By William Makepeace Thackeray
The Chronicle of the Drum. Part I Part II Abd-el-Kader at Toulon; or, The Caged Hawk The King of Brentford's Testament The White Squall Peg of Limavaddy May-Day Ode The Ballad of Bouillabaisse The Mahogany Tree The Yankee Volunteers The Pen and the Album Mrs. Katherine's Lantern Lucy's Birthday The Cane-Bottom'd Chair Piscator and Piscatrix The Rose upon my Balcony Ronsard to his Mistress At the Church Gate The Age of Wisdom Sorrows of Werther A Doe in the City The Last of May "Ah, Bleak and Barren was the Moor" Song of the Violet Fairy Days Pocahontas From Pocahontas
LOVE-SONGS MADE EASY:—
What makes my Heart to Thrill and Glow? The Ghazul, or, Oriental Love-Song:— The Rocks The Merry Bard The Caique My Nora To Mary Serenade The Minaret Bells Come to the Greenwood Tree
FIVE GERMAN DITTIES:—
A Tragic Story The Chaplet The King on the Tower On a very Old Woman A Credo
FOUR IMITATIONS OF BERANGER:—
Le Roi d'Yvetot The King of Yvetot The King of Brentford Le Grenier The Garret Roger Bontemps Jolly Jack
IMITATION OF HORACE:—
To his Serving Boy Ad Ministram
OLD FRIENDS WITH NEW FACES:—
The Knightly Guerdon The Almack's Adieu When the Gloom is on the Glen. The Red Flag Dear Jack Commanders of the Faithful When Moonlike ore the Hazure Seas King Canute Friar's Song Atra Cura Requiescat Lines upon my Sister's Portrait The Legend of St. Sophia of Kioff Titmarsh's Carmen Lilliense The Willow-Tree The Willow-Tree (another version)
The Pimlico Pavilion The Crystal Palace Molony's Lament Mr. Molony's Account of the Ball given to the Nepaulese Ambassador by the Peninsular and Oriental Company The Battle of Limerick Larry O'Toole The Rose of Flora The Last Irish Grievance
THE BALLADS OF POLICEMAN X.:—
The Wofle New Ballad of Jane Roney and Mary Brown The Three Christmas Waits Lines on a Late Hospicious Ewent The Ballad of Eliza Davis Damages, Two Hundred Pounds The Knight and the Lady Jacob Homnium's Hoss The Speculators A Woeful New Ballad of the Protestant Conspiracy to take the Pope's Life The Lamentable Ballad of the Foundling of Shoreditch The Organ Boy's Appeal
Little Billee The End of the Play Vanitas Vanitatum
THE CHRONICLE OF THE DRUM.
At Paris, hard by the Maine barriers, Whoever will choose to repair, Midst a dozen of wooden-legged warriors May haply fall in with old Pierre. On the sunshiny bench of a tavern He sits and he prates of old wars, And moistens his pipe of tobacco With a drink that is named after Mars.
The beer makes his tongue run the quicker, And as long as his tap never fails, Thus over his favorite liquor Old Peter will tell his old tales. Says he, "In my life's ninety summers Strange changes and chances I've seen,— So here's to all gentlemen drummers That ever have thump'd on a skin.
"Brought up in the art military For four generations we are; My ancestors drumm'd for King Harry, The Huguenot lad of Navarre. And as each man in life has his station According as Fortune may fix, While Conde was waving the baton, My grandsire was trolling the sticks.
"Ah! those were the days for commanders! What glories my grandfather won, Ere bigots, and lackeys, and panders The fortunes of France had undone! In Germany, Flanders, and Holland,— What foeman resisted us then? No; my grandsire was ever victorious, My grandsire and Monsieur Turenne.
"He died: and our noble battalions The jade fickle Fortune forsook; And at Blenheim, in spite of our valiance, The victory lay with Malbrook. The news it was brought to King Louis; Corbleu! how his Majesty swore When he heard they had taken my grandsire: And twelve thousand gentlemen more.
"At Namur, Ramillies, and Malplaquet Were we posted, on plain or in trench: Malbrook only need to attack it And away from him scamper'd we French. Cheer up! 'tis no use to be glum, boys,— 'Tis written, since fighting begun, That sometimes we fight and we conquer, And sometimes we fight and we run.
"To fight and to run was our fate: Our fortune and fame had departed. And so perish'd Louis the Great,— Old, lonely, and half broken-hearted. His coffin they pelted with mud, His body they tried to lay hands on; And so having buried King Louis They loyally served his great-grandson.
"God save the beloved King Louis! (For so he was nicknamed by some,) And now came my father to do his King's orders and beat on the drum. My grandsire was dead, but his bones Must have shaken I'm certain for joy, To hear daddy drumming the English From the meadows of famed Fontenoy.
"So well did he drum in that battle That the enemy show'd us their backs; Corbleu! it was pleasant to rattle The sticks and to follow old Saxe! We next had Soubise as a leader, And as luck hath its changes and fits, At Rossbach, in spite of dad's drumming, 'Tis said we were beaten by Fritz.
"And now daddy cross'd the Atlantic, To drum for Montcalm and his men; Morbleu! but it makes a man frantic To think we were beaten again! My daddy he cross'd the wide ocean, My mother brought me on her neck, And we came in the year fifty-seven To guard the good town of Quebec.
"In the year fifty-nine came the Britons,— Full well I remember the day,— They knocked at our gates for admittance, Their vessels were moor'd in our bay. Says our general, 'Drive me yon redcoats Away to the sea whence they come!' So we marched against Wolfe and his bull-dogs, We marched at the sound of the drum.
"I think I can see my poor mammy With me in her hand as she waits, And our regiment, slowly retreating, Pours back through the citadel gates. Dear mammy she looks in their faces, And asks if her husband is come? —He is lying all cold on the glacis, And will never more beat on the drum.
"Come, drink, 'tis no use to be glum, boys, He died like a soldier in glory; Here's a glass to the health of all drum-boys, And now I'll commence my own story. Once more did we cross the salt ocean, We came in the year eighty-one; And the wrongs of my father the drummer Were avenged by the drummer his son.
"In Chesapeake Bay we were landed. In vain strove the British to pass: Rochambeau our armies commanded, Our ships they were led by De Grasse. Morbleu! How I rattled the drumsticks The day we march'd into Yorktown; Ten thousand of beef-eating British Their weapons we caused to lay down.
"Then homewards returning victorious, In peace to our country we came, And were thanked for our glorious actions By Louis Sixteenth of the name. What drummer on earth could be prouder Than I, while I drumm'd at Versailles To the lovely court ladies in powder, And lappets, and long satin-tails?
"The Princes that day pass'd before us, Our countrymen's glory and hope; Monsieur, who was learned in Horace, D'Artois, who could dance the tightrope. One night we kept guard for the Queen At her Majesty's opera-box, While the King, that majestical monarch, Sat filing at home at his locks.
"Yes, I drumm'd for the fair Antoinette, And so smiling she look'd and so tender, That our officers, privates, and drummers, All vow'd they would die to defend her. But she cared not for us honest fellows, Who fought and who bled in her wars, She sneer'd at our gallant Rochambeau, And turned Lafayette out of doors.
"Ventrebleu! then I swore a great oath, No more to such tyrants to kneel. And so just to keep up my drumming, One day I drumm'd down the Bastille. Ho, landlord! a stoup of fresh wine. Come, comrades, a bumper we'll try, And drink to the year eighty-nine And the glorious fourth of July!
"Then bravely our cannon it thunder'd As onwards our patriots bore. Our enemies were but a hundred, And we twenty thousand or more. They carried the news to King Louis. He heard it as calm as you please, And, like a majestical monarch, Kept filing his locks and his keys.
"We show'd our republican courage, We storm'd and we broke the great gate in, And we murder'd the insolent governor For daring to keep us a-waiting. Lambesc and his squadrons stood by: They never stirr'd finger or thumb. The saucy aristocrats trembled As they heard the republican drum.
"Hurrah! what a storm was a-brewing: The day of our vengeance was come! Through scenes of what carnage and ruin Did I beat on the patriot drum! Let's drink to the famed tenth of August: At midnight I beat the tattoo, And woke up the Pikemen of Paris To follow the bold Barbaroux.
"With pikes, and with shouts, and with torches March'd onwards our dusty battalions, And we girt the tall castle of Louis, A million of tatterdemalions! We storm'd the fair gardens where tower'd The walls of his heritage splendid. Ah, shame on him, craven and coward, That had not the heart to defend it!
"With the crown of his sires on his head, His nobles and knights by his side, At the foot of his ancestors' palace 'Twere easy, methinks, to have died. But no: when we burst through his barriers, Mid heaps of the dying and dead, In vain through the chambers we sought him— He had turn'd like a craven and fled.
. . . . .
"You all know the Place de la Concorde? 'Tis hard by the Tuilerie wall. Mid terraces, fountains, and statues, There rises an obelisk tall. There rises an obelisk tall, All garnish'd and gilded the base is: 'Tis surely the gayest of all Our beautiful city's gay places.
"Around it are gardens and flowers, And the Cities of France on their thrones, Each crown'd with his circlet of flowers Sits watching this biggest of stones! I love to go sit in the sun there, The flowers and fountains to see, And to think of the deeds that were done there In the glorious year ninety-three.
"'Twas here stood the Altar of Freedom; And though neither marble nor gilding Was used in those days to adorn Our simple republican building, Corbleu! but the MERE GUILLOTINE Cared little for splendor or show, So you gave her an axe and a beam, And a plank and a basket or so.
"Awful, and proud, and erect, Here sat our republican goddess. Each morning her table we deck'd With dainty aristocrats' bodies. The people each day flocked around As she sat at her meat and her wine: 'Twas always the use of our nation To witness the sovereign dine.
"Young virgins with fair golden tresses, Old silver-hair'd prelates and priests, Dukes, marquises, barons, princesses, Were splendidly served at her feasts. Ventrebleu! but we pamper'd our ogress With the best that our nation could bring, And dainty she grew in her progress, And called for the head of a King!
"She called for the blood of our King, And straight from his prison we drew him; And to her with shouting we led him, And took him, and bound him, and slew him. 'The monarchs of Europe against me Have plotted a godless alliance I'll fling them the head of King Louis,' She said, 'as my gage of defiance.'
"I see him as now, for a moment, Away from his jailers he broke; And stood at the foot of the scaffold, And linger'd, and fain would have spoke. 'Ho,drummer! quick! silence yon Capet,' Says Santerre, 'with a beat of your drum.' Lustily then did I tap it, And the son of Saint Louis was dumb."
