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50 bab ballads(50篇巴布歌謠)

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Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 
Sound and Little 

W. S. Gilbert 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

THE "BAB BALLADS" appeared originally in the columns of "FUN," 
when that periodical was under the editorship of the late TOM HOOD. 
They were subsequently republished in two volumes, one called "THE 
BAB BALLADS," the other "MORE BAB BALLADS." The period 
during which they were written extended over some three or four years; 
many, however, were composed hastily, and under the discomforting 
necessity of having to turn out a quantity of lively verse by a certain day in 
every week. As it seemed to me (and to others) that the volumes were 
disfigured by the presence of these hastily written impostors, I thought it 
better to withdraw from both volumes such Ballads as seemed to show 
evidence of carelessness or undue haste, and to publish the remainder in 
the compact form under which they are now presented to the reader. 

It may interest some to know that the first of the series, "The Yarn of 
the NANCY BELL," was originally offered to "PUNCH," - to which I was, 
at that time, an occasional contributor. It was, however, declined by the 
then Editor, on the ground that it was "too cannibalistic for his readers' 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

OF all the ships upon the blue, No ship contained a better crew Than 
that of worthy CAPTAIN REECE, Commanding of THE 

He was adored by all his men, For worthy CAPTAIN REECE, R.N., 
Did all that lay within him to Promote the comfort of his crew. 

If ever they were dull or sad, Their captain danced to them like mad, 
Or told, to make the time pass by, Droll legends of his infancy. 

A feather bed had every man, Warm slippers and hot-water can, Brown 
windsor from the captain's store, A valet, too, to every four. 

Did they with thirst in summer burn, Lo, seltzogenes at every turn, 
And on all very sultry days Cream ices handed round on trays. 

Then currant wine and ginger pops Stood handily on all the "tops;" 
And also, with amusement rife, A "Zoetrope, or Wheel of Life." 

New volumes came across the sea From MISTER MUDIE'S libraree; 
THE TIMES and SATURDAY REVIEW Beguiled the leisure of the crew. 

Kind-hearted CAPTAIN REECE, R.N., Was quite devoted to his men; 
In point of fact, good CAPTAIN REECE Beatified THE MANTELPIECE. 

One summer eve, at half-past ten, He said (addressing all his men): 
"Come, tell me, please, what I can do To please and gratify my crew. 

"By any reasonable plan I'll make you happy if I can; My own 
convenience count as NIL: It is my duty, and I will." 

Then up and answered WILLIAM LEE (The kindly captain's coxswain 
he, A nervous, shy, low-spoken man), He cleared his throat and thus 

"You have a daughter, CAPTAIN REECE, Ten female cousins and a 
niece, A Ma, if what I'm told is true, Six sisters, and an aunt or two. 

"Now, somehow, sir, it seems to me, More friendly-like we all should 
be, If you united of 'em to Unmarried members of the crew. 

"If you'd ameliorate our life, Let each select from them a wife; And as 
for nervous me, old pal, Give me your own enchanting gal!" 

Good CAPTAIN REECE, that worthy man, Debated on his coxswain's 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"My daughter, that enchanting gurl, Has just been promised to an Earl, 
And all my other familee To peers of various degree. 

"But what are dukes and viscounts to The happiness of all my crew? 
The word I gave you I'll fulfil; It is my duty, and I will. 

"As you desire it shall befall, I'll settle thousands on you all, And I 
shall be, despite my hoard, The only bachelor on board." 

The boatswain of THE MANTELPIECE, He blushed and spoke to 
CAPTAIN REECE: "I beg your honour's leave," he said; "If you would 
wish to go and wed, 

"I have a widowed mother who Would be the very thing for you - She 
long has loved you from afar: She washes for you, CAPTAIN R." 

The Captain saw the dame that day - Addressed her in his playful way 

- "And did it want a wedding ring? It was a tempting ickle sing! 
"Well, well, the chaplain I will seek, We'll all be married this day week 
At yonder church upon the hill; It is my duty, and I will!" 
The sisters, cousins, aunts, and niece, And widowed Ma of CAPTAIN 
REECE, Attended there as they were bid; It was their duty, and they did. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

LIST while the poet trolls Of MR. CLAYTON HOOPER, Who had a 
cure of souls At Spiffton-extra-Sooper. 

He lived on curds and whey, And daily sang their praises, And then 
he'd go and play With buttercups and daisies. 

Wild croquet HOOPER banned, And all the sports of Mammon, He 
warred with cribbage, and He exorcised backgammon. 

His helmet was a glance That spoke of holy gladness; A saintly smile 
his lance; His shield a tear of sadness. 

His Vicar smiled to see This armour on him buckled: With pardonable 
glee He blessed himself and chuckled. 

"In mildness to abound My curate's sole design is; In all the country 
round There's none so mild as mine is!" 

And HOOPER, disinclined His trumpet to be blowing, Yet didn't think 
you'd find A milder curate going. 

A friend arrived one day At Spiffton-extra-Sooper, And in this 
shameful way He spoke to Mr. HOOPER: 

"You think your famous name For mildness can't be shaken, That none 
can blot your fame - But, HOOPER, you're mistaken! 

"Your mind is not as blank As that of HOPLEY PORTER, Who holds 
a curate's rank At Assesmilk-cum-Worter. 

"HE plays the airy flute, And looks depressed and blighted, Doves 
round about him 'toot,' And lambkins dance delighted. 

"HE labours more than you At worsted work, and frames it; In old 
maids' albums, too, Sticks seaweed - yes, and names it!" 

The tempter said his say, Which pierced him like a needle - He 
summoned straight away His sexton and his beadle. 

(These men were men who could Hold liberal opinions: On Sundays 
they were good - On week-days they were minions.) 

"To HOPLEY PORTER go, Your fare I will afford you - Deal him a 
deadly blow, And blessings shall reward you. 

"But stay - I do not like Undue assassination, And so before you strike, 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"I'll give him this one chance - If he'll more gaily bear him, Play 
croquet, smoke, and dance, I willingly will spare him." 

They went, those minions true, To Assesmilk-cum-Worter, And told 
their errand to The REVEREND HOPLEY PORTER. 

"What?" said that reverend gent, "Dance through my hours of leisure? 
Smoke? - bathe myself with scent? - Play croquet? Oh, with pleasure! 

"Wear all my hair in curl? Stand at my door and wink - so - At every 
passing girl? My brothers, I should think so! 

"For years I've longed for some Excuse for this revulsion: Now that 
excuse has come - I do it on compulsion!!!" 

He smoked and winked away - This REVEREND HOPLEY PORTER 

-The deuce there was to pay At Assesmilk-cum-Worter. 
And HOOPER holds his ground, In mildness daily growing -They 
think him, all around, The mildest curate going. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

ONLY a dancing girl, With an unromantic style, With borrowed colour 
and curl, With fixed mechanical smile, With many a hackneyed wile, With 
ungrammatical lips, And corns that mar her trips. 

Hung from the "flies" in air, She acts a palpable lie, She's as little a 
fairy there As unpoetical I! I hear you asking, Why - Why in the world I 
sing This tawdry, tinselled thing? 

No airy fairy she, As she hangs in arsenic green From a highly 
impossible tree In a highly impossible scene (Herself not over-clean). For 
fays don't suffer, I'm told, From bunions, coughs, or cold. 

And stately dames that bring Their daughters there to see, Pronounce 
the "dancing thing" No better than she should be, With her skirt at her 
shameful knee, And her painted, tainted phiz: Ah, matron, which of us is? 

(And, in sooth, it oft occurs That while these matrons sigh, Their 
dresses are lower than hers, And sometimes half as high; And their hair is 
hair they buy, And they use their glasses, too, In a way she'd blush to do.) 
But change her gold and green For a coarse merino gown, And see her 
upon the scene Of her home, when coaxing down Her drunken father's 
frown, In his squalid cheerless den: She's a fairy truly, then! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

COME with me, little maid, Nay, shrink not, thus afraid - I'll harm thee 
not! Fly not, my love, from me - I have a home for thee - A fairy grot, 
Where mortal eye Can rarely pry, There shall thy dwelling be! 

List to me, while I tell The pleasures of that cell, Oh, little maid! What 
though its couch be rude, Homely the only food Within its shade? No 
thought of care Can enter there, No vulgar swain intrude! 

Come with me, little maid, Come to the rocky shade I love to sing; 
Live with us, maiden rare - Come, for we "want" thee there, Thou elfin 
thing, To work thy spell, In some cool cell In stately Pentonville! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

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 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

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!" 

The minstrel did not wait The Warden stout to thank, But recollected 
straight He'd business at the Bank. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 


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 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

But she said, "It isn't polar bears, or hot volcanic grottoes: Only find 
out who it is that writes those lovely cracker mottoes!" 


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 

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, 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!" 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

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! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

OH! little maid! - (I do not know your name 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. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

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 

"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. 

"My opening head is 'Kensington,' How walking there the sinner 
hardens, Which when I have enlarged upon, I go to 'Secondly' - its 

"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 

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 

"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 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

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. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 
"NANCY BELL." (1) 

'TWAS on the shores that round our coast From Deal to Ramsgate 
span, That I found alone on a piece of stone An elderly naval man. 

His hair was weedy, his beard was long, And weedy and long was he, 
And I heard this wight on the shore recite, In a singular minor key: 

"Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold, And the mate of the NANCY brig, 
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite, And the crew of the captain's gig." 

And he shook his fists and he tore his hair, Till I really felt afraid, For I 
couldn't help thinking the man had been drinking, And so I simply said: 

"Oh, elderly man, it's little I know Of the duties of men of the sea, And 
I'll eat my hand if I understand However you can be 

"At once a cook, and a captain bold, And the mate of the NANCY brig, 
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite, And the crew of the captain's gig." 

Then he gave a hitch to his trousers, which Is a trick all seamen larn, 
And having got rid of a thumping quid, He spun this painful yarn: 

"'Twas in the good ship NANCY BELL That we sailed to the Indian 
Sea, And there on a reef we come to grief, Which has often occurred to 

"And pretty nigh all the crew was drowned (There was seventy-seven 
o' soul), And only ten of the NANCY'S men Said 'Here!' to the muster-

"There was me and the cook and the captain bold, And the mate of the 
NANCY brig, And the bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite, And the crew of 
the captain's gig. 

"For a month we'd neither wittles nor drink, Till a-hungry we did feel, 
So we drawed a lot, and, accordin' shot The captain for our meal. 

"The next lot fell to the NANCY'S mate, And a delicate dish he made; 
Then our appetite with the midshipmite We seven survivors stayed. 

"And then we murdered the bo'sun tight, And he much resembled pig; 
Then we wittled free, did the cook and me, On the crew of the captain's 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"Then only the cook and me was left, And the delicate question, 
'Which Of us two goes to the kettle?' arose, And we argued it out as sich. 

"For I loved that cook as a brother, I did, And the cook he worshipped 
me; But we'd both be blowed if we'd either be stowed In the other chap's 
hold, you see. 

"'I'll be eat if you dines off me,' says TOM; 'Yes, that,' says I, 'you'll be, 

- 'I'm boiled if I die, my friend,' quoth I; And 'Exactly so,' quoth he. 
"Says he, 'Dear JAMES, to murder me Were a foolish thing to do, For 
don't you see that you can't cook ME, While I can - and will - cook YOU!' 
"So he boils the water, and takes the salt And the pepper in portions 
true (Which he never forgot), and some chopped shalot. And some sage 
and parsley too. 

"'Come here,' says he, with a proper pride, Which his smiling features 
tell, ''T will soothing be if I let you see How extremely nice you'll smell.' 

"And he stirred it round and round and round, And he sniffed at the 
foaming froth; When I ups with his heels, and smothers his squeals In the 
scum of the boiling broth. 

"And I eat that cook in a week or less, And - as I eating be The last of 
his chops, why, I almost drops, For a wessel in sight I see! 

* * * * 

"And I never larf, and I never smile, And I never lark nor play, But sit 

and croak, and a single joke I have - which is to say: 
"Oh, I am a cook and a captain bold, And the mate of the NANCY brig, 
And a bo'sun tight, and a midshipmite, And the crew of the captain's gig!'" 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

FROM east and south the holy clan Of Bishops gathered to a man; To 
Synod, called Pan-Anglican, In flocking crowds they came. Among them 
was a Bishop, who Had lately been appointed to The balmy isle of Rum-ti-
Foo, And PETER was his name. 

His people - twenty-three in sum - They played the eloquent tum-tum, 
And lived on scalps served up, in rum - The only sauce they knew. When 
first good BISHOP PETER came (For PETER was that Bishop's name), 
To humour them, he did the same As they of Rum-ti-Foo. 

His flock, I've often heard him tell, (His name was PETER) loved him 
well, And, summoned by the sound of bell, In crowds together came. "Oh, 
massa, why you go away? Oh, MASSA PETER, please to stay." (They 
called him PETER, people say, Because it was his name.) 

He told them all good boys to be, And sailed away across the sea, At 
London Bridge that Bishop he Arrived one Tuesday night; And as that 
night he homeward strode To his Pan-Anglican abode, He passed along 
the Borough Road, And saw a gruesome sight. 

He saw a crowd assembled round A person dancing on the ground, 
Who straight began to leap and bound With all his might and main. To see 
that dancing man he stopped, Who twirled and wriggled, skipped and 
hopped, Then down incontinently dropped, And then sprang up again. 

The Bishop chuckled at the sight. "This style of dancing would delight 
A simple Rum-ti-Foozleite. I'll learn it if I can, To please the tribe when I 
get back." He begged the man to teach his knack. "Right Reverend Sir, in 
half a crack! Replied that dancing man. 

The dancing man he worked away, And taught the Bishop every day The 
dancer skipped like any fay - Good PETER did the same. The Bishop 
buckled to his task, With BATTEMENTS, and PAS DE BASQUE. (I'll tell 
you, if you care to ask, That PETER was his name.) 

"Come, walk like this," the dancer said, "Stick out your toes - stick in 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"We now proceed to something new - Dance as the PAYNES and 
LAURIS do, Like this - one, two - one, two - one, two." The Bishop, never 
proud, But in an overwhelming heat (His name was PETER, I repeat) 
Performed the PAYNE and LAURI feat, And puffed his thanks aloud. 

Another game the dancer planned - "Just take your ankle in your hand, 
And try, my lord, if you can stand -Your body stiff and stark. If, when 
revisiting your see, You learnt to hop on shore - like me -The novelty 
would striking be, And must attract remark." 

"No," said the worthy Bishop, "no; That is a length to which, I trow, 
Colonial Bishops cannot go. You may express surprise At finding Bishops 
deal in pride - But if that trick I ever tried, I should appear undignified In 
Rum-ti-Foozle's eyes. 

"The islanders of Rum-ti-Foo Are well-conducted persons, who 
Approve a joke as much as you, And laugh at it as such; But if they saw 
their Bishop land, His leg supported in his hand, The joke they wouldn't 
understand - 'T would pain them very much!" 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 




AN elderly person - a prophet by trade - With his quips and tips On 
withered old lips, He married a young and a beautiful maid; The cunning 
old blade! Though rather decayed, He married a beautiful, beautiful maid. 

She was only eighteen, and as fair as could be, With her tempting 
smiles And maidenly wiles, And he was a trifle past seventy-three: Now 
what she could see Is a puzzle to me, In a prophet of seventy - seventy-

Of all their acquaintances bidden (or bad) With their loud high jinks 
And underbred winks, None thought they'd a family have - but they had; A 
dear little lad Who drove 'em half mad, For he turned out a horribly fast 
little cad. 

For when he was born he astonished all by, With their "Law, dear me!" 
"Did ever you see?" He'd a pipe in his mouth and a glass in his eye, A hat 
all awry - An octagon tie - And a miniature - miniature glass in his eye. 

He grumbled at wearing a frock and a cap, With his "Oh, dear, oh!" 
And his "Hang it! 'oo know!" And he turned up his nose at his excellent 
pap - "My friends, it's a tap Dat is not worf a rap." (Now this was 
remarkably excellent pap.) 

He'd chuck his nurse under the chin, and he'd say, With his "Fal, lal, 
lal" - "'Oo doosed fine gal!" This shocking precocity drove 'em away: "A 
month from to-day Is as long as I'll stay - Then I'd wish, if you please, for 
to toddle away." 

His father, a simple old gentleman, he With nursery rhyme And "Once 
on a time," Would tell him the story of "Little Bo-P," "So pretty was she, 
So pretty and wee, As pretty, as pretty, as pretty could be." 

But the babe, with a dig that would startle an ox, With his "C'ck! Oh, 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

The name of his father he'd couple and pair (With his ill-bred laugh, 
And insolent chaff) With those of the nursery heroines rare - Virginia the 
Fair, Or Good Goldenhair, Till the nuisance was more than a prophet could 

"There's Jill and White Cat" (said the bold little brat, With his loud, 
"Ha, ha!") "'Oo sly ickle Pa! Wiz 'oo Beauty, Bo-Peep, and 'oo Mrs. Jack 
Sprat! I've noticed 'oo pat MY pretty White Cat - I sink dear mamma 
ought to know about dat!" 

