On this day!

We reproduce by kind permission of the Britsh Newspaper Archives, this verse which appeared in the Leamington Spa Courier, 18th October 1884


(A song of the Sea-side)
I always did love Walberswick, and have in olden time
Immortalised its lonely shores in sentimental rhyme;
But now the place is filled with crowds of men, and many a lass,
And white umbrellas spot the beach like mushrooms on the grass;
In ancient days the harbour was poetically drear,
But now it’s crammed with Artist folk, those Painters on the Pier.
They sketch the ferryman’s old hut, the reeds that sway and nod,
The early Christian countenance of Charon - Mister Todd;
And Lady Amateurs are there, who morn and evening flop
Round Artists of the other sex, and talk supremest “shop.”
Oh, would that I might never see a canvas any more,
Away with all your “turps” and tubes, oh smudgers not the shore.
I take a boat, and sail outside to where the breeze blows stiff,
And grisly bones diversity the face of Dunwich Cliff;
When lo! A sketcher on the sea uncomfortably floats,
And several canvasses are seen outspread in heaving boats.
They come to haunt my midnight dreams, I see them in my sleep,
Those everlasting drawing boards, of daubers on the deep!
I’ll try a voyage in the air, I’ll hire a big balloon,
And soar towards the midday sun, and interview the moon;
And even then I’m sure to meet the Amateurs on high,
Still perpetrating libels on the unoffending sky;
They’re rampant upon sea and land, and yes, I do declare,
There comes another through the clouds, an Artist in the air.
I’ll paint myself with Vandyke Brown, and eke with Naples Red,
And Crimson Lake and Cadmium shall flame upon my head;
A suit of Double Elephant shall be my daily wear,
And “Siccatif de Courtrai” shall anoint my flowing hair;
So brim the cup with turpentine, nor deem that I’m insane,
For since I’ve been to Walberswick, I’ve Artist on the Brain!

By Contributing Editor on October 18th, 2017