All the way there, and all the way back,
The harness strains, and the coach-springs crack,
The horses snort, and plunge, and kick,
Till the coachman thinks he is driving Old Nick;
And the grooms and the footmen wonder, and say,
“What makes the old coach so heavy to-day?”
But the mealy-faced boy peeps in, and sees
A man sitting there with his head on his knees!
’Tis ever the same—in hall or in
Wherever the place, whatever the hour,
That Lady mutters, and talks to the air,
And her eye is fix’d on an empty chair;
But the mealy-faced boy still whispers with dread,
“She talks to a man with never a head!”
* * * * *
There’s an old Yellow Admiral living at Bath,
As grey as a badger, as thin as a lath;
And his very queer eyes have such very queer leers,
They seem to be trying to peep at his ears;
That old Yellow Admiral goes to the Rooms,
And he plays long whist, but he frets and he fumes,
For all his knaves stand upside down,
And the Jack of Clubs does nothing but frown;
And the Kings and the Aces, and all the best trumps
Get into the hands of the other old frumps;
While, close to his partner, a man he sees
Counting the tricks with his head on his knees.
In Ratcliffe Highway there’s an old marine store,
And a great black doll hangs out of the door;
There are rusty locks, and dusty bags,
And musty phials, and fusty rags,
And a lusty old woman, call’d Thirsty Nan,
And her crusty old husband’s a Hairy-faced man!
That Hairy-faced man is sallow and wan,
And his great thick pigtail is wither’d and gone;
And he cries, “Take away that lubberly chap
That sits there and grins with his head in his lap!”
And the neighbors say, as they see him look sick,
“What a rum old covey is Hairy-faced Dick!”
That Admiral, Lady, and Hairy-faced man
May say what they please, and may do what they can;
But one things seems remarkably clear,—
They may die to-morrow, or live till next year,—
But wherever they live, or whenever they die,
They’ll never get quit of young Hamilton Tighe!
THE SUPPER SUPERSTITION: THOMAS HOOD
A Pathetic Ballad
“Oh flesh, flesh, how art thou fishified!”—Mercutio.
’Twas twelve o’clock by the Chelsea chimes,
When all in a hungry trim,
Good Mr. Jupp sat down to sup
With wife, and Kate and Jim.
Said he, “Upon this dainty cod
How bravely I shall sup”—
When, whiter than the tablecloth,
A ghost came rising up!
“O father dear, O mother dear,
Dear Kate, and brother Jim—
You know when some one went to sea—
Don’t cry—but I am him!
“You hope some day with fond embrace
To greet your lonesome Jack,
But oh, I am come here to say
I’m never coming back!