THE HUMOROUS POETRY OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, FROM CHAUCER TO SAXE.
Narratives, Satires, Enigmas, Burlesques, Parodies, Travesties, Epigrams, Epitaphs, Translations, Including the Most Celebrated Comic Poems of the Anti-Jacobin, Rejected Addresses, the Ingoldsby Legends, Blackwood's Magazine, Bentley's Miscellany, and Punch.
With More Than Two Hundred Epigrams, and the Choicest Humorous Poetry of Wolcott, Cowper, Lamb, Thackeray, Praed, Swift, Scott, Holmes, Aytoun, Gay, Burns, Southey, Saxe, Hood, Prior, Coleridge, Byron, Moore, Lowell, Etc.
NOTES, EXPLANATORY AND BIOGRAPHICAL,
BY JAMES PARTON.
The design of the projector of this volume was, that it should contain the Best of the shorter humorous poems in the literatures of England and the United States, except:
Poems so local or cotemporary in subject or allusion, as not to be readily understood by the modern American reader;
Poems which, from the freedom of expression allowed in the healthy ages, can not now be read aloud in a company of men and women;
Poems that have become perfectly familiar to every body, from their incessant reproduction in school-books and newspapers; and
Poems by living American authors, who have collected their humorous pieces from the periodicals in which most of them originally appeared, and given them to the world in their own names.
Holmes, Saxe, and Lowell are, therefore, only REPRESENTED in this collection. To have done more than fairly represent them, had been to infringe rights which are doubly sacred, because they are not protected by law. To have done less would have deprived the reader of a most convenient means of observing that, in a kind of composition confessed to be among the most difficult, our native wits are not excelled by foreign.
The editor expected to be embarrassed with a profusion of material for his purpose. But, on a survey of the poetical literature of the two countries, it was discovered that, of really excellent humorous poetry, of the kinds universally interesting, untainted by obscenity, not marred by coarseness of language, nor obscured by remote allusion, the quantity in existence is not great. It is thought that this volume contains a very large proportion of the best pieces that haveappeared.
An unexpected feature of the book is, that there is not a line in it by a female hand. The alleged foibles of the Fair have given occasion to libraries of comic verse; yet, with diligent search, no humorous poems by women have been found which are of merit sufficient to give them claim to a place in a collection like this. That lively wit and graceful gayety, that quick perception of the absurd, which ladies are continually displaying in their conversation and correspondence, never, it seems, suggest the successful epigram, or inspire happy satirical verse.
The reader will not be annoyed by an impertinent superfluity of notes. At the end of the volume may be found a list of the sources from which its contents have been taken. For the convenience of those who live remote from biographical dictionaries, a few dates and other particulars have been added to the mention of each name. For valuable contributions to this portion of the volume, and for much well-directed work upon other parts of it, the reader is indebted to Mr. T. BUTLER GUNN, of this city.
There is, certainly, nothing more delightful than the fun of a man of genius. Humor, as Mr. Thackeray observes, is charming, and poetry is charming, but the blending of the two in the same composition is irresistible. There is much nonsense in this book, and some folly, and a little ill-nature; but there is more wisdom than either. They who possess it may congratulate themselves upon having the largest collection ever made of the sportive effusions of genius.
To my Empty Purse Chaucer To Chloe Peter Pindar To a Fly Peter Pindar Man may be Happy Peter Pindar Address to the Toothache Burns The Pig Southey Snuff Southey Farewell to Tobacco Lamb Written after swimming from Sestos to Abydos Byron The Lisbon Packet Byron To Fanny Moore Young Jessie Moore Rings and Seals Moore Nets and Cages Moore Salad Sydney Smith My Letters Barham The Poplar Barham Spring Hood Ode on a Distant Prospect of Clapham Academy Hood Schools and School-fellows Praed The Vicar Praed The Bachelor's Cane-bottomed Chair Thackeray Stanzas to Pale Ale Punch Children must be paid for Punch The Musquito Bryant To the Lady in the Chemisette with Black Buttons Willis Come out, Love Willis The White Chip Hat Willis You know if it was you Willis The Declaration Willis Love in a Cottage Willis To Helen in a Huff Willis The Height of the Ridiculous O. W. Holmes The Briefless Barrister J. G. Saxe Sonnet to a Clam J. G. Saxe Venus of the Needle Allingham
Take thy Old Cloak about thee Percy Reliques King John and the Abbot Percy Reliques The Baffled Knight, or Lady's Policy Percy Reliques Truth and Falsehood Prior Flattery Williams (Sir C. H.) The Pig and Magpie Peter Pindar Advice to Young Women Peter Pindar Economy Peter Pindar The Country Lasses Peter Pindar The Pilgrims and Peas Peter Pindar On the Death of a Favorite Cat Gray The Retired Cat Cowper Saying, not Meaning Wake Julia Coleridge A Cock and Hen Story Southey The Search after Happiness Scott (Sir W.) The Donkey and his Panniers Moore Misadventure at Margate Barham The Ghost Barham A Lay of St. Gengulphus Barham Sir Rupert the Fearless Barham Look at the Clock Barham The Bagman's Dog Barham Dame Fredegonde W. Aytoun The King of Brentford's Testament Thackeray Titmarsh's Carmen Lillienses Thackeray Shadows Lantern The Retort G. P. Morris
The Rabble, or Who Pays? S. Butler The Chameleon Prior The Merry Andrew Prior Jack and Joan Prior The Progress of Poetry Swift Twelve Articles Swift The Beast's Confession Swift A New Simile for the Ladies Sheridan (Dr. T.) On a Lap-dog Gay The Razor Seller Peter Pindar The Sailor Boy at Prayers Peter Pindar Bienseance Peter Pindar Kings and Courtiers Peter Pindar Praying for Rain Peter Pindar Apology for Kings Peter Pindar Ode to the Devil Peter Pindar The King of Spain and the Horse Peter Pindar The Tender Husband Peter Pindar The Soldier and the Virgin Mary Peter Pindar A King of France and the Fair Lady Peter Pindar The Eggs Yriarte The Ass and his Master Yriarte The Love of the World Reproved, or Hypocrisy Detected Cowper Report of an Adjudged Case Cowper Holy Willie's Prayer Burns Epitaph on Holy Willie Burns Address to the Deil Burns The Devil's Walk on Earth Southey Church and State Moore Lying Moore The Millennium Moore The Little Grand Lama Moore Eternal London Moore On Factotum Ned Moore Letters (Fudge Correspondence), First Letter Moore Letters (Fudge Correspondence), Second Letter Moore Letters (Fudge Correspondence), Third Letter Moore The Literary Lady Sheridan (R. B.) Netley Abbey Barham Family Poetry Barham The Sunday Question Hood Ode to Rae Wilson, Esquire Hood Death's Ramble Hood The Bachelor's Dream Hood On Samuel Rogers Byron My Partner Praed The Belle of the Ball Praed Sorrows of Werther Thackeray The Yankee Volunteer Thackeray Courtship and Matrimony Thackeray Concerning Sisters-in-law Punch The Lobsters Punch To Song Birds on a Sunday Punch The First Sensible Valentine Punch A Scene on the Austrian Frontier Punch Ode to the Great Sea Serpent Punch The Feast of Vegetables and the Flow of Water Punch Kindred Quacks Punch The Railway Traveler's Farewell to his Family Punch A Letter and an Answer Punch Papa to his Heir Punch Selling off at the Opera-house Punch Wonders of the Victorian Age Punch To the Portrait of a Gentleman Holmes My Aunt Holmes Comic Miseries Saxe Idees Napoleoniennes Aytoun The Lay of the Lover's Friend Aytoun
PARODIES AND BURLESQUES
Wine Gay Ode on Science Swift A Love Song Swift Baucis and Philemon Swift A Description of a City Shower Swift The Progress of Curiosity Pindar The Author and the Statesman Fielding The Friend of Humanity and the Knife-Grinder Anti-Jacobin Inscription Anti-Jacobin Song Canning The Amatory Sonnets of Abel Shufflebottom Southey 1. Delia at Play 2. The Poet proves the existence of a Soul from his Love for Delia 3. The Poet expresses his feelings respecting a Portrait in Delia's Parlor The Love Elegies of Abel Shufflebottom Southey 1. The Poet relates how he obtained Delia's Pocket-handkerchief 2. The Poet expatiates on the Beauty of Delia's Hair 3. The Poet relates how he stole a lock of Delia's Hair, and her anger The Baby's Debut James Smith Playhouse Musings James Smith A Tale of Drury Lane Horace Smith Drury's Dirge Horace Smith What is Life? Blackwood The Confession Blackwood The Milling Match between Entellus and Darcs Moore Not a Sous had he Got Barham Raising the Devil Barham The London University Barham Domestic Poems Hood 1. Good-night 2. A Parental Ode to my Son 3. A Serenade Ode to Perry Hood A Theatrical Curiosity Cruikshank's Om The Secret Sorrow Punch Song for Punch-drinkers Punch The Song of the Humbugged Husband Punch Temperance Song Punch Lines Punch Madness Punch The Bandit's Fate Punch Lines written after a Battle Punch The Phrenologist to his Mistress Punch The Chemist to his Love Punch A Ballad of Bedlam Punch Stanzas to an Egg Punch A Fragment Punch Eating Soup Punch The Sick Child Punch The Imaginative Crisis Punch Lines to Bessy Punch