Lapsus Calami (Apr 1891)/The Littlego
When I was young and wholly free
From any vice, however nice,
And did not yet aspire to he
Where men of beer and skittle go.
My young idea used to shoot,
Secure and gay, from day to day,
Until I met that hideous brute
The fiend-descended Littlego.
Oh! the Littlego, the Littlego, the Littlego!
Oh! the Littlego, the daughter of the Devil!
Alas, poor victims that we are,
Who sport beside the Cam's clear tide,
Before we get us to the Bar,
To Church or to Hospital go,
We study Mr Paley's views,
We have to deal with yards of steel.
We likewise woo the tragic muse.
And all to pass the Littlego.
I too, like other men, was coached,
Was duly packed with fact on fact,
And then that awful hall approached
Where all who live by victual go:
They ploughed me once, they ploughed me twice,
I won't say when those cruel men
Desisted, but let this suffice:
I did get through the Littlego.
I feel inclined to prophesy
That this effete and obsolete
And hydra-headed pest will die
And to perdition it'll go;
They'll substitute for complex plans
And only antiquarians
Will care about the Littlego.
But still at that appalling hour
When churchyards gape, a hideous shape
Behind me moved, by unseen power,
Like some debauched bandit,'ll go:
Enveloped in a Paley sheet,
It waves on high an x+y,
And dogs me down each dismal street—
The spectre of the Littlego.