"The glorious days of September Saw many aristocrats fall; 'Twas then that our pikes drunk the blood In the beautiful breast of Lamballe. Pardi, 'twas a beautiful lady! I seldom have looked on her like; And I drumm'd for a gallant procession, That marched with her head on a pike.
"Let's show the pale head to the Queen, We said—she'll remember it well. She looked from the bars of her prison, And shriek'd as she saw it, and fell. We set up a shout at her screaming, We laugh'd at the fright she had shown At the sight of the head of her minion; How she'd tremble to part with her own.
"We had taken the head of King Capet, We called for the blood of his wife; Undaunted she came to the scaffold, And bared her fair neck to the knife. As she felt the foul fingers that touch'd her, She shrunk, but she deigned not to speak: She look'd with a royal disdain, And died with a blush on her cheek!
"'Twas thus that our country was saved; So told us the safety committee! But psha! I've the heart of a soldier, All gentleness, mercy, and pity. I loathed to assist at such deeds, And my drum beat its loudest of tunes As we offered to justice offended The blood of the bloody tribunes.
"Away with such foul recollections! No more of the axe and the block; I saw the last fight of the sections, As they fell 'neath our guns at Saint Rock. Young BONAPARTE led us that day; When he sought the Italian frontier, I follow'd my gallant young captain, I follow'd him many a long year.
"We came to an army in rags, Our general was but a boy When we first saw the Austrian flags Flaunt proud in the fields of Savoy. In the glorious year ninety-six, We march'd to the banks of the Po; I carried my drum and my sticks, And we laid the proud Austrian low.
"In triumph we enter'd Milan, We seized on the Mantuan keys; The troops of the Emperor ran, And the Pope he tell down on his knees.— Pierre's comrades here call'd a fresh bottle, And clubbing together their wealth, They drank to the Army of Italy, And General Bonaparte's health."
The drummer now bared his old breast, And show'd us a plenty of scars, Rude presents that Fortune had made him, In fifty victorious wars. "This came when I follow'd bold Kleber— 'Twas shot by a Mameluke gun; And this from an Austrian sabre, When the field of Marengo was won.
"My forehead has many deep furrows, But this is the deepest of all: A Brunswicker made it at Jena, Beside the fair river of Saal. This cross, 'twas the Emperor gave it; (God bless him!) it covers a blow; I had it at Austerlitz fight, As I beat on my drum in the snow.
"'Twas thus that we conquer'd and fought; But wherefore continue the story? There's never a baby in France But has heard of our chief and our glory,— But has heard of our chief and our fame, His sorrows and triumphs can tell, How bravely Napoleon conquer'd, How bravely and sadly he fell.
"It makes my old heart to beat higher, To think of the deeds that I saw; I follow'd bold Ney through the fire, And charged at the side of Murat." And so did old Peter continue His story of twenty brave years; His audience follow'd with comments— Rude comments of curses and tears.
He told how the Prussians in vain Had died in defence of their land; His audience laugh'd at the story, And vow'd that their captain was grand! He had fought the red English, he said, In many a battle of Spain; They cursed the red English, and prayed To meet them and fight them again.
He told them how Russia was lost, Had winter not driven them back; And his company cursed the quick frost, And doubly they cursed the Cossack. He told how the stranger arrived; They wept at the tale of disgrace: And they long'd but for one battle more, The stain of their shame to efface!
"Our country their hordes overrun, We fled to the fields of Champagne, And fought them, though twenty to one, And beat them again and again! Our warrior was conquer'd at last; They bade him his crown to resign; To fate and his country he yielded The rights of himself and his line.
"He came, and among us he stood, Around him we press'd in a throng: We could not regard him for weeping, Who had led us and loved us so long. 'I have led you for twenty long years,' Napoleon said, ere he went 'Wherever was honor I found you, And with you, my sons, am content!
"'Though Europe against me was arm'd, Your chiefs and my people are true; I still might have struggled with fortune, And baffled all Europe with you.
"'But France would have suffer'd the while, 'Tis best that I suffer alone; I go to my place of exile, To write of the deeds we have done.
"'Be true to the king that they give you, We may not embrace ere we part; But, General, reach me your hand, And press me, I pray, to your heart.'
"He called for our battle standard; One kiss to the eagle he gave. 'Dear eagle!' he said, 'may this kiss Long sound in the hearts of the brave!' 'Twas thus that Napoleon left us; Our people were weeping and mute, As he pass'd through the lines of his guard, And our drums beat the notes of salute.
. . . . .
"I look'd when the drumming was o'er, I look'd, but our hero was gone; We were destined to see him once more, When we fought on the Mount of St. John. The Emperor rode through our files; 'Twas June, and a fair Sunday morn; The lines of our warriors for miles Stretch'd wide through the Waterloo corn.
"In thousands we stood on the plain, The red-coats were crowning the height; 'Go scatter yon English,' he said; 'We'll sup, lads, at Brussels tonight.' We answered his voice with a shout; Our eagles were bright in the sun; Our drums and our cannon spoke out, And the thundering battle begun.
"One charge to another succeeds, Like waves that a hurricane bears; All day do our galloping steeds Dash fierce on the enemy's squares. At noon we began the fell onset: We charged up the Englishman's hill; And madly we charged it at sunset— His banners were floating there still.
"—Go to! I will tell you no more; You know how the battle was lost. Ho! fetch me a beaker of wine, And, comrades, I'll give you a toast. I'll give you a curse on all traitors, Who plotted our Emperor's ruin; And a curse on those red-coated English, Whose bayonets help'd our undoing.
"A curse on those British assassins, Who order'd the slaughter of Ney; A curse on Sir Hudson, who tortured The life of our hero away. A curse on all Russians—I hate them— On all Prussian and Austrian fry; And oh! but I pray we may meet them, And fight them again ere I die."
'Twas thus old Peter did conclude His chronicle with curses fit. He spoke the tale in accents rude, In ruder verse I copied it.
Perhaps the tale a moral bears, (All tales in time to this must come,) The story of two hundred years Writ on the parchment of a drum.
What Peter told with drum and stick, Is endless theme for poet's pen: Is found in endless quartos thick, Enormous books by learned men.
And ever since historian writ, And ever since a bard could sing, Doth each exalt with all his wit The noble art of murdering.
We love to read the glorious page, How bold Achilles kill'd his foe: And Turnus, fell'd by Trojans' rage, Went howling to the shades below.
How Godfrey led his red-cross knights, How mad Orlando slash'd and slew; There's not a single bard that writes But doth the glorious theme renew.
And while, in fashion picturesque, The poet rhymes of blood and blows, The grave historian at his desk Describes the same in classic prose.
Go read the works of Reverend Cox, You'll duly see recorded there The history of the self-same knocks Here roughly sung by Drummer Pierre.
Of battles fierce and warriors big, He writes in phrases dull and slow, And waves his cauliflower wig, And shouts "Saint George for Marlborow!"
Take Doctor Southey from the shelf, An LL. D.—a peaceful man; Good Lord, how doth he plume himself Because we beat the Corsican!
From first to last his page is filled With stirring tales how blows were struck. He shows how we the Frenchmen kill'd, And praises God for our good luck.
Some hints, 'tis true, of politics The doctors give and statesman's art: Pierre only bangs his drum and sticks, And understands the bloody part.
He cares not what the cause may be, He is not nice for wrong and right; But show him where's the enemy, He only asks to drum and fight.
They bid him fight,—perhaps he wins. And when he tells the story o'er, The honest savage brags and grins, And only longs to fight once more.
But luck may change, and valor fail, Our drummer, Peter, meet reverse, And with a moral points his tale— The end of all such tales—a curse.
Last year, my love, it was my hap Behind a grenadier to be, And, but he wore a hairy cap, No taller man, methinks, than me.
Prince Albert and the Queen, God wot, (Be blessings on the glorious pair!) Before us passed, I saw them not, I only saw a cap of hair.
Your orthodox historian puts In foremost rank the soldier thus, The red-coat bully in his boots, That hides the march of men from us.
He puts him there in foremost rank, You wonder at his cap of hair: You hear his sabre's cursed clank, His spurs are jingling everywhere.
Go to! I hate him and his trade: Who bade us so to cringe and bend, And all God's peaceful people made To such as him subservient?
Tell me what find we to admire In epaulets and scarlet coats. In men, because they load and fire, And know the art of cutting throats?
. . . . .
Ah, gentle, tender lady mine! The winter wind blows cold and shrill, Come, fill me one more glass of wine, And give the silly fools their will.
And what care we for war and wrack, How kings and heroes rise and fall; Look yonder,* in his coffin black, There lies the greatest of them all!
To pluck him down, and keep him up, Died many million human souls; 'Tis twelve o'clock, and time to sup, Bid Mary heap the fire with coals.
He captured many thousand guns; He wrote "The Great" before his name; And dying, only left his sons The recollection of his shame.
Though more than half the world was his, He died without a rood his own; And borrowed from his enemies Six foot of ground to lie upon.
He fought a thousand glorious wars, And more than half the world was his, And somewhere now, in yonder stars, Can tell, mayhap, what greatness is.
* This ballad was written at Paris at the time of the Second Funeral of Napoleon.
ABD-EL-KADER AT TOULON.
OR, THE CAGED HAWK.
No more, thou lithe and long-winged hawk, of desert-life for thee; No more across the sultry sands shalt thou go swooping free: Blunt idle talons, idle beak, with spurning of thy chain, Shatter against thy cage the wing thou ne'er may'st spread again.
Long, sitting by their watchfires, shall the Kabyles tell the tale Of thy dash from Ben Halifa on the fat Metidja vale; How thou swept'st the desert over, bearing down the wild El Riff, From eastern Beni Salah to western Ouad Shelif;
How thy white burnous welit streaming, like the storm-rack o'er the sea, When thou rodest in the vanward of the Moorish chivalry; How thy razzia was a whirlwind, thy onset a simoom, How thy sword-sweep was the lightning, dealing death from out the gloom!
Nor less quick to slay in battle than in peace to spare and save, Of brave men wisest councillor, of wise councillors most brave; How the eye that flashed destruction could beam gentleness and love, How lion in thee mated lamb, how eagle mated dove!
Availed not or steel or shot 'gainst that charmed life secure, Till cunning France, in last resource, tossed up the golden lure; And the carrion buzzards round him stooped, faithless, to the cast, And the wild hawk of the desert is caught and caged at last.
