The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

Ode

To the Advocates for the Removal of Smith-field Market.

“Sweeping our flocks and herds.”— DOUGLAS.

O Philanthropic men! —

For this address I need not make apology —

Who aim at clearing out the Smithfield pen,

And planting further off its vile Zoology —

Permit me thus to tell,

I like your efforts well,

For routing that great nest of Hornithology!

Be not dismay’d, although repulsed at first,

And driven from their Horse, and Pig, and Lamb parts,

Charge on! — you shall upon their hornworks burst,

And carry all their Bull-warks and their Ram-parts.

Go on, ye wholesale drovers!

And drive away the Smithfield flocks and herds!

As wild as Tartar-Curds,

That come so fat, and kicking, from their clovers;

Off with them all! — those restive brutes, that vex

Our streets, and plunge, and lunge, and butt, and battle;

And save the female sex

From being cow’d — like Iö— by the cattle!

Fancy — when droves appear on

The hill of Holborn, roaring from its top —

Your ladies — ready, as they own, to drop,

Taking themselves to Thomson’s with a Fear-on!

Or, in St. Martin’s Lane,

Scared by a Bullock, in a frisky vein —

Fancy the terror of your timid daughters,

While rushing souse

Into a coffee-house,

To find it — Slaughter’s!

Or fancy this:—

Walking along the street, some stranger Miss,

Her head with no such thought of danger laden,

When suddenly ’tis “Aries Taurus Virgo!”—

You don’t know Latin, I translate it ergo,

Into your Areas a Bull throws the Maiden!

Think of some poor old crone

Treated, just like a penny, with a toss!

At that vile spot now grown

So generally known

For making a Cow Cross!

Nay, fancy your own selves far off from stall,

Or shed, or shop — and that an Ox infuriate

Just pins you to the wall,

Giving you a strong dose of Oxy-Muriate!

Methinks I hear the neighbors that live round

The Market-ground

Thus make appeal unto their civic fellows —

“’Tis well for you that live apart — unable

To hear this brutal Babel,

But our firesides are troubled with their bellows.”

“Folks that too freely sup

Must e’en put up

With their own troubles if they can’t digest;

But we must needs regard

The case as hard

That others’ victuals should disturb our rest,

That from our sleep your food should start and jump us!

We like, ourselves, a steak,

But, Sirs, for pity’s sake!

We don’t want oxen at our doors to rump-us!

“If we do doze — it really is too bad!

We constantly are roar’d awake or rung,

Through bullocks mad

That run in all the ‘Night Thoughts’ of our Young!”

Such are the woes of sleepers — now let’s take

The woes of those that wish to keep a Wake!

O think! when Wombwell gives his annual feasts,

Think of these “Bulls of Basan,” far from mild ones;

Such fierce tame beasts,

That nobody much cares to see the Wild ones!

Think of the Show woman, “what shows a Dwarf,”

Seeing a red Cow come

To swallow her Tom Thumb,

And forc’d with broom of birch to keep her off!

Think, too, of Messrs. Richardson and Co.,

When looking at their public private boxes,

To see in the back row

Three live sheep’s heads, a porker’s, and an Ox’s!

Think of their Orchestra, when two horns come

Through, to accompany the double drum!

Or, in the midst of murder and remorses,

Just when the Ghost is certain,

A great rent in the curtain,

And enter two tall skeletons — of Horses!

Great Philanthropics! pray urge these topics

Upon the Solemn Councils of the Nation,

Get a Bill soon, and give, some noon,

The Bulls, a Bull of Excommunication!

Let the old Fair have fair play, as its right,

And to each Show and sight

Ye shall be treated with a Free List latitude;

To Richardson’s Stage Dramas,

Dio — and Cosmo — ramas,

Giants and Indians wild,

Dwarf, Sea Bear, and Fat Child,

And that most rare of Shows — a Show of Gratitude!

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hood/thomas/poetical-works/poem111.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:51