In Black & White


Title Page
Under the Hill

The Art of the Hoarding
Letters to his Critics
   Pall Mall Budget
   Daily Chronicle
   St. Paul’s
Table Talk
Lines upon Pictures
   St Rose of Lima

The Three Musicians
The Ballad of a Barber
Ave Atque Vale
The Celestial Lover
The Ivory Piece
Prospectus for Volpone

Appendix : Juvenilia
The Valiant
A Ride in an Omnibus
The Confession Album
The Courts of Love
Dante in Exile
Written in Uncertainty
The Morte Darthur

Enoch Soames

Under the Hill

The Valiant

A ballad

The valiant was a noble bark
         As ever ploughed the sea,
A noble crew she also had
         As ever there might be.

When once at night upon the deep
         The Valiant did sail,
Her captain saw a pirate ship
         By the moonlight dim and pale.

Then up he called his goodly crew
         And unto them thus spake:
“A musket and a cutlass sharp
         Each must directly take.

“For yonder see a pirate ship,
         Behold her flag so dark;
See now the gloomy vessel
         Makes straight for this our bark.”

Scarce had the Captain spoke those words
         Than a shot o’er his head did fly
From the deck of the pirate ship which now
         To the Valiant was hard by.

Approaching near, twelve desperate men
         On the Valiant’s deck did leap,
But some there were less brave and strong
         Who to their ship did keep.

And then a moment afterwards
         Did a bloody fray ensue,
And as the time sped onward
         Fiercer the fray it grew.

“Come on!” the Valiant’s captain cried,
         “Come on, my comrades brave,
And if we die we shall not sink
         Inglorious ’neath the wave.”

When the morning came, and the men arose,
         The pirates, where were they?
The ship had sunk and all its crew;
         Dead ’neath the sea they lay.

¶ 1884. First published in Past and Present, the magazine of the Brighton Grammar School, Vol. X, No.2, June 1885, and thus the artist’s first published literary work. These lines were written the previous year, when he was twelve, and were apparently inspired by a popular childrens’ book of the day, The Lives of All the Notorious Pirates, for a while a great favourite with Beardsley and his schoolmates. Beardsley recited the poem on several occasions to considerable acclaim from both masters and boys in the school.