Weep, maidens of Zerifah, above the laden loom! Scar, chieftains of Al Elmah, your cheeks in grief and gloom! Sons of the Beni Snazam, throw down the useless lance, And stoop your necks and bare your backs to yoke and scourge of France!
Twas not in fight they bore him down; he never cried aman; He never sank his sword before the PRINCE OF FRANGHISTAN; But with traitors all around him, his star upon the wane, He heard the voice of ALLAH, and he would not strive in vain.
They gave him what he asked them; from king to king he spake, As one that plighted word and seal not knoweth how to break; "Let me pass from out my deserts, be't mine own choice where to go, I brook no fettered life to live, a captive and a show."
And they promised, and he trusted them, and proud and calm he came, Upon his black mare riding, girt with his sword of fame. Good steed, good sword, he rendered both unto the Frankish throng; He knew them false and fickle—but a Prince's word is strong.
How have they kept their promise? Turned they the vessel's prow Unto Acre, Alexandria, as they have sworn e'en now? Not so: from Oran northwards the white sails gleam and glance, And the wild hawk of the desert is borne away to France!
Where Toulon's white-walled lazaret looks southward o'er the wave, Sits he that trusted in the word a son of Louis gave. O noble faith of noble heart! And was the warning vain, The text writ by the BOURBON in the blurred black book of Spain?
They have need of thee to gaze on, they have need of thee to grace The triumph of the Prince, to gild the pinchbeck of their race. Words are but wind, conditions must be construed by GUIZOT; Dash out thy heart, thou desert hawk, ere thou art made a show!
THE KING OF BRENTFORD'S TESTAMENT.
The noble King of Brentford Was old and very sick, He summon'd his physicians To wait upon him quick; They stepp'd into their coaches And brought their best physick.
They cramm'd their gracious master With potion and with pill; They drench'd him and they bled him; They could not cure his ill. "Go fetch," says he, "my lawyer, I'd better make my will."
The monarch's royal mandate The lawyer did obey; The thought of six-and-eightpence Did make his heart full gay. "What is't," says he, "your Majesty Would wish of me to-day?"
"The doctors have belabor'd me With potion and with pill: My hours of life are counted, O man of tape and quill! Sit down and mend a pen or two, I want to make my will.
"O'er all the land of Brentford I'm lord, and eke of Kew: I've three-per-cents and five-per-cents; My debts are but a few; And to inherit after me I have but children two.
"Prince Thomas is my eldest son, A sober Prince is he, And from the day we breech'd him Till now, he's twenty-three, He never caused disquiet To his poor Mamma or me.
"At school they never flogg'd him, At college, though not fast, Yet his little-go and great-go He creditably pass'd, And made his year's allowance For eighteen months to last.
"He never owed a shilling. Went never drunk to bed, He has not two ideas Within his honest head— In all respects he differs From my second son, Prince Ned.
"When Tom has half his income Laid by at the year's end, Poor Ned has ne'er a stiver That rightly he may spend, But sponges on a tradesman, Or borrows from a friend.
"While Tom his legal studies Most soberly pursues, Poor Ned most pass his mornings A-dawdling with the Muse: While Tom frequents his banker, Young Ned frequents the Jews.
"Ned drives about in buggies, Tom sometimes takes a 'bus; Ah, cruel fate, why made you My children differ thus? Why make of Tom a DULLARD, And Ned a GENIUS?"
"You'll cut him with a shilling," Exclaimed the man of wits: "I'll leave my wealth," said Brentford, "Sir Lawyer, as befits; And portion both their fortunes Unto their several wits."
"Your Grace knows best," the lawyer said "On your commands I wait." "Be silent, Sir," says Brentford, "A plague upon your prate! Come take your pen and paper, And write as I dictate."
The will as Brentford spoke it Was writ and signed and closed; He bade the lawyer leave him, And turn'd him round and dozed; And next week in the churchyard The good old King reposed.
Tom, dressed in crape and hatband, Of mourners was the chief; In bitter self-upbraidings Poor Edward showed his grief: Tom hid his fat white countenance In his pocket-handkerchief.
Ned's eyes were full of weeping, He falter'd in his walk; Tom never shed a tear, But onwards he did stalk, As pompous, black, and solemn, As any catafalque.
And when the bones of Brentford— That gentle king and just— With bell and book and candle Were duly laid in dust, "Now, gentleman," says Thomas, "Let business be discussed.
"When late our sire beloved Was taken deadly ill, Sir Lawyer, you attended him (I mean to tax your bill); And, as you signed and wrote it, I prithee read the will."
The lawyer wiped his spectacles, And drew the parchment out; And all the Brentford family Sat eager round about: Poor Ned was somewhat anxious, But Tom had ne'er a doubt.
"My son, as I make ready To seek my last long home, Some cares I had for Neddy, But none for thee, my Tom: Sobriety and order You ne'er departed from.
"Ned hath a brilliant genius, And thou a plodding brain; On thee I think with pleasure, On him with doubt and pain." "You see, good Ned," says Thomas, "What he thought about us twain."
"Though small was your allowance, You saved a little store; And those who save a little Shall get a plenty more." As the lawyer read this compliment, Tom's eyes were running o'er.
"The tortoise and the hare, Tom, Set out, at each his pace; The hare it was the fleeter, The tortoise won the race; And since the world's beginning This ever was the case.
"Ned's genius, blithe and singing, Steps gayly o'er the ground; As steadily you trudge it He clears it with a bound; But dulness has stout legs, Tom, And wind that's wondrous sound.
"O'er fruits and flowers alike, Tom, You pass with plodding feet; You heed not one nor t'other But onwards go your beat, While genius stops to loiter With all that he may meet;
"And ever as he wanders, Will have a pretext fine For sleeping in the morning, Or loitering to dine, Or dozing in the shade, Or basking in the shine.
"Your little steady eyes, Tom, Though not so bright as those That restless round about him His flashing genius throws, Are excellently suited To look before your nose.
"Thank heaven, then, for the blinkers It placed before your eyes; The stupidest are weakest, The witty are not wise; Oh, bless your good stupidity, It is your dearest prize!
"And though my lands are wide, And plenty is my gold, Still better gifts from Nature, My Thomas, do you hold— A brain that's thick and heavy, A heart that's dull and cold.
"Too dull to feel depression, Too hard to heed distress, Too cold to yield to passion Or silly tenderness. March on—your road is open To wealth, Tom, and success.
"Ned sinneth in extravagance, And you in greedy lust." ("I' faith," says Ned, "our father Is less polite than just.") "In you, son Tom, I've confidence, But Ned I cannot trust.
"Wherefore my lease and copyholds, My lands and tenements, My parks, my farms, and orchards, My houses and my rents, My Dutch stock and my Spanish stock, My five and three per cents,
"I leave to you, my Thomas—" ("What, all?" poor Edward said. "Well, well, I should have spent them, And Tom's a prudent head.")— "I leave to you, my Thomas,— To you in TRUST for Ned."
The wrath and consternation What poet e'er could trace That at this fatal passage Came o'er Prince Tom his face; The wonder of the company, And honest Ned's amaze!
"'Tis surely some mistake," Good-naturedly cries Ned; The lawyer answered gravely, "'Tis even as I said; 'Twas thus his gracious Majesty Ordain'd on his death-bed.
"See, here the will is witness'd, And here's his autograph." "In truth, our father's writing," Says Edward, with a laugh; "But thou shalt not be a loser, Tom, We'll share it half and half."
"Alas! my kind young gentleman, This sharing cannot be; 'Tis written in the testament That Brentford spoke to me, 'I do forbid Prince Ned to give Prince Tom a halfpenny.
"'He hath a store of money, But ne'er was known to lend it; He never help'd his brother; The poor he ne'er befriended; He hath no need of property Who knows not how to spend it.
"'Poor Edward knows but how to spend, And thrifty Tom to hoard; Let Thomas be the steward then, And Edward be the lord; And as the honest laborer Is worthy his reward,
"'I pray Prince Ned, my second son, And my successor dear, To pay to his intendant Five hundred pounds a year; And to think of his old father, And live and make good cheer.'"
Such was old Brentford's honest testament, He did devise his moneys for the best, And lies in Brentford church in peaceful rest. Prince Edward lived, and money made and spent; But his good sire was wrong, it is confess'd To say his son, young Thomas, never lent. He did. Young Thomas lent at interest, And nobly took his twenty-five per cent.
Long time the famous reign of Ned endured O'er Chiswick, Fulham, Brentford, Putney, Kew, But of extravagance he ne'er was cured. And when both died, as mortal men will do, 'Twas commonly reported that the steward Was very much the richer of the two.
THE WHITE SQUALL.
On deck, beneath the awning, I dozing lay and yawning; It was the gray of dawning, Ere yet the sun arose; And above the funnel's roaring, And the fitful wind's deploring, I heard the cabin snoring With universal nose. I could hear the passengers snorting— I envied their disporting— Vainly I was courting The pleasure of a doze!
So I lay, and wondered why light Came not, and watched the twilight, And the glimmer of the skylight, That shot across the deck; And the binnacle pale and steady, And the dull glimpse of the dead-eye, And the sparks in fiery eddy That whirled from the chimney neck. In our jovial floating prison There was sleep from fore to mizzen, And never a star had risen The hazy sky to speck.
Strange company we harbored, We'd a hundred Jews to larboard, Unwashed, uncombed, unbarbered— Jews black, and brown, and gray; With terror it would seize ye, And make your souls uneasy, To see those Rabbis greasy, Who did naught but scratch and pray: Their dirty children puking— Their dirty saucepans cooking— Their dirty fingers hooking Their swarming fleas away.
To starboard, Turks and Greeks were— Whiskered and brown their cheeks were— Enormous wide their breeks were, Their pipes did puff alway; Each on his mat allotted In silence smoked and squatted, Whilst round their children trotted In pretty, pleasant play. He can't but smile who traces The smiles on those brown faces, And the pretty, prattling graces Of those small heathens gay.
And so the hours kept tolling, And through the ocean rolling Went the brave "Iberia" bowling Before the break of day—
When A SQUALL, upon a sudden, Came o'er the waters scudding; And the clouds began to gather, And the sea was lashed to lather, And the lowering thunder grumbled, And the lightning jumped and tumbled, And the ship, and all the ocean, Woke up in wild commotion. Then the wind set up a howling, And the poodle dog a yowling, And the cocks began a crowing, And the old cow raised a lowing, As she heard the tempest blowing; And fowls and geese did cackle, And the cordage and the tackle Began to shriek and crackle; And the spray dashed o'er the funnels, And down the deck in runnels; And the rushing water soaks all, From the seamen in the fo'ksal To the stokers whose black faces Peer out of their bed-places; And the captain he was bawling, And the sailors pulling, hauling, And the quarter-deck tarpauling Was shivered in the squalling; And the passengers awaken, Most pitifully shaken; And the steward jumps up, and hastens For the necessary basins.
