Joining Sir Ulick’s at the river’s bend,
Lord Crashton’s acres east and west extend;
Great owner here, in England greater still.
As poor folk say, ‘The world’s divided ill.’
On every pleasure men can buy with gold
He surfeited; and now, diseased and old,
He lives abroad; a firm in Molesworth Street
Doing what their attorneyship thinks meet.
The rule of seventy properties have they.
Wide waves the meadow on a summer day,
Far spread the sheep across the swelling hill,
And horns and hooves the daisied pasture fill;
A stout and high enclosure girdles all,
Built up with stones from many a cottage wall;
And, thanks to Phinn and Wedgely’s thrifty pains,
Not one unsightly ruin there remains.
Phinn comes half-yearly, sometimes with a friend,
Who writes to Mail or Warder to commend
These vast improvements, and bestows the term
Of ‘Ireland’s benefactors’ on the firm,
A well-earn’d title, in the firm’s own mind.
Twice only in the memory of mankind
Lord Crashton’s proud and noble self appear’d;
Up-river, last time, in his yacht he steer’d,
With Maltese valet and Parisian cook,
And one on whom askance the gentry look,
Altho’ a pretty, well-dress’d demoiselle –
Not Lady Crashton, who, as gossips tell,
Goes her own wicked way. They stopp’d a week;
Then, with gay ribbons fluttering from the peak,
And snowy skirts spread wide, on either hand
The Aphrodite curtsied to the land,
And glided off. My Lord, with gouty legs,
Drinks Baden-Baden water, and life’s dregs,
With cynic jest inlays his black despair,
And curses all things from his easy chair.
Lord Crashton: The Absentee Landlord