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 nature)
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 sinful.

"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 'Gardens.'

"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 separately."

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 him.

"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 they were yawning.)

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.


About William Schwenck Gilbert


William Schwenck Gilbert, born in London in 1836, was the son of a retired naval surgeon. Except for a kidnapping by Italian brigands in Italy at age two, and a ransomed release, he appears to have had a very normal upbringing. Beyond ordinary schooling, he took training as an artillery officer and was tutored in military science with hopes of participating in the Crimean War. Unfortunately for him, but not for us, he did not graduate until after the War was over. Gilbert subsequently joined the militia and was a member for 20 years. After finishing his military training Gilbert... Read more...

Poet of the day

Ethel Turner was an Australian novelist and children's writer.

Biography

Ethel Turner was born in Doncaster, Yorkshire, England on 24th January, 1872. She migrated to Australia with her widowed mother, older sister Lilian and step sister, Jeannie in 1880.

Educated at Sydney Girls’ High School, she and Lilian wrote stories...
Read more...

Poem of the day


Dugdraaben blinker paa Rosengreen;
Den tindrer, den zittrer af Glæde:
I mindste Dugperle, klar og reen,
Er Verdenssolen tilstede.

Sjæle er Draaber paa Livets Green;
De tindre, de zittre af Glæde:
I Sjælens Dugperle, klar og reen,
Er Verdensaanden tilstede.

Dugdraaben blinker et Øjeblik; Read more...