Monody on the Death of an Only Client Punch Love on the Ocean Punch "Oh! wilt thou Sew my Buttons on? etc." Punch The Paid Bill. Punch Parody for a Reformed Parliament Punch The Waiter Punch The Last Appendix to Yankee Doodle Punch Lines for Music Punch Drama for Every Day Life Punch Proclivior Punch Jones at the Barber's Shop Punch The Sated One Punch Sapphics of the Cab-stand Punch Justice to Scotland Punch The Poetical Cookery-book. Punch The Steak Roasted Sucking Pig Beignet de Pomme Cherry Pie Deviled Biscuit Red Herrings Irish Stew Barley Broth Calf's Heart The Christmas Pudding Apple Pie Lobster Salad Stewed Steak Green Pea Soup Trifle Mutton Chops Barley Water Boiled Chicken Stewed Duck and Peas Curry The Railway Gilpin Punch Elegy Punch The Boa and the Blanket Punch The Dilly and the D's Punch A Book in a Bustle Punch Stanzas for the Sentimental. Punch 1. On a Tear which Angelina observed trickling down my nose at Dinner-time 2. On my refusing Angelina a kiss under the Mistletoe 3. On my finding Angelina stop suddenly in a rapid after-supper-polka at Mrs. Tompkins' Ball Soliloquy on a Cab-stand Punch The Song of Hiawatha Punch Comfort in Affliction Aytoun The Husband's Petition Aytoun The Biter Bit Aytoun A Midnight Meditation Aytoun The Dirge of the Drinker Aytoun Francesca da Rimini Aytoun Louis Napoleon's Address to his Army Aytoun The Battle of the Boulevard Aytoun Puffs Poetical. Aytoun 1. Paris and Helen 2. Tarquin and the Augur Reflections of a Proud Pedestrian Holmes Evening, by a Tailor Holmes Phaethon Saxe The School-house Lowell
Epigrams of Ben Jonson. To Fine Grand " Brainhardy " Doctor Empiric " Sir Samuel Fuller On Banks, the Usurer " Chevril the Lawyer Epigrammatic Verses by Samuel Butler Opinion Critics Hypocrisy Polish The Godly Piety Poets Puffing Politicians Fear The Law " " " " Confession Smatterers Bad Writers The Opinionative Language of the Learned Good Writing Courtiers Inventions Logicians Laborious Writers On a Club of Sots Holland Women Epigrams of Edmund Waller On a Painted Lady On the Marriage of the Dwarfs Epigrams of Matthew Prior A Simile The Flies Phillis's Age To the Duke de Noailles On Bishop Atterbury Forma Bonum Fragile Earning a Dinner Bibo and Charon The Pedant Epigrams of Joseph Addison The Countess of Manchester To an Ill-favored Lady To a Capricious Friend To a Rogue Epigrams of Alexander Pope On Mrs. Tofts To a Blockhead The Fool and the Poet Epigrams of Dean Swift On Burning a Dull Poem To a Lady The Cudgeled Husband On seeing Verses written upon Windows at Inns On seeing the Busts of Newton, Looke, etc. On the Church's Danger On one Delacourt, etc. On a Usurer To Mrs. Biddy Floyd The Reverse The Place of the Damned The Day of Judgment Paulus the Lawyer Lindsay Epigrams by Thomas Sheridan. On a Caricature On Dean Swift's Proposed Hospital, etc., To a Dublin Publisher Which is Which Byron On some Lines of Lopez de Vega Dr. Johnson On a Full-length Portrait of Beau Nash, etc., Chesterfield On Scotland Cleveland Epigrams of Peter Pindar Edmund Burke's Attack on Warren Hastings On an Artist On the Conclusion of his Odes The Lex Talionis upon Benjamin West Barry's Attack upon Sir Joshua Reynolds On the Death of Mr. Hone On George the Third's Patronage of Benjamin West Another on the Same Epitaph on Peter Staggs Tray's Epitaph On a Stone thrown at a very great Man, etc. A Consolatory StanzaEpigrams by Robert Burns. The Poet's Choice On a celebrated Ruling Elder On John Dove On Andrew Turner On a Scotch Coxcomb On Grizzel Grim On a Wag in Mauchline Epitaph on W—- On a Suicide Epigrams from the German of Lessing. Niger A Nice Point True Nobility To a Liar Mendax The Bad Wife The Dead Miser The Bad Orator The Wise Child Specimen of the Laconic Cupid and Mercury Fritz On Dorilis To a Slow Walker, etc. On Two Beautiful One-eyed Sisters The Per Contra, or Matrimonial Balance Epigrams of S. T. Coleridge. An Expectoration Expectoration the Second To a Lady Avaro Beelzebub and Job Sentimental An Eternal Poem Bad Poets To Mr. Alexandre, the Ventriloquist Scott The Swallows R. B. Sheridan French and English Erskine Epigrams by Thomas Moore. To Sir Hudson Lowe Dialogue To Miss —- To —- On being Obliged to Leave a Pleasant Party, etc. What my Thought's like? From the French A Joke Versified The Surprise On —- On a Squinting Poetess On a Tuft-hunter The Kiss Epitaph on Southey Written in a Young Lady's Common-place Book The Rabbinical Origin of Women Anacreontique On Butler's Monument Wesley On the Disappointment of the Whig Associates of the Prince Regent, etc Lamb To Professor Airey Sydney Smith On Lord Dudley and Ward Rogers Epigrams of Lord Byron. To the Author of a Sonnet, etc. Windsor Poetics On a Carrier, etc. Epigrams of R. H. Barham. On the Windows of King's College, etc. New-made Honor Eheu Fugaces Anonymous Epigrams. On a Pale Lady, etc. Upon Pope's Translation of Homer Recipe for a Modern Bonnet My Wife and I On Two Gentlemen, etc. Wellington's Nose The Smoker An Essay on the Understanding To a Living Author Epigrams by Thomas Hood. On the Art Unions The Superiority of Machinery Epigrams by W. Savage Landor. On Observing a Vulgar Name on the Plinth of a Statue Lying in State Epigrams from Punch. The Cause Irish Particular One Good Turn deserves Another Sticky The Poet Foiled Black and White Inquest—not Extraordinary Domestic Economy On Seeing an Execution A Voice, and Nothing Else The Amende Honorable The Czar Bas-Bleu To a Rich Young Widow The Railway of Life A Conjugal Conundrum Numbers Altered Grammar for the Court of Berlin The Empty Bottle Aytoun The Death of Doctor Morrison Bentley's Miscellany Epigrams by John G. Saxe. On a Recent Classic Controversy Another On an ill-read Lawyer On an Ugly Person Sitting for a Daguerreotype Woman's Will Family Quarrels A Revolutionary Hero Lowell Epigrams of Halpin. The Last Resort Feminine Arithmetic The Mushroom Hunt Jupiter Amans London Leader The Orator's Epitaph Lord Brougham
ECCENTRIC AND NONDESCRIPT.
The Jovial Priest's Confession Leigh Hunt Tonis ad Resto Mare Anonymous Die Dean Swift Moll Dean Swift To My Mistress Dean Swift A Love Song Dean Swift A Gentle Echo on Woman Dean Swift To my Nose Anonymous Roger and Dolly Blackwood The Irishman Blackwood A Catalectic Monody Cruikshank's Om. A New Song Gay Reminiscences of a Sentimentalist Hood Faithless Nelly Gray Hood No! Hood Jacob Omnium's Hoss Thackeray The Wofle New Ballad of Jane Roney and Mary Brown Thackeray The Ballad of Eliza Davis Thackeray Lines on a Late Hospicious Ewent Thackeray The Lamentable Ballad of the Foundling of Shoreditch Thackeray The Crystal Palace Thackeray The Speculators Thackeray A Letter from Mr. Hosea Biglow, etc. Lowell A Letter from a Candidate for the Presidency Lowell The Candidate's Creed Lowell The Courtin' Lowell A Song for a Catarrh Punch Epitaph on a Candle Punch Poetry on an Improved Principle Punch On a Rejected Nosegay Punch A Serenade Punch Railroad Nursery Rhyme Punch An Invitation to the Zoological Gardens Punch To the Leading Periodical Punch The People and their Palace Punch A Swell's Homage to Mrs. Stowe Punch The Exclusive's Broken Idol Punch The Last Kick of Fop's Alley Punch The Mad Cabman's Song of Sixpence Punch Alarming Prospect Punch Epitaph on a Locomotive Punch The Ticket of Leave Punch A Polka Lyric Barclay Phillips A Sunnit to the Big Ox Anonymous
Riddles by Matthew Prior. Two Riddles Enigma Another Riddles by Dean Swift and his friends. A Maypole On the Moon On Ink On a Circle On a Pen A Fan On a Cannon On the Five Senses On Snow On a Candle On a Corkscrew On the Same An Echo On the Vowels On a Pair of Dice On a Shadow in a Glass On Time
LIST OF SOURCES
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS.
JAMES PARTON BRYANT BURNS LAMB BYRON POPE CHAUCER WILLIS HOLMES LOWELL LANDOR THACKERAY
TO MY EMPTY PURSE. CHAUCER.
To you, my purse, and to none other wight, Complain I, for ye be my lady dere; I am sorry now that ye be light, For, certes, ye now make me heavy chere; Me were as lefe be laid upon a bere, For which unto your mercy thus I crie, Be heavy againe, or els mote I die.
Now vouchsafe this day or it be night, That I of you the blissful sowne may here, Or see your color like the sunne bright, That of yellowness had never pere; Ye are my life, ye be my hertes stere, Queen of comfort and of good companie, Be heavy again, or else mote I die.
Now purse, thou art to me my lives light, And saviour, as downe in this world here, Out of this towne helpe me by your might, Sith that you will not be my treasure, For I am slave as nere as any frere, But I pray unto your curtesie, Be heavy again, or els mote I die.
AN APOLOGY FOR GOING INTO THE COUNTRY. PETER PINDAR.
Chloe, we must not always be in heaven, For ever toying, ogling, kissing, billing; The joys for which I thousands would have given, Will presently be scarcely worth a shilling.
Thy neck is fairer than the Alpine snows, And, sweetly swelling, beats the down of doves; Thy cheek of health, a rival to the rose; Thy pouting lips, the throne of all the loves; Yet, though thus beautiful beyond expression, That beauty fadeth by too much possession.
Economy in love is peace to nature, Much like economy in worldly matter; We should be prudent, never live too fast; Profusion will not, can not, always last.
