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Like the pairings of nails Eonian-clippings and snippings of stars
Shavings of suns that revolve and evolve and involve-and at times
Give a sweet astronomical twang to remarkably hobbling rhymes. IX.
And the sea curved in with a moan-and we thought how once-before
We fell out with those atheist lecturers-once, ah, once and no more,
We read together, while midnight blazed like the Yankee flag,
A reverend gentleman's work-the Conversion of Colonel Quagg.
And out of its pages we gathered this lesson of doctrine pure
Zephaniah Stockdolloger's gospel-a word that deserves to endure
Infinite millions on millions of Infinite Eons to come"Vocation," says he, "is vocation, and duty duty. Some." X.
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,
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 derisionand 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, And cab it to Trafalgar Square, and ascertain my fate; For to-morrow's the Art-Derby, the looked-for opening day Of the Fine Art Exhibition, yearly shown by the R.A.
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 newspaper six parodies of Hands All Round were inserted on April 2, 1882.
These were very entertaining, and were severally entitled: "Pots all Round;" "Tennysonian Toryism Developed;" "Drinks all Round;" 66 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,
When, hark! there comes the postman's knock :
For song and stave and madrigal
I can nor eat, nor drink, nor sleep
Call in the dust man'!-Lo! 'tis done!
The contract signed, I breathe again.
Finale: Chorus of Foetasters.
Let him learn that would-be poets
Won't treat brother poets thus.
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.”
The Death of the “Childerses.”
Nor 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.
NOT a "drum" was given, nor dance of note,
And lightly they'll talk of the "Master" that's gone,
But half of our heavy trunks were down,
When the clock struck the hour for departing;
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
Nor a franc he had, not a louis nor note,
THE BURIAL OF THE DUKE OF WELLINGTON.
We buried him grandly in noon's full light,
Three costly coffins encased his breast,
(In sheet and in shroud they had wound him); And he lay like a conqueror taking his rest With his marshal compeers round him.
Many and long were the prayers we said,
And we murmured last words of sorrow;
As we steadfastly gazed on the grave of the dead,
We thought as they filled in his narrow bed,
And we dreamt that all ages would honour the dead,
Lightly men speak of him now that he's gone,
And grudge e'en the recompense paid him : But little he'll reck if they'll let him sleep on, In the tomb where a grateful land laid him.
At length our grievous task was done,
And the masses were slowly retiring,
Solemnly, sadly, we left him alone,
With his roll of deeds famous in story;
We carved him a trophy, we praised him in stone,
THE BURIAL OF THE BACHELOR.
Nor a laugh was heard, not a frivolous note,
We married him quickly that morning bright,
No useless nosegay adorned his chest,
Not in chains, but in laws we bound him; And he looked like a bridegroom trying his best To look used to the scene around him. Few and small were the fees it cost, And we spoke not a word of sorrow; But we silently gazed on the face of the lost, And we bitterly thought of the morrow.
We thought as we hurried them home to be fed,
That the weather looked very like squalls overhead
And o'er his frail fondness upbraid him;
With his wife that the parson has made him!
But half of our heavy lunch was done
When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
Slowly and sadly we led them down,
We told the four-wheeler to drive them to town,
The man in possession ate, drank of her best,
And he steadfastly smoked till Jane wished him dead,
He chaffed the girl thus: "When you makes my bed,
When the clock told the hour for retiring;
Her friends paid her taxes, she had the renown--
J. MCGRIGOR ALLAN. All the above are from Truth, July 31, 1884.
THE MURDER OF A BEETHOVEN SONATA.
SUCH a strum was heard-not a single right note,
You hurried so quickly, 'twas scarcely right,
I knew not the piece you'd been learning;
But I saw by the flickering candle-light
Your cheeks were with nervousness burning.
No useless music encumbered the rest;
No pieces had any one found you;
But you played it by heart, no doubt doing your best,
I managed to get to the open door,
I've but one thing more in conclusion to say,
THE BURIAL OF THE PAUPER. NOT a knell was heard, not a requiem note, As his corpse to the churchyard we hurried; Not a mourner had donned his sable coat, By the grave where our pauper we buried.
We buried him quickly at shut of night,
No oaken coffin enclosed his breast,
In a sheet for a shroud we wound him :
We thought, as we hollow'd his narrow bed,
Lightly they'll talk of the poor soul that's gone
But half of our thankless job was done,
When the cold sky grew sullen and low'ring;
Swiftly and smoothly we sodded him down,
We raised not a cross, and we scored not a stone,
"These gentlemen (the Tory party) can really get no sleep at night, owing to their burning anxiety to enfranchise their fellow men."-Vide Sir Wilfrid Lawson's Speech.
NOT a snore was heard, not a slumberous note,
Not a Peer but bewails the Bill's sad lot,
They think of it sadly, at dead of night,
In their noble bosoms burning.
No useless logic confused their heads,
But they tossed and they turned on their sleepless beds,
"Few and short were the prayers they said❞—
They thought of the day when the Bill would be read,
They thought of the words Mr. Gladstone had said—
Of laurels that still would encircle his head,
Nightly they burn for their brothers to be
But half of the weary night was gone,
And my Lords were still busy enquiring, "The deuce, now! the deuce! what IS to be done?" And they found that the effort was tiring,