The Home Book of Verse, Volume 4
Burton Egbert Stevenson

Part 3 out of 6


Rose kissed me to-day.
Will she kiss me to-morrow?
Let it be as it may,
Rose kissed me to-day
But the pleasure gives way
To a savor of sorrow; -
Rose kissed me to-day, -
Will she kiss me to-morrow?

Austin Dobson [1840-1921]


Mimi, do you remember -
Don't get behind your fan -
That morning in September
On the cliffs of Grand Manan,
Where to the shock of Fundy
The topmost harebells sway
(Campanula rotundi-
folia: cf. Gray)?

On the pastures high and level,
That overlook the sea,
Where I wondered what the devil
Those little things could be
That Mimi stooped to gather,
As she strolled across the down,
And held her dress skirt rather -
Oh, now, you need n't frown.

For you know the dew was heavy,
And your boots, I know, were thin;
So a little extra brevi-
ty in skirts was, sure, no sin.
Besides, who minds a cousin?
First, second, even third, -
I've kissed 'em by the dozen,
And they never once demurred.

"If one's allowed to ask it,"
Quoth I, " ma belle cousine,
What have you in your basket?"
(Those baskets white and green
The brave Passamaquoddies
Weave out of scented grass,
And sell to tourist bodies
Who through Mt. Desert pass.)

You answered, slightly frowning,
"Put down your stupid book -
That everlasting Browning! -
And come and help me look.
Mushroom you spik him English,
I call him champignon:
I'll teach you to distinguish
The right kind from the wrong."

There was no fog on Fundy
That blue September day;
The west wind, for that one day,
Had swept it all away.
The lighthouse glasses twinkled,
The white gulls screamed and flew,
The merry sheep-bells tinkled,
The merry breezes blew.

The bayberry aromatic,
The papery immortelle,
(That give our grandma's attic
That sentimental smell,
Tied up in little brush-brooms)
Were sweet as new-mown hay,
While we went hunting mushrooms
That blue September day.

Henry Augustin Beers [1847-1926]


When you were a Tadpole and I was a Fish,
In the Paleozoic time,
And side by side on the ebbing tide,
We sprawled through the ooze and slime,
Or skittered with many a caudal flip
Through the depths of the Cambrian fen -
My heart was rife with the joy of life,
For I loved you even then.

Mindless we lived, mindless we loved,
And mindless at last we died;
And deep in the rift of a Caradoc drift
We slumbered side by side.
The world turned on in the lathe of time,
The hot sands heaved amain,
Till we caught our breath from the womb of death,
And crept into life again.

We were Amphibians, scaled and tailed,
And drab as a dead man's hand.
We coiled at ease 'neath the dripping trees
Or trailed through the mud and sand,
Croaking and blind, with our three-clawed feet,
Writing a language dumb,
With never a spark in the empty dark
To hint at a life to come.

Yet happy we lived, and happy we loved,
And happy we died once more.
Our forms were rolled in the clinging mold
Of a Neocomian shore.
The aeons came and the aeons fled,
And the sleep that wrapped us fast
Was riven away in a newer day,
And the night of death was past.

Then light and swift through the jungle trees
We swung in our airy flights,
Or breathed the balms of the fronded palms
In the hush of the moonless nights.
And oh, what beautiful years were these
When our hearts clung each to each;
When life was filled and our senses thrilled
In the first faint dawn of speech!

Thus life by life, and love by love,
We passed through the cycles strange,
And breath by breath, and death by death,
We followed the chain of change.
Till there came a time in the law of life
When over the nursing sod
The shadows broke, and the soul awoke
In a strange, dim dream of God.

I was thewed like an Aurocks bull
And tusked like the great Cave-Bear,
And you, my sweet, from head to feet,
Were gowned in your glorious hair.
Deep in the gloom of a fireless cave,
When the night fell o'er the plain,
And the moon hung red o'er the river bed,
We mumbled the bones of the slain.

I flaked a flint to a cutting edge,
And shaped it with brutish craft;
I broke a shank from the woodland dank,
And fitted it, head to haft.
Then I hid me close in the reedy tarn,
Where the Mammoth came to drink -
Through brawn and bone I drave the stone,
And slew him upon the brink.

Loud I howled through the moonlit wastes,
Loud answered our kith and kin;
From west and east to the crimson feast
The clan came trooping in.
O'er joint and gristle and padded hoof,
We fought and clawed and tore,
And cheek by jowl, with many a growl,
We talked the marvel o'er.

I carved that fight on a reindeer bone
With rude and hairy hand;
I pictured his fall on the cavern wall
That men might understand.
For we lived by blood and the right of might,
Ere human laws were drawn,
And the Age of Sin did not begin
Till our brutal tusks were gone.

And that was a million years ago,
In a time that no man knows;
Yet here to-night in the mellow light,
We sit at Delmonico's.
Your eyes are deep as the Devon springs,
Your hair is as dark as jet,
Your years are few, your life is new,
Your soul untried, and yet -

Our trail is on the Kimmeridge clay,
And the scarp of the Purbeck flags;
We have left our bones in the Bagshot stones,
And deep in the Coralline crags.
Our love is old, and our lives are old,
And death shall come amain.
Should it come to-day, what man may say
We shall not live again?

God wrought our souls from the Tremadoc beds
And furnished them wings to fly;
He sowed our spawn in the world's dim dawn,
And I know that it shall not die;
Though cities have sprung above the graves
Where the crook-boned men made war,
And the ox-wain creaks o'er the buried caves
Where the mummied mammoths are.

Then, as we linger at luncheon here,
O'er many a dainty dish,
Let us drink anew to the time when you
Were a Tadpole and I was a Fish.

Langdon Smith [1858-1908]


On his death-bed poor Lubin lies:
His spouse is in despair;
With frequent cries, and mutual sighs,
They both express their care.

"A different cause," says Parson Sly,
"The same effect may give:
Poor Lubin fears that he may die;
His wife, that he may live."

Matthew Prior [1664-1721]


Upon my mantel-piece they stand,
While all its length between them lies;
He throws a kiss with graceful hand,
She glances back with bashful eyes.

The china Shepherdess is fair,
The Shepherd's face denotes a heart
Burning with ardor and despair.
Alas, they stand so far apart!

And yet, perhaps, if they were moved,
And stood together day by day,
Their love had not so constant proved,
Nor would they still have smiled so gay.

His hand the Shepherd might have kissed
The match-box Angel's heart to win;
The Shepherdess, his love have missed,
And flirted with the Mandarin.

But on my mantel-piece they stand,
While all its length between them lies;
He throws a kiss with graceful hand,
She glances back with bashful eyes.

Mildred Howells [1872-


At Cato's Head in Russell Street
These leaves she sat a-stitching;
I fancy she was trim and neat,
Blue-eyed and quite bewitching.

Before her on the street below,
All powder, ruffs, and laces,
There strutted idle London beaux
To ogle pretty faces;

While, filling many a Sedan chair
With monstrous hoop and feather,
In paint and powder London's fair
Went trooping past together.

