Back to his Native Strand

From The Arthur Conan Doyle Encyclopedia

Back to his Native Strand is a poem written by P. G. Wodehouse published in Punch on 27 may 1903.

Ten years after Conan Doyle has killed Sherlock Holmes in The Adventure of the Final Problem, some reports were published in newspapers announcing that the detective would come back. Like on 15 may 1903, in the Western Gazette :

« The many thousands of readers of the Adventures of Sherlock Holmes will be glad to hear that what happened on that eventful day on the Reichenbach Fall was not the end of his adventures. How he escaped, why he was silent, and all that has happened to him since will appear in another series of adventures to be commenced in the Strand Magazine. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle has received letters from all parts of the world asking him to give some more of these fascinating tales, and it will be a great delight to everyone to know not only that these will be published, but that the great Sherlock is still in the flesh with all his wonderful faculties unimpaired. »

P. G. Wodehouse was probably inspired by these news when he wrote this poem about the return of Sherlock Holmes.

Back to his Native Strand

Back to his Native Strand (Punch, 27 may 1903)

["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.