Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
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Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. V. Browning to Rupert Brooke
 
The Policeman’s Lot (from The Pirates of Penzance)
By William Schwenck Gilbert (1836–1911)
 
WHEN a felon’s not engaged in his employment,
  Or maturing his felonious little plans,
His capacity for innocent enjoyment
  Is just as great as any honest man’s.
Our feelings we with difficulty smother        5
  When constabulary duty’s to be done:
Ah, take one consideration with another,
  A policeman’s lot is not a happy one!
 
When the enterprising burglar’s not a-burgling,
  When the cut-throat isn’t occupied in crime,        10
He loves to hear the little brook a-gurgling,
  And listen to the merry village chime.
When the coster’s finished jumping on his mother,
  He loves to lie a-basking in the sun:
Ah, take one consideration with another,        15
  The policeman’s lot is not a happy one!
 
 
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