Oh, city fathers, hear my prayer!
I’m but a student, yet give heed;
And as you hope for mercy, spare;
Don’t, don’t outlaw Velocipede!
Why banish him? He does no harm
To anyone, – indeed, indeed,
I know the timid feel alarm
And hatred for Velocipede;
But yet I say he harms them not,
Their fancy’t is which seems to need
Repression, for it makes them plot
And lie against Velocipede.
They fancy riders cannot steer,
And cannot safely move with speed,
And so they feign a foolish fear,
Whene’er comes up Velocipede.
Don’t believe the stories that they tell
Of accident or foul misdeed;
The Journal’s ‘horse’ long since got well,
Uninjured by Velocipede.
‘Tis envy simply that’s at work:
The one who must on foot proceed
Feels jealous, when with artful quirk
Another rides Velocipede.
Some, too, there are who hate all fun,
Who count all sport of ill the seed;
And such judge that the evil one
Himself devised Velocipede.
But those who believe in life, and joy,
And Jollity, must fain concede
The many virtues of this toy
We fondly call Velocipede.
So let him have the right of way.
The sidewalks he will not impede,
Nor force the footmen to delay
Their steps for him, Velocipede.
Or if from Chapel, State, and Church
You order him, we are agreed,
If, leaving these streets in the lurch,
Elsewhere may roam Velocipede.
Now, city fathers, hear my prayer!
I’m but a student, yet give heed
To my poor words, and spare, oh, spare!
My only love, Velocipede.