The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb IV
Charles and Mary Lamb
Part 3 out of 11
So good, as Catherine Orkney.
TO T. STOTHARD, ESQ.
_On His Illustrations of the Poems of Mr. Rogers_
Consummate Artist, whose undying name
With classic Rogers shall go down to fame,
Be this thy crowning work! In my young days
How often have I with a child's fond gaze
Pored on the pictured wonders thou hadst done:
Clarissa mournful, and prim Grandison!
All Fielding's, Smollett's heroes, rose to view;
I saw, and I believed the phantoms true.
But, above all, that most romantic tale
Did o'er my raw credulity prevail,
Where Glums and Gawries wear mysterious things,
That serve at once for jackets and for wings.
Age, that enfeebles other men's designs,
But heightens thine, and thy free draught refines.
In several ways distinct you make us feel--
_Graceful_ as Raphael, as Watteau _genteel_.
Your lights and shades, as Titianesque, we praise;
And warmly wish you Titian's length of days.
[Footnote 13: Illustrations of the British Novelists.]
[Footnote 14: Peter Wilkins.]
TO A FRIEND ON HIS MARRIAGE
What makes a happy wedlock? What has fate
Not given to thee in thy well-chosen mate?
Good sense--good humour;--these are trivial things,
Dear M----, that each trite encomiast sings.
But she hath these, and more. A mind exempt
From every low-bred passion, where contempt,
Nor envy, nor detraction, ever found
A harbour yet; an understanding sound;
Just views of right and wrong; perception full
Of the deformed, and of the beautiful,
In life and manners; wit above her sex,
Which, as a gem, her sprightly converse decks;
Exuberant fancies, prodigal of mirth,
To gladden woodland walk, or winter hearth;
A noble nature, conqueror in the strife
Of conflict with a hard discouraging life,
Strengthening the veins of virtue, past the power
Of those whose days have been one silken hour,
Spoil'd fortune's pamper'd offspring; a keen sense
Alike of benefit, and of offence,
With reconcilement quick, that instant springs
From the charged heart with nimble angel wings;
While grateful feelings, like a signet sign'd
By a strong hand, seem burnt into her mind.
If these, dear friend, a dowry can confer
Richer than land, thou hast them all in her;
And beauty, which some hold the chiefest boon,
Is in thy bargain for a make-weight thrown.
I had a sense in dreams of a beauty rare,
Whom Fate had spell-bound, and rooted there,
Stooping, like some enchanted theme,
Over the marge of that crystal stream,
Where the blooming Greek, to Echo blind,
With Self-love fond, had to waters pined.
Ages had waked, and ages slept,
And that bending posture still she kept:
For her eyes she may not turn away,
'Till a fairer object shall pass that way--
'Till an image more beauteous this world can show,
Than her own which she sees in the mirror below.
Pore on, fair Creature! for ever pore,
Nor dream to be disenchanted more;
For vain is expectance, and wish is vain,
'Till a new Narcissus can come again.
TO LOUISA M[ARTIN], WHOM I USED TO CALL "MONKEY"
Louisa, serious grown and mild,
I knew you once a romping child,
Obstreperous much and very wild.
Then you would clamber up my knees,
And strive with every art to tease,
When every art of yours could please.
Those things would scarce be proper now.
But they are gone, I know not how,
And woman's written on your brow.
Time draws his finger o'er the scene;
But I cannot forget between
The Thing to me you once have been
Each sportive sally, wild escape,--
The scoff, the banter, and the jape,--
And antics of my gamesome Ape.
CHEAP GIFTS: A SONNET
[In a leaf of a quarto edition of the 'Lives of the Saints, written in
Spanish by the learned and reverend father, Alfonso Villegas, Divine, of
the order of St. Dominick, set forth in English by John Heigham, Anno
1630,' bought at a Catholic book-shop in Duke Street, Lincoln's Inn
Fields, I found, carefully inserted, a painted flower, seemingly coeval
with the book itself; and did not, for some time, discover that it
opened in the middle, and was the cover to a very humble draught of a
St. Anne, with the Virgin and Child; doubtless the performance of some
poor but pious Catholic, whose meditations it assisted.]
O lift with reverent hand that tarnish'd flower,
That 'shrines beneath her modest canopy
Memorials dear to Romish piety;
Dim specks, rude shapes, of Saints! in fervent hour
The work perchance of some meek devotee,
Who, poor in worldly treasures to set forth
The sanctities she worshipped to their worth,
In this imperfect tracery might see
Hints, that all Heaven did to her sense reveal.
