The first part of this poem was in the article from last week, and now we are continuing out on with the rather long, semi-pornographic poem on the joys of being whipped. The authorship of the poem had been long contested. It was originally credited to George Coleman the Younger a playwright known for his comedies.
This has been disproven, and suspicion fell upon Sir Richard Francis Burton (1821-1890). He was a jack-of-all-trades, while known for being an amateur poet, he was also an explorer and cartographer, diplomat and spy. He is the one who translated 1001 Nights into English, though he called it The Arabian Nights. He also hypothesized about a so-called Sotadic Zone. A geographic zone in which pederasty (romantic-sexual intimacy between a boy and a man) is prevalent and celebrated among the indigenous inhabitants. So make of that what you will.
He must be now superlatively sleek —
Not having tasted birch above a week;
But I’ve got fun enough before me here —
So I’ll reserve him for my evening cheer —
Then make an onslaught on the fatted fool,
And with a birch-rod slash him round the school.
So much for this day’s task. To-morrow’s levee
Will be more numerous, and my hand more heavy —
For there’s a fair this afternoon, I know,
To which my pupils are forbid to go;
But to which most will hasten all the same —
To my great profit in the flogging game.
Some pedagogues are only strict for books ;
My buttons blush for manners, words and looks —
Nothing a gentleman’s demeanour teaches
More than a graceful downfall of the breeches.
Does a boy giggle! birch him till he’s grave ;
Won’t sing! a rod will soon bring out a stave;
Won’t eat! excite him with some strong birch tea :
Is greedy! make his bum a fricassee ;
Wants purging! bleeding will relieve his guts ;
Breaks wind! just break his skin with fifty cuts;
Wants — or has — spirit! keep to the same plan —
Till the child learns the endurance of the man;
For the brave youth who owns the double grace,
A pouting bottom and a cheerful face —
And licks the milksop who, unused to pain,
Dares hardly raise his fist to strike again,
Wins from my favour many a pleasant boon
Refused to the insipid lean poltroon —
Whom I rejoice to see his comrade dogging,
To kick the hinder part I ‘ve just been flogging.
But where ’s my orphan boy, my Portuguese
Whose olive arse all flagellants must please —
Its shape so handsome, and its tints so warm,
Nerve the pedant’s satiated arm.
In the school months, when native bums supply
My virgol muscles, he ’s a licensed boy ; –
But when no other lad at school remains,
I read his bill of “penalties and pains.”
Those holidays are ticklish days for him —
He is the butt of all my wrath and whim ;
His schooling — now above five quarters due —
I pay myself in red, and black, and blue ;
Coined, without guardian’s or relation’s stint,
From his rich bottom’s and my fancy’s mint ;
Whene’er I ’ve the misfortune to be randy,
In some nice attitude he ’s always handy.
By flagellation to work off the itch,
I else had wasted on some graceless bitch.
With a bad dinner, or small appetite,
Five minutes’ flogging always puts me right
And when I’m costive, if I scourge the dunce
Severely — often I ’m relieved at once.
On rainy days, with nothing else to do,
I birch him tightly for an hour or two ;
He travels with me, and at all delays
I whip him at the inn or in the chaise.
When from the play enchanted I return,
My nervous fingers with excitement burn — ■
So, realizing Kemble’s ardent strain,
I act the bloody drama o’er again ;
While poor Sebastian takes the sufferer’s parts,
Mingled with tears and prayers — sometimes with farts
So, by the time the holidays are over,
My Portuguese has something to recover;
And contemplates with no unnatural zest,
His playmates’ trouble and his own fair rest.
A parish ’prentice too remains to share
With brown Sebastian my particular care —
A vulgar Saxon — pink and white, and plump —
A perfect contrast both in head and rump.
Sometimes to save my southern from more skinnings,
On this uncouth backside I take an innings ;
But my desire for equal rights to shew,
I mainly leave him to the gods below —
Who, for his sake, have leave to use my trees,
And cut as many birches as they please ;
His bottom thus became the natural end
To which the household faults or failures tend —
Breakages, blunders, losses, great and small,
Upon his baseborn tail are sure to fall —
The whipping boy’s responsible for all.
Whatever man his master’s scoldings rile,
Vents upon Billy’s arse his bitter bile;
Whatever maid her mistress calls a fool,
Punches and spanks him till her rage is cool,
Odd men and charwomen about the place
Punish his buttocks for their own disgrace.
“What’s all that row down stairs?” I often cry.
“We’re whipping Work’us, Sir,” ’s the safe reply.
All right — the more the merrier, says I.
The butler whips him when he’s full of ale;
The footman whips him when the beer is stale ;
The housemaids whip him, their hot lust to slake
The porter whips him to keep himself awake.
There’s not a groom nor horse-boy in the stable,
But has a cut at Work’us when he ’s able ;
The gardener from his window I can see
Whipping him now beneath the old birch tree —
I almost wonder — how of friends bereft —
The blackguard’s got an inch of bottom left :
Cuffed till his large splay ears with crimson glow ;
Kicked till he knows the taste of every toe ;
He ’s licked for breakfast in the pantry small ;
He’s thrashed for dinner in the servants’ hall;
The supper time’s more beating time than all; —
And yet he’s chubby, cheery, strong, and well —
Bids every Jack among them go to hell;
With lads of equal vigour keeps his own ;
Shews all the girls how much his manhood’s grown
And proves that if a lad’s of the right stuff,
We really can’t pitch into him enough.
So live the Rod ! Let Spartan Dion rule
Cottage and hall, the parlour and the school.
The rudest boor who labours late and hard
To feed his children finds his just reward
When he corrects them royally at night,
His honest face transparent with delight;
No nice scholastic rod can he display,
But picks up something on his homeward way —
Lithe willow, supple birch, or budded beech —
Always enough to make the culprits screech ;
Or else he smacks them with his homy hands,
While the good cart-whip in the corner stands;
Which, in his cups, he sometimes makes them feel,
And cuts out bits it takes a month to heal;
When bailiffs bully, and when landlords press,
He hides the “young uns” rather more than less —
And from their basted flesh imbibes a store
Of juicy vigour to engender more.
In towns and hamlets whipping clubs are formed
Where hearts and bottoms can alike be warmed ;
Their families their infant felons bring,
And publicly administer the sting,
Mixing the titillation with their tea,
And mid the sobbing gossip fair and free —
‘Just to please you, as you’ve come late, my cousin
I ’ll give my Emily another dozen.”
“As George’s bottom’s all I’ve got this week,
Suppose we share it — taking each a cheek ;
We’ll lay him down betwixt us on his belly —
I ’ll bring first blood upon my cheek, I tell ye.”
There comes the besom maker, and his right
Is to select a bottom for the night,
On whose white skin he lavishes at will
His birchen bouquet, and enjoys his fill.