The Jubilee Sov'reign

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On Jubilee Day the Ramsbottoms
Invited relations to tea,
Including young Albert's grandmother-
An awkward old . . party, was she.

She'd seen Queen Victoria's accession
And `er wedding to Albert (the Good)
But she got quite upset when young Albert
Asked `er `ow she'd got on in the Flood.

She cast quite a damper on't party,
But she warmed up a bit after tea,
And gave Albert a real golden sovereign
She'd been saving since last Jubilee.

It `ad picture of Queen on't one side
And a dragon fight on the reverse,
And it smelled of camphor and cobwebs
Through being so long in `er purse.

Albert `andled the coin, and `e kissed it
And `e felt the rough edge with `is tongue;
For `e knew by the look of `is father
That it wouldn't be `is very long.

"I`ll show you a trick wi' that sovereign,"
Said Pa, `oo were `overin' near-
And `e took and pretended to eat it,
Then brought it back out of `is ear.

This magic filled Albert with wonder,
And before you could say "Uncle Dick",
`E'd got the coin back from `is father
And performed the first part of the trick.

When they all saw where the money `ad gone
With excitement the relatives burned;
And each one suggested some process
For getting the money returned.

Some were for fishing with tweezers,
While some were for shaking it out;
"If we only got back a few shillings,"
They said "`twould be better than nowt."

They tried `olding Albert `ead downward
And giving `is shoulders a clump-
`Till his uncle, `oo worked for a chemist
Said "There's nowt for it but stomach pump."

Well, they `adn't a stomach pump `andy,
But Pa did the best that `e could
With a bicycle pump that they borrowed
But that weren't nearly so good.

So off they went to the doctor
`Oo looked down `is throat with a glass;
`E said "This'll mean operation-
I fear that `e'll `ave to `ave gas."

"`Ow much is this `ere goin' to cost me?"
Said Father, beginning to squirm.
"I'm afraid that it comes out expensive-
The best gas is eight pence a therm.

There's my time, six shillings an hour;
You can't do these things in two ticks-
By rights I should charge you a guinea,
But I'll do it for eighteen and six."

"Wot, eighteen and six to get sovereign?"
Said Father, "That doesn't sound sense
I'll tell you, you'd best keep young Albert
And give us the odd eighteen pence!"

The doctor concurred this arrangement,
But to this day he stands in some doubt
As to whether he's in eighteen shillings
Or whether he's eighteen pence out.

© Marriott Edgar