid ye!
So God bless ye! and God speed ye!"
Thus departed Drop o' Wather,
Drop o' Wather, the fine fellow,
With his trust of doing better,
With, at least, that firm intention.
To the regions of the New World,
Of the Bay entitled Bot'ny,

To the Island of New Holland,

To another "New" New South Wales,
To the land of Hope, Australia!

This clever parody is followed by amusing burlesque notes, the first of which thus explains the origin of The Song of Drop o' Wather.

"This London Legend-if it may be so called-has been suggested by an interesting Indian tradition, given to the world in the form of a beautiful poem. The picturesque scenery, vivid description, and glowing imagery to be found in that production, are fully felt; while their charm is no more disparaged by the present sportive trifle, than the

sublimity of Shakespeare has been lessened by the burlesques and parodies that have been made from time to time upon his great dramas. The tragedy of Hamlet is exalted, not lowered, by Mr. Poole's admirably clever travestie. The mere fact of burlesquing a work avouches its excellencecertainly its popularity.

Mr. H. Cholmondeley-Pennell's clever Puck on Pegasus (Chatto and Windus) has gone through so many editions, and is such a favourite book, that his imitation of Hiawatha is familiar to most people, The author has recently somewhat modified its opening lines.

The original poem in Puck on Pegasus commenced thus:


WHEN the summer night descended,
Sleepy, on the White-witch water,
Came a lithe and lovely maiden,
Gazing on the silent water-
Gazing on the gleaming river,
With her azure eyes and tender,—
On the river glancing forward,

Till the laughing wave sprang upward,
Upward from his reedy hollow,
With the lily in his bosom,
With his crown of water-lilies-
Curling ev'ry dimpled ripple
As he sprung into the starlight,

As he clasped her charmed reflection
Glowing to his crystal bosom-
As he whispered, "Fairest, fairest,

Rest upon this crystal bosom !"

In the new version the title has been changed, and some of the opening lines altered, but from the point where the above extract closes to the end of the poem, the two versions are very similar, and the later one is quoted in full :— SONG OF LOWER-WATER.

WHEN the summer Moon was sleeping
On the Sands of Lower-Water-

By the Lowest Water Margin

At the mark of Dead Low Water,-
Came a lithe and lovely maiden,
Crinolina, Wand'ring Whiteness,
Gazing on the ebbing water-
Gazing on the gleaming river-
With her azure eyes and tender,--
On the river glancing forward,

Till the laughing Wave sprang upward,
From his throne in Lower-Water,-
Upwards from his reedy hollow,
With the lily in his bosom,

With his crown of water-lilies

Curling ev'ry dimpled ripple

As he leapt into the starlight,

As he clasped her charmed reflection
Glowing to his crystal bosom-

As he whisper'd "Wand'ring Whiteness,
Rest upon my crystal bosom !

Join this little water party."

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Yet she spoke not, only murmured :—
Down into the water stept she,
Lowest Water-Dead Low Water-

Down into the wavering river,

Like a red deer in the sunset

Like a ripe leaf in the autumn:
From her lips, as rose-buds snow-filled,
Came a soft and dreamy music,
Softer than the breath of summer,
Softer than the murm'ring river,
Than the cooing of Cushawa,-
Sighs that melted as the snows melt,
Silently and sweetly melted;
Sounds that mingled with the crisping
Foam upon the billow resting:-

Still she spoke not, only murmured.
From the forest shade primeval,
Piggy-Wiggy looked out at her;
He the most Successful Squeaker-
He the very Youthful Porker-
He the Everlasting Grunter-
Gazed upon her there, and wondered!
With his nose out, Rokey-pokey-
And his tail up, Curley-wurley—
Wondered what could be the matter,

Wondered what the girl was up to-
What the deuce her little game was.

And she floated down the river,
Like a water-witched Ophelia.

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THE WALLFlowers.

Two belated men from Oxford,

Members of a nameless college

Pip, the philosophic smoker,

And his friend they called the Fluffer-
Men belated in the country,

Lost their way geologising;
Reached the city after midnight,
After lawful hour of entry,

By the gateway of the college.
And they did not rouse the porter,
For they knew the dean was wrathful,
And had vowed a weighty vengeance,
If a man knocked in belated.

But they gat them round a back way,
Where a wall divides the college
From intrusion of the vulgar.

Stole they down a lonely footpath,
And they halted where a sapling
Very near the wall was growing;
And above an ancient elm-tree
Stretched a downward arm in welcome,
To embrace the little sapling.

