A third adorer had the girl,
A man of lowly station—
A miserable grov’ling earl
Besought her approbation.
This humble cad she did refuse
With much contempt and loathing;
He wore a pair of leather shoes
And cambric underclothing!
“Ha! ha!” she cried, “Upon
Well, really—come, I never!
Oh, go along, it’s too absurd!
My goodness! Did you ever?
“Two dukes would make their Bowles
And from her foes defend her”—
“Well, not exactly that,” they cried,
“We offer guilty splendor.
“We do not offer marriage rite,
So please dismiss the notion!”
“Oh, dear,” said she, “that alters quite
The state of my emotion.”
The earl he up and says, says he,
“Dismiss them to their orgies,
For I am game to marry thee
Quite reg’lar at St. George’s.”
He’d had, it happily befell,
A decent education;
His views would have befitted well
A far superior station.
His sterling worth had worked a cure,
She never heard him grumble;
She saw his soul was good and pure
Although his rank was humble.
Her views of earldoms and their lot,
All underwent expansion;
Come, Virtue in an earldom’s cot!
Go, Vice in ducal mansion!
Bob Polter was a navvy, and
His hands were coarse, and dirty too,
His homely face was rough and tanned,
His time of life was thirty-two.
He lived among a working clan
(A wife he hadn’t got at all),
A decent, steady, sober man—
No saint, however—not at all.
He smoked, but in a modest way,
Because he thought he needed it;
He drank a pot of beer a day,
And sometimes he exceeded it.
At times he’d pass with other men
A loud convivial night or two,
With, very likely, now and then,
On Saturdays, a fight or two.
But still he was a sober soul,
A labor-never-shirking man,
Who paid his way—upon the whole
A decent English working man.
One day, when at the Nelson’s Head,
(For which he may be blamed of you)
A holy man appeared and said,
“Oh, Robert, I’m ashamed of you.”
He laid his hand on Robert’s beer
Before he could drink up any,
And on the floor, with sigh and tear,
He poured the pot of “thruppenny.”
“Oh, Robert, at this very bar,
A truth you’ll be discovering,
A good and evil genius are
Around your noddle hovering.
“They both are here to bid you shun
The other one’s society,
For Total Abstinence is one,
The other Inebriety.”
He waved his hand—a vapor came—
A wizard, Polter reckoned him:
A bogy rose and called his name,
And with his finger beckoned him.