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The Bishop and the Busman

It was a Bishop bold,
And London was his see,
He was short and stout and round about
And zealous as could be.

It also was a Jew,
Who drove a Putney 'bus -
For flesh of swine however fine
He did not care a cuss.

His name was HASH BAZ BEN,
This 'bus-directing Jew.

The Bishop said, said he,
"I'll see what I can do
To Christianise and make you wise,
You poor benighted Jew."

So every blessed day
That 'bus he rode outside,
From Fulham town, both up and down,
And loudly thus he cried:

"His name is HASH BAZ BEN,
This 'bus-directing Jew."

At first the 'busman smiled,
And rather liked the fun -
He merely smiled, that Hebrew child,
And said, "Eccentric one!"

And gay young dogs would wait
To see the 'bus go by
(These gay young dogs, in striking togs),
To hear the Bishop cry:

"Observe his grisly beard,
His race it clearly shows,
He sticks no fork in ham or pork -
Observe, my friends, his nose.

"His name is HASH BAZ BEN,
This 'bus-directing Jew."

But though at first amused,
Yet after seven years,
This Hebrew child got rather riled,
And melted into tears.

He really almost feared
To leave his poor abode,
His nose, and name, and beard became
A byword on that road.

At length he swore an oath,
The reason he would know -
"I'll call and see why ever he
Does persecute me so!"

The good old Bishop sat
On his ancestral chair,
The 'busman came, sent up his name,
And laid his grievance bare.

"Benighted Jew," he said
(The good old Bishop did),
"Be Christian, you, instead of Jew -
Become a Christian kid!

"I'll ne'er annoy you more."
"Indeed?" replied the Jew;
"Shall I be freed?" "You will, indeed!"
Then "Done!" said he, "with you!"

The organ which, in man,
Between the eyebrows grows,
Fell from his face, and in its place
He found a Christian nose.

His tangled Hebrew beard,
Which to his waist came down,
Was now a pair of whiskers fair -

He wedded in a year
That prelate's daughter JANE,
He's grown quite fair - has auburn hair -
His wife is far from plain.

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Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:02 min read

Quick analysis:

Scheme xaxa bcdc eBDB abxb xfgf EBDB hihi xjxj klxl EBDB xxhx kmnm xoao xpnp xqbq xbxb xlxl kgpg xrpr
Closest metre Iambic trimeter
Characters 2,048
Words 415
Stanzas 19
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4

William Schwenck Gilbert

Sir William Schwenck Gilbert was an English dramatist librettist poet and illustrator best known for his fourteen comic operas produced in collaboration with the composer Sir Arthur Sullivan of which the most famous include HMS Pinafore The Pirates of Penzance and one of the most frequently performed works in the history of musical theatre The Mikado These as well as most of their other Savoy operas continue to be performed regularly throughout the English-speaking world and beyond by opera companies repertory companies schools and community theatre groups Lines from these works have become part of the English language such as short sharp shock What never Well hardly ever and Let the punishment fit the crime Gilbert also wrote the Bab Ballads an extensive collection of light verse accompanied by his own comical drawings His creative output included over 75 plays and libretti numerous stories poems lyrics and various other comic and serious pieces His plays and realistic style of stage direction inspired other dramatists including Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw According to The Cambridge History of English and American Literature Gilberts lyrical facility and his mastery of metre raised the poetical quality of comic opera to a position that it had never reached before and has not reached since Source - Wikipedia more…

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