Ode to Messrs Green Robert Hollond and Monck Mason on their Late Balloon Expedition

Ode to Messrs Green Hollond and Monck Mason on their Late Balloon Expedition[1][2]
by Thomas Hood

   O lofty minded men !
Almost beyond the pitch of my goose pen !
   And most inflated words !
Delicate Ariels ! ethereals ! birds
Of passage fliers angels without wings !
Fortunate rivals of Icarian darings !
Male witches without broomsticks taking airings !
   Kites without strings !
Volatile spirits light mercurial humors !
O give us soon your sky adventures truly,
With full particulars correcting duly
   All flying rumors !

   Two legged high fliers !
What upper stories you must have to tell
And nobody can contradict you well
   Or call you liars
Your Region of Romance will many covet
 Besides that you may scribble what you will
  And this great luck will wait upon you still
All criticism you will be above it
   Write then Messrs Monck Mason Hollond Green !
And tell us all you have or haven t seen !
Twaa kind when the balloon went out of town
To take Monck Mason up and set him down

   For when a gentleman is at a shift
For carriage talk of carts and gigs and coaches
Nothing to a balloon approaches
For giving one a lift ]
   O say when Mr Frederic Gye
Seemed but a speck a mote in friendship's eye
Did any tongue confess a sort of dryness
Seeming the soaring rashness to rebuke
Or did each feel himself like Brunswick's Duke
   A moat Serene Highness

   Say as you crossed the Channel
Well clothed in well aired linen and warm flannel
   How did your company perceived afar
Affect the tar Methinks I see him cock his weather eye
   Against the sky
Turning his ruminating quid full oft
With wonder sudden taken all aback -
   "My eyes", says he
"I'm blowed if there ain't three
Three little Cherubs smiling up aloft
   A-watching for poor Jack "

  Of course at such a height the ocean -
Affected no one by its motion -
But did internal comfort dwell with each
Quiet and ease each comfortable skin in ?
Or did brown Hollond of a sudden bleach
   As white as Irish linen ?
   Changing his native hue
   Did Green look blue ?
In short, was any air sick? P'rhaps Monck Mason
Was forced to have an air pump in a bason

   Say with what sport or pleasure
Might you fill up your lofty leisure ?
   Like Scotchman at high jinks ?
   (High-spy was an appropriate game methinks)
Or cards but playing very high;
Or skying coppers almost to the sky
Or did you listen the first mortal ears
That ever drank the music of the spheres ?
Or might you into vocal music get
     A trio - highly set ?
Or as the altitude so well allowed
Perchance you, "blew a cloud"
     Say did you find the air
    Give you an appetite up there ?
Your cold provisions were you glad to meet em ?
Or did you find your victuals all so - high
    Or blown up so by your - fly
    You couldn't eat em

    Of course you took some wine to sup
Although the circumstance has not been stated
I envy you the effervescing cup
    Warn t your Champagne well up
    Nay you yourselves a little elevated !
   Then for your tea and breakfast, say,
Was it not something delicately new,
   To get sky blue
Right genuine from the real milky way !

  Of course, you all agreed
Whate'er your conversation was about
    Like friends indeed
    And faith I not without need
'Twas such an awkward place for falling out !

  Say after your gastronomy
    Kept you a watch all night
  Marking the planets bright
Like three more
Airys studying astronomy ;
    Or near the midnight chime
Did some one haul his nightcap on his head
Hold out his mounted watch and say "high time
  To go to bed?"

    Didn't your coming scare
  The sober Germans until every cap
Rose lifted by a frightened fell of hair ;
  Meanwhile the very pipe mayhap
Extinguished like the vital spark in death
From wonder locking up the smoker's breath
Didn't they crouch like chickens when the kite
    Hovers in sight
To see your vehicle of huge dimension
Aloft like Gulliver's Laputa nay
  I'd better say
    The Island of Ascension ?

    Well was it planned
To come down thus into the German land
Where Honors you may score by such event -
For if I read the prophecy aright
You ll have the Eagle Order for your flight
And all be Von'd because of your descent !


  1. The reference is to a balloon trip in 1836 by Charles Green, Robert Hollond and Thomas Monck Mason of about 500 miles.
  2. The works of Thomas Hood, Thomas Hood