He early determined to marry and wive, For better or worse With his 
elderly nurse - Which the poor little boy didn't live to contrive: His hearth 
didn't thrive - No longer alive, He died an enfeebled old dotard at five! 


Now, elderly men of the bachelor crew, With wrinkled hose And 
spectacled nose, Don't marry at all - you may take it as true If ever you do 
The step you will rue, For your babes will be elderly - elderly too. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"GENTLE, modest little flower, Sweet epitome of May, Love me but 
for half an hour, Love me, love me, little fay." Sentences so fiercely 
flaming In your tiny shell-like ear, I should always be exclaiming If I 
loved you, PHOEBE dear. 

"Smiles that thrill from any distance Shed upon me while I sing! 
Please ecstaticize existence, Love me, oh, thou fairy thing!" Words like 
these, outpouring sadly You'd perpetually hear, If I loved you fondly, 
madly; - But I do not, PHOEBE dear. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

OF all the good attorneys who Have placed their names upon the roll, 
But few could equal BAINES CAREW For tender-heartedness and soul. 

Whene'er he heard a tale of woe From client A or client B, His grief 
would overcome him so He'd scarce have strength to take his fee. 

It laid him up for many days, When duty led him to distrain, And 
serving writs, although it pays, Gave him excruciating pain. 

He made out costs, distrained for rent, Foreclosed and sued, with 
moistened eye - No bill of costs could represent The value of such 

No charges can approximate The worth of sympathy with woe; Although 
I think I ought to state He did his best to make them so. 

Of all the many clients who Had mustered round his legal flag, No 
single client of the crew Was half so dear as CAPTAIN BAGG. 

Now, CAPTAIN BAGG had bowed him to A heavy matrimonial yoke 

- His wifey had of faults a few - She never could resist a joke. 
Her chaff at first he meekly bore, Till unendurable it grew. "To stop 
this persecution sore I will consult my friend CAREW. 
"And when CAREW'S advice I've got, Divorce A MENSA I shall try." 
(A legal separation - not A VINCULO CONJUGII.) 
"Oh, BAINES CAREW, my woe I've kept A secret hitherto, you 
know;" - (And BAINES CAREW, ESQUIRE, he wept To hear that BAGG 
HAD any woe.) 

"My case, indeed, is passing sad. My wife - whom I considered true With 
brutal conduct drives me mad." "I am appalled," said BAINES 

"What! sound the matrimonial knell Of worthy people such as these! 
Why was I an attorney? Well - Go on to the SAEVITIA, please." 
"Domestic bliss has proved my bane, - A harder case you never heard, 
My wife (in other matters sane) Pretends that I'm a Dicky bird! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"Oh, dear," said weeping BAINES CAREW, "This is the direst case I 
know." "I'm grieved," said BAGG, "at paining you - "To COBB and 

"To COBB'S cold, calculating ear, My gruesome sorrows I'll impart" "
No; stop," said BAINES, "I'll dry my tear, And steel my sympathetic 

"She makes me perch upon a tree, Rewarding me with 'Sweety - nice!' 
And threatens to exhibit me With four or five performing mice." 

"Restrain my tears I wish I could" (Said BAINES), "I don't know what 
to do." Said CAPTAIN BAGG, "You're very good." "Oh, not at all," said 

"She makes me fire a gun," said BAGG; "And, at a preconcerted word, 
Climb up a ladder with a flag, Like any street performing bird. 

"She places sugar in my way - In public places calls me 'Sweet!' She 
gives me groundsel every day, And hard canary-seed to eat." 

"Oh, woe! oh, sad! oh, dire to tell!" (Said BAINES). "Be good enough 
to stop." And senseless on the floor he fell, With unpremeditated flop! 

Said CAPTAIN BAGG, "Well, really I Am grieved to think it pains 
you so. I thank you for your sympathy; But, hang it! - come - I say, you 

But BAINES lay flat upon the floor, Convulsed with sympathetic sob; 

-The Captain toddled off next door, And gave the case to MR. COBB. 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

IN all the towns and cities fair On Merry England's broad expanse, No 
swordsman ever could compare With THOMAS WINTERBOTTOM 

The dauntless lad could fairly hew A silken handkerchief in twain, 
Divide a leg of mutton too - And this without unwholesome strain. 

On whole half-sheep, with cunning trick, His sabre sometimes he'd 
employ - No bar of lead, however thick, Had terrors for the stalwart boy. 

At Dover daily he'd prepare To hew and slash, behind, before - Which 
aggravated MONSIEUR PIERRE, Who watched him from the Calais 

It caused good PIERRE to swear and dance, The sight annoyed and 
vexed him so; He was the bravest man in France - He said so, and he 
ought to know. 

"Regardez donc, ce cochon gros - Ce polisson! Oh, sacre bleu! Son 
sabre, son plomb, et ses gigots Comme cela m'ennuye, enfin, mon Dieu! 

"Il sait que les foulards de soie Give no retaliating whack - Les gigots 
morts n'ont pas de quoi - Le plomb don't ever hit you back." 

But every day the headstrong lad Cut lead and mutton more and more; 
And every day poor PIERRE, half mad, Shrieked loud defiance from his 

HANCE had a mother, poor and old, A simple, harmless village dame, 
Who crowed and clapped as people told Of WINTERBOTTOM'S rising 

She said, "I'll be upon the spot To see my TOMMY'S sabre-play;" And 
so she left her leafy cot, And walked to Dover in a day. 

PIERRE had a doating mother, who Had heard of his defiant rage; HIS 
Ma was nearly ninety-two, And rather dressy for her age. 

At HANCE'S doings every morn, With sheer delight HIS mother cried; 
And MONSIEUR PIERRE'S contemptuous scorn Filled HIS mamma with 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

But HANCE'S powers began to fail - His constitution was not strong And 
PIERRE, who once was stout and hale, Grew thin from shouting all 
day long. 

Their mothers saw them pale and wan, Maternal anguish tore each 
breast, And so they met to find a plan To set their offsprings' minds at rest. 

Said MRS. HANCE, "Of course I shrinks From bloodshed, ma'am, as 
you're aware, But still they'd better meet, I thinks." "Assurement!" said 

A sunny spot in sunny France Was hit upon for this affair; The ground 
was picked by MRS. HANCE, The stakes were pitched by MADAME 

Said MRS. H., "Your work you see - Go in, my noble boy, and win." 
"En garde, mon fils!" said MADAME P. "Allons!" "Go on!" "En garde!" 

(The mothers were of decent size, Though not particularly tall; But in 
the sketch that meets your eyes I've been obliged to draw them small.) 

Loud sneered the doughty man of France, "Ho! ho! Ho! ho! Ha! ha! 
Ha! ha! "The French for 'Pish'" said THOMAS HANCE. Said PIERRE, 
"L'Anglais, Monsieur, pour 'Bah.'" 

Said MRS. H., "Come, one! two! three! - We're sittin' here to see all 
fair." "C'est magnifique!" said MADAME P., "Mais, parbleu! ce n'est pas 
la guerre!" 

"Je scorn un foe si lache que vous," Said PIERRE, the doughty son of 
France. "I fight not coward foe like you!" Said our undaunted TOMMY 

"The French for 'Pooh!'" our TOMMY cried. "L'Anglais pour 'Va!'" the 
Frenchman crowed. And so, with undiminished pride, Each went on his 
respective road. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

A GENTLEMAN of City fame Now claims your kind attention; East 
India broking was his game, His name I shall not mention: No one of 
finely-pointed sense Would violate a confidence, And shall I go And do it? 
No! His name I shall not mention. 

He had a trusty wife and true, And very cosy quarters, A manager, a 
boy or two, Six clerks, and seven porters. A broker must be doing well (As 
any lunatic can tell) Who can employ An active boy, Six clerks, and seven 

His knocker advertised no dun, No losses made him sulky, He had one 
sorrow - only one - He was extremely bulky. A man must be, I beg to state, 
Exceptionally fortunate Who owns his chief And only grief Is - being very 

"This load," he'd say, "I cannot bear; I'm nineteen stone or twenty! 
Henceforward I'll go in for air And exercise in plenty." Most people think 
that, should it come, They can reduce a bulging tum To measures fair By 
taking air And exercise in plenty. 

In every weather, every day, Dry, muddy, wet, or gritty, He took to 
dancing all the way From Brompton to the City. You do not often get the 
chance Of seeing sugar brokers dance From their abode In Fulham Road 
Through Brompton to the City. 

He braved the gay and guileless laugh Of children with their nusses, 
The loud uneducated chaff Of clerks on omnibuses. Against all minor 
things that rack A nicely-balanced mind, I'll back The noisy chaff And ill-
bred laugh Of clerks on omnibuses. 

His friends, who heard his money chink, And saw the house he rented, 
And knew his wife, could never think What made him discontented. It 
never entered their pure minds That fads are of eccentric kinds, Nor would 
they own That fat alone Could make one discontented. 

"Your riches know no kind of pause, Your trade is fast advancing; You 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

His mania soon got noised about And into all the papers; His size 
increased beyond a doubt For all his reckless capers: It may seem singular 
to you, But all his friends admit it true - The more he found His figure 
round, The more he cut his capers. 

His bulk increased - no matter that - He tried the more to toss it - He 
never spoke of it as "fat," But "adipose deposit." Upon my word, it seems 
to me Unpardonable vanity (And worse than that) To call your fat An 
"adipose deposit." 

At length his brawny knees gave way, And on the carpet sinking, Upon 
his shapeless back he lay And kicked away like winking. Instead of seeing 
in his state The finger of unswerving Fate, He laboured still To work his 
will, And kicked away like winking. 

His friends, disgusted with him now, Away in silence wended - I 
hardly like to tell you how This dreadful story ended. The shocking sequel 
to impart, I must employ the limner's art - If you would know, This sketch 
will show How his exertions ended. 


I hate to preach - I hate to prate - - I'm no fanatic croaker, But learn 
contentment from the fate Of this East India broker. He'd everything a man 
of taste Could ever want, except a waist; And discontent His size anent, 
And bootless perseverance blind, Completely wrecked the peace of mind 
Of this East India broker. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

VAST empty shell! Impertinent, preposterous abortion! With vacant 
stare, And ragged hair, And every feature out of all proportion! 
Embodiment of echoing inanity! Excellent type of simpering insanity! 
Unwieldy, clumsy nightmare of humanity! I ring thy knell! 

To-night thou diest, Beast that destroy'st my heaven-born identity! 
Nine weeks of nights, Before the lights, Swamped in thine own 
preposterous nonentity, I've been ill-treated, cursed, and thrashed diurnally, 
Credited for the smile you wear externally - I feel disposed to smash thy 
face, infernally, As there thou liest! 

I've been thy brain: I'VE been the brain that lit thy dull concavity! The 
human race Invest MY face With thine expression of unchecked depravity, 
Invested with a ghastly reciprocity, I'VE been responsible for thy 
monstrosity, I, for thy wanton, blundering ferocity - But not again! 

'T is time to toll Thy knell, and that of follies pantomimical: A nine 
weeks' run, And thou hast done All thou canst do to make thyself inimical. 
Adieu, embodiment of all inanity! Excellent type of simpering insanity! 
Unwieldy, clumsy nightmare of humanity! Freed is thy soul! 


Oh! master mine, Look thou within thee, ere again ill-using me. Art 
thou aware Of nothing there Which might abuse thee, as thou art abusing 
me? A brain that mourns THINE unredeemed rascality? A soul that weeps 
at THY threadbare morality? Both grieving that THEIR individuality Is 
merged in thine? 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

O'ER unreclaimed suburban clays Some years ago were hobblin' An 
elderly ghost of easy ways, And an influential goblin. The ghost was a 
sombre spectral shape, A fine old five-act fogy, The goblin imp, a lithe 
young ape, A fine low-comedy bogy. 

And as they exercised their joints, Promoting quick digestion, They 
talked on several curious points, And raised this delicate question: "Which 
of us two is Number One - The ghostie, or the goblin?" And o'er the point 
they raised in fun They fairly fell a-squabblin'. 

They'd barely speak, and each, in fine, Grew more and more reflective: 
Each thought his own particular line By chalks the more effective. At 
length they settled some one should By each of them be haunted, And so 
arrange that either could Exert his prowess vaunted. 

"The Quaint against the Statuesque" - By competition lawful - The 
goblin backed the Quaint Grotesque, The ghost the Grandly Awful. "Now," 
said the goblin, "here's my plan - In attitude commanding, I see a stalwart 
Englishman By yonder tailor's standing. 

"The very fittest man on earth My influence to try on - Of gentle, 
p'r'aps of noble birth, And dauntless as a lion! Now wrap yourself within 
your shroud - Remain in easy hearing - Observe - you'll hear him scream 
aloud When I begin appearing! 

The imp with yell unearthly - wild - Threw off his dark enclosure: His 
dauntless victim looked and smiled With singular composure. For hours he 
tried to daunt the youth, For days, indeed, but vainly - The stripling smiled! 

- to tell the truth, The stripling smiled inanely. 
For weeks the goblin weird and wild, That noble stripling haunted; For 
weeks the stripling stood and smiled, Unmoved and all undaunted. The 
sombre ghost exclaimed, "Your plan Has failed you, goblin, plainly: Now 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"These are the men who chase the roe, Whose footsteps never falter, 
Who bring with them, where'er they go, A smack of old SIR WALTER. Of 
such as he, the men sublime Who lead their troops victorious, Whose 
deeds go down to after-time, Enshrined in annals glorious! 

"Of such as he the bard has said 'Hech thrawfu' raltie rorkie! Wi' thecht 
ta' croonie clapperhead And fash' wi' unco pawkie!' He'll faint away when 
I appear, Upon his native heather; Or p'r'aps he'll only scream with fear, Or 
p'r'aps the two together." 

The spectre showed himself, alone, To do his ghostly battling, With 
curdling groan and dismal moan, And lots of chains a-rattling! But no - the 
chiel's stout Gaelic stuff Withstood all ghostly harrying; His fingers closed 
upon the snuff Which upwards he was carrying. 

For days that ghost declined to stir, A foggy shapeless giant - For 
weeks that splendid officer Stared back again defiant. Just as the 
Englishman returned The goblin's vulgar staring, Just so the Scotchman 
boldly spurned The ghost's unmannered scaring. 

For several years the ghostly twain These Britons bold have haunted, 
But all their efforts are in vain - Their victims stand undaunted. This very 
day the imp, and ghost, Whose powers the imp derided, Stand each at his 
allotted post - The bet is undecided. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

A BISHOP once - I will not name his see - Annoyed his clergy in the 
mode conventional; From pulpit shackles never set them free, And found a 
sin where sin was unintentional. All pleasures ended in abuse auricular The 
Bishop was so terribly particular. 

Though, on the whole, a wise and upright man, He sought to make of 
human pleasures clearances; And form his priests on that much-lauded 
plan Which pays undue attention to appearances. He couldn't do good 
deeds without a psalm in 'em, Although, in truth, he bore away the palm in 

Enraged to find a deacon at a dance, Or catch a curate at some mild 
frivolity, He sought by open censure to enhance Their dread of joining 
harmless social jollity. Yet he enjoyed (a fact of notoriety) The ordinary 
pleasures of society. 

One evening, sitting at a pantomime (Forbidden treat to those who 
stood in fear of him), Roaring at jokes, SANS metre, sense, or rhyme, He 
turned, and saw immediately in rear of him, His peace of mind upsetting, 
and annoying it, A curate, also heartily enjoying it. 

Again, 't was Christmas Eve, and to enhance His children's pleasure in 
their harmless rollicking, He, like a good old fellow, stood to dance; When 
something checked the current of his frolicking: That curate, with a maid 
he treated lover-ly, Stood up and figured with him in the "Coverley!" 

Once, yielding to an universal choice (The company's demand was an 
emphatic one, For the old Bishop had a glorious voice), In a quartet he 
joined - an operatic one. Harmless enough, though ne'er a word of grace in 
it, When, lo! that curate came and took the bass in it! 

One day, when passing through a quiet street, He stopped awhile and 
joined a Punch's gathering; And chuckled more than solemn folk think 
meet, To see that gentleman his Judy lathering; And heard, as Punch was 
being treated penalty, That phantom curate laughing all hyaenally. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Next, when at quiet sea-side village, freed From cares episcopal and 
ties monarchical, He grows his beard, and smokes his fragrant weed, In 
manner anything but hierarchical - He sees - and fixes an unearthly stare 
on it - That curate's face, with half a yard of hair on it! 

At length he gave a charge, and spake this word: "Vicars, your curates 
to enjoyment urge ye may; To check their harmless pleasuring's absurd; 
What laymen do without reproach, my clergy may." He spake, and lo! at 
this concluding word of him, The curate vanished - no one since has heard 
of him. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

KING BORRIA BUNGALEE BOO Was a man-eating African swell; 
His sigh was a hullaballoo, His whisper a horrible yell - A horrible, 
horrible yell! 

Four subjects, and all of them male, To BORRIA doubled the knee, 
They were once on a far larger scale, But he'd eaten the balance, you see 
("Scale" and "balance" is punning, you see). 

