'The British Lion'


Published in the Daily News (24 January 1846).


Dickens, Charles


British Library Newspapers



British Library Newspapers, https://link.gale.com/apps/doc/BA3202822578/BNCN?u=loughuni&sid=BNCN&xid=12dd48d2. Some rights reserved. This work permits non-commercial use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited


Bibliographic Citation

Dickens, Charles. 'The British Lion.' Daily News (21 January 1841): p. 5. Dickens Search. Eds. Emily Bell and Lydia Craig. Accessed [date]. https://dickenssearch.com/verse/1846-01-24_Daily_News_The_British_Lion.



TUNE. - The Great Sea-Snake.

Oh, p’raps you may heard, and if not, I’ll sing,

Of the British Lion free,

That was constantly a-going for to make a spring

Upon his en-e-me;

But who, being rather groggy at the knees,

Broke down, always before;

And generally gave a feeble wheeze

Instead of a loud roar.


Right toor rol, loor rol, fee faw fum,

The British Lion bold!

That was always a-going for to do great things,

And was always being “sold”!


He was carried about, in a caravan,

And was show'd in country parts,

And they said “Walk-up! Be in time! He can

Eat Corn-Law-Leagues like tarts!”

And his showmen, shouting there and then,

To puff him didn’t fail;

And they said, as they peep'd into his den,

“Oh, Don’t he wag his tail!”


Now, the principal keeper of this poor old beast,

WAN HUMBUG was his name,

Would once ev’ry day stir him up - at least -

And wasn’t that a Game!

For he hadn’t a tooth, and he hadn’t a claw,

In that “Struggle” so “Sublime;”

And, however sharp they touch’d him on the raw,

He couldn’t come up to time.


And this, you will observe, was the reason why

WAN HUMBUG, on weak grounds,

Was forced to make believe that he heard his cry

In all unlikely sounds.

So there wasn’t a bleat from an Essex Calf,

Or a Duke, or a Lordling slim;

But he said, with a very triumphant laugh,

“I’m blest if that ain’t him.”


At length, wery bald in his mane and tail,

This British Lion growed:

He pined, and declined, and he satisfied

The last debt which he owed.

And when they came to examine the skin,

It was a wonder sore,

To find that the an-i-mal within

Was nothing but a BOAR!


Right toor rol, loor rol, fee faw fum,

The British Lion bold!

That was always a-going for to do great things,

And was always being "sold"!





Dickens, Charles, “'The British Lion',” Dickens Search, accessed June 25, 2022, https://dickenssearch.com/verse/1846-01-24_Daily_News_The_British_Lion.

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