Rum Coves that Relieve us

Rum Coves that Relieve us
By HEINRICH BAUMANN in Londonismen.


Rum coves that relieve us 1 thieves
Of clunkers and pieces, 2 money
Is gin’rally lagged, 3 imprisoned
Or wuss luck gets scragg’d. 4 hung


Are smashers and divers 5 counterfeiters; pickpockets
And noble contrivers
Not sold to the beaks 6 magistrates
By the coppers an’ sneaks? 7 police; informers


Yet moochin’ arch-screevers, 8 prowling; begging letter writers
Concoctin’ deceivers,
Chaps as reap like their own
What by tothers were sown;


Piratical fakers 9 writers of "blood and thunder"
Of bosh by the acres,
These muck-worms of trash
Cut, oh, a great dash.


But, there, it don’t matter
Since, to cut it still fatter,
By ’ook and by crook
Ve’ve got up this book.


Tell ye ’ow? Vy in rum kens, 10 queer places
In flash cribs and slum dens, 11 thieves’ resorts
I’ the alleys and courts,
’Mong the doocedest sorts;


When jawin’ with Jillie
Or Mag and ’er Billie,
Ve shoved down in black
Their illigant clack. 12 talk


So from hartful young dodgers,
From vaxy old codgers, 13 men
From the blowens ve got 14 prostitutes
Soon to know vot is vot.


Now then there is yer sumptuous
Tuck-in of most scrumptious,
And dainty mag-pie! 15 speech
Will ye jes’ come and try?


Heinrich Baumann, the author of Londonism en, an English-German glossary of cant and slang, to which “Rum Coves that Relieve us” forms the preface.

Taken from Musa Pedestris, Three Centuries of Canting Songs and Slang Rhymes [1536―1896], collected and annotated by John S. Farmer.

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. . .
Jack Flashman
Miss Dolly Trull
The By-Blow Of The Jug
The Cadger’s Ball
Dear Bill, This Stone-Jug
The Leary Man
A Hundred Stretches Hence
The Chickaleary Cove
Blooming Æsthetic
’Arry at a Political Picnic
Rum Coves that Relieve us
Villon’s Good-Night
Villon’s Straight Tip To All Cross Coves
Culture in the Slums
A Plank-Bed Ballad
The Rondeau of the Knock
The Rhyme of the Rusher
Wot Cher!
Our Little Nipper
The Coster’s Serenade