|DOG-GREL VERSES, BY A POOR BLIND
"Hark! hark! the dogs do bark,
The beggars are coming . . .
OH what shall I do for a dog?
Of sight I have not got a particle,
Globe, Standard, or Sun,
Can give me a good leading article.
A Mastiff once led me about,
But people appeared so to fear him—
I might have got pence
Without his defence,
But Charity would not come near him.
A Blood-hound was not much amiss,
But instinct at last got the upper;
And tracking Bill Soames,
And thieves to their homes,
I never could get home to supper.
A Fox-hound once served me as guide,
A good one at hill and at valley;
But day after day
He led me astray,
To follow a milk-woman's tally.
A Turnspit once did me good turns
At going, and crossing, and stopping;
Till one day his breed
Went off at full speed,
To spit at a great fire in Wapping.
A Pointer once pointed my way,
But did not turn out quite so pleasant;
Each hour I'd a stop
At a Poulterer's shop
To point at a very high pheasant.
A Pug did not suit me at all,
The feature unluckily rose up;
And folks took offence
When offering pence,
Because of his turning his nose up.
A Butcher once gave me a dog,
That turned out the worst one of any;
A Bull dog's own pup,
I got a toss up,
Before he had brought me a penny.
My next was a Westminster dog,
From Aistrop the regular cadger;
But, sightless, I saw
He never would draw
A blind man so well as a badger.
A greyhound I got by a swop,
But, Lord! we soon came to divorces;
He treated my strip
Of cord like a slip,
And left me to go my own courses.
A poodle once towed me along,
But always we came to one harbour;
To keep his curls smart,
And shave his hind part,
He constantly called on a barber.
My next was a Newfoundland brute,
As big as a calf fit for slaughter;
But my old cataract
So truly he back'd
I always fell into the water.
I once had a sheep-dog for guide,
His worth did not value a button;
I found it no go,
A Smithfield Ducrow,
To stand on four saddles of mutton.
My next was an Esqnimaux dog,
A dog that my bones ache to talk on,
For picking his ways
On cold frosty days
He pick'd out the slides for a walk on.
Bijou was a lady-like dog,
But vex'd me at night not a little,
When tea-time was come
She would not go home,
Her tail had once trail'd a tin kettle.
I once had a sort of a Shock,
And kiss'd a street post like a brother,
And lost every tooth
In learning this truth—
One blind cannot well lead another.
A terrier was far from a trump,
He had one defect, and a thorough,
I never could stir,
'Od rabbit the cur!
Without going into the Borough.
My next was Dalmatian, the dog!
And led me in danger, oh crikey!
By chasing horse heels,
Between carriage wheels,
'Till I came upon boards that were spiky.
The next that I had was from Cross,
And once was a favourite spaniel
With Nero, now dead,
And so I was led
Right up to his den, like a Daniel.
A mongrel I tried, and he did,
As far as the profit and lossing,
Except that the kind
Endangers the blind,
The breed is so fond of a crossing.
A setter was quite to my taste,
In alleys or streets broad or narrow,
'Till one day I met
A very dead set,
At a very dead horse in a barrow.
I once had a dog that went mad,
And sorry I was that I got him;
It came to a run,
And a man with a gun
Pepper'd me when he ought to have shot
My profits have gone to the dogs,
My trade has been such a deceiver,
I fear that my aim
Is a mere losing game,
Unless I can find a Retriever.
A GIPSEY PARTY.
"Come stain your cheeks with nut or berry,
You'll find a gipsey's life is merry."
I no not know what imp of mischief could have put such a fancy into the
dreaming head of Mrs. Carnaby, except Puck—but on a fine morning in August
she woke with a determination to get up a gipsey party, and have a day's
pleasure "under the green-wood tree." She opened her mind,
therefore, to Mr. C—, as soon as he had opened his eyes, and before
breakfast they had arranged the whole affair. Hornsey Wood was
stale, and Norwood was rejected, for the very paradoxical reason that it
was such a haunt for Gipseys; and Mrs. Carnaby meant to take even her
youngest children. After a good deal of debating, Hainault was the
Forest fixed upon;—it lay so handy to Whitechapel, and the redletter day
was marked to be the Wednesday in the following week, because then Master
Carnaby would only lose half a day's schooling.
Accordingly, on the Wednesday, the Dryads of Wanstead were
startled by the rumble of a well laden tax-cart up that avenue which once
led to a princely mansion; and the vehicle at last stopped, and set down
its insides and outsides just where the lines of trees branch off into
another verdant alley. "It was," Mrs. Carnaby remarked, "a delicious
green spot, and very handy to the Green Man for getting porter."
