The Periwinkles And The Locusts. A Salmagundian Hymn.

A poem by Thomas Moore

"To Panurge was assigned the Laird-ship of Salmagundi, which was yearly worth 6,789,106,789 ryals besides the revenue of the Locusts and Periwinkles, amounting one year with another to the value of 2,485,768," etc.--RABELAIS.

"Hurra! hurra!" I heard them say,
And they cheered and shouted all the way,
As the Laird of Salmagundi went.
To open in state his Parliament.

The Salmagundians once were rich,
Or thought they were--no matter which--
For, every year, the Revenue
From their Periwinkles larger grew;
And their rulers, skilled in all the trick
And legerdemain of arithmetic,
Knew how to place 1, 2, 3, 4,
5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 and 10,
Such various ways, behind, before,
That they made a unit seem a score,
And proved themselves most wealthy men!
So, on they went, a prosperous crew,
The people wise, the rulers clever--
And God help those, like me and you,
Who dared to doubt (as some now do)
That the Periwinkle Revenue
Would thus go flourishing on for ever.

"Hurra! hurra!" I heard them say,
And they cheered and shouted all the way,
As the Great Panurge in glory went
To open his own dear Parliament.

But folks at length began to doubt
What all this conjuring was about;
For, every day, more deep in debt
They saw their wealthy rulers get:--
"Let's look (said they) the items thro'
"And see if what we're told be true
"Of our Periwinkle Revenue,"
But, lord! they found there wasn't a tittle
Of truth in aught they heard before;
For they gained by Periwinkles little
And lost by Locusts ten times more!
These Locusts are a lordly breed
Some Salmagundians love to feed.
Of all the beasts that ever were born,
Your Locust most delights in corn;
And tho' his body be but small,
To fatten him takes the devil and all!
"Oh fie! oh fie!" was now the cry,
As they saw the gaudy show go by,
As the Laird of Salmagundi went
To open his Locust Parliament!

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