Victorian London: The Pea-Souper

a poem by tobias kerins, UK

Pea-soupers they hang, the air is damp
Cobbled street, lit by gas lamp
Stars at night, struggle to shine through the fog
In the distance the barking, of a tied up dog

In drunken stupor, the tramp trudges the road
Shouting profanities, the public to goad
People they peer, from behind window curtain
Unsure and puzzled, clearly uncertain

The rag and bone man, with his wheels will trundle
His fortune amassed, in the back in a bundle
Takes a swig from his bottle, from his fag takes a choke
Slowly disappears in the pea-souper smoke

The vermin are there, it ain't very nice
Scurrying around, like three blind mice
The alley cats can smell, as they measure their prize
Beedily following, with glowing cats' eyes

The streets of London ain't paved with gold
An old wives' tale, Whittington was told
The gloomy pea-souper was no heavenly mist
People wanted no more, not like Oliver Twist

The Thames itself, under its bridges does flow
With an eerie silence and temperature low
Merchant vessels they pass, like ships in the night
In a night full of dark, with so little light

A ghostly passage, corridors through town
Solemn mood as pea-souper looks down
Above the chilled air, the pea-souper creeps
Casting its gloom as London it sleeps

Too Little, Too Late
The Maltese Falcon Vol I
No Smoke Without Fire

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