Swift, Addison, and Pope, mayhap
They sauntered slowly past her,
Or printer's boy, with gown and cap,
For Steele, went trotting faster.

For beau nor wit had she a look;
Nor lord nor lady minding,
She bent her head above this book,
Attentive to her binding.

And one stray thread of golden hair,
Caught on her nimble fingers,
Was stitched within this volume, where
Until to-day it lingers.

Past and forgotten, beaux and fair,
Wigs, powder, all outdated;
A queer antique, the Sedan chair,
Pope, stiff and antiquated.

Yet as I turn these odd, old plays,
This single stray lock finding,
I'm back in those forgotten days,
And watch her at her binding.

Walter Learned [1847-1915]

Letter From A Lady In London To A Lady At Lausanne

Dear Alice! you'll laugh when you know it, -
Last week, at the Duchess's ball,
I danced with the clever new poet, -
You've heard of him, - Tully St. Paul.
Miss Jonquil was perfectly frantic;
I wish you had seen Lady Anne!
It really was very romantic,
He is such a talented man!

He came up from Brazen Nose College,
Just caught, as they call it, this spring;
And his head, love, is stuffed full of knowledge
Of every conceivable thing.
Of science and logic he chatters,
As fine and as fast as he can;
Though I am no judge of such matters,
I'm sure he's a talented man.

His stories and jests are delightful; -
Not stories or jests, dear, for you;
The jests are exceedingly spiteful,
The stories not always quite true.
Perhaps to be kind and veracious
May do pretty well at Lausanne;
But it never would answer, - good gracious!
Chez nous - in a talented man.

He sneers, - how my Alice would scold him! -
At the bliss of a sigh or a tear;
He laughed - only think! - when I told him
How we cried o'er Trevelyan last year;
I vow I was quite in a passion;
I broke all the sticks of my fan;
But sentiment's quite out of fashion,
It seems, in a talented man.

Lady Bab, who is terribly moral,
Has told me that Tully is vain,
And apt - which is silly - to quarrel,
And fond - which is sad - of champagne.
I listened, and doubted, dear Alice,
For I saw, when my Lady began,
It was only the Dowager's malice; -
She does hate a talented man!

He's hideous, I own it. But fame, love,
Is all that these eyes can adore;
He's lame, - but Lord Byron was lame, love,
And dumpy, - but so is Tom Moore.
Then his voice, - such a voice! my sweet creature,
It's like your Aunt Lucy's toucan:
But oh! what's a tone or a feature,
When once one's a talented man?

My mother, you know, all the season,
Has talked of Sir Geoffrey's estate;
And truly, to do the fool reason,
He has been less horrid of late.
But to-day, when we drive in the carriage,
I'll tell her to lay down her plan; -
If ever I venture on marriage,
It must be a talented man!

P.S. - I have found, on reflection,
One fault in my friend, - entre nous;
Without it, he'd just be perfection; -
Poor fellow, he has not a sou!
And so, when he comes in September
To shoot with my uncle, Sir Dan,
I've promised mamma to remember
He's only a talented man!

Winthrop Mackworth Praed [1802-1839]

From Miss Medora Trevilian, At Padua,
To Miss Araminta Vavasour, In London

"Enfin, Monsieur, homme aimable;
Voila pourquoi je ne saurais l'aimer." - Scribe

You tell me you're promised a lover,
My own Araminta, next week;
Why cannot my fancy discover
The hue of his coat, and his cheek?
Alas! if he look like another,
A vicar, a banker, a beau,
Be deaf to your father and mother,
My own Araminta, say "No!"

Miss Lane, at her Temple of Fashion,
Taught us both how to sing and to speak,
And we loved one another with passion,
Before we had been there a week:
You gave me a ring for a token;
I wear it wherever I go;
I gave you a chain, - it is broken?
My own Araminta, say "No!"

O think of our favorite cottage,
And think of our dear Lalla Rookh!
How we shared with the milkmaids their pottage,
And drank of the stream from the brook;
How fondly our loving lips faltered,
"What further can grandeur bestow?"
My heart is the same; - is yours altered?
My own Araminta, say "No!"

Remember the thrilling romances
We read on the bank in the glen;
Remember the suitors our fancies
Would picture for both of us then;
They wore the red cross on their shoulder,
They had vanquished and pardoned their foe -
Sweet friend, are you wiser or colder?
My own Araminta, say "No!"

You know, when Lord Rigmarole's carriage,
Drove off with your cousin Justine,
You wept, dearest girl, at the marriage,
And whispered "How base she has been!"
You said you were sure it would kill you,
If ever your husband looked so;
And you will not apostatize, - will you?
My own Araminta, say "No!"

When I heard I was going abroad, love,
I thought I was going to die;
We walked arm in arm to the road, love,
We looked arm in arm to the sky;
And I said, "When a foreign postilion
Has hurried me off to the Po,
Forget not Medora Trevilian: -
My own Araminta, say "No!"

We parted! but sympathy's fetters
Reach far over valley and hill;
I muse o'er your exquisite letters,
And feel that your heart is mine still;
And he who would share it with me, love, -
The richest of treasures below, -
If he's not what Orlando should be, love,
My own Araminta, say "No!"

If he wears a top-boot in his wooing,
If he comes to you riding a cob,
If he talks of his baking or brewing,
If he puts up his feet on the hob,
If he ever drinks port after dinner,
If his brow or his breeding is low,
If he calls himself "Thompson" or "Skinner,"
My own Araminta, say "No!"

If he studies the news in the papers
While you are preparing the tea,
If he talks of the damps or the vapors
While moonlight lies soft on the sea,
If he's sleepy while you are capricious,
If he has not a musical "Oh!"
If he does not call Werther delicious, -
My own Araminta, say "No!"

If he ever Sets foot in the city
Among the stockbrokers and Jews,
If he has not a heart full of pity,
If he don't stand six feet in his shoes,
If his lips are not redder than roses,
If his hands are not whiter than snow,
If he has not the model of noses, -
My own Araminta, say "No!"

If he speaks of a tax or a duty,
If he does not look grand on his knees,
If he's blind to a landscape of beauty,
Hills, valleys, rocks, waters, and trees,
If he dotes not on desolate towers,
If he likes not to hear the blast blow,
If he knows not the language of flowers, -
My own Araminta, say "No!"

He must walk like a god of old story
Come down from the home of his rest;
He must smile like the sun in his glory
On the buds he loves ever the best;
And oh! from its ivory portal
Like music his soft speech must flow! -
If he speak, smile, or walk like a mortal,
My own Araminta, say "No!"

Don't listen to tales of his bounty,
Don't hear what they say of his birth,
Don't look at his seat in the county,
Don't calculate what he is worth;
But give him a theme to write verse on,
And see if he turns out his toe; -
If he's only an excellent person,
My own Araminta, say "No!"

