by: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)
- uring a late election Lord
- Roehampton strained a vocal chord
- From shouting, very loud and high,
- To lots and lots of people why
- The Budget in his own opin-
- -Ion should not be allowed to win.
- He sought a Specialist, who said:
- "You have a swelling in the head:
- Your Larynx is a thought relaxed
- And you are greatly over-taxed."
- "I am indeed! On every side!"
- The Earl (for such he was) replied
- In hoarse excitement.... "Oh! My Lord,
- You jeopardize your vocal chord!"
- Broke in the worthy Specialist.
- "Come! Here's the treatment! I insist!
- To Bed! to Bed! And do not speak
- A single word till Wednesday week,
- When I will come and set you free
- (If you are cured) and take my fee."
- On Wednesday week the Doctor hires
- A Brand-new Car with Brand-new Tyres
- And Brand-new Chauffeur all complete
- For visiting South Audley Street.
- But what is this? No Union Jack
- Floats on the Stables at the back!
- No Toffs escorting Ladies fair
- Perambulate the Gay Parterre.
- A 'Scutcheon hanging lozenge-wise
- And draped in crape appals his eyes
- Upon the mansion's ample door,
- To which he wades through heaps of Straw,
- And which a Butler drowned in tears,
- On opening but confirms his fears:
- "Oh! Sir!Prepare to hear the worst!...
- Last night my kind old master burst.
- And what is more, I doubt if he
- Has left enough to pay your fee.
- The Budget"
- With a dreadful oath,
- The Specialist, denouncing both
- The Budget and the House of Lords,
- Buzzed angrily Bayswaterwards.
- And ever since, as I am told,
- Gets it beforehand; and in gold.
POEMS BY HILAIRE BELLOC
|"Lord Roehampton" is reprinted from More Peers. Hilaire Belloc. London: Stephen Swift, 1911.