Then the Greeks they groaned and quivered, And they knelt, and moaned, and shivered, As the plunging waters met them, And splashed and overset them; And they call in their emergence Upon countless saints and virgins; And their marrowbones are bended, And they think the world is ended.
And the Turkish women for'ard Were frightened and behorror'd; And shrieking and bewildering, The mothers clutched their children; The men sung "Allah! Illah! Mashallah Bismillah!" As the warring waters doused them And splashed them and soused them, And they called upon the Prophet, And thought but little of it.
Then all the fleas in Jewry Jumped up and bit like fury; And the progeny of Jacob Did on the main-deck wake up (I wot those greasy Rabbins Would never pay for cabins); And each man moaned and jabbered in His filthy Jewish gaberdine, In woe and lamentation, And howling consternation. And the splashing water drenches Their dirty brats and wenches; And they crawl from bales and benches In a hundred thousand stenches.
This was the White Squall famous, Which latterly o'ercame us, And which all will well remember On the 28th September; When a Prussian captain of Lancers (Those tight-laced, whiskered prancers) Came on the deck astonished, By that wild squall admonished, And wondering cried, "Potztausend, Wie ist der Stuerm jetzt brausend?" And looked at Captain Lewis, Who calmly stood and blew his Cigar in all the hustle, And scorned the tempest's tussle, And oft we've thought thereafter How he beat the storm to laughter; For well he knew his vessel With that vain wind could wrestle; And when a wreck we thought her, And doomed ourselves to slaughter, How gayly he fought her, And through the hubbub brought her, And as the tempest caught her, Cried, "GEORGE! SOME BRANDY-AND-WATER!"
And when, its force expended, The harmless storm was ended, And as the sunrise splendid Came blushing o'er the sea; I thought, as day was breaking, My little girls were waking, And smiling, and making A prayer at home for me.
PEG OF LIMAVADDY.
Riding from Coleraine (Famed for lovely Kitty), Came a Cockney bound Unto Derry city; Weary was his soul, Shivering and sad, he Bumped along the road Leads to Limavaddy.
Mountains stretch'd around, Gloomy was their tinting, And the horse's hoofs Made a dismal clinting; Wind upon the heath Howling was and piping, On the heath and bog, Black with many a snipe in. Mid the bogs of black, Silver pools were flashing, Crows upon their sides Picking were and splashing. Cockney on the car Closer folds his plaidy, Grumbling at the road Leads to Limavaddy.
Through the crashing woods Autumn brawld and bluster'd, Tossing round about Leaves the hue of mustard Yonder lay Lough Foyle, Which a storm was whipping, Covering with mist Lake, and shores and shipping. Up and down the hill (Nothing could be bolder), Horse went with a raw Bleeding on his shoulder. "Where are horses changed?" Said I to the laddy Driving on the box: "Sir, at Limavaddy."
Limavaddy inn's But a humble bait-house, Where you may procure Whiskey and potatoes; Landlord at the door Gives a smiling welcome— To the shivering wights Who to his hotel come.
Landlady within Sits and knits a stocking, With a wary foot Baby's cradle rocking. To the chimney nook Having, found admittance, There I watch a pup Playing with two kittens; (Playing round the fire), Which of blazing turf is, Roaring to the pot Which bubbles with the murphies. And the cradled babe Fond the mother nursed it, Singing it a song As she twists the worsted!
Up and down the stair Two more young ones patter (Twins were never seen Dirtier nor fatter). Both have mottled legs, Both have snubby noses, Both have— Here the host Kindly interposes: "Sure you must be froze With the sleet and hail, sir: So will you have some punch, Or will you have some ale, sir?"
Presently a maid Enters with the liquor (Half a pint of ale Frothing in a beaker). Gads! didn't know What my beating heart meant: Hebe's self I thought Entered the apartment. As she came she smiled, And the smile bewitching, On my word and honor, Lighted all the kitchen!
With a curtsy neat Greeting the new comer, Lovely, smiling Peg Offers me the rummer; But my trembling hand Up the beaker tilted, And the glass of ale Every drop I spilt it: Spilt it every drop (Dames, who read my volumes, Pardon such a word) On my what-d'ye-call-'ems!
Witnessing the sight Of that dire disaster, Out began to laugh Missis, maid, and master; Such a merry peal 'Specially Miss Peg's was, (As the glass of ale Trickling down my legs was,) That the joyful sound Of that mingling laughter Echoed in my ears Many a long day after.
Such a silver peal! In the meadows listening, You who've heard the bells Ringing to a christening; You who ever heard Caradori pretty, Smiling like an angel, Singing "Giovinetti;" Fancy Peggy's laugh, Sweet, and clear, and cheerful, At my pantaloons With half a pint of beer full!
When the laugh was done, Peg, the pretty hussy, Moved about the room Wonderfully busy; Now she looks to see If the kettle keep hot; Now she rubs the spoons, Now she cleans the teapot; Now she sets the cups Trimly and secure: Now she scours a pot, And so it was I drew her.
Thus it was I drew her Scouring of a kettle, (Faith! her blushing cheeks Redden'd on the metal!) Ah! but 'tis in vain That I try to sketch it; The pot perhaps is like, But Peggy's face is wretched. No the best of lead And of indian-rubber Never could depict That sweet kettle-scrubber!
See her as she moves Scarce the ground she touches, Airy as a fay, Graceful as a duchess; Bare her rounded arm, Bare her little leg is, Vestris never show'd Ankles like to Peggy's. Braided is her hair, Soft her look and modest, Slim her little waist Comfortably bodiced.
This I do declare, Happy is the laddy Who the heart can share Of Peg of Limavaddy. Married if she were Blest would be the daddy Of the children fair Of Peg of Limavaddy. Beauty is not rare In the land of Paddy, Fair beyond compare Is Peg of Limavaddy.
Citizen or Squire, Tory, Whig, or Radi- cal would all desire Peg of Limavaddy. Had I Homer's fire, Or that of Serjeant Taddy, Meetly I'd admire Peg of Limavaddy. And till I expire, Or till I grow mad I Will sing unto my lyre Peg of Limavaddy!
But yesterday a naked sod The dandies sneered from Rotten Row, And cantered o'er it to and fro: And see 'tis done! As though 'twere by a wizard's rod A blazing arch of lucid glass Leaps like a fountain from the grass To meet the sun!
A quiet green but few days since, With cattle browsing in the shade: And here are lines of bright arcade In order raised! A palace as for fairy Prince, A rare pavilion, such as man Saw never since mankind began, And built and glazed!
A peaceful place it was but now, And lo! within its shining streets A multitude of nations meets; A countless throng I see beneath the crystal bow, And Gaul and German, Russ and Turk, Each with his native handiwork And busy tongue.
I felt a thrill of love and awe To mark the different garb of each, The changing tongue, the various speech Together blent: A thrill, methinks, like His who saw "All people dwelling upon earth Praising our God with solemn mirth And one consent."
High Sovereign, in your Royal state, Captains, and chiefs, and councillors, Before the lofty palace doors Are open set,— Hush ere you pass the shining gate: Hush! ere the heaving curtain draws, And let the Royal pageant pause A moment yet.
People and prince a silence keep! Bow coronet and kingly crown. Helmet and plume, bow lowly down, The while the priest, Before the splendid portal step, (While still the wondrous banquet stays,) From Heaven supreme a blessing prays Upon the feast.
Then onwards let the triumph march; Then let the loud artillery roll, And trumpets ring, and joy-bells toll, And pass the gate. Pass underneath the shining arch, 'Neath which the leafy elms are green; Ascend unto your throne, O Queen! And take your state.
Behold her in her Royal place; A gentle lady; and the hand That sways the sceptre of this land, How frail and weak! Soft is the voice, and fair the face: She breathes amen to prayer and hymn; No wonder that her eyes are dim, And pale her cheek.
This moment round her empire's shores The winds of Austral winter sweep, And thousands lie in midnight sleep At rest to-day. Oh! awful is that crown of yours, Queen of innumerable realms Sitting beneath the budding elms Of English May!
A wondrous scepter 'tis to bear: Strange mystery of God which set Upon her brow yon coronet,— The foremost crown Of all the world, on one so fair! That chose her to it from her birth, And bade the sons of all the earth To her bow down.
The representatives of man Here from the far Antipodes, And from the subject Indian seas, In Congress meet; From Afric and from Hindustan, From Western continent and isle, The envoys of her empire pile Gifts at her feet;
Our brethren cross the Atlantic tides, Loading the gallant decks which once Roared a defiance to our guns, With peaceful store; Symbol of peace, their vessel rides!* O'er English waves float Star and Stripe, And firm their friendly anchors gripe The father shore!
From Rhine and Danube, Rhone and Seine, As rivers from their sources gush, The swelling floods of nations rush, And seaward pour: From coast to coast in friendly chain, With countless ships we bridge the straits, And angry ocean separates Europe no more.
From Mississippi and from Nile— From Baltic, Ganges, Bosphorous, In England's ark assembled thus Are friend and guest. Look down the mighty sunlit aisle, And see the sumptuous banquet set, The brotherhood of nations met. Around the feast!
Along the dazzling colonnade, Far as the straining eye can gaze, Gleam cross and fountain, bell and vase, In vistas bright; And statues fair of nymph and maid, And steeds and pards and Amazons, Writhing and grappling in the bronze, In endless fight.
To deck the glorious roof and dome, To make the Queen a canopy, The peaceful hosts of industry Their standards bear. Yon are the works of Brahmin loom; On such a web of Persian thread The desert Arab bows his head And cries his prayer.
Look yonder where the engines toil: These England's arms of conquest are, The trophies of her bloodless war: Brave weapons these. Victorians over wave and soil, With these she sails, she weaves, she tills, Pierces the everlasting hills And spans the seas.
The engine roars upon its race, The shuttle whirs the woof, The people hum from floor to roof, With Babel tongue. The fountain in the basin plays, The chanting organ echoes clear, An awful chorus 'tis to hear, A wondrous song!
Swell, organ, swell your trumpet blast, March, Queen and Royal pageant, march By splendid aisle and springing arch Of this fair Hall: And see! above the fabric vast, God's boundless Heaven is bending blue, God's peaceful sunlight's beaming through, And shines o'er all.
* The U. S. frigate "St. Lawrence."