There was haughty PISH-TUSH-POOH-BAH, There was lumbering 
DOODLE-DUM-DEY, Despairing ALACK-A-DEY-AH, And good little 

One day there was grief in the crew, For they hadn't a morsel of meat, 
And BORRIA BUNGALEE BOO Was dying for something to eat "
Come, provide me with something to eat! 

"ALACK-A-DEY, famished I feel; Oh, good little TOOTLE-TUMTEH, 
Where on earth shall I look for a meal? For I haven't no dinner today! 
- Not a morsel of dinner to-day! 

"Dear TOOTLE-TUM, what shall we do? Come, get us a meal, or, in 
truth, If you don't, we shall have to eat you, Oh, adorable friend of our 
youth! Thou beloved little friend of our youth!" 

And he answered, "Oh, BUNGALEE BOO, For a moment I hope you 
will wait, -TIPPY-WIPPITY TOL-THE-ROL-LOO Is the Queen of a 
neighbouring state - A remarkably neighbouring state. 

deliciously cold - And her four pretty Amazons, too, Are enticing, and not 
very old - Twenty-seven is not very old. 

"There is neat little TITTY-FOL-LEH, There is rollicking TRALTHE-
RAL-LAH, There is jocular WAGGETY-WEH, There is musical 
DOH-REH-MI-FAH - There's the nightingale DOH-REH-MI-FAH!" 

So the forces of BUNGALEE BOO Marched forth in a terrible row, 
And the ladies who fought for QUEEN LOO Prepared to encounter the foe 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 
This dreadful, insatiate foe! 
But they sharpened no weapons at all, And they poisoned no arrows not 
they! They made ready to conquer or fall In a totally different way An 
entirely different way. 

With a crimson and pearly-white dye They endeavoured to make 
themselves fair, With black they encircled each eye, And with yellow they 
painted their hair (It was wool, but they thought it was hair). 

And the forces they met in the field:- And the men of KING BORRIA 
said, "Amazonians, immediately yield!" And their arrows they drew to the 
head - Yes, drew them right up to the head. 

But jocular WAGGETY-WEH Ogled DOODLE-DUM-DEY (which 
was wrong), And neat little TITTY-FOL-LEH Said, "TOOTLE-TUM, you 
go along! You naughty old dear, go along!" 

And rollicking TRAL-THE-RAL-LAH Tapped ALACK-A-DEY-AH 
with her fan; And musical DOH-REH-MI-FAH Said, "PISH, go away, you 
bad man! Go away, you delightful young man!" 

And the Amazons simpered and sighed, And they ogled, and giggled, 
and flushed, And they opened their pretty eyes wide, And they chuckled, 
and flirted, and blushed (At least, if they could, they'd have blushed). 

But haughty PISH-TUSH-POOH-BAH Said, "ALACK-A-DEY, what 
does this mean?" And despairing ALACK-A-DEY-AH Said, "They think 
us uncommonly green! Ha! ha! most uncommonly green!" 

Even blundering DOODLE-DUM-DEY Was insensible quite to their 
leers, And said good little TOOTLE-TUM-TEH, "It's your blood we desire, 
pretty dears - We have come for our dinners, my dears!" 

And the Queen of the Amazons fell To BORRIA BUNGALEE BOO, In 
a mouthful he gulped, with a yell, TIPPY-WIPPITY TOL-THE-ROLLOO 
- The pretty QUEEN TOL-THE-ROL-LOO. 

And neat little TITTY-FOL-LEH Was eaten by PISH-POOH-BAH, 
And light-hearted WAGGETY-WEH By dismal ALACK-A-DEY-AH Despairing 

And rollicking TRAL-THE-RAL-LAH Was eaten by DOODLEDUM-
DEY, And musical DOH-REH-MI-FAH By good little TOOTLEDUM-
TEH - Exemplary TOOTLE-TUM-TEH! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

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 labour-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 

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 vapour came - A wizard POLTER reckoned him; 
A bogy rose and called his name, And with his finger beckoned him. 

The monster's salient points to sum, - His heavy breath was portery: 
His glowing nose suggested rum: His eyes were gin-and-WORtery. 

His dress was torn - for dregs of ale And slops of gin had rusted it; His 
pimpled face was wan and pale, Where filth had not encrusted it. 

"Come, POLTER," said the fiend, "begin, And keep the bowl a-
flowing on - A working man needs pints of gin To keep his clockwork 
going on." 

BOB shuddered: "Ah, you've made a miss If you take me for one of 
you: You filthy beast, get out of this - BOB POLTER don't wan't none of 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"In me, as your adviser hints, Of Abstinence you've got a type - Of MR. 
TWEEDIE'S pretty prints I am the happy prototype. 

"If you abjure the social toast, And pipes, and such frivolities, You 
possibly some day may boast My prepossessing qualities!" 

BOB rubbed his eyes, and made 'em blink: "You almost make me 
tremble, you! If I abjure fermented drink, Shall I, indeed, resemble you? 

"And will my whiskers curl so tight? My cheeks grow smug and 
muttony? My face become so red and white? My coat so blue and 

"Will trousers, such as yours, array Extremities inferior? Will 
chubbiness assert its sway All over my exterior? 

"In this, my unenlightened state, To work in heavy boots I comes; Will 
pumps henceforward decorate My tiddle toddle tootsicums? 

"And shall I get so plump and fresh, And look no longer seedily? My 
skin will henceforth fit my flesh So tightly and so TWEEDIE-ly?" 

The phantom said, "You'll have all this, You'll know no kind of 
huffiness, Your life will be one chubby bliss, One long unruffled 

"Be off!" said irritated BOB. "Why come you here to bother one? You 
pharisaical old snob, You're wuss almost than t'other one! 

"I takes my pipe - I takes my pot, And drunk I'm never seen to be: I'm 
no teetotaller or sot, And as I am I mean to be!" 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

STRIKE the concertina's melancholy string! Blow the spirit-stirring 
harp like anything! Let the piano's martial blast Rouse the Echoes of the 
Past, For of AGIB, PRINCE OF TARTARY, I sing! 

Of AGIB, who, amid Tartaric scenes, Wrote a lot of ballet music in his 
teens: His gentle spirit rolls In the melody of souls - Which is pretty, but I 
don't know what it means. 

Of AGIB, who could readily, at sight, Strum a march upon the loud 
Theodolite. He would diligently play On the Zoetrope all day, And blow 
the gay Pantechnicon all night. 

One winter - I am shaky in my dates - Came two starving Tartar 
minstrels to his gates; Oh, ALLAH be obeyed, How infernally they played! 
I remember that they called themselves the "O□ 

Oh! that day of sorrow, misery, and rage, I shall carry to the 
Catacombs of Age, Photographically lined On the tablet of my mind, 
When a yesterday has faded from its page! 

Alas! PRINCE AGIB went and asked them in; Gave them beer, and 
eggs, and sweets, and scent, and tin. And when (as snobs would say) They 
had "put it all away," He requested them to tune up and begin. 

Though its icy horror chill you to the core, I will tell you what I never 
told before, - The consequences true Of that awful interview, FOR I 

They played him a sonata - let me see! "MEDULLA OBLONGATA" key 
of G. Then they began to sing That extremely lovely thing, 

He gave them money, more than they could count, Scent from a most 
ingenious little fount, More beer, in little kegs, Many dozen hard-boiled 
eggs, And goodies to a fabulous amount. 

Now follows the dim horror of my tale, And I feel I'm growing 
gradually pale, For, even at this day, Though its sting has passed away, 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

The elder of the brothers gave a squeal, All-overish it made me for to 
feel; "Oh, PRINCE," he says, says he, "IF A PRINCE INDEED YOU BE, 
I've a mystery I'm going to reveal! 

"Oh, listen, if you'd shun a horrid death, To what the gent who's 
speaking to you saith: No 'O□ 
its' in truth are we, As you fancy that we be, 
For (ter-remble!) I am ALECK - this is BETH!" 

Said AGIB, "Oh! accursed of your kind, I have heard that ye are men 
of evil mind!" BETH gave a dreadful shriek - But before he'd time to 
speak I was mercilessly collared from behind. 

In number ten or twelve, or even more, They fastened me full length 
upon the floor. On my face extended flat, I was walloped with a cat For 
listening at the keyhole of a door. 

Oh! the horror of that agonizing thrill! (I can feel the place in frosty 
weather still). For a week from ten to four I was fastened to the floor, 
While a mercenary wopped me with a will 

They branded me and broke me on a wheel, And they left me in an 
hospital to heal; And, upon my solemn word, I have never never heard 
What those Tartars had determined to reveal. 

But that day of sorrow, misery, and rage, I shall carry to the Catacombs 
of Age, Photographically lined On the tablet of my mind, When a 
yesterday has faded from its page 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

son of an elderly labouring man; You've guessed him a Scotchman, shrewd 
reader, at sight, And p'r'aps altogether, shrewd reader, you're right. 

From the bonnie blue Forth to the lovely Deeside, Round by Dingwall 
and Wrath to the mouth of the Clyde, There wasn't a child or a woman or 
man Who could pipe with CLONGLOCKETTY ANGUS McCLAN. 

No other could wake such detestable groans, With reed and with 
chaunter - with bag and with drones: All day and ill night he delighted the 
chiels With sniggering pibrochs and jiggety reels. 

He'd clamber a mountain and squat on the ground, And the 
neighbouring maidens would gather around To list to the pipes and to gaze 
in his een, Especially ELLEN McJONES ABERDEEN. 

All loved their McCLAN, save a Sassenach brute, Who came to the 
Highlands to fish and to shoot; He dressed himself up in a Highlander way, 
Tho' his name it was PATTISON CORBY TORBAY. 

TORBAY had incurred a good deal of expense To make him a 
Scotchman in every sense; But this is a matter, you'll readily own, That 
isn't a question of tailors alone. 

A Sassenach chief may be bonily built, He may purchase a sporran, a 
bonnet, and kilt; Stick a ske刵 
in his hose - wear an acre of stripes - But 
he cannot assume an affection for pipes. 

CLONGLOCKETY'S pipings all night and all day Quite frenzied poor 
PATTISON CORBY TORBAY; The girls were amused at his singular 
spleen, Especially ELLEN McJONES ABERDEEN, 

pibrochs and reels you are driving me mad. If you really must play on that 
cursed affair, My goodness! play something resembling an air." 

Boiled over the blood of MACPHAIRSON McCLAN - The Clan of 
Clonglocketty rose as one man; For all were enraged at the insult, I ween 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"Let's show," said McCLAN, "to this Sassenach loon That the 
bagpipes CAN play him a regular tune. Let's see," said McCLAN, as he 
thoughtfully sat, "'IN MY COTTAGE' is easy - I'll practise at that." 

He blew at his "Cottage," and blew with a will, For a year, seven 
months, and a fortnight, until (You'll hardly believe it) McCLAN, I declare, 
Elicited something resembling an air. 

It was wild - it was fitful - as wild as the breeze - It wandered about 
into several keys; It was jerky, spasmodic, and harsh, I'm aware; But still it 
distinctly suggested an air. 

The Sassenach screamed, and the Sassenach danced; He shrieked in 
his agony - bellowed and pranced; And the maidens who gathered rejoiced 
at the scene - Especially ELLEN McJONES ABERDEEN. 

"Hech gather, hech gather, hech gather around; And fill a' ye lugs wi' 
the exquisite sound. An air fra' the bagpipes - beat that if ye can! Hurrah 

The fame of his piping spread over the land: Respectable widows 
proposed for his hand, And maidens came flocking to sit on the green Especially 

One morning the fidgety Sassenach swore He'd stand it no longer - he 
drew his claymore, And (this was, I think, in extremely bad taste) Divided 
CLONGLOCKETTY close to the waist. 

Oh! loud were the wailings for ANGUS McCLAN, Oh! deep was the 
grief for that excellent man; The maids stood aghast at the horrible scene Especially 

It sorrowed poor PATTISON CORBY TORBAY To find them "take 
on" in this serious way; He pitied the poor little fluttering birds, And 
solaced their souls with the following words: 

"Oh, maidens," said PATTISON, touching his hat, "Don't blubber, my 
dears, for a fellow like that; Observe, I'm a very superior man, A much 
better fellow than ANGUS McCLAN." 

They smiled when he winked and addressed them as "dears," And they 
all of them vowed, as they dried up their tears, A pleasanter gentleman 
never was seen - Especially ELLEN McJONES ABERDEEN. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

POLICEMAN PETER FORTH I drag From his obscure retreat: He 
was a merry genial wag, Who loved a mad conceit. If he were asked the 
time of day, By country bumpkins green, He not unfrequently would say, 
"A quarter past thirteen." 

If ever you by word of mouth Inquired of MISTER FORTH The way 
to somewhere in the South, He always sent you North. With little boys his 
beat along He loved to stop and play; He loved to send old ladies wrong, 
And teach their feet to stray. 

He would in frolic moments, when Such mischief bent upon, Take 
Bishops up as betting men - Bid Ministers move on. Then all the worthy 
boys he knew He regularly licked, And always collared people who Had 
had their pockets picked. 

He was not naturally bad, Or viciously inclined, But from his early 
youth he had A waggish turn of mind. The Men of London grimly scowled 
With indignation wild; The Men of London gruffly growled, But PETER 
calmly smiled. 

Against this minion of the Crown The swelling murmurs grew - From 
Camberwell to Kentish Town - From Rotherhithe to Kew. Still humoured 
he his wagsome turn, And fed in various ways The coward rage that dared 
to burn, But did not dare to blaze. 

Still, Retribution has her day, Although her flight is slow: ONE DAY 
The haughty boy, too proud to ask, To find his way resolved, And in the 
tangle of his task Got more and more involved. 

The Men of London, overjoyed, Came there to jeer their foe, And 
flocking crowds completely cloyed The mazes of Soho. The news on 
telegraphic wires Sped swiftly o'er the lea, Excursion trains from distant 
shires Brought myriads to see. 

For weeks he trod his self-made beats Through Newport- Gerrard-
Bear- Greek- Rupert- Frith- Dean- Poland- Streets, And into Golden 
Square. But all, alas! in vain, for when He tried to learn the way Of little 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Their eyes would flash - their teeth would grind -Their lips would 
tightly curl -They'd say, "Thy way thyself must find, Thou misdirecting 
churl!" And, similarly, also, when He tried a foreign friend; Italians 
answered, "IL BALEN" - The French, "No comprehend." 

The Russ would say with gleaming eye " Sevastopol!" and groan. The 
wander thus for many a year That Crusher never ceased - The Men of 
London dropped a tear, Their anger was appeased 

At length exploring gangs were sent To find poor FORTH'S remains A 
handsome grant by Parliament Was voted for their pains. To seek the 
poor policeman out Bold spirits volunteered, And when they swore they'd 
solve the doubt, The Men of London cheered. 

And in a yard, dark, dank, and drear, They found him, on the floor - It 
leads from Richmond Buildings - near The Royalty stage-door. With 
brandy cold and brandy hot They plied him, starved and wet, And made 
him sergeant on the spot - The Men of London's pet! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

ROLL on, thou ball, roll on! Through pathless realms of Space Roll on! 
What though I'm in a sorry case? What though I cannot meet my bills? 
What though I suffer toothache's ills? What though I swallow countless 
pills? Never YOU mind! Roll on! 

Roll on, thou ball, roll on! Through seas of inky air Roll on! It's true 
I've got no shirts to wear; It's true my butcher's bill is due; It's true my 
prospects all look blue - But don't let that unsettle you! Never YOU mind! 
Roll on! 



Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

IT was a robber's daughter, and her name was ALICE BROWN, Her 
father was the terror of a small Italian town; Her mother was a foolish, 
weak, but amiable old thing; But it isn't of her parents that I'm going for to 

As ALICE was a-sitting at her window-sill one day, A beautiful young 
gentleman he chanced to pass that way; She cast her eyes upon him, and 
he looked so good and true, That she thought, "I could be happy with a 
gentleman like you!" 

And every morning passed her house that cream of gentlemen, She 
knew she might expect him at a quarter unto ten; A sorter in the Customhouse, 
it was his daily road (The Custom-house was fifteen minutes' walk 
from her abode). 

But ALICE was a pious girl, who knew it wasn't wise To look at 
strange young sorters with expressive purple eyes; So she sought the 
village priest to whom her family confessed, The priest by whom their 
little sins were carefully assessed. 

"Oh, holy father," ALICE said, "'t would grieve you, would it not, To 
discover that I was a most disreputable lot? Of all unhappy sinners I'm the 
most unhappy one!" The padre said, "Whatever have you been and gone 
and done?" 

"I have helped mamma to steal a little kiddy from its dad, I've assisted 
dear papa in cutting up a little lad, I've planned a little burglary and forged 
a little cheque, And slain a little baby for the coral on its neck!" 

The worthy pastor heaved a sigh, and dropped a silent tear, And said, 
"You mustn't judge yourself too heavily, my dear: It's wrong to murder 
babies, little corals for to fleece; But sins like these one expiates at half-acrown 

"Girls will be girls - you're very young, and flighty in your mind; Old 
heads upon young shoulders we must not expect to find: We mustn't be too 
hard upon these little girlish tricks - Let's see - five crimes at half-a-crown 

- exactly twelve-and-six." 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"A pleasant-looking gentleman, with pretty purple eyes, I've noticed at 
my window, as I've sat a-catching flies; He passes by it every day as 
certain as can be - I blush to say I've winked at him, and he has winked at 

"For shame!" said FATHER PAUL, "my erring daughter! On my word 
This is the most distressing news that I have ever heard. Why, naughty girl, 
your excellent papa has pledged your hand To a promising young robber, 
the lieutenant of his band! 

