November 09, 2010

The travelling ticket inspector

Here is a charming little poem which appeared in the G.I.P. Railway Magazine in May 1915:
--------------------------------------------------------
THE FLYING SCUD
--------------------------------------------------------
We’ve heard of the driver, we’ve heard of the guard
Of the engine from cab to injector,
But a subject which hasn’t occurred to our bard,
Is the travelling inspector.
.
When you rush for your train in the morning—perhaps
You’ve been out in the evening preceding
It’s most likely to happen that one of these chaps
A sight of your ‘season’ is needing.
.
Then you feel in your pockets, you look in your hat,
Your co-passengers think it is quite funny
And it dawns on your wandering intellect that
It’s at home—with your keys, your money.
.
But it isn’t a rule for the gay flying scud
To drop on the man who’s forgotten
His ticket. He really is after the ‘dud’
And the man whose excuses are rotten.
.
He will smile as he says “Show your tickets, I pray”
For his manner is gentle and courtly,
But the ‘twister’ who never intended to pay
He will lay by the heels very shortly.
.
The enemy sworn of the traveller by stealth
Of ‘bilking’ and fraud the detector
Let’s empty a glass to the jolly good health
Of the travelling ticket inspector!