Winthrop Mackworth Praed [1802-1839]


"There are plenty of roses" (the patriarch speaks)
"Alas not for me, on your lips and your cheeks;
Fair maiden rose-laden enough and to spare,
Spare, spare me that rose that you wear in your hair."

The glow and the glory are plighted
To darkness, for evening is come;
The lamp in Glebe Cottage is lighted,
The birds and the sheep-bells are dumb.
I'm alone, for the others have flitted
To dine with a neighbor at Kew:
Alone, but I'm not to be pitied -
I'm thinking of you!

I wish you were here! Were I duller
Than dull, you'd be dearer than dear;
I am dressed in your favorite color -
Dear Fred, how I wish you were here!
I am wearing my lazuli necklace,
The necklace you fastened askew!
Was there ever so rude or so reckless
A Darling as you?

I want you to come and pass sentence
On two or three books with a plot;
Of course you know "Janet's Repentance"?
I am reading Sir Waverley Scott.
That story of Edgar and Lucy,
How thrilling, romantic, and true!
The Master (his bride was a goosey!)
Reminds me of you.

They tell me Cockaigne has been crowning
A Poet whose garland endures; -
It was you that first told me of Browning, -
That stupid old Browning of yours!
His vogue and his verve are alarming,
I'm anxious to give him his due;
But, Fred, he's not nearly so charming
A Poet as you!

I heard how you shot at The Beeches,
I saw how you rode Chanticleer,
I have read the report of your speeches,
And echoed the echoing cheer.
There's a whisper of hearts you are breaking,
Dear Fred, I believe it, I do!
Small marvel that Folly is making
Her Idol of you!

Alas for the World, and its dearly
Bought triumph, - its fugitive bliss;
Sometimes I half wish I were merely
A plain or a penniless Miss;
But, perhaps, one is blest with "a measure
Of pelf," and I'm not sorry, too,
That I'm pretty, because it's a pleasure,
My Darling, to you!

Your whim is for frolic and fashion,
Your taste is for letters and art; -
This rhyme is the commonplace passion
That glows in a fond woman's heart:
Lay it by in some sacred deposit
For relics - we all have a few!
Love, some day they'll print it, because it
Was written to You.

Frederick Locker-Lampson [1821-1895]


I'm sitting alone by the fire,
Dressed just as I came from the dance,
In a robe even you would admire, -
It cost a cool thousand in France;
I'm be-diamonded out of all reason,
My hair is done up in a cue:
In short, sir, "the belle of the season"
Is wasting an hour upon you.

A dozen engagements I've broken;
I left in the midst of a set;
Likewise a proposal, half spoken,
That waits - on the stairs - for me yet.
They say he'll be rich, - when he grows up, -
And then he adores me indeed;
And you, sir, are turning your nose up,
Three thousand miles off, as you read.

"And how do I like my position?"
"And what do I think of New York?"
"And now, in my higher ambition,
With whom do I waltz, flirt, or talk?"
"And isn't it nice to have riches,
And diamonds and silks, and all that?"
"And aren't they a change to the ditches
And tunnels of Poverty Flat?"

Well, yes, - if you saw us out driving
Each day in the Park, four-in-hand,
If you saw poor dear mamma contriving
To look supernaturally grand, -
If you saw papa's picture, as taken
By Brady, and tinted at that, -
You'd never suspect he sold bacon
And flour at Poverty Flat.

And yet, just this moment, when sitting
In the glare of the grand chandelier, -
In the bustle and glitter befitting
The "finest soiree of the year," -
In the mists of a gaze de Chambery,
And the hum of the smallest of talk, -
Somehow, Joe, I thought of the "Ferry,"
And the dance that we had on "The Fork;"

Of Harrison's bar, with its muster
Of flags festooned over the wall;
Of the candles that shed their soft lustre
And tallow on head-dress and shawl;
Of the steps that we took to one fiddle,
Of the dress of my queer vis-a-vis;
And how I once went down the middle
With the man that shot Sandy McGee.

Of the moon that was quietly sleeping
On the hill, when the time came to go;
Of the few baby peaks that were peeping
From under their bedclothes of snow;
Of that ride, - that to me was the rarest,
Of - the something you said at the gate.
Ah! Joe, then I wasn't an heiress
To "the best-paying lead in the State."

Well, well, it's all past; yet it's funny
To think, as I stood in the glare
Of fashion and beauty and money,
That I should be thinking, right there,
Of some one who breasted high water,
And swam the North Fork, and all that,
Just to dance with old Folinsbee's daughter,
The Lily of Poverty Flat.

But goodness! what nonsense I'm writing!
(Mamma says my taste still is low),
Instead of my triumphs reciting, -
I'm spooning on Joseph, - heigh-ho!
And I'm to be "finished" by travel, -
Whatever's the meaning of that.
Oh, why did papa strike pay gravel
In drifting on Poverty Flat?

Good-night! - here's the end of my paper;
Good-night! - if the longitude please, -
For maybe, while wasting my taper,
Your sun's climbing over the trees.
But know, if you haven't got riches,
And are poor, dearest Joe, and all that,
That my heart's somewhere there in the ditches,
And you've struck it, - on Poverty Flat

Bret Harte [1830-1902]

A coeur blesse - l'ombre et le silence. - Balzac

I drew it from its china tomb; -
It came out feebly scented
With some thin ghost of past perfume
That dust and days had lent it.

An old, old letter, - folded still!
To read with due composure,
I sought the sun-lit window-sill,
Above the gray enclosure,

That, glimmering in the sultry haze,
Faint-flowered, dimly shaded,
Slumbered like Goldsmith's Madam Blaize,
Bedizened and brocaded.

A queer old place! You'd surely say
Some tea-board garden-maker
Had planned it in Dutch William's day
To please some florist Quaker,

So trim it was. The yew-trees still,
With pious care perverted,
Grew in the same grim shapes; and still
The lipless dolphin spurted;

Still in his wonted state abode
The broken-nosed Apollo;
And still the cypress-arbor showed
The same umbrageous hollow.

Only, - as fresh young Beauty gleams
From coffee-colored laces,
So peeped from its old-fashioned dreams
The fresher modern traces;

For idle mallet, hoop, and ball
Upon the lawn were lying;
A magazine, a tumbled shawl,
Round which the swifts were flying;

And, tossed beside the Guelder rose,
A heap of rainbow knitting,
Where, blinking in her pleased repose,
A Persian cat was sitting.

"A place to love in, - live, - for aye,
If we too, like Tithonus,
Could find some God to stretch the gray
Scant life the Fates have thrown us;

"But now by steam we run our race,
With buttoned heart and pocket,
Our Love's a gilded, surplus grace, -
Just like an empty locket!

"'The time is out of joint.' Who will,
May strive to make it better;
For me, this warm old window-sill,
And this old dusty letter."

"Dear John (the letter ran), it can't, can't be,
For Father's gone to Chorley Fair with Sam,
And Mother's storing Apples, - Prue and Me
Up to our Elbows making Damson Jam:
But we shall meet before a Week is gone, -
''Tis a long Lane that has no Turning,' John!

