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The Bab Ballads - Part 2

By Various

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Book Id: WPLBN0000711569
Format Type: PDF eBook:
File Size: 0.1 MB
Reproduction Date: 2007

Title: The Bab Ballads - Part 2  
Author: Various
Language: English
Subject: Fiction, Poetry, Verse drama
Collections: Poetry Collection
Publication Date:
Publisher: World Public Library Association


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Various, B. (n.d.). The Bab Ballads - Part 2. Retrieved from


Excerpt: The Troubadour // A Troubadour he played // Without a castle wall, // Within, a hapless maid // Responded to his call. // Oh, willow, woe is me! // Alack and well-a-day! // If I were only free // I'd hie me far away! // Unknown her face and name, // But this he knew right well, // The maiden's wailing came // From out a dungeon cell. // A hapless woman lay // Within that dungeon grim - // That fact, I've heard him say, // Was quite enough for him. // I will not sit or lie, // Or eat or drink, I vow, // Till thou art free as I, // Or I as pent as thou. // Her tears then ceased to flow, // Her wails no longer rang, // And tuneful in her woe // The prisoned maiden sang: // Oh, stranger, as you play, // I recognize your touch; // And all that I can say // Is, thank you very much. // He seized his clarion straight, // And blew thereat, until // A warden oped the gate. // Oh, what might be your will? // I've come, Sir Knave, to see // The master of these halls: // A maid unwillingly // Lies prisoned in their walls.' // With barely stifled sigh // That porter drooped his head, // With teardrops in his eye, // A many, sir, he said. // He stayed to hear no more, // But pushed that porter by, // And shortly stood before // Sir Hugh de Peckham Rye. // Sir Hugh he darkly frowned, // What would you, sir, with me? // The troubadour he downed // Upon his bended knee. // I've come, de Peckham Rye, // To do a Christian task; // You ask me what would I? // It is not much I ask. // Release these maidens, sir, // Whom you dominion o'er - // Particularly her // Upon the second floor. // And if you don't, my lord - // He here stood bolt upright, // And tapped a tailor's sword - // Come out, you cad, and fight! // Sir Hugh he called - and ran // The warden from the gate: // Go, show this gentleman // The maid in Forty-eight. // By many a cell they past, // And stopped at length before // A portal, bolted fast: // The man unlocked the door. // He called inside the gate // With coarse and brutal shout, // Come, step it, Forty-eight! // And Forty-eight stepped out. // They gets it pretty hot, // The maidens what we cotch - // Two years this lady's got // For collaring a wotch. // Oh, ah! - indeed - I see, // The troubadour exclaimed - // If I may make so free, // How is this castle named? // The warden's eyelids fill, // And sighing, he replied, // Of gloomy Pentonville // This is the female side! // 2 // The minstrel did not wait // The Warden stout to thank, // But recollected straight // He'd business at the Bank. // Ferdinando And Elvira // Or, The Gentle Pieman // PART I. // At a pleasant evening party I had taken down to supper // One whom I will call Elvira, and we talked of love and Tupper, // Mr. Tupper and the Poets, very lightly with them dealing, // For I've always been distinguished for a strong poetic feeling. // Then we let off paper crackers, each of which contained a motto, // And she listened while I read them, till her mother told her not to. // Then she whispered, To the ball-room we had better, dear, be walking; // If we stop down here much longer, really people will be talking. // There were noblemen in coronets, and military cousins, // There were captains by the hundred, there were baronets by dozens. // Yet she heeded not their offers, but dismissed them with a blessing, // Then she let down all her back hair, which had taken long in dressing. // Then she had convulsive sobbings in her agitated throttle, // Then she wiped her pretty eyes and smelt her pretty smelling- bottle. // So I whispered, Dear Elvira, say, - what can the matter be with you? // Does anything you've eaten, darling Popsy, disagree with you? // But spite of all I said, her sobs grew more and more distressing, // And she tore her pretty back hair, which had taken long in dressing. // Then she gazed upon the carpet, at the ceiling, then above me, // And she whispered, Ferdinando, do you really, really love me? // Love you? said I, then I sighed, and then I gazed upon her sweetly - // For I think I do this sort of thing particularly neatly. // Send me to the Arctic regions, or illimitable azure, // On a scientific goose-chase, with my Coxwell or my Glaisher! // Tell me whither I may hie me - tell me, dear one, that I may know - // Is it up the highest Andes? down a horrible volcano? // But she said, It isn't polar bears, or hot volcanic grottoes: // Only find out who it is that writes those lovely cracker mottoes! // PART II. // Tell me, Henry Wadsworth, Alfred Poet Close, or Mister Tupper, // Do you write the bon bon mottoes my Elvira pulls at supper? // But Henry Wadsworth smiled, and said he had not had that honour; // And Alfred, too, disclaimed the words that told so much upon her. // Mister Martin Tupper, Poet Close, I beg of you inform us; // But my question seemed to throw them both into a rage enormous. // Mister Close expressed a wish that he could only get anigh to me; // And Mister Martin Tupper sent the following reply to me: // A fool is bent upon a twig, but wise men dread a bandit, - // Which I know was very clever; but I didn't understand it. // Seven weary years I wandered - Patagonia, China, Norway, // Till at last I sank exhausted at a pastrycook his doorway. // There were fuchsias and geraniums, and daffodils and myrtle, // 3 // So I entered, and I ordered half a basin of mock turtle. // He was plump and he was chubby, he was smooth and he was rosy, // And his little wife was pretty and particularly cosy. // And he chirped and sang, and skipped about, and laughed with laughter hearty - // He was wonderfully active for so very stout a party. // And I said, O gentle pieman, why so very, very merry? // Is it purity of conscience, or your one-and-seven sherry? // But he answered, I'm so happy - no profession could be dearer - // If I am not humming 'Tra! la! la!' I'm singing 'Tirer, lirer!' // First I go and make the patties, and the puddings, and the jellies, // Then I make a sugar bird-cage, which upon a table swell is; // Then I polish all the silver, which a supper-table lacquers; // Then I write the pretty mottoes which you find inside the crackers. - // Found at last! I madly shouted. Gentle pieman, you astound me! // Then I waved the turtle soup enthusiastically round me. // And I shouted and I danced until he'd quite a crowd around him - // And I rushed away exclaiming, I have found him! I have found him! // And I heard the gentle pieman in the road behind me trilling, // 'Tira, lira!' stop him, stop him! 'Tra! la! la!' the soup's a shilling! // But until I reached Elvira's home, I never, never waited, // And Elvira to her Ferdinand's irrevocably mated! // Lorenzo De Lardy // Dalilah de Dardy adored // The very correctest of cards, // Lorenzo de Lardy, a lord - // He was one of Her Majesty's Guards. // Dalilah de Dardy was fat, // Dalilah de Dardy was old - // (No doubt in the world about that) // But Dalilah de Dardy had gold. // Lorenzo de Lardy was tall, // The flower of maidenly pets, // Young ladies would love at his call, // But Lorenzo de Lardy had debts. // His money-position was queer, // And one of his favourite freaks // Was to hide himself three times a year, // In Paris, for several weeks. // Many days didn't pass him before // He fanned himself into a flame, // For a beautiful Dam du Comptwore, // And this was her singular name: // Alice Eulalie Coraline // Euphrosine Colombina Th‚rese // Juliette Stephanie Celestine // Charlotte Russe de la Sauce Mayonnaise. // She booked all the orders and tin, // Accoutred in showy fal-lal, // At a two-fifty Restaurant, in // 4 // The glittering Palais Royal. // He'd gaze in her orbit of blue, // Her hand he would tenderly squeeze, // But the words of her tongue that he knew // Were limited strictly to these: // Coraline Celestine Eulalie, // Houp l…! Je vous aime, oui, mossoo, // Combien donnez moi aujourd'hui // Bonjour, Mademoiselle, parlez voo. // Mademoiselle de la Sauce Mayonnaise // Was a witty and beautiful miss, // Extremely correct in her ways, // But her English consisted of this: // Oh my! pretty man, if you please, // Blom boodin, biftek, currie lamb, // Bouldogue, two franc half, quite ze cheese, // Rosbif, me spik Angleesh, godam. // A waiter, for seasons before, // Had basked in her beautiful gaze, // And burnt to dismember Milor. // He loved de la Sauce Mayonnaise. // He said to her, M‚chante Th‚rese, // Avec d‚sespoir tu m'accables. // Penses-tu, de la Sauce Mayonnaise, // Ses intentions sont honorables? // Flirtez toujours, ma belle, si tu “ses - // Je me vengerai ainsi, ma chere, // Je