"This dreadful piece of news will pain your worthy parents so! They 
are the most remunerative customers I know; For many many years 
they've kept starvation from my doors: I never knew so criminal a family 
as yours! 

"The common country folk in this insipid neighbourhood Have 
nothing to confess, they're so ridiculously good; And if you marry any one 
respectable at all, Why, you'll reform, and what will then become of 

The worthy priest, he up and drew his cowl upon his crown, And 
started off in haste to tell the news to ROBBER BROWN -To tell him 
how his daughter, who was now for marriage fit, Had winked upon a 
sorter, who reciprocated it. 

Good ROBBER BROWN he muffled up his anger pretty well: He said, 
"I have a notion, and that notion I will tell; I will nab this gay young sorter, 
terrify him into fits, And get my gentle wife to chop him into little bits. 

"I've studied human nature, and I know a thing or two: Though a girl 
may fondly love a living gent, as many do - A feeling of disgust upon her 
senses there will fall When she looks upon his body chopped particularly 

He traced that gallant sorter to a still suburban square; He watched his 
opportunity, and seized him unaware; He took a life-preserver and he hit 
him on the head, And MRS. BROWN dissected him before she went to 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

OH, listen to the tale of MISTER WILLIAM, if you please, Whom 
naughty, naughty judges sent away beyond the seas. He forged a party's 
will, which caused anxiety and strife, Resulting in his getting penal 
servitude for life. 

He was a kindly goodly man, and naturally prone, Instead of taking 
others' gold, to give away his own. But he had heard of Vice, and longed 
for only once to strike - To plan ONE little wickedness - to see what it was 

He argued with himself, and said, "A spotless man am I; I can't be 
more respectable, however hard I try! For six and thirty years I've always 
been as good as gold, And now for half an hour I'll plan infamy untold! 

"A baby who is wicked at the early age of one, And then reforms - and 
dies at thirty-six a spotless son, Is never, never saddled with his 
babyhood's defect, But earns from worthy men consideration and respect. 

"So one who never revelled in discreditable tricks Until he reached the 
comfortable age of thirty-six, May then for half an hour perpetrate a deed 
of shame, Without incurring permanent disgrace, or even blame. 

"That babies don't commit such crimes as forgery is true, But little sins 
develop, if you leave 'em to accrue; And he who shuns all vices as 
successive seasons roll, Should reap at length the benefit of so much self-

"The common sin of babyhood - objecting to be drest - If you leave it 
to accumulate at compound interest, For anything you know, may 
represent, if you're alive, A burglary or murder at the age of thirty-five. 

"Still, I wouldn't take advantage of this fact, but be content With some 
pardonable folly - it's a mere experiment. The greater the temptation to go 
wrong, the less the sin; So with something that's particularly tempting I'll 

"I would not steal a penny, for my income's very fair - I do not want a 
penny - I have pennies and to spare - And if I stole a penny from a money-
bag or till, The sin would be enormous - the temptation being NIL. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"There's WILSON who is dying - he has wealth from Stock and rent If 
I divert his riches from their natural descent, I'm placed in a position to 
indulge each little whim." So he diverted them - and they, in turn, diverted 

Unfortunately, though, by some unpardonable flaw, Temptation isn't 
recognized by Britain's Common Law; Men found him out by some 
peculiarity of touch, And WILLIAM got a "lifer," which annoyed him 
very much. 

For, ah! he never reconciled himself to life in gaol, He fretted and he 
pined, and grew dispirited and pale; He was numbered like a cabman, too, 
which told upon him so That his spirits, once so buoyant, grew 
uncomfortably low. 

And sympathetic gaolers would remark, "It's very true, He ain't been 
brought up common, like the likes of me and you." So they took him into 
hospital, and gave him mutton chops, And chocolate, and arrowroot, and 
buns, and malt and hops. 

Kind Clergymen, besides, grew interested in his fate, Affected by the 
details of his pitiable state. They waited on the Secretary, somewhere in 
Whitehall, Who said he would receive them any day they liked to call. 

"Consider, sir, the hardship of this interesting case: A prison life brings 
with it something very like disgrace; It's telling on young WILLIAM, 
who's reduced to skin and bone - Remember he's a gentleman, with money 
of his own. 

"He had an ample income, and of course he stands in need Of sherry 
with his dinner, and his customary weed; No delicacies now can pass his 
gentlemanly lips - He misses his sea-bathing and his continental trips. 

"He says the other prisoners are commonplace and rude; He says he 
cannot relish uncongenial prison food. When quite a boy they taught him 
to distinguish Good from Bad, And other educational advantages he's had. 

"A burglar or garotter, or, indeed, a common thief Is very glad to 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"But beef and mutton-broth don't seem to suit our WILLIAM'S whim, 
A boon to other prisoners -a punishment to him. It never was intended 
that the discipline of gaol Should dash a convict's spirits, sir, or make him 
thin or pale." 

"Good Gracious Me!" that sympathetic Secretary cried, "Suppose in 
prison fetters MISTER WILLIAM should have died! Dear me, of course! 
Imprisonment for LIFE his sentence saith: I'm very glad you mentioned it 

- it might have been For Death! 
"Release him with a ticket - he'll be better then, no doubt, And tell him 
I apologize." So MISTER WILLIAM'S out. I hope he will be careful in his 
manuscripts, I'm sure, And not begin experimentalizing any more. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

I'M old, my dears, and shrivelled with age, and work, and grief, My 
eyes are gone, and my teeth have been drawn by Time, the Thief! For 
terrible sights I've seen, and dangers great I've run - I'm nearly seventy 
now, and my work is almost done! 

Ah! I've been young in my time, and I've played the deuce with men! 
I'm speaking of ten years past - I was barely sixty then: My cheeks were 
mellow and soft, and my eyes were large and sweet, POLL PINEAPPLE'S 
eyes were the standing toast of the Royal Fleet! 

A bumboat woman was I, and I faithfully served the ships With apples 
and cakes, and fowls, and beer, and halfpenny dips, And beef for the 
generous mess, where the officers dine at nights, And fine fresh 
peppermint drops for the rollicking midshipmites. 

Of all the kind commanders who anchored in Portsmouth Bay, By far 
the sweetest of all was kind LIEUTENANT BELAYE.' LIEUTENANT 
BELAYE commanded the gunboat HOT CROSS BUN, She was seven 
and thirty feet in length, and she carried a gun. 

With a laudable view of enhancing his country's naval pride, When 
people inquired her size, LIEUTENANT BELAYE replied, "Oh, my ship, 
my ship is the first of the Hundred and Seventy- ones!" Which meant her 
tonnage, but people imagined it meant her guns. 

Whenever I went on board he would beckon me down below, "Come 
down, Little Buttercup, come" (for he loved to call me so), And he'd tell of 
the fights at sea in which he'd taken a part, And so LIEUTENANT 
BELAYE won poor POLL PINEAPPLE'S heart! 

But at length his orders came, and he said one day, said he, "I'm 
ordered to sail with the HOT CROSS BUN to the German Sea." And the 
Portsmouth maidens wept when they learnt the evil day, For every 
Portsmouth maid loved good LIEUTENANT BELAYE. 

And I went to a back back street, with plenty of cheap cheap shops, 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

We sailed that afternoon at the mystic hour of one, - Remarkably nice 
young men were the crew of the HOT CROSS BUN, I'm sorry to say that 
I've heard that sailors sometimes swear, But I never yet heard a BUN say 
anything wrong, I declare. 

When Jack Tars meet, they meet with a "Messmate, ho! What cheer?" 
But here, on the HOT CROSS BUN, it was "How do you do, my dear?" 
When Jack Tars growl, I believe they growl with a big big D- But the 
strongest oath of the HOT CROSS BUNS was a mild "Dear me!" 

Yet, though they were all well-bred, you could scarcely call them slick: 
Whenever a sea was on, they were all extremely sick; And whenever the 
weather was calm, and the wind was light and fair, They spent more time 
than a sailor should on his back back hair. 

They certainly shivered and shook when ordered aloft to run, And they 
screamed when LIEUTENANT BELAYE discharged his only gun. And as 
he was proud of his gun - such pride is hardly wrong - The Lieutenant was 
blazing away at intervals all day long. 

They all agreed very well, though at times you heard it said That BILL 
had a way of his own of making his lips look red - That JOE looked quite 
his age - or somebody might declare That BARNACLE'S long pig-tail was 
never his own own hair. 

BELAYE would admit that his men were of no great use to him, "But, 
then," he would say, "there is little to do on a gunboat trim I can hand, and 
reef, and steer, and fire my big gun too - And it IS such a treat to sail with 
a gentle well-bred crew." 

I saw him every day. How the happy moments sped! Reef topsails! 
Make all taut! There's dirty weather ahead! (I do not mean that tempests 
threatened the HOT CROSS BUN: In THAT case, I don't know whatever 
we SHOULD have done!) 

After a fortnight's cruise, we put into port one day, And off on leave 
for a week went kind LIEUTENANT BELAYE, And after a long long 
week had passed (and it seemed like a life), LIEUTENANT BELAYE 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

He up, and he says, says he, "O crew of the HOT CROSS BUN, Here 
is the wife of my heart, for the Church has made us one!" And as he 
uttered the word, the crew went out of their wits, And all fell down in so 
many separate fainting-fits. 

And then their hair came down, or off, as the case might be, And lo! 
the rest of the crew were simple girls, like me, Who all had fled from their 
homes in a sailor's blue array, To follow the shifting fate of kind 

* * * * * * * * 

It's strange to think that I should ever have loved young men, But I'm 
speaking of ten years past - I was barely sixty then, And now my cheeks 
are furrowed with grief and age, I trow! And poor POLL PINEAPPLE'S 
eyes have lost their lustre now! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

MR. BLAKE was a regular out-and-out hardened sinner, Who was 
quite out of the pale of Christianity, so to speak, He was in the habit of 
smoking a long pipe and drinking a glass of grog on a Sunday after dinner, 
And seldom thought of going to church more than twice or -if Good 
Friday or Christmas Day happened to come in it - three times a week. 

He was quite indifferent as to the particular kinds of dresses That the 
clergyman wore at church where he used to go to pray, And whatever he 
did in the way of relieving a chap's distresses, He always did in a nasty, 
sneaking, underhanded, hole-and-corner sort of way. 

I have known him indulge in profane, ungentlemanly emphatics, When 
the Protestant Church has been divided on the subject of the proper width 
of a chasuble's hem; I have even known him to sneer at albs - and as for 
dalmatics, Words can't convey an idea of the contempt he expressed for 

He didn't believe in persons who, not being well off themselves, are 
obliged to confine their charitable exertions to collecting money from 
wealthier people, And looked upon individuals of the former class as 
ecclesiastical hawks; He used to say that he would no more think of 
interfering with his priest's robes than with his church or his steeple, And 
that he did not consider his soul imperilled because somebody over whom 
he had no influence whatever, chose to dress himself up like an 
exaggerated GUY FAWKES. 

This shocking old vagabond was so unutterably shameless That he 
actually went a-courting a very respectable and pious middle-aged sister, 
by the name of BIGGS. She was a rather attractive widow, whose life as 
such had always been particularly blameless; Her first husband had left 
her a secure but moderate competence, owing to some fortunate 
speculations in the matter of figs. 

She was an excellent person in every way - and won the respect even 
of MRS. GRUNDY, She was a good housewife, too, and wouldn't have 
wasted a penny if she had owned the Koh-i-noor. She was just as strict as 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

I am sorry to say that she rather took to BLAKE - that outcast of 
society, And when respectable brothers who were fond of her began to 
look dubious and to cough, She would say, "Oh, my friends, it's because I 
hope to bring this poor benighted soul back to virtue and propriety, And 
besides, the poor benighted soul, with all his faults, was uncommonly well 

And when MR. BLAKE'S dissipated friends called his attention to the 
frown or the pout of her, Whenever he did anything which appeared to her 
to savour of an unmentionable place, He would say that "she would be a 
very decent old girl when all that nonsense was knocked out of her," And 
his method of knocking it out of her is one that covered him with disgrace. 

She was fond of going to church services four times every Sunday, and, 
four or five times in the week, and never seemed to pall of them, So he 
hunted out all the churches within a convenient distance that had services 
at different hours, so to speak; And when he had married her he positively 
insisted upon their going to all of them, So they contrived to do about 
twelve churches every Sunday, and, if they had luck, from twenty-two to 
twenty-three in the course of the week. 

She was fond of dropping his sovereigns ostentatiously into the plate, 
and she liked to see them stand out rather conspicuously against the 
commonplace half-crowns and shillings, So he took her to all the charity 
sermons, and if by any extraordinary chance there wasn't a charity sermon 
anywhere, he would drop a couple of sovereigns (one for him and one for 
her) into the poor-box at the door; And as he always deducted the sums 
thus given in charity from the housekeeping money, and the money he 
allowed her for her bonnets and frillings, She soon began to find that even 
charity, if you allow it to interfere with your personal luxuries, becomes an 
intolerable bore. 

On Sundays she was always melancholy and anything but good 
society, For that day in her household was a day of sighings and sobbings 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

After about three months of this sort of thing, taking the smooth with 
the rough of it, (Blacking her own boots and peeling her own potatoes was 
not her notion of connubial bliss), MRS. BLAKE began to find that she 
had pretty nearly had enough of it, And came, in course of time, to think 
that BLAKE'S own original line of conduct wasn't so much amiss. 

And now that wicked person - that detestable sinner ("BELIAL 
BLAKE" his friends and well-wishers call him for his atrocities), And his 
poor deluded victim, whom all her Christian brothers dislike and pity so, 
Go to the parish church only on Sunday morning and afternoon and 
occasionally on a week-day, and spend their evenings in connubial 
fondlings and affectionate reciprocities, And I should like to know where 
in the world (or rather, out of it) they expect to go! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

WEARY at heart and extremely ill Was PALEY VOLLAIRE of 
Bromptonville, In a dirty lodging, with fever down, Close to the Polygon, 
Somers Town. 

PALEY VOLLAIRE was an only son (For why? His mother had had 
but one), And PALEY inherited gold and grounds Worth several hundred 
thousand pounds. 

But he, like many a rich young man, Through this magnificent fortune 
ran, And nothing was left for his daily needs But duplicate copies of 

Shabby and sorry and sorely sick, He slept, and dreamt that the clock's 
"tick, tick," Was one of the Fates, with a long sharp knife, Snicking off bits 
of his shortened life. 

He woke and counted the pips on the walls, The outdoor passengers' 
loud footfalls, And reckoned all over, and reckoned again, The little white 
tufts on his counterpane. 

A medical man to his bedside came. (I can't remember that doctor's 
name), And said, "You'll die in a very short while If you don't set sail for 
Madeira's isle." 

"Go to Madeira? goodness me! I haven't the money to pay your fee!" 
"Then, PALEY VOLLAIRE," said the leech, "good bye; I'll come no more, 
for your're sure to die." 

He sighed and he groaned and smote his breast; "Oh, send," said he, 
"for FREDERICK WEST, Ere senses fade or my eyes grow dim: I've a 
terrible tale to whisper him!" 

Poor was FREDERICK'S lot in life, - A dustman he with a fair young 
wife, A worthy man with a hard-earned store, A hundred and seventy 
pounds - or more. 

FREDERICK came, and he said, "Maybe You'll say what you 
happened to want with me?" "Wronged boy," said PALEY VOLLAIRE, "I 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 


"'Tis now some thirty-seven years ago Since first began the plot that 
I'm revealing, A fine young woman, whom you ought to know, Lived with 
her husband down in Drum Lane, Ealing. Herself by means of mangling 
reimbursing, And now and then (at intervals) wet-nursing. 

"Two little babes dwelt in their humble cot: One was her own - the 
other only lent to her: HER OWN SHE SLIGHTED. Tempted by a lot Of 
gold and silver regularly sent to her, She ministered unto the little other In 
the capacity of foster-mother. 

"I WAS HER OWN. Oh! how I lay and sobbed In my poor cradle deeply, 
deeply cursing The rich man's pampered bantling, who had robbed 
My only birthright - an attentive nursing! Sometimes in hatred of my 
foster-brother, I gnashed my gums - which terrified my mother. 

"One day - it was quite early in the week - I IN MY CRADLE 
HAVING PLACED THE BANTLING - Crept into his! He had not learnt 
to speak, But I could see his face with anger mantling. It was imprudent well, 
disgraceful maybe, For, oh! I was a bad, blackhearted baby! 

"So great a luxury was food, I think No wickedness but I was game to 
try for it. NOW if I wanted anything to drink At any time, I only had to cry 
for it! ONCE, if I dared to weep, the bottle lacking, My blubbering 
involved a serious smacking! 

"We grew up in the usual way -my friend, My foster-brother, daily 
growing thinner, While gradually I began to mend, And thrived amazingly 
on double dinner. And every one, besides my foster-mother, Believed that 
either of us was the other. 

