A Ballade of Lost Law

Category: Poetry
(Spirit of Lord Eldon speaks)

This England is gone staring mad,
She hath abolished Chancery,[J]
See the long lines of suitors, sad
To find themselves unwontedly
After one day of trial free.
Pleading and seals have gone their way.
"I know," said I, "that after me
Too quickly comes the evil day."

(Spirit of Lord Lyndhurst speaks)

I was Chief Baron, and I had
A Court of Law and Equity,[K]
The Courts at Westminster were clad
With ancient glory fair to see.
Now County Courts have come to be
Exalted high on our decay,
And every whit as good as we;
Too quickly comes the evil day.

(Shade of Butler speaks)

In days of yore we used to pad
Our deeds with words of certainty;
Alas! that now the office lad
Is qualified to grant in fee!
Lost is our old supremacy,
Lost is the delicate display
Of learning on pur autre vie;
Too quickly comes the evil day.


(The Three in Chorus)

Thurlow, to thee we bend the knee,
When law was law, then men were gay,
'Tis down with port and up with tea,
Too quickly comes the evil day.

Available translations:

English (Original)