lui dirai de quoi l'on compose // Vol au vent ‚ la Financiere! // Lord Lardy knew nothing of this - // The waiter's devotion ignored, // But he gazed on the beautiful miss, // And never seemed weary or bored. // The waiter would screw up his nerve, // His fingers he'd snap and he'd dance - // And Lord Lardy would smile and observe, // How strange are the customs of France! // Well, after delaying a space, // His tradesmen no longer would wait: // Returning to England apace, // He yielded himself to his fate. // Lord Lardy espoused, with a groan, // Miss Dardy's developing charms, // And agreed to tag on to his own, // Her name and her newly-found arms. // The waiter he knelt at the toes // Of an ugly and thin coryph‚e, // Who danced in the hindermost rows // At the Th‚atre des Vari‚t‚s. // Mademoiselle de la Sauce Mayonnaise // 5 // Didn't yield to a gnawing despair // But married a soldier, and plays // As a pretty and pert Vivandiere. // Disillusioned // By An Ex-Enthusiast // Oh, that my soul its gods could see // As years ago they seemed to me // When first I painted them; // Invested with the circumstance // Of old conventional romance: // Exploded theorem! // The bard who could, all men above, // Inflame my soul with songs of love, // And, with his verse, inspire // The craven soul who feared to die // With all the glow of chivalry // And old heroic fire; // I found him in a beerhouse tap // Awaking from a gin-born nap, // With pipe and sloven dress; // Amusing chums, who fooled his bent, // With muddy, maudlin sentiment, // And tipsy foolishness! // The novelist, whose painting pen // To legions of fictitious men // A real existence lends, // Brain-people whom we rarely fail, // Whene'er we hear their names, to hail // As old and welcome friends; // I found in clumsy snuffy suit, // In seedy glove, and blucher boot, // Uncomfortably big. // Particularly commonplace, // With vulgar, coarse, stockbroking face, // And spectacles and wig. // My favourite actor who, at will, // With mimic woe my eyes could fill // With unaccustomed brine: // A being who appeared to me // (Before I knew him well) to be // A song incarnadine; // I found a coarse unpleasant man // With speckled chin - unhealthy, wan - // Of self-importance full: // Existing in an atmosphere // That reeked of gin and pipes and beer - // Conceited, fractious, dull. // The warrior whose ennobled name // Is woven with his country's fame, // 6 // Triumphant over all, // I found weak, palsied, bloated, blear; // His province seemed to be, to leer // At bonnets in Pall Mall. // Would that ye always shone, who write, // Bathed in your own innate limelight, // And ye who battles wage, // Or that in darkness I had died // Before my soul had ever sighed // To see you off the stage! // Babette's Love // Babette she was a fisher gal, // With jupon striped and cap in crimps. // She passed her days inside the Halle, // Or catching little nimble shrimps. // Yet she was sweet as flowers in May, // With no professional bouquet. // Jacot was, of the Customs bold, // An officer, at gay Boulogne, // He loved Babette - his love he told, // And sighed, Oh, soyez vous my own! // But Non! said she, Jacot, my pet, // Vous ˆtes trop scraggy pour Babette. // Of one alone I nightly dream, // An able mariner is he, // And gaily serves the Gen'ral Steam- // Boat Navigation Companee. // I'll marry him, if he but will - // His name, I rather think, is Bill. // I see him when he's not aware, // Upon our hospitable coast, // Reclining with an easy air // Upon the Port against a post, // A-thinking of, I'll dare to say, // His native Chelsea far away! // Oh, mon! exclaimed the Customs bold, // Mes yeux! he said (which means my eye) // Oh, chere! he also cried, I'm told, // Par Jove, he added, with a sigh. // Oh, mon! oh, chere! mes yeux! par Jove! // Je n'aime pas cet enticing cove! // The Panther's captain stood hard by, // He was a man of morals strict // If e'er a sailor winked his eye, // Straightway he had that sailor licked, // Mast-headed all (such was his code) // Who dashed or jiggered, blessed or blowed. // He wept to think a tar of his // Should lean so gracefully on posts, // 7 // He sighed and sobbed to think of this, // On foreign, French, and friendly coasts. // It's human natur', p'raps - if so, // Oh, isn't human natur' low! // He called his Bill, who pulled his curl, // He said, My Bill, I understand // You've captivated some young gurl // On this here French and foreign land. // Her tender heart your beauties jog - // They do, you know they