Charles Stuart Calverley
Striking - Poem by Charles Stuart Calverley
It was a railway passenger,
And he lept out jauntilie.
'Now up and bear, thou stout porter,
My two chattels to me.
'Bring hither, bring hither my bag so red,
And portmanteau so brown:
(They lie in the van, for a trusty man
He labelled them London town
'And fetch me eke a cabman bold,
That I may be his fare, his fare;
And he shall have a good shilling,
If by two of the clock he do me bring
To the Terminus, Euston Square.'
'Now,--so to thee the saints alway,
Good gentleman, give luck, -
As never a cab may I find this day,
For the cabman wights have struck:
And now, I wis, at the Red Post Inn,
Or else at the Dog and Duck,
Or at Unicorn Blue, or at Green Griffin,
The nut-brown ale and the fine old gin
Right pleasantly they do suck.'
'Now rede me aright, thou stout porter,
What were it best that I should do:
For woe is me, an I reach not there
Or ever the clock strike two.'
'I have a son, a lytel son;
Fleet is his foot as the wild roebuck's:
Give him a shilling, and eke a brown,
And he shall carry thy chattels down,
To Euston, or half over London town,
On one of the station trucks.'
Then forth in a hurry did they twain fare,
The gent, and the son of the stout porter,
Who fled like an arrow, nor turned a hair,
Through all the mire and muck:
'A ticket, a ticket, sir clerk, I pray:
For by two of the clock must I needs away.'
'That may hardly be,' the clerk did say,
'For indeed--the clocks have struck.'
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