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In 1879 the Editor of The World offered a prize for the best parody on Tennyson's LotusEaters, the chosen subject being "Her Majesty's Ministers at Greenwich."

The prize was awarded to the author of the following parody, which appeared in The World, for September 3rd, 1879:


"COURAGE!" they said, and pointed through the gloom; "There is a haven in yon fishful clime,' At dianer-time they came into a room,

In which it seemed all day dinner-time.
All in the midst the banquet rose sublime,

Whose menu excellent no tongue might blame;
And round about the board, without their Prime,
Without their prime delight and chiefest fame,
The mild-eyed muddle-headed whitebait-eaters came.
They sat them down upon the yellow chairs,
And feasted gaily as in days of yore;

And sweet it was to jest of late affairs,

Of Ward and Power and Cat; but evermore Most weary seemed the Session almost o'er, Weary Hibernian nights of barren seed.

Then some one said, "We shall come here no more!" And all at once they cried, "No more, indeed The ballot shall release; we will no longer lead "


Why are we weighed upon with weariness,
With foreign crises and with home distress,
When all we do is mocked at by the Press ?
All men like peace: why should we toil alone?
We always toil, and nevermore have rest;

But yield perpetual jest,

Still from one blunder to another thrown:

Nor ever pack our tricks,

And cease from politics;

Nor vote our last against the wild O'Connor ;

Nor hearken what the moving spirit said,

"Let there be Peace with Honour!"

Why should we always toil, when England's trust is dead?

Let us alone. What pleasure could we have

To war with Afghans? But the Chief said " Fight! The times are perilous and the Jingoes rave, Whate'er I do is right.'

Yea, interests are hard to reconcile ;

'Tis hard to please yet help the little isle :

We have done neither quite.

Though we change the music ever, yet the people scorn our song;

O rest ye, brother Ministers, we shall not labour long.


In the year 1868, when the mania for trapeze performances was at its height, and men and women were nightly risking their lives to please the thoughtless audiences at the music halls, The Tomahawk had some powerful cartoons

(drawn by Matt Morgan) in condemnation of this senseless and dangerous form of entertainment; it also published the following parody:


I READ, before I fell into a doze,

Some book about old fashions-curious tales
Of bye-gone fancies-kirtles and trunk hose-
Of hoops, and fardingales-

Of medieval milliners, whose taste
Preluded our vile fashions of to-day-
Of how they moulded the ancestral waist,
With steel-bound taffeta-

Of powdered heroes of the later days-
Of Hamlets strutting in their full court suits,
Slouch-hatted villains of transpontine plays,

All belt and bucket boots

So shape chased shape (as swiftly as, when knocks
Of angry tradesmen bluster at the door,
Turgid with envelopes my letter box
Boils over on the floor.)

Till fancy, running riot in my brain,

Elbowed the PAST from out the PRESENT's way;
And opened in my dream, distinct and plain,
A vision of to-day.

Methought that I was on what's called "a spree,"
Yet sadly pensive in the motley throng.
Where thrills through clouds of smoke the melody
Of idiotic song;

Where youth with tipsy rapture drowns in beer
All common sense, votes decency a bore,
But, to the shapely limbs and sensuous leer,
Yells out a loud "Encore-"

Then flashed before me in the gaslight's glare
A form to make the boldest hold his breath,
She, who by reckless leapings in mid air,
Plays pitch and toss with Death.

Shame on the gaping crowds who only know
Sensation in the chance of broken necks!
Shame on the manliness that cries "Bravo"
To such a scorn of sex!

I saw that now, since License holds such sway,
The comic muse her false position feels,
And that her sister may not gain the day,
Has taken to her heels.

And then methought I stood in fairy bowers,
Where Dulness hides behind the mask of Fun,
Where tin-foil and Dutch metal do for flowers,
And lime-light is the sun;

Where Art groans under an unseemly ban,
And airy nothings pass for full attire,
The Stage appeals but to the baser man,
And th' only blush, Red Fire!

Then starting I awoke from my nightmare.