Cheap gifts best fit poor givers. We are told
Of the lone mite, the cup of water cold,
That in their way approved the offerer's zeal.
True love shows costliest, where the means are scant;
And, in her reckoning, they _abound_, who _want_.
FREE THOUGHTS ON SEVERAL EMINENT COMPOSERS
Some cry up Haydn, some Mozart,
Just as the whim bites; for my part,
I do not care a farthing candle
For either of them, or for Handel.--
Cannot a man live free and easy,
Without admiring Pergolesi?
Or thro' the world with comfort go,
That never heard of Doctor Blow?
So help me heaven, I hardly have;
And yet I eat, and drink, and shave,
Like other people, if you watch it,
And know no more of stave or crotchet,
Than did the primitive Peruvians;
Or those old ante-queer-diluvians
That lived in the unwash'd world with Jubal,
Before that dirty blacksmith Tubal
By stroke on anvil, or by summ'at,
Found out, to his great surprise, the gamut.
I care no more for Cimarosa,
Than he did for Salvator Rosa,
Being no painter; and bad luck
Be mine, if I can bear that Gluck!
Old Tycho Brahe, and modern Herschel,
Had something in them; but who's Purcel?
The devil, with his foot so cloven,
For aught I care, may take Beethoven;
And, if the bargain does not suit,
I'll throw him Weber in to boot.
There's not the splitting of a splinter
To chuse 'twixt him last named, and Winter.
Of Doctor Pepusch old queen Dido
Knew just as much, God knows, as I do.
I would not go four miles to visit
Sebastian Bach (or Batch, which is it?);
No more I would for Bononcini.
As for Novello, or Rossini,
I shall not say a word to grieve 'em,
Because they're living; so I leave 'em.
* * * * *
MISCELLANEOUS POEMS, NOT COLLECTED BY LAMB
All men are false, I think. The date of love
Is out, expired, its stories all grown stale,
O'er past, forgotten, like an antique tale
Of Hero and Leander.
All are not false. I knew a youth who died
For grief, because his Love proved so,
And married with another.
I saw him on the wedding-day,
For he was present in the church that day,
In festive bravery deck'd,
As one that came to grace the ceremony.
I mark'd him when the ring was given,
His countenance never changed;
And when the priest pronounced the marriage blessing,
He put a silent prayer up for the bride,
For so his moving lip interpreted.
He came invited to the marriage feast
With the bride's friends,
And was the merriest of them all that day:
But they, who knew him best, called it feign'd mirth;
And others said,
He wore a smile like death upon his face.
His presence dash'd all the beholders' mirth,
And he went away in tears.
_What followed then?_
He did not, as neglected suitors use,
Affect a life of solitude in shades,
In free discourse and sweet society,
Among his friends who knew his gentle nature best.
Yet ever when he smiled,
There was a mystery legible in his face,
That whoso saw him said he was a man
Not long for this world.----
And true it was, for even then
The silent love was feeding at his heart
Of which he died:
Nor ever spake word of reproach,
Only, he wish'd in death that his remains
Might find a poor grave in some spot, not far
From his mistress' family vault, "being the place
Where one day Anna should herself be laid."
DICK STRYPE; OR, THE FORCE OF HABIT
_A Tale--By Timothy Bramble_
Habits _are stubborn things:_
And by the time a man is turn'd of _forty_,
His _ruling passion's_ grown so haughty
There is no clipping of its wings.
The amorous roots have taken earth, and fix
And never shall P--TT leave his juggling tricks,
Till H----Y quits his metre with his pride,
Till W----M learns to flatter regicide,
Till hypocrite-enthusiasts cease to vant
And _Mister_ W----E leaves off to cant.
The truth will best be shewn,
By a familiar instance of our own.
Was a dear friend and lover of the PIPE;
He us'd to say, _one pipe of Kirkman's best_
Gave life a _zest_.
To him 'twas meat, and drink, and physic,
To see the friendly vapour
Curl round his midnight taper,
And the black fume
Clothe all the room,
In clouds as dark as _science metaphysic_.
So still he smok'd, and drank, and crack'd his joke;
And, had he _single_ tarried
He might have smok'd, and still grown old in smoke:
But RICHARD _married_.
His wife was one, who carried
The _cleanly virtues_ almost to a vice,
She was so _nice:_
And thrice a week, above, below,
The house was scour'd from top to toe,
And all the floors were rubb'd so bright,
You dar'd not walk upright
For fear of sliding:
But that she took a pride in.
Of all things else REBECCA STRYPE
Could least endure a _pipe_.