"I came into HIS wealth - I bore HIS name, I bear it still - HIS 
property I squandered - I mortgaged everything - and now (oh, shame!) 
Into a Somers Town shake-down I've wandered! I am no PALEY - no, 
VOLLAIRE - it's true, my boy! The only rightful PALEY V. is YOU, my 

"And all I have is yours - and yours is mine. I still may place you in 
your true position: Give me the pounds you've saved, and I'll resign My 
noble name, my rank, and my condition. So far my wickedness in falsely 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

* * * * * * * 

FREDERICK he was a simple soul, He pulled from his pocket a bulky 
roll, And gave to PALEY his hard-earned store, A hundred and seventy 
pounds or more. 

PALEY VOLLAIRE, with many a groan, Gave FREDERICK all that 
he called his own, - Two shirts and a sock, and a vest of jean, A Wellington 
boot and a bamboo cane. 

And FRED (entitled to all things there) He took the fever from MR. 
VOLLAIRE, Which killed poor FREDERICK WEST. Meanwhile 
VOLLAIRE sailed off to Madeira's isle. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

I SING a legend of the sea, So hard-a-port upon your lee! A ship on 
starboard tack! She's bound upon a private cruise - (This is the kind of 
spice I use To give a salt-sea smack). 

Behold, on every afternoon (Save in a gale or strong Monsoon) Great 
CAPTAIN CAPEL CLEGGS (Great morally, though rather short) Sat at 
an open weather-port And aired his shapely legs. 

And Mermaids hung around in flocks, On cable chains and distant 
rocks, To gaze upon those limbs; For legs like those, of flesh and bone, 
Are things "not generally known" To any Merman TIMBS. 

But Mermen didn't seem to care Much time (as far as I'm aware) With 
CLEGGS'S legs to spend; Though Mermaids swam around all day And 
gazed, exclaiming, "THAT'S the way A gentleman should end! 

"A pair of legs with well-cut knees, And calves and ankles such as 
these Which we in rapture hail, Are far more eloquent, it's clear (When 
clothed in silk and kerseymere), Than any nasty tail." 

And CLEGGS - a worthy kind old boy - Rejoiced to add to others' joy, 
And, when the day was dry, Because it pleased the lookers-on, He sat from 
morn till night - though con- Stitutionally shy. 

At first the Mermen laughed, "Pooh! pooh!" But finally they jealous 
grew, And sounded loud recalls; But vainly. So these fishy males Declared 
they too would clothe their tails In silken hose and smalls. 

They set to work, these water-men, And made their nether robes - but 
when They drew with dainty touch The kerseymere upon their tails, They 
found it scraped against their scales, And hurt them very much. 

The silk, besides, with which they chose To deck their tails by way of 
hose (They never thought of shoon), For such a use was much too thin, - It 
tore against the caudal fin, And "went in ladders" soon. 

So they designed another plan: They sent their most seductive man 
This note to him to show -"Our Monarch sends to CAPTAIN CLEGGS 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"We've pleasant homes below the sea -Besides, if CAPTAIN 
CLEGGS should be (As our advices say) A judge of Mermaids, he will 
find Our lady-fish of every kind Inspection will repay." 

Good CAPEL sent a kind reply, For CAPEL thought he could descry 
An admirable plan To study all their ways and laws - (But not their ladyfish, 
because He was a married man). 

The Merman sank - the Captain too Jumped overboard, and dropped 
from view Like stone from catapult; And when he reached the Merman's 
lair, He certainly was welcomed there, But, ah! with what result? 

They didn't let him learn their law, Or make a note of what he saw, Or 
interesting mem.: The lady-fish he couldn't find, But that, of course, he 
didn't mind - He didn't come for them. 

For though, when CAPTAIN CAPEL sank, The Mermen drawn in 
double rank Gave him a hearty hail, Yet when secure of CAPTAIN 
CLEGGS, They cut off both his lovely legs, And gave him SUCH a tail! 

When CAPTAIN CLEGGS returned aboard, His blithesome crew 
convulsive roar'd, To see him altered so. The Admiralty did insist That he 
upon the Half-pay List Immediately should go. 

In vain declared the poor old salt, "It's my misfortune - not my fault," 
With tear and trembling lip - In vain poor CAPEL begged and begged. "A 
man must be completely legged Who rules a British ship." 

So spake the stern First Lord aloud - He was a wag, though very proud, 
And much rejoiced to say, "You're only half a captain now - And so, my 
worthy friend, I vow You'll only get half-pay!" 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

OH! listen to the tale of little ANNIE PROTHEROE. She kept a small 
post-office in the neighbourhood of BOW; She loved a skilled mechanic, 
who was famous in his day - A gentle executioner whose name was 

I think I hear you say, "A dreadful subject for your rhymes!" O reader, 
do not shrink - he didn't live in modern times! He lived so long ago (the 
sketch will show it at a glance) That all his actions glitter with the limelight 
of Romance. 

In busy times he laboured at his gentle craft all day - "No doubt you 
mean his Cal-craft," you amusingly will say - But, no - he didn't operate 
with common bits of string, He was a Public Headsman, which is quite 
another thing. 

And when his work was over, they would ramble o'er the lea, And sit 
beneath the frondage of an elderberry tree, And ANNIE'S simple prattle 
entertained him on his walk, For public executions formed the subject of 
her talk. 

And sometimes he'd explain to her, which charmed her very much, 
How famous operators vary very much in touch, And then, perhaps, he'd 
show how he himself performed the trick, And illustrate his meaning with 
a poppy and a stick. 

Or, if it rained, the little maid would stop at home, and look At his 
favourable notices, all pasted in a book, And then her cheek would flush her 
swimming eyes would dance with joy In a glow of admiration at the 
prowess of her boy. 

One summer eve, at supper-time, the gentle GILBERT said (As he 
helped his pretty ANNIE to a slice of collared head), "This reminds me I 
must settle on the next ensuing day The hash of that unmitigated villain 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

He saw his ANNIE tremble and he saw his ANNIE start, Her changing 
colour trumpeted the flutter at her heart; Young GILBERT'S manly bosom 
rose and sank with jealous fear, And he said, "O gentle ANNIE, what's the 
meaning of this here?" 

And ANNIE answered, blushing in an interesting way, "You think, no 
doubt, I'm sighing for that felon PETER GRAY: That I was his young 
woman is unquestionably true, But not since I began a-keeping company 
with you." 

Then GILBERT, who was irritable, rose and loudly swore He'd know 
the reason why if she refused to tell him more; And she answered (all the 
woman in her flashing from her eyes) "You mustn't ask no questions, and 
you won't be told no lies! 

"Few lovers have the privilege enjoyed, my dear, by you, Of chopping 
off a rival's head and quartering him too! Of vengeance, dear, to-morrow 
you will surely take your fill!" And GILBERT ground his molars as he 
answered her, "I will!" 

Young GILBERT rose from table with a stern determined look, And, 
frowning, took an inexpensive hatchet from its hook; And ANNIE 
watched his movements with an interested air - For the morrow - for the 
morrow he was going to prepare! 

He chipped it with a hammer and he chopped it with a bill, He poured 
sulphuric acid on the edge of it, until This terrible Avenger of the Majesty 
of Law Was far less like a hatchet than a dissipated saw. 

And ANNIE said, "O GILBERT, dear, I do not understand Why ever 
you are injuring that hatchet in your hand?' He said, "It is intended for to 
lacerate and flay The neck of that unmitigated villain PETER GRAY!" 

"Now, GILBERT," ANNIE answered, "wicked headsman, just beware 

-I won't have PETER tortured with that horrible affair; If you appear with 
that, you may depend you'll rue the day." But GILBERT said, "Oh, shall 
I?" which was just his nasty way. 
He saw a look of anger from her eyes distinctly dart, For ANNIE was a 
woman, and had pity in her heart! She wished him a good evening - he 
answered with a glare; She only said, "Remember, for your ANNIE will be 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

* * * * * * * * 

The morrow GILBERT boldly on the scaffold took his stand, With a 
vizor on his face and with a hatchet in his hand, And all the people noticed 
that the Engine of the Law Was far less like a hatchet than a dissipated 

The felon very coolly loosed his collar and his stock, And placed his 
wicked head upon the handy little block. The hatchet was uplifted for to 
settle PETER GRAY, When GILBERT plainly heard a woman's voice 
exclaiming, "Stay!" 

'Twas ANNIE, gentle ANNIE, as you'll easily believe. "O GILBERT, 
you must spare him, for I bring him a reprieve, It came from our Home 
Secretary many weeks ago, And passed through that post-office which I 
used to keep at Bow. 

"I loved you, loved you madly, and you know it, GILBERT CLAY, 
And as I'd quite surrendered all idea of PETER GRAY, I quietly 
suppressed it, as you'll clearly understand, For I thought it might be 
awkward if he came and claimed my hand. 

"In anger at my secret (which I could not tell before), To lacerate poor 
PETER GRAY vindictively you swore; I told you if you used that blunted 
axe you'd rue the day, And so you will, young GILBERT, for I'll marry 



Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

I'VE painted SHAKESPEARE all my life - "An infant" (even then at 
"play"!) "A boy," with stage-ambition rife, Then "Married to ANN 

"The bard's first ticket night" (or "ben."), His "First appearance on the 
stage," His "Call before the curtain" - then "Rejoicings when he came of 

The bard play-writing in his room, The bard a humble lawyer's clerk. 
The bard a lawyer (3) - parson (4) - groom (5) - The bard deer-stealing, 
after dark. 

The bard a tradesman (6) - and a Jew (7) - The bard a botanist (8) - a 
beak (9) - The bard a skilled musician (10) too - A sheriff (11) and a 
surgeon (12) eke! 

Yet critics say (a friendly stock) That, though it's evident I try, Yet 
even I can barely mock The glimmer of his wondrous eye! 

One morning as a work I framed, There passed a person, walking hard: 
"My gracious goodness," I exclaimed, "How very like my dear old bard! 

"Oh, what a model he would make!" I rushed outside - impulsive me! "
Forgive the liberty I take, But you're so very" - "Stop!" said he. 

"You needn't waste your breath or time, - I know what you are going to 
say, - That you're an artist, and that I'm Remarkably like SHAKESPEARE. 

"You wish that I would sit to you?" I clasped him madly round the 
waist, And breathlessly replied, "I do!" "All right," said he, "but please 
make haste." 

I led him by his hallowed sleeve, And worked away at him apace, I 
painted him till dewy eve, - There never was a nobler face! 

"Oh, sir," I said, "a fortune grand Is yours, by dint of merest chance, To 
sport HIS brow at second-hand, To wear HIS cast-off countenance! 

"To rub HIS eyes whene'er they ache - To wear HIS baldness ere 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

His eyeballs glistened in his eyes - I sat and watched and smoked my 
pipe; "Bravo!" I said, "I recognize The phrensy of your prototype!" 

His scanty hair he wildly tore: "That's right," said I, "it shows your 
breed." He danced - he stamped - he wildly swore - "Bless me, that's very 
fine indeed!" 

"Sir," said the grand Shakesperian boy (Continuing to blaze away), 
"You think my face a source of joy; That shows you know not what you 

"Forgive these yells and cellar-flaps: I'm always thrown in some such 
state When on his face well-meaning chaps This wretched man 

"For, oh! this face - this pointed chin -This nose -this brow -these 
eyeballs too, Have always been the origin Of all the woes I ever knew! 

"If to the play my way I find, To see a grand Shakesperian piece, I 
have no rest, no ease of mind Until the author's puppets cease. 

"Men nudge each other - thus - and say, 'This certainly is 
SHAKESPEARE'S son,' And merry wags (of course in play) Cry 'Author!' 
when the piece is done. 

"In church the people stare at me, Their soul the sermon never binds; I 
catch them looking round to see, And thoughts of SHAKESPEARE fill 
their minds. 

"And sculptors, fraught with cunning wile, Who find it difficult to 
crown A bust with BROWN'S insipid smile, Or TOMKINS'S unmannered 
frown, "Yet boldly make my face their own, When (oh, presumption!) they 
require To animate a paving-stone With SHAKESPEARE'S intellectual 

"At parties where young ladies gaze, And I attempt to speak my joy, 
'Hush, pray,' some lovely creature says, 'The fond illusion don't destroy!' 

"Whene'er I speak, my soul is wrung With these or some such 
whisperings: ''Tis pity that a SHAKESPEARE'S tongue Should say such 
un-Shakesperian things!' 

"I should not thus be criticised Had I a face of common wont: Don't 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

THE story of FREDERICK GOWLER, A mariner of the sea, Who 
quitted his ship, the HOWLER, A-sailing in Caribbee. For many a day he 
wandered, Till he met in a state of rum CALAMITY POP VON 
PEPPERMINT DROP, The King of Canoodle-Dum. 

That monarch addressed him gaily, "Hum! Golly de do to-day? Hum! 
Lily-white Buckra Sailee" - (You notice his playful way?) - "What dickens 
you doin' here, sar? Why debbil you want to come? Hum! Picaninnee, dere 
isn't no sea In City Canoodle-Dum!" 

And GOWLER he answered sadly, "Oh, mine is a doleful tale! 
They've treated me werry badly In Lunnon, from where I hail. I'm one of 
the Family Royal - No common Jack Tar you see; I'm WILLIAM THE 
FOURTH, far up in the North, A King in my own countree!" 

Bang-bang! How the tom-toms thundered! Bang-bang! How they 
thumped this gongs! Bang-bang! How the people wondered! Bang-bang! 
At it hammer and tongs! Alliance with Kings of Europe Is an honour 
Canoodlers seek, Her monarchs don't stop with PEPPERMINT DROP 
Every day in the week! 

FRED told them that he was undone, For his people all went insane, 
And fired the Tower of London, And Grinnidge's Naval Fane. And some 
of them racked St. James's, And vented their rage upon The Church of St. 
Paul, the Fishmongers' Hall, And the Angel at Islington. 

CALAMITY POP implored him In his capital to remain Till those 
people of his restored him To power and rank again. CALAMITY POP he 
made him A Prince of Canoodle-Dum, With a couple of caves, some 
beautiful slaves, And the run of the royal rum. 

Pop gave him his only daughter, HUM PICKETY WIMPLE TIP: 
FRED vowed that if over the water He went, in an English ship, He'd 
make her his Queen, - though truly It is an unusual thing For a Caribbee 
brat who's as black as your hat To be wife of an English King. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

CALAMITY POP most wisely Determined in everything To model his 
Court precisely On that of the English King; And ordered that every lady 
And every lady's lord Should masticate jacky (a kind of tobaccy), And 
scatter its juice abroad. 

They signified wonder roundly At any astounding yarn, By darning 
their dear eyes roundly ('T was all they had to darn). They "hoisted their 
slacks," adjusting Garments of plantain-leaves With nautical twitches (as 
if they wore breeches, Instead of a dress like EVE'S!) 

They shivered their timbers proudly, At a phantom forelock dragged, 
And called for a hornpipe loudly Whenever amusement flagged. "Hum! 
Golly! him POP resemble, Him Britisher sov'reign, hum! CALAMITY 
POP VON PEPPERMINT DROP, De King of Canoodle-Dum!" 

The mariner's lively "Hollo!" Enlivened Canoodle's plain (For 
blessings unnumbered follow In Civilization's train). But Fortune, who 
loves a bathos, A terrible ending planned, For ADMIRAL D. 
CHICKABIDDY, C.B., Placed foot on Canoodle land! 

That rebel, he seized KING GOWLER, He threatened his royal brains, 
And put him aboard the HOWLER, And fastened him down with chains. 
The HOWLER she weighed her anchor, With FREDERICK nicely nailed, 
And off to the North with WILLIAM THE FOURTH These horrible 
pirates sailed. 

CALAMITY said (with folly), "Hum! nebber want him again - Him 
civilize all of us, golly! CALAMITY suck him brain!" The people, 
however, were pained when They saw him aboard his ship, But none of 
them wept for their FREDDY, except HUM PICKETY WIMPLE TIP. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

SOME time ago, in simple verse I sang the story true Of CAPTAIN 
REECE, the MANTELPIECE, And all her happy crew. 

I showed how any captain may Attach his men to him, If he but heeds 
their smallest needs, And studies every whim. 

Now mark how, by Draconic rule And HAUTEUR ill-advised, The 
noblest crew upon the Blue May be demoralized. 

When his ungrateful country placed Kind REECE upon half-pay, 
Without much claim SIR BERKELY came, And took command one day. 

SIR BERKELY was a martinet - A stern unyielding soul - Who ruled 
his ship by dint of whip And horrible black-hole. 

A sailor who was overcome From having freely dined, And chanced to 
reel when at the wheel, He instantly confined! 

And tars who, when an action raged, Appeared alarmed or scared, And 
those below who wished to go, He very seldom spared. 

E'en he who smote his officer For punishment was booked, And 
mutinies upon the seas He rarely overlooked. 

In short, the happy MANTELPIECE, Where all had gone so well, 
Beneath that fool SIR BERKELY'S rule Became a floating hell. 

When first SIR BERKELY came aboard He read a speech to all, And 
told them how he'd made a vow To act on duty's call. 

