Dirge of the Dragsman

We four-in-hand¹ worthies, however desarving (sic),
Will have nothing in hand to prevent us from starving,
Compell'd by hard treatment our colours to strike,
We may shortly turn Chartists¹ and handle the pike.

Our beavers¹ broad-brimm'd, and our togs¹ out and out¹,
Must, the needful to raise, soon be shov'd up the spout ;
Our fine portly forms will be meagre spectres
So much for these steam and these railroad projectors.

By Heavens! 'tis a cruel affair, and the nation
In justice are bound to afford compensation;
And, as on the shelf we must shortly be laid,
To found an asylum for Dragsmen¹ decay'd.

There, taking our pint² in all brotherly love,
We may chaff² the swells and the prads¹ as we druv,
While spectators admiring, exclaim'd with a shout,
"We're blessed if that 'ere ain't a spicy¹ turn-out!"

And how, to we tied round our necks the silk fogle¹,
The rosie-cheek'd barmaids would tip us the ogle;
And when all was ready the ribbons¹ to seize,
How slyly the darlings would give us a squeeze.

A plague upon Railways! the system be blowed!!
Grim engineers¹ now are the lords of the road ;
And passengers now are conveyed to their goal,
Not by steaming of cattle², but steaming of coal.

"Tis a black, burning shame! must our glory he crushed,
And the guard¹'s lively bugle to silence be crush'd ?
Oh ! 'tis fit that our wrongs we should freely declare,
For we always look'd out for the thing that was fare.

Let mourning¹ as gloomy as midnight be spread
O'er the Swan with Two Necks and the Saracen's Head ;
Let the Black Bull. in Holborn, be cow'd, and the knell
Of glory departed be heard from the Bell

The Blossoms must speedily fade from the bough,
And cross'd are the hopes of the Golden Cross now;
The White Horse must founder, the Mountain fall down,
The Gloster be cols'd, and the Bear be done Brown

The Eclipse is eclips'd and the Sovereign is dead,
And the Red Rover now never roves from its shed;
The times is disjointed, the Blucher at peace,
And the Telegraph shortly from working must cease.

The Victory now must submit to defeat,
And the Wellington own he is cruelly beat;
The sport is all up with the famed Tally-Ho,
And the old Regulator no longer will go.

Oh! Had I, dear bretheren, the muse of a Byron¹,
I'd write down the system of trav'lling in iron;
For flying like lightening but poorly atone
For crushing the carcase or breaking the bone.

So farewell to the Coach-box¹, farewell to the Vip!
By fate most unkind we are cotch'd¹ on the hip;
Then join brother Dragsmen, in sorrowful chorus,
For at present there's nothing but ruin before us.