She rail'd upon the filthy herb tobacco,
Protested that the noisome vapour
Had spoilt the best chintz curtains and the paper
And cost her many a pound in stucco:
And then she quoted our _King James_, who saith
"Tobacco is the Devil's breath."
When wives _will_ govern, husbands _must_ obey;
For many a day
DICK mourn'd and miss'd his favourite tobacco,
And curs'd REBECCA.
At length the day approach'd, his wife must die:
Imagine now the doleful cry
Of female friends, old aunts and cousins,
Who to the fun'ral came by dozens--
The undertaker's men and mutes
Stood at the gate in sable suits
With doleful looks,
Just like so many melancholy _rooks_.
Now cakes and wine are handed round,
Folks sigh, and drink, and drink, and sigh,
For Grief makes people dry:
But DICK is _missing_, nowhere to be found
Above, below, about
They searched the house throughout,
Each hole and secret entry,
Quite from the garret to the pantry,
In every corner, cupboard, nook and shelf,
And all concluded he had _hang'd_ himself.
At last they found him--reader, guess you where--
'Twill make you stare--
Perch'd on REBECCA'S _Coffin_, at his rest,
SMOKING A PIPE OF KIRKMAN'S BEST.
TWO EPITAPHS ON A YOUNG LADY WHO LIVED
NEGLECTED AND DIED OBSCURE
(1801 _or_ 1802)
Under this cold marble stone
Lie the sad remains of one
Who, when alive, by few or none
Was lov'd, as lov'd she might have been,
If she prosp'rous days had seen,
Or had thriving been, I ween.
Only this cold funeral stone
Tells, she was beloved by one,
Who on the marble graves his moan.
A Heart which felt unkindness, yet complained not,
A Tongue which spake the simple Truth, and feigned not:
A Soul as white as the pure marble skin
(The beauteous Mansion it was lodged in)
Which, unrespected, could itself respect,
On Earth was all the Portion of a Maid
Who in this common Sanctuary laid,
Sleeps unoffended by the World's neglect.
An Ape is but a trivial beast,
Men count it light and vain;
But I would let them have their thoughts,
To have my Ape again.
To love a beast in any sort,
Is no great sign of grace;
But I have loved a flouting Ape's
'Bove any lady's face.
I have known the power of two fair eyes,
In smile, or else in glance,
And how (for I a lover was)
They make the spirits dance;
But I would give two hundred smiles,
Of them that fairest be,
For one look of my staring Ape,
That used to stare on me.
This beast, this Ape, it had a face--
If face it might be styl'd--
Sometimes it was a staring Ape,
Sometimes a beauteous child--
A Negro flat--a Pagod squat,
Cast in a Chinese mold--
And then it was a Cherub's face,
Made of the beaten gold!
But TIME, that's meddling, meddling still
And always altering things--
And, what's already at the best,
To alteration brings--
That turns the sweetest buds to flowers,
And chops and changes toys--
That breaks up dreams, and parts old friends,
And still commutes our joys--
Has changed away my Ape at last
And in its place convey'd,
Thinking therewith to cheat my sight,
A fresh and blooming maid!
And fair to sight is she--and still
Each day doth sightlier grow,
Upon the ruins of the Ape,
My ancient play-fellow!
The tale of Sphinx, and Theban jests,
I true in me perceive;
I suffer riddles; death from dark
Enigmas I receive:
Whilst a hid being I pursue,
That lurks in a new shape,
My darling in herself I miss--
And, in my Ape, THE APE.
_In tabulam eximii pictoris_ B. HAYDONI, _in qua Solymaei, adveniente
Domino, palmas in via, prosternentes mira arte depinguntur_
Quid vult iste equitans? et quid oclit ista virorum
Palmifera ingens turba, et vox tremebunda Hosanna,
Hosanna Christo semper semperque canamus.
_Palma_ fuit _Senior_ pictor celeberrimus olim;
Sed palmam cedat, modo si foret ille superstes,
_Palma, Haydone_, tibi: tu palmas omnibus aufers.
Palma negata macrum, donataque reddit opimum.
Si simul incipiat cum fama increscere corpus,
Tu cito pinguesces, fies et, amicule, obesus.
Affectat lauros pictores atque poetae
Sin laurum invideant (sed quis tibi?) laurigerentes,
Pro lauro palma viridante tempora cingas.
_Translation of the Latin Verses on Mr. Haydon's Picture_
What rider's that? and who those myriads bringing
Him on his way with palms, Hosannas singing?
