BETA

Song.

(Sung at a public dinner at Boston, U.S., in honour of Mr
Cunard’s introduction of steam navigation between England and
America.)
What projects men make—what queer turns they take,1
Since steam has improved our condition ; 2
They never are still, but must cure or must kill3
With steam physic or steam ammunition.4
But a short time ago, to a quack you would go,5
To steam a fat man to a thinner ;6
Now changed from all that, if you wish to get fat,7
Come to Barton’s and eat a steam dinner !8
Oh dear ! think of a scheme, odd though it seem9
I’m sure ’ twill succeed if you make it by steam.10
You may sleep, you may dream, you may travel by steam,11
For the outcry is still to go faster ;12
And what does it reck, should you e’en break your neck,13
If ’ tis steam that brings on the disaster ?14

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Oh dear! think of a scheme, odd though it seem15
I’m sure ’ twill succeed if you work it by steam.16
East Boston one day, we have heard people say,17
Was nought but a desolate island ;18
But making by steam, they fill’d up the stream,19
And turn’d the wet dock into dry land.20
Then with a steam chain it grappled the main21
What noddle but follows my ditty ? —22
No longer alone, but ‘bone of our bone,23
And flesh of the flesh’ of the city.24
Oh dear ! think of a scheme, odd though it seem25
I’m sure ’ twill succeed if you work it by steam.26
How timid and slow, but a few years ago,27
The world hobbled on in its motion ;28
Old Europe seem’d far as the fix’d northern star29
O’er the boundless expanse of the ocean.30
But though it was hard—at the word of Cunard,31
Britannia herself is a rover ;32
Old England awhile, that ‘ fast anchor’d isle,’33
By steaming is now ‘half-seas over.’34
Oh dear ! think of a scheme, odd though it seem35
I’m sure ’ twill succeed if you work it by steam.36