A Beleaguered City


The reader must understand that the rifle range of the
1st Punjab Volunteers is hard by the Lawrence Hall Gardens,
and that people, walking or driving in the Gardens or along
the Mall, are likely to find a bullet inside them at any moment.
[C. & M. Gazette, 28 January 1884. Signed Blank Cartridge] 

The Stranger and the Resident
  Were strolling down the Mall; 
The former jumped at times to see
  The merry bullets fall, 
'If this goes on for long,' he said,
  'Expect a funeral.' 

'If twenty men, with twenty guns,
  Blaze at the Bull, his eye, 
Do you suppose they hit it once?—
  Do you suppose they try?' 
'I doubt it,' said the Resident,
  'They fire rather high.' 

'Oh seek the culvert's shade, my friend,'
  The Stranger then besought, 
'For death may be the pleasant end
  Of this peculiar sport'— 
The Resident said nothing but
  'They really didn't ought.' 

'A coat of mail', the Stranger said,
  'Is what we chiefly need, 
A half inch steel revetment plate
  Would be a boon indeed, 
I trust I'm not obtrusive, but
  My head begins to bleed.' 

Then other bullets whistled up,
  By ones and twos and threes 
Came frisking through the aloe hedge,
  Or hurried through the trees, 
Which wasn't odd because, you know,
  We know the P.R.V.s. 

'Oh Stranger,' said the Resident,
  'There goes the mid-day gun, 
Shall we be trotting home again,
  The squad have almost done? 
You mustn't mind their play because'—
  But answer came there none, 
Which wasn't odd, considering
  The risks that man had run.

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