Lovers are really spendthrifts—'tis a shame— Nothing their thoughtless, wild career can tame, Till penury stares them in the face; And when they find an empty purse, Grown calmer, wiser, how the fault they curse, And, limping, look with such a sneaking grace! Job's war-horse fierce, his neck with thunder hung, Sunk to an humble hack that carries dung.
Smell to the queen of flowers, the fragrant rose— Smell twenty times—and then, my dear, thy nose Will tell thee (not so much for scent athirst) The twentieth drank less flavor than the FIRST.
Love, doubtless, is the sweetest of all fellows; Yet often should the little god retire— Absence, dear Chloe, is a pair of bellows, That keeps alive the sacred fire.
TO A FLY,
TAKEN OUT OF A BOWL OF PUNCH. PETER PINDAR.
Ah! poor intoxicated little knave, Now senseless, floating on the fragrant wave; Why not content the cakes alone to munch? Dearly thou pay'st for buzzing round the bowl; Lost to the world, thou busy sweet-lipped soul— Thus Death, as well as Pleasure, dwells with Punch.
Now let me take thee out, and moralize— Thus 'tis with mortals, as it is with flies, Forever hankering after Pleasure's cup: Though Fate, with all his legions, be at hand, The beasts, the draught of Circe can't withstand, But in goes every nose—they must, will sup.
Mad are the passions, as a colt untamed! When Prudence mounts their backs to ride them mild, They fling, they snort, they foam, they rise inflamed, Insisting on their own sole will so wild.
Gadsbud! my buzzing friend, thou art not dead; The Fates, so kind, have not yet snapped thy thread; By heavens, thou mov'st a leg, and now its brother. And kicking, lo, again, thou mov'st another!
And now thy little drunken eyes unclose, And now thou feelest for thy little nose, And, finding it, thou rubbest thy two hands Much as to say, "I'm glad I'm here again." And well mayest thou rejoice—'tis very plain, That near wert thou to Death's unsocial lands.
And now thou rollest on thy back about, Happy to find thyself alive, no doubt— Now turnest—on the table making rings, Now crawling, forming a wet track, Now shaking the rich liquor from thy back, Now fluttering nectar from thy silken wings.
Now standing on thy head, thy strength to find, And poking out thy small, long legs behind; And now thy pinions dost thou briskly ply; Preparing now to leave me—farewell, fly!
Go, join thy brothers on yon sunny board, And rapture to thy family afford— There wilt thou meet a mistress, or a wife, That saw thee drunk, drop senseless in the stream Who gave, perhaps, the wide-resounding scream, And now sits groaning for thy precious life.
Yes, go and carry comfort to thy friends, And wisely tell them thy imprudence ends.
Let buns and sugar for the future charm; These will delight, and feed, and work no harm— While Punch, the grinning, merry imp of sin, Invites th' unwary wanderer to a kiss, Smiles in his face, as though he meant him bliss, Then, like an alligator, drags him in.
MAN MAY BE HAPPY. PETER PINDAR.
"Man may be happy, if he will:" I've said it often, and I think so still; Doctrine to make the million stare! Know then, each mortal is an actual Jove; Can brew what weather he shall most approve, Or wind, or calm, or foul, or fair.
But here's the mischief—man's an ass, I say; Too fond of thunder, lightning, storm, and rain; He hides the charming, cheerful ray That spreads a smile o'er hill and plain! Dark, he must court the skull, and spade, and shroud— The mistress of his soul must be a cloud!
Who told him that he must be cursed on earth? The God of Nature?—No such thing; Heaven whispered him, the moment of his birth, "Don't cry, my lad, but dance and sing; Don't be too wise, and be an ape:— In colors let thy soul be dressed, not crape.
"Roses shall smooth life's journey, and adorn; Yet mind me—if, through want of grace, Thou mean'st to fling the blessing in my face, Thou hast full leave to tread upon a thorn."
Yet some there are, of men, I think the worst, Poor imps! unhappy, if they can't be cursed— Forever brooding over Misery's eggs, As though life's pleasure were a deadly sin; Mousing forever for a gin To catch their happiness by the legs.
Even at a dinner some will be unblessed, However good the viands, and well dressed: They always come to table with a scowl, Squint with a face of verjuice o'er each dish, Fault the poor flesh, and quarrel with the fish, Curse cook and wife, and, loathing, eat and growl.
A cart-load, lo, their stomachs steal, Yet swear they can not make a meal. I like not the blue-devil-hunting crew! I hate to drop the discontented jaw! O let me Nature's simple smile pursue, And pick even pleasure from a straw.
ADDRESS TO THE TOOTHACHE.
WRITTEN WHEN THE AUTHOR WAS GRIEVOUSLY TORMENTED BY THAT DISORDER. ROBERT BURNS.
My curse upon thy venom'd stang, That shoots my tortur'd gums alang; And thro' my lugs gies mony a twang, Wi' gnawing vengeance; Tearing my nerves wi' bitter pang, Like racking engines!
When fevers burn, or ague freezes, Rheumatics gnaw, or cholic squeezes; Our neighbors' sympathy may ease us, Wi' pitying moan; But thee—thou hell o' a' diseases, Aye mocks our groan!
A down my beard the slavers trickle! I kick the wee stools o'er the mickle, As round the fire the giglets keckle, To see me loup; While, raving mad, I wish a heckle Were in their doup.
O' a' the num'rous human dools, Ill har'sts, daft bargains, cutty-stools, Or worthy friends rak'd i' the mools, Sad sight to see! The tricks o' knaves, or fash o' fools, Thou bear'st the gree.
Where'er that place be priests ca' hell, Whence a' the tones o' mis'ry yell, And ranked plagues their numbers tell, In dreadfu' raw, Thou, Toothache, surely bear'st the bell, Amang them a';
O thou grim mischief-making chiel, That gars the notes of discord squeel, 'Till daft mankind aft dance a reel In gore a shoe-thick;— Gie a' the faes o' Scotland's weal A towmond's Toothache!
A COLLOQUIAL POEM. ROBERT SOUTHEY
Jacob! I do not like to see thy nose Turn'd up in scornful curve at yonder pig, It would be well, my friend, if we, like him, Were perfect in our kind!..And why despise The sow-born grunter?..He is obstinate, Thou answerest; ugly, and the filthiest beast That banquets upon offal. ...Now I pray you Hear the pig's counsel. Is he obstinate? We must not, Jacob, be deceived by words; We must not take them as unheeding hands Receive base money at the current worth But with a just suspicion try their sound, And in the even balance weigh them well See now to what this obstinacy comes: A poor, mistreated, democratic beast, He knows that his unmerciful drivers seek Their profit, and not his. He hath not learned That pigs were made for man,...born to be brawn'd And baconized: that he must please to give Just what his gracious masters please to take; Perhaps his tusks, the weapons Nature gave For self-defense, the general privilege; Perhaps,...hark, Jacob! dost thou hear that horn? Woe to the young posterity of Pork! Their enemy is at hand. Again. Thou say'st The pig is ugly. Jacob, look at him! Those eyes have taught the lover flattery. His face, ...nay, Jacob! Jacob! were it fair To judge a lady in her dishabille? Fancy it dressed, and with saltpeter rouged. Behold his tail, my friend; with curls like that The wanton hop marries her stately spouse: So crisp in beauty Amoretta's hair Rings round her lover's soul the chains of love. And what is beauty, but the aptitude Of parts harmonious? Give thy fancy scope, And thou wilt find that no imagined change Can beautify this beast. Place at his end The starry glories of the peacock's pride, Give him the swan's white breast; for his horn-hoofs Shape such a foot and ankle as the waves Crowded in eager rivalry to kiss When Venus from the enamor'd sea arose;... Jacob, thou canst but make a monster of him! All alteration man could think, would mar His pig-perfection. The last charge,...he lives A dirty life. Here I could shelter him With noble and right-reverend precedents, And show by sanction of authority That 'tis a very honorable thing To thrive by dirty ways. But let me rest On better ground the unanswerable defense. The pig is a philosopher, who knows No prejudice. Dirt?...Jacob, what is dirt? If matter,...why the delicate dish that tempts An o'ergorged epicure to the last morsel That stuffs him to the throat-gates, is no more. If matter be not, but as sages say, Spirit is all, and all things visible Are one, the infinitely modified, Think, Jacob, what that pig is, and the mire Wherein he stands knee-deep! And there! the breeze Pleads with me, and has won thee to a smile That speaks conviction. O'er yon blossom'd field Of beans it came, and thoughts of bacon rise.
SNUFF. ROBERT SOUTHEY.
A delicate pinch! oh how it tingles up The titillated nose, and fills the eyes And breast, till in one comfortable sneeze The full-collected pleasure bursts at last! Most rare Columbus! thou shalt be for this The only Christopher in my calendar. Why, but for thee the uses of the nose Were half unknown, and its capacity Of joy. The summer gale that from the heath, At midnoon glowing with the golden gorse, Bears its balsamic odor, but provokes Not satisfies the sense; and all the flowers, That with their unsubstantial fragrance tempt And disappoint, bloom for so short a space, That half the year the nostrils would keep lent, But that the kind tobacconist admits No winter in his work; when Nature sleeps His wheels roll on, and still administer A plenitude of joy, a tangible smell.
What are Peru and those Golcondan mines To thee, Virginia? miserable realms, The produce of inhuman toil, they send Gold for the greedy, jewels for the vain. But thine are COMMON comforts!...To omit Pipe-panegyric and tobacco-praise, Think what a general joy the snuff-box gives, Europe, and far above Pizarro's name Write Raleigh in thy records of renown! Him let the school-boy bless if he behold His master's box produced, for when he sees The thumb and finger of authority Stuffed up the nostrils: when hat, head, and wig Shake all; when on the waistcoat black, brown dust, From the oft-reiterated pinch profuse Profusely scattered, lodges in its folds, And part on the magistral table lights, Part on the open book, soon blown away, Full surely soon shall then the brow severe Relax; and from vituperative lips Words that of birch remind not, sounds of praise, And jokes that MUST be laughed at shall proceed.
