Journal Volume 7 2013

The Greystones excursion (continued/2)


So, after much blunder, and numerous chidings,

The Gentlemen brought some encouraging tidings:

They had found out a place near the bridge to regale us,

An inviting abode, ‘twixt an Inn and an Alehouse:

And there we all gladly alighted at last,

And waited till nine for a charming repast.

We young Ladies, you know, like the blossoms that share

Our delicate natures, could live upon air;

But Mamma is a foe to etherial refection,

And those creatures the Men are of coarser complexion.


Typical Inn, 1800s


While waiting, Dame Health put it into our heads

To ask for dry linen, clean blankets and beds;

But, when we had calmly proceeded to ask it all,

The Landlady said we were “very fantastical!”

To our H*pe we appeal’d, who flew, swift as an arrow,

To smooth down the plumes of the pert little sparrow.

With the sweet oil of flattery soon he succeeded,

The ruffled plumes fell, and our wishes were heeded.

O Sister! O Sister! these Men we may vex,

But they have their revenge on our variable sex;

When we frown they submit, and implore our humanity;

Then get what they wanted, and smile at our vanity.

So H*pe, winning H*pe, told a flattering tale,

And obtain’d sheets well aired, when nought else could prevail.


While we settled this point, it grew later and later;

So till dinner was served Mamma scolded the waiter.

But when it did come—O ye Gods and ye Goddesses!

The Feast should be chanted in Iliads and Odysseys!

On a huge green-edged dish Seven Chickens came steaming!

Seven Chickens! O Mary, we couldn’t help screaming!

Not mere little chicks of the Lilliput tribe,

But monsters of Brobdingnag, vain to describe!

Then came, Mister H*pe had so got into favour,

Half the side of a pig of particular flavour;

And, to crown all, a hot roasted quarter of mutton,

Big enough for two months to have feasted a glutton!

You remember, no doubt, that our party was nine,

So judge if we had not sufficient to dine;

And the whole, you will own, was so tasteful and pretty,

‘Twould credit have done to a Dinner-Committee.

Our Hostess in skill quite eclipsed Doctor Kitchener,

Mister H*pe had so well found the art of bewitching her.


Yet perhaps, as we all were both hungry and droll,

‘Twas the true feast of reason and flow of the soul.

For a day past like this there was nothing to grieve;

The crosses of morning were pleasures at eve:

Like a gay group of children unwilling to part,

When our lids heavy grew, we were light at the heart:

But to let us sit late, your Mamma was too wary,

She sent us to bed; so go you to bed, Mary.—


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