_Hosanna to the Christ_, HEAVEN--EARTH--should still be ringing.
In days of old, old Palma won renown:
But Palma's self must yield the painter's crown,
Haydon, to thee. Thy palm put every other down.
If Flaccus' sentence with the truth agree,
That "palms awarded make men plump to be,"
Friend Horace, Haydon soon in bulk shall match with thee.
Painters with poets for the laurel vie:
But should the laureat band thy claims deny,
Wear thou thy own green palm, Haydon, triumphantly.
_To Miss Burney, on her Character of Blanch in "Country
Neighbours," a Tale_
Bright spirits have arisen to grace the BURNEY name,
And some in letters, some in tasteful arts,
In learning some have borne distinguished parts;
Or sought through science of sweet sounds their fame:
And foremost _she_, renowned for many a tale
Of faithful love perplexed, and of that good
Old man, who, as CAMILLA'S guardian, stood
In obstinate virtue clad like coat of mail.
Nor dost thou, SARAH, with unequal pace
Her steps pursue. The pure romantic vein
No gentler creature ever knew to feign
Than thy fine Blanch, young with an elder grace,
In all respects without rebuke or blame,
Answering the antique freshness of her name.
TO MY FRIEND THE INDICATOR
Your easy Essays indicate a flow,
Dear Friend, of brain which we may elsewhere seek;
And to their pages I, and hundreds, owe,
That Wednesday is the sweetest of the week.
Such observation, wit, and sense, are shewn,
We think the days of Bickerstaff returned;
And that a portion of that oil you own,
In his undying midnight lamp which burned.
I would not lightly bruise old Priscian's head,
Or wrong the rules of grammar understood;
But, with the leave of Priscian be it said,
The _Indicative_ is your _Potential Mood._
Wit, poet, prose-man, party-man, translator--
H[unt], your best title yet is INDICATOR.
ON SEEING MRS. K---- B----, AGED UPWARDS
OF EIGHTY, NURSE AN INFANT
A sight like this might find apology
In worlds unsway'd by our Chronology;
As Tully says, (the thought's in Plato)--
"To die is but to go to Cato."
Of this world Time is of the essence,--
A kind of universal presence;
And therefore poets should have made him
Not only old, as they've pourtray'd him,
But young, mature, and old--all three
In one--a sort of mystery--
('Tis hard to paint abstraction pure.)
Here young--there old--and now mature--
Just as we see some old book-print,
Not to one scene its hero stint;
But, in the distance, take occasion
To draw him in some other station.
Here this prepost'rous union seems
A kind of meeting of extremes.
Ye may not live together. Mean ye
To pass that gulf that lies between ye
Of fourscore years, as we skip ages
In turning o'er historic pages?
Thou dost not to this age belong:
Thou art three generations wrong:
Old Time has miss'd thee: there he tarries!
Go on to thy contemporaries!
Give the child up. To see thee kiss him
Is a compleat anachronism.
Nay, keep him. It is good to see
Race link'd to race, in him and thee.
The child repelleth not at all
Her touch as uncongenial,
But loves the old Nurse like another--
Its sister--or its natural mother;
And to the nurse a pride it gives
To think (though old) that still she lives
With one, who may not hope in vain
To live her years all o'er again!
TO EMMA, LEARNING LATIN, AND DESPONDING
(_By Mary Lamb_. ? 1827)
Droop not, dear Emma, dry those falling tears,
And call up smiles into thy pallid face,
Pallid and care-worn with thy arduous race:
In few brief months thou hast done the work of years.
To young beginnings natural are these fears.
A right good scholar shalt thou one day be,
And that no distant one; when even she,
Who now to thee a star far off appears,
That most rare Latinist, the Northern Maid--
The language-loving Sarah of the Lake--
Shall hail thee Sister Linguist. This will make
Thy friends, who now afford thee careful aid,
A recompense most rich for all their pains,
Counting thy acquisitions their best gains.
[Footnote 15: Daughter of S.T. Coleridge, Esq.; an accomplished linguist
in the Greek and Latin tongues, and translatress of a History of the
Abipones. [Note in _Blackwood_.]]
_Addressed to Lieut. R.W.H. Hardy, R.N., on the Perusal of his Volume of
Travels in the Interior of Mexico_
'Tis pleasant, lolling in our elbow chair,
Secure at home, to read descriptions rare
Of venturous traveller in savage climes;
His hair-breadth 'scapes, toil, hunger--and sometimes
The merrier passages that, like a foil
To set off perils past, sweetened that toil,
And took the edge from danger; and I look
With such fear-mingled pleasure thro' thy book,
Adventurous Hardy! Thou a _diver_ art,
But of no common form; and for thy part
Of the adventure, hast brought home to the nation
_Pearls_ of discovery--_jewels_ of observation.
