Modern Street Ballads


Good neighbours, pray listen—nay do but come round,
I’ve a tale that shall puzzle your heads I’ll be bound;
From London I’ve ‘scap’d pretty glad to get down,
And tell you the wonderful wonders of town.

The streets ‘luminated I walked every night,
And the devil a bit I could see for the light;
Such pictures, lamps, feathers, stars, anchors, and jokes,
With Boney, the devil, and all sorts of volks.

Lords, pickpockets, ladies, lamplighters, girls, boys,
I didn’t think Peace could have made such a noise.
Push’d, bump’d, lump’d, and thump’d, when I tried to retire,
I was out of the frying pan into the fire.

Then the Emperor’s fist was at every one’s call,
Till princes and kings went for nothing at all;
And, English good manners to show so polite,
We pulled ’em and hauled ’em, from morning till night.

Then the Cossack Horse Soldiers as fought with our foes,
We kill’d ’em with kindness, as all the world knows,
And gave ’em such welcome and hearty good cheer,
They’d no time to get shav’d all the time they were here.

Two jolly old lions we must not forget,
To Platoff and Blucher, how much we’re in debt;
The Mob cried, Come out, like wild beasts, ’twas so droll,
I expected to see ’em stirred up with a pole.

The Sarpentine river, it looked if so be,
All the cock boats i’ Lunnun had put out to sea;
Grown up to great ships their gay canvas now swells,
As big, pretty near, as at Saddler’s Wells.

You never see’d yet a procession so fine,
As when into the City the Kings went to dine;
I gap’d with mouth open, like many an elf,
Till no dinner I got to put in it my self.

Next Peace were proclaimed, when King Charles on his horse,
Counts the coaches as start from the old Golden Cross;
And the Herald, so call’d who cried down wars alarms,
Looked like the Kings Head stuck a top of his arms.

Now safely return’d, for lost time I’ll make up,
So down with the bacon, and round wi’ the cup;
And I’ll drink may Peace also the Yankees subdue,
And turn their Merry ca, into our merry cue.

One word more—of all sights that in town I did see,
There was one sight worth all the whole bundle to me,
Great Wellington’s self who has made the world ring,
With glory, God bless him, and God save the king.

* A song relating to the celebration (in London) of the Peace of 1815.

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