A FAREWELL TO TOBACCO. CHARLES LAMB.
May the Babylonish curse Straight confound my stammering verse, If I can a passage see In this word-perplexity, Or a fit expression find, Or a language to my mind, (Still the phrase is wide or scant) To take leave of thee, GREAT PLANT! Or in any terms relate Half my love, or half my hate: For I hate, yet love thee, so, That, whichever thing I show, The plain truth will seem to be A constrain'd hyperbole, And the passion to proceed More from a mistress than a weed.
Sooty retainer to the vine, Bacchus' black servant, negro fine; Sorcerer, that mak'st us dote upon Thy begrimed complexion, And, for thy pernicious sake, More and greater oaths to break Than reclaimed lovers take 'Gainst women: thou thy siege dost lay Much too in the female way, While thou suck'st the lab'ring breath Faster than kisses or than death,
Thou in such a cloud dost bind us, That our worst foes can not find us, And ill fortune, that would thwart us Shoots at rovers, shooting at us; While each man, through thy height'ning steam, Does like a smoking Etna seem, And all about us does express (Fancy and wit in richest dress) A Sicilian fruitfulness.
Thou through such a mist dost show us, That our best friends do not know us, And, for those allowed features, Due to reasonable creatures, Liken'st us to fell Chimeras, Monsters that, who see us, fear us; Worse than Cerberus or Geryon, Or, who first loved a cloud, Ixion.
Bacchus we know, and we allow His tipsy rites. But what art thou That but by reflex canst show What his deity can do, As the false Egyptian spell Aped the true Hebrew miracle? Some few vapors thou may'st raise, The weak brain may serve to amaze, But to the reins and nobler heart Canst nor life nor heat impart. Brother of Bacchus, later born. The old world was sure forlorn Wanting thee, that aidest more The god's victories than before All his panthers, and the brawls Of his piping Bacchanals. These, as stale, we disallow, Or judge of THEE meant only thou His true Indian conquest art; And, for ivy round his dart, The reformed god now weaves A finer thyrsus of thy leaves.
Scent to match thy rich perfume Chemic art did ne'er presume Through her quaint alembic strain, None so sov'reign to the brain; Nature, that did in thee excel, Framed again no second smell. Roses, violets, but toys For the smaller sort of boys, Or for greener damsels meant; Thou art the only manly scent.
Stinking'st of the stinking land, Filth of the mouth and fog of the mind, Africa, that brags her foison, Breeds no such prodigious poison Henbane, nightshade, both together, Hemlock, aconite—-
Nay, rather, Plant divine, of rarest virtue; Blisters on the tongue would hurt you. 'Twas but in a sort I blamed thee; None e'er prosper'd who defamed thee Irony all, and feign'd abuse, Such as perplex'd lovers use, At a need, when, in despair To paint forth their fairest fair, Or in part but to express That exceeding comeliness Which their fancies doth so strike, They borrow language of dislike; And, instead of Dearest Miss, Jewel, Honey, Sweetheart, Bliss, And those forms of old admiring, Call her Cockatrice and Siren, Basilisk, and all that's evil, Witch, Hyena, Mermaid, Devil, Ethiop, Wench, and Blackamoor, Monkey, Ape, and twenty more; Friendly Trait'ress, loving Foe— Not that she is truly so, But no other way they know A contentment to express, Borders so upon excess, That they do not rightly wot Whether it be pain or not.
Or, as men, constrain'd to part With what's nearest to their heart, While their sorrow's at the height, Lose discrimination quite, And their hasty wrath let fall, To appease their frantic gall, On the darling thing whatever, Whence they feel it death to sever Though it be, as they, perforce, Guiltless of the sad divorce.
For I must (nor let it grieve thee, Friendliest of plants, that I must) leave thee. For thy sake; TOBACCO, I Would do any thing but die, And but seek to extend my days Long enough to sing thy praise. But, as she, who once hath been A king's consort, is a queen Ever after, nor will bate Any title of her state, Though a widow, or divorced, So I, from thy converse forced, The old name and style retain, A right Katherine of Spain; And a seat, too, 'mongst the joys Of the blest Tobacco Boys. Where, though I, by sour physician, Am debarr'd the full fruition Of thy favors, I may catch Some collateral sweets, and snatch Sidelong odors, that give life like glances from a neighbor's wife; And still live in the by-places And the suburbs of thy graces; And in thy holders take delight, An unconquer'd Canaanite.
WRITTEN AFTER SWIMMING FROM SESTOS TO ABYDOS.
If, in the month of dark December, Leander, who was nightly wont, (What maid will not the tale remember?) To cross thy stream broad Hellespont!
If, when the wint'ry tempest roar'd, He sped to Hero nothing loth, And thus of old thy current pour'd, Fair Venus! how I pity both!
For ME, degenerate, modern wretch, Though in the genial month of May, My dripping limbs I faintly stretch, And think I've done a feat to-day.
But since he crossed the rapid tide, According to the doubtful story, To woo—and—Lord knows what beside, And swam for Love, as I for Glory;
'Twere hard to say who fared the best: Sad mortals! thus the gods still plague you! He lost his labor, I my jest; For he was drowned, and I've the ague
THE LISBON PACKET. BYRON.
Huzza! Hodgson, we are going, Our embargo's off at last; Favorable breezes blowing Bend the canvas o'er the mast. From aloft the signal's streaming, Hark! the farewell gun is fired; Women screeching, tars blaspheming, Tell us that our time's expired. Here's a rascal Come to task all, Prying from the custom-house; Trunks unpacking, Cases cracking, Not a corner for a mouse 'Scapes unsearched amid the racket, Ere we sail on board the Packet.
Now our boatmen quit their mooring, And all hands must ply the oar; Baggage from the quay is lowering, We're impatient—push from shore. "Have a care! that case holds liquor— Stop the boat—I'm sick—O Lord!" "Sick, ma'am, damme, you'll be sicker Ere you've been an hour on board." Thus are screaming Men and women, Gemmen, ladies, servants, Jacks; Here entangling, All are wrangling, Stuck together close as wax.— Such the general noise and racket, Ere we reach the Lisbon Packet.
Now we've reached her, lo! the captain, Gallant Kid, commands the crew; Passengers their berths are clapped in, Some to grumble, some to spew. "Hey day! call you that a cabin? Why, 'tis hardly three feet square; Not enough to stow Queen Mab in— Who the deuce can harbor there?" "Who, sir? plenty— Nobles twenty Did at once my vessel fill."— "Did they? Jesus, How you squeeze us! Would to God they did so still; Then I'd 'scape the heat and racket Of the good ship Lisbon Packet."
Fletcher! Murray! Bob! where are you? Stretched along the decks like logs— Bear a hand, you jolly tar, you! Here's a rope's end for the dogs. Hobhouse muttering fearful curses, As the hatchway down he rolls, Now his breakfast, now his verses, Vomits forth—and damns our souls. "Here's a stanza On Braganza— Help!"—"A couplet?"—"No, a cup Of warm water—" "What's the matter?" "Zounds! my liver's coming up; I shall not survive the racket Of this brutal Lisbon Packet."
Now at length we're off for Turkey, Lord knows when we shall come back! Breezes foul and tempests murky May unship us in a crack. But, since life at most a jest is, As philosophers allow, Still to laugh by far the best is, Then laugh on—as I do now. Laugh at all things, Great and small things, Sick or well, at sea or shore; While we're quaffing, Let's have laughing— Who the devil cares for more?— Some good wine! and who would lack it, Even on board the Lisbon Packet?
TO FANNY. THOMAS MOORE
Never mind how the pedagogue proses, You want not antiquity's stamp, The lip that's so scented by roses, Oh! never must smell of the lamp.
Old Chloe, whose withering kisses Have long set the loves at defiance, Now done with the science of blisses, May fly to the blisses of science!
Young Sappho, for want of employments, Alone o'er her Ovid may melt, Condemned but to read of enjoyments, Which wiser Corinna had felt.
But for YOU to be buried in books— Oh, FANNY! they're pitiful sages; Who could not in ONE of your looks Read more than in millions of pages!
Astronomy finds in your eye Better light than she studies above, And music must borrow your sigh As the melody dearest to love.
In Ethics—'tis you that can check, In a minute, their doubts and their quarrels Oh! show but that mole on your neck, And 'twill soon put an end to their morals.
Your Arithmetic only can trip When to kiss and to count you endeavor; But eloquence glows on your lip When you swear that you'll love me forever
Thus you see what a brilliant alliance Of arts is assembled in you— A course of more exquisite science Man never need wish to go through!
And, oh!—if a fellow like me May confer a diploma of hearts, With my lip thus I seal your degree, My divine little Mistress of Arts!
YOUNG JESSICA. THOMAS MOORE.
Young Jessica sat all the day, In love-dreams languishingly pining, Her needle bright neglected lay, Like truant genius idly shining. Jessy, 'tis in idle hearts That love and mischief are most nimble; The safest shield against the darts Of Cupid, is Minerva's thimble.
A child who with a magnet play'd, And knew its winning ways so wily, The magnet near the needle laid, And laughing, said, "We'll steal it slily." The needle, having naught to do, Was pleased to let the magnet wheedle, Till closer still the tempter drew, And off, at length, eloped the needle.
Now, had this needle turn'd its eye To some gay reticule's construction, It ne'er had stray'd from duty's tie, Nor felt a magnet's sly seduction. Girls would you keep tranquil hearts, Your snowy fingers must be nimble; The safest shield against the darts Of Cupid, is Minerva's thimble.
RINGS AND SEALS. THOMAS MOORE.
