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WS Gilbert

The Usher's Charge

Now, Jurymen, hear my advice -
All kinds of vulgar prejudice
I pray you set aside:
With stern judicial frame of mind -
From bias free of every kind,
This trial must be tried!

Oh, listen to the plaintiff's case:
Observe the features of her face -
The broken-hearted bride!
Condole with her distress of mind -
From bias free of every kind,
This trial must be tried!

And when amid the plaintiff's shrieks,
The ruffianly defendant speaks -
Upon the other side;
What HE may say you need not mind -
From bias free of every kind,
This trial must be tried!

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Ballad: Joe Golightly - Or, The First Lord's Daughter

A tar, but poorly prized,
Long, shambling, and unsightly,
Thrashed, bullied, and despised,
Was wretched JOE GOLIGHTLY.

He bore a workhouse brand;
No Pa or Ma had claimed him,
The Beadle found him, and
The Board of Guardians named him.

P'r'aps some Princess's son -
A beggar p'r'aps his mother.
HE rather thought the one,
I rather think the other.

He liked his ship at sea,
He loved the salt sea-water,
He worshipped junk, and he
Adored the First Lord's daughter.

[...] Read more

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Ballad: Peter the Wag

POLICEMAN PETER FORTH I drag
From his obscure retreat:
He was a merry genial wag,
Who loved a mad conceit.
If he were asked the time of day,
By country bumpkins green,
He not unfrequently would say,
"A quarter past thirteen."

If ever you by word of mouth
Inquired of MISTER FORTH
The way to somewhere in the South,
He always sent you North.
With little boys his beat along
He loved to stop and play;
He loved to send old ladies wrong,
And teach their feet to stray.

He would in frolic moments, when
Such mischief bent upon,

[...] Read more

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Ballad: The Two Ogres

Good children, list, if you're inclined,
And wicked children too -
This pretty ballad is designed
Especially for you.

Two ogres dwelt in Wickham Wold -
Each TRAITS distinctive had:
The younger was as good as gold,
The elder was as bad.

A wicked, disobedient son
Was JAMES M'ALPINE, and
A contrast to the elder one,
Good APPLEBODY BLAND.

M'ALPINE - brutes like him are few -
In greediness delights,
A melancholy victim to
Unchastened appetites.

[...] Read more

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Ballad: The Fairy Curate

Once a fairy
Light and airy
Married with a mortal;
Men, however,
Never, never
Pass the fairy portal.
Slyly stealing,
She to Ealing
Made a daily journey;
There she found him,
Clients round him
(He was an attorney).

Long they tarried,
Then they married.
When the ceremony
Once was ended,
Off they wended
On their moon of honey.
Twelvemonth, maybe,

[...] Read more

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