Present Times

Mentions steam boats, playing the flute by steam, and hatching chickens by steam


In verses new, and all in rhyme, sirs,
I wish to sing of the present times, sirs.
When steam boats are going. 'mid smoke and flame, sirs.
And money's gone, what a burning shame, sirs,
This is the time, for those who like it,
To see the soldiers and elephants fight it,
While half the town they're pulling down, sirs,
And the new king of France is wearing his crown, sirs,
Bless me, bless me, what shall I do, sirs,
When nothing goes down but what is new, sirs.

Of all new things it's now more properer,
To talk of that singer at the Opera;
Orpheus of old, who charmed with the flute, he
Would be charmed if he heard Velluti ,
There's Hyde-Park-corner gone away, sirs,
I do suppose 'twas asham'd to stay, sirs ;
I wonder the Park itself now don't stir,
And not be blushing at that green monster.
Bless me, bless me, &c.

The steam is now in such good repute. sirs,
That they're going to use it to play the flute, sirs ;
Half a century ago, or more, alas, sirs,
There was no such thing in the world as gas, sirs,
And then there's building all the rage, sirs,
In this most wonderful uncommon age, sirs ;
And so, my friends, don't be surprised, now,
If you hear of St. Paul's being raised to the skies, now.
Bless me, bless me, &c.

In olden times, it was the fashion
For the ladies in hoops and satins to dash on ;
And, as they wore ruffs round their throats, sirs,
They looked like butts in large petticoats, sirs,
But now, forsooth, they are more particular
About their bodies being perpendicular
They wear large backs, and with big sleeves strut on.
And genteelly call them legs of mutton.
Bless me, bless me, &c.

New companies are so much afloat, sirs.
That there shortly will be one for suckling goats, sirs;
Besides, there's one made, by Mr. Dickens,
Of using steam for hatching chickens:
There's the new London-bridge and the new Vauxhall, sirs,
And then (that's not new) there's no trade at all, sirs;
And the dirty new roads, by Mr. M'Adam,
That's made to splash each mister and madem.
Bless me, bless me, &c.

But the paviors, when they make the clatter,
Should join to the tune of stoney-batter;
And, though the Seven Wonders have left their abodes, sirs,
Yet Mr. Mac's the Colossus of Rhodes, - sirs.
But, now I'm done I'll away be straying,
So not a word more I'm singing or saying;
And, though to you I bid adieu, sirs,
I'll go and look for something new, sin.
Bless me, bless me, &c.


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