Printed by Thomas Hayes, Broad-Street. Worcester. 1839.



The Pershore Coachman. 


Let others on affairs of weight

Their finger joints write sore-­

My humbler quill shall celebrate

The coachman, Mr. Goore.


John Goore a coachman is of fame

That drives to Worcester city;

For sterling nouse he has the name,

Blunt, honest, hearty, witty.


To glove-famed Worcester and from thence

Back spins to Pershore town,-­

Outside he charges eighteen pence,

And inside, half-a-crown.


Soon as the sun, that fiery fellow,

Illumes the eastern lawn,

His well-mopped four-wheel, black and yellow,

Forth from its shed is drawn.

His four-wheel, answering to its name

Of "Magnet," found so needful,

It travellers' pins attracts the same

As loadstone draws the needle.


Next rated gruff, with rumps well knuckled,

Slow from the stable led,

His quadrupes to their tasks are buckled,

Stout, muscular, well-fed.


His quadrupes, one whereof her lord

Has trotted to and fro

Such strings of miles, the measuring cord

Round earth would more than go.


'Tis then, down blind-drawn Broad-street, drowsy,

Drown'd in the mist of morn,

Jemmy, with cheeks plum, puff'd and blowsy,

Winds his announcing horn.


Jemmy, that tuneful genius rising,

Twelve summers old -- scarce more --­
Endowed with throttle quite surprising,

And son of father Goore,


From pillows of brown, black, and hoary,

Eye - shrouding slumbers scares

With 'Meet Me,' 'Jump Jim Crow,' or 'Rory,'

And other first-rate airs.


Then they, who packages would send,

Or legs indulge, upstarting,

Gowns, trowsers in their hurry rend,

And out of house doors darting.

Post to the bustling whipster hie,

Who as their wants they speak,

Regards them with a twinkling eye,

And twitching lip and cheek.


To passengers, if not too late,

He guarantees a seat;

If charged with parcel, pockets straight,

And promises to gee't.


Trunks, hampers, sacks upon the roof

Are lodge secure from falling,

And 'gainst a Murphy presage proof

Shrouded with stout tarpaulin.


The moment of departure nigh,

"Now Jem, lad, start a tune;"
As cocks upon their perches fly,

The males are mounted soon.


Young bashful maids the ladder climb,

Cran'd up by sheep-eye'd fellows

Who courteous ease them for the time

Of baskets and umbrellas.


Should aged, blind, or palsied mother,

Strive slow the steps to scale,

John deems humanity no bother,

But hoists her by the tail.


Grandees, with ruby-garnish'd nose,

And madams creep within,

Important, formal-tongued, and close

As bottles in a bin.


Then wrapt in wool-white rough great coat,

With whip and reins in fist

And foot on step, John's eye takes note

Lest any load be miss'd.


"What's her a-coming round the corner

"By Old Dick Hopeful's house?

"Miss Wolf--Miss Wiseacre--Miss Warner,

 "No sure, 'tis Mrs. Louse."


Into the box he mounting flings

His whelp-o'erwhelming weight,

Broad shouldered, with a front like king's

Upon a throne of state.

The whipcord rings, with onward sound

The vehicle slow rolls,

While son loud sounds, and sire looks round

T' augment his charge of souls.


Oft stooping his course to catch

A packet or a bundle

From such as for his passing watch

As wheels begin to trundle.


And Grandees' mothers, daughters, wives,

Big, delicate, bow'd double;

Where'er their nests are built he drives

And saves them yards of trouble.


"There's Monsieur Tulip at his window,

“Half stripp'd -- he'll be too late."-­-

"I'll not your van one moment hinder,

"Stop, hoi, Goore, stop, halt, wait!"


Tho', if not burden'd with o'er stuffing,

Late folks may catch him still

With scampering, shouting, sweating, puffing,

A-top of Aylesbury Hill.


Once roundly on the Queen's highway,

Careful, not fast nor slow,

John whips along, nor brooks delay

From aught above, below.


Softly up hill and softly down

He scolds each prick-ear'd hack:

Though frail as biscuit were your crown,

That crown he ne'er will crack.


With cheerful chat he speeds the flight

Of Time's too tedious pinion,

On every notice claiming sight

Pronouncing blunt opinion.


With hoarse long straining laugh ecstatical,

Tells anecdotes, cracks jokes,

And oft with elbow-bond emphatical

Your side for praises pokes.


Meantime should pike present its bar,

Or waggon block the road,

Jem warns the inmates from afar,

Or turns aside the load.


Nor knowing less to play his pipes

In prompt precocious tattle.

Point out hares, partridges, or snipes,

And judge of crops or cattle.

While Stoulton straight before us, he,

With bugle's boisterous charms,

Beguiles the long acclivity

Up to Somers' Arms,


Where, as at Lane's of Whittington,

His prudent sire pulls up

To ask if aught waits carrying on,

Or quaff a half-way cup.


