Victorian Cyclist | My Velocipede – a poem


I envy not his gallant steed
That man who doth bestride;
For I have a Velocipede,
Which I prefer to ride

On, on we go, machine and load,
And never stop to bait;
Toll-free along the turnpike-road
We clear each turnpike gate

To keep a hobby-horse like mine,
You need not keep a man;
You pay no tax, so, I opine,
It is the better plan

No paddock he requires, on grass,
At seasons to be fed;
No’er comes, in stable, to the pass
Of eating off his head

He never jibs, he never shies,
He never runs away;
He never, stumbling as he flies,
Goes down as though to pray

For why? Because he is, with knees,
Provided, as with heels,
Therefore no fits of kicking seize
Him whatsoe’er he feels.

To mend his pace no whip, no spur,
To curb, no bit, no rein,
No ” tclcqk!” wants he to make him stir,
Nor “wo!” him to restrain

Uphill we pull, downhill we drag,
On level ground we speed.
Ha, ha! Ho, ho! my new-built Nag!
My own Velocipede!

(Punch, Volume 57, Aug 7th 1869, p. 52)

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