Awful Event

Yes , Winchelsea (I tremble while I pen it),
Winchelsea's Earl hath cut the British Senate —
Hath said to England's Peers, in accent gruff,
" That for ye all " [snapping his fingers] and exit in a huff!

Disastrous news! — like that of old which spread
From shore to shore, " our mighty Pan is dead, "
O'er the cross benches (cross from being crost)
Sounds the loud wail. " Our Winchelsea is lost! "

Which of ye, Lords, that heard him can forget
The deep impression of that awful threat,
" I quit your house! ! " — midst all that histories tell,
I know but one event that 's parallel: —

It chanced at Drury Lane, one Easter night,
When the gay gods too blest to be polite
Gods at their ease, like those of learned Lucretius,
Laught, whistled, groaned, uproariously facetious —
A well-drest member of the middle gallery,
Whose " ears polite " disdained such low canaillerie,
Rose in his place — so grand, you'd almost swear
Lord Winchelsea himself stood towering there —
And like that Lord of dignity and nous ,
Said, " Silence, fellows, or — I 'll leave the house! ! "

How brookt the gods this speech? Ah well-a-day,
That speech so fine should be so thrown away!
In vain did this mid-gallery grandee
Assert his own two-shilling dignity —
In vain he menaced to withdraw the ray
Of his own full-price countenance away —
Fun against Dignity is fearful odds,
And as the Lords laugh now , so giggled then the gods!
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