The night was stormy and dark, The town was shut up in sleep: Only those were abroad who were out on a lark, Or those who'd no beds to keep. I pass'd through the lonely street, The wind did sing and blow; I could hear the policeman's feet Clapping to and fro. There stood a potato-man In the midst of all the wet; He stood with his 'tato-can In the lonely Hay-market. Two gents of dismal mien, And dank and greasy rags, Came out of a shop for gin, Swaggering over the flags: Swaggering over the stones, These shabby bucks did walk; And I went and followed those seedy ones, And listened to their talk. Was I sober or awake? Could I believe my ears? Those dismal beggars spake Of nothing but railroad shares. I wondered more and more: Says one—"Good friend of mine, How many shares have you wrote for, In the Diddlesex Junction line?" "I wrote for twenty," says Jim, "But they wouldn't give me one;" His comrade straight rebuked him For the folly he had done: "O Jim, you are unawares Of the ways of this bad town; I always write for five hundred shares, And THEN they put me down." "And yet you got no shares," Says Jim, "for all your boast;" "I WOULD have wrote," says Jack, "but where Was the penny to pay the post?" "I lost, for I couldn't pay That first instalment up; But here's 'taters smoking hot—I say, Let's stop, my boy, and sup." And at this simple feast The while they did regale, I drew each ragged capitalist Down on my left thumbnail. Their talk did me perplex, All night I tumbled and tost, And thought of railroad specs, And how money was won and lost. "Bless railroads everywhere," I said, "and the world's advance; Bless every railroad share In Italy, Ireland, France; For never a beggar need now despair, And every rogue has a chance."
William Makepeace Thackeray - 1811-1863
The Battle of Limerick
Ye Genii of the nation, Who look with veneration. And Ireland's desolation onsaysingly deplore; Ye sons of General Jackson, Who thrample on the Saxon, Attend to the thransaction upon Shannon shore, When William, Duke of Schumbug, A tyrant and a humbug, With cannon and with thunder on our city bore, Our fortitude and valiance Insthructed his battalions To respict the galliant Irish upon Shannon shore. Since that capitulation, No city in this nation So grand a reputation could boast before, As Limerick prodigious, That stands with quays and bridges, And the ships up to the windies of the Shannon shore. A chief of ancient line, 'Tis William Smith O'Brine Reprisints this darling Limerick, this ten years or more: O the Saxons can't endure To see him on the flure, And thrimble at the Cicero from Shannon shore! This valliant son of Mars Had been to visit Par's, That land of Revolution, that grows the tricolor; And to welcome his returrn From pilgrimages furren, We invited him to tay on the Shannon shore. Then we summoned to our board Young Meagher of the sword: 'Tis he will sheathe that battle-axe in Saxon gore; And Mitchil of Belfast We bade to our repast, To dthrink a dish of coffee on the Shannon shore. Convaniently to hould These patriots so bould, We tuck the opportunity of Tim Doolan's store; And with ornamints and banners (As becomes gintale good manners) We made the loveliest tay-room upon Shannon shore. 'Twould binifit your sowls, To see the butthered rowls, The sugar-tongs and sangwidges and craim galyore, And the muffins and the crumpets, And the band of hearts and thrumpets, To celebrate the sworry upon Shannon shore. Sure the Imperor of Bohay Would be proud to dthrink the tay That Misthress Biddy Rooney for O'Brine did pour; And, since the days of Strongbow, There never was such Congo— Mitchil dthrank six quarts of it—by Shannon shore. But Clarndon and Corry Connellan beheld this sworry With rage and imulation in their black hearts' core; And they hired a gang of ruffins To interrupt the muffins, And the fragrance of the Congo on the Shannon shore. When full of tay and cake, O'Brine began to spake; But juice a one could hear him, for a sudden roar Of a ragamuffin rout Began to yell and shout, And frighten the propriety of Shannon shore. As Smith O'Brine harangued, They batthered and they banged: Tim Doolan's doors and windies down they tore; They smashed the lovely windies (Hung with muslin from the Indies), Purshuing of their shindies upon Shannon shore. With throwing of brickbats, Drowned puppies and dead rats, These ruffin democrats themselves did lower; Tin kettles, rotten eggs, Cabbage-stalks, and wooden legs, They flung among the patriots of Shannon shore. O the girls began to scrame And upset the milk and crame; And the honorable gintlemin, they cursed and swore: And Mitchil of Belfast, 'Twas he that looked aghast, When they roasted him in effigy by Shannon shore. O the lovely tay was spilt On that day of Ireland's guilt; Says Jack Mitchil, "I am kilt! Boys, where's the back door? 'Tis a national disgrace: Let me go and veil me face;" And he boulted with quick pace from the Shannon shore. "Cut down the bloody horde!" Says Meagher of the sword, "This conduct would disgrace any blackamore;" But the best use Tommy made Of his famous battle blade Was to cut his own stick from the Shannon shore. Immortal Smith O'Brine Was raging like a line; 'Twould have done your sowl good to have heard him roar; In his glory he arose, And he rushed upon his foes, But they hit him on the nose by the Shannon shore. Then the Futt and the Dthragoons In squadthrons and platoons, With their music playing chunes, down upon us bore; And they bate the rattatoo, But the Peelers came in view, And ended the shaloo on the Shannon shore.