A nightmare? No! the truth came clear to me. I'd dream'd the truth-bare facts (O much too bare!) And stern reality.

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(After Mr. Tennyson's " Margaret.")

O, draggled Mary Ann,

What gives your arms such fearful power
To raise the dust in blinding shower?
Who gave you strength, your mortal dower,
To beat the mats as with a flail,
To lift with ease that heavy pail ?

What can it matter, Mary Ann,

What songs the long-legged son of Mars-
The butcher or the cat's meat man-

Sings to you thro' the area bars?

O, red-armed Mary, you may tell
The milkman, when he fills our can,
You wonder how he has the heart,
To let the pump play such a part
In milk for her he loves so well!

You stand not in such attitudes,
You are not quite so plain,
Nor so sulky in your moods,

As your twin-sister, Mary Jane,
Your face is cleaner, and your nose
Not touched with such a grimy hue,
With cold ærially blue,

Or crimson as the damask rose !

ALBANY CLARKE. From The Weekly Dispatch, June 25th, 1882.

It is in the strongly marked individuality of some of Tennyson's early poems that we find the secret of much of his popularity, and the excuse for the vast number of parodies of his works scattered about in nearly all our humorous literature. Three of his early poems have been especially chosen by parodists as models for imitation; these are "The May Queen," "Locksley Hall," and "The Charge of the Light Brigade."

In the "Bon Gaultier Ballads," by Theodore Martin and Professor Aytoun, will be found several parodies of Tennyson, also of Lord Macaulay, Thomas Moore, Bulwer Lytton, Mrs. Browning, and of Leigh Hunt, of whom parodies are somewhat scarce.

Of the parodies of Tennyson," Caroline" and "The Laureate" have already been quoted; the others are "The Lay of the Lovelorn" and "The Dirge of the Drinker," both in imitation

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won my ear,

Wave their silver blossoms o'er him, as he leads his bridal fere.

He will pass beside the stream, mother, where first my hand he pressed,

By the meadow where, with quivering lip, his passion he confessed;

And down the hedgerows where we've strayed again and yet again;

But he will not think of me, mother, his broken-hearted Jane!

He said that I was proud, mother, that I looked for rank and gold;

He said I did not love him,-he said my words were cold; He said I kept him off and on, in hopes of higher game,And it may be that I did, mother, but who hasn't done the same?

I did not know my heart, mother, -I know it now too late; I thought that I without a pang could wed some nobler


But no nobler suitor sought me,-and he has taken wing. And my heart is gone, and I am left a lone and blighted thing.

You may lay me in my bed, mother, my head is throbbing


And mother, prithee, let the sheets be duly aired before ; And if you'd do a kindness to your poor desponding child, Draw me a pot of beer, mother,—and, mother, draw it mild


THEY must wrap and cloak me warmly, cloak me warmly, mother dear,

For to-morrow is the iciest day of all the sad new year.
Of all the sad new year, mother, the snowiest, blowiest day,
And I'm to be Queen of the May, mother, I'm to be Queen
of the May.



(A Farewell Ode to the Brompton Boilers.)

You must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear, There's a work I wouldn't miss for worlds, a sight my heart does cheer :

Well, I know you'll not believe, mother, a word of what I say;

But they're carting the boilers away, mother, they're carting the boilers away.

There's many a black eye, of course, a moral one I mean, Has been exchanged about them, for many a fight they've seen;

But no more need of cavil now, the fact's as plain as day. They're carting the boilers away, mother, they're carting the boilers away.

Good taste had slept so sound, mother, I thought 'twould never wake,

But the Press, at last, has given it a most decided shake! Yes, at length its up and doing, oh, and isn't Brompton gay While they're carting its boilers away, mother, they're carting its boilers away!

As I came up from Knightsbridge whom think ye I should


But, Mr. Cole, my ancient friend, best known as our C. B. ! He thought of that sharp look, mother, I gave him yesterdayAnd he carted the boilers away, mother, he carted the boilers away.

You know it is his boast, mother, that in bricks all red and white,

He means to raise, on what appears an eligible ground site,
A palace for which Parliament will very gladly pay-
When the boilers are carted away, mother, the boilers are
carted away.