do, you dog. // You have a graceful way, I learn, // Of leaning airily on posts, // By which you've been and caused to burn // A tender flame on these here coasts. // A fisher gurl, I much regret, - // Her age, sixteen - her name, Babette. // You'll marry her, you gentle tar - // Your union I myself will bless, // And when you matrimonied are, // I will appoint her stewardess. // But WILLIAM hitched himself and sighed, // And cleared his throat, and thus replied: // Not so: unless you're fond of strife, // You'd better mind your own affairs, // I have an able-bodied wife // Awaiting me at Wapping Stairs; // If all this here to her I tell, // She'll larrup you and me as well. // Skin-deep, and valued at a pin, // Is beauty such as Venus owns - // Her beauty is beneath her skin, // And lies in layers on her bones. // The other sailors of the crew // They always calls her 'Whopping Sue!' // Oho! the Captain said, I see! // And is she then so very strong? // She'd take your honour's scruff, said he // And pitch you over to Bolong! // I pardon you, the Captain said, // The fair Babette you needn't wed. // Perhaps the Customs had his will, // And coaxed the scornful girl to wed, // Perhaps the Captain and his Bill, // And William's little wife are dead; // Or p'raps they're all alive and well: // I cannot, cannot, cannot tell. // To My Bride // (Whoever She May Be) // Oh! little maid! - (I do not know your name // 8 // Or who you are, so, as a safe precaution // I'll add) - Oh, buxom widow! married dame! // (As one of these must be your present portion) // Listen, while I unveil prophetic lore for you, // And sing the fate that Fortune has in store for you. // You'll marry soon - within a year or twain - // A bachelor of circa two and thirty: // Tall, gentlemanly, but extremely plain, // And when you're intimate, you'll call him Bertie. // Neat - dresses well; his temper has been classified // As hasty; but he's very quickly pacified. // You'll find him working mildly at the Bar, // After a touch at two or three professions, // From easy affluence extremely far, // A brief or two on Circuit - soup at Sessions; // A pound or two from whist and backing horses, // And, say three hundred from his own resources. // Quiet in harness; free from serious vice, // His faults are not particularly shady, // You'll never find him shy - for, once or twice // Already, he's been driven by a lady, // Who parts with him - perhaps a poor excuse for him - // Because she hasn't any further use for him. // Oh! bride of mine - tall, dumpy, dark, or fair! // Oh! widow - wife, maybe, or blushing maiden, // I've told your fortune; solved the gravest care // With which your mind has hitherto been laden. // I've prophesied correctly, never doubt it; // Now tell me mine - and please be quick about it! // You - only you - can tell me, an' you will, // To whom I'm destined shortly to be mated, // Will she run up a heavy modiste's bill? // If so, I want to hear her income stated // (This is a point which interests me greatly). // To quote the bard, Oh! have I seen her lately? // Say, must I wait till husband number one // Is comfortably stowed away at Woking? // How is her hair most usually done? // And tell me, please, will she object to smoking? // The colour of her eyes, too, you may mention: // Come, Sibyl, prophesy - I'm all attention. // The Folly Of Brown // By A General Agent // I knew a boor - a clownish card // (His only friends were pigs and cows and // The poultry of a small farmyard), // Who came into two hundred thousand. // Good fortune worked no change in Brown, // Though she's a mighty social chymist; // 9 // He was a clown - and by a clown // I do not mean a pantomimist. // It left him quiet, calm, and cool, // Though hardly knowing what a crown was - // You can't imagine what a fool // Poor rich uneducated Brown was! // He scouted all who wished to come // And give him monetary schooling; // And I propose to give you some // Idea of his insensate fooling. // I formed a company or two - // (Of course I don't know what the rest meant, // I formed them solely with a view // To help him to a sound investment). // Their objects were - their only cares - // To justify their Boards in showing // A handsome dividend on shares // And keep their good promoter going. // But no - the lout sticks to his brass, // Though shares at par I freely proffer: // Yet - will it be believed? - the ass // Declines, with thanks, my well-meant offer! // He adds, with bumpkin's stolid grin // (A weakly intellect denoting), // He'd rather not