"Go!" said the angry weeping maid, "The charm is broken!—once betray'd, Oh! never can my heart rely On word or look, on oath or sigh. Take back the gifts, so sweetly given, With promis'd faith and vows to heaven; That little ring, which, night and morn, With wedded truth my hand hath worn; That seal which oft, in moments blest, Thou hast upon my lip imprest, And sworn its dewy spring should be A fountain seal'd for only thee! Take, take them back, the gift and vow, All sullied, lost, and hateful, now!"
I took the ring—the seal I took, While oh! her every tear and look Were such as angels look and shed, When man is by the world misled! Gently I whisper'd, "FANNY, dear! Not half thy lover's gifts are here: Say, where are all the seals he gave To every ringlet's jetty wave, And where is every one he printed Upon that lip, so ruby-tinted— Seals of the purest gem of bliss, Oh! richer, softer, far than this!
"And then the ring—my love! recall How many rings, delicious all, His arms around that neck hath twisted, Twining warmer far than this did! Where are they all, so sweet, so many? Oh! dearest, give back all, if any!"
While thus I murmur'd, trembling too Lest all the nymph had vow'd was true, I saw a smile relenting rise 'Mid the moist azure of her eyes. Like day-light o'er a sea of blue, While yet the air is dim with dew! She let her cheek repose on mine, She let my arms around her twine— Oh! who can tell the bliss one feels In thus exchanging rings and seals!
NETS AND CAGES. THOMAS MOORE.
Come, listen to my story, while Your needle's task you ply; At what I sing some maids will smile, While some, perhaps, may sigh. Though Love's the theme, and Wisdom blames Such florid songs as ours, Yet Truth, sometimes, like eastern dames, Can speak her thoughts by flowers. Then listen, maids, come listen, while Your needle's task you ply; At what I sing there's some may smile, While some, perhaps, will sigh. Young Cloe, bent on catching Loves, Such nets had learn'd to frame, That none, in all our vales and groves, Ere caught so much small game: While gentle Sue, less given to roam, When Cloe's nets were taking These flights of birds, sat still at home, One small, neat Love-cage making. Come, listen, maids, etc.
Much Cloe laugh'd at Susan's task; But mark how things went on: These light-caught Loves, ere you could ask Their name and age, were gone! So weak poor Cloe's nets were wove, That, though she charm'd into them New game each hour, the youngest Love Was able to break through them. Come, listen, maids, etc.
Meanwhile, young Sue, whose cage was wrought Of bars too strong to sever, One love with golden pinions caught, And caged him there forever; Instructing thereby, all coquettes, Whate'er their looks or ages, That, though 'tis pleasant weaving Nets, 'Tis wiser to make Cages. Thus, maidens, thus do I beguile The task your fingers ply— May all who hear, like Susan smile, Ah! not like Cloe sigh!
SALAD. SYDNEY SMITH.
To make this condiment, your poet begs The pounded yellow of two hard-boiled eggs; Two boiled potatoes, passed through kitchen-sieve, Smoothness and softness to the salad give; Let onion atoms lurk within the bowl, And, half-suspected, animate the whole. Of mordant mustard add a single spoon, Distrust the condiment that bites so soon; But deem it not, thou man of herbs, a fault, To add a double quantity of salt. And, lastly, o'er the flavored compound toss A magic soup-spoon of anchovy sauce. Oh, green and glorious! Oh, herbaceous treat! 'Twould tempt the dying anchorite to eat; Back to the world he'd turn his fleeting soul, And plunge his fingers in the salad bowl! Serenely full, the epicure would say, Fate can not harm me, I have dined to-day!
MY LETTERS. R. HARRIS BARHAM.
"Litera scripta manet."—Old Saw.
Another mizzling, drizzling day! Of clearing up there's no appearance; So I'll sit down without delay, And here, at least, I'll make a clearance!
Oh ne'er "on such a day as this," Would Dido with her woes oppressed Have woo'd AEneas back to bliss, Or Trolius gone to hunt for Cressid!
No, they'd have stay'd at home, like me, And popp'd their toes upon the fender, And drank a quiet cup of tea: On days like this one can't be tender.
So, Molly, draw that basket nigher, And put my desk upon the table— Bring that portfolio—stir the fire— Now off as fast as you are able!
First here's a card from Mrs. Grimes, "A ball!"—she knows that I'm no dancer— That woman's ask'd me fifty times, And yet I never send an answer.
"DEAR JACK,— Just lend me twenty pounds, Till Monday next, when I'll return it. Yours truly, HENRY GIBBS." Why Z—ds! I've seen the man but twice—here, burn it.
One from my cousin Sophy Daw— Full of Aunt Margery's distresses; "The cat has kitten'd 'in the DRAW,' And ruin'd two bran-new silk dresses."
From Sam, "The Chancellor's motto,"—nay Confound his puns, he knows I hate 'em; "Pro Rege, Lege, Grege,"—Ay, "For King read Mob!" Brougham's old erratum.
From Seraphina Price—"At two"— "Till then I can't, my dearest John, stir;" Two more because I did not go, Beginning "Wretch" and "Faithless Monster!
"Dear Sir,— "This morning Mrs. P—- Who's doing quite as well as may be, Presented me at half past three Precisely, with another baby.
"Well name it John, and know with pleasure You'll stand"—Five guineas more, confound it!— I wish they'd call it Nebuchadnezzar, Or thrown it in the Thames and drown'd it.
What have we next? A civil dun: "John Brown would take it as a favor"— Another, and a surlier one, "I can't put up with SICH behavior."
"Bill so long standing,"—"quite tired out,"— "Must sit down to insist on payment," "Called ten times,"—Here's a fuss about A few coats, waistcoats, and small raiment.
For once I'll send an answer, and in- form Mr. Snip he needn't "call" so; But when his bill's as "tired of standing" As he is, beg't will "sit down also."
This from my rich old Uncle Ned, Thanking me for my annual present; And saying he last Tuesday wed His cook-maid, Molly—vastly pleasant!
An ill-spelt note from Tom at school, Begging I'll let him learn the fiddle; Another from that precious fool, Miss Pyefinch, with a stupid riddle.
"D'ye give it up?" Indeed I do! Confound those antiquated minxes: I won't play "Billy Black" to a "Blue," Or OEdipus to such old sphinxes.
A note sent up from Kent to show me, Left with my bailiff, Peter King; "I'll burn them precious stacks down, blow me! "Yours most sincerely, "CAPTAIN SWING."
Four begging letters with petitions, One from my sister Jane, to pray I'll execute a few commissions In Bond-street, "when I go that way."
"And buy at Pearsall's in the city Twelve skeins of silk for netting purses: Color no matter, so it's pretty;— Two hundred pons"—two hundred curses!
From Mistress Jones: "My little Billy Goes up his schooling to begin, Will you just step to Piccadilly, And meet him when the coach comes in?
"And then, perhaps, you will as well, see The poor dear fellow safe to school At Dr. Smith's in Little Chelsea!" Heaven send he flog the little fool!
From Lady Snooks: "Dear Sir, you know You promised me last week a Rebus; A something smart and apropos, For my new Album?"—Aid me, Phoebus!
"My first is follow'd by my second; Yet should my first my second see, A dire mishap it would be reckon'd, And sadly shock'd my first would be.
"Were I but what my whole implies, And pass'd by chance across your portal You'd cry 'Can I believe my eyes? I never saw so queer a mortal!'
"For then my head would not be on, My arms their shoulders must abandon; My very body would be gone, I should not have a leg to stand on."
Come that's dispatch'd—what follows?—Stay "Reform demanded by the nation; Vote for Tagrag and Bobtail!" Ay, By Jove a blessed REFORMATION!
Jack, clap the saddle upon Rose— Or no!—the filly—she's the fleeter; The devil take the rain—here goes, I'm off—a plumper for Sir Peter!
THE POPLAR. R. HARRIS BARHAM.
Ay, here stands the Poplar, so tall and so stately, On whose tender rind—'twas a little one then— We carved HER initials; though not very lately, We think in the year eighteen hundred and ten.
Yes, here is the G which proclaimed Georgiana; Our heart's empress then; see, 'tis grown all askew; And it's not without grief we perforce entertain a Conviction, it now looks much more like a Q.
This should be the great D too, that once stood for Dobbin, Her lov'd patronymic—ah! can it be so? Its once fair proportions, time, too, has been robbing; A D?—we'll be DEED if it isn't an O!
Alas! how the soul sentimental it vexes, That thus on our labors stern CHRONOS should frown Should change our soft liquids to izzards and Xes, And turn true-love's alphabet all upside down!
A NEW VERSION. THOMAS HOOD.
"HAM. The air bites shrewdly—it is very cold. HOR. It is a nipping and eager air."—HAMLET.
Come, GENTLE Spring! ethereal MILDNESS, come! O! Thomson, void of rhyme as well as reason, How couldst thou thus poor human nature hum? There's no such season.
The Spring! I shrink and shudder at her name! For why, I find her breath a bitter blighter! And suffer from her BLOWS as if they came From Spring the Fighter.
Her praises, then, let hardy poets sing, And be her tuneful laureates and upholders, Who do not feel as if they had a SPRING Poured down their shoulders!
Let others eulogize her floral shows; From me they can not win a single stanza. I know her blooms are in full blow—and so's The Influenza.
Her cowslips, stocks, and lilies of the vale, Her honey-blossoms that you hear the bees at, Her pansies, daffodils, and primrose pale, Are things I sneeze at!
Fair is the vernal quarter of the year! And fair its early buddings and its blowings— But just suppose Consumption's seeds appear With other sowings!
For me, I find, when eastern winds are high, A frigid, not a genial inspiration; Nor can, like Iron-Chested Chubb, defy An inflammation.
Smitten by breezes from the land of plague, To me all vernal luxuries are fables, O! where's the SPRING in a rheumatic leg, Stiff as a table's?
I limp in agony—I wheeze and cough; And quake with Ague, that great Agitator, Nor dream, before July, of leaving off My Respirator.
