Rate this poem:(0.00 / 0 votes)

Thomas Winterbottom Hance



IN all the towns and cities fair
On Merry England's broad expanse,
No swordsman ever could compare
With THOMAS WINTERBOTTOM HANCE.

The dauntless lad could fairly hew
A silken handkerchief in twain,
Divide a leg of mutton too -
And this without unwholesome strain.

On whole half-sheep, with cunning trick,
His sabre sometimes he'd employ -
No bar of lead, however thick,
Had terrors for the stalwart boy.

At Dover daily he'd prepare
To hew and slash, behind, before -
Which aggravated MONSIEUR PIERRE,
Who watched him from the Calais shore.

It caused good PIERRE to swear and dance,
The sight annoyed and vexed him so;
He was the bravest man in France -
He said so, and he ought to know.

"Regardez donc, ce cochon gros -
Ce polisson! Oh, sacre bleu!
Son sabre, son plomb, et ses gigots
Comme cela m'ennuye, enfin, mon Dieu!

"Il sait que les foulards de soie
Give no retaliating whack -
Les gigots morts n'ont pas de quoi -
Le plomb don't ever hit you back."

But every day the headstrong lad
Cut lead and mutton more and more;
And every day poor PIERRE, half mad,
Shrieked loud defiance from his shore.

HANCE had a mother, poor and old,
A simple, harmless village dame,
Who crowed and clapped as people told
Of WINTERBOTTOM'S rising fame.

She said, "I'll be upon the spot
To see my TOMMY'S sabre-play;"
And so she left her leafy cot,
And walked to Dover in a day.

PIERRE had a doating mother, who
Had heard of his defiant rage;
HIS Ma was nearly ninety-two,
And rather dressy for her age.

At HANCE'S doings every morn,
With sheer delight HIS mother cried;
And MONSIEUR PIERRE'S contemptuous scorn
Filled HIS mamma with proper pride.

But HANCE'S powers began to fail -
His constitution was not strong -
And PIERRE, who once was stout and hale,
Grew thin from shouting all day long.

Their mothers saw them pale and wan,
Maternal anguish tore each breast,
And so they met to find a plan
To set their offsprings' minds at rest.

Said MRS. HANCE, "Of course I shrinks
From bloodshed, ma'am, as you're aware,
But still they'd better meet, I thinks."
"Assurement!" said MADAME PIERRE.

A sunny spot in sunny France
Was hit upon for this affair;
The ground was picked by MRS. HANCE,
The stakes were pitched by MADAME PIERRE.

Said MRS. H., "Your work you see -
Go in, my noble boy, and win."
"En garde, mon fils!" said MADAME P.
"Allons!" "Go on!" "En garde!" "Begin!"

(The mothers were of decent size,
Though not particularly tall;
But in the sketch that meets your eyes
I've been obliged to draw them small.)

Loud sneered the doughty man of France,
"Ho! ho! Ho! ho! Ha! ha! Ha! ha!
"The French for 'Pish'" said THOMAS HANCE.
Said PIERRE, "L'Anglais, Monsieur, pour 'Bah.'"

Said MRS. H., "Come, one! two! three! -
We're sittin' here to see all fair."
"C'est magnifique!" said MADAME P.,
"Mais, parbleu! ce n'est pas la guerre!"

"Je scorn un foe si lache que vous,"
Said PIERRE, the doughty son of France.
"I fight not coward foe like you!"
Said our undaunted TOMMY HANCE.

"The French for 'Pooh!'" our TOMMY cried.
"L'Anglais pour 'Va!'" the Frenchman crowed.
And so, with undiminished pride,
Each went on his respective road.

Font size:
Collection  PDF     
 

Submitted on May 13, 2011

2:54 min read
69

Quick analysis:

Scheme ABAB CDCD EFEF AGAG BHBH XCBI BJEJ IGIG IKIK IXII CLCL MIMI NONO XIXI PAPA BABA QRQR STST BUBU QAQA CBCB IIII
Closest metre Iambic tetrameter
Characters 3,040
Words 578
Stanzas 22
Stanza Lengths 4, 4, 4, 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…

All William Schwenck Gilbert poems | William Schwenck Gilbert Books

(0 fans)

Discuss this William Schwenck Gilbert poem with the community:

0 Comments

    Translation

    Find a translation for this poem in other languages:

    Select another language:

    • - Select -
    • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
    • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
    • Español (Spanish)
    • Esperanto (Esperanto)
    • 日本語 (Japanese)
    • Português (Portuguese)
    • Deutsch (German)
    • العربية (Arabic)
    • Français (French)
    • Русский (Russian)
    • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
    • 한국어 (Korean)
    • עברית (Hebrew)
    • Gaeilge (Irish)
    • Українська (Ukrainian)
    • اردو (Urdu)
    • Magyar (Hungarian)
    • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
    • Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Italiano (Italian)
    • தமிழ் (Tamil)
    • Türkçe (Turkish)
    • తెలుగు (Telugu)
    • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
    • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
    • Čeština (Czech)
    • Polski (Polish)
    • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
    • Românește (Romanian)
    • Nederlands (Dutch)
    • Ελληνικά (Greek)
    • Latinum (Latin)
    • Svenska (Swedish)
    • Dansk (Danish)
    • Suomi (Finnish)
    • فارسی (Persian)
    • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
    • հայերեն (Armenian)
    • Norsk (Norwegian)
    • English (English)

    Citation

    Use the citation below to add this poem to your bibliography:

    Style:MLAChicagoAPA

    "Thomas Winterbottom Hance" Poetry.com. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 4 Feb. 2023. <https://www.poetry.com/poem/41347/thomas-winterbottom-hance>.

    Become a member!

    Join our community of poets and poetry lovers to share your work and offer feedback and encouragement to writers all over the world!

    February 2023

    Poetry Contest

    Enter our monthly contest for the chance to win cash prizes and gain recognition for your talent.
    24
    days
    9
    hours
    42
    minutes

    Browse Poetry.com

    Quiz

    Are you a poetry master?

    »
    Roald Dahl wrote: "The animal I really dig, above all others is the..."
    • A. dog
    • B. horse
    • C. pig
    • D. cat