THE BALLAD OF BOUILLABAISSE.
A street there is in Paris famous, For which no rhyme our language yields, Rue Neuve des Petits Champs its name is— The New Street of the Little Fields. And here's an inn, not rich and splendid, But still in comfortable case; The which in youth I oft attended, To eat a bowl of Bouillabaisse.
This Bouillabaisse a noble dish is— A sort of soup or broth, or brew, Or hotchpotch of all sorts of fishes, That Greenwich never could outdo; Green herbs, red peppers, mussels, saffron, Soles, onions, garlic, roach, and dace: All these you eat at TERRE'S tavern, In that one dish of Bouillabaisse.
Indeed, a rich and savory stew 'tis; And true philosophers, methinks, Who love all sorts of natural beauties, Should love good victuals and good drinks. And Cordelier or Benedictine Might gladly, sure, his lot embrace, Nor find a fast-day too afflicting, Which served him up a Bouillabaisse.
I wonder if the house still there is? Yes, here the lamp is, as before; The smiling red-checked ecaillere is Still opening oysters at the door. Is TERRE still alive and able? I recollect his droll grimace: He'd come and smile before your table, And hope you liked your Bouillabaisse.
We enter—nothing's changed or older. "How's Monsieur TERRE, waiter, pray?" The waiter stares and shrugs his shoulder— "Monsieur is dead this many a day." "It is the lot of saint and sinner, So honest TERRE'S run his race." "What will Monsieur require for dinner?" "Say, do you still cook Bouillabaisse?"
"Oh, oui, Monsieur," 's the waiter's answer; "Quel vin Monsieur desire-t-il?" "Tell me a good one."—"That I can, Sir: The Chambertin with yellow seal." "So TERRE'S gone," I say, and sink in My old accustom'd corner-place, "He's done with feasting and with drinking, With Burgundy and Bouillabaisse."
My old accustom'd corner here is, The table still is in the nook; Ah! vanish'd many a busy year is This well-known chair since last I took. When first I saw ye, cari luoghi, I'd scarce a beard upon my face, And now a grizzled, grim old fogy, I sit and wait for Bouillabaisse.
Where are you, old companions trusty Of early days here met to dine? Come, waiter! quick, a flagon crusty— I'll pledge them in the good old wine. The kind old voices and old faces My memory can quick retrace; Around the board they take their places, And share the wine and Bouillabaisse.
There's JACK has made a wondrous marriage; There's laughing TOM is laughing yet; There's brave AUGUSTUS drives his carriage; There's poor old FRED in the Gazette; On JAMES'S head the grass is growing; Good Lord! the world has wagged apace Since here we set the Claret flowing, And drank, and ate the Bouillabaisse.
Ah me! how quick the days are flitting! I mind me of a time that's gone, When here I'd sit, as now I'm sitting, In this same place—but not alone. A fair young form was nestled near me, A dear, dear face looked fondly up, And sweetly spoke and smiled to cheer me —There's no one now to share my cup.
. . . . .
I drink it as the Fates ordain it. Come, fill it, and have done with rhymes: Fill up the lonely glass, and drain it In memory of dear old times. Welcome the wine, whate'er the seal is; And sit you down and say your grace With thankful heart, whate'er the meal is. —Here comes the smoking Bouillabaisse!
THE MAHOGANY TREE.
Christmas is here: Winds whistle shrill, Icy and chill, Little care we: Little we fear Weather without, Sheltered about The Mahogany Tree.
Once on the boughs Birds of rare plume Sang, in its bloom; Night-birds are we: Here we carouse, Singing like them, Perched round the stem Of the jolly old tree.
Here let us sport, Boys, as we sit; Laughter and wit Flashing so free. Life is but short— When we are gone, Let them sing on, Round the old tree.
Evenings we knew, Happy as this; Faces we miss, Pleasant to see. Kind hearts and true, Gentle and just, Peace to your dust! We sing round the tree.
Care, like a dun, Lurks at the gate: Let the dog wait; Happy we'll be! Drink, every one; Pile up the coals, Fill the red bowls, Round the old tree!
Drain we the cup.— Friend, art afraid? Spirits are laid In the Red Sea. Mantle it up; Empty it yet; Let us forget, Round the old tree.
Sorrows, begone! Life and its ills, Duns and their bills, Bid we to flee. Come with the dawn, Blue-devil sprite, Leave us to-night, Round the old tree.
THE YANKEE VOLUNTEERS.
"A surgeon of the United States' army says that on inquiring of the Captain of his company, he found that NINE-TENTHS of the men had enlisted on account of some female difficulty."—Morning Paper.
Ye Yankee Volunteers! It makes my bosom bleed When I your story read, Though oft 'tis told one. So—in both hemispheres The women are untrue, And cruel in the New, As in the Old one!
What—in this company Of sixty sons of Mars, Who march 'neath Stripes and Stars, With fife and horn, Nine-tenths of all we see Along the warlike line Had but one cause to join This Hope Forlorn?
Deserters from the realm Where tyrant Venus reigns, You slipp'd her wicked chains, Fled and out-ran her. And now, with sword and helm, Together banded are Beneath the Stripe and Star Embroider'd banner!
And is it so with all The warriors ranged in line, With lace bedizen'd fine And swords gold-hilted— Yon lusty corporal, Yon color-man who gripes The flag of Stars and Stripes— Has each been jilted?
Come, each man of this line, The privates strong and tall, "The pioneers and all," The fifer nimble— Lieutenant and Ensign, Captain with epaulets, And Blacky there, who beats The clanging cymbal—
O cymbal-beating black, Tell us, as thou canst feel, Was it some Lucy Neal Who caused thy ruin? O nimble fifing Jack, And drummer making din So deftly on the skin, With thy rat-tattooing—
Confess, ye volunteers, Lieutenant and Ensign, And Captain of the line, As bold as Roman— Confess, ye grenadiers, However strong and tall, The Conqueror of you all Is Woman, Woman!
No corselet is so proof But through it from her bow The shafts that she can throw Will pierce and rankle. No champion e'er so tough, But's in the struggle thrown, And tripp'd and trodden down By her slim ankle.
Thus always it was ruled: And when a woman smiled, The strong man was a child, The sage a noodle. Alcides was befool'd, And silly Samson shorn, Long, long ere you were horn, Poor Yankee Doodle!
THE PEN AND THE ALBUM.
"I am Miss Catherine's book," the album speaks; "I've lain among your tomes these many weeks; I'm tired of their old coats and yellow cheeks.
"Quick, Pen! and write a line with a good grace: Come! draw me off a funny little face; And, prithee, send me back to Chesham Place."
"I am my master's faithful old Gold Pen; I've served him three long years, and drawn since then Thousands of funny women and droll men.
"O Album! could I tell you all his ways And thoughts, since I am his, these thousand days, Lord, how your pretty pages I'd amaze!"
"His ways? his thoughts? Just whisper me a few; Tell me a curious anecdote or two, And write 'em quickly off, good Mordan, do!"
"Since he my faithful service did engage To follow him through his queer pilgrimage, I've drawn and written many a line and page.
"Caricatures I scribbled have, and rhymes, And dinner-cards, and picture pantomimes; And merry little children's books at times.
"I've writ the foolish fancy of his brain; The aimless jest that, striking, hath caused pain; The idle word that he'd wish back again.
. . . . . .
"I've help'd him to pen many a line for bread; To joke with sorrow aching in his head; And make your laughter when his own heart bled.
"I've spoke with men of all degree and sort— Peers of the land, and ladies of the Court; Oh, but I've chronicled a deal of sport!
"Feasts that were ate a thousand days ago, Biddings to wine that long hath ceased to flow, Gay meetings with good fellows long laid low;
"Summons to bridal, banquet, burial, ball, Tradesman's polite reminders of his small Account due Christmas last—I've answered all.
"Poor Diddler's tenth petition for a half- Guinea; Miss Bunyan's for an autograph; So I refuse, accept, lament, or laugh,
"Condole, congratulate, invite, praise, scoff. Day after day still dipping in my trough, And scribbling pages after pages off.
"Day after day the labor's to be done, And sure as comes the postman and the sun, The indefatigable ink must run.
. . . . .
"Go back, my pretty little gilded tome, To a fair mistress and a pleasant home, Where soft hearts greet us whensoe'er we come!
"Dear, friendly eyes, with constant kindness lit, However rude my verse, or poor my wit, Or sad or gay my mood, you welcome it.
"Kind lady! till my last of lines is penn'd, My master's love, grief, laughter, at an end, Whene'er I write your name, may I write friend!
"Not all are so that were so in past years; Voices, familiar once, no more he hears; Names, often writ, are blotted out in tears.
"So be it:—joys will end and tears will dry— Album! my master bids me wish good-by, He'll send you to your mistress presently.
"And thus with thankful heart he closes you; Blessing the happy hour when a friend he knew So gentle, and so generous, and so true.
"Nor pass the words as idle phrases by; Stranger! I never writ a flattery, Nor sign'd the page that register'd a lie."
MRS. KATHERINE'S LANTERN.
WRITTEN IN A LADY'S ALBUM.
"Coming from a gloomy court, Place of Israelite resort, This old lamp I've brought with me. Madam, on its panes you'll see The initials K and E."
"An old lantern brought to me? Ugly, dingy, battered, black!" (Here a lady I suppose Turning up a pretty nose)— "Pray, sir, take the old thing back. I've no taste for bricabrac."
"Please to mark the letters twain—" (I'm supposed to speak again)— "Graven on the lantern pane. Can you tell me who was she, Mistress of the flowery wreath, And the anagram beneath— The mysterious K E?
"Full a hundred years are gone Since the little beacon shone From a Venice balcony: There, on summer nights, it hung, And her Lovers came and sung To their beautiful K E.
"Hush! in the canal below Don't you hear the plash of oars Underneath the lantern's glow, And a thrilling voice begins To the sound of mandolins? Begins singing of amore And delire and dolore— O the ravishing tenore!
"Lady, do you know the tune? Ah, we all of us have hummed it! I've an old guitar has thrummed it, Under many a changing moon. Shall I try it? Do Re MI . . What is this? Ma foi, the fact is, That my hand is out of practice, And my poor old fiddle cracked is, And a man—I let the truth out,— Who's had almost every tooth out, Cannot sing as once he sung, When he was young as you are young, When he was young and lutes were strung, And love-lamps in the casement hung."
Seventeen rosebuds in a ring, Thick with sister flowers beset, In a fragrant coronet, Lucy's servants this day bring. Be it the birthday wreath she wears Fresh and fair, and symbolling The young number of her years, The sweet blushes of her spring.