"Only till Sunday next, and then you'll wait
Behind the White-Thorn, by the broken Stile -
We can go round and catch them at the Gate,
All to Ourselves, for nearly one long Mile;
Dear Prue won't look, and Father he'll go on,
And Sam's two Eyes are all for Cissy, John!

"John, she's so smart, - with every Ribbon new,
Flame-colored Sack, and Crimson Padesoy:
As proud as proud; and has the Vapors too,
Just like My Lady; - calls poor Sam a Boy,
And vows no Sweet-heart's worth the Thinking-on
Till he's past Thirty . . . I know better, John!

"My Dear, I don't think that I thought of much
Before we knew each other, I and you;
And now, why, John, your least, least Finger-touch,
Gives me enough to think a Summer through.
See, for I send you Something! There, 'tis gone!
Look in this corner, - mind you find it, John!

This was the matter of the note, -
A long-forgot deposit,
Dropped in an Indian dragon's throat
Deep in a fragrant closet,

Piled with a dapper Dresden world, -
Beaux, beauties, prayers, and poses, -
Bonzes with squat legs undercurled,
And great jars filled with roses.

Ah, heart that wrote! Ah, lips that kissed!
You had no thought or presage
Into what keeping you dismissed
Your simple old-world message!

A reverent one. Though we to-day
Distrust beliefs and powers,
The artless, ageless things you say
Are fresh as May's own flowers. . . .

I need not search too much to find
Whose lot it was to send it,
That feel upon me yet the kind,
Soft hand of her who penned it;

And see, through two-score years of smoke,
In by-gone, quaint apparel,
Shine from yon time-black Norway oak
The face of Patience Caryl, -

The pale, smooth forehead, silver-tressed;
The gray gown, primly flowered;
The spotless, stately coif whose crest
Like Hector's horse-plume towered;

And still the sweet half-solemn look
Where some past thought was clinging,
As when one shuts a serious book
To hear the thrushes singing.

I kneel to you! Of those you were,
Whose kind old hearts grow mellow, -
Whose fair old faces grow more fair,
As Point and Flanders yellow;

Whom some old store of garnered grief,
Their placid temples shading,
Crowns like a wreath of autumn leaf
With tender tints of fading.

Peace to your soul! You died unwed -
Despite this loving letter.
And what of John? The less that's said
Of John, I think, the better.

Austin Dobson [1840-1921]


The wanton troopers riding by
Have shot my fawn, and it will die.
Ungentle men! They cannot thrive
Who killed thee. Thou ne'er didst, alive,
Them any harm; alas! nor could
Thy death to them do any good.
I'm sure I never wished them ill,
Nor do I for all this; nor will:
But, if my simple prayers may yet
Prevail with Heaven to forget
Thy murder, I will join my tears
Rather than fail. But O my fears!
It cannot die so. Heaven's King
Keeps register of everything,
And nothing may we use in vain;
Even beasts must be with justice slain;
Else men are made their deodands.
Though they should wash their guilty hands
In this warm life-blood, which doth part
From thine, and wound me to the heart,
Yet could they not be clean; their stain
Is dyed in such a purple grain,
There is not such another in
The world to offer for their sin.

Inconstant Sylvio, when yet
I had not found him counterfeit,
One morning, I remember well,
Tied in this silver chain and bell,
Gave it to me: nay, and I know
What he said then - I'm sure I do.
Said he, "Look how your huntsman here
Hath taught a fawn to hunt his deer!"
But Sylvio soon had me beguiled:
This waxed tame, while he grew wild,
And, quite regardless of my smart,
Left me his fawn, but took his heart.

Thenceforth I set myself to play
My solitary time away
With this; and very well content
Could so mine idle life have spent;
For it was full of sport, and light
Of foot and heart, and did invite
Me to its game: it seemed to bless
Itself in me. How could I less
Than love it? Oh, I cannot be
Unkind to a beast that loveth me!

Had it lived long, I do not know
Whether it, too, might have done so
As Sylvio did; his gifts might be
Perhaps as false, or more, than he.
But I am sure, for aught that I
Could in so short a time espy,
Thy love was far more better than
The love of false and cruel man.

With sweetest milk and sugar first
I it at mine own fingers nursed;
And as it grew, so every day,
It waxed more white and sweet than they.
It had so sweet a breath! and oft
I blushed to see its foot more soft,
And white, shall I say? than my hand -
Nay, any lady's of the land!

It was a wondrous thing how fleet
'Twas on those little silver feet.
With what a pretty skipping grace
It oft would challenge me the race;
And when't had left me far away,
'Twould stay, and run again, and stay;
For it was nimbler much than hinds,
And trod as if on the four winds.

I have a garden of my own,
But so with roses overgrown,
And lilies, that you would it guess
To be a little wilderness;
And all the spring-time of the year
It loved only to be there.
Among the beds of lilies I
Have sought it oft, where it should lie,
Yet could not, till itself would rise,
Find it, although before mine eyes;
For in the flaxen lilies' shade,
It like a bank of lilies laid.
Upon the roses it would feed,
Until its lips e'en seemed to bleed;
And then to me 'twould boldly trip,
And print those roses on my lip.
But all its chief delight was still
On roses thus itself to fill;
And its pure virgin lips to fold
In whitest sheets of lilies cold.
Had it lived long, it would have been
Lilies without, roses within.

O help! O help! I see it faint
And die as calmly as a saint!
See how it weeps! the tears do come
Sad, slowly, dropping like a gum.
So weeps the wounded balsam; so
The holy frankincense doth flow;
The brotherless Heliades
Melt in such amber tears as these.

I in a golden vial will
Keep these two crystal tears, and fill
It, till it doth overflow, with mine,
Then place it in Diana's shrine.

Now my sweet fawn is vanished to
Whither the swans and turtles go;
In fair Elysium to endure
With milk-white lambs and ermines pure.
O, do not run too fast, for I
Will but bespeak thy grave, and die.

First my unhappy statue shall
Be cut in marble; and withal
Let it be weeping too; but there
The engraver sure his art may spare;
For I so truly thee bemoan
That I shall weep though I be stone,
Until my tears, still dropping, wear
My breast, themselves engraving there;
Then at my feet shalt thou be laid,
Of purest alabaster made;
For I would have thine image be
White as I can, though not as thee.

Andrew Marvell [1621-1678]


'Twas on a lofty vase's side,
Where China's gayest art had dyed
The azure flowers that blow;
Demurest of the tabby kind,
The pensive Selima, reclined,
Gazed on the lake below.

Her conscious tail her joy declared;
The fair round face, the snowy beard,
The velvet of her paws,
Her coat, that with the tortoise vies,
Her ears of jet, and emerald eyes,
She saw; and purred applause.

