VOTING BY BALLOT.
THERE'S Mister Ball down in these parts, an' a fine ole gent he weer, An' he's served in hevery Parlament for well nigh thirty year ; An' there's Simon Brown, 'is gardener, as lives i' the lodge hard by, An' a ticklish chap is Simon, as they say he's horful sly.
Then sez Mister Bull to Simon, "Look 'ere, my frond," sez he,. " Ther's the 'great Helekshnn cummin on, an' a fearful fight ther'l be : An' ther's sum as wants new heverything, an' the Church an' Queen n11 fall, An' the rates nll be tremenjons, Simon, an' they'l turn me out o' the Hall.
An' ther's Gladstone, an' Joe Chamberlenf; an' true as yer name is Brown, If them two gets the hopper hand, this country'l shure go down ; An' the tother side ther's Salsbury, an' Lord Randie, our new
An' I wish that yang man 'ad more sense, as he's too much cheek by far.
But them's the men to stick to, Simon, as puts no tax on beer: An"as got no maggits in ther 'ead, an' the right sow by the ear: An' them's the men to drive the coach, an' put on curb an' drag, An' stun' no himperant Rooshan lies, no caperin' Frenchman's brag.
Now, I wants to know this of yer, as 'as ate my bred so long, An' the misses as give yer childern clothes, an' fisic to make 'em strong ; An' the ballot-box be hanged, Simon, as lets nun know who's who !
An' how do yer mean to vote, my lad ? Say out, is't yeller, or blue ?"
Then that ole man he look'd hop an' down, 'an 'is smile cum strange an' queer,
An' he 'itched his trousers hup a peg, an' he giv a sort o' a leer. An' he sez, "It's werry kind, Squoire, to lighten me up that way, An' yer've oilers been that kind to me, as before 'em all I'll say.
An' as to that same vote o' mine, 'bout which yer wish to know, I never were the sort o' a man to say Yes,' meaning No.' An' I'll jest be free an' open, Squoire, as it were betwixt us two, An' I'll tell yer wot I'm thinkin' on, an' wot I means to do.
So when it comes, th' Helekshnn, I aint a goin' to fight, A knockin' poor folk on the 'ead, an' a drinkin' till ye're tight : An' I aint a-goin' to meetins, where ye're squashed as fiat as dough, An' I'll wear no ribbins in my 'at, like a Hagriculehural show.
But I'll jest put on my Sunday cote, an' I'll go where the votes is given, An' I'll go there by myself, Squoire, not like a beast that's driven ; An' I woant say nnthin' to nobody, not even my wife, that's Sue; An' I'll gi' my vote by ballot, Squoire, an' that's wot I mean to do."
Then Mister Bull look'd orker'd, an' he star'd at the ole man Brown, And summat he sad as I couldn't hear, but it cum from a good way down ; An', sez he, " Ye're larfin' at me; but, my freed, I'd have yer know, As it aint the winnin' fightin'-cock as fast begins to crow."
" So, Brown," sez he.—" Nay, Sqnoire," quoth he.—" As shure as ever is,"—
" I beg ycr pardin', Squoire, I do."—" Yer'l have to pay for this."
But the ole man be lnk'd hinnercent, an' he softly shuk 'is 'ead ; "An' I means to vote by ballot," were all the words he sed.