SMITHAREEN, n. A fragment, a decomponent part, a remain. The word is used variously, but in the following verses on a noted female reformer who opposed bicycle-riding by women because it “led them to the devil” it is seen at its best:
The wheels go round without a sound —
The maidens hold high revel;
In sinful mood, insanely gay,
True spinsters spin adown the way
From duty to the devil!
They laugh, they sing, and — ting-a-ling!
Their bells go all the morning;
Their lanterns bright bestar the night
With lifted hands Miss Charlotte stands,
Good-Lording and O-mying,
Her rheumatism forgotten quite,
Her fat with anger frying.
She blocks the path that leads to wrath,
Jack Satan’s power defying.
The wheels go round without a sound,
The lights burn red and blue and green.
What’s this that’s found upon the ground?
Poor Charlotte Smith’s a smithareen!
—John William Yope