Types of youth and love and hope! Friendly hearts your mistress greet, Be you ever fair and sweet, And grow lovelier as you ope! Gentle nursling, fenced about With fond care, and guarded so, Scarce you've heard of storms without, Frosts that bite or winds that blow!
Kindly has your life begun, And we pray that heaven may send To our floweret a warm sun, A calm summer, a sweet end. And where'er shall be her home, May she decorate the place; Still expanding into bloom, And developing in grace.
THE CANE-BOTTOM'D CHAIR.
In tattered old slippers that toast at the bars, And a ragged old jacket perfumed with cigars, Away from the world and its toils and its cares, I've a snug little kingdom up four pair of stairs.
To mount to this realm is a toil, to be sure, But the fire there is bright and the air rather pure; And the view I behold on a sunshiny day Is grand through the chimney-pots over the way.
This snug little chamber is cramm'd in all nooks With worthless old knick-knacks and silly old books, And foolish old odds and foolish old ends, Crack'd bargains from brokers, cheap keepsakes from friends.
Old armor, prints, pictures, pipes, china, (all crack'd,) Old rickety tables, and chairs broken-backed; A twopenny treasury, wondrous to see; What matter? 'tis pleasant to you, friend, and me.
No better divan need the Sultan require, Than the creaking old sofa that basks by the fire; And 'tis wonderful, surely, what music you get From the rickety, ramshackle, wheezy spinet.
That praying-rug came from a Turcoman's camp; By Tiber once twinkled that brazen old lamp; A mameluke fierce yonder dagger has drawn: 'Tis a murderous knife to toast muffins upon.
Long, long through the hours, and the night, and the chimes, Here we talk of old books, and old friends, and old times; As we sit in a fog made of rich Latakie This chamber is pleasant to you, friend, and me.
But of all the cheap treasures that garnish my nest, There's one that I love and I cherish the best: For the finest of couches that's padded with hair I never would change thee, my cane-bottom'd chair.
'Tis a bandy-legg'd, high-shoulder'd, worm-eaten seat, With a creaking old back, and twisted old feet; But since the fair morning when Fanny sat there, I bless thee and love thee, old cane-bottom'd chair.
If chairs have but feeling, in holding such charms, A thrill must have pass'd through your wither'd old arms! I look'd, and I long'd, and I wish'd in despair; I wish'd myself turn'd to a cane-bottom'd chair.
It was but a moment she sat in this place, She'd a scarf on her neck, and a smile on her face! A smile on her face, and a rose in her hair, And she sat there, and bloom'd in my cane-bottom'd chair.
And so I have valued my chair ever since, Like the shrine of a saint, or the throne of a prince; Saint Fanny, my patroness sweet I declare, The queen of my heart and my cane-bottom'd chair.
When the candles burn low, and the company's gone, In the silence of night as I sit here alone— I sit here alone, but we yet are a pair— My Fanny I see in my cane-bottom'd chair.
She comes from the past and revisits my room; She looks as she then did, all beauty and bloom; So smiling and tender, so fresh and so fair, And yonder she sits in my cane-bottom'd chair.
PISCATOR AND PISCATRIX.
LINES WRITTEN TO AN ALBUM PRINT.
As on this pictured page I look, This pretty tale of line and hook As though it were a novel-book Amuses and engages: I know them both, the boy and girl; She is the daughter of the Earl, The lad (that has his hair in curl) My lord the County's page has.
A pleasant place for such a pair! The fields lie basking in the glare; No breath of wind the heavy air Of lazy summer quickens. Hard by you see the castle tall; The village nestles round the wall, As round about the hen its small Young progeny of chickens.
It is too hot to pace the keep; To climb the turret is too steep; My lord the earl is dozing deep, His noonday dinner over: The postern-warder is asleep (Perhaps they've bribed him not to peep): And so from out the gate they creep, And cross the fields of clover.
Their lines into the brook they launch; He lays his cloak upon a branch, To guarantee his Lady Blanche 's delicate complexion: He takes his rapier, from his haunch, That beardless doughty champion staunch; He'd drill it through the rival's paunch That question'd his affection!
O heedless pair of sportsmen slack! You never mark, though trout or jack, Or little foolish stickleback, Your baited snares may capture. What care has SHE for line and hook? She turns her back upon the brook, Upon her lover's eyes to look In sentimental rapture.
O loving pair! as thus I gaze Upon the girl who smiles always, The little hand that ever plays Upon the lover's shoulder; In looking at your pretty shapes, A sort of envious wish escapes (Such as the Fox had for the Grapes) The Poet your beholder.
To be brave, handsome, twenty-two; With nothing else on earth to do, But all day long to bill and coo: It were a pleasant calling. And had I such a partner sweet; A tender heart for mine to beat, A gentle hand my clasp to meet;— I'd let the world flow at my feet, And never heed its brawling.
THE ROSE UPON MY BALCONY.
The rose upon my balcony the morning air perfuming, Was leafless all the winter time and pining for the spring; You ask me why her breath is sweet, and why her cheek is blooming, It is because the sun is out and birds begin to sing.
The nightingale, whose melody is through the greenwood ringing, Was silent when the boughs were bare and winds were blowing keen: And if, Mamma, you ask of me the reason of his singing, It is because the sun is out and all the leaves are green.
Thus each performs his part, Mamma; the birds have found their voices, The blowing rose a flush, Mamma, her bonny cheek to dye; And there's sunshine in my heart, Mamma, which wakens and rejoices, And so I sing and blush, Mamma, and that's the reason why.
RONSARD TO HIS MISTRESS.
"Quand vous serez bien vielle, le soir a la chandelle Assise aupres du feu devisant et filant, Direz, chantant mes vers en vous esmerveillant, Ronsard m'a celebre du temps que j'etois belle."
Some winter night, shut snugly in Beside the fagot in the hall, I think I see you sit and spin, Surrounded by your maidens all. Old tales are told, old songs are sung, Old days come back to memory; You say, "When I was fair and young, A poet sang of me!"
There's not a maiden in your hall, Though tired and sleepy ever so, But wakes, as you my name recall, And longs the history to know. And, as the piteous tale is said, Of lady cold and lover true, Each, musing, carries it to bed, And sighs and envies you!
"Our lady's old and feeble now," They'll say; "she once was fresh and fair, And yet she spurn'd her lover's vow, And heartless left him to despair: The lover lies in silent earth, No kindly mate the lady cheers; She sits beside a lonely hearth, With threescore and ten years!"
Ah! dreary thoughts and dreams are those, But wherefore yield me to despair, While yet the poet's bosom glows, While yet the dame is peerless fair! Sweet lady mine! while yet 'tis time Requite my passion and my truth, And gather in their blushing prime The roses of your youth!
AT THE CHURCH GATE.
Although I enter not, Yet round about the spot Ofttimes I hover: And near the sacred gate, With longing eyes I wait, Expectant of her.
The Minster bell tolls out Above the city's rout, And noise and humming: They've hush'd the Minster bell: The organ 'gins to swell: She's coming, she's coming!
My lady comes at last, Timid, and stepping fast, And hastening hither, With modest eyes downcast: She comes—she's here—she's past— May heaven go with her!
Kneel, undisturb'd, fair Saint! Pour out your praise or plaint Meekly and duly; I will not enter there, To sully your pure prayer With thoughts unruly.
But suffer me to pace Round the forbidden place, Lingering a minute Like outcast spirits who wait And see through heaven's gate Angels within it.
THE AGE OF WISDOM.
Ho, pretty page, with the dimpled chin, That never has known the Barber's shear, All your wish is woman to win, This is the way that boys begin,— Wait till you come to Forty Year.
Curly gold locks cover foolish brains, Billing and cooing is all your cheer; Sighing and singing of midnight strains, Under Bonnybell's window panes,— Wait till you come to Forty Year.
Forty times over let Michaelmas pass, Grizzling hair the brain doth clear— Then you know a boy is an ass, Then you know the worth of a lass, Once you have come to Forty Year.
Pledge me round, I bid ye declare, All good fellows whose beards are gray, Did not the fairest of the fair Common grow and wearisome ere Ever a month was passed away?
The reddest lips that ever have kissed, The brightest eyes that ever have shone, May pray and whisper, and we not list, Or look away, and never be missed, Ere yet ever a month is gone.
Gillian's dead, God rest her bier, How I loved her twenty years syne! Marian's married, but I sit here Alone and merry at Forty Year, Dipping my nose in the Gascon wine.
SORROWS OF WERTHER.
WERTHER had a love for Charlotte Such as words could never utter; Would you know how first he met her? She was cutting bread and butter.
Charlotte was a married lady, And a moral man was Werther, And, for all the wealth of Indies, Would do nothing for to hurt her.
So he sighed and pined and ogled, And his passion boiled and bubbled, Till he blew his silly brains out, And no more was by it troubled.
Charlotte, having seen his body Borne before her on a shutter, Like a well-conducted person, Went on cutting bread and butter.
A DOE IN THE CITY.
Little KITTY LORIMER, Fair, and young, and witty, What has brought your ladyship Rambling to the City?
All the Stags in Capel Court Saw her lightly trip it; All the lads of Stock Exchange Twigg'd her muff and tippet.
With a sweet perplexity, And a mystery pretty, Threading through Threadneedle Street, Trots the little KITTY.
What was my astonishment— What was my compunction, When she reached the Offices Of the Didland Junction!
Up the Didland stairs she went, To the Didland door, Sir; Porters lost in wonderment, Let her pass before, Sir.
"Madam," says the old chief Clerk, "Sure we can't admit ye." "Where's the Didland Junction deed?" Dauntlessly says KITTY.
"If you doubt my honesty, Look at my receipt, Sir." Up then jumps the old chief Clerk, Smiling as he meets her.
KITTY at the table sits (Whither the old Clerk leads her), "I deliver this," she says, "As my act and deed, Sir."
When I heard these funny words Come from lips so pretty; This, I thought, should surely be Subject for a ditty.
What! are ladies stagging it? Sure, the more's the pity; But I've lost my heart to her,— Naughty little KITTY.
THE LAST OF MAY.
(IN REPLY TO AN INVITATION DATED ON THE 1ST.)
By fate's benevolent award, Should I survive the day, I'll drink a bumper with my lord Upon the last of May.
That I may reach that happy time The kindly gods I pray, For are not ducks and pease in prime Upon the last of May?
At thirty boards, 'twixt now and then, My knife and fork shall play; But better wine and better men I shall not meet in May.