What wonder if in May itself I lack A peg for laudatory verse to hang on?— Spring, mild and gentle!—yes, a Spring-heeled Jack To those he sprang on.
In short, whatever panegyrics lie In fulsome odes too many to be cited, The tenderness of Spring is all my eye, And that is blighted!
ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF CLAPHAM ACADEMY. THOMAS HOOD.
Ah me! those old familiar bounds! That classic house, those classic grounds, My pensive thought recalls! What tender urchins now confine, What little captives now repine, Within yon irksome walls!
Ay, that's the very house! I know Its ugly windows, ten a row! Its chimneys in the rear! And there's the iron rod so high, That drew the thunder from the sky And turned our table-beer!
There I was birched! there I was bred! There like a little Adam fed From Learning's woeful tree! The weary tasks I used to con!— The hopeless leaves I wept upon!— Most fruitful leaves to me!
The summoned class!—the awful bow!— I wonder who is master now And wholesome anguish sheds! How many ushers now employs, How many maids to see the boys Have nothing in their heads!
And Mrs. S * * *?—Doth she abet (Like Pallas in the palor) yet Some favored two or three— The little Crichtons of the hour, Her muffin-medals that devour, And swill her prize—bohea?
Ay, there's the playground! there's the lime, Beneath whose shade in summer's prime So wildly I have read!— Who sits there NOW, and skims the cream Of young Romance, and weaves a dream Of Love and Cottage-bread?
Who struts the Randall of the walk? Who models tiny heads in chalk? Who scoops the light canoe? What early genius buds apace? Where's Poynter? Harris? Bowers? Chase! Hal Baylis? blithe Carew?
Alack! they're gone—a thousand ways! And some are serving in "the Greys," And some have perished young!— Jack Harris weds his second wife; Hal Baylis drives the WAYNE of life; And blithe Carew—is hung!
Grave Bowers teaches A B C To Savages at Owhyee; Poor Chase is with the worms!— All are gone—the olden breed!— New crops of mushroom boys succeeds, "And push us from our FORMS!"
Lo! where they scramble forth, and shout, And leap, and skip, and mob about, At play where we have played! Some hop, some run (some fall), some twine Their crony arms; some in the shine, And some are in the shade!
Lo there what mixed conditions run! The orphan lad; the widow's son; And Fortune's favored care— The wealthy born, for whom she hath Macadamized the future path— The nabob's pampered heir!
Some brightly starred—some evil born— For honor some, and some for scorn— For fair or foul renown! Good, bad, indifferent—none they lack! Look, here's a white, and there's a black! And there's a creole brown!
Some laugh and sing, some mope and weep, And wish THEIR frugal sires would keep Their only sons at home;— Some tease the future tense, and plan The full-grown doings of the man, And pant for years to come!
A foolish wish! There's one at hoop; And four at FIVES! and five who stoop The marble taw to speed! And one that curvets in and out, Reining his fellow-cob about, Would I were in his STEED!
Yet he would gladly halt and drop That boyish harness off, to swop With this world's heavy van— To toil, to tug. O little fool! While thou can be a horse at school To wish to be a man!
Perchance thou deem'st it were a thing To wear a crown—to be a king! And sleep on regal down! Alas! thou know'st not kingly cares; Far happier is thy head that wears That hat without a crown!
And dost thou think that years acquire New added joys? Dost think thy sire More happy than his son? That manhood's mirth?—O, go thy ways To Drury-lane when——PLAYS, And see how FORCED our fun!
Thy taws are brave!—thy tops are rare!— OUR tops are spun with coils of care, Our DUMPS are no delight!— The Elgin marbles are but tame, And 'tis at best a sorry game To fly the Muse's kite!
Our hearts are dough, our heels are lead, Our topmost joys fall dull and dead, Like balls with no rebound! And often with a faded eye We look behind, and send a sigh Toward that merry ground!
Then be contented. Thou hast got The most of heaven in thy young lot; There's sky-blue in thy cup! Thou'lt find thy manhood all too fast— Soon come, soon gone! and age at last A sorry BREAKING UP!
SCHOOL AND SCHOOL-FELLOWS. W. MACKWORTH PRAED.
Twelve years ago I made a mock Of filthy trades and traffics: I wondered what they meant by stock; I wrote delightful sapphics: I knew the streets of Rome and Troy, I supped with fates and furies; Twelve years ago I was a boy, A happy boy at Drury's.
Twelve years ago!—how many a thought Of faded pains and pleasures, Those whispered syllables have brought From memory's hoarded treasures! The fields, the forms, the beasts, the books. The glories and disgraces, The voices of dear friends, the looks Of old familiar faces.
Where are my friends?—I am alone, No playmate shares my beaker— Some lie beneath the church-yard stone, And some before the Speaker; And some compose a tragedy, And some compose a rondo; And some draw sword for liberty, And some draw pleas for John Doe.
Tom Mill was used to blacken eyes, Without the fear of sessions; Charles Medler loathed false quantities, As much as false professions; Now Mill keeps order in the land, A magistrate pedantic; And Medler's feet repose unscanned Beneath the wide Atlantic.
Wild Nick, whose oaths made such a din, Does Dr. Martext's duty; And Mullion, with that monstrous chin, Is married to a beauty; And Darrel studies, week by week, His Mant and not his Manton; And Ball, who was but poor at Greek, Is very rich at Canton.
And I am eight-and-twenty now— The world's cold chain has bound me; And darker shades are on my brow, And sadder scenes around me: In Parliament I fill my seat, With many other noodles; And lay my head in Germyn-street, And sip my hock at Doodle's.
But often when the cares of life, Have set my temples aching, When visions haunt me of a wife, When duns await my waking, When Lady Jane is in a pet, Or Hobby in a hurry, When Captain Hazard wins a bet, Or Beauheu spoils a curry:
For hours and hours, I think and talk Of each remembered hobby: I long to lounge in Poet's Walk— Or shiver in the lobby; I wish that I could run away From House, and court, and levee, Where bearded men appear to-day, Just Eton boys, grown heavy;
That I could bask in childhood's sun, And dance o'er childhood's roses; And find huge wealth in one pound one, Vast wit and broken noses; And pray Sir Giles at Datchet Lane, And call the milk-maids Houris; That I could be a boy again— A happy boy at Drury's!
THE VICAR. W. MACKWORTH PRAED
Some years ago, ere Time and Taste Had turned our parish topsy-turvy, When Darnel Park was Darnel Waste, And roads as little known as scurvy, The man who lost his way between St. Marys' Hill and Sandy Thicket, Was always shown across the Green, And guided to the Parson's Wicket.
Back flew the bolt of lisson lath; Fair Margaret in her tidy kirtle, Led the lorn traveler up the path, Through clean-clipped rows of box and myrtle: And Don and Sancho, Tramp and Tray, Upon the parlor steps collected, Wagged all their tails, and seemed to say, "Our master knows you; you're expected!"
Up rose the Reverend Doctor Brown, Up rose the Doctor's "winsome marrow;" The lady lay her knitting down, Her husband clasped his ponderous Barrow; Whate'er the stranger's caste or creed, Pundit or papist, saint or sinner, He found a stable for his steed, And welcome for himself, and dinner.
If, when he reached his journey's end, And warmed himself in court or college, He had not gained an honest friend, And twenty curious scraps of knowledge:— If he departed as he came, With no new light on love or liquor,— Good sooth the traveler was to blame, And not the Vicarage, or the Vicar.
His talk was like a stream which runs With rapid change from rocks to roses; It slipped from politics to puns: It passed from Mohammed to Moses: Beginning with the laws which keep The planets in their radiant courses, And ending with some precept deep For dressing eels or shoeing horses.
He was a shrewd and sound divine, Of loud Dissent the mortal terror; And when, by dint of page and line, He 'stablished Truth, or started Error, The Baptist found him far too deep; The Deist sighed with saving sorrow; And the lean Levite went to sleep, And dreamed of tasting pork to-morrow.
His sermons never said or showed That Earth is foul, that Heaven is gracious, Without refreshment on the road From Jerome, or from Athanasius; And sure a righteous zeal inspired The hand and head that penned and planned them, For all who understood, admired, And some who did not understand them.
He wrote, too, in a quiet way, Small treatises and smaller verses; And sage remarks on chalk and clay, And hints to noble lords and nurses; True histories of last year's ghost, Lines to a ringlet or a turban; And trifles for the Morning Post, And nothing for Sylvanus Urban.
He did not think all mischief fair, Although he had a knack of joking; He did not make himself a bear, Although he had a taste for smoking And when religious sects ran mad, He held, in spite of all his learning, That if a man's belief is bad, It will not be improved by burning.
And he was kind, and loved to sit In the low hut or garnished cottage, And praise the farmer's homely wit, And share the widow's homelier pottage: At his approach complaint grew mild, And when his hand unbarred the shutter, The clammy lips of Fever smiled The welcome which they could not utter.
He always had a tale for me Of Julius Caesar or of Venus: From him I learned the rule of three, Cat's cradle, leap-frog, and Quae genus; I used to singe his powdered wig, To steal the staff he put such trust in; And make the puppy dance a jig When he began to quote Augustin.
Alack the change! in vain I look For haunts in which my boyhood trifled; The level lawn, the trickling brook, The trees I climbed, the beds I rifled: The church is larger than before: You reach it by a carriage entry: It holds three hundred people more: And pews are fitted up for gentry.
Sit in the Vicar's seat: you'll hear The doctrine of a gentle Johnian, Whose hand is white, whose tone is clear, Whose tone is very Ciceronian. Where is the old man laid?—look down, And construe on the slab before you, HIC JACET GULIELMUS BROWN, VIR NULLA NON DONANDUS LAURA.
THE BACHELOR'S CANE-BOTTOMED CHAIR. W. M. THACKERAY
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 crammed in all nooks, With worthless old knicknacks and silly old books, And foolish old odds and foolish old ends, Cracked bargains from brokers, cheap keepsakes from friends.
