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The Lion and Albert -- Marriott Edgar

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!"
-- Marriott Edgar
      (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)]

37 comments: ( or Leave a comment )

jjr.df-coleman said...

I was so pleased to find this poem. I used to listen to someone (can't remember who) recite it on BBC Radio when I was a child in 1960's England and I've just read it out to my husband who hearing it for the first time found it very amusing.

Joyce Thornhill said...

Pure DEAD brillliant!

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