Sherlock returns – Wodehouse celebrates

How did he manage to appear so very dead? We’ll find out when the BBC’s Sherlock comes back to life this evening.

While we wait impatiently, here (shamelessly cribbed from the wonderful Madame Eulalie website) is P.G. Wodehouse in 1903, poetically celebrating the  detective’s first resurrection, in the Strand Magazine:

Punch, May 27, 1903

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.

Apologies if the Wodpress editor has mashed up the line arrangement of the poem on your computer.

And if you haven’t already seen it, here’s a seven-minute mini-episode, preparing the way for the new series:

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