Old armor, prints, pictures, pipes, china (all cracked), 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-bottomed chair.
'Tis a bandy-legged, high-shouldered, 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-bottomed chair.
If chairs have but feeling in holding such charms, A thrill must have passed through your withered old arms! I looked, and I longed, and I wished in despair; I wished myself turned to a cane-bottomed 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 bloomed in my cane-bottomed 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-bottomed 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-bottomed 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-bottomed chair.
STANZAS TO PALE ALE. PUNCH.
Oh! I have loved thee fondly, ever Preferr'd thee to the choicest wine; From thee my lips they could not sever By saying thou contain'dst strychnine. Did I believe the slander? Never! I held thee still to be divine.
For me thy color hath a charm, Although 'tis true they call thee Pale; And be thou cold when I am warm, As late I've been—so high the scale Of FAHRENHEIT—and febrile harm Allay, refrigerating Ale!
How sweet thou art!—yet bitter, too And sparkling, like satiric fun; But how much better thee to brew, Than a conundrum or a pun, It is, in every point of view, Must be allow'd by every one.
Refresh my heart and cool my throat, Light, airy child of malt and hops! That dost not stuff, engross, and bloat The skin, the sides, the chin, the chops, And burst the buttons off the coat, Like stout and porter—fattening slops!
"CHILDREN MUST BE PAID FOR." PUNCH.
Sweet is the sound of infant voice; Young innocence is full of charms: There's not a pleasure half so choice, As tossing up a child in arms. Babyhood is a blessed state, Felicity expressly made for; But still, on earth it is our fate, That even "Children must be paid for."
If in an omnibus we ride, It is a beauteous sight to see, When full the vehicle inside, Age taking childhood on its knee. But in the dog-days' scorching heat, When a slight breath of air is pray'd for, Half suffocated in our seat, We feel that "Children must be paid for."
There is about the sports of youth A charm that reaches every heart, Marbles or tops are games of truth, The bat plays no deceiver's part. But if we hear a sudden crash, No explanation need be stay'd for, We know there's something gone to smash; We feel that "Children must be paid for."
How exquisite the infant's grace, When, clambering upon the knee, The cherub, smiling, takes his place Upon his mother's lap at tea; Perchance the beverage flows o'er, And leaves a stain there is no aid for, On carpet, dress, or chair—Once more We feel that "Children must be paid for."
Presiding at the festive board, With many faces laughing round, Dull melancholy is ignored While mirth and jollity abound: We see our table amply spread With knives and forks a dozen laid for, Then pause to think—"How are they fed?" Yes, "Children must indeed be paid for!"
THE MUSQUITO. WILLIAM CULLEN BRYANT.
Fair insect! that, with thread-like legs spread out, And blood-extracting bill, and filmy wing, Dost murmur, as thou slowly sail'st about, In pitiless ears full many a plaintive thing, And tell how little our large veins should bleed, Would we but yield them to thy bitter need.
Unwillingly, I own, and, what is worse, Full angrily men hearken to thy plaint, Thou gettest many a brush and many a curse, For saying thou art gaunt, and starved, and faint: Even the old beggar, while he asks for food, Would kill thee, hapless stranger, if he could.
I call thee stranger, for the town, I ween, Has not the honor of so proud a birth— Thou com'st from Jersey meadows, fresh and green, The offspring of the gods, though born on earth; For Titan was thy sire, and fair was she, The ocean-nymph that nursed thy infancy.
Beneath the rushes was thy cradle swung, And when, at length, thy gauzy wings grew strong, Abroad to gentle airs their folds were flung, Rose in the sky, and bore thee soft along; The south wind breathed to waft thee on thy way, And danced and shone beneath the billowy bay.
Calm rose afar the city spires, and thence Came the deep murmur of its throng of men, And as its grateful odors met thy sense, They seemed the perfumes of thy native fen. Fair lay its crowded streets, and at the sight Thy tiny song grew shriller with delight.
At length thy pinion fluttered in Broadway—- Ah, there were fairy steps, and white necks kissed By wanton airs, and eyes whose killing ray Shone through the snowy vails like stars through mist; And fresh as morn, on many a cheek and chin, Bloomed the bright blood through the transparent skin.
Sure these were sights to tempt an anchorite! What! do I hear thy slender voice complain? Thou wailest when I talk of beauty's light, As if it brought the memory of pain: Thou art a wayward being—well—come near, And pour thy tale of sorrow in my ear.
What say'st thou, slanderer!—rouge makes thee sick? And China Bloom at best is sorry food? And Rowland's Kalydor, if laid on thick, Poisons the thirsty wretch that bores for blood? Go! 'twas a just reward that met thy crime— But shun the sacrilege another time.
That bloom was made to look at—not to touch; To worship—not approach—that radiant white; And well might sudden vengeance light on such As dared, like thee, most impiously to bite. Thou should'st have gazed at distance, and admired— Murmured thy admiration, and retired.
Thou 'rt welcome to the town—but why come here To bleed a brother poet, gaunt like thee? Alas! the little blood I have is dear, And thin will be the banquet drawn from me. Look round—the pale-eyed sisters in my cell, Thy old acquaintance, Song and Famine, dwell.
Try some plump alderman, and suck the blood Enriched by generous wine and costly meat; On well-filled skins, sleek as thy native mud, Fix thy light pump, and press thy freckled feet; Go to the men for whom, in ocean's halls, The oyster breeds, and the green turtle sprawls.
There corks are drawn, and the red vintage flows, To fill the swelling veins for thee, and now The ruddy cheek, and now the ruddier nose Shall tempt thee, as thou flittest round the brow; And when the hour of sleep its quiet brings, No angry hand shall rise to brush thy wings.
TO THE LADY IN THE CHEMISETTE WITH BLACK BUTTONS. N. P. WILLIS.
I know not who thou art, thou lovely one, Thine eyes were drooped, thy lips half sorrowful, Yet didst thou eloquently smile on me, While handing up thy sixpence through the hole Of that o'er-freighted omnibus!—ah, me!— The world is full of meetings such as this; A thrill—a voiceless challenge and reply, And sudden partings after—we may pass, And know not of each other's nearness now, Thou in the Knickerbocker line, and I Lone in the Waverley! Oh! life of pain; And even should I pass where thou dost dwell— Nay, see thee in the basement taking tea— So cold is this inexorable world, I must glide on, I dare not feast mine eye, I dare not make articulate my love, Nor o'er the iron rails that hem thee in Venture to throw to thee my innocent card, Not knowing thy papa.
Hast thou papa? Is thy progenitor alive, fair girl? And what doth he for lucre? Lo again! A shadow o'er the face of this fair dream! For thou may'st be as beautiful as Love Can make thee, and the ministering hands Of milliners, incapable of more, Be lifted at thy shapeliness and air, And still 'twixt me and thee, invisibly, May rise a wall of adamant. My breath Upon my pale lip freezes as I name Manhattan's orient verge, and eke the west In its far down extremity. Thy sire May be the signer of a temperance pledge, And clad all decently may walk the earth— Nay—may be number'd with that blessed few Who never ask for discount—yet, alas! If, homeward wending from his daily cares, He go by Murphy's Line, thence eastward tending— Or westward from the Line of Kipp & Brown— My vision is departed! Harshly falls The doom upon the ear, "She's not genteel!" And pitiless is woman who doth keep Of "good society" the golden key! And gentlemen are bound, as are the stars, To stoop not after rising!
But farewell, And I shall look for thee in streets where dwell The passengers by Broadway Lines alone! And if my dreams be true, and thou, indeed, Art only not more lovely than genteel— Then, lady of the snow-white chemisette, The heart which vent'rously cross'd o'er to thee Upon that bridge of sixpence, may remain— And, with up-town devotedness and truth, My love shall hover round thee!
COME OUT, LOVE. N. P. WILLIS.
Argument.—The poet starts from the Bowling Green to take his sweetheart up to Thompson's for an ice, or (if she is inclined for more) ices. He confines his muse to matters which any every-day man and young woman may see in taking the same promenade for the same innocent refreshment.
Come out, love—the night is enchanting! The moon hangs just over Broadway; The stars are all lighted and panting— (Hot weather up there, I dare say!) 'Tis seldom that "coolness" entices, And love is no better for chilling— But come up to Thompson's for ices, And cool your warm heart for a shilling!
What perfume comes balmily o'er us? Mint juleps from City Hotel! A loafer is smoking before us— (A nasty cigar, by the smell!)O Woman! thou secret past knowing! Like lilacs that grow by the wall, You breathe every air that is going, Yet gather but sweetness from all!
On, on! by St. Paul's, and the Astor! Religion seems very ill-plann'd! For one day we list to the pastor, For six days we list to the band! The sermon may dwell on the future, The organ your pulses may calm— When—pest!—that remember'd cachucha Upsets both the sermon and psalm!
Oh, pity the love that must utter While goes a swift omnibus by! (Though sweet is I SCREAM* when the flutter Of fans shows thermometers high)— But if what I bawl, or I mutter, Falls into your ear but to die, Oh, the dew that falls into the gutter Is not more unhappy than I! *[Footnote: Query—Should this be Ice cream, or I scream?—Printer's Devil.]
THE WHITE CHIP HAT. N. P. WILLIS.
I pass'd her one day in a hurry, When late for the Post with a letter— I think near the corner of Murray— And up rose my heart as I met her! I ne'er saw a parasol handled So like to a duchess's doing— I ne'er saw a slighter foot sandal'd, Or so fit to exhale in the shoeing— Lovely thing!
Surprising!—one woman can dish us So many rare sweets up together! Tournure absolutely delicious— Chip hat without flower or feather— Well-gloved and enchantingly boddiced, Her waist like the cup of a lily— And an air, that, while daintily modest, Repell'd both the saucy and silly— Quite the thing!
