Punch,  48 (1865), 126.

The Enfield's Good-Bye



Poetry, Drollery


Military Technology, Chemistry, Invention, Progress

    Begins with an extract from the Standard announcing the invention of 'A substitute for gunpowder' by L H G Ehrhardt. Written from the perspective of an Enfield rifle, the poem laments the fact that this news spells doom for him. It opens by comparing a rifle to a dog, both of which 'has his day', and then describes the various rifles used by the Army, beginning with the 'Brown Bess', whose bullet 'won't keep the axis / And terribly wobbles about', the Minnie, which 'made a tremendous ado' with its spiral grooving and long range, and himself—the Enfield—who engaged attention, became 'The rage', and 'just suited the age'. Goes on to note recent changes—'Whitworth's grooving' and William W Richards's 'improving' breach—and awaits the moment when he will be replaced by Ehrhardt's 'potash and resin' gunpowder and 'a change in the lead'.

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