A Water Party by Unknown

Oh, Laura! such a charming party!
You've missed our pic-nic, foolish girl;
I do assure you from my heart,
I Hate you, now you're Mrs. Searle.

You know I dote upon the river—
'Twas settled we should row to Kew;
And though the cold did make us shiver,
In England that's not very new.

But I should tell you that our number
Was rather more than you would like;
For Ma would ask that living lumber,
That dull, but worthy, Mrs. Pike:

Then she insisted that her daughter
Could not, for worlds, be left behind;
The poor girl screamed so, on the water—
I wonder mothers are so blind!

We'd Clara Smith, and Major Morris,
Besides Sir John, and Lady Gann—
Their nephew too—his name is Horace—
A well-bred, clever, tall young man:

Papa, Mamma, and all my brothers—
Sophia, Kate, Georgina, and me;
I have not time to name the others,
Except your old flame, Dr. Lea.

The whole arrangement was quite charming;
Miss Smith, though, is a shocking flirt;
Her conduct really was alarming—
Her Mamma is so very pert.

The men all chose to praise her singing!
But one's so sick of "Home, sweet Home!"
And "Hark, the Village Bells are ringing!"
Is duller than the Pope of Rome.

Then her "La ci darem la mano,"
Was murdered by poor Major M.;
She whispered him, in vain, "piano!"
That little man is quite a gem—

I mean to those who're fond of quizzing,
Which you and I, of course, are not;
He looks like soda-water, fizzing,
Or like a mutton-chop when hot.

The doctor offered to be funny—
That is, to sing a comic song;
But what it was, for love or money,
I cannot tell—it was so long.

He gave us too, a "recitation"—
To me a most enormous bore;
My brother muttered, "botheration!"
My father wished him at the Nore.

We all had clubbed to take provision,
And meant to dine in some one's field;
Old Pike opposed this said decision—
His wife, however, made him yield.

But when, at last, we'd fairly landed,
And spread our cloth upon the ground,
(If you won't laugh, I will be candid),
We found our dinner almost drowned!

Champagne and claret—every bottle
Had cracked, and deluged fowls and ham
But yet it had not spoiled the "tottle"—
There still was pigeon-pie and lamb.

With cider, porter, port and sherry,
We managed vastly well to dine:
In spite of all, we were so merry—
But still the weather was not fine.

In fact, before we finished dinner,
There was a kind of Scottish mist;
And had our dresses been much thinner,
It might have made us somewhat triste.

But good stout silk is now the fashion—
My green one, though, was sadly spoiled;
Mamma flew into such a passion!
I could not help its being soiled.

We owe, however, to the shower
An unexpected source of mirth;
For, when the sky began to pour,
The men proposed a snugger berth:

Instead of getting wet by rowing,
They voted to return by land;
We all agreed, without well knowing
How we should ever reach the Strand.

Just while we wisely were debating,
An Omnibus appeared in sight,
Which quickly settled all our prating,
And very much to my delight:

Yet this machine could scarcely carry
The whole of four-and-twenty friends;
But, as it would not do to tarry,
We popped in all the odds and ends.

Such an odd, facetious journey!
We went so fast—'twas Jike a dream!
The coachman, quite another Gurney,
Only without that worthy's steam.

In short, the whole was most delightful—
We wanted nothing, dear, but you;
And now, my paper being quite full,
I'll only add—adieu!—adieu!