Each in turn his toe adapted,
Where a crevice in the stonework,
In the worn and ancient stonework,
Gave a short precarious foothold
While they climbed the little sapling.

Pip had scaled the wall, and sitting,
Helped the Fluffer struggling upwards,
When a Bobby, a policeman,
Irreproachable policeman,

Came upon them round the corner,

And remarked, "Gents, I have caught you;

You're a pretty pair of wallflowers!"

Then the Fluffer answered briefly,

Answered, "Bobby, you have caught us,"

And the careful Pip, the smoker,

From his seat upon the wall-top,
Echoed, "I believe you've caught us."

But the Bobby, the policeman,
Said, "I have not seen you do it-
Seen you over any wall get;

And perhaps I should not see you,
If I happened to be looking
In an opposite direction,

With my back turned right upon you."
Nothing further said the Bobby,
Irreproachable policeman,

Only grinned and seemed to linger.

Quick then Pip pulled up the Fluffer,
And inquired, "Old fellow, Fluffer,
Have you any coin about you?"
And the Fluffer felt his pockets,
Brought the bob, the silver shilling,
And the piece of six, the tizzy,
And the piece of four, the joey,
And the double bob, the florin,

Down he threw them on the pathway;
Then the Bobby, the policeman,

Incorruptible policeman,

Picked them up, and whispered softly,
Somebody had dropped some money;
He was lucky to have found it.

After that did Pip, the smoker,
And his friend they called the Flufter,
Get across the wall securely;
But the Bobby, the policeman,
Irreproachable policeman,

Did not see them get across it;

For he happened to be looking

In an opposite direction,

And his back was turned upon them.

From Odd Echoes from Oxford, by A. Merion, B. A. London. J. C. Hotten, 1872.


SHOULD you ask me why this meerschaum,
Why these clay-pipes and churchwardens,
Why the odours of tobacco,

With the oil and fume of "mixture,"
With the curling smoke of "bird's eye,"
With the gurgling of rank juices,
With renewed expectorations
As of sickness on the fore-deck?

I should answer, I should tell you,
From the cabbage, and the dust-heaps,
From the old leeks of the Welshland,
From the soil of kitchen gardens,
From the mud of London sewers,
From the garden-plots and churchyards,
Where the linnet and cock-sparrow
Feed upon the weeds and groundsel,
I receive them as I buy them,
From the boxes of Havana
The concocter, the weird wizard.

Should you ask how this Havana

Made cigars so strong and soothing,

Made the "bird's eye," and "York-river,"

I should answer, I should tell you,

In the purlieus of the cities,

In the cellars of the warehouse,

In the dampness of the dungeon,

Lie the rotten weeds that serve him ;

In the gutters and the sewers,
In the melancholy alleys,
Half-clad Arab boys collect them,

Crossing-sweepers bring them to him,
Costermongers keep them for him,
And he turns them by his magic
Into "cavendish" and "bird's eye,"
For those clay-pipes and churchwardens,
For this meerschaum, or he folds them,
And "cigars" he duly labels

On the box in which he sells them.

From Figaro. October 7, 1874.

The following is an extract from a long parody contained in Lays of Modern Oxford, by Adon (Chapman and Hall, 1874).


"Nunc est bibendum, nunc pede libero Pulsanda tellus."

You shall hear how once our college, When our boat had done great wonders, And had bumped all boats before it, Gave a great and grand bump-supper. First the scouts, the sherry-swiggers, And the scouts' boys, beer imbibers, Spread the things upon the table.

And they placed upon the table
Champagne-cup and rosy claret.
When the lamp-black night descended
Broad and dark upon the college,

When the reading man, the bookworm,
Grinding, sat among his Greek books,
With his oak securely sported,
And his tea-cup on the table,

From their rooms in groups assembled

Many guests to this great supper.

Came the boating men in numbers,

Came the cricketers in numbers,

Came the athletes clothed with muscle,

Came the singers, and the jesters,
And the jokers, funny fellows;
Came the active gymnast Biceps,
Also Pugilis, his comrade,
Very clever with the mittens;
Came our sturdy plucky boat's crew,
Remex Princeps, and his comrades,
And the steerer, Gubernator.

All were hungry, all were merry,
Full of repartee and laughter,
First they ate the slippy oyster,
Native oyster, cool and luscious,
And the ruddy blushing lobster,
And the crab so rich and tasty;
Then they ate the cold roast chicken,
And the finely flavoured ox-tongue,
And the cold roast mutton sheep's flesh,
And the pigeon-pie, the dove-dart,
And the well stuffed duck and turkey,
With the sausages around it.

