Rhymes on the Road - Extract 9. Venice

And is there then no earthly place;
Where we can rest in dream Elysian,
Without some curst, round English face,
Popping up near to break the vision?
Mid northern lakes, mid southern vines.
Unholy cits we 're doomed to meet;
Nor highest Alps nor Apennines
Are sacred from Threadneedle Street!
If up the Simplon's path we wind,
Fancying we leave this world behind,
Such pleasant sounds salute one's ear
As — " Baddish news from 'Change, my dear —
" The funds — phew! curse this ugly hill) —
" Are lowering fast — (what, higher still?) —
" And — (zooks, we 're mounting up to heaven!) —
" Will soon be down to sixty-seven. "

Go where we may — rest where we will,
Eternal London haunts us still.
The trash of Almack's or Fleet Ditch —
And scarce a pin's head difference which —
Mixes, tho' even to Greece we run,
With every rill from Helicon!
And if this rage for travelling lasts,
If Cockneys of all sects and castes,
Old maidens, aldermen, and squires,
Will leave their puddings and coal fires,
To gape at things in foreign lands
No soul among them understands;
If Blues desert their coteries,
To show off 'mong the Wahabees;
If neither sex nor age controls,
Nor fear of Mamelukes forbids
Young ladies with pink parasols
To glide among the Pyramids —

Why, then, farewell all hope to find
A spot that's free from London-kind!
Who knows, if to the West we roam,
But we may find some Blue " at home "
Among the Blacks of Carolina —
Or flying to the Eastward see
Some Mrs. H OPKINS taking tea
And toast upon the Wall of China!
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