And though, good friend, with whom I dine, Your honest head is gray, And, like this grizzled head of mine, Has seen its last of May;
Yet, with a heart that's ever kind, A gentle spirit gay, You've spring perennial in your mind, And round you make a May!
"AH, BLEAK AND BARREN WAS THE MOOR."
Ah! bleak and barren was the moor, Ah! loud and piercing was the storm, The cottage roof was shelter'd sure, The cottage hearth was bright and warm— An orphan-boy the lattice pass'd, And, as he mark'd its cheerful glow, Felt doubly keen the midnight blast, And doubly cold the fallen snow.
They marked him as he onward press'd, With fainting heart and weary limb; Kind voices bade him turn and rest, And gentle faces welcomed him. The dawn is up—the guest is gone, The cottage hearth is blazing still: Heaven pity all poor wanderers lone! Hark to the wind upon the hill!
SONG OF THE VIOLET.
A humble flower long time I pined Upon the solitary plain, And trembled at the angry wind, And shrunk before the bitter rain. And oh! 'twas in a blessed hour A passing wanderer chanced to see, And, pitying the lonely flower, To stoop and gather me.
I fear no more the tempest rude, On dreary heath no more I pine, But left my cheerless solitude, To deck the breast of Caroline. Alas our days are brief at best, Nor long I fear will mine endure, Though shelter'd here upon a breast So gentle and so pure.
It draws the fragrance from my leaves, It robs me of my sweetest breath, And every time it falls and heaves, It warns me of my coming death. But one I know would glad forego All joys of life to be as I; An hour to rest on that sweet breast, And then, contented, die!
Beside the old hall-fire—upon my nurse's knee, Of happy fairy days—what tales were told to me! I thought the world was once—all peopled with princesses, And my heart would beat to hear—their loves and their distresses: And many a quiet night,—in slumber sweet and deep, The pretty fairy people—would visit me in sleep.
I saw them in my dreams—come flying east and west, With wondrous fairy gifts—the newborn babe they bless'd; One has brought a jewel—and one a crown of gold, And one has brought a curse—but she is wrinkled and old. The gentle queen turns pale—to hear those words of sin, But the king he only laughs—and bids the dance begin.
The babe has grown to be—the fairest of the land, And rides the forest green—a hawk upon her hand, An ambling palfrey white—a golden robe and crown: I've seen her in my dreams—riding up and down: And heard the ogre laugh—as she fell into his snare, At the little tender creature—who wept and tore her hair!
But ever when it seemed—her need was at the sorest, A prince in shining mail—comes prancing through the forest, A waving ostrich-plume—a buckler burnished bright; I've seen him in my dreams—good sooth! a gallant knight. His lips are coral red—beneath a dark moustache; See how he waves his hand—and how his blue eyes flash!
"Come forth, thou Paynim knight!"—he shouts in accents clear. The giant and the maid—both tremble his voice to hear. Saint Mary guard him well!—he draws his falchion keen, The giant and the knight—are fighting on the green. I see them in my dreams—his blade gives stroke on stroke, The giant pants and reels—and tumbles like an oak!
With what a blushing grace—he falls upon his knee And takes the lady's hand—and whispers, "You are free!" Ah! happy childish tales—of knight and faerie! I waken from my dreams—but there's ne'er a knight for me; I waken from my dreams—and wish that I could be A child by the old hall-fire—upon my nurse's knee!
Wearied arm and broken sword Wage in vain the desperate fight: Round him press a countless horde, He is but a single knight. Hark! a cry of triumph shrill Through the wilderness resounds, As, with twenty bleeding wounds, Sinks the warrior, fighting still.
Now they heap the fatal pyre, And the torch of death they light: Ah! 'tis hard to die of fire! Who will shield the captive knight? Round the stake with fiendish cry Wheel and dance the savage crowd, Cold the victim's mien, and proud. And his breast is bared to die.
Who will shield the fearless heart? Who avert the murderous blade? From the throng, with sudden start, See there springs an Indian maid. Quick she stands before the knight, "Loose the chain, unbind the ring, I am daughter of the king, And I claim the Indian right!"
Dauntlessly aside she flings Lifted axe and thirsty knife; Fondly to his heart she clings, And her bosom guards his life! In the woods of Powhattan, Still 'tis told by Indian fires, How a daughter of their sires Saved the captive Englishman.
Returning from the cruel fight How pale and faint appears my knight! He sees me anxious at his side; "Why seek, my love, your wounds to hide? Or deem your English girl afraid To emulate the Indian maid?"
Be mine my husband's grief to cheer In peril to be ever near; Whate'er of ill or woe betide, To bear it clinging at his side; The poisoned stroke of fate to ward, His bosom with my own to guard: Ah! could it spare a pang to his, It could not know a purer bliss! 'Twould gladden as it felt the smart, And thank the hand that flung the dart!
LOVE-SONGS MADE EASY.
WHAT MAKES MY HEART TO THRILL AND GLOW?
THE MAYFAIR LOVE-SONG.
Winter and summer, night and morn, I languish at this table dark; My office window has a corn- er looks into St. James's Park. I hear the foot-guards' bugle-horn, Their tramp upon parade I mark; I am a gentleman forlorn, I am a Foreign-Office Clerk.
My toils, my pleasures, every one, I find are stale, and dull, and slow; And yesterday, when work was done, I felt myself so sad and low, I could have seized a sentry's gun My wearied brains out out to blow. What is it makes my blood to run? What makes my heart to beat and glow?
My notes of hand are burnt, perhaps? Some one has paid my tailor's bill? No: every morn the tailor raps; My I O U's are extant still. I still am prey of debt and dun; My elder brother's stout and well. What is it makes my blood to run? What makes my heart to glow and swell?
I know my chief's distrust and hate; He says I'm lazy, and I shirk. Ah! had I genius like the late Right Honorable Edmund Burke! My chance of all promotion's gone, I know it is,—he hates me so. What is it makes my blood to run, And all my heart to swell and glow?
Why, why is all so bright and gay? There is no change, there is no cause; My office-time I found to-day Disgusting as it ever was. At three, I went and tried the Clubs, And yawned and saunter'd to and fro; And now my heart jumps up and throbs, And all my soul is in a glow.
At half-past four I had the cab; I drove as hard as I could go. The London sky was dirty drab, And dirty brown the London snow. And as I rattled in a cant- er down by dear old Bolton Row, A something made my heart to pant, And caused my cheek to flush and glow.
What could it be that made me find Old Jawkins pleasant at the Club? Why was it that I laughed and grinned At whist, although I lost the rub? What was it made me drink like mad Thirteen small glasses of Curaco? That made my inmost heart so glad, And every fibre thrill and glow?
She's home again! she's home, she's home! Away all cares and griefs and pain; I knew she would—she's back from Rome; She's home again! she's home again! "The family's gone abroad," they said, September last they told me so; Since then my lonely heart is dead, My blood I think's forgot to flow.
She's home again! away all care! O fairest form the world can show! O beaming eyes! O golden hair! O tender voice, that breathes so low! O gentlest, softest, purest heart! O joy, O hope!—"My tiger, ho!" Fitz-Clarence said; we saw him start— He galloped down to Bolton Row.
THE GHAZUL, OR ORIENTAL LOVE-SONG.
I was a timid little antelope; My home was in the rocks, the lonely rocks.
I saw the hunters scouring on the plain; I lived among the rocks, the lonely rocks.
I was a-thirsty in the summer-heat; I ventured to the tents beneath the rocks.
Zuleikah brought me water from the well; Since then I have been faithless to the rocks.
I saw her face reflected in the well; Her camels since have marched into the rocks.
I look to see her image in the well; I only see my eyes, my own sad eyes. My mother is alone among the rocks.
THE MERRY BARD.
ZULEIKAH! The young Agas in the bazaar are slim-wasted and wear yellow slippers. I am old and hideous. One of my eyes is out, and the hairs of my beard are mostly gray. Praise be to Allah! I am a merry bard.
There is a bird upon the terrace of the Emir's chief wife. Praise be to Allah! He has emeralds on his neck, and a ruby tail. I am a merry bard. He deafens me with his diabolical screaming.
There is a little brown bird in the basket-maker's cage. Praise be to Allah! He ravishes my soul in the moonlight. I am a merry bard.
The peacock is an Aga, but the little bird is a Bulbul.
I am a little brown Bulbul. Come and listen in the moonlight. Praise be to Allah! I am a merry bard.
Yonder to the kiosk, beside the creek, Paddle the swift caique. Thou brawny oarsman with the sunburnt cheek, Quick! for it soothes my heart to hear the Bulbul speak.
Ferry me quickly to the Asian shores, Swift bending to your oars. Beneath the melancholy sycamores, Hark! what a ravishing note the lovelorn Bulbul pours.
Behold, the boughs seem quivering with delight, The stars themselves more bright, As mid the waving branches out of sight The Lover of the Rose sits singing through the night.
Under the boughs I sat and listened still, I could not have my fill. "How comes," I said, "such music to his bill? Tell me for whom he sings so beautiful a trill."
"Once I was dumb," then did the Bird disclose, "But looked upon the Rose; And in the garden where the loved one grows, I straightway did begin sweet music to compose."
"O bird of song, there's one in this caique The Rose would also seek, So he might learn like you to love and speak." Then answered me the bird of dusky beak, "The Rose, the Rose of Love blushes on Leilah's cheek."
Beneath the gold acacia buds My gentle Nora sits and broods, Far, far away in Boston woods My gentle Nora!
I see the tear-drop in her e'e, Her bosom's heaving tenderly; I know—I know she thinks of me, My Darling Nora!
And where am I? My love, whilst thou Sitt'st sad beneath the acacia bough, Where pearl's on neck, and wreath on brow, I stand, my Nora!
Mid carcanet and coronet, Where joy-lamps shine and flowers are set— Where England's chivalry are met, Behold me, Nora!
In this strange scene of revelry, Amidst this gorgeous chivalry, A form I saw was like to thee, My love—my Nora!
She paused amidst her converse glad; The lady saw that I was sad, She pitied the poor lonely lad,— Dost love her, Nora?
In sooth, she is a lovely dame, A lip of red, and eye of flame, And clustering golden locks, the same As thine, dear Nora?
Her glance is softer than the dawn's, Her foot is lighter than the fawn's, Her breast is whiter than the swan's, Or thine, my Nora!
Oh, gentle breast to pity me! Oh, lovely Ladye Emily! Till death—till death I'll think of thee— Of thee and Nora!
