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BALLAD

By
Lord Byron


NOTE:  This ballad about Henry Gally Knight was originally contained in a letter from Byron, dated April 11, 1818,  to John Murray.  A longer version was later published with Byron's works  in 1903.   For the benefit of the reader, here are both editions.  This is allegedly set to the tune of:  Sally in Our Alley

&/\&/\&

He has twelve thousand pounds a year ---

I do not mean to rally

His songs at sixpence would be dear

So give them gratis --- Gally.

And if this statement should seem queer

Or set down in a hurry

Go --- ask ( if he will be sincere )

His publisher  --- John Murray. ---

Come say --- how Many have been sold?

And don't stand shilly-shally,

Of bound & lettered, red & gold,

Well printed works of Gally?
 

For Astley's Circus Upton writes

And also for the Surry ---

Fitzgerald weekly ( or weakly ) still recites ---

Though grinning Critics worry ---

Miss Holford's Peg, and Southeby's Saul

In fame exactly tally ---

From Stationer's Hall to Grocer's stall

They go --- & so does Gally. ---
 

He hath a Seat in Parliament ---

So fat & passing wealthy --- healthy

And surely he should be content

With these --- and being wealthy ---

But Great Ambition will misrule

Men at all risks to sally, ---

Now makes a poet --- now a fool

And we know which --- of Gally ---
 

Some in the playhouse like a row ---

Some with the Watch to battle ---

Exchanging many a midnight blow

To Music of the Rattle.

Some folks like rowing on the Thames,

Some rowing in an Alley ---

But all the Row my fancy claims

Is rowing of my Galley.

&/\&/\&
 



1903  EDITION

&/\&/\&

Of all the twice ten thousand bards

That ever penned a canto,

Whom pudding or whom Praise rewards

For lining a portmanteau;

Of all the poets ever known,

From Grub-street to Fop's Alley,

The Muse may boast --- the World must own

There's none like pretty Gally !
 

He writes as well as any Miss,

Has published many a poem;

The shame is yours, the gain is his,

In case you should not know 'em:

He has ten thousand pounds a year ---

I do not mean to vally ---

His songs at sixpence would be dear,

So give them gratis, Gally !
 

And if this statement should seem queer,

Or set down in a hurry,

Go, ask ( if he will be sincere )

His bookseller --- John Murray.

Come, say, how many have been sold,

And don't stand shilly-shally,

Of bound and lettered, red and gold,

Well printed works of Gally.
 

For Astley's circus Upton writes,

And also for the Surrey;

Fitzgerald weekly still recites,

Though grinning Critics worry:

Miss Holford's Peg, and Southeby's Saul,

In fame exactly tally;

From Stationer's Hall to Grocer's Stall

They go --- and so does Gally.
 

He rode upon a Camel's hump

Through Araby the sandy,

Which surely must have hurt the rump

Of this poetic dandy.

His rhymes are of the costive kind,

And barren as each valley

In deserts which he left behind

Has been the Muse of Gally.
 

He has a Seat in Parliament,

Is fat and passing wealthy;

And surely he should be content

With these and being healthy;

But Great Ambition will misrule

Men at all risks to sally, ---

Now makes a poet --- now a fool

And we know which --- of Gally.
 

Some in the playhouse like to row,

Some with the Watch to battle,

Exchanging many a midnight blow

To Music of the Rattle.

Some folks like rowing on the Thames,

Some rowing in an Alley,

But all the Row my fancy claims

Is rowing of my Gally.
 

&/\&/\&


 
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