Biography of Mark Tapley
Mark Tapley is the body-servant to Martin Chuzzlewit.
According to his biographer Charles Dickens, he is first traceable as an ostler for the Blue Dragon Inn in Salisbury, and is in love with the widowed landlady Mrs Lupin. He departs the pub and goes to London shortly after this first appearance.
When Chuzzlewitt arrives in London to emigrate to The United States, he meets Mark, who offers himself to be Martin's travelling companion and servant.
After Mark and Martin are swindled into buying a marsh along the Mississippi, they return home to England. Mark gets engaged to Mrs Lupin, takes over the Blue Dragon Inn and renames it the Jolly Tapley. He is then lost track of.
His manuscripts were found in Paris, where he is believed to have traveled at least twice before his death on the road sometime around 1883 (he would have been aboout 70 by then) .
Mark Tapley's Works:
Manuscripts, believed to be titled 'Where the Tame Things Grow' and 'Blank Lanterns', date unknown, found together in a parcel in a Parisian boarding-house.
Mark Tapley Poems
Soul Mountain Blues
Show me, old one, the fragile empty dawns That break in bleak waves over Soul Mountain For I seek solace in the silence of the unborn Hidden deep inside the womb of morning
Painted Lady Painted Lady, your wings are soft as night They give you a certain sheen of blue when brought into the light Before I die I'd like to hear you sing
Hardcore (Sonnet 4)
Black Mariah Number One Blotting out the burnt-out sun Cackling Fakir on the roof Spikes and swords and tiger's tooth
The Bored Old Man (Sonnet 3)
Wintertime is on my brow My soul is greyed and tainted Today is past, when is now The future needs to be repainted
The Fresh Green (Mine) Fields
It is the Land of Folklore Where dreams drift by in a dull roar And the smell of burning petrol
Good Old Obsession (Sonnet 1)
Like the tree yearns for the sky And stretches his knotty limbs towards her So for thee yearn I And so toward thee do I stretch my fingers
Soul Mountain Blues
Show me, old one, the fragile empty dawns
That break in bleak waves over Soul Mountain
For I seek solace in the silence of the unborn
Hidden deep inside the womb of morning
Give me the shelter of the tender light
That rises like soft smoke from the misty lakes
For I seek the lonely aftermath of night
When I feel no hunger and have no thirts to slake