ENFIELD, _January_, 1830.
[Footnote 16: Captain Hardy practised this art with considerable
success. [Note in _Athenaeum_.]]
[_For a Monument Commemorating the Sudden Death by
Drowning of a Family, of Four Sons and Two Daughters_]
Tears are for lighter griefs. Man weeps the doom,
That seals a single victim to the tomb.
But when Death riots--when, with whelming sway,
Destruction sweeps a family away;
When infancy and youth, a huddled mass,
All in an instant to oblivion pass,
And parents' hopes are crush'd; what lamentation
Can reach the depth of such a desolation?
Look upward, Feeble Ones! look up and trust,
That HE who lays their mortal frame in dust,
Still hath the immortal spirit in his keeping--
In Jesus' sight they are not dead but sleeping.
TO C. ADERS, ESQ.
_On his Collection of Paintings by the old German Masters_
Friendliest of men, ADERS, I never come
Within the precincts of this sacred Room,
But I am struck with a religious fear,
Which says "Let no profane eye enter here."
With imagery from Heav'n the walls are clothed,
Making the things of Time seem vile and loathed.
Spare Saints, whose bodies seem sustain'd by Love,
With Martyrs old in meek procession move.
Here kneels a weeping Magdalen, less bright
To human sense for her blurr'd cheeks; in sight
Of eyes, new-touch'd by Heav'n, more winning fair
Than when her beauty was her only care.
A Hermit here strange mysteries doth unlock
In desart sole, his knees worn by the rock.
There Angel harps are sounding, while below
Palm-bearing Virgins in white order go.
Madonnas, varied with so chaste design,
While all are different, each seems genuine,
And hers the only Jesus: hard outline,
And rigid form, by DURER'S hand subdued
To matchless grace, and sacro-sanctitude;
DURER, who makes thy slighted Germany
Vie with the praise of paint-proud Italy.
Whoever enter'st here, no more persume
To name a Parlour, or a Drawing Room;
But, bending lowly to each holy Story,
Make this thy Chapel, and thine Oratory.
_A Tale from Suidas_
In days of yore, ere early Greece
Had dream'd of patrols or police,
A crew of rake-hells _in terrorem_
Spread wide, and carried all before 'em,
Rifled the poultry, and the women,
And held that all things were in common;
Till Jove's great Son the nuisance saw,
And did abate it by Club Law.
Yet not so clean he made his work,
But here and there a rogue would lurk
In caves and rocky fastnesses,
And shunn'd the strength of Hercules.
Of these, more desperate than others,
A pair of ragamuffin brothers
In secret ambuscade join'd forces,
To carry on unlawful courses.
These Robbers' names, enough to shake us,
Where, Strymon one, the other Cacus.
And, more the neighbourhood to bother,
A wicked dam they had for mother,
Who knew their craft, but not forbid it,
And whatsoe'er they nymm'd, she hid it;
Received them with delight and wonder,
When they brought home some 'special plunder;
Call'd them her darlings, and her white boys,
Her ducks, her dildings--all was right boys--
"Only," she said, "my lads, have care
Ye fall not into BLACK BACK'S snare;
For, if he catch, he'll maul your _corpus_,
And clapper-claw you to some purpose."
She was in truth a kind of witch,
Had grown by fortune-telling rich;
To spells and conjurings did tackle her,
And read folks' dooms by light oracular;
In which she saw, as clear as daylight,
What mischief on her bairns would a-light;
Therefore she had a special loathing
For all that own'd that sable clothing.
Who can 'scape fate, when we're decreed to 't?
The graceless brethren paid small heed to 't.
A brace they were of sturdy fellows,
As we may say, that fear'd no colours,
And sneer'd with modern infidelity
At the old gipsy's fond credulity.
It proved all true tho', as she'd mumbled--
For on a day the varlets stumbled
On a green spot--_sit linguae fides_--
'Tis Suidas tells it--where Alcides
Secure, as fearing no ill neighbour,
Lay fast asleep after a "Labour."
His trusty oaken plant was near--
The prowling rogues look round, and leer,
And each his wicked wits 'gan rub,
How to bear off the famous Club;
Thinking that they _sans_ price or hire wou'd
Carry 't strait home, and chop for fire wood.
'Twould serve their old dame half a winter--
You stare? but 'faith it was no splinter;
I would not for much money 'spy
Such beam in any neighbour's eye.
