Young England.

A poem by Horace Smith

The times still "grow to something strange";
We rap and turn the tables;
We fire our guns at awful range;
We lay Atlantic cables;
We bore the hills, we bridge the seas--
To me 'tis better far
To sit before my fire at ease,
And smoke a mild cigar.

We start gigantic bubble schemes,--
Whoever can invent 'em!--
How splendid the prospectus seems,
With int'rest cent. per centum
His shares the holder, startled, sees
At eighty below par:
I dawdle to my club at ease,
And light a mild cigar.

We pickle peas, we lock up sound,
We bottle electricity;
We run our railways underground,
Our trams above in this city
We fly balloons in calm or breeze,
And tumble from the car;
I wander down Pall Mall at ease,
And smoke a mild cigar.

Some strive to get a post or place,
Or entree to society;
Or after wealth or pleasure race,
Or any notoriety;
Or snatch at titles or degrees,
At ribbon, cross, or star:
I elevate my limbs at ease,
And smoke a mild cigar.

Some people strive for manhood right
With riots or orations;
For anti-vaccination fight,
Or temperance demonstrations:
I gently smile at things like these,
And, 'mid the clash and jar,
I sit in my arm-chair at ease,
And smoke a mild cigar.

They say young ladies all demand
A smart barouche and pair,
Two flunkies at the door to stand,
A mansion in May Fair:
I can't afford such things as these,
I hold it safer far
To sip my claret at my ease,
And smoke a mild cigar.

It may be proper one should take
One's place in the creation;
It may be very right to make
A choice of some vocation;
With such remarks one quite agrees,
So sensible they are:
I much prefer to take my ease,
And smoke a mild cigar.

They say our morals are so so,
Religion still more hollow;
And where the upper classes go,
The lower always follow;
That honour lost with grace and ease
Your fortunes will not mar:
That's not so well; but, if you please,
We'll light a fresh cigar.

Rank heresy is fresh and green,
E'en womenkind have caught it;
They say the Bible doesn't mean
What people always thought it;
That miracles are what you please,
Or nature's order mar:
I read the last review at ease,
And smoke a mild cigar.

Some folks who make a fearful fuss,
In eighteen ninety-seven,
Say, heaven will either come to us,
Or we shall go to heaven;
They settle it just as they please;
But, though it mayn't be far,
At any rate there's time with ease
To light a fresh cigar.

It may be there is something true;
It may be one might find it;
It may be, if one looked life through,
That something lies behind it;
It may be, p'raps, for aught one sees,
The things that may be, are:
I'm growing serious--if you please
We'll light a fresh cigar.

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