Thus the guests, the mutton munchers,
Played the noble game of chew-chew,
Game of knife and fork and tumblers,
Very popular in Oxford.

Then a man, who came from Cornwall, Sang a song that clearly stated

If a person named Trelawny,
Should by any hap or hazard,
Leave the world by death untimely,
Many people in the south-west
Part of England would insist on
Knowing wherefore he had left it
Then the cheeky smiling Ginger
Sang of lovely Angelina,

Lady with the Grecian bend, and
Of the maiden dressed in azure,

With both eyes and hair of darkness.

Then the guests said, "Sing some more songs;
Sing to us immortal Ginger,

Songs of laughter quaint and comic,
With a merry roaring chorus,
That we all may be more noisy.

And the sleeping dons may waken."

All was shouting, noise, confusion,
Till at last the guests exhausted,
All departed hot and dizzy,
Thus the entertainment ended,
Thus the great bump-supper ended,
Long to be discussed and talked of,
Long to be remembered by the
College in the days hereafter.

THE LEGEnd of Ken-E-LI. (From Figaro, August 11, 1875.)


HIGH among the tribes of Jon-buls,
Was a tribe they called the Lor-yahs;
Very cunning were the Lor-yahs:
They could talk and twist and double
Till the other tribes of Jon-buls
Scarcely knew if they were standing
On their heads, or on their sandals.
Chief among these learned Lor-yahs
Was the great and good Ken-e:li.
Brave and handsome, kind and gentle,
Soft in voice and smooth in manner,
Wise yet simple, strong yet tender,
Was the mighty chief Ken-e-li.

But the blind and stupid Jonbuls

Could not see his many virtues;

When he spake they shouted, "Bun-kum!" And they scoffed at good Ken-e-li.

The poem then describes the gentle manners of the inhabitants of the district An-lee, their mild sports and pastimes, and how they chose the great Ken-e-li to be their talking Em-pee in the council of their nation, and the manner in which he was received there.


[The following graceful effusion, by a well-known Longfellow-countryman of the Colorado insect, should be hailed with delight by the British public. As it contains an accurate description of the Beetle, we would suggest that it should be learned by heart by school-children, with a view to preventing entomological mistakes. ]

SHOULD you ask me of the Beetle,

Of the Colorado Beetle !

Properly the Doryphora

Decemlineata christen'd-

I should answer, I should tell you, "He's a beggar for potatoes,

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Quite a glutton at potatoes-
For he wolfs' the common murphy.'
The Solanum tuberosum.

(Thus the savans named the tater! '')

Should you ask me if the Beetle
Were at all like other beetles-
Like the 'chafer, for example,

Him whom boys impale on pin-point

I should straight reply in this wise:
"He, when young, is like the insect
Whose abode is always burning,
She whose children are departed.*

But, when fourteen days have glided,
Then the beetle is much longer;
Very much more pointed-taily,
Sharp as to his latter ending,
Red thus far has been his colour,
Red, the hue of guardsman's tunic,
Red, the tint of postal pillars.
But, as time and trouble try him,
This our insect grows much paler,
Fades and fades till he is yellow-
Yellow e'en as one dyspeptic,
Yellow with black stripes upon him."

Should you further ask the poet,
How to treat the little stranger?

I should answer, I should bid you,
"Stamp on him, where'er you find him!
In the garden-in the pig-sty-
In the parlour, or the bed-room,
In the roadway, or the meadow-
Squash the little wretch, confound him!
That's the way that I should answer,-
That's the sort of man that I am.

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From Funny Folks.

In 1879 the editor of The World offered two prizes for the best parodies on Longfellow's Hiawatha, the subject selected being The Hunting of Cetewayo. There were 135 competitors, the first prize was awarded to Floreant - Lauri, whose poem will be found, with the three next best, in The World for October 8, 1879.

VERY wrath was Wolsey-Pullsey
When he landed at Fort Durban,
Hearing all the depredations
Of the cunning Cetewayo;
Called his captain, Giffey-Wiffey,
Saying, "Catch this Cetewayo,
Muzzle thou this mischief-maker;
Not so tangled is the jungle,
Not so dark the deepest donga,
But that thou canst track and find him."
Then in hot pursuit departed
Giffey-Wiffey and his soldiers,
Through the jungle, through the forest;
But they found not Cetewayo-
Only found his bed and blanket.

* This appears to be a covert allusion to the lady-bird.

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