For such a rare wonder you'll say, sir, There's reason in tearing one's tether— And, to see her again in Broadway, sir, Who would not be lavish of leather! I met her again, and as YOU know I'm sage as old Voltaire at Ferney— But I said a bad word—for my Juno Look'd sweet on a sneaking attorney— Horrid thing!
Away flies the dream I had nourish'd— My castles like mockery fall, sir! And, now, the fine airs that she flourish'd Seem varnish and crockery all, sir! The bright cup which angels might handle Turns earthy when finger'd by asses— And the star that "swaps" light with a candle, Thenceforth for a pennyworth passes!— Not the thing!
YOU KNOW IF IT WAS YOU N. P. WILLIS.
As the chill'd robin, bound to Florida Upon a morn of autumn, crosses flying The air-track of a snipe most passing fair— Yet colder in her blood than she is fair— And as that robin lingers on the wing, And feels the snipe's flight in the eddying air, And loves her for her coldness not the less— But fain would win her to that warmer sky Where love lies waking with the fragrant stars— Lo I—a languisher for sunnier climes, Where fruit, leaf, blossom, on the trees forever Image the tropic deathlessness of love— Have met, and long'd to win thee, fairest lady, To a more genial clime than cold Broadway!
Tranquil and effortless thou glidest on, As doth the swan upon the yielding water, And with a cheek like alabaster cold! But as thou didst divide the amorous air Just opposite the Astor, and didst lift That vail of languid lashes to look in At Leary's tempting window—lady! then My heart sprang in beneath that fringed vail, Like an adventurous bird that would escape To some warm chamber from the outer cold! And there would I delightedly remain, And close that fringed window with a kiss, And in the warm sweet chamber of thy breast, Be prisoner forever!
THE DECLARATION. N. P. WILLIS.
'Twas late, and the gay company was gone, And light lay soft on the deserted room From alabaster vases, and a scent Of orange-leaves, and sweet verbena came Through the uushutter'd window on the air, And the rich pictures with their dark old tints Hung like a twilight landscape, and all things Seem'd hush'd into a slumber. Isabel, The dark-eyed, spiritual Isabel Was leaning on her harp, and I had stay'd To whisper what I could not when the crowd Hung on her look like worshipers. I knelt, And with the fervor of a lip unused To the cool breath of reason, told my love. There was no answer, and I took the hand That rested on the strings, and press'd a kiss Upon it unforbidden—and again Besought her, that this silent evidence That I was not indifferent to her heart, Might have the seal of one sweet syllable. I kiss'd the small white fingers as I spoke, And she withdrew them gently, and upraised Her forehead from its resting-place, and look'd Earnestly on me—SHE HAD BEEN ASLEEP!
LOVE IN A COTTAGE. N. P. WILLIS.
They may talk of love in a cottage, And bowers of trellised vine— Of nature bewitchingly simple, And milkmaids half divine; They may talk of the pleasure of sleeping In the shade of a spreading tree, And a walk in the fields at morning, By the side of a footstep free!
But give me a sly flirtation By the light of a chandelier— With music to play in the pauses, And nobody very near; Or a seat on a silken sofa, With a glass of pure old wine, And mamma too blind to discover The small white hand in mine.
Four love in a cottage is hungry, Your vine is a nest for flies— Your milkmaid shocks the Graces, And simplicity talks of pies! You lie down to your shady slumber And wake with a bug in your ear, And your damsel that walks in the morning Is shod like a mountaineer.
True love is at home on a carpet, And mightily likes his ease— And true love has an eye for a dinner, And starves beneath shady trees. His wing is the fan of a lady, His foot's an invisible thing, And his arrow is tipp'd with a jewel, And shot from a silver string.
TO HELEN IN A HUFF. N. P. WILLIS
Nay, lady, one frown is enough In a life as soon over as this— And though minutes seem long in a huff, They're minutes 'tis pity to miss! The smiles you imprison so lightly Are reckon'd, like days in eclipse; And though you may smile again brightly, You've lost so much light from your lips! Pray, lady, smile!
The cup that is longest untasted May be with our bliss running o'er, And, love when we will, we have wasted An age in not loving before! Perchance Cupid's forging a fetter To tie us together some day, And, just for the chance, we had better Be laying up love, I should say! Nay, lady, smile!
THE HEIGHT OF THE RIDICULOUS. OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.
I wrote some lines, once on a time, In wondrous merry mood, And thought, as usual, men would say They were exceeding good.
They were so queer, so very queer, I laughed as I would die; Albeit, in the general way, A sober man am I.
I called my servant, and he came; How kind it was of him, To mind a slender man like me, He of the mighty limb!
"These to the printer," I exclaimed. And, in my humorous way, I added (as a trifling jest), "There'll be the devil to pay."
He took the paper, and I watched, And saw him peep within; At the first line he read, his face Was all upon the grin.
He read the next; the grin grew broad. And shot from ear to ear; He read the third; a chuckling noise I now began to hear.
The fourth; he broke into a roar; The fifth; his waistband split; The sixth; he burst five buttons off, And tumbled in a fit.
Ten days and nights, with sleepless eye, I watched that wretched man, And since, I never dare to write As funny as I can.
THE BRIEFLESS BARRISTER. A BALLAD. JOHN G. SAXE.
An Attorney was taking a turn, In shabby habiliments drest; His coat it was shockingly worn, And the rust had invested his vest.
His breeches had suffered a breach, His linen and worsted were worse; He had scarce a whole crown in his hat, And not half-a-crown in his purse.
And thus as he wandered along, A cheerless and comfortless elf, He sought for relief in a song, Or complainingly talked to himself:
"Unfortunate man that I am! I've never a client but grief; The case is, I've no case at all, And in brief, I've ne'er had a brief!
"I've waited and waited in vain, Expecting an 'opening' to find, Where an honest young lawyer might gain Some reward for the toil of his mind.
"'Tis not that I'm wanting in law, Or lack an intelligent face, That others have cases to plead, While I have to plead for a case.
"O, how can a modest young man E'er hope for the smallest progression— The profession's already so full Of lawyers so full of profession!"
While thus he was strolling around, His eye accidentally fell On a very deep hole in the ground, And he sighed to himself, "It is well!"
To curb his emotions, he sat On the curb-stone the space of a minute, Then cried, "Here's an opening at last!" And in less than a jiffy was in it!
Next morning twelve citizens came ('Twas the coroner bade them attend), To the end that it might be determined How the man had determined his end!
"The man was a lawyer, I hear," Quoth the foreman who sat on the corse; "A lawyer? Alas!" said another, "Undoubtedly he died of remorse!"
A third said, "He knew the deceased, An attorney well versed in the laws, And as to the cause of his death, 'Twas no doubt from the want of a cause."
The jury decided at length, After solemnly weighing the matter, "That the lawyer was drownDed, because He could not keep his head above water!"
SONNET TO A CLAM. JOHN G. SAXE Dum tacent CLAMant
Inglorious friend! most confident I am Thy life is one of very little ease; Albeit men mock thee with their similes And prate of being "happy as a clam!" What though thy shell protects thy fragile head From the sharp bailiffs of the briny sea? Thy valves are, sure, no safety-valves to thee, While rakes are free to desecrate thy bed, And bear thee off—as foemen take their spoil— Far from thy friends and family to roam; Forced, like a Hessian, from thy native home, To meet destruction in a foreign broil! Though thou art tender, yet thy humble bard Declares, O clam! thy case is shocking hard!
VENUS OF THE NEEDLE.
O Maryanne, you pretty girl, Intent on silky labor, Of sempstresses the pink and pearl, Excuse a peeping neighbor!
Those eyes, forever drooping, give The long brown lashes rarely; But violets in the shadows live,— For once unvail them fairly.
Hast thou not lent that flounce enough Of looks so long and earnest? Lo, here's more "penetrable stuff," To which thou never turnest.
Ye graceful fingers, deftly sped! How slender, and how nimble! O might I wind their skeins of thread, Or but pick up their thimble!
How blest the youth whom love shall bring, And happy stars embolden, To change the dome into a ring, The silver into golden!
Who'll steal some morning to her side To take her finger's measure, While Maryanne pretends to chide, And blushes deep with pleasure.
Who'll watch her sew her wedding-gown, Well conscious that it IS hers, Who'll glean a tress, without a frown, With those so ready scissors.
Who'll taste those ripenings of the south, The fragrant and delicious— Don't put the pins into your mouth, O Maryanne, my precious!
I almost wish it were my trust To teach how shocking that is; I wish I had not, as I must, To quit this tempting lattice.
Sure aim takes Cupid, fluttering foe, Across a street so narrow; A thread of silk to string his bow, A needle for his arrow!
TAKE THY OLD CLOAK ABOUT THEE [OLD BALLAD, QUOTED BY SHAKSPEARE, IN OTHELLO.] PERCY RELIQUES
This winters weather itt waxeth cold, And frost doth freese on every hill, And Boreas blowes his blasts soe bold, That all our cattell are like to spill; Bell, my wiffe, who loves noe strife, Shee sayd unto me quietlye, Rise up, and save cow Cumbockes liffe, Man, put thine old cloake about thee.
HE. O Bell, why dost thou flyte and scorne? Thou kenst my cloak is very thin: Itt is soe bare and overworne A cricke he theron cannot renn: Then Ile no longer borrowe nor lend, For once Ile new appareld bee, To-morrow Ile to towne and spend, For Ile have a new cloake about mee.
SHE. Cow Crumbocke is a very good cowe, Shee ha beene alwayes true to the payle, She has helpt us to butter and cheese, I trow And other things shee will not fayle; I wold be loth to see her pine, Good husband councell take of mee, It is not for us to go soe fine, Man, take thine old cloake about thee.
HE. My cloake it was a very good cloake Itt hath been alwayes true to the weare, But now it is not worth a groat; I have had it four and forty yeere; Sometime itt was of cloth in graine, 'Tis now but a sigh clout as you may see. It will neither hold out winde nor raine; And Ile have a new cloake about mee.