The Dandy-Horse, or the wonderful Velocipede – a poem (1870)

The Dandy-Horse, or the wonderful Velocipede

 

Queer sights we every day do find,

As the world we pass along,

The ladies hoops and cinolines,

And then their large chignons;

To come out in French fashion,

Of course we must indeed,

And have a dandy horse,-

The famed Velocipede.

 

The dandy horse Velocipede

Like lightning flies, I vow, sir,

It licks the railroad in its speed,

By fifty miles an hour, sir,

 

The lasses of the period,

Will cut along so fine,

With their hair just like a donkey’s tail,

A hanging down behind;

Upon a dandy horse will go,

And behind them footman John,

Whose duty will be to cry, gee-wo!

And hold on their chignon.

 

The Velocipedes are all the go,

In country and in town,

The patent dandy hobby-horse

It everywhere goes down;

A wheel before and one behind,

Its back is long and narrow,

It’s a cross between the treading mill,

And a Razor Grinder’s barrow.

 

All the world will mount Velocipedes,

Oh won’t there be a show

Of swells out of Belgravin,

In famous Rotten Row;

Tattersall’s they will forsake,

To go there they have no need,

They will patronise the wheelwright’s now

For a famed Velocipede.

 

All kinds of Velocipedes

Will shortly be in use,

The snob will have one like a last,

The tailor like a goose!

Bill Gladstone he will have one,

To ride, so-help-me-bob,

The head will be the Irish Church,

The tail Ben Dizzy’s nob.

 

Old Sal Brown to her husband said

There is no use of talking,

I must have a dandy hobby-horse,

For I am tired of rocking;

Your leather breeches I will spout,

And send you bare on Monday,

If I don’t have a Velocipede

To ride to church on Sundays.

 

What will the poor horse-dealers do,

I am sure I cannot tell,

Since the dandy horse have come up

Their horses they can’t sell;

Oh, won’t the cats and dogs be glad,

Their grub they will get cheap,

Or else it will be all brought up

To sell for paupers’ beef.

 

The Velocipedes are rode by swells,

Tinkers too and tailors,

They will be mounted, too, by the police,

The soldiers and the sailors;

An old lady who lives in– ——–

At least the story goes, sir,

Is a going to race the omnibus,

All down the ———–road, sir.

 

The railways they will be done brown,

The steamboats too, beside,

For folks when they go out of town,

The Velocipede will ride;

But I’d have you look out for squalls

Or else you may depend,

You will go down, dandy horse and all,

And bruise your latter-end.

(The dictionary of chronology, or historical and statistical register, William Henry Overall, 1870, p.867)

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