I seem, in the midst of the crowd, The lightest of all; My laughter rings cheery and loud, In banquet and ball. My lip hath its smiles and its sneers, For all men to see; But my soul, and my truth, and my tears, Are for thee, are for thee!
Around me they flatter and fawn— The young and the old. The fairest are ready to pawn Their hearts for my gold. They sue me—I laugh as I spurn The slaves at my knee; But in faith and in fondness I turn Unto thee, unto thee!
Now the toils of day are over, And the sun hath sunk to rest, Seeking, like a fiery lover, The bosom of the blushing west—
The faithful night keeps watch and ward, Raising the moon her silver shield, And summoning the stars to guard The slumbers of my fair Mathilde!
The faithful night! Now all things lie Hid by her mantle dark and dim, In pious hope I hither hie, And humbly chant mine ev'ning hymn.
Thou art my prayer, my saint, my shrine! (For never holy pilgrim kneel'd, Or wept at feet more pure than thine), My virgin love, my sweet Mathilde!
THE MINARET BELLS.
Tink-a-tink, tink-a-tink, By the light of the star, On the blue river's brink, I heard a guitar.
I heard a guitar, On the blue waters clear, And knew by its music, That Selim was near!
Tink-a-tink, tink-a-tink, How the soft music swells, And I hear the soft clink Of the minaret bells!
COME TO THE GREENWOOD TREE.
Come to the greenwood tree, Come where the dark woods be, Dearest, O come with me! Let us rove—O my love—O my love!
Come—'tis the moonlight hour, Dew is on leaf and flower, Come to the linden bower,— Let us rove—O my love—O my love!
Dark is the wood, and wide Dangers, they say, betide; But, at my Albert's side, Nought I fear, O my love—O my love!
Welcome the greenwood tree, Welcome the forest free, Dearest, with thee, with thee, Nought I fear, O my love—O my love!
FIVE GERMAN DITTIES.
A TRAGIC STORY.
BY ADELBERT VON CHAMISSO.
"—'s war Einer, dem's zu Herzen gieng."
There lived a sage in days of yore And he a handsome pigtail wore; But wondered much and sorrowed more Because it hung behind him.
He mused upon this curious case, And swore he'd change the pigtail's place, And have it hanging at his face, Not dangling there behind him.
Says he, "The mystery I've found,— I'll turn me round,"—he turned him round; But still it hung behind him.
Then round, and round, and out and in, All day the puzzled sage did spin; In vain—it mattered not a pin,— The pigtail hung behind him.
And right, and left, and round about, And up, and down, and in, and out, He turned; but still the pigtail stout Hung steadily behind him.
And though his efforts never slack, And though he twist, and twirl, and tack, Alas! still faithful to his back The pigtail hangs behind him.
"Es pflueckte Bluemlein mannigfalt."
A little girl through field and wood Went plucking flowerets here and there, When suddenly beside her stood A lady wondrous fair!
The lovely lady smiled, and laid A wreath upon the maiden's brow; "Wear it, 'twill blossom soon," she said, "Although 'tis leafless now."
The little maiden older grew And wandered forth of moonlight eves, And sighed and loved as maids will do; When, lo! her wreath bore leaves.
Then was our maid a wife, and hung Upon a joyful bridegroom's bosom; When from the garland's leaves there sprung Fair store of blossom.
And presently a baby fair Upon her gentle breast she reared; When midst the wreath that bound her hair Rich golden fruit appeared.
But when her love lay cold in death, Sunk in the black and silent tomb, All sere and withered was the wreath That wont so bright to bloom.
Yet still the withered wreath she wore; She wore it at her dying hour; When, to the wondrous garland bore Both leaf, and fruit, and flower!
THE KING ON THE TOWER.
"Da liegen sie alle, die grauen Hoehen."
The cold gray hills they bind me around, The darksome valleys lie sleeping below, But the winds as they pass o'er all this ground, Bring me never a sound of woe!
Oh! for all I have suffered and striven, Care has embittered my cup and my feast; But here is the night and the dark blue heaven, And my soul shall be at rest.
O golden legends writ in the skies! I turn towards you with longing soul, And list to the awful harmonies Of the Spheres as on they roll.
My hair is gray and my sight nigh gone; My sword it rusteth upon the wall; Right have I spoken, and right have I done: When shall I rest me once for all?
O blessed rest! O royal night! Wherefore seemeth the time so long Till I see you stars in their fullest light, And list to their loudest song?
ON A VERY OLD WOMAN.
LA MOTTE FOUQUE.
"Und Du gingst einst, die Myrt' im Haare."
And thou wert once a maiden fair, A blushing virgin warm and young: With myrtles wreathed in golden hair, And glossy brow that knew no care— Upon a bridegroom's arm you hung.
The golden locks are silvered now, The blushing cheek is pale and wan; The spring may bloom, the autumn glow, All's one—in chimney corner thou Sitt'st shivering on.—
A moment—and thou sink'st to rest! To wake perhaps an angel blest, In the bright presence of thy Lord. Oh, weary is life's path to all! Hard is the strife, and light the fall, But wondrous the reward!
For the sole edification Of this decent congregation, Goodly people, by your grant I will sing a holy chant— I will sing a holy chant. If the ditty sound but oddly, 'Twas a father, wise and godly, Sang it so long ago— Then sing as Martin Luther sang, As Doctor Martin Luther sang: "Who loves not wine, woman and song, He is a fool his whole life long!"
He, by custom patriarchal, Loved to see the beaker sparkle; And he thought the wine improved, Tasted by the lips he loved— By the kindly lips he loved. Friends, I wish this custom pious Duly were observed by us, To combine love, song, wine, And sing as Martin Luther sang, As Doctor Martin Luther sang: "Who loves not wine, woman and song, He is a fool his whole life long!"
Who refuses this our Credo, And who will not sing as we do, Were he holy as John Knox, I'd pronounce him heterodox! I'd pronounce him heterodox, And from out this congregation, With a solemn commination, Banish quick the heretic, Who will not sing as Luther sang, As Doctor Martin Luther sang: "Who loves not wine, woman and song, He is a fool his whole life long!"
FOUR IMITATIONS OF BERANGER.
LE ROI D'YVETOT.
Il etait un roi d'Yvetot, Peu connu dans l'histoire; Se levant tard, se couchant tot, Dormant fort bien sans gloire, Et couronne par Jeanneton D'un simple bonnet de coton, Dit-on. Oh! oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! Quel bon petit roi c'etait la! La, la.
Il fesait ses quatre repas Dans son palais de chaume, Et sur un ane, pas a pas, Parcourait son royaume. Joyeux, simple et croyant le bien, Pour toute garde il n'avait rien Qu'un chien. Oh! oh! oh ! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! &c.
Il n'avait de gout onereux Qu'une soif un peu vive; Mais, en rendant son peuple heureux, Il faut bien qu'un roi vive. Lui-meme a table, et sans suppot, Sur chaque muid levait un pot D'impot. Oh! oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! &c.
Aux filles de bonnes maisons Comme il avait su plaire, Ses sujets avaient cent raisons De le nommer leur pere: D'ailleurs il ne levait de ban Que pour tirer quatre fois l'an Au blanc. Oh! oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! &c.
Il n'agrandit point ses etats, Fut un voisin commode, Et, modele des potentats, Prit le plaisir pour code. Ce n'est que loraqu'il expira, Que le peuple qui l'enterra Pleura. Oh! oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! &c.
On conserve encor le portrait De ce digne et bon prince; C'est l'enseigne d'un cabaret Fameux dans la province. Les jours de fete, bien souvent, La foule s'ecrie en buvant Devant: Oh! oh! oh! oh! ah! ah! ah! ah! &c.
THE KING OF YVETOT.
There was a king of Yvetot, Of whom renown hath little said, Who let all thoughts of glory go, And dawdled half his days a-bed; And every night, as night came round, By Jenny, with a nightcap crowned, Slept very sound: Sing ho, ho, ho! and he, he, he! That's the kind of king for me.
And every day it came to pass, That four lusty meals made he; And, step by step, upon an ass, Rode abroad, his realms to see; And wherever he did stir, What think you was his escort, sir? Why, an old cur. Sing ho, ho, ho ! &c.
If e'er he went into excess, 'Twas from a somewhat lively thirst; But he who would his subjects bless, Odd's fish!—must wet his whistle first; And so from every cask they got, Our king did to himself allot, At least a pot. Sing ho, ho! &c.
To all the ladies of the land, A courteous king, and kind, was he; The reason why you'll understand, They named him Pater Patriae. Each year he called his fighting men, And marched a league from home, and then Marched back again. Sing ho, ho! &c.
Neither by force nor false pretence, He sought to make his kingdom great, And made (O princes, learn from hence),— "Live and let live," his rule of state. 'Twas only when he came to die, That his people who stood by, Were known to cry. Sing ho, ho! &c.
The portrait of this best of kings Is extant still, upon a sign That on a village tavern swings, Famed in the country for good wine. The people in their Sunday trim, Filling their glasses to the brim, Look up to him, Singing ha, ha, ha! and he, he, he! That's the sort of king for me.
THE KING OF BRENTFORD.
There was a king in Brentford,—of whom no legends tell, But who, without his glory,—could eat and sleep right well. His Polly's cotton nightcap,—it was his crown of state, He slept of evenings early,—and rose of mornings late.
All in a fine mud palace,—each day he took four meals, And for a guard of honor,—a dog ran at his heels, Sometimes, to view his kingdoms,—rode forth this monarch good, And then a prancing jackass—he royally bestrode.
There were no costly habits—with which this king was curst, Except (and where's the harm on't?)—a somewhat lively thirst; But people must pay taxes,—and kings must have their sport, So out of every gallon—His Grace he took a quart.
He pleased the ladies round him,—with manners soft and bland; With reason good, they named him,—the father of his land. Each year his mighty armies—marched forth in gallant show; Their enemies were targets—their bullets they were tow.
He vexed no quiet neighbor,—no useless conquest made, But by the laws of pleasure,—his peaceful realm he swayed. And in the years he reigned,—through all this country wide, There was no cause for weeping,—save when the good man died.
The faithful men of Brentford,—do still their king deplore, His portrait yet is swinging,—beside an alehouse door. And topers, tender-hearted,—regard his honest phiz, And envy times departed—that knew a reign like his.
Je viens revoir l'asile ou ma jeunesse De la misere a subi les lecons. J'avais vingt ans, une folle maitresse, De francs amis et l'amour des chansons. Bravant le monde et les sots et les sages, Sans avenir, riche de mon printemps, Leste et joyeux je montais six etages, Dans un grenier qu'on est bien a vingt ans.