The turnstile and refreshment rooms, umbrella man, and charts,

The chimney pots, paints, plaster casts, and analysed jam tarts,

Yes, all are gone! No longer art her triumphs can display, For they've carted her boilers away, mother, they've carted her boilers away.

The cabs they come and go, mother, the omnibuses pass, The public scarce believe their eyes; they think the thing a farce,

They'd got resigned to Brompton, thought its boilers meant to stay!

Yet they're carting those boilers away, mother, they're carting those boilers away.

South Kensington no more, mother, need fear to be despised, The three most ugly things on earth, man ever yet devised, No longer shall scare fashion off, and keep the world at bay ; Yes, the boilers are carted away, mother, the boilers are carted away.

So please call me very early-Oh! I mean it-mother dear, For I wouldn't miss the sight for worlds, it's such a bright idea;

They're nearly done-a pole or two will go and thenhooray!

The boilers are carted away Mother, are carted for ever away!

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"Chief Justice May has scandalously prejudged the Land League case, and in common decency he should not be allowed to try it. A fair trial is impossible after the partisanship which, in the vilest possible taste, this person has displayed. It is not the practice even now in Ireland to hang people first and try them afterwards, and May may congratulate himself upon having done the very worst thing in his power for the Government brief, which, sitting in judgment, he had the effrontery to flaunt in the face of the accused." THE MAY OF THE QUEEN.

(The Land League Boy to his Mother).

You must wake and call me early; call me early, mother dear;

To-morrow will be the saddest time of Ireland's sad new year.

Of all this threat'ning year, mother, the blackest, foulest, day,

For I'm to be tried by Judge May, mother, I'm to be tried by Judge May.

There's many a black, black crime, mother, they charge against your lad!

There's Boycotting and murder, and everything that's bad And I'm bound to be convicted, though innocent, they sayFor I'm to be tried by Judge May, mother, I'm to be tried by Judge May.

You know I wasn't there, mother, when all the row was made;

I never made a wicked speech, or led a Land League raid; But the judge has made up his mind to put your boy awayFor I'm to be tried by Judge May, mother, I'm to be tried by Judge May.

So wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear, For at ten o'clock, before the Court, I'm summoned to appear.

There's little chance of justice, he's a partisan they sayThis fierce and biassed judge, mother, this Lord Chief Justice May.


(Not included in Mr. Tennyson's New Volume).

You may take and bill me early, bill me early HENRY dear;
I'm going to make the biggest hit of all the coming year;
Of all the coming year, HENRY, the safest spec to pay;
For I'm going to write you a play, HENRY, I'm going to
write you a play.

There's lots of blank, blank verse, you know, but none so neat as mine;

There's GILBERT, and there's WILLS, and-well, some others in their line;

But none of them are Laureates, though clever in their way; So I'm going to write you a play, HENRY, I'm going to write you a play.

'Twill be all right at night, HENRY, on that my name I'll stake:

I've got a good Egyptian plot, that's safe, I'm told, to take. You're poisoned in a temple, Miss TERRY dies at bay

I am writing you such a play, HENRY, I am writing you such a play.

As I came towards the theatre, whom think ye I should see. But Messrs. HARE and KENDAL, looking sorrowful at me? They were thinking of The Falcon I wrote but yesterday. And they didn't ask me for a play, HENRY, they didn't ask me for a play.

I know your ghost draws well, Henry, but don't be in a fright,

My forte isn't stage-effect; when I write plays, I write.
You'll have five pages at a time, -as much as you can say;
But a Poet is writing your play, Henry, a Poet is writing
your play.

Some critics tell me that my place is not behind the scenes;
That if I must descend I might stop short at magazines.
But as Queen Mary from the doors the money turned away,
You must long for another big play, Henry, you must long
for another big play,

For fads and fancies grow, HENRY, to wither like the grass,— The latest, culture;-and for that, my name doth current pass,

So that's why though I can't construct, and you feel all astray,

You've asked me to write you a play, HENRY, you've asked me to write you a play.