Then such as dread the morning air

May hasten to the bar,

Swill cider, ale, or juice of pear,

Or light a real cigar.


Green elm-crown'd Crookbarrow long past,

Where Danes their hero did bury:

Down Red-hill we approach at last,

The winding ward of Sidbury,


Where, as Old Cromwell's self was entering

Loyal Worcester's captured City,

Jem, his cherubic cheeks concent'ring,

Pours ditty upon ditty


In notes so numerous, brisk, and loud,

The pert melodious noise

Strikes the street's ear and draws a crowd

Of mimic girls and boys


Who eye the perch-o'erbending sparrow

With mouths ope'd fit to bite ye,

That from a belly-pipe so narrow

Should burst a blast so mighty.


At length the van up-drawn before

The Janus-fronted Talbot,

Whose jolly landlord fills the door,

Like a round bulky tall butt.


Emblem that they who use his inn,

From steeples down to skittles,

At small expense may stuff their skin

With store of drink and victuals,


The ladder's summoned with a shout;

With step-regarding care

The outs creep down, the ins creep out,

And John receives his fare.


Then friends shake hands, then sons and daughters

Seek hearts with welcome hopping,

While others, like dividing waters,

By various routes go shopping.


The smoking cattle to their stalls

Conducted in their traces,

His coach 'neath gateway roof he hauls,

And clapping on his glasses,


Resolved, as he gulls no one, so

He'll not be gull'd by any:

At table round, with serious brow,

Squats down to book each penny,


While Jem's despatch'd about the town

To far and near abodes,

With baskets, parcels blue or brown,

And all the lighter loads.


But the great reckoning uprun,

And red-bound note-book scann'd,

To mark the matters to be done,

Which first to take in hand,


(For should Pershorian own a watch

Or ring that asks repairing,

For any riband seek a match,

Or novel be despairing,


And trust our whip with the commission,

He'll execute each tittle

With speed, integrity, precision,

And charge you very little.)


John, than whom lion looks not bolder

At rifles glaring levelly,

With huge bread-basket on one shoulder,

Forth staggers, laden heavily


With loaves and luggage, which being all

Delivered soon, or sold,

Though still at every interval

He halts, some chat to hold,


And asking others how they do,

"Ah, lad, how be-a? your hand gee,"

Replies to their "and how be you?"

"Hearty, my boy, as brandy."


To dinner back he eased, repairs.

Where Jem with greasy lips

The wholesome plain out-blowing shares.

And from the same mug sips.


Sometimes while steak or liver's frying,

Out loud he'll slow peruse,

Through huge old optic circles prying,

The sheet of weekly news.


Or, with the room should he maintain

Promiscous conversation,-­

Who speaks so pithy, plump, and plain!

Whose laugh knows such duration!


Though doom'd to list with lip convuls'd

A prosy grandam's tale,

His sympathy, not soon repuls'd,

Oft stops her mouth with ale.


On market day, John takes his seat,

Perpetual "Vice" at table,

And operates on fish, fowl, meat,

With hand, clean, quick, and able.


The choice declared of every guest,

He piles the plates with food;

And dealing still to each the best,

Saves for himself as good.


"Now, maid, a glass." Ye toper brutes!

A lesson from him learn ye -­

The Class that cheers him ne'er unsuits

To trace his homeward journey.


Then, block and chip, scarce less in love

With industry than ease,

Once more the streets for luggage rove,

Like wax-collecting bees.


Till heaven's complexion turning dark,

Like Briton's at Calcutta,

The van, like neap'd unentered ark,

Is hauled into the gutter.


And shouting, -- "Now, put to the osses,"

John eyes and aids the whole;
Its harness’d head as either tosses

Securing to the pole.


Then how his blubber he bestirs!

How shouts he -- "Look alive!"

How buz the doors with passengers,

Like openings to a hive!


Still tracing him from place to place,

Like terrier weasel hunting,
Jane, popping in her busy face,

Cries -- "Mr. Goore, you're wanting."


Their sojourn near its final sand,

Jem crows! safe mounts each man

And woman, and, like stray cur canned,

Back rattles Pershore's van.


A traveller whom the mail had left

Bamboozled in the lurch,

Of bags and well-nigh wits bereft,

For Goore made instant search.

"The Mail! -- The Mail! -- I'm left behind!

 "A crown if you'll o'ertake it!"

"Mount." -- and he mounts as vexed in mind

As pea when school-boys bake it.


Eight miles o'er-gallop'd of the way­ --

"Where are these rogues?" -- "Aye, there, sure!"

A lash, a spring, and John, hurrah!

First dashes into Pershore.


Now ye, who that lethargic spot

To visit feel a day's whim,

Down to the Talbot, swift as shot,

He'll, carry all "as pays him;"


For sure am I, as horses neigh,

To swell his poke with pelf,
He would not scruple to convey

Victoria herself!


. . . Author Unknown-


Transcribed from a copy of the original found by Jo Hodges.



Compiled by Lionel Graves and Richard Graves. England. September 2005

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