The villains, these exploits not dull in,
Incontinently fell a pulling.
They found it heavy--no slight matter--
But tugg'd, and tugg'd it, till the clatter
'Woke Hercules, who in a trice
Whipt up the knaves, and with a splice,
He kept on purpose--which before
Had served for giants many a score--
To end of Club tied each rogue's head fast;
Strapping feet too, to keep them steadfast;
And pickaback them carries townwards,
Behind his brawny back head-downwards,
(So foolish calf--for rhyme I bless X--
Comes _nolens volens_ out of Essex);
Thinking to brain them with his _dextra_,
Or string them up upon the next tree.
That Club--so equal fates condemn--
They thought to catch, has now catch'd them.
Now Hercules, we may suppose,
Was no great dandy in his clothes;
Was seldom, save on Sundays, seen
In calimanco, or nankeen;
On anniversaries would try on
A jerkin spick-span new from lion;
Went bare for the most part, to be cool,
And save the time of his Groom of the Stole;
Besides, the smoke he had been in
In Stygian gulf, had dyed his skin
To a natural sable--a right hell-fit--
That seem'd to careless eyes black velvet.
The brethren from their station scurvy,
Where they hung dangling topsy turvy,
With horror view the black costume,
And each persumes his hour is come!
Then softly to themselves 'gan mutter
The warning words their dame did utter;
Yet not so softly, but with ease
Were overheard by Hercules.
Quoth Cacus--"This is he she spoke of,
Which we so often made a joke of."
"I see," said the other, "thank our sin for't,
'Tis BLACK BACK sure enough--we're in for 't."
His Godship who, for all his brag
Of roughness, was at heart a wag,
At his new name was tickled finely,
And fell a laughing most divinely.
Quoth he, "I'll tell this jest in heaven--
The musty rogues shall be forgiven."
So in a twinkling did uncase them,
On mother earth once more to place them--
The varlets, glad to be unhamper'd,
Made each a leg--then fairly scamper'd.
THE PARTING SPEECH OF THE CELESTIAL MESSENGER TO THE POET
_From the Latin of Palingenius, in the Zodiacus Vitae_
But now time warns (my mission at an end)
That to Jove's starry court I re-ascend;
From whose high battlements I take delight
To scan your earth, diminish'd to the sight,
Pendant, and round, and, as an apple, small;
Self-propt, self-balanced, and secure from fall
By her own weight: and how with liquid robe
Blue ocean girdles round her tiny globe,
While lesser Nereus, gliding like a snake,
Betwixt her hands his flexile course doth take,
Shrunk to a rivulet; and how the Po,
The mighty Ganges, Tanais, Ister, show
No bigger than a ditch which rains have swell'd.
Old Nilus' seven proud mouths I late beheld,
And mock'd the watery puddles. Hosts steel-clad
Ofttimes I thence behold; and how the sad
Peoples are punish'd by the fault of kings,
Which from the purple fiend Ambition springs.
Forgetful of mortality, they live
In hot strife for possessions fugitive,
At which the angels grieve. Sometimes I trace
Of fountains, rivers, seas, the change of place;
By ever shifting course, and Time's unrest,
The vale exalted, and the mount deprest
To an inglorious valley; plough-shares going
Where tall trees rear'd their tops; and fresh trees growing
In antique pastures. Cities lose their site.
Old things wax new. O what a rare delight
To him, who from this vantage can survey
At once stern Afric, and soft Asia,
With Europe's cultured plains; and in their turns
Their scatter'd tribes: those whom the hot Crab burns,
The tawny Ethiops; Orient Indians;
Getulians; ever-wandering Scythians;
Swift Tartar hordes; Cilicians rapacious,
And Parthians with back-bended bow pugnacious;
Sabeans incense-bringing, men of Thrace,
Italian, Spaniard, Gaul, and that rough race
Of Britons, rigid as their native colds;
With all the rest the circling sun beholds!
But clouds, and elemental mists, deny
These visions blest to any fleshly eye.
EXISTENCE, CONSIDERED IN ITSELF, NO BLESSING
_From the Latin of Palingenius_
The Poet, after a seeming approval of suicide, from a consideration of
the cares and crimes of life, finally rejecting it, discusses the
negative importance of existence, contemplated in itself, without
reference to good or evil.