Still had she gazed, but 'midst the tide
Two angel forms were seen to glide,
The Genii of the stream:
Their scaly armor's Tyrian hue
Through richest purple to the view
Betrayed a golden gleam.

The hapless Nymph with wonder saw:
A whisker first and then a claw,
With many an ardent wish,
She stretched, in vain, to reach the prize.
What female heart can gold despise?
What Cat's averse to fish?

Presumptous Maid! with looks intent
Again she stretched, again she bent,
Nor knew the gulf between.
(Malignant Fate sat by, and smiled.)
The slippery verge her feet beguiled,
She tumbled headlong in.

Eight times emerging from the flood
She mewed to every watery god,
Some speedy aid to send.
No Dolphin came, no Nereid stirred:
Nor cruel Tom nor Susan heard, -
A Favorite has no friend!

From hence, ye Beauties, undeceived,
Know, one false step is ne'er retrieved,
And be with caution bold.
Not all that tempts your wandering eyes
And heedless hearts, is lawful prize;
Nor all that glisters, gold.

Thomas Gray [1716-1771]


Clubby! thou surely art, I ween,
A Puss of most majestic mien,
So stately all thy paces!
With such a philosophic air
Thou seek'st thy professorial chair,
And so demure thy face is!

And as thou sit'st, thine eye seems fraught
With such intensity of thought
That could we read it, knowledge
Would seem to breathe in every mew,
And learning yet undreamt by you
Who dwell in Hall or College.

Oh! when in solemn taciturnity
Thy brain seems wandering through eternity,
What happiness were mine
Could I then catch the thoughts that flow,
Thoughts such as ne'er were hatched below,
But in a head like thine.

Oh then, throughout the livelong day,
With thee I'd sit and purr away
In ecstasy sublime;
And in thy face, as from a book,
I'd drink in science at each look,
Nor fear the lapse of time.

Charles Daubeny [1745-1827]


Here lies, whom hound did ne'er pursue,
Nor swifter greyhound follow,
Whose foot ne'er tainted morning dew,
Nor ear heard huntsman's hallo;

Old Tiney, surliest of his kind,
Who, nursed with tender care,
And to domestic bounds confined,
Was still a wild Jack-hare.

Though duly from my hand he took
His pittance every night,
He did it with a jealous look,
And, when he could, would bite.

His diet was of wheaten bread,
And milk, and oats, and straw;
Thistles, or lettuces instead,
With sand to scour his maw.

On twigs of hawthorn he regaled,
On pippins' russet peel;
And, when his juicy salads failed,
Sliced carrot pleased him well.

A Turkey carpet was his lawn,
Whereon he loved to bound,
To skip and gambol like a fawn,
And swing his rump around.

His frisking was at evening hours,
For then he lost his fear;
But most before approaching showers,
Or when a storm drew near.

Eight years and five round-rolling moons
He thus saw steal away,
Dozing out all his idle noons,
And every night at play.

I kept him for his humor's sake,
For he would oft beguile
My heart of thoughts that made it ache,
And force me to a smile.

But now, beneath this walnut-shade
He finds his long, last home,
And waits, in snug concealment laid,
Till gentler Puss shall come.

He, still more aged, feels the shocks
From which no care can save,
And, partner once of Tiney's box,
Must soon partake his grave.

William Cowper [1731-1800]


Ye Nymphs! if e'er your eyes were red
With tears o'er hapless favorites shed,
O share Maria's grief!
Her favorite, even in his cage,
(What will not hunger's cruel rage?)
Assassined by a thief.

Where Rhenus strays his vines among,
The egg was laid from which he sprung,
And though by nature mute,
Or only with a whistle blessed,
Well-taught, he all the sounds expressed
Of flageolet or flute.

The honors of his ebon poll
Were brighter than the sleekest mole;
His bosom of the hue
With which Aurora decks the skies,
When piping winds shall soon arise
To sweep away the dew.

Above, below, in all the house,
Dire foe alike of bird and mouse,
No cat had leave to dwell;
And Bully's cage supported stood,
On props of smoothest-shaven wood,
Large-built and latticed well.

Well-latticed, - but the grate, alas!
Not rough with wire of steel or brass,
For Bully's plumage sake,
But smooth with wands from Ouse's side,
With which, when neatly peeled and dried,
The swains their baskets make.

Night veiled the pole - all seemed secure -
When, led by instinct sharp and sure,
Subsistence to provide,
A beast forth sallied on the scout,
Long-backed, long-tailed, with whiskered snout,
And badger-colored hide.

He, entering at the study-door,
Its ample area 'gan explore;
And something in the wind
Conjectured, sniffing round and round,
Better than all the books he found,
Food, chiefly, for the mind.

Just then, by adverse fate impressed
A dream disturbed poor Bully's rest;
In sleep he seemed to view
A rat, fast-clinging to the cage,
And, screaming at the sad presage,
Awoke and found it true.

For, aided both by ear and scent,
Right to his mark the monster went -
Ah, Muse! forbear to speak
Minute the horror that ensued;
His teeth were strong, the cage was wood -
He left poor Bully's beak.

O had he made that too his prey!
That beak, whence issued many a lay
Of such mellifluous tone,
Might have repaid him well, I wote,
For silencing so sweet a throat,
Fast stuck within his own.

Maria weeps, - the Muses mourn; -
So, when by Bacchanalians torn,
On Thracian Hebrus' side
The tree-enchanter Orpheus fell,
His head alone remained to tell
The cruel death he died.

William Cowper [1731-1800]


Shock's fate I mourn; poor Shock is now no more:
Ye Muses! mourn; ye Chambermaids! deplore.
Unhappy Shock! Yet more unhappy fair,
Doomed to survive thy joy and only care.
Thy wretched fingers now no more shall deck,
And tie the favorite ribbon round his neck;
No more thy hand shall smooth his glossy hair,
And comb the wavings of his pendent ear.
Let cease thy flowing grief, forsaken maid!
All mortal pleasures in a moment fade:
Our surest hope is in an hour destroyed,
And love, best gift of Heaven, not long enjoyed.
Methinks I see her frantic with despair,
Her streaming eyes, wrung hands, and flowing hair;
Her Mechlin pinners, rent, the floor bestrow,
And her torn fan gives real signs of woe.
Hence, Superstition! that tormenting guest,
That haunts with fancied fears the coward breast;
No dread events upon this fate attend,
Stream eyes no more, no more thy tresses rend.
Though certain omens oft forewarn a state,
And dying lions show the monarch's fate,
Why should such fears bid Celia's sorrow rise?
For, when a lap-dog falls, no lover dies.
Cease, Celia, cease; restrain thy flowing tears.
Some warmer passion will dispel thy cares.
In man you'll find a more substantial bliss,
More grateful toying and a sweeter kiss.
He's dead. Oh! lay him gently in the ground!
And may his tomb be by this verse renowned:
Here Shock, the pride of all his kind, is laid,
Who fawned like man, but ne'er like man betrayed.

