Martin Alexander sends in a followup to yestarday's poem...
(Poem #1671) The Lion and Albert
There's a famous seaside place called Blackpool, That's noted for fresh-air and fun, And Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom Went there with young Albert, their son. A grand little lad was their Albert All dressed in his best; quite a swell 'E'd a stick with an 'orse's 'ead 'andle The finest that Woolworth's could sell. They didn't think much to the ocean The waves, they was fiddlin' and small There was no wrecks... nobody drownded 'Fact, nothing to laugh at, at all. So, seeking for further amusement They paid and went into the zoo Where they'd lions and tigers and cam-els And old ale and sandwiches too. There were one great big lion called Wallace His nose were all covered with scars He lay in a som-no-lent posture With the side of his face to the bars. Now Albert had heard about lions How they were ferocious and wild And to see Wallace lying so peaceful Well... it didn't seem right to the child. So straight 'way the brave little feller Not showing a morsel of fear Took 'is stick with the'orse's 'ead 'andle And pushed it in Wallace's ear! You could see that the lion didn't like it For giving a kind of a roll He pulled Albert inside the cage with 'im And swallowed the little lad... whole! Then Pa, who had seen the occurrence And didn't know what to do next Said, "Mother! Yon lions 'et Albert" And Mother said "Eeh, I am vexed!" So Mr and Mrs Ramsbottom Quite rightly, when all's said and done Complained to the Animal Keeper That the lion had eaten their son. The keeper was quite nice about it He said, "What a nasty mishap Are you sure that it's your lad he's eaten?" Pa said, "Am I sure? There's his cap!" So the manager had to be sent for He came and he said, "What's to do?" Pa said, "Yon lion's 'eaten our Albert And 'im in his Sunday clothes, too." Then Mother said, "Right's right, young feller I think it's a shame and a sin For a lion to go and eat Albert And after we've paid to come in!" The manager wanted no trouble He took out his purse right away And said, "How much to settle the matter?" And Pa said "What do you usually pay?" But Mother had turned a bit awkward When she thought where her Albert had gone She said, "No! someone's got to be summonsed" So that were decided upon. Round they went to the Police Station In front of a Magistrate chap They told 'im what happened to Albert And proved it by showing his cap. The Magistrate gave his o-pinion That no-one was really to blame He said that he hoped the Ramsbottoms Would have further sons to their name. At that Mother got proper blazing "And thank you, sir, kindly," said she "What waste all our lives raising children To feed ruddy lions? Not me!"
(1880-1951) Great poem [Poem #1671] and wonderful introduction to Trelease, which has delayed coffee and toast this Hong Kong Sunday morning.... My first thought was of Edgar Marriot's famous monologue, The Lion and Albert (in spite of the word order below, the Lion is clearly neither a secondary character nor the villain of the tale): [broken link] http://www.monologues.co.uk/Albert_and_the_Lion.htm The site includes the poem below and a (currently broken) link to the original 'Marriott Edgar' recording... I had a quick look on the Minstrels site, and to my consternation found that the poem isn't yet included. Perhaps it should be - and perhaps Silverstein's poem is a natural (and deliberate?) appendix. (Your glaring omission is, of course, evidence only of the huge, growing and generally benevolent beast that poetry is - not a reflection of any poverty of content in the Magnificent Minstrels!) Martin [Links] There's a very brief biography up at http://oldpoetry.com/authors/Marriott%20Edgar Edgar appears to have been fairly prolific - check out some of his other monologues at [broken link] http://monologues.co.uk/ [I don't believe this piece directly inspired Silverstein, since lions as a whole are a ravenous lot, and Death of Being Eaten By a Lion makes its appearance in several children's stories and poems. It's still a charming poem, though, and I'm delighted to be introduced to Marriott Edgar. -- martin (the other one)]