How To Make One's Self A Peer.

A poem by Thomas Moore


Choose some title that's dormant--the Peerage hath many--
Lord Baron of Shamdos sounds nobly as any.
Next, catch a dead cousin of said defunct Peer,
And marry him, off hand, in some given year,
To the daughter of somebody,--no matter who,--
Fig, the grocer himself, if you're hard run, will do;
For, the Medici pills still in heraldry tell,
And why shouldn't lollypops quarter as well?
Thus, having your couple, and one a lord's cousin,
Young materials for peers may be had by the dozen;
And 'tis hard if, inventing each small mother's son of 'em,
You can't somehow manage to prove yourself one of 'em.

Should registers, deeds and such matters refractory,
Stand in the way of this lord-manufactory,
I've merely to hint, as a secret auricular,
One grand rule of enterprise,--don't be particular.
A man who once takes such a jump at nobility,
Must not mince the matter, like folks of nihility,
But clear thick and thin with true lordly agility.

'Tis true, to a would-be descendant from Kings,
Parish-registers sometimes are troublesome things;
As oft, when the vision is near brought about,
Some goblin, in shape of a grocer, grins out;
Or some barber, perhaps, with my Lord mingles bloods,
And one's patent of peerage is left in the suds.

But there are ways--when folks are resolved to be lords--
Of expurging even troublesome parish records.
What think ye of scissors? depend on't no heir
Of a Shamdos should go unsupplied with a pair,
As whate'er else the learned in such lore may invent,
Your scissors does wonders in proving descent.
Yes, poets may sing of those terrible shears
With which Atropos snips off both bumpkins and peers,
But they're naught to that weapon which shines in the hands
Of some would-be Patricians, when proudly he stands
O'er the careless churchwarden's baptismal array,
And sweeps at each cut generations away.
By some babe of old times is his peerage resisted?

One snip,--and the urchin hath never existed!
Does some marriage, in days near the Flood, interfere
With his one sublime object of being a Peer?
Quick the shears at once nullify bridegroom and bride,--
No such people have ever lived, married or died!

Such the newest receipt for those high minded elves,
Who've a fancy for making great lords of themselves.
Follow this, young aspirer who pant'st for a peerage,
Take S--m for thy model and B--z for thy steerage,
Do all and much worse than old Nicholas Flam does,
And--who knows but you'll be Lord Baron of Shamdos?

Reader Comments

Tell us what you think of 'How To Make One's Self A Peer.' by Thomas Moore

comments powered by Disqus