The Ballad of Eliza Davis

  Galliant gents and lovely ladies,
    List a tail vich late befel,
  Vich I heard it, bein on duty,
    At the Pleace Hoffice, Clerkenwell.

  Praps you know the Fondling Chapel,
    Vere the little children sings:
  (Lor! I likes to hear on Sundies
    Them there pooty little things!)

  In this street there lived a housemaid,
    If you particklarly ask me where—
  Vy, it vas at four-and-tventy
    Guilford Street, by Brunsvick Square.

  Vich her name was Eliza Davis,
    And she went to fetch the beer:
  In the street she met a party
    As was quite surprized to see her.

  Vich he vas a British Sailor,
    For to judge him by his look:
  Tarry jacket, canvass trowsies,
    Ha-la Mr. T. P. Cooke.

  Presently this Mann accostes
    Of this hinnocent young gal—
  "Pray," saysee, "excuse my freedom,
    You're so like my Sister Sal!

  "You're so like my Sister Sally,
    Both in valk and face and size,
  Miss, that—dang my old lee scuppers,
    It brings tears into my heyes!"

  "I'm a mate on board a wessel,
    I'm a sailor bold and true;
  Shiver up my poor old timbers,
    Let me be a mate for you!

  "What's your name, my beauty, tell me;"
    And she faintly hansers, "Lore,
  Sir, my name's Eliza Davis,
    And I live at tventy-four."

  Hoftimes came this British seaman,
    This deluded gal to meet;
  And at tventy-four was welcome,
    Tventy-four in Guilford Street.

  And Eliza told her Master
    (Kinder they than Missuses are),
  How in marridge he had ast her,
    Like a galliant Brittish Tar.

  And he brought his landlady vith him,
    (Vich vas all his hartful plan),
  And she told how Charley Thompson
    Reely vas a good young man.

  And how she herself had lived in
    Many years of union sweet,
  Vith a gent she met promiskous,
    Valkin in the public street.

  And Eliza listened to them,
    And she thought that soon their bands
  Vould be published at the Fondlin,
    Hand the clergymen jine their ands.

  And he ast about the lodgers,
    (Vich her master let some rooms),
  Likevise vere they kep their things, and
    Vere her master kep his spoons.

  Hand this vicked Charley Thompson
    Came on Sundy veek to see her;
  And he sent Eliza Davis
    Hout to fetch a pint of beer.

  Hand while pore Eliza vent to
    Fetch the beer, dewoid of sin,
  This etrocious Charley Thompson
    Let his wile accomplish him.

  To the lodgers, their apartments,
    This abandingd female goes,
  Prigs their shirts and umberellas;
    Prigs their boots, and hats, and clothes.

  Vile the scoundrel Charley Thompson,
    Lest his wictim should escape,
  Hocust her vith rum and vater,
    Like a fiend in huming shape.

  But a hi was fixt upon 'em
    Vich these raskles little sore;
  Namely, Mr. Hide, the landlord
    Of the house at tventy-four.

  He vas valkin in his garden,
    Just afore he vent to sup;
  And on looking up he sor the
    Lodgers' vinders lighted hup.

  Hup the stairs the landlord tumbled;
    Something's going wrong, he said;
  And he caught the vicked voman
    Underneath the lodgers' bed.

  And he called a brother Pleaseman,
    Vich vas passing on his beat;
  Like a true and galliant feller,
    Hup and down in Guilford Street.

  And that Pleaseman able-bodied
    Took this voman to the cell;
  To the cell vere she was quodded,
    In the Close of Clerkenwell.

  And though vicked Charley Thompson
    Boulted like a miscrant base,
  Presently another Pleaseman
    Took him to the self-same place.

  And this precious pair of raskles
    Tuesday last came up for doom;
  By the beak they was committed,
    Vich his name was Mr. Combe.

  Has for poor Eliza Davis,
    Simple gurl of tventy-four,
  SHE I ope, vill never listen
    In the streets to sailors moar.

  But if she must ave a sweet-art,
    (Vich most every gurl expex,)
  Let her take a jolly pleaseman;
    Vich his name peraps is—X.

This poem is in the public domain. 

About this Poem

From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).