Mrs. C— was assisted out of the cart; and then Miss C— was lifted out by
Mr. Hodges; and then the children were lifted out by the Mother; and then
the nursemaid, an awkward plain looking girl that nobody helped, tumbled
out. In the meantime, Master C— jumped out, all agog after
blackberrying and bird-nesting; and had swarmed half up a tree before his
mother's vigilance discovered, at a single glance, that he was tearing his
trowsers, and had his best clothes on. This was a bad setting out
for the boy; and the horse was not better, for directly he got out of
harness, and felt himself free and at grass, after two or three
preliminary kicks and plunges, it occurred to him to indulge in a roll,
and so he rolled over a pigeon pie that was unfortunately unpacked, and
finished by getting very much up with his fore-legs in a basket of ginger
beer. But it was only a moment of enthusiasm; and, like other old
nags, he betook himself to eating his green grass salad as gravely as a
judge. None of the performers were fortunate in their debût.
The first thing Mrs. Carnaby did in her hurry to save the pop, was to pop
down one of the children on the basket of knives and forks; but it was a
sharp child and soon got up again: and the first thing the other twin did
was to trip over a stump, and fall, as Betty nursemaid said, "with its
face in a fuz." The first thing Mr. Hodges did, was to take Miss
Carnaby round the waist and give her a smacking kiss; in return for which,
as her first act, she gave him a playful push, that sent him, with his
white ducks, into a muddy miniature pond, that had recently been stirred
up by a cow in search of a cold bath. The first thing that Mr. C—
did was to recommend some brandy as a preventive against catching cold;
but the last thing the brandy bottle had done had been to stay at home in
the cupboard. Mr. Hodges, therefore, walked off to the Green Man for
his health's sake; and Master Carnaby sneaked off, nobody knew where, for
the sake of blackberries;—while the Nursemaid, for the sake of society,
took a romantic walk with the two twins, and a strange footman.
Gipseys are a wandering race, and all the performers topped their parts;
the very horse roamed away like a horse that had neither parish nor
settlement; and Mr. Carnaby would have gone roaming after him, if his Wife
and Daughter had not hung round his neck and made him swear not to leave 'em
till the others returned, which was afterwards softened down to taking a
little walk, provided he didn't go out of sight and hearing. In the
meantime Mrs. and Miss C— laid the cloth, and began to review the
eatables, not without lamenting over the smash of the pigeon pie; and when
they came to plan their second course they found that the chief remove, a
cold round of beef, had been pinned on the way down by a favourite
bull-dog, that Master Carnaby had smuggled into the party. Luckily
for the dog, he had also gone roving, with the whole forest before him, as
naturally as if he had belonged to Bampfylde Moore Carew, the King of the
Mrs. Carnaby was one of those characters emphatically called fidgets; she
never rested till each individual came back, and she never rested when
they did. Mr. C. was the first to return, and not in the first of
tempers. He had been done out of his long anticipated rural walk by
setting his foot, before he had gone a hundred yards, on a yard of snake,
and it had frightened him so that Mrs. Carnaby expected "it would turn his
whole mash of blood, and give him the yellow jaundice." Mr. Hodges
came in second, but to the impatient eye of Miss C. certainly did not
proceed from the Green Man with the straightness of a bullet from a rifle.
Master Carnaby was a good third, for he had been well horsewhipped, just
as he had got three little red blackberries and five thorns in his
fingers, by a gentleman who did not approve of his trespassing upon his
grounds. Boxer, the bull-dog, was fourth; he came back on three
legs, with his brindle well peppered with number six by the gamekeeper, to
cure him of worrying park rabbits. In fact, poor Boxer, as Mrs. C.