John Gay [1685-1732]


I mourn "Patroclus," whilst I praise
Young "Peter" sleek before the fire,
A proper dog, whose decent ways
Renew the virtues of his sire;
"Patroclus" rests in grassy tomb,
And "Peter" grows into his room.

For though, when Time or Fates consign
The terrier to his latest earth,
Vowing no wastrel of the line
Shall dim the memory of his worth,
I meditate the silkier breeds,
Yet still an Amurath succeeds:

Succeeds to bind the heart again
To watchful eye and strenuous paw,
To tail that gratulates amain
Or deprecates offended Law;
To bind, and break, when failing eye
And palsied paw must say good-bye.

Ah, had the dog's appointed day
But tallied with his master's span,
Nor one swift decade turned to gray
The busy muzzle's black and tan,
To reprobate in idle men
Their threescore empty years and ten!

Sure, somewhere o'er the Stygian strait
"Panurge" and "Bito," "Tramp" and "Mike,"
In couchant conclave watch the gate,
Till comes the last successive tyke,
Acknowledged with the countersign:
"Your master was a friend of mine."

In dreams I see them spring to greet,
With rapture more than tail can tell,
Their master of the silent feet
Who whistles o'er the asphodel,
And through the dim Elysian bounds
Leads all his cry of little hounds.

John Halsham [18 -


Four years! - and didst thou stay above
The ground, which hides thee now, but four?
And all that life, and all that love,
Were crowded, Geist! into no more?

Only four years those winning ways,
Which make me for thy presence yearn,
Called us to pet thee or to praise,
Dear little friend! at every turn?

That loving heart, that patient soul,
Had they indeed no longer span,
To run their course, and reach their goal
And read their homily to man?

That liquid, melancholy eye,
From whose pathetic, soul-fed springs
Seemed surging the Virgilian cry,
The sense of tears in mortal things -

That steadfast, mournful strain, consoled
By spirits gloriously gay,
And temper of heroic mould -
What, was four years their whole short day?

Yes, only four! - and not the course
Of all the centuries yet to come,
And not the infinite resource
Of Nature, with her countless sum

Of figures, with her fulness vast
Of new creation evermore,
Can ever quite repeat the past,
Or just thy little self restore.

Stern law of every mortal lot!
Which man, proud man, finds hard to bear,
And builds himself I know not what
Of second life I know not where.

But thou, when struck thine hour to go,
On us, who stood despondent by,
A meek last glance of love didst throw,
And humbly lay thee down to die.

Yet would we keep thee in our heart -
Would fix our favorite on the scene,
Nor let thee utterly depart
And be as if thou ne'er hadst been.

And so there rise these lines of verse
On lips that rarely form them now;
While to each other we rehearse:
Such ways, such arts, such looks hadst thou!

We stroke thy broad brown paws again,
We bid thee to thy vacant chair,
We greet thee by the window-pane,
We hear thy scuffle on the stair;

We see the flaps of thy large ears
Quick raised to ask which way we go;
Crossing the frozen lake, appears
Thy small black figure on the snow!

Nor to us only art thou dear,
Who mourn thee in thine English home;
Thou hast thine absent master's tear,
Dropped by the far Australian foam.

Thy memory lasts both here and there,
And thou shalt live as long as we.
And after that - thou dost not care!
In us was all the world to thee.

Yet, fondly zealous for thy fame,
Even to a date beyond our own,
We strive to carry down thy name
By mounded turf and graven stone.

We lay thee, close within our reach,
Here, where the grass is smooth and warm,
Between the holly and the beech,
Where oft we watched thy couchant form,

Asleep, yet lending half an ear
To travelers on the Portsmouth road; -
There choose we thee, O guardian dear,
Marked with a stone, thy last abode!

Then some, who through this garden pass,
When we too, like thyself, are clay,
Shall see thy grave upon the grass,
And stop before the stone, and say:

People who lived here long ago
Did by this stone, it seems, intend
To name for future times to know
The dachs-hound, Geist, their little friend.

Matthew Arnold [1822-1888]


I know, where Hampshire fronts the Wight,
A little church, where "after strife"
Reposes Guy de Blanquely, Knight,
By Alison his wife:
I know their features' graven lines
In time-stained marble monotone,
While crouched before their feet reclines
Their little dog of stone!

I look where Blanquely Castle still
Frowns o'er the oak wood's summer state,
(The maker of a patent pill
Has purchased it of late),
And then through Fancy's open door
I backward turn to days of old,
And see Sir Guy - a bachelor
Who owns a dog called "Hold"!

I see him take the tourney's chance,
And urge his coal-black charger on
To an arbitrament by lance
For lovely Alison;
I mark the onset, see him hurl
From broidered saddle to the dirt
His rival, that ignoble Earl -
Black-hearted Massingbert!

Then Alison, with down-dropped eyes,
Where happy tears bedim the blue,
Bestows a valuable prize
And adds her hand thereto;
My lord, his surcoat streaked with sand,
Remounts, low muttering curses hot,
And with a base-born, hireling band
He plans a dastard plot!

. . . . . . .

'Tis night - Sir Guy has sunk to sleep,
The castle keep is hushed and still -
See, up the spiral stairway creep,
To work his wicked will,
Lord Massingbert of odious fame,
Soft followed by his cut-throat staff;
Ah, "Hold" has justified his name
And pinned his lordship's calf!

A growl, an oath, then torches flare;
Out rings a sentry's startled shout;
The guard are racing for the stair,
Half-dressed, Sir Guy runs out;
On high his glittering blade he waves,
He gives foul Massingbert the point,
He carves the hired assassin knaves
Joint from plebeian joint!

. . . . . . .

The Knight is dead - his sword is rust,
But in his day I'm certain "Hold"
Wore, as his master's badge of trust,
A collarette of gold:
And still I like to fancy that,
Somewhere beyond the Styx's bound,
Sir Guy's tall phantom stoops to pat
His little phantom hound!

Patrick R. Chalmers [18-



In good King Charles's golden days,
When loyalty no harm meant,
A zealous high-churchman was I,
And so I got preferment.
To teach my flock I never missed:
Kings were by God appointed,
And lost are those that dare resist
Or touch the Lord's anointed.
And this is law that I'll maintain
Until my dying day, sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
Still I'll be the Vicar of Bray, sir.

When royal James possessed the crown,
And popery grew in fashion,
The penal laws I hooted down,
And read the Declaration;
The Church of Rome I found would fit
Full well my constitution;
And I had been a Jesuit
But for the Revolution.

When William was our king declared,
To ease the nation's grievance,
With this new wind about I steered,
And swore to him allegiance;
Old principles I did revoke,
Set conscience at a distance;
Passive obedience was a joke,
A jest was non-resistance.

When royal Anne became our queen,
The Church of England's glory,
Another face of things was seen,
And I became a Tory;
Occasional conformists base,
I blamed their moderation,
And thought the Church in danger was,
By such prevarication.