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So take and bill me early, bill me early HENRY, dear;
I'm going to make the biggest hit of all the coming year;
Of all the coming year, Henry and if it shouldn't pay :-
Still I shall have written your play, HENRY, I shall have
written your play!

From Punch, December 4th, 1860.

These verses had reference to the announcement that the Poet Laureate was writing a tragedy to be produced at the Lyceum Theatre. This was The Cup, which was indeed a greater success than most of Mr. Tennyson's previous dramatic productions, but it owed its popularity to the acting, and to the magnificent mise-en-scene, far more than to its merits as a play, beautiful as it was as a poem. duced on the 19th February, 1881.

It was pro

In The Referee for December 2, 1882, the following parodies were published. It will be noticed that the first part imitates Cowper's John Gilpin, the second part Tennyson's May Queen, and the third part Campbell's Hohenlinden.

"I beg very humbly to submit a poem to the Royal "Family, the Bench, the Bar, and the British Public on the "opening of the new Law Courts."


JOHN BULLJOHN was a citizen
Of credit and renown,

Of Volunteers a captain he

Of famous London town.

John Bulljohn's mother said, "My dear,
Though living here we've been
This goodness knows how long, yet we
Have never seen the Queen.

"To-morrow to the new Law Courts
Our sovereign does repair?"

Says John, "Good gracious! so she doesDear mother, we'll be there."

And ere he went to bed, J. B.
His aged ma did kiss;
And, feeling like a boy again,
Did softly warble this:

You must must wake and call me early, call me early, mother dear

To-morrow 'll be the happiest time of all this famous year; Of all this famous year, mother, the grandest, jolliest day, For look on our Queen we may, mother, look on our Queen

we may.

There is many a loyal heart, they say, but none so true as mine,

There's Sandy and there's Dougal, across the Border line; But none so true as Johnny, not e'en by Alum Bay,

So look on my Queen I may, mother, look on my Queen I may.

All the Strand, dear mother, will be gay with flag and green; And they're selling seats in windows for gold to see the Queen ;

O long shall Johnny remember the Law Courts' opening day,

When look on the Queen he may, mother, look on the Queen he may.

In London when the Queen was low,

Too sad at heart about to go,

Or in our streets her face to show
Did loyalty fade rapidly.

But London saw another sight
When she, our Liege, recovered quite,
Came, on a morning clear and bright,

Through arches, flags and greenery.

To where the new Law Courts were made,
Attended by a cavalcade.

O, how the English crowd hoorayed!
And all was joy and revelry.

Then shook the sky with thunder riven,
For never heartier cheers were given,
As through the streets the Queen was driven,
Attended by her soldiery.

Tennyson's longest and most important work is the collection of Arthurian Idyls, known as the Idyls of the King. These were originally published in detached parts, in somewhat irregular order, but in recent editions the Author has striven to arrange them in a consecutive, and more connected form.

The first to appear in order of date was the Morte d'Arthur, which was published in the 1842 volume, in the later arrangement of the poems this has been absorbed into the last Idyl, entitled "The Passing of Arthur."

In the original it commenced thus:

"So all day long the noise of battle roll'd
Among the mountains by the winter sea;
Until King Arthur's table, man by man,
Had fall'n in Lyonness about their Lord,

King Arthur; then because his wound was deep,

The bold Sir Bedivere uplifted him,

Sir Bedivere, the last of all his knights,
And bore him to a chapel nigh the field,
A broken chancel with a broken cross,
That stood on a dark strait of barren land.
On one side lay the Ocean, and on one
Lay a great water, and the moon was full.

Then spake King Arthur to Sir Bedivere :
"The sequel of to-day unsolders all
The goodliest fellowship of famous knights
Whereof this world holds record. Such a sleep
They sleep-the men I loved. I think that we
Shall never more, at any future time,
Delight our souls with talk of knightly deeds,
Walking about the gardens and the halls
Of Camelot, as in the days that were.
I perish by this people which I made,-
Tho' Merlin sware that I should come again
To rule once more-but let what will be, be,
I am so deeply smitten through the helm
That without help I cannot last till morn.
Thou, therefore, take my brand Excalibur,
Which was my pride:

take Excalibur,

And fling him far into the middle mere:
Watch what thou seest, and lightly bring me word."

