Back To His Native Strand


[“Sherlock Holmes” is to reappear in the “Strand” Magazine]

                       AIR“Archie” in the “Toreador”

OH, SHERLOCK HOLMES lay hidden more than half a dozen years.

He left his loving London in a whirl of doubts and fears.

          For we thought a wicked party

          Of the name of MORIARTY

Had dispatched him (in a manner fit to freeze one).

They grappled on a cliff-top, on a ledge six inches wide;

We deemed his chances flimsy when he vanished o'er the side.

          But the very latest news is

          That he merely got some bruises.

If there is a man who’s hard to kill, why he's one.

     Oh SHERLOCK, SHERLOCK , he's in town again,

     That prince of perspicacity, that monument of brain.

          It seems he wasn’t hurt at all

          By tumbling down the waterfall.

     That sort of thing is fun to SHERLOCK.

When SHERLOCK left his native Strand, such groans were seldom heard;

With sobs the Public's frame was rent: with tears its eye was blurred.

          But the optimists reflected

          That he might be resurrected:

It formed our only theme of conversation.

We asked each other, Would he be? and if so, How and where?

We went about our duties with a less dejected air.

          And they say that a suggestion

          Of a Parliamentary question

Was received with marked approval by the nation.

     And SHERLOCK, SHERLOCK, he's in town again,

     Sir CONAN has discovered him, and offers to explain.

          The explanation may be thin,

          But bless you! We don't care a pin,

     If he'll but give us back our SHERLOCK.

The burglar groans and lays aside his jemmy, keys, and drill;

The enterprising murderer proceeds to make his will;

          The fraud-promoting jobber

          Feels convinced that those who rob err;

The felon finds no balm in his employment.

The forger and the swindler start up shrieking in their sleep;

No longer on his mother does the coster gaily leap;

          The Mile-End sportsman ceases

          To kick passers-by to pieces,

Or does it with diminishing enjoyment.

     For SHERLOCK, SHERLOCK, he's in town again,

     That prince of perspicacity, that monument of brain.

          The world of crime has got the blues,

          For SHERLOCK's out and after clues,

And everything's a clue to SHERLOCK.

First published in Punch, May 27, 1903


  1. -The Toreador is a musical comedy in two acts by James T. Tanner and Harry Nicholls, with lyrics by Adrian Ross and Percy Greenbank and music by Ivan Caryll and Lionel Monckton. It opened at the Gaiety Theatre in London, managed by George Edwardes, on 17 June 1901 and ran for an extremely successful 675 performances. One of the key songs was “Archie”. George Grossmith Jr. played Sir Archibald Slackitt, Bart. (Lieut. Welsh Guards).

“Archie” from The Toreador