Then WILLIAM LEE, he up and said (The Captain's coxswain he), 
"We've heard the speech your honour's made, And werry pleased we be. 

"We won't pretend, my lad, as how We're glad to lose our REECE; 
Urbane, polite, he suited quite The saucy MANTELPIECE. 

"But if your honour gives your mind To study all our ways, With dance 
and song we'll jog along As in those happy days. 

"I like your honour's looks, and feel You're worthy of your sword. 
Your hand, my lad - I'm doosid glad To welcome you aboard!" 

SIR BERKELY looked amazed, as though He didn't understand. 
"Don't shake your head," good WILLIAM said, "It is an honest hand. 

"It's grasped a better hand than yourn - Come, gov'nor, I insist!" The 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"Down, upstart!" said the hardy salt; But BERKELY dodged his aim, 
And made him go in chains below: The seamen murmured "Shame!" 

He stopped all songs at 12 p.m., Stopped hornpipes when at sea, And 
swore his cot (or bunk) should not Be used by aught than he. 

He never joined their daily mess, Nor asked them to his own, But 
chaffed in gay and social way The officers alone. 

His First Lieutenant, PETER, was As useless as could be, A helpless 
stick, and always sick When there was any sea. 

This First Lieutenant proved to be His foster-sister MAY, Who went to 
sea for love of he In masculine array. 

And when he learnt the curious fact, Did he emotion show, Or dry her 
tears or end her fears By marrying her? No! 

Or did he even try to soothe This maiden in her teens? Oh, no! instead 
he made her wed The Sergeant of Marines! 

Of course such Spartan discipline Would make an angel fret; They 
drew a lot, and WILLIAM shot This fearful martinet. 

The Admiralty saw how ill They'd treated CAPTAIN REECE; He was 
restored once more aboard The saucy MANTELPIECE. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

I GO away this blessed day, To sail across the sea, MATILDA! My 
vessel starts for various parts At twenty after three, MATILDA. I hardly 
know where we may go, Or if it's near or far, MATILDA, For CAPTAIN 
HYDE does not confide In any 'fore-mast tar, MATILDA! 

Beneath my ban that mystic man Shall suffer, COUTE QUI COUTE, 
MATILDA! What right has he to keep from me The Admiralty route, 
MATILDA? Because, forsooth! I am a youth Of common sailors' lot, 
MATILDA! Am I a man on human plan Designed, or am I not, 

But there, my lass, we'll let that pass! With anxious love I burn, 
MATILDA. I want to know if we shall go To church when I return, 
MATILDA? Your eyes are red, you bow your head; It's pretty clear you 
thirst, MATILDA, To name the day - What's that you say? - "You'll see me 
further first," MATILDA? 

I can't mistake the signs you make, Although you barely speak, 
MATILDA; Though pure and young, you thrust your tongue Right in your 
pretty cheek, MATILDA! My dear, I fear I hear you sneer - I do - I'm sure 
I do, MATILDA! With simple grace you make a face, Ejaculating, "Ugh!" 

Oh, pause to think before you drink The dregs of Lethe's cup, 
MATILDA! Remember, do, what I've gone through, Before you give me 
up, MATILDA! Recall again the mental pain Of what I've had to do, 
MATILDA! And be assured that I've endured It, all along of you, 

Do you forget, my blithesome pet, How once with jealous rage, 
MATILDA, I watched you walk and gaily talk With some one thrice your 
age, MATILDA? You squatted free upon his knee, A sight that made me 
sad, MATILDA! You pinched his cheek with friendly tweak, Which 
almost drove me mad, MATILDA! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

I've passed a life of toil and strife, And disappointments deep, 
MATILDA; I've lain awake with dental ache Until I fell asleep, 
MATILDA! At times again I've missed a train, Or p'rhaps run short of tin, 
MATILDA, And worn a boot on corns that shoot, Or, shaving, cut my chin, 

But, oh! no trains - no dental pains - Believe me when I say, 
MATILDA, No corns that shoot - no pinching boot Upon a summer day, 
MATILDA - It's my belief, could cause such grief As that I've suffered for, 
MATILDA, My having shot in vital spot Your old progenitor, MATILDA. 

Bethink you how I've kept the vow I made one winter day, MATILDA 

-That, come what could, I never would Remain too long away, MATILDA. 
And, oh! the crimes with which, at times, I've charged my gentle mind, 
MATILDA, To keep the vow I made - and now You treat me so unkind, 
For when at sea, off Caribbee, I felt my passion burn, MATILDA, By 
passion egged, I went and begged The captain to return, MATILDA. And 
when, my pet, I couldn't get That captain to agree, MATILDA, Right 
through a sort of open port I pitched him in the sea, MATILDA! 

Remember, too, how all the crew With indignation blind, MATILDA, 
Distinctly swore they ne'er before Had thought me so unkind, MATILDA. 
And how they'd shun me one by one - An unforgiving group, MATILDA I 
stopped their howls and sulky scowls By pizening their soup, 

So pause to think, before you drink The dregs of Lethe's cup, 
MATILDA; Remember, do, what I've gone through, Before you give me 
up, MATILDA. Recall again the mental pain Of what I've had to do, 
MATILDA, And be assured that I've endured It, all along of you, 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

A RICH advowson, highly prized, For private sale was advertised; 
And many a parson made a bid; The REVEREND SIMON MAGUS did. 

He sought the agent's: "Agent, I Have come prepared at once to buy (If 
your demand is not too big) The Cure of Otium-cum-Digge." 

"Ah!" said the agent, "THERE'S a berth - The snuggest vicarage on 
earth; No sort of duty (so I hear), And fifteen hundred pounds a year! 

"If on the price we should agree, The living soon will vacant be; The 
good incumbent's ninety five, And cannot very long survive. 

See - here's his photograph - you see, He's in his dotage." "Ah, dear me! 
Poor soul!" said SIMON. "His decease Would be a merciful release!" 

The agent laughed - the agent blinked - The agent blew his nose and 
winked - And poked the parson's ribs in play - It was that agent's vulgar 

The REVEREND SIMON frowned: "I grieve This light demeanour to 
perceive; It's scarcely COMME IL FAUT, I think: Now - pray oblige me do 
not wink. 

"Don't dig my waistcoat into holes - Your mission is to sell the souls 
Of human sheep and human kids To that divine who highest bids. 

"Do well in this, and on your head Unnumbered honours will be shed." 
The agent said, "Well, truth to tell, I HAVE been doing very well." 

"You should," said SIMON, "at your age; But now about the parsonage. 
How many rooms does it contain? Show me the photograph again. 

"A poor apostle's humble house Must not be too luxurious; No stately 
halls with oaken floor - It should be decent and no more. 

" No billiard-rooms - no stately trees - No croquet-grounds or 
pineries." "Ah!" sighed the agent, "very true: This property won't do for 

"All these about the house you'll find." -"Well," said the parson, 
"never mind; I'll manage to submit to these Luxurious superfluities. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"To preach three times on Sabbath days -To wean the lost from 
wicked ways - The sick to soothe - the sane to wed - The poor to feed with 
meat and bread; 

"These are the various wholesome ways In which I'll spend my nights 
and days: My zeal will have no time to cool At croquet, archery, or pool." 
The agent said, "From what I hear, This living will not suit, I fear There 
are no poor, no sick at all; For services there is no call." 
The reverend gent looked grave, "Dear me! Then there is NO 'society'? 

- I mean, of course, no sinners there Whose souls will be my special care?" 
The cunning agent shook his head, "No, none - except" - (the agent 
said) - "The DUKE OF A., the EARL OF B., The MARQUIS C., and 

"But you will not be quite alone, For though they've chaplains of their 
own, Of course this noble well-bred clan Receive the parish clergyman." 

"Oh, silence, sir!" said SIMON M., "Dukes - Earls! What should I care 
for them? These worldly ranks I scorn and flout!" "Of course," the agent 
said, "no doubt!" 

"Yet I might show these men of birth The hollowness of rank on 
earth." The agent answered, "Very true - But I should not, if I were you." 

"Who sells this rich advowson, pray?" The agent winked - it was his 
way - "His name is HART; 'twixt me and you, He is, I'm grieved to say, a 

"A Jew?" said SIMON, "happy find! I purchase this advowson, mind. 
My life shall be devoted to Converting that unhappy Jew!" 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

THE other night, from cares exempt, I slept - and what d'you think I 
dreamt? I dreamt that somehow I had come To dwell in Topsy-Turveydom 

Where vice is virtue -virtue, vice: Where nice is nasty - nasty, nice: 
Where right is wrong and wrong is right - Where white is black and black 
is white. 

Where babies, much to their surprise, Are born astonishingly wise; 
With every Science on their lips, And Art at all their finger-tips. 

For, as their nurses dandle them They crow binomial theorem, With 
views (it seems absurd to us) On differential calculus. 

But though a babe, as I have said, Is born with learning in his head, He 
must forget it, if he can, Before he calls himself a man. 

For that which we call folly here, Is wisdom in that favoured sphere; 
The wisdom we so highly prize Is blatant folly in their eyes. 

A boy, if he would push his way, Must learn some nonsense every day; 
And cut, to carry out this view, His wisdom teeth and wisdom too. 

Historians burn their midnight oils, Intent on giant-killers' toils; And 
sages close their aged eyes To other sages' lullabies. 

Our magistrates, in duty bound, Commit all robbers who are found; 
But there the Beaks (so people said) Commit all robberies instead. 

Our Judges, pure and wise in tone, Know crime from theory alone, 
And glean the motives of a thief From books and popular belief. 

But there, a Judge who wants to prime His mind with true ideas of 
crime, Derives them from the common sense Of practical experience. 

Policemen march all folks away Who practise virtue every day - Of 
course, I mean to say, you know, What we call virtue here below. 

For only scoundrels dare to do What we consider just and true, And 
only good men do, in fact, What we should think a dirty act. 

But strangest of these social twirls, The girls are boys -the boys are 
girls! The men are women, too - but then, PER CONTRA, women all are 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

With them, as surely as can be, A sailor should be sick at sea, And not 
a passenger may sail Who cannot smoke right through a gale. 

A soldier (save by rarest luck) Is always shot for showing pluck (That 
is, if others can be found With pluck enough to fire a round). 

"How strange!" I said to one I saw; "You quite upset our every law. 
However can you get along So systematically wrong?" 

"Dear me!" my mad informant said, "Have you no eyes within your 
head? You sneer when you your hat should doff: Why, we begin where 
you leave off! 

"Your wisest men are very far Less learned than our babies are!" I 
mused awhile - and then, oh me! I framed this brilliant repartee: 

"Although your babes are wiser far Than our most valued sages are, 
Your sages, with their toys and cots, Are duller than our idiots!" 

But this remark, I grieve to state, Came just a little bit too late For as I 
framed it in my head, I woke and found myself in bed. 

Still I could wish that, 'stead of here, My lot were in that favoured 
sphere! - Where greatest fools bear off the bell I ought to do extremely 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

I OFTEN wonder whether you Think sometimes of that Bishop, who 
From black but balmy Rum-ti-Foo Last summer twelvemonth came. Unto 
your mind I p'r'aps may bring Remembrance of the man I sing To-day, by 
simply mentioning That PETER was his name. 

Remember how that holy man Came with the great Colonial clan To 
Synod, called Pan-Anglican; And kindly recollect How, having crossed the 
ocean wide, To please his flock all means he tried Consistent with a proper 
pride And manly self-respect. 

He only, of the reverend pack Who minister to Christians black, 
Brought any useful knowledge back To his Colonial fold. In consequence 
a place I claim For "PETER" on the scroll of Fame (For PETER was that 
Bishop's name, As I've already told). 

He carried Art, he often said, To places where that timid maid (Save by 
Colonial Bishops' aid) Could never hope to roam. The Payne-cum-Lauri 
feat he taught As he had learnt it; for he thought The choicest fruits of 
Progress ought To bless the Negro's home. 

And he had other work to do, For, while he tossed upon the Blue, The 
islanders of Rum-ti-Foo Forgot their kindly friend. Their decent clothes 
they learnt to tear - They learnt to say, "I do not care," Though they, of 
course, were well aware How folks, who say so, end. 

Some sailors, whom he did not know, Had landed there not long ago, 
And taught them "Bother!" also, "Blow!" (Of wickedness the germs). No 
need to use a casuist's pen To prove that they were merchantmen; No 
sailor of the Royal N. Would use such awful terms. 

And so, when BISHOP PETER came (That was the kindly Bishop's 
name), He heard these dreadful oaths with shame, And chid their want of 
dress. (Except a shell - a bangle rare - A feather here - a feather there The 
South Pacific Negroes wear Their native nothingness.) 

He taught them that a Bishop loathes To listen to disgraceful oaths, He 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

The Bishop's eyes with water fill, Quite overjoyed to find them still 
Obedient to his sovereign will, And said, "Good Rum-ti-Foo! Half-way I'll 
meet you, I declare: I'll dress myself in cowries rare, And fasten feathers in 
my hair, And dance the 'Cutch-chi-boo!'" (13) 

And to conciliate his See He married PICCADILLILLEE, The 
youngest of his twenty-three, Tall - neither fat nor thin. (And though the 
dress he made her don Looks awkwardly a girl upon, It was a great 
improvement on The one he found her in.) 

The Bishop in his gay canoe (His wife, of course, went with him too) 
To some adjacent island flew, To spend his honeymoon. Some day in 
sunny Rum-ti-Foo A little PETER'll be on view; And that (if people tell 
me true) Is like to happen soon. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

AN actor - GIBBS, of Drury Lane - Of very decent station, Once 
happened in a part to gain Excessive approbation: It sometimes turns a 
fellow's brain And makes him singularly vain When he believes that he 
receives Tremendous approbation. 

His great success half drove him mad, But no one seemed to mind him; 
Well, in another piece he had Another part assigned him. This part was 
smaller, by a bit, Than that in which he made a hit. So, much ill-used, he 
straight refused To play the part assigned him. 

* * * * * * * * 



In fighting with a robber band (A thing he loved sincerely) A sword 
struck GIBBS upon the hand, And wounded it severely. At first he didn't 
heed it much, He thought it was a simple touch, But soon he found the 
weapon's bound Had wounded him severely. 

To Surgeon COBB he made a trip, Who'd just effected featly An 
amputation at the hip Particularly neatly. A rising man was Surgeon COBB 
But this extremely ticklish job He had achieved (as he believed) 
Particularly neatly. 

The actor rang the surgeon's bell. "Observe my wounded finger, Be 
good enough to strap it well, And prithee do not linger. That I, dear sir, 
may fill again The Theatre Royal Drury Lane: This very night I have to 
fight - So prithee do not linger." 

"I don't strap fingers up for doles," Replied the haughty surgeon; "To 
use your cant, I don't play ROLES Utility that verge on. First amputation nothing 
less -That is my line of business: We surgeon nobs despise all 
jobs Utility that verge on 

"When in your hip there lurks disease" (So dreamt this lively dreamer), 
"Or devastating CARIES In HUMERUS or FEMUR, If you can pay a 
handsome fee, Oh, then you may remember me - With joy elate I'll 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

The disconcerted actor ceased The haughty leech to pester, But when 
the wound in size increased, And then began to fester, He sought a learned 
Counsel's lair, And told that Counsel, then and there, How COBB'S 
neglect of his defect Had made his finger fester. 

"Oh, bring my action, if you please, The case I pray you urge on, And 
win me thumping damages From COBB, that haughty surgeon. He 
culpably neglected me Although I proffered him his fee, So pray come 
down, in wig and gown, On COBB, that haughty surgeon!" 

That Counsel learned in the laws, With passion almost trembled. He 
just had gained a mighty cause Before the Peers assembled! Said he, "How 
dare you have the face To come with Common Jury case To one who 
wings rhetoric flings Before the Peers assembled?" 

Dispirited became our friend - Depressed his moral pecker - "But stay! 
a thought! -I'll gain my end, And save my poor exchequer. I won't be 
placed upon the shelf, I'll take it into Court myself, And legal lore display 
before The Court of the Exchequer." 

He found a Baron - one of those Who with our laws supply us - In wig 
and silken gown and hose, As if at NISI PRIUS. But he'd just given, off 
the reel, A famous judgment on Appeal: It scarce became his heightened 
fame To sit at NISI PRIUS. 

Our friend began, with easy wit, That half concealed his terror: 
"Pooh!" said the Judge, "I only sit In BANCO or in Error. Can you 
suppose, my man, that I'd O'er NISI PRIUS Courts preside, Or condescend 
my time to spend On anything but Error?" 

"Too bad," said GIBBS, "my case to shirk! You must be bad innately, 
To save your skill for mighty work Because it's valued greatly!" But here 
he woke, with sudden start. 

* * * * * * * * 

He wrote to say he'd play the part. I've but to tell he played it well The 
author's words - his native wit Combined, achieved a perfect "hit" The 
papers praised him greatly. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

AN excellent soldier who's worthy the name Loves officers dashing 
and strict: When good, he's content with escaping all blame, When 
naughty, he likes to be licked. 

He likes for a fault to be bullied and stormed, Or imprisoned for 
several days, And hates, for a duty correctly performed, To be slavered 
with sickening praise. 