exclaimed, was "bleeding like a pig," and the grateful animal acknowledged
her compassionate notice by going and rubbing his shot hide against her
shot silk, in return for which he got a blow quite hard enough to shiver
the stick of something between a parasol and an umbrella. As for the
nurse-maid and the twins they did not return for an hour, to the infinite
horror of the mother; but just as they were all sitting down to dinner
Betsey appeared with her charge, walked off their feet, with their "pretty
mouths all besmeared" with blue and red juice; but no one of the party was
botanist enough to tell whether the berries they were munching were hips
and haws, or bilberries, or deadly nightshade, but maternal anxiety made
sure it was the "rank pison." Accordingly dinner was postponed, and
they set to get up an extempore fire to make the kettle hot, and as soon
as the water was warm enough, these "two pretty babes" were well drenched,
and were soon as perfectly uncomfortable as they had been two months
before in a rough steam trip to Margate. As soon as peace was
restored it transpired, from an examination of the children, and a very
cross examination of the nurse-maid, that they had met with a real gipsey
woman in the forest who had told Betty's fortune, but had omitted to
prognosticate that her mistress would give her warning on the spot, and
that her gipseying would end, as it actually did, in finding herself
suddenly out of place in the middle of a forest. Like other
servants, when they lose a comfortable situation, "some natural tears she
shed," but did not wipe them soon, as did "our general mother," for the
very excellent reason that she had spread her pocket handkerchief on the
ground to sit upon, somewhere between Wanstead and Walthamstow, and had
left it as a waif to the lord of the manor.
Dinner time then came again, to the especial delight of the two empty
children, though, thanks to the horse and dog, it was principally broken
victuals. But on sitting down and counting heads Master C. had a
second time absconded during the last bustle; and, as his mother could not
touch a morsel for anxiety, Mr. Carnaby was obliged to set out fasting to
look for him, and had soon the satisfaction of finding him sitting
hat-less crying in a wet ditch, and scraping a suit of brown off a suit of
blue with an old oyster shell. His father, in the first transport of
anger and hunger, gave him what boys call "a regular larruping," then a
good rubbing down with a bunch of fern, and then brought him back to the
cold collation, with the comfortable threat that he should go without his
dinner. As soon as the culprit could explain for sobbing, he told
them that "he had gone for a little walk, like; and saw the most capital
donkey with a saddle and bridle feeding wild about the forest as if he
belonged to nobody, and he just got on him like, like they used to do at
Margate; and then the donkey set off full tear, and never stopped till he
came to a tent of gipseys in the middle of the wood; and they all set upon
him, and swore at him like any thing for running away with their donkey;
and then all of a sudden he lost his hat and his handkerchief, and his
money out of his pockets like conjuring; then they told him to run for his
life, and so he did, and as for the mud it was all along of jumping over a
hedge that had no other side to it." This intelligence threw Mrs.
Carnaby into an agony of horror, which could only be pacified by their
immediately packing up and removing, eatables and all, to a less lonesome
place by the side of the road, an operation that was performed by their
all pulling and pushing at the cart, as the horse had taken French leave
It was now Miss Carnaby's turn to be discomfited: her retiring disposition
made her wince under the idea of dining in public; for being market-day at
Romford, they were overlooked by plenty of farmers and pig-butchers:
consequently, after a very miffy dialogue with her mother, the young lady
took herself off, as she was desired, with "her romantical notions," to a
place of more solitude, and Mr. Hodges, as in gallantry bound, postponed
his dinner till his tea to keep her in company. In the meantime,
Betsey, who had been sent up to the Green Man for the porter, returned
with the empty tankard, and a terrified tale of being "cotch'd hold on by
a ruffin in the wood, that had drunk up all the beer to all their very
good healths". The first impulse of Mr. Carnaby was to jump up to do
justice on the vagabond, but Mrs. C— had the presence of mind to catch
hold of his coat-flaps so abruptly, that before he could well feel his
legs, he found himself sitting in a large plum pie, which the children had
just set their hearts upon; of course it did not mend his temper to hear
the shout from a dozen ragged boys who were looking on; and in the crisis
of his vexation, he vented such a fervent devil's blessing on gipsey
parties, and all that proposed them, that Mrs. Carnaby was obliged to take
it up, and to tell him sharply, what in reality was true enough, that "if
people did have gipsey parties, it didn't follow that their stupid
husbands was to sit down on plum pies." Heaven knows to what size
and shape this little quarrel might have ripened, but for the appearance
of Miss Carnaby, who, with a terrified exclamation sat herself down, and
after a vain attempt to recover, went off into a strong fit of what her
mother called "kicking hysterics." The cause was soon explained by
the appearance of Mr. Hodges, with one eye poached black, and a dog-bite
in the calf of his leg, because "he had only stood looking on at two men
setting wires for rabbits, thinking to himself if he watched them well he
could learn how to do it." Fortunately, Miss Carnaby came to just in
time to concur with her father and Mr. Hodges in the opinion, that the
best thing they could all do was to pack up and go home, but which was
stoutly combatted by Mrs. Carnaby, who insisted that she was resolved to
take tea in a wood for once in her life, and she was seconded by the
children and Master C—, who said they hadn't had any pleasure yet.
