Lunardi's Balloon

You may all fly, but I'll keep my station,
By Jove it's a droll emigration,
How pleasant to travel all day,
No post-boys nor turnpikes to pay?

I suppose they are going to see,
If above they're as cunning as we;
And if to the sky they do go,
We shall have little custom below.

By Jove it's an excellent trick,
Now no one could care for Old Nick;
For me I confess I'm more humble,
And fear'd from Olympus to tumble.

I am like to the French Chevalier,
Think it safest and best to stay here.
His pockets he fill'd I believe,
Then politely he took a French leave.

Now another's a-going to try,
To find out a method to fly;
When equipped by a large pair of wings
Odds vetrick a comical thing.

Lunardi's gone up the moon,
In a carr drawn by a balloon;
And when to the sky he embarks,
Should he fall the wise may catch larks.

Lunardi went over to Fife,
Most frighted them out of their life,
At last did drop among the corn,
Which made shearers all to run home:

They ran away just like a mouse,
And bolted the door of their house:
They took their books for to pray,
They thought it had been the last day.

They saw the angel coming down,
'Twas but Lunardi in his balloon,
For I am contented to dwell,
In my little shop called my cell.

For whilst I work in my stall,
If I don't rise, I'm sure I won't fall:
Now the Ladies are going to fly,
With their Jupiter's up to the sky.

It's the properest place for amours,
No occasion for bolting of doors;
Why then to the sky let them go,
I'd rather cabbage-cloth her below.

Last Tuesday Lunardi set sail,
Well furnish'd with wings and a tail,
But alas!  he dropt into the sea,
No breast-water voyage for me.

Chin-deep in the water he sat,
Looking just like a half-drowned rat;
And when taken up by the boat,
Away went balloon with his coat.

O how Lunardi did stare,
To see his balloon in the air;
But the air no spleen to him bore,
For 'tis brought safe to the shore.

But having now got dry and snug,
Faith, with reason himself he may hug;
Of a plentiful board he partakes,
And in raptures, cries, sweet land of cakes.

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Copyright © 2001, Jack Campin