Modern Street Ballads


A subject I want for a song, do you see,
So Her Majesty, look you, my subject shall be;
Nay there I am wrong, so my Muse here avers,
My “subject” she can’t be, because I am hers!
Forgive me, I beg, if with words I do play,
And hear a plain man in his own queer plain way,
And still to my errors in mercy pray lean,
While the wedding I sing of our glorious Queen!

Our cups to the dregs in a health let us drain,
And with them a long and a prosperous reign,
Like good loyal subjects in loud chorus sing,
Victoria’s wedding with Albert her King.

Many suitors the Queen’s had of class, clime, and creed,
But each failed to make an impression, indeed;
For, for Albert of Coburg, the rest off she packs,
Thus “giving the bag” each, and keeping “the Saxe!”
A fortunate fellow he is, all must say,
And right well his cards he has managed to play,
The game he has won, and no wonder, I ween,
When he played “Speculation,” and turn’d up the Queen.

A hundred thousand a year he may get,
For taking the Queen, which is something to wit;
I myself had “proposed” had I known it, that’s flat,
For I’d willingly take her for much less than that.
Even yet, if her Majesty should chance to scoff
At the bargain she’s made, and the matter break off,
I’ll instantly seek her, and lay my mind down,
And offer to take her, at just—half a crown!

Since the Queen did herself for a husband “propose,”
The ladies will all do the same I suppose;
Their days of subserviency now will be past,
For all will speak first, as they always did last!
Since the Queen has no equal, “obey,” none she need,
So, of course, at the Altar, from such vow she’s freed;
And the women will all follow suit, so they say—
“Love, honour,” they’ll promise, but never “obey.”

Those will now wed, who ne’er wedded before,
Those who always wedded, will now wed the moer;
Clerks will no time have, to lunch, dine, or sup,
And parsons, just now will begin to look up!
To churches, indeed, this will be a God-send,
Goldsmiths be selling off rings without end!
For now you’ll not find from Castle to Cot,
A single man living, who married is not.

But hence with all quibbling, for now I have done,
Though all I have said has been purely in fun;
May the Queen and the King shine like Venus and Mars,
And Heaven preserve them without any jars!
Like Danaë of old may we see it plain,
Till time is no more, these bright sovereigns rain:*
May pleasure and joy through their lives know no bounds,
So let’s give them a toast, and make it three rounds.

* The Queen was married on February 10, 1840.
** Jupiter appeared to Danaë as a shower of gold.

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