It was an unanswerable argument; sticks were collected, a fire was made,
the kettle boiled, the tea-things were set in order, the bread and butter
was cut, and pleasure began to smile on the gipsey party so placidly that
Mr. Hodges was encouraged to begin playing "In my Cottage near a Wood," on
the key bugle, but was obliged to break off in the middle, on finding that
it acted as a bugle call to a corps of observation, who came and stood
round to see "Rural Felicity." Mrs. Carnaby, however, was happy; but
"there is many a slip between the tea-cup and the lip." She was in
the triumphant fact of pouring the hot water on her best souchong, in her
best china tea-pot, when a very well charged gun went off just on the
other side of the park palings, and Mrs. Carnaby had not been born like
her Grace, old Sarah of Marlborough, "before nerves came in fashion."
The tea-kettle dropped from her hand upon the tea-pot, which it dashed to
atoms, and then lay on its side, hot watering the daisies and the
dandelions that had the luck to grow near it. "Misfortunes never
come single," and the gun, therefore, acted like a double one in its
inflictions; for no sooner did Boxer recognize its sound than he jumped
up, and with an alarming howl dashed through the rest of the tea service,
as if he had absorbed another ounce of number six: a fresh shout from the
bystanders welcomed this new disaster, and with the true spirit of "biting
a bitten cur," they began to heap embarrassments on the disconcerted
gipseyers. They kept pitching sticks into the fire till it grew a
bonfire, and made cockshies of the remaining crockery; some audacious boys
even helped themselves to bread and butter, as if on the principle that
the open air ought to keep open house. As there were too many
assailants to chastise, the only remedy was to pack up and take to the
road as fast as they could, with a horse which they found with two broken
knees, the consequence of his being too curious in the construction of a
gravelpit. "You may say what you like," said Mr. Carnaby, in his
summing up, "but for my part I must say of gipseying, that it's impossible
to take to it without being regularly done brown."'
LITTLE O' P—AN AFRICAN FACT.
IT was July the First, and the great hill of Howth
Was bearing by compass sow-west and by south,
And the name of the ship was the Peggy of Cork,
Well freighted with bacon and butter and pork.
Now, this ship had a captain, Macmorris by name,
And little O'Patrick was mate of the same;
For Bristol they sail'd, but by nautical scope,
They contrived to be lost by the Cape of Good Hope.
Of all the Cork boys that the vessel could boast,
Only little O' P. made a swim to the coast;
And when he revived from a sort of a trance,
He saw a big Black with a very long lance.
Says the savage, says he, in some Hottentot tongue,
"Bash Kuku my gimmel bo gumborry bung!"
Then blew a long shell, to the fright of our elf,
And down came a hundred as black as himself.
They brought with them guattul and pieces of klam,
The first was like beef and the second like lamb;
"Don't I know," said O'P., "what the wretches are at?
They're intending to eat me as soon as I'm fat!"
In terror of coming to pan, spit, or pot,
His rations of jarbul he suffer'd to rot;
He would not touch purry or doolberry-lik,
But kept himself growing as thin as a stick:
Though broiling the climate, and parching with drowth.
He would not let chobbery enter his mouth,
But kick'd down the krug shell, tho' sweetened with
"I an't to be pison'd the likes of a rat!"
At last the great Joddry got quite in a rage,
And cried, "O mi pitticum dambally nage!
The chobbery take, and put back on the shelf,
Or give me the kruy shell, I'll drink it myself!
The doolberry-lik is the best to be had,
And the parry (I chew'd it myself) is not bad;
The jarbul is fresh, for I saw it cut out,
And the Bok that it came from is grazing about.
My jumbo! but run off to Billery Nang,
And tell her to put on her jigger and tang,
And go with the Bloss to the man of the sea,
And say that she comes as his Wulwul from me.
"Now, Billery Nang was as black as a sweep,
With thick curly hair like the wool of a sheep,
And the moment he spied her, said little O' P.,
"Sure the Divil is dead, and his Widow's at me!"
But when, in the blaze of her Hottentot charms,
She came to accept him for life in her arms,
And stretched her thick lips to a broad grin of love,
A Raven preparing to bill like a Dove,
With a soul full of dread he declined the grim bliss,
Stopped her Molyneux arms, and eluded her kiss;
At last, fairly foiled, she gave up the attack,
And Joddry began to look blacker than black;
"By Mumbo! by Jumbo!—why here is a man,
That won't be made happy do all that I can;
He will not be married, lodged, clad, and well fed,
Let the Rham take his shangwang and chop off his
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