O, Shah. “may your shadow never be less!”
      Thougn of that but small prospect I see:
Another such week of sight-seeing duresse,
Such riding and railing, such fuss and full-dress,
Such hustling and bustling, parading and press,
Deputations bv dozens, and dinners sans cesse,
And reduced from a substance with shadow, I guess,
      To nought but a shadow you’ll be!

That ”the commonest cat may look at a king,”
      In England’s an ancient saw:
And you, when the light of your diamonds you fling,
And with grave eyes opened as round as a ring,
Within your spectacles’ focus bring
Our streets, ships, guns, docks—everything,—
Will observe, in this land of sight-seeing,
      That the Commons may look at a chat.

A nine-days’ wonder you’ve been to John Bull,
      And he to you in his turn—
His strength more of beef than breeding full:
His civilisation (more cry than wool):
His heads that ought his hands to rule:
His hands of his heads that should be tool:
You’ve sat in his money-making school,
      And your lesson therein may learn.

There’s REUTER—let’s hope ’twill be REUTER Khan,
      Instead of REUTER Cannot
Has set himself, calmly, the gulf to scan.
Which in Persia, since Kadiar rule began,
Hath yawned with wider and wider span,
’Twixt dried-up Nature and dwindled man,
Where the gold-stream—for Nadir-Shah that ran—
      Again to Nadir has got.

Will REUTER, be REUTER never so deep
      In performing on “the wire,”
Contrive a balance to make, and keep.
Of all the concessions which you heap
On his favoured head, when you bid him reap
An unsown harvest, and shear your sheep,
And take their wool—if any—dirt-cheap?——
      Into that let investors inquire.

But let this Doctor “Bull’s blood” transfuse
      Through Persia’s parched-up veins—
Let railways bring their rain of dues—
Let REUTER Pactolus water use
To clothe your sands in harvest hues;—
Suppose prosperity ensues
For mills and mines—and Russia views
      And covets your smiling plains?

Will John Bull’s Government help you guard
      That for which he has helped you pay?
When Russki comes with his hand so hard.
Will he find the way to your strong-box barred.
By the “Infants” you saw in Woolwich yard?
On our arms we bear the Lion and Pard,
But “moral support” is the safest card,—
      That’s British Lion’s play!

The Woolwich Infant was an extremely large British cannon.


“The Shah’s Impressions.” Punch; or the London Charivari” (5 July 1873): 4. HathiTrust online version of a copy in the University of California Library. Web. 5 March 2022.

Created 4 March 2022