The horse of knowledge and his water box

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The horse of knowledge and his water box  (1808) 






Ye filt’ring engines, pipes and rones,
Methinks I hear your parting groans,
And funeral curfew’s dirgeful tones,
"Clink-clank, clink clank,"
Go seek your graves, and rest your bones
la W ——— w B—k.






LOUD rages war on ilka han’,
The wheels o’ trade are like to stan’,
For muslin truck there’s nae deman’,
Hame nor abroad,
An' poortith pale pervades the lan’,
Like scourge an’ rod.

The weavers, bearded like he-goats,
Wi’ greasy breeks an’ tawdry coats,
Now carp nae mair ’bout over shots,
Or gang a-billing [1];
But jump at west an’ half, twa groats

Aff ev’ry shilling.

Our merchants a’ wi’ weary'd backs,
Ahint their counters gaunt an’ rax,
Impatient waiting war’s relax;
And (sorry post!)
Are aft oblig’d to part their packs
Below prime cost.

Whilst haberdashers, snabs an’ taylors,
Wrights, masons, coopers, smiths and nailors,
Soap, candle, tea and spirit dealers,
Hing fair their lugs,
Pawn-brokers, auctioneers and jailors
Turn fat as hogs.

To match this luckless dint o’ trade,
Ait meal three guineas ilka lade,
Potatoes scarcely to be had,
Frost-bit the kail,
A rise on snuff—baith dear an’ bad

Whisky and ale.

But traffic’s wound may gush wi' gore,
And hungry wabsters lick the sore,
The monster, Famine, ramp an’ roar,
War’s clangor clash,
I’ll chew my beans from door to door,
But care or fash.

Mares, geldings, stallions, mules and asses,
How long infest my streets and causeys?
In wain or waggon, trams or traces,
Chaise, gig, or coach,
With awful rev'rence veil your faces
At my approach!

For I’m a horse of high degree,
My name is Toby Willow-tree,
Can Circus feats perform wi’ glee,
Canter or gallop,
And where’s the steed will prance wi’ me

The Brentford wallop.

At naming cards I bear the bell,
On clock or watch the hour can tell,
Count ha’pence, read, divine and spell,
Turn mites to melons,
And pump up guineas from a well,
In pints an’ gallons.

My father, of the Triton brood,
Had long the wavy circle trod,
At length descry’d a smoother road,
For trot an’ canter,
Now scampers wide o’er turf an’ clod,
The Raging Ranter.

Tho’ wild he roams o’er lee an’ tillage,
Thro’ city, borough, town and village,
Once stabl’d near th’ Olympian college,
By wrestlings servent,
He there begat the Horse of Knowledge,

Your humble servant.

Tho’ reins of silk I long have wore,
And silver st’rrups my sides hang o’er,
My crib tho’ fill’d with corn in store,
And something better,
Yet can I deign to snort and snore
Who’ll buy my water.

Ting-ling, ting-ling, ting-ling, ting-ling,
For tea and washing here’s the thing,
Fresh from the willow-shelter’d spring,
O rare as honey!
Ting-ling, ting-ling, ting-ling, ting-ling,
Hand in your money.

’Tis pure as amber, light as air,
Softer than oil, as whisky clear,
More wholesome far than spruce or beer,
As brandy strong,
Than punch or claret nobler chear,

Tong-long, tong-long.

Stan’ round, ye cripple cadger brutes,
I downa’ ’bide to see your snouts,
Your spavy’d shanks an’ scabbed cutes,
Disgrace my city,
Your jiggan cars an’ rotten butts,
I scorn to pity.

My water-chest of azure blue,
And carriage of the scarlet hue,
Knit by the powers of nail and screw,
Chain, bar an’ rod,
Wheels to their iron axles true,
Stout, large an’ broad,

Round as the moon, bright as the sun,
Swift as the sweeping, whirling win’,
And pond’rous as the rocks of whin,
Fierce as the faggot,
Will bruise auld baucey, slade an’ tun,

Like worm or maggot.

And should I meet the wretch, Greenhead,
(De’il cram his bags, and stanch his greed,)
At one whack with my tube o’ lead,
(A ruefu’ thump,)
I’d break his barrel, kill the steed,
And rive the pump!

For by my five pint box I swear,
If man or maiden, horse or mare,
For plack or penny, cheap or dear,
From want or greed,
Lead, drive or carry, dense or clear,
I’ll be their dead!

"Ha, Geordie lad! fling by your bell,
We’ve now got ane mair clink an’ snell,
If ony crack ye ha’e to tell,
’Bout quay or market,
Cheap cod or baddies, beef or meal,

Ye need but hark it.

This work was published before January 1, 1926, and is in the public domain worldwide because the author died at least 100 years ago.

  1. Avail themselves of the Bill lately passed in Parliament in their favour.