The Three Christmas Waits
My name is Pleaceman X; Last night I was in bed, A dream did me perplex, Which came into my Edd. I dreamed I sor three Waits A playing of their tune, At Pimlico Palace gates, All underneath the moon. One puffed a hold French horn, And one a hold Banjo, And one chap seedy and torn A Hirish pipe did blow. They sadly piped and played, Dexcribing of their fates; And this was what they said, Those three pore Christmas Waits: "When this black year began, This Eighteen-forty-eight, I was a great great man, And king both vise and great, And Munseer Guizot by me did show As Minister of State. "But Febuwerry came, And brought a rabble rout, And me and my good dame And children did turn out, And us, in spite of all our right. Sent to the right about. "I left my native ground, I left my kin and kith, I left my royal crownd, Vich I couldn't travel vith, And without a pound came to English ground, In the name of Mr. Smith. "Like any anchorite I've lived since I came here, I've kep myself quite quite, I've drank the small small beer, And the vater, you see, disagrees vith me And all my famly dear. "O Tweeleries so dear, O darling Pally Royl, Vas it to finish here That I did trouble and toyl? That all my plans should break in my ands, And should on me recoil? "My state I fenced about Vith baynicks and vith guns; My gals I portioned hout, Rich vives I got my sons; O varn't it crule to lose my rule, My money and lands at once? "And so, vith arp and woice, Both troubled and shagreened, I hid you to rejoice, O glorious England's Queend! And never have to veep, like pore Louis-Phileep, Because you out are cleaned. "O Prins, so brave and stout, I stand before your gate; Pray send a trifle hout To me, your pore old Vait; For nothink could be vuss than it's been along vith us In this year Forty-eight." "Ven this bad year began," The nex man said, seysee, "I vas a Journeyman, A taylor black and free, And my wife went out and chaired about, And my name's the bold Cuffee. "The Queen and Halbert both I swore I would confound, I took a hawfle hoath To drag them to the ground; And sevral more with me they swore Aginst the British Crownd. "Aginst her Pleacemen all We said we'd try our strenth; Her scarlick soldiers tall We vow'd we'd lay full lenth; And out we came, in Freedom's name, Last Aypril was the tenth. "Three 'undred thousand snobs Came out to stop the vay, Vith sticks vith iron knobs, Or else we'd gained the day. The harmy quite kept out of sight, And so ve vent avay. "Next day the Pleacemen came— Rewenge it was their plann— And from my good old dame They took her tailor-mann: And the hard hard beak did me bespeak To Newgit in the Wann. "In that etrocious Cort The Jewry did agree; The Judge did me transport, To go beyond the sea: And so for life, from his dear wife They took poor old Cuffee. "O Halbert, Appy Prince! With children round your knees, Ingraving ansum Prints, And taking hoff your hease; O think of me, the old Cuffee, Beyond the solt solt seas! "Although I'm hold and black, My hanguish is most great; Great Prince, O call me back, And I vill be your Vait! And never no more vill break the Lor, As I did in 'Forty-eight." The tailer thus did close (A pore old blackymore rogue), When a dismal gent uprose, And spoke with Hirish brogue: "I'm Smith O'Brine, of Royal Line, Descended from Rory Ogue. "When great O'Connle died, That man whom all did trust, That man whom Henglish pride Beheld with such disgust, Then Erin free fixed eyes on me, And swoar I should be fust. "'The glorious Hirish Crown,' Says she, 'it shall be thine: Long time, it's wery well known, You kep it in your line; That diadem of hemerald gem Is yours, my Smith O'Brine. "'Too long the Saxon churl Our land encumbered hath; Arise my Prince, my Earl, And brush them from thy path: Rise, mighty Smith, and sveep 'em vith The besom of your wrath.' "Then in my might I rose, My country I surveyed, I saw it filled with foes, I viewed them undismayed; 'Ha, ha!' says I, 'the harvest's high, I'll reap it with my blade.' "My warriors I enrolled, They rallied round their lord; And cheafs in council old I summoned to the board— Wise Doheny and Duffy bold, And Meagher of the Sword. "I stood on Slievenamaun, They came with pikes and bills; They gathered in the dawn, Like mist upon the hills, And rushed adown the mountain side Like twenty thousand rills. "Their fortress we assail; Hurroo! my boys, hurroo! The bloody Saxons quail To hear the wild Shaloo: Strike, and prevail, proud Innesfail, O'Brine aboo, aboo! "Our people they defied; They shot at 'em like savages, Their bloody guns they plied With sanguinary ravages: Hide, blushing Glory, hide That day among the cabbages! "And so no more I'll say, But ask your Mussy great. And humbly sing and pray, Your Majesty's poor Wait: Your Smith O'Brine in 'Forty-nine Will blush for 'Forty-eight."
This poem is in the public domain.
About this Poem
From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).
William Makepeace Thackeray
William Makepeace Thackeray, born July 18, 1811, was an English writer best known for his novels, particularly The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. (The Mershon Company Publishers, 1852) and Vanity Fair (Bradbury and Evans, 1848). While in school, Thackeray began writing poems, which he published in a number of magazines, chiefly Fraser and Punch. He died on December 24, 1863.
Date Published: 2018-07-12
Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/three-christmas-waits