Perchance when he was working on
The diary that bears his name
In those far days, now dead and gone,
He never dreamed about his fame.
Yet now, from time to time, it is
Heard from ‘most everybody’s lips—
That magic, mellow name of his,
The soft and pleasing name of Pepys.
Again, when reading what he wrote,
We live anew that ancient time
(The book is one we often quote—
The cheap editions are a dime);
We mark his course through dingy streets
And climb with him the palace steps;
In fancy all of those one meets
Remark: “Why, there goes Mr. Pepys!”
He always had a seeing eye
And hearing ear, and what he saw
And what he heard he fain would try
To set down, but evade the law
And that is why in cipher dark
The tale originally creeps—
‘Twas thus, also, he made his mark,
This man of truth and trouble, Pepys.
Throughout his life he had his griefs
And also had a little fun—
He kept his eye upon his chiefs
And tells the things they might have done
If they had not done what they did.
Ah, if each person now should keep his
Own diary and raise the lid
As did this honest Samuel Pepys!
And so, you see, he made a name
Whereon the critics sometimes pounce;
It hardly ever sounds the same,
It is so easy to pronounce.
But still, there is an hour or so
Of pleasure for the man who dips
Into his book and comes to know
Good Samuel Pepys, Peps or Pips.