When George in pudding-time came o'er,
And moderate men looked big, sir,
My principles I changed once more,
And so became a Whig, sir;
And thus preferment I procured
From our new Faith's defender,
And almost every day abjured
The Pope and the Pretender.

The illustrious house of Hanover,
And Protestant succession,
To these I do allegiance swear -
While they can keep possession:
For in my faith and loyalty
I nevermore will falter,
And George my lawful king shall be -
Until the times do alter.
And this is law that I'll maintain
Until my dying day, sir,
That whatsoever king shall reign,
Still I'll be the Vicar of Bray, sir.


[William Wordsworth]

Just for a handful of silver he left us,
Just for a ribbon to stick in his coat -
Found the one gift of which fortune bereft us,
Lost all the others she lets us devote;
They, with the gold to give, doled him out silver,
So much was theirs who so little allowed:
How all our copper had gone for his service!
Rags - were they purple, his heart had been proud -
We that had loved him so, followed him, honored him,
Lived in his mild and magnificent eye,
Learned his great language, caught his clear accents,
Made him our pattern to live and to die!
Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us,
Burns, Shelley, were with us, - they watch from their graves!
He alone breaks from the van and the freemen,
- He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves!
We shall march prospering, - not through his presence;
Songs may inspirit us, - not from his lyre;
Deeds will be done, - while he boasts his quiescence,
Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire:
Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,
One task more declined, one more footpath untrod,
One more devil's-triumph and sorrow for angels,
One wrong more to man, one more insult to God!
Life's night begins: let him never come back to us!
There would be doubt, hesitation and pain,
Forced praise on our part - the glimmer of twilight,
Never glad confident morning again!
Best fight on well, for we taught him - strike gallantly,
Menace our heart ere we master his own;
Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us,
Pardoned in heaven, the first by the throne!

Robert Browning [1812-1889]

[Daniel Webster]

So fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn
Which once he wore!
The glory from his gray hairs gone

Revile him not, the Tempter hath
A snare for all;
And pitying tears, not scorn and wrath,
Befit his fall!

Oh, dumb be passion's stormy rage,
When he who might
Have lighted up and led his age,
Falls back in night.

Scorn! would the angels laugh, to mark
A bright soul driven,
Fiend-goaded, down the endless dark,
From hope and heaven!

Let not the land once proud of him
Insult him now,
Nor brand with deeper shame his dim,
Dishonored brow.

But let its humbled sons, instead,
From sea to lake,
A long lament, as for the dead,
In sadness make.

Of all we loved and honored, naught
Save power remains;
A fallen angel's pride of thought,
Still strong in chains.

All else is gone; from those great eyes
The soul has fled:
When faith is lost, when honor dies,
The man is dead!

Then, pay the reverence of old days
To his dead fame;
Walk backward, with averted gaze,
And hide the shame!

John Greenleaf Whittier [1807-1892]


Guvener B. is a sensible man;
He stays to his home an' looks arter his folks;
He draws his furrer ez straight ez he can,
An' into nobody's tater-patch pokes;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez he wunt vote fer Guvener B.

My! aint it terrible? Wut shall we du?
We can't never choose him o' course, - thet's flat;
Guess we shall hev to come round, (don't you?)
An' go in fer thunder an' guns, an' all that;
Fer John P.
Robinson he
Sez he wunt vote fer Guvener B.

Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man:
He's ben on all sides that give places or pelf;
But consistency still wuz a part of his plan, -
He's ben true to one party, - an' thet is himself; -
So John P.
Robinson he
Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C.

Gineral C. he goes in fer the war;
He don't vally princerple more'n an old cud;
Wut did God make us raytional creeturs fer,
But glory an' gunpowder, plunder an' blood?
So John P.
Robinson he
Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C.

We were gittin' on nicely up here to our village,
With good old idees o' wut's right an' wut aint,
We kind o' thought Christ went agin war an' pillage,
An' thet eppyletts worn't the best mark of a saint;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez this kind o' thing's an exploded idee.

The side of our country must ollers be took,
An' Presidunt Polk, you know, he is our country,
An' the angel thet writes all our sins in a book
Puts the debit to him, an' to us the per contry;
An' John P.
Robinson he
Sez this is his view o' the thing to a T.

Parson Wilbur he calls all these argimunts lies;
Sez they're nothin' on airth but jest fee, faw, fum;
An' thet all this big talk of our destinies
Is half on it ign'ance, an' t'other half rum;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez it aint no sech thing; an', of course, so must we.

Parson Wilbur sez he never heerd in his life
That th' Apostles rigged out in their swaller-tail coats,
An' marched round in front of a drum an' a fife,
To git some on 'em office, an' some on 'em votes;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez they didn't know everythin' down in Judee.

Wal, it's a marcy we've gut folks to tell us
The rights an' the wrongs o' these matters, I vow, -
God sends country lawyers, an' other wise fellers,
To start the world's team wen it gits in a slough;
Fer John P.
Robinson he
Sez the world'll go right, ef he hollers out Gee!

James Russell Lowell [1819-1891]

Sot To A Nursery Rhyme

"Here we stan' on the Constitution, by thunder!
It's a fact o' wich ther's bushils o' proofs;
Fer how could we trample on 't so, I wonder,
Ef't worn't thet it's ollers under our hoofs?"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;
"Human rights haint no more
Right to come on this floor,
No more'n the man in the moon," sez he.

"The North haint no kind o' bisness with nothin',
An' you've no idee how much bother it saves;
We aint none riled by their frettin' an' frothin',
We're used to layin' the string on our slaves,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
Sez Mister Foote,
"I should like to shoot
The holl gang, by the gret horn spoon!" sez he.

"Freedom's Keystone is Slavery, thet ther's no doubt on,
It's sutthin' thet's - wha'd'ye call it? - divine, -
An' the slaves thet we ollers make the most out on
Air them north o' Mason an' Dixon's line,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Fer all thet," sez Mangum,
"'T would be better to hang 'em
An' so git red on 'em soon," sez he.

"The mass ough' to labor an' we lay on soffies,
Thet's the reason I want to spread Freedom's aree;
It puts all the cunninest on us in office,
An' reelises our Maker's orig'nal idee,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Thet's ez plain," sez Cass,
"Ez thet some one's an ass,
It's ez clear ez the sun is at noon," sez he.

"Now don't go to say I'm the friend of oppression,
But keep all your spare breath fer coolin' your broth,
Fer I ollers hev strove (at least thet's my impression)
To make cussed free with the rights o' the North,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Yes," sez Davis o' Miss.,
"The perfection o' bliss
Is in skinnin' that same old coon," sez he.

"Slavery's a thing thet depends on complexion,
It's God's law thet fetters on black skins don't chafe;
Ef brains wuz to settle it (horrid reflection!)
Wich of our onnable body'd be safe?"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
Sez Mister Hannegan,
Afore he began agin,
"Thet exception is quite oppertoon," sez he.