Of these sad truths consideration had--
Thou shalt not fear to quit this world so mad,
So wicked; but the tenet rather hold
Of wise Calanus, and his followers old,
Who with their own wills their own freedom wrought,
And by self-slaughter their dismissal sought
From this dark den of crime--this horrid lair
Of men, that savager than monsters are;
And scorning longer, in this tangled mesh
Of ills, to wait on perishable flesh,
Did with their desperate hands anticipate
The too, too slow relief of lingering fate.
And if religion did not stay thine hand,
And God, and Plato's wise behests, withstand,
I would in like case counsel thee to throw
This senseless burden off, of cares below.
Not wine, _as_ wine, men choose, but as it came
From such or such a vintage: 'tis the same
With life, which simply must be understood
A black negation, if it be not good.
But if 'tis wretched all--as men decline
And loath the sour lees of corrupted wine--
'Tis so to be contemn'd. Merely TO BE
Is not a boon to seek, nor ill to flee,
Seeing that every vilest little Thing
Has it in common, from a gnat's small wing,
A creeping worm, down to the moveless stone,
And crumbling bark from trees. Unless TO BE,
And TO BE BLEST, be one, I do not see
In bare existence, _as_ existence, aught
That's worthy to be loved, or to be sought.
TO SAMUEL ROGERS, ESQ.
_On the New Edition of his "Pleasures of Memory"_
When thy gay book hath paid its proud devoirs,
Poetic friend, and fed with luxury
The eye of pampered aristocracy
In glittering drawing-rooms and gilt boudoirs,
O'erlaid with comments of pictorial art,
However rich and rare, yet nothing leaving
Of healthful action to the soul-conceiving
Of the true reader--yet a nobler part
Awaits thy work, already classic styled.
Cheap-clad, accessible, in homeliest show
The modest beauty through the land shall go
From year to year, and render life more mild;
Refinement to the poor man's hearth shall give,
And in the moral heart of England live.
TO CLARA N[OVELLO]
The Gods have made me most unmusical,
With feelings that respond not to the call
Of stringed harp, or voice--obtuse and mute
To hautboy, sackbut, dulcimer, and flute;
King David's lyre, that made the madness flee
From Saul, had been but a jew's-harp to me:
Theorbos, violins, French horns, guitars,
Leave in my wounded ears inflicted scars;
I hate those trills, and shakes, and sounds that float
Upon the captive air; I know no note,
Nor ever shall, whatever folks may say,
Of the strange mysteries of _Sol_ and _Fa_;
I sit at oratorios like a fish,
Incapable of sound, and only wish
The thing was over. Yet do I admire,
O tuneful daughter of a tuneful sire,
Thy painful labours in a science, which
To your deserts I pray may make you rich
As much as you are loved, and add a grace
To the most musical Novello race.
Women lead men by the nose, some cynics say;
You draw them by the ear--a delicater way.
On Emma's honest brow we read display'd
The constant virtues of the Nut Brown Maid;
Mellifluous sounds on Clara's tongue we hear,
Notes that once lured a Seraph from his sphere;
Cecilia's eyes such winning beauties crown
As without song might draw _her_ Angel down.
LOVE WILL COME
Tune--_The Tartar Drum_
Guard thy feelings, pretty Vestal,
From the smooth Intruder free;
Cage thy heart in bars of chrystal,
Lock it with a golden key:
Thro' the bars demurely stealing,
Noiseless footstep, accent dumb,
His approach to none revealing--
Watch, or watch not, LOVE WILL COME.
His approach to none revealing--
Watch, or watch not, Love will come--Love,
Watch, or watch not, Love will come.
Scornful Beauty may deny him--
He hath spells to charm disdain;
Homely Features may defy him--
Both at length must wear the chain.
Haughty Youth in Courts of Princes--
Hermit poor with age o'er come--
His soft plea at last convinces;
Sooner, later, LOVE WILL COME.
His soft plea at length convinces;
Sooner, later, Love will come--Love,
Sooner, later, Love will come.
TO MARGARET W----
Margaret, in happy hour
Christen'd from that humble flower
Which we a daisy call!
May thy pretty name-sake be
In all things a type of thee,
And image thee in all.
[Footnote 17: Marguerite, in French, signifies a daisy. [Note in
To Margaret W----
Like _it_ you show a modest face,
An unpretending native grace;--
The tulip, and the pink,
The china and the damask rose,
And every flaunting flower that blows,
In the comparing shrink.
Of lowly fields you think no scorn;
Yet gayest gardens would adorn,
And grace, wherever set.
Home-seated in your lonely bower,
Or wedded--a transplanted flower--
I bless you, Margaret!
EDMONTON, 8_th October_, 1834.
