The Devil’s Case - A Bank Holiday Interlude
I looked for something jolly to post on the blog today as parts of the UK celebrate August Bank Holiday. What I came up with is far from jolly - a book in verse form by Robert Buchanan entitled The Devil’s Case - A Bank Holiday Interlude.
Would you know how I, Buchanan,
Met the Devil here in London,
Chatted with him, interview'd him?
Listen, then, and you shall hear!
The Devil’s Case - A Bank Holiday Interlude (London, 1896)
Here is a further extract to whet your appetite.
Night lay o’er the Heath of Hampstead –
One by one the merry-makers,
Romping, mad, accordion-playing,
Beer-inspired, were trotting town-ward.
All that afternoon I wander’d
Mid the throng of Nymphs and Satyrs, -
Now at last the Bacchanalian
August holiday was over.
Sad my soul had been among them,
Envying their easy pleasures
Since for many a month behind me
Wolf-like creditors had throng’d;
Since my name and fame were lying
In the gutter of the journals,
While the laws of Earth and Heaven
Seemed one vast Receiving Order!
Bankrupt thus in fame and fortune,
Wearily I walk’d and ponder’d
On the lonely Heath of Hampstead,
In the silence of the Night. . . .
If you can drag yourself away from romping with an accordion at Bacchanalian Bank Holiday festivities, you can read the rest of the book online in the British Library's digital collections. Enjoy!
Lead Curator, East India Company Records