Random Thoughts On The Marriage Of The Prince Of Wales
By A Benedict Who
Knows What It Is To Be Hungry.
GAS! gas! gas! There is gas in garbage;
Gas is all whereon we are to feed,
When Albert Edward weds Alexandra,
In his hour of joy and mine of need.
I look upon my Mary darling,
And the little ones I have to keep;
Poor Polly’s eyes are red with crying,
What business now can she have to weep?
Sitting in lonely cot of sorrow,
(Mary held our first-born, and I our boy
He has not seen three summers blooming),
My Mary asked for traces of our joy.
We have known weary tribulation;
To uncle, “Two to one,” lent goods for store,
While sunshine seems departed from us
And black shadows hang evermore.
“I cannot rejoice, not I,” said Mary;
And she kiss’d a baby that did cry,
Rous’d up, poor little thing, still hungry,
And I asked Mary, so tell me why?
“Could you rejoice like those wealthy folks,
Who profess a joy they do not feel?
Bless the pair of royal golden race;
I’m baser metal, but my heart is steel.”
“What,” said she, “while want is sternly writ
Am I to laugh and shout in delight?
I am not loyal! – not a bit of it;
I’m loyal to thee and the babies.
Tom, there’s something wrong in this old land:
Our better! pshaw – give me the money,
We then can be a very loyal band.
“When gas blazes in the Market square,
And fireworks rattle in the Public Park;
When volunteers parade in uniform,
My cares and thoughts for princes will be dark.
Oh! what inconsistency is here,
A [b?]arning shame proclaims royal love;
I’m thinking,Tom, this gassy outburst
Will be ledger’d in the tomes above.”
We are royal! one bit of dusty earth
Will shortly be the pomp in difference
Twixt thee and those of royal birth.
Come, take a walk; with hungry stomachs,
We’ll view the little modes daisies;
And in joy, the sights of nature,
Learn there to chaunt right royal praises.
“Let those who wish disport themelves –
Burn gas, spend cash, and flare up and down;
Twelve thousand people in the midst of light
Fare badly, in the gloom sinking down;
Come, Mary, come, come, and see the shows;
List, Mary, to the music and the guns;
They waste for plenty, but little joy
Is here for thousands of starving ones.
“Oh ring, ring the bells: like corpse in robes –
Your joy beneath is of hollow sound,
For human woes are very plenteous here;
So let the blue fire blaze all around,
Look at that flash of light – hear the bells;
Come, Mary, come – come, what do they say?
They are sounding praise for royalty –
Loyal, empty stomachs, go your way.”
Title:Random Thoughts on the Marriage of the Prince of Wales by a Benedict Who Knows What It Is to Be Hungry
Publication:The Blackburn Times
Date:March 7, 1863
Keywords:domesticity, gender, politics, poverty