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Edmund Clarence Stedman, ed. (1833–1908). A Victorian Anthology, 1837–1895. 1895.

Robert Barnabas Brough 1828–60

My Lord Tomnoddy

MY Lord Tomnoddy’s the son of an Earl;

His hair is straight, but his whiskers curl:

His Lordship’s forehead is far from wide,

But there ’s plenty of room for the brains inside.

He writes his name with indifferent ease,

He ’s rather uncertain about the “d’s;”

But what does it matter, if three or one,

To the Earl of Fitzdotterel’s eldest son?

My Lord Tomnoddy to college went;

Much time he lost, much money he spent;

Rules, and windows, and heads, he broke—

Authorities wink’d—young men will joke!

He never peep’d inside of a book:

In two years’ time a degree he took,

And the newspapers vaunted the honors won

By the Earl of Fitzdotterel’s eldest son.

My Lord Tomnoddy came out in the world:

Waists were tighten’d and ringlets curl’d.

Virgins languish’d, and matrons smil’d—

’T is true, his Lordship is rather wild;

In very queer places he spends his life;

There ’s talk of some children by nobody’s wife—

But we must n’t look close into what is done

By the Earl of Fitzdotterel’s eldest son.

My Lord Tomnoddy must settle down—

There ’s a vacant seat in the family town!

(’T is time he should sow his eccentric oats)—

He has n’t the wit to apply for votes:

He cannot e’en learn his election speech,

Three phrases he speaks, a mistake in each!

And then breaks down—but the borough is won

For the Earl of Fitzdotterel’s eldest son.

My Lord Tomnoddy prefers the Guards,

(The House is a bore) so, it ’s on the cards!

My Lord’s a Lieutenant at twenty-three,

A Captain at twenty-six is he:

He never drew sword, except on drill;

The tricks of parade he has learnt but ill;

A full-blown Colonel at thirty-one

Is the Earl of Fitzdotterel’s eldest son!

My Lord Tomnoddy is thirty-four;

The Earl can last but a few years more.

My Lord in the Peers will take his place:

Her Majesty’s councils his words will grace.

Office he’ll hold, and patronage sway;

Fortunes and lives he will vote away;

And what are his qualifications?—ONE!

He ’s the Earl of Fitzdotterel’s eldest son.