William Schwenck Gilbert ( )


Songs of a Savoyard. The Heavy Dragoon


If you want a receipt for that popular mystery,
   Known to the world as a Heavy Dragoon,
Take all the remarkable people in history,
   Rattle them off to a popular tune!
The pluck of Lord Nelson on board of the Victory
   Genius of Bismarck devising a plan;
The humour of Fielding (which sounds contradictory)
   Coolness of Paget about to trepan
The grace of Mozart, that unparalleled musico
   Wit of Macaulay, who wrote of Queen Anne
The pathos of Paddy, as rendered by Boucicault
   Style of the Bishop of Sodor and Man
The dash of a DOrsay, divested of quackery
Narrative powers of Dickens and Thackeray
Victor Emmanuelpeak-haunting Peveril
Thomas Aquinas, and Doctor Sacheverell
   Tupper and TennysonDaniel Defoe
   Anthony Trollope and Mister Guizot!
                     Take of these elements all that is fusible,
                     Melt em all down in a pipkin or crucible,
                     Set em to simmer and take off the scum,
                     And a Heavy Dragoon is the residuum!

If you want a receipt for this soldierlike paragon,
   Get at the wealth of the Czar (if you can)
The family pride of a Spaniard from Arragon
   Force of Mephisto pronouncing a ban
A smack of Lord Waterford, reckless and rollicky
   Swagger of Roderick, heading his clan
The keen penetration of Paddington Pollaky
   Grace of an Odalisque on a divan
The genius strategic of Cæsar or Hannibal
Skill of Lord Wolseley in thrashing a cannibal
Flavour of Hamletthe Stranger, a touch of him
Little of Manfred (but not very much of him)
   Beadle of BurlingtonRichardsons show
   Mr. Micawber and Madame Tussaud!
                  Take of these elements all that is fusible
                  Melt em all down in a pipkin or crucible
                  Set em to simmer and take off the scum,
                  And a Heavy Dragoon is the residuum!



William Schwenck Gilbert's other poems:
  1. The Bab Ballads. Haunted
  2. The Bab Ballads. The Phantom Curate
  3. The Bab Ballads. The Force of Argument
  4. The Modest Couple
  5. The Bab Ballads. Ferdinando and Elvira; or, the Gentle Pieman


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