No officer sickened with praises his CORPS So little as MAJOR LA 
GUERRE - No officer swore at his warriors more Than MAJOR 

Their soldiers adored them, and every grade Delighted to hear their 
abuse; Though whenever these officers came on parade They shivered and 
shook in their shoes. 

For, oh! if LA GUERRE could all praises withhold, Why, so could 
MAKREDI PREPERE, And, oh! if MAKREDI could bluster and scold, 
Why, so could the mighty LA GUERRE. 

"No doubt we deserve it - no mercy we crave - Go on -you're 
conferring a boon; We would rather be slanged by a warrior brave, Than 
praised by a wretched poltroon!" 

MAKREDI would say that in battle's fierce rage True happiness only 
was met: Poor MAJOR MAKREDI, though fifty his age, Had never 
known happiness yet! 

LA GUERRE would declare, "With the blood of a foe No tipple is 
worthy to clink." Poor fellow! he hadn't, though sixty or so, Yet tasted his 
favourite drink! 

They agreed at their mess - they agreed in the glass - They agreed in 
the choice of their "set," And they also agreed in adoring, alas! The 
Vivandiere, pretty FILLETTE. 

Agreement, you see, may be carried too far, And after agreeing all 
round For years - in this soldierly "maid of the bar," A bone of contention 
they found! 

It may seem improper to call such a pet - By a metaphor, even - a bone; 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"On the day that you marry her," muttered PREPERE (With a pistol he 
quietly played), "I'll scatter the brains in your noddle, I swear, All over the 
stony parade!" 

"I cannot do THAT to you," answered LA GUERRE, "Whatever 
events may befall; But this I CAN do - IF YOU wed her, MON CHER! I'll 
eat you, moustachios and all!" 

The rivals, although they would never engage, Yet quarrelled 
whenever they met; They met in a fury and left in a rage, But neither took 
pretty FILLETTE. 

"I am not afraid," thought MAKREDI PREPERE: "For country I'm 
ready to fall; But nobody wants, for a mere Vivandiere, To be eaten, 
moustachios and all! 

"Besides, though LA GUERRE has his faults, I'll allow He's one of the 
bravest of men: My goodness! if I disagree with him now, I might disagree 
with him then." 

"No coward am I," said LA GUERRE, "as you guess - I sneer at an 
enemy's blade; But I don't want PREPERE to get into a mess For 
splashing the stony parade!" 

One day on parade to PREPERE and LA GUERRE Came 
CORPORAL JACOT DEBETTE, And trembling all over, he prayed of 
them there To give him the pretty FILLETTE. 

"You see, I am willing to marry my bride Until you've arranged this 
affair; I will blow out my brains when your honours decide Which marries 
the sweet Vivandiere!" 

"Well, take her,' said both of them in a duet (A favourite form of reply), 
"But when I am ready to marry FILLETTE. Remember you've promised 
to die!" 

He married her then: from the flowery plains Of existence the roses 
they cull: He lived and he died with his wife; and his brains Are reposing 
in peace in his skull. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

EMILY JANE was a nursery maid, JAMES was a bold Life Guard, 
JOHN was a constable, poorly paid (And I am a doggerel bard). 

A very good girl was EMILY JANE, JIMMY was good and true, 
JOHN was a very good man in the main (And I am a good man too). 

Rivals for EMMIE were JOHNNY and JAMES, Though EMILY liked 
them both; She couldn't tell which had the strongest claims (And I couldn't 
take my oath). 

But sooner or later you're certain to find Your sentiments can't lie hid JANE 
thought it was time that she made up her mind (And I think it was 
time she did). 

Said JANE, with a smirk, and a blush on her face, "I'll promise to wed 
the boy Who takes me to-morrow to Epsom Race!" (Which I would have 
done, with joy). 

From JOHNNY escaped an expression of pain, But Jimmy said, "Done 
with you! I'll take you with pleasure, my EMILY JANE!" (And I would 
have said so too). 

JOHN lay on the ground, and he roared like mad (For JOHNNY was 
sore perplexed), And he kicked very hard at a very small lad (Which I 
often do, when vexed). 

For JOHN was on duty next day with the Force, To punish all Epsom 
crimes; Young people WILL cross when they're clearing the course (I do it 
myself, sometimes). 

* * * * * * * * 

The Derby Day sun glittered gaily on cads, On maidens with gamboge 
hair, On sharpers and pickpockets, swindlers and pads, (For I, with my 
harp, was there). 

And JIMMY went down with his JANE that day, And JOHN by the 
collar or nape Seized everybody who came in his way (And I had a narrow 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

JOHN dogged them all day, without asking their leaves; For his 
sergeant he told, aside, That JIMMY and JANE were notorious thieves 
(And I think he was justified). 

But JAMES wouldn't dream of abstracting a fork, And JENNY would 
blush with shame At stealing so much as a bottle or cork (A bottle I think 
fair game). 

But, ah! there's another more serious crime! They wickedly strayed 
upon The course, at a critical moment of time (I pointed them out to 

The constable fell on the pair in a crack -And then, with a demon 
smile, Let JENNY cross over, but sent JIMMY back (I played on my harp 
the while). 

Stern JOHNNY their agony loud derides With a very triumphant sneer 

-They weep and they wail from the opposite sides (And I shed a silent 
And JENNY is crying away like mad, And JIMMY is swearing hard; 
And JOHNNY is looking uncommonly glad (And I am a doggerel bard). 
But JIMMY he ventured on crossing again The scenes of our Isthmian 
Games - JOHN caught him, and collared him, giving him pain (I felt very 
much for JAMES). 

JOHN led him away with a victor's hand, And JIMMY was shortly 
seen In the station-house under the grand Grand Stand (As many a time 
I'VE been). 

And JIMMY, bad boy, was imprisoned for life, Though EMILY 
pleaded hard; And JOHNNY had EMILY JANE to wife (And I am a 
doggerel bard). 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

OLD PETER led a wretched life - Old PETER had a furious wife; Old 
PETER too was truly stout, He measured several yards about. 

The little fairy PICKLEKIN One summer afternoon looked in, And 
said, "Old PETER, how de do? Can I do anything for you? 

"I have three gifts - the first will give Unbounded riches while you live; 
The second health where'er you be; The third, invisibility." 

"O little fairy PICKLEKIN," Old PETER answered with a grin, "To 
hesitate would be absurd, - Undoubtedly I choose the third." 

"'Tis yours," the fairy said; "be quite Invisible to mortal sight Whene'er 
you please. Remember me Most kindly, pray, to MRS. P." 

Old MRS. PETER overheard Wee PICKLEKIN'S concluding word, 
And, jealous of her girlhood's choice, Said, "That was some young 
woman's voice: 

Old PETER let her scold and swear - Old PETER, bless him, didn't 
care. "My dear, your rage is wasted quite - Observe, I disappear from 

A well-bred fairy (so I've heard) Is always faithful to her word: Old 
PETER vanished like a shot, Put then -HIS SUIT OF CLOTHES DID 

For when conferred the fairy slim Invisibility on HIM, She popped 
away on fairy wings, Without referring to his "things." 

So there remained a coat of blue, A vest and double eyeglass too, His 
tail, his shoes, his socks as well, His pair of - no, I must not tell. 

Old MRS. PETER soon began To see the failure of his plan, And then 
resolved (I quote the Bard) To "hoist him with his own petard." 

Old PETER woke next day and dressed, Put on his coat, and shoes, 
and vest, His shirt and stock; BUT COULD NOT FIND HIS ONLY PAIR 
OF - never mind! 

Old PETER was a decent man, And though he twigged his lady's plan, 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"Dear MRS. P., my only joy," Exclaimed the horrified old boy, "Now, 
give them up, I beg of you - You know what I'm referring to!" 

But no; the cross old lady swore She'd keep his - what I said before To 
make him publicly absurd; And MRS. PETER kept her word. 

The poor old fellow had no rest; His coat, his stick, his shoes, his vest, 
Were all that now met mortal eye - The rest, invisibility! 

"Now, madam, give them up, I beg - I've had rheumatics in my leg; 
Besides, until you do, it's plain I cannot come to sight again! 

"For though some mirth it might afford To see my clothes without their 
lord, Yet there would rise indignant oaths If he were seen without his 

But no; resolved to have her quiz, The lady held her own - and his And 
PETER left his humble cot To find a pair of - you know what. 

But - here's the worst of the affair - Whene'er he came across a pair 
Already placed for him to don, He was too stout to get them on! 

So he resolved at once to train, And walked and walked with all his 
main; For years he paced this mortal earth, To bring himself to decent 

At night, when all around is still, You'll find him pounding up a hill; 
And shrieking peasants whom he meets, Fall down in terror on the peats! 

Old PETER walks through wind and rain, Resolved to train, and train, 
and train, Until he weighs twelve stone' or so - And when he does, I'll let 
you know. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

PERHAPS already you may know SIR BLENNERHASSET 
PORTICO? A Captain in the Navy, he - A Baronet and K.C.B. You do? I 
thought so! It was that Captain's favourite whim (A notion not confined to 
him) That RODNEY was the greatest tar Who ever wielded capstan-bar. 
He had been taught so. 

"BENBOW! CORNWALLIS! HOOD! - Belay! Compared with 
RODNEY" - he would say - "No other tar is worth a rap! The great LORD 
RODNEY was the chap The French to polish! "Though, mind you, I 
respect LORD HOOD; CORNWALLIS, too, was rather good; BENBOW 
could enemies repel, LORD NELSON, too, was pretty well - That is, tollol-

SIR BLENNERHASSET spent his days In learning RODNEY'S little 
ways, And closely imitated, too, His mode of talking to his crew - His port 
and paces. An ancient tar he tried to catch Who'd served in RODNEY'S 
famous batch; But since his time long years have fled, And RODNEY'S 
tars are mostly dead: EHEU FUGACES! 

But after searching near and far, At last he found an ancient tar Who 
served with RODNEY and his crew Against the French in 'Eighty-two, 
(That gained the peerage). He gave him fifty pounds a year, His rum, his 
baccy, and his beer; And had a comfortable den Rigged up in what, by 
merchantmen, Is called the steerage. 

"Now, JASPER" - 't was that sailor's name -"Don't fear that you'll 
incur my blame By saying, when it seems to you, That there is anything I 
do That RODNEY wouldn't." The ancient sailor turned his quid, Prepared 
to do as he was bid: "Ay, ay, yer honour; to begin, You've done away with 
'swifting in' - Well, sir, you shouldn't! 

"Upon your spars I see you've clapped Peak halliard blocks, all iron-
capped. I would not christen that a crime, But 'twas not done in 
RODNEY'S time. It looks half-witted! Upon your maintop-stay, I see, You 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"And RODNEY, honoured sir, would grin To see you turning deadeyes 
in, Not UP, as in the ancient way, But downwards, like a cutter's stay - You 
didn't oughter; Besides, in seizing shrouds on board, Breast backstays you 
have quite ignored; Great RODNEY kept unto the last Breast backstays on 
topgallant mast - They make it tauter." 

SIR BLENNERHASSET "swifted in," Turned deadeyes up, and lent a 
fin To strip (as told by JASPER KNOX) The iron capping from his blocks, 
Where there was any. SIR BLENNERHASSET does away, With selvagees 
from maintop-stay; And though it makes his sailors stare, He rigs breast 
backstays everywhere - In fact, too many. 

One morning, when the saucy craft Lay calmed, old JASPER toddled 
aft. "My mind misgives me, sir, that we Were wrong about that selvagee I 
should restore it." "Good," said the Captain, and that day Restored it to 
the maintop-stay. Well-practised sailors often make A much more serious 
mistake, And then ignore it. 

Next day old JASPER came once more: "I think, sir, I was right 
before." Well, up the mast the sailors skipped, The selvagee was soon 
unshipped, And all were merry. Again a day, and JASPER came: "I p'r'aps 
deserve your honour's blame, I can't make up my mind," said he, "About 
that cursed selvagee - It's foolish - very. 

"On Monday night I could have sworn That maintop-stay it should 
adorn, On Tuesday morning I could swear That selvagee should not be 
there. The knot's a rasper!" "Oh, you be hanged," said CAPTAIN P., "Here, 
go ashore at Caribbee. Get out - good bye - shove off - all right!" Old 
JASPER soon was out of sight - Farewell, old JASPER! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"COME, collar this bad man - Around the throat he knotted me Till I 
to choke began - In point of fact, garotted me!" 

So spake SIR HERBERT WRITE To JAMES, Policeman Thirty-two All 
ruffled with his fight SIR HERBERT was, and dirty too. 

Policeman nothing said (Though he had much to say on it), But from 
the bad man's head He took the cap that lay on it. 

"No, great SIR HERBERT WHITE - Impossible to take him up. This 
man is honest quite - Wherever did you rake him up? 

"For Burglars, Thieves, and Co., Indeed, I'm no apologist, But I, some 
years ago, Assisted a Phrenologist. 

"Observe his various bumps, His head as I uncover it: His morals lie in 
lumps All round about and over it." 

"Now take him," said SIR WHITE, "Or you will soon be rueing it; 
Bless me! I must be right, - I caught the fellow doing it!" 

Policeman calmly smiled, "Indeed you are mistaken, sir, You're 
agitated - riled - And very badly shaken, sir. 

"Sit down, and I'll explain My system of Phrenology, A second, please, 
remain" - (A second is horology). 

Policeman left his beat - (The Bart., no longer furious, Sat down upon 
a seat, Observing, "This is curious!") 

"Oh, surely, here are signs Should soften your rigidity: This gentleman 
combines Politeness with timidity. 

"Of Shyness here's a lump - A hole for Animosity - And like my fist 
his bump Of Impecuniosity. 

"Just here the bump appears Of Innocent Hilarity, And just behind his 
ears Are Faith, and Hope, and Charity. 

He of true Christian ways As bright example sent us is - This maxim 

"There, let him go his ways, He needs no stern admonishing." The 
Bart., in blank amaze, Exclaimed, "This is astonishing! 

"I MUST have made a mull, This matter I've been blind in it: Examine, 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

That Crusher looked, and said, With unimpaired urbanity, "SIR 
HERBERT, you've a head That teems with inhumanity. 

"Here's Murder, Envy, Strife (Propensity to kill any), And Lies as large 
as life, And heaps of Social Villany. 

"Here's Love of Bran-New Clothes, Embezzling - Arson - Deism - A 
taste for Slang and Oaths, And Fraudulent Trusteeism. 

"Here's Love of Groundless Charge - Here's Malice, too, and Trickery, 
Unusually large Your bump of Pocket-Pickery - " 

"Stop!" said the Bart., "my cup Is full - I'm worse than him in all; 
Policeman, take me up - No doubt I am some criminal!" 

That Pleeceman's scorn grew large (Phrenology had nettled it), He 
took that Bart. in charge - I don't know how they settled it. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

ONCE a fairy Light and airy Married with a mortal; Men, however, 
Never, never Pass the fairy portal. Slyly stealing, She to Ealing Made a 
daily journey; There she found him, Clients round him (He was an 

Long they tarried, Then they married. When the ceremony Once was 
ended, Off they wended On their moon of honey. Twelvemonth, maybe, 
Saw a baby (Friends performed an orgie). Much they prized him, And 
baptized him By the name of GEORGIE, 

GEORGIE grew up; Then he flew up To his fairy mother. Happy 
meeting - Pleasant greeting - Kissing one another. "Choose a calling Most 
enthralling, I sincerely urge ye." "Mother," said he (Rev'rence made he), "I 
would join the clergy. 

"Give permission In addition - Pa will let me do it: There's a living In 
his giving - He'll appoint me to it. Dreams of coff'ring, Easter off'ring, 
Tithe and rent and pew-rate, So inflame me (Do not blame me), That I'll 
be a curate." 

She, with pleasure, Said, "My treasure, 'T is my wish precisely. Do 
your duty, There's a beauty; You have chosen wisely. Tell your father I 
would rather As a churchman rank you. You, in clover, I'll watch over." 
GEORGIE said, "Oh, thank you!" 

GEORGIE scudded, Went and studied, Made all preparations, And 
with credit (Though he said it) Passed examinations. (Do not quarrel With 
him, moral, Scrupulous digestions - 'Twas his mother, And no other, 
Answered all the questions.) 

Time proceeded; Little needed GEORGIE admonition: He, elated, 
Vindicated Clergyman's position. People round him Always found him 
Plain and unpretending; Kindly teaching, Plainly preaching, All his money 

So the fairy, Wise and wary, Felt no sorrow rising - No occasion For 
persuasion, Warning, or advising. He, resuming Fairy pluming (That's not 
English, is it?) Oft would fly up, To the sky up, Pay mamma a visit. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Time progressing, GEORGIE'S blessing Grew more Ritualistic Popish 
scandals, Tonsures - sandals - Genuflections mystic; Gushing 
meetings - Bosom-beatings - Heavenly ecstatics - Broidered spencers Copes 
and censers - Rochets and dalmatics. 

