Spoken on the occasion of the 2nd Annual Dinner of the Hull Floral and Horticultural Society, held at the Royal Station Hotel, on the 27th November, 1882.
Once more we meet to pass the social hour
And feel the sway of friendship's potent power,
A power within this brilliant hall to-night,
That warms all hearts and bids all smiles be bright;
And thus in generous mood we each extend the hand,
And wish success to this young floral band.
All hail ! and welcome, wielders of the spade,
Whose culture's seen in many a rural glade;
For from the womb of fruitful Mother Earth,
'Tis by their aid the brightest gems have birth ;
These pretty gems our lawns and gardens grace,
And shed their lustre o'er bright Flora's race.
Our Island may not boast of tropic skies,
Nor do our plants possess their brilliant dyes,
But tropic flowers are void of all perfume
While ours with glorious incense fill the room;
Can they compare to one, dear to all English hearts,
Whose buds and perfume fill the floral marts?
The world no equal can produce to such a flower that grows
As England's pride-the sweet and beauteous rose.
And while this globe endures her reign shall be supreme
The premier gem, Old England's floral Queen.
Dismissing flowers, I cast my eye upon
A shining light- our worthy Symons, John ;
A genius worthy of the Laureate's lays,
Whose chief delight is themes of bye-gone days.
The depths he's probed of dark historic nooks
And given up light in tomes and countless books ;
Long live John Symons, who has won a name
That's carved upon the pinnacle of fame ;
In history's page that name will never cease to be-
Long may it flourish like the green bay tree; !
One form I miss, though mentioned last not least,
The most distinguished invite to the feast ;
One who thrice has filled Hull's Corporate civic chair,
And filled it well with justice, tact, and care;
His banquets to the town in history ii ill endure,
So will his noble care of Hull's deserving poor ;
And, therefore, with pleasure I his praises sing,
And regret the absence of our Corporate ping.
From Humber's fertile banks-to Cantire's stormy Mull,
A nobler Mayor you ne'er will find than he who reigns at Hull.
As certain as this world's made up of saints and sinners,
Our host to-night has given to us the veriest pick o' dinners,
And, if you'll walk into the garden, please,
I'll introduce you to the picotees.
There you will see Sweet William courting Mari-Gold,
Whilst Polyanthus trips across the mould;
Sage, in the distance, shakes his philosophic head,
And thinks its time the maidens all were wed.
The gardener is a man of wealth-please take the hint-
Because be always has access unto the mint;
And yet, 'tis strange where all the money goes
When we do learn how much the gardener hoes ;
Yet of his debts he scarcely e'er repents,
And promptly pays his interest down in scents.
And, by Saint Jingo, how my conscience quakes
To learn the gardener's partial unto rakes.
Thus I conclude that they are curious funny uns,
These men of Turnips, Radishes and Onions.
A truce to jests while I a moment trouble you
And fix my eye on Robinson, T. IV.
Of this young floral band he is the able chief,
And through his aid the show has broken into leaf,
And from this leaf we augur future fruit,
That will, we trust, the most fastidious suit.
Their second annual exhibition passed off well-
In fact, " as merry as a marriage bell; "
And though in years this show is but a baby,
Three officers, I'Ansen, Bethel, and John Raby-
If they give all the assistance that they can,
They'll soon transform this baby to a man.
Since last we met, the God of battles, Mars,
Has bade our English troops depart unto the wars,
And well on Egypt's plains our martial sons have fought,
And valorous deeds of daring they have wrought ;
The midnight march-the brilliant moonlight charge,
Have stirred the pulses of the world at large,
And shown that England's sons are men to dare and do,
And still to the British flag are loyal, staunch, and true ;
Our British Lion often growls, but does not care to bite,
Unless the cause he fights for is honest, just and right ;
And, while we never fear the German, Turk, or Russ,
Long may we chant the praise of England, thus :-
Albion, fair Albion, long mayest thou be
Honoured by land and respected by sea.
May the tyrant still tremble throughout the wide world
When he learns that the standard of ours is unfurled,
And that bold hearts are beating amid the wild sea
In this Home of the Brave and this Isle of the Free.
The immortal Gods on such a night as this,
Sip nectar till they reach a state of bliss,
On such a night when wines and viands do abound,
On such a night then let this vaulted roof resound,-
Resound with song, with merry music, and with dance,
Till echo answers from the shore of distant La Belle France.
Give to the clarion breath ! let the trumpets each repeat,
In stirring tones and loud, convivial souls we greet ;
On high the wine-cup raise!-with prudence be it quaff'd-
This toast I'll give-be it in ruby draught-
"Mr. Chairman, Vice, and Gentlemen, with all due propriety,
May success wait upon this Horticultural Society."
Spoken an the occasion of the Annual Dinner of the North Eastern Railway Co., held at the "Shakespeare Hotel," January 19th, 1878,
When Mirth in generous mood invites her friends
To share the fruits Dame Nature freely sends,
She laughs to scorn the Cynic's caustic phrase
And moves the human heart in various pleasing ways;
Hence at this board, with wines and viands crowned,
All praise bestow in honour of Queen Mirth renowned,
For she commands her Premier, Good Fellowship to say
Her August Majesty will don her regal robes to-day;
And, by her Cabinet's advice and wish, objects not in the least,
With escorts Wit and Fun to grace our annual feast ;
Therefore, to-night, she welcome bids you all
And comes before the curtain at your fourth recall,
A call she hopes to honour each recurring year,
And, as the " Socks and Buskins" say, for this night only will appear.
Her role thus being allotted in our yearly play ;
Strike up the Orchestra and let the trumpets play ;
Ring up the drop-scene, touch the call boy's bell,
Appear our Royal Court and may its rein excel.
The Queen commands John Bull assume the part of Reason,
And to his audience say some rhyme in season.
Poems by Thomas Jefferson Monkman (1885)
Scanned by Graham Metcalf ©2003
OCRd and checked by Colin Hinson ©2003