"Gen'nle Cass, Sir, you needn't be twitchin' your collar,
Your merit's quite clear by the dut on your knees;
At the North we don't make no distinctions o' color:
You can all take a lick at our shoes wen you please,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
Sez Mister Jarnagin,
"They wun't hev to larn agin,
They all on 'em know the old toon," sez he.

"The slavery question aint no ways bewilderin',
North an' South hev one int'rest, it's plain to a glance,
No'thern men, like us patriarchs, don't sell their childrin,
But they du sell themselves, ef they git a good chance,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
Sez Atherton here,
"This is gittin' severe,
I wish I could dive like a loon," sez he.

"It'll break up the Union, this talk about freedom,
An' your fact'ry gals (soon ex we split) 'll make head,
An' gittin' some Miss chief or other to lead 'em,
'll go to work raisin' permiscoous Ned,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Yes, the North," sez Colquitt,
"Ef we Southeners all quit,
Would go down like a busted balloon," sez he.

"Jest look wut is doin', wut annyky's brewin'
In the beautiful clime o' the olive an' vine,
All the wise aristoxy's atumblin' to ruin,
An' the sankylot's drorin' an' drinkin' their wine,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Yes," sez Johnson, "in France
They're beginnin' to dance
Beelzebub's own rigadoon," sez he.

"The South's safe enough, it don't feel a mite skeery,
Our slaves in their darkness an' dut air tu blest
Not to welcome with proud hallylugers the ery
Wen our eagle kicks yourn from the naytional nest,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Oh," sez Westcott o' Florida,
"Wut treason is horrider
Than our priv'leges tryin' to proon?" sez he.

"It's 'coz they're so happy, thet, wen crazy sarpints
Stick their nose in our bizness, we git so darned riled;
We think it's our dooty to give pooty sharp hints,
Thet the last crumb of Edin on airth sha'n't be spiled,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Ah," sez Dixon H. Lewis,
"It perfectly true is
Thet slavery's airth's grettest boon," sez he.

James Russell Lowell [1819-1891]

A Song With A Stolen Burden

Off with your hat! along the street
His Lordship's carriage rolls;
Respect to greatness - when it shines
To cheer our darkened souls.
Get off the step, you ragged boys!
Policeman, where's your staff?
This is a sight to check with awe
The most irreverent laugh.
Chapeau bas!
Chapeau bas!
Gloire au Marquis de Carabas!

Stand further back! we'll see him well;
Wait till they lift him out:
It takes some time; his Lordship's old,
And suffers from the gout.
Now look! he owns a castled park
For every finger thin;
He has more sterling pounds a day
Than wrinkles in his skin.

The founder of his race was son
To a king's cousin, rich;
(The mother was an oyster wench -
She perished in a ditch).
His patriot worth embalmed has been
In poets' loud applause:
He made twelve thousand pounds a year
By aiding France's cause.

The second marquis, of the stole
Was groom to the second James;
He all but caught that recreant king
When flying o'er the Thames.
Devotion rare! by Orange Will
With a Scotch county paid;
He gained one more - in Ireland - when
Charles Edward he betrayed.

He lived to see his son grow up
A general famed and bold,
Who fought his country's fights - and one,
For half a million, sold.
His son (alas! the house's shame)
Frittered the name away:
Diced, wenched and drank - at last got shot,
Through cheating in his play!

Now, see, where, focused on one head,
The race's glories shine:
The head gets narrow at the top,
But mark the jaw - how fine!
Don't call it satyr-like; you'd wound
Some scores, whose honest pates
The self-same type present, upon
The Carabas estates!

Look at his skin - at four-score years
How fresh it gleams and fair:
He never tasted ill-dressed food,
Or breathed in tainted air.
The noble blood glows through his veins
Still, with a healthful pink;
His brow scarce wrinkled! - Brows keep so
That have not got to think.

His hand 's ungloved! - it shakes, 'tis true,
But mark its tiny size,
(High birth's true sign) and shape, as on
The lackey's arm it lies.
That hand ne'er penned a useful line,
Ne'er worked a deed of fame,
Save slaying one, whose sister he -
Its owner - brought to shame.

They ye got him in - he's gone to vote
Your rights and mine away;
Perchance our lives, should men be scarce,
To fight his cause for pay.
We are his slaves! he owns our lands,
Our woods, our seas, and skies;
He'd have us shot like vicious dogs,
Should we in murmuring rise!
Chapeau bas!
Chapeau bas!
Gloire au Marquis de Carabas!

Robert Brough [1828-1860]


A supercilious nabob of the East -
Haughty, being great - purse-proud, being rich -
A governor, or general, at the least,
I have forgotten which -

Had in his family a humble youth,
Who went from England in his patron's suit,
An unassuming boy, in truth
A lad of decent parts, and good repute.

This youth had sense and spirit;
But yet with all his sense,
Excessive diffidence
Obscured his merit.

One day, at table, flushed with pride and wine,
His Honor, proudly free, severely merry,
Conceived it would be vastly fine
To crack a joke upon his secretary.

"Young man," he said, "by what art, craft, or trade,
Did your good father gain a livelihood?" -
"He was a saddler, sir," Modestus said,
"And in his time was reckoned good."

"A saddler, eh! and taught you Greek,
Instead of teaching you to sew!
Pray, why did not your father make
A saddler, sir, of you?"

Each parasite, then, as in duty bound,
The joke applauded, and the laugh went round.
At length Modestus, bowing low,
Said (craving pardon, if too free he made),
"Sir, by your leave, I fain would know
Your father's trade!"

"My father's trade! by heaven, that's too bad!
My father's trade? Why, blockhead, are you mad?
My father, sir, did never stoop so low -
He was a gentleman, I'd have you know."

"Excuse the liberty I take,"
Modestus said, with archness on his brow,
"Pray, why did not your father make
A gentleman of you?"

Selleck Osborn [1783-1826]


When fierce political debate
Throughout the isle was storming,
And Rads attacked the throne and state,
And Tories the reforming,
To calm the furious rage of each,
And right the land demented,
Heaven sent us Jolly Jack, to teach
The way to be contented.

Jack's bed was straw, 'twas warm and soft,
His chair, a three-legged stool;
His broken jug was emptied oft,
Yet, somehow, always full.
His mistress' portrait decked the wall,
His mirror had a crack,
Yet, gay and glad, though this was all
His wealth, lived Jolly Jack.

To give advice to avarice,
Teach pride its mean condition,
And preach good sense to dull pretence,
Was honest Jack's high mission.
Our simple statesman found his rule
Of moral in the flagon,
And held his philosophic school
Beneath the "George and Dragon"

When village Solons cursed the Lords,
And called the malt-tax sinful,
Jack heeded not their angry words,
But smiled and drank his skinful.
And when men wasted health and life,
In search of rank and riches,
Jack marched aloof the paltry strife,
And wore his threadbare breeches.

"I enter not the Church," he said,
"But I'll not seek to rob it;"
So worthy Jack Joe Miller read,
While others studied Cobbett.
His talk it was of feast and fun;


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