This quandary Vexed the fairy - Flew she down to Ealing. "GEORGIE, 
stop it! Pray you, drop it; Hark to my appealing: To this foolish Papal rule-
ish Twaddle put an ending; This a swerve is From our Service Plain and 

He, replying, Answered, sighing, Hawing, hemming, humming, "It's a 
pity - They're so pritty; Yet in mode becoming, Mother tender, I'll 
surrender - I'll be unaffected - " But his Bishop Into HIS shop Entered 

"Who is this, sir, - Ballet miss, sir?" Said the Bishop coldly. "'T is my 
mother, And no other," GEORGIE answered boldly. "Go along, sir! You 
are wrong, sir; You have years in plenty, While this hussy (Gracious 
mussy!) Isn't two and twenty!" 

(Fairies clever Never, never Grow in visage older; And the fairy, All 
unwary, Leant upon his shoulder!) Bishop grieved him, Disbelieved him; 
GEORGE the point grew warm on; Changed religion, Like a pigeon, (14) 
And became a Mormon! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

A MAIDEN sat at her window wide, Pretty enough for a Prince's bride, 
Yet nobody came to claim her. She sat like a beautiful picture there, With 
pretty bluebells and roses fair, And jasmine-leaves to frame her. And why 
she sat there nobody knows; But this she sang as she plucked a rose, The 
leaves around her strewing: "I've time to lose and power to choose; 'T is 
not so much the gallant who woos, But the gallant's WAY of wooing!" 

A lover came riding by awhile, A wealthy lover was he, whose smile 
Some maids would value greatly - A formal lover, who bowed and bent, 
With many a high-flown compliment, And cold demeanour stately, 
"You've still," said she to her suitor stern, "The 'prentice-work of your 
craft to learn, If thus you come a-cooing. I've time to lose and power to 
choose; 'T is not so much the gallant who woos, As the gallant's WAY of 

A second lover came ambling by - A timid lad with a frightened eye 
And a colour mantling highly. He muttered the errand on which he'd come, 
Then only chuckled and bit his thumb, And simpered, simpered shyly. 
"No," said the maiden, "go your way; You dare but think what a man 
would say, Yet dare to come a-suing! I've time to lose and power to choose; 
'T is not so much the gallant who woos, As the gallant's WAY of wooing!" 

A third rode up at a startling pace - A suitor poor, with a homely face No 
doubts appeared to bind him. He kissed her lips and he pressed her 
waist, And off he rode with the maiden, placed On a pillion safe behind 
him. And she heard the suitor bold confide This golden hint to the priest 
who tied The knot there's no undoing; With pretty young maidens who can 
choose, 'T is not so much the gallant who woos, As the gallant's WAY of 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

THE sun was setting in its wonted west, When HONGREE, Sub-
Lieutenant of Chassoores, Met MAHRY DAUBIGNY, the Village Rose, 
Under the Wizard's Oak - old trysting-place Of those who loved in rosy 

They thought themselves unwatched, but they were not; For 
HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores, Found in LIEUTENANTCOLONEL 
JOOLES DUBOSC A rival, envious and unscrupulous, Who 
thought it not foul scorn to dodge his steps, And listen, unperceived, to all 
that passed Between the simple little Village Rose And HONGREE, Sub-
Lieutenant of Chassoores. 

A clumsy barrack-bully was DUBOSC, Quite unfamiliar with the 
well-bred tact That animates a proper gentleman In dealing with a girl of 
humble rank. You'll understand his coarseness when I say He would have 
married MAHRY DAUBIGNY, And dragged the unsophisticated girl Into 
the whirl of fashionable life, For which her singularly rustic ways, Her 
breeding (moral, but extremely rude), Her language (chaste, but 
ungrammatical), Would absolutely have unfitted her. How different to this 
unreflecting boor Was HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores. 

Contemporary with the incident Related in our opening paragraph, 
Was that sad war 'twixt Gallia and ourselves That followed on the treaty 
(Brave soldier, he, with all his faults of style) And HONGREE, Sub-
Lieutenant of Chassoores, Were sent by CHARLES of France against the 
lines Of our Sixth HENRY (Fourteen twenty-nine), To drive his legions 
out of Aquitaine. 

When HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores, Returned, 
suspecting nothing, to his camp, After his meeting with the Village Rose, 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"Young HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores, This night we 
shall attack the English camp: Be the 'forlorn hope' yours - you'll lead it, 
sir, And lead it too with credit, I've no doubt. As every man must certainly 
be killed (For you are twenty 'gainst two thousand men), It is not likely 
that you will return. But what of that? you'll have the benefit Of knowing 
that you die a soldier's death." 

Obedience was young HONGREE'S strongest point, But he imagined 
that he only owed Allegiance to his MAHRY and his King. "If MAHRY 
bade me lead these fated men, I'd lead them -but I do not think she would. 
If CHARLES, my King, said, 'Go, my son, and die,' I'd go, of course - my 
duty would be clear. But MAHRY is in bed asleep, I hope, And 
CHARLES, my King, a hundred leagues from this. As for LIEUTENANTCOLONEL 
JOOLES DUBOSC, How know I that our monarch would 
approve The order he has given me to-night? My King I've sworn in all 
things to obey - I'll only take my orders from my King!" Thus HONGREE, 
Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores, Interpreted the terms of his commission. 

And HONGREE, who was wise as he was good, Disguised himself 
that night in ample cloak, Round flapping hat, and vizor mask of black, 
And made, unnoticed, for the English camp. He passed the unsuspecting 
sentinels (Who little thought a man in this disguise Could be a proper 
object of suspicion), And ere the curfew bell had boomed "lights out," He 
found in audience Bedford's haughty Duke. 

"Your Grace," he said, "start not - be not alarmed, Although a 
Frenchman stands before your eyes. I'm HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of 
Chassoores. My Colonel will attack your camp to-night, And orders me to 
lead the hope forlorn. Now I am sure our excellent KING CHARLES 
Would not approve of this; but he's away A hundred leagues, and rather 
more than that. So, utterly devoted to my King, Blinded by my attachment 
to the throne, And having but its interest at heart, I feel it is my duty to 
disclose All schemes that emanate from COLONEL JOOLES, If I believe 
that they are not the kind Of schemes that our good monarch would 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

"But how," said Bedford's Duke, "do you propose That we should 
overthrow your Colonel's scheme?" And HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of 
Chassoores, Replied at once with never-failing tact: "Oh, sir, I know this 
cursed country well. Entrust yourself and all your host to me; I'll lead you 
safely by a secret path Into the heart of COLONEL JOOLES' array, And 
you can then attack them unprepared, And slay my fellow-countrymen 

The thing was done. The DUKE of BEDFORD gave The order, and 
two thousand fighting men Crept silently into the Gallic camp, And slew 
the Frenchmen as they lay asleep; And Bedford's haughty Duke slew 
COLONEL JOOLES, And gave fair MAHRY, pride of Aquitaine, To 
HONGREE, Sub-Lieutenant of Chassoores. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

THE BALLYSHANNON foundered off the coast of Cariboo, And 
down in fathoms many went the captain and the crew; Down went the 
owners - greedy men whom hope of gain allured: Oh, dry the starting tear, 
for they were heavily insured. 

Besides the captain and the mate, the owners and the crew, The 
passengers were also drowned excepting only two: Young PETER GRAY, 
who tasted teas for BAKER, CROOP, AND CO., And SOMERS, who 
from Eastern shores imported indigo. 

These passengers, by reason of their clinging to a mast, Upon a desert 
island were eventually cast. They hunted for their meals, as 
ALEXANDER SELKIRK used, But they couldn't chat together - they had 
not been introduced. 

For PETER GRAY, and SOMERS too, though certainly in trade, Were 
properly particular about the friends they made; And somehow thus they 
settled it without a word of mouth - That GRAY should take the northern 
half, while SOMERS took the south. 

On PETER'S portion oysters grew - a delicacy rare, But oysters were a 
delicacy PETER couldn't bear. On SOMERS' side was turtle, on the 
shingle lying thick, Which SOMERS couldn't eat, because it always made 
him sick. 

GRAY gnashed his teeth with envy as he saw a mighty store Of turtle 
unmolested on his fellow-creature's shore. The oysters at his feet aside 
impatiently he shoved, For turtle and his mother were the only things he 

And SOMERS sighed in sorrow as he settled in the south, For the 
thought of PETER'S oysters brought the water to his mouth. He longed to 
lay him down upon the shelly bed, and stuff: He had often eaten oysters, 
but had never had enough. 

How they wished an introduction to each other they had had When on 
board the BALLYSHANNON! And it drove them nearly mad To think 
how very friendly with each other they might get, If it wasn't for the 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

One day, when out a-hunting for the MUS RIDICULUS, GRAY 
overheard his fellow-man soliloquizing thus: "I wonder how the playmates 
of my youth are getting on, M'CONNELL, S. B. WALTERS, PADDY 

These simple words made PETER as delighted as could be, Old 
chummies at the Charterhouse were ROBINSON and he! He walked 
straight up to SOMERS, then he turned extremely red, Hesitated, hummed 
and hawed a bit, then cleared his throat, and said: 

I beg your pardon - pray forgive me if I seem too bold, But you have 
breathed a name I knew familiarly of old. You spoke aloud of ROBINSON 

- I happened to be by. You know him?" "Yes, extremely well." "Allow me, 
so do I." 
It was enough: they felt they could more pleasantly get on, For (ah, the 
magic of the fact!) they each knew ROBINSON! And Mr. SOMERS' turtle 
was at PETER'S service quite, And Mr. SOMERS punished PETER'S 
oyster-beds all night. 

They soon became like brothers from community of wrongs: They 
wrote each other little odes and sang each other songs; They told each 
other anecdotes disparaging their wives; On several occasions, too, they 
saved each other's lives. 

They felt quite melancholy when they parted for the night, And got up 
in the morning soon as ever it was light; Each other's pleasant company 
they reckoned so upon, And all because it happened that they both knew 

They lived for many years on that inhospitable shore, And day by day 
they learned to love each other more and more. At last, to their 
astonishment, on getting up one day, They saw a frigate anchored in the 
offing of the bay. 

To PETER an idea occurred. "Suppose we cross the main? So good an 
opportunity may not be found again." And SOMERS thought a minute, 
then ejaculated, "Done! I wonder how my business in the City's getting 

"But stay," said Mr. PETER: "when in England, as you know, I earned 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

- my employers think me dead!" "Then come with me," said SOMERS, 
"and taste indigo instead." 
But all their plans were scattered in a moment when they found The 
vessel was a convict ship from Portland, outward bound; When a boat 
came off to fetch them, though they felt it very kind, To go on board they 
firmly but respectfully declined. 

As both the happy settlers roared with laughter at the joke, They 
recognized a gentlemanly fellow pulling stroke: 'Twas ROBINSON - a 
convict, in an unbecoming frock! Condemned to seven years for 
misappropriating stock!!! 

They laughed no more, for SOMERS thought he had been rather rash 
In knowing one whose friend had misappropriated cash; And PETER 
thought a foolish tack he must have gone upon In making the acquaintance 
of a friend of ROBINSON. 

At first they didn't quarrel very openly, I've heard; They nodded when 
they met, and now and then exchanged a word: The word grew rare, and 
rarer still the nodding of the head, And when they meet each other now, 
they cut each other dead. 

To allocate the island they agreed by word of mouth, And PETER 
takes the north again, and SOMERS takes the south; And PETER has the 
oysters, which he hates, in layers thick, And SOMERS has the turtle turtle 
always makes him sick. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

AN Actor sits in doubtful gloom, His stock-in-trade unfurled, In a 
damp funereal dressing-room In the Theatre Royal, World. 

He comes to town at Christmas-time, And braves its icy breath, To 
play in that favourite pantomime, HARLEQUIN LIFE AND DEATH. 

A hoary flowing wig his weird Unearthly cranium caps, He hangs a 
long benevolent beard On a pair of empty chaps. 

To smooth his ghastly features down The actor's art he cribs, - A long 
and a flowing padded gown. Bedecks his rattling ribs. 

He cries, "Go on - begin, begin! Turn on the light of lime - I'm dressed 
for jolly Old Christmas, in A favourite pantomime!" 

The curtain's up - the stage all black - Time and the year nigh sped Time 
as an advertising quack - The Old Year nearly dead. 

The wand of Time is waved, and lo! Revealed Old Christmas stands, 
And little children chuckle and crow, And laugh and clap their hands. 

The cruel old scoundrel brightens up At the death of the Olden Year, 
And he waves a gorgeous golden cup, And bids the world good cheer. 

The little ones hail the festive King, - No thought can make them sad. 
Their laughter comes with a sounding ring, They clap and crow like mad! 

They only see in the humbug old A holiday every year, And handsome 
gifts, and joys untold, And unaccustomed cheer. 

The old ones, palsied, blear, and hoar, Their breasts in anguish beat They've 
seen him seventy times before, How well they know the cheat! 

They've seen that ghastly pantomime, They've felt its blighting breath, 
They know that rollicking Christmas-time Meant Cold and Want and 

Starvation - Poor Law Union fare - And deadly cramps and chills, And 
illness - illness everywhere, And crime, and Christmas bills. 

They know Old Christmas well, I ween, Those men of ripened age; 
They've often, often, often seen That Actor off the stage! 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Those aged men so lean and wan, They've seen it all before, They 
know they'll see the charlatan But twice or three times more. 

And so they bear with dance and song, And crimson foil and green, 
They wearily sit, and grimly long For the Transformation Scene. 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

HAUNTED? Ay, in a social way By a body of ghosts in dread array; 
But no conventional spectres they - Appalling, grim, and tricky: I quail at 
mine as I'd never quail At a fine traditional spectre pale, With a turnip 
head and a ghostly wail, And a splash of blood on the dickey! 

Mine are horrible, social ghosts, - Speeches and women and guests and 
hosts, Weddings and morning calls and toasts, In every bad variety: Ghosts 
who hover about the grave Of all that's manly, free, and brave: You'll find 
their names on the architrave Of that charnel-house, Society. 

Black Monday - black as its school-room ink - With its dismal boys 
that snivel and think Of its nauseous messes to eat and drink, And its 
frozen tank to wash in. That was the first that brought me grief, And made 
me weep, till I sought relief In an emblematical handkerchief, To choke 
such baby bosh in. 

First and worst in the grim array- Ghosts of ghosts that have gone their 
way, Which I wouldn't revive for a single day For all the wealth of 
PLUTUS - Are the horrible ghosts that school-days scared: If the classical 
ghost that BRUTUS dared Was the ghost of his "Caesar" unprepared, I'm 
sure I pity BRUTUS. 

I pass to critical seventeen; The ghost of that terrible wedding scene, 
When an elderly Colonel stole my Queen, And woke my dream of heaven. 
No schoolgirl decked in her nurse-room curls Was my gushing innocent 
Queen of Pearls; If she wasn't a girl of a thousand girls, She was one of 

I see the ghost of my first cigar, Of the thence-arising family jar - Of 
my maiden brief (I was at the Bar, And I called the Judge "Your wushup!") 
Of reckless days and reckless nights, With wrenched-off knockers, 
extinguished lights, Unholy songs and tipsy fights, Which I strove in vain 
to hush up. 

Ghosts of fraudulent joint-stock banks, Ghosts of "copy, declined with 
thanks," Of novels returned in endless ranks, And thousands more, I suffer. 
The only line to fitly grace My humble tomb, when I've run my race, Is, 


Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

I've fought them all, these ghosts of mine, But the weapons I've used 
are sighs and brine, And now that I'm nearly forty-nine, Old age is my 
chiefest bogy; For my hair is thinning away at the crown, And the silver 
fights with the worn-out brown; And a general verdict sets me down As an 
irreclaimable fogy. 


(1) A version of this ballad is published as a Song, by Mr. Jeffreys, 
Soho Square. 
(2) This ballad is published as a Song, under the title "If," by Messrs. 
Cramer and Co. 
(3) "Go with me to a Notary - seal me there Your single bond." MERCHANT 
OF VENICE, Act I., sc. 3. 
(4) "And there shall she, at Friar Lawrence' cell, Be shrived and 
married." - ROMEO AND JULIET, Act II., sc. 4. 
(5) "And give the fasting horses provender." - HENRY THE FIFTH, 
Act IV., sc. 2. 
(6) "Let us, like merchants, show our foulest wares." - TROILUS AND 
CRESSIDA, Act I., sc. 3. 
(7) "Then must the Jew be merciful." -MERCHANT OF VENICE, 
Act IV., sc. 1. 
(8) "The spring, the summer, The chilling autumn, angry winter, 
change Their wonted liveries." - MIDSUMMER NIGHT DREAM, Act IV., 
sc. 1. 
(9) "In the county of Glo'ster, justice of the peace and CORAM." 
(10) "What lusty trumpet thus doth summon us?" - KING JOHN, Act 
V., sc. 2. 
(11) "And I'll provide his executioner." - HENRY THE SIXTH 
(Second Part), Act III., sc. 1. 
(12) "The lioness had torn some flesh away, Which all this while had 
bled." - AS YOU LIKE IT, Act IV., sc. 3. 
(13) Described by MUNGO PARK. 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 

Fifty "Bab" Ballads - Much Sound and Little Sense 
"Like a bird." - SLANG EXPRESSION. 
(15) Reprinted from the "The Graphic," by permission of the 


<<50 bab ballads(50篇巴布歌謠)>> 〔完〕


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