To my Guardian, Lord Aircastle
Accept, my Lord, a votive song
From one who cannot think it wrong
To praise what most delights a Belle,
An Institution quite nouvelle!
The Russel and the Royal now
Are only fit for drones, I vow;
But even a Lady or a Peer
May catch a spark of science here.
Delightful thought! when half the town
To Brighton and salt baths go down,
We, by a touch of magic wire,
Can brace our nerves in fluid fire.
Redeem’d by you from Queen’s Square School
From bells of lead and iron rule,
Can I my gratitude express
To-day, before ’tis time to dress?
The park is dull, the Mall unclean,
No Court, no Op’ra to be seen!
No gorgeous fires, no mighty crimes
To charm us in Childe Harold’s rhymes:
Come then, my Lord, with gracious chat
Of smoke and science and all that,
Display, while on your throne you sit,
The pow’rs of potash and of wit.
Teach me with classic taste to seek
In busts, like you, the pure antique:
To study granite more than grace,
And lamina instead of lace.
Come; with electric sparks renew
My fading cheek’s vermillion hue;
Such sparks a cheaper rouge bestow
Than Dyde and Scribe will ever show.
In Piccadilly and Pall-Mall
How quick these Leyden jars would sell,
If wives could make their husbands be as
Adventurous as old Cunaeus!
The flattest and the dullest thing
Conveys a strong electric sting,
And I, perhaps, a spark may show
Receiv’d, my noble Lord, from you!