John Bull's Locomotive Leg

Launceston Examiner Wednesday 1 April 1846 p. 4.
I'll sing you a song of one John Bull,
Who ate good beef and wore fine wool,
And bragg'd each morn that none could pull
From his breeches-pocket a purse more full.
                                     Ri tooral, looral, &c.

That purse he'd fill'd by honest pains,
But, not content with his lawful gains,
To add to his store he rack'd his brains,
To get more money and new domains.
                                     Ri tooral, looral, &c.

Some humbugs, great in depredation,
Came and made him a long oration;
They wanted a flat for victimisation,
So they got him to dabble in speculation.
                                     Ri tooral, looral, &c.

Said John, "Your plan my mind contents,
I'm sick and tir'd of the Three per Cents,
And don't get enough by my paltry rents:"
So he got hook'd in by the Railway "gents."
                                     Ri tooral, looral, &c.

These arrant gamblers, it would seem,
Had made greenhorns theirstudy and theme,
They set their wits to work by steam,
And theywheedled him into their swindling
scheme !
                                     Ri tooral, looral, &c.

The fastest way to wealth, they said,
Would be by steam to go ahead;
And thus by the nose their dupe was led,
Till John was caught in the net they spread.
                                     Ri tooral, looral, &c.

They made him a hobby to ride upon,
With a strong steam-power to move it on;
And all his sober senses gone,
They bound thereto the foolish John.
                                     Ri tooral, looral, &c.

But first before they bade him start,
With wondrous cratt and singular art,
To lighten his weight, they bade him part
With the money that lay so near his heart.
                                     Ri tooral, looral, &c.

They filled the pockets of John the Sold
With scrip and shares instead of gold ;
The gull believed the tale they told:
So they over him came the soldier old.
                                     Ri tooral, &c.

On went John Bull, through thick and thin;
Through mess and hobble, out and in;
To see him caught like a rat in a gin,
How all his foes did chuckle and grin.
                                     Ri tooral &c.

On, on he flew, with speed intense,
Past all the bounds of common sense;
At last his fright became immense,
And he shrieked with fear for his darling
                                     Ri tooral, &c."

He roared out "Stop !" and he roard out "Stay !"
His face the picture of dire dismay;
He snatched at each straw that crossed his way,
But nothing could his course delay.
                                     Ri tooral, &c.

At last his pocket-buttons broke,
And out flew scrip and shares like smoke,
And his enemies made his case their joke,
Whilst a panic rent his heart of oak !
                                     Ri tooral, &c.

His weight and substance now more light,
More rapid grew his engine's flight,
Until it wax'd tremendous quite,
And John was quickly out of sight.
Ri tooral, &c.

O'er land and sea, o'er rock and shoal,
Across the line, beyond the pole,
In short, to utter ruin's gaol,
Rush'd mad John Bull; alas, poor soul.
                                     Ri tooral, &c.

We've sung a song both free and plain,
Now let a moral close our strain:
All swindling practices disdain,
Nor mix with rogues to share their gain.
                                     Ri tooral, &c.


From Punch via the Launceston Examiner 1 April 1846.

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