Of all the odd plans of this monstrously queer age,
The oddest is that of reforming the peerage;--
Just as if we, great dons, with a title and star,
Did not get on exceedingly well as we are,
And perform all the functions of noodles by birth
As completely as any born noodles on earth.
How acres descend, is in law-books displayed,
But we as wiseacres descend, ready made;
And by right of our rank in Debrett's nomenclature,
Are all of us born legislators by nature;--
Like ducklings to water instinctively taking,
So we with like quackery take to lawmaking;
And God forbid any reform should come o'er us,
To make us more wise than our sires were before us.
The Egyptians of old the same policy knew--
If your sire was a cook, you must be a cook too:
Thus making, from father to son, a good trade of it,
Poisoners by right (so no more could be said of it),
The cooks like our lordships a pretty mess made of it;
While, famed for conservative stomachs, the Egyptians
Without a wry face bolted all the prescriptions.
It is true, we've among us some peers of the past,
Who keep pace with the present most awfully fast--
Fruits that ripen beneath the new light now arising
With speed that to us, old conserves, is surprising.
Conserves, in whom--potted, for grandmamma uses--
'Twould puzzle a sunbeam to find any juices.
'Tis true too. I fear, midst the general movement,
Even our House, God help it, is doomed to improvement,
And all its live furniture, nobly descended
But sadly worn out, must be sent to be mended.
With movables 'mong us, like Brougham and like Durham,
No wonder even fixtures should learn to bestir 'em;
And distant, ye gods, be that terrible day,
When--as playful Old Nick, for his pastime, they say,
Flies off with old houses, sometimes, in a storm--
So ours may be whipt off, some night, by Reform;
And as up, like Loretto's famed house, thro' the air,
Not angels, but devils, our lordships shall bear,
Grim, radical phizzes, unused to the sky,
Shall flit round, like cherubs, to wish us "good-by,"
While perched up on clouds little imps of plebeians,
Small Grotes and O'Connells, shall sing Io Paeans.