This mission was distasteful to Sir Bedivere, who exclaims :

"And if indeed I cast the brand away,
Surely a precious thing, one worthy note,
Should thus be lost for ever from the earth,
Which might have pleased the eyes of many men.
What good should follow this, if this were done?
What harm, undone? Deep harm to disobey,
Seeing obedience is the bond of rule.
Were it well to obey then, if a king demand
An act unprofitable against himself?

The King is sick, and knows not what he does.
What record, or what relic of my lord
Should be to aftertime, but empty breath
And rumours of a doubt? but were this kept,
Stored in some treasure-house of mighty kings,
Some one might show it at a joust of arms,
Saying, King Arthur's sword, Excalibur.'"

Thus much of the original must indeed be in one's thoughts ere the Voyage de Guillaume can be appreciated; it recounts the holiday trip of the Prime Minister to the north in September, 1883. It will be remembered that Mr. Gladstone was the guest of Sir Donald Currie, on board the Pembroke Castle, and that Alfred Tennyson was also one of the party.


To the Editor of the St. James's Gazette.

SIR, I have received the following lines from North Britain. Evidently it was not without reason that the Prime Minister was accompanied on his cruise by the Poet Laureate.-I am, Sir, your obedient servant,

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Barrow-in-Furness, with a ruined church
That stood beside the melancholy waves.

Then spoke King Guillaume to Sir Donald C. :
"Next session will most probably upset
The goodliest Ministry of virtuous men
Whereof this world holds record. Not for long
Shall we contrive our schemes of policy,
Meeting within the offices and halls

Of Downing Street, as in the days that were.
I perish by these voters which I make-
Although Sir Andrew says that I may live
To rule once more; but let what will be, be.
He tells me that it is not good for me

To cut down oaks at Haw'rden, as before.
Thou, therefore, take my axe Exbrummagem,
Which was my pride-for thou rememberest how
The lustiest tree would fall beneath my strokes-
But now delay not; take Exbrummagem,
And fling him overboard when out at sea.'

Then bold Sir Donald took Exbrummagem, And went, and lighted his cigar, and thought; "And if, indeed, I cast the axe away,

Surely a precious thing, one worthy note,
Should thus be lost for ever from the earth,
Which might have pleased the eyes of many men.

The King is cross, and knows not what he says.
What record, or what relic of my lord,
Should be to aftertime, but empty breath
Condensed in Hansard's books? But were this kept,
Preserved in some Mechanics' Institute,

It might be brought out by some lecturer,
Saying, King Guillaume's axe, Exbrummagem,
With which he cut down trees at Hawarden !'
So might he illustrate a stupid speech
To all the people, winning reverence,"

So spake he, thinking of constituents,
And kept Exbrummagem for future use,

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Then came Sir Donald, gave the King his arm, And brought him to the margin of the sea. And at his call there hove a roomy barge, Manned with a gallant crew from stem to stern; And so they entered, and put off, and reached The stately Pembroke Castle, and were ware That all the decks were dense with manly forms In naval caps and jackets, and with these Three dames in yachting suits; and from them rose A cheer of greeting, and they stretched their hands Took him on board, and laughed, and petted him.

And so they sailed; and while the sea was calm
They talked, and sang, and feasted much, and had,
In Yankee parlance, 'quite a high old time."
But when the wind blew, and the waves arose,
It sometimes happened that the grand old face
Was white and colourless, and cries of "Steward!"
Proceeded from the lips of eloquence.

And like a prostrate oak-tree lay the King
Wrapped in a shepherd's plaid and mackintosh :
Not like that Guillaume who, with collars high,
From brow to boot a meteor of debate,
Shot through the lists at Westminster, and charged
The serried ranks of bold Conservatives.

The St. James's Gazette. September 19th, 1883.

In the 1842 volume also appeared "Godiva," "Locksley Hall," "Break, Break, Break," and

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