Yorskhire Poems by Thomas Jefferson Monkman, part 17


LYRICS by Thomas Jefferson Monkman, 1885:


            Parade to the post
            In front of the host,
            Prophetic, excited,
            Muddled, benighted.

'Twixt the chink and the drink,
Layers Highland Chief roar
Nine hundred to four !
While plunger and tout
Bawl hoarsely and shout.

            Up go the numbers,
            The row never slumbers,
            All worry, all hurry,
            Helter skelter and flurry,
            The mob shove and jostle.
            They bustle and hustle,
            And scream of the tussle,
            Of sinew and muscle ;
            Plebian and patrician,
            Quack and physician,
            Itinerant magician,
            St. Stephen's rhetorician,
            With riggers de thimble,
            Supple fingered and nimble,
            And welsher and tout,
            All join the wild shout,
            Predicting and betting,
            And sweating and fretting
            Till the racers are off.

            Hauteur's in the van,
            Many faces look: wan,
            As Ossian seems failing-
            Bored in on the railing ;
            Many hearts quake and fear,
            As the racers draw near,
            Mid fowling and howling,
            And scoffing and scowling,
            The cries do arise,
            Which ascend to the skies,
            Hauteur wins ! a hundred-
            Her jockey has blundered,
            The hoarse cry is thundered,
            Her backers are plundered ;
            And then they all wondered
            To see Chislehurst
            Drop back from the first,
            And the stupified backers,
            Alas, will be lackers
            Of bullion and notes,
            While the bookmaker gloats,
            When the race has concluded,
            And bettors deluded,
            Acknowledge that few did
            Spot the merits of one horse
            Careering the course.
                *    *    *    *    *
Mid shouting, and touting, and spouting,
And squeaking, and speaking, and shrieking,
And betting, and wetting, and fretting,
Some fortunes ascended, some setting,
The steeds bound along while the maniac throng
Are yelling and knelling and telling
The folks Highland Chief cannot stay ;
Quick as lightning Prince leads the way!

The jocks spur, and they whip, and they strain every nerve,
But all to no purpose-the beaten, steeds swerve;
They may lick 'em, and prick 'em, and stick 'em,
And lash 'em, and thrash 'em, and mash 'em,
But Ossian is winning amid the uproar,
And that's how the Leger nags come to the fore.


As o'er the wild wave the exile returneth
    To scenes of his boyhood, his own native vale ;
Oh, rapture, the view I while his warm heart it burneth
    To listen once more to his Colleen's sweet tale ;
Far, far, o'er the ocean he flits in his slumbers,
    Through Erin's green valleys permitted to roam,
While his soul sighs in soft and in musical numbers
    The pleasure lie feels in his own belov'd home.

The sheen of the moon lights the face of the sleeper,
    Angels above him preside o'er the dream ;
And as sweetly they chant, as the lark to the reaper,
    While the exile beholdeth the lov'd Shannon's stream
The vision is over---a bright dawn is beaming,
    Back from his country again he must roam,
Oh, sad is his heart at the close of its dreaming,
    For sweet was the view of his own native home.


Here's a hand to you, John,
    You've seen some ups and downs,
You've had some runs of luck, John,
    With lots of fortune's frowns ;
But what is that to you, John,
    You've friends-and not a few-
And tho' you're far from rich, John,
    Your heart is good and true.

You once had stores of wealth, John,
    I wish you had it now,
But what is better far, John,
    You've honour on your brow ;
Contentment's in your cot, John,
    And smiling faces there ;
A spotless name you've got, John,
    A jewel that is rare.

Your smile is full of light, John,
    A deadly foe to care,
Your mind is strong and bright, John,
    No malice do you bear ;
And tho' your purse is light, John,
    You're still a trusty friend,
And your grasp is true and tight, John,
    And will be to the end.

The great might envy you, John,
    The blessings that you share ;
Your friends and cronies too, John,
    One and all declare-
There's not a happier man, John,
    Wherever they may go,
In all faces that they scan, John,
    Whether high or low.

Here's your welfare true, John,
    I'll drain with all my heart,
A second bowl to you, John,
    To-night before we part ;
There's pleasure in your eye, John,
    And honour on your brow,
'Tis hard to say good-bye, John,
    But we must say it now.

Poems by Thomas Jefferson Monkman (1885)
Scanned by Graham Metcalf ©2003
OCRd and checked by Colin Hinson ©2003