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Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, October 24, 1891   By:

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PUNCH,

OR THE LONDON CHARIVARI.

VOL. 101.

October 24, 1891.

LAISSEZ FAIRE.

( INSCRIPTION FOR A FREE PUBLIC LIBRARY. )

[Illustration]

Here is an Institution doomed to scare The furious devotees of Laissez Faire . What mental shock, indeed, could prove immenser To Mumbo Jumbo or to HERBERT SPENCER? Free Books? Reading provided from the Rates? Oh, that means Freedom's ruin, and the State's! Self help's all right, e'en if you rob a brother But human creatures must not help each other! The "Self made Man," whom SAMUEL SMILES so praises, Who on his fellows' necks his footing raises, The systematic "Sweater," who sucks wealth From toiling crowds by cunning and by stealth, He is all right, he has no maudlin twist, He does not shock the Individualist! But rate yourselves to give the poor free reading? The Pelican to warm her nestlings bleeding, Was no such monument of feeble folly. Let folks alone , and all will then be jolly. Let the poor perish, let the ignorant sink, The tempted tumble, and the drunkard drink! Let no, don't let the low born robber rob, Because, well, that would rather spoil the job. If footpad freedom brooked no interference, Of Capital there might be a great clearance; But, Wealth well guarded, let all else alone. 'Tis thus our race hath to true manhood grown: To make the general good the common care, Breaks through the sacred law of Laissez Faire !

A REMONSTRANCE.

TO LUKE'S LITTLE SUMMER.

[Illustration]

Ah, Summer! now thy wayward race is run, With soft, appeasing smiles thou com'st, like one Who keeps a pageant waiting all the day, Till half the guests and all the joy is gone, And hearts are heavy that awoke so gay.

What though the faithful trees, still gladly green, Show fretted depths of blue their boughs between, Though placid sunlight sleeps upon the lawn, It only tells us of what might have been Of fickle favours wantonly withdrawn.

Blown with rude winds, and beaten down with rain, How can the roses dare to trust again The tricksy mistress whom they once adored? Even the glad heaven, chilled with stormy stain, Grudges its skylark pilgrims of its hoard.

Poor is the vintage that the wild bee quiffs, When the tall simple lilies the giraffes That browse on loftier air than other flowers When all the blooms, wherewith late Summer laughs, Like chidden children droop among the bowers.

Oft like a moorhen scuttling to the reeds, The cricket ball sped o'er the plashy meads, And rainbow blended blazers shrank and ran When showers, in mockery of his moist needs, Half drown'd the water loving river man.

What woman's rights have crazed thee? Would'st thou be A Winter Amazon, more fierce than he? Can Summer birds thy shrew heroics sing? Wilt tend no more the daisies on the lea, Nor wake thy cowslips up on May morning?

What, shall we brew us possets by the fire And let the wild rose shiver on the brier. The cowslip tremble in the meadows chill, While thy unlovely battle call wails higher And dusty squadrons charge adown the hill?

It is too late; thou art no love of mine; I answer not this sigh, this kiss divine; The sunlight penitently streaming down Shines through the paling leaf like thinnest wine Quaff'd in the clear air of a mountain town.

Farewell! For old love's sake I kiss thy hands; Go on thy way; away to other lands That love thee less, and need thee less than we; Pour out thy passion on some desert sands, Forget thy lover of the Northern Sea.

Away with fond pretence; let winter come With snow that strikes the heaviest footfall dumb. We know the worst, and face his rage with glee; And, though the world without be ne'er so glum, Sit by the hearth, and dream and talk of thee.

Yes, come again with earliest April; stay, Thyself once more, through the fair time when day Clasps hand with day, through the brief hush of night A twilight bower of roses, where in play Dance little maidens through from light to light... Continue reading book >>


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