* * * * *
ADDITIONAL ALBUM VERSES AND ACROSTICS
WHAT IS AN ALBUM?
'Tis a Book kept by modern Young Ladies for show,
Of which their plain grandmothers nothing did know.
'Tis a medley of scraps, fine verse, and fine prose,
And some things not very like either, God knows.
The soft First Effusions of Beaux and of Belles,
Of future LORD BYRONS, and sweet L.E.L.'s;
Where wise folk and simple both equally shine,
And you write your nonsense, that I may write mine.
Stick in a fine landscape, to make a display,
A flower-piece, a foreground, all tinted so gay,
As NATURE herself (could she see them) would strike
With envy, to think that she ne'er did the like:
And since some LAVATERS, with head-pieces comical,
Have pronounc'd people's hands to be physiognomical,
Be sure that you stuff it with AUTOGRAPHS plenty,
All framed to a pattern, so stiff, and so dainty.
They no more resemble folks' every-day writing,
Than lines penn'd with pains do extemp'rel enditing;
Or the natural countenance (pardon the stricture)
The faces we make when we sit for our picture.
Thus you have, dearest EMMA, an ALBUM complete--
Which may _you_ live to finish, and _I_ live to see it;
And since you began it for innocent ends,
May it swell, and grow bigger each day with new friends,
Who shall set down kind names, as a token and test,
As I my poor _autograph_ sign with the rest.
THE FIRST LEAF OF SPRING
_Written on the First Leaf of a Lady's Album_
Thou fragile, filmy, gossamery thing,
First leaf of spring!
At every lightest breath that quakest,
And with a zephyr shakest;
Scarce stout enough to hold thy slender form together,
In calmest halcyon weather;
Next sister to the web that spiders weave,
Poor flutterers to deceive
Into their treacherous silken bed:
O! how art thou sustained, how nourished!
All trivial as thou art,
Thou play'st a mighty part;
And art the herald to a throng
Of buds, blooms, fruit,
That shall thy cracking branches sway,
While birds on every spray
Shall pay the copious fruitage with a sylvan song.
So 'tis with thee, whoe'er on thee shall look,
First leaf of this beginning modest book.
Slender thou art, God knowest,
And little grace bestowest,
But in thy train shall follow after,
Wit, wisdom, seriousness, in hand with laughter;
Provoking jests, restraining soberness,
In their appropriate dress;
And I shall joy to be outdone
By those who brighter trophies won;
Without a grief,
That I thy slender promise have begun,
TO MRS. F[IELD]
_On Her Return from Gibraltar_
Jane, you are welcome from the barren Rock,
And Calpe's sounding shores. Oh do not mock,
Now you have rais'd, our greetings; nor again
Ever revisit that dry nook of Spain.
Friends have you here, and friendships to command,
In merry England. Love this hearty land.
Ease, comfort, competence--of these possess'd,
Let prodigal adventurers seek the rest:
Dear England is _as you_,--a _Field_ the Lord hath blest.
TO M[ARY] L[AETITIA] F[IELD]
(_Expecting to See Her Again after a Long Interval_)
How many wasting, many wasted years,
Have run their round, since I beheld your face!
In Memory's dim eye it yet appears
Crowned, as it _then_ seemed, with a chearful grace.
Young prattling Maiden, on the Thames' fair side,
Enlivening pleasant Sunbury with your smiles,
Time may have changed you: coy reserve, or pride,
To sullen looks reduced those mirthful wiles.
I will not 'bate one smile on that clear brow,
But take of Time a rigorous account,
When next I see you; and Maria now
Must _be_ the Thing she _was_. To what amount
These verses else?--all hollow and untrue--
This was not writ, these lines not meant, for YOU.
TO ESTHER FIELD
Esther, holy name and sweet,
Smoothly runs on even feet,
To the mild Acrostic bending;
Hebrew recollections blending.
Ever keep that Queen in view--
Royal namesake--bold, and true!
Firm she stood in evil times,
In the face of Haman's crimes.--
Ev'n as She, do Thou possess
Loftiest virtue in the dress,
Dear F----, of native loveliness.
[TO MRS. WILLIAMS]
Go little Poem, and present
Respectful terms of compliment;
A gentle lady bids thee speak!
Courteous is _she_, tho' thou be weak--
Evoke from Heaven as thick as manna
Joy after joy on Grace Joanna:
On Fornham's Glebe and Pasture land
A blessing pray. Long, long may stand,
Not touched by Time, the Rectory blithe;
No grudging churl dispute his Tithe;
At Easter be the offerings due
With cheerful spirit paid; each pew