invest it in // A company of my promoting! // You have two hundred 'thou' or more, // Said I. You'll waste it, lose it, lend it; // Come, take my furnished second floor, // I'll gladly show you how to spend it. // But will it be believed that he, // With grin upon his face of poppy, // Declined my aid, while thanking me // For what he called my philanthroppy? // Some blind, suspicious fools rejoice // In doubting friends who wouldn't harm them; // They will not hear the charmer's voice, // However wisely he may charm them! // I showed him that his coat, all dust, // Top boots and cords provoked compassion, // And proved that men of station must // Conform to the decrees of fashion. // I showed him where to buy his hat // To coat him, trouser him, and boot him; // But no - he wouldn't hear of that - // He didn't think the style would suit him! // I offered him a county seat, // And made no end of an oration; // I made it certainty complete, // And introduced the deputation. // 10 // But no - the clown my prospect blights - // (The worth of birth it surely teaches!) // Why should I want to spend my nights // In Parliament, a-making speeches? // I haven't never been to school - // I ain't had not no eddication - // And I should surely be a fool // To publish that to all the nation! // I offered him a trotting horse - // No hack had ever trotted faster - // I also offered him, of course, // A rare and curious old master. // I offered to procure him weeds - // Wines fit for one in his position - // But, though an ass in all his deeds, // He'd learnt the meaning of commission. // He called me thief the other day, // And daily from his door he thrusts me; // Much more of this, and soon I may // Begin to think that Brown mistrusts me. // So deaf to all sound Reason's rule // This poor uneducated clown is, // You cannot fancy what a fool // Poor rich uneducated Brown is. // Sir Macklin // Of all the youths I ever saw // None were so wicked, vain, or silly, // So lost to shame and Sabbath law, // As worldly Tom, and Bob, and Billy. // For every Sabbath day they walked // (Such was their gay and thoughtless natur) // In parks or gardens, where they talked // From three to six, or even later. // Sir Macklin was a priest severe // In conduct and in conversation, // It did a sinner good to hear // Him deal in ratiocination. // He could in every action show // Some sin, and nobody could doubt him. // He argued high, he argued low, // He also argued round about him. // He wept to think each thoughtless youth // Contained of wickedness a skinful, // And burnt to teach the awful truth, // That walking out on Sunday's sinful. // Oh, youths, said he, I grieve to find // The course of life you've been and hit on - // Sit down, said he, and never mind // The pennies for the chairs you sit on. // 11 // My opening head is 'Kensington,' // How walking there the sinner hardens, // Which when I have enlarged upon, // I go to 'Secondly' - its 'Gardens.' // My 'Thirdly' comprehendeth 'Hyde,' // Of Secresy the guilts and shameses; // My 'Fourthly' - 'Park' - its verdure wide - // My 'Fifthly' comprehends 'St. James's.' // That matter settled, I shall reach // The 'Sixthly' in my solemn tether, // And show that what is true of each, // Is also true of all, together. // Then I shall demonstrate to you, // According to the rules of Whately, // That what is true of all, is true // Of each, considered separately. // In lavish stream his accents flow, // Tom, Bob, and Billy dare not flout him; // He argued high, he argued low, // He also argued round about him. // Ha, ha! he said, you loathe your ways, // You writhe at these my words of warning, // In agony your hands you raise. // (And so they did, for they were yawning.) // To Twenty-firstly on they go, // The lads do not attempt to scout him; // He argued high, he argued low, // He also argued round about him. // Ho, ho! he cries, you bow your crests - // My eloquence has set you weeping; // In shame you bend upon your breasts! // (And so they did, for they were sleeping.) // He proved them this - he proved them that - // This good but wearisome ascetic; // He jumped and thumped upon his hat, // He was so very energetic. // His Bishop at this moment chanced // To pass, and found the road encumbered; // He noticed how the Churchman danced, // And how his congregation slumbered. // The hundred and eleventh head // The priest completed of his stricture; // Oh, bosh! the worthy Bishop said, // And walked him off as in the picture...


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