London Types: Bus Driver

written by William Ernest Henley

London Types: Bus Driver

— William Ernest Henley

He's called The General from the brazen craft
And dash with which he sneaks a bit of road
And all its fares; challenged, or chafed, or chaffed,
Back-answers of the newest he'll explode;
He reins his horses with an air; he treats
With scoffing calm whatever powers there be;
He gets it straight, puts a bit on, and meets
His losses with both lip and £ s. d.;
He arrogates a special taste in short;
Is loftily grateful for a flagrant smoke;
At all the smarter housemaids winks his court,
And taps them for half-crowns; being stoney-broke,
Lives lustily; is ever on the make;
And hath, I fear, none other gods but Fake.

About the poet


William Ernest Henley

William Ernest Henley (August 23, 1849 - July 11, 1903) was a British poet, critic and editor. Henley was born in Gloucester and educated at the Crypt Grammar School. The school was a poor relation of the Cathedral School, and Henley indicated its shortcomings in his article (Pall Mall Magazine, Nov. 1900) on T. E. Brown the poet, who was headmaster there for a brief period. Brown's appointment was a stroke of luck for Henley, for whom it represented a first acquaintance with a man of genius. "He was singularly kind to me at a moment when I needed kindness even more than I needed encouragement." Brown did him the essential service of lending him books. Henley was no classical scholar, but his knowledge and...

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