Monday, June 19, 2017

& a.k.a. Song of the &

April 17, 1869
Of all the types in a printer’s hand,
Commend me to the Amperzand, 
For he’s the gentleman (seems to me)
Of the typographical companie.
O, my nice little Amperzand,
My graceful, swanlike Amperzand;
Nothing that Cadmus ever planned
Equals my elegant Amperzand!

He’s never bothered, like A.B.C.
In Index, Guide, and Directorie:
He’s never stuck on a Peeler’s coat,
Nor hung to show where the folks must vote.
No, my nice little Amperzand, 
My plumb and curly Amperzand.
When I’ve a pen in a listless hand,
I’m always making an Amperzand!

Many a letter your writers hate,
Ugly q, with his tall so straight,
x, that makes you cross as a bear,
And z, that makes you with zouns to swear.
But not my nice little Amperzand,
My easily dashed off Amperzand,
Any odd shape folks understand
To mean my Protean Amperzand!

Nothing for him that’s starch or stiff,
Never he’s used in scold or tiff,
State epistles, so dull and grand,
Mustn’t contain the shortened and.
No, my nice little Amperzand,
You’re good for those who’re jolly and bland,
In days when letters were dried with sand
Old frumps wouldn’t use my Amperzand!

But he is dear in old friendship’s call, 
Or when love is laughing through lady-scrawl:
“Come & dine, & have bachelor’s fare,”
“Come, & I’ll keep you Round & Square.”
Yes, my nice little Amperzand
Never must into a word expand,
Gentle sign of affection stand,
My kind, familiar Amperzand.

“Letters Five do form his name:”
His, who Millions doth teach and tame:
If I could not be in that Sacred Band,
I’d be the affable Amperzand.
Yes, my nice little Amperzand,
And when P.U.N.C.H. is driving his five-in-hand,
I’ll have a velocipede, neatly planned
In the shape of a fly-away Amperzand.

Hanwell.   Scandula Exoluta.

Reprinted in its entirety or in part in many publications

Every Saturday

May 15, 1869

Littell’s Living Age

June 19, 1869

Wit and Humour

(Poems from “Punch”)
Shirley Brooks
Bradbury, Agnew, & Co., 1875

The Christian Union

October 2, 1890

The Gentleman’s Magazine

November 1892

Historic Magazine and Notes and Queries

November-December 1902
The Song of the Ampersand

T. P.’s Weekly

April 10, 1903
A Song of the &

Related Posts

100 Ampersands, Part 1
100 Ampersands, Part 2
100 Ampersands, Part 3
100 Ampersands, Part 4
Wood Type Ampersands
Ampersand Cocktail

(Next post on Monday: Trademarks, July 11, 1916)

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