Sunday, 28 August 2011


Paddle Steamer 'Rheinland', passing the Loreley Rock.

On, on the vessel steals;
Round go the paddle-wheels,
And now the tourist feels
As he should;
For king-like rolls the Rhine, 
And the scenery's divine,
And the victuals and the wine
Rather good.

From every crag we pass'll
Rise up some hoar old castle;
The hanging fir-groves tassel
Every slope:
And the vine her lithe arm stretches
Over peasants singing catches -
And you'll make no end of sketches,
I should hope.

We've a nun here (called Thérèse),
Two couriers out of place,
One Yankee with a face
Like a ferret's;
And three youths in scarlet caps
Drinking chocolate and schnapps -
A diet which perhaps
Has its merits.

And day again declines;
In shadow sleep the vines,
And the last ray through the pines
Feebly glows,
Then sinks behind yon ridge;
And the usual evening midge
Is settling on the bridge
Of my nose.

And keen's the air and cold,
And the sheep are in the fold,
And Night walks sable-stoled
Through the trees;
And on the silent river
The floating starbeams quiver; -
And now the saints deliver
Us from fleas.

C.S. Calverley

Poet and Wit

C.S. Calverley was the literary father of what has been called the "university school of humour".