by: Hilaire Belloc (1870-1953)

      uring a late election Lord
      Roehampton strained a vocal chord
      From shouting, very loud and high,
      To lots and lots of people why
      The Budget in his own opin-
      -Ion should not be allowed to win.

      He sought a Specialist, who said:
      "You have a swelling in the head:
      Your Larynx is a thought relaxed
      And you are greatly over-taxed."

      "I am indeed! On every side!"
      The Earl (for such he was) replied
      In hoarse excitement.... "Oh! My Lord,
      You jeopardize your vocal chord!"
      Broke in the worthy Specialist.
      "Come! Here's the treatment! I insist!
      To Bed! to Bed! And do not speak
      A single word till Wednesday week,
      When I will come and set you free
      (If you are cured) and take my fee."

      On Wednesday week the Doctor hires
      A Brand-new Car with Brand-new Tyres
      And Brand-new Chauffeur all complete
      For visiting South Audley Street.

      But what is this? No Union Jack
      Floats on the Stables at the back!
      No Toffs escorting Ladies fair
      Perambulate the Gay Parterre.
      A 'Scutcheon hanging lozenge-wise
      And draped in crape appals his eyes
      Upon the mansion's ample door,
      To which he wades through heaps of Straw,
      And which a Butler drowned in tears,
      On opening but confirms his fears:
      "Oh! Sir!—Prepare to hear the worst!...
      Last night my kind old master burst.
      And what is more, I doubt if he
      Has left enough to pay your fee.
      The Budget——"

      With a dreadful oath,
      The Specialist, denouncing both
      The Budget and the House of Lords,
      Buzzed angrily Bayswaterwards.

      And ever since, as I am told,
      Gets it beforehand; and in gold.

"Lord Roehampton" is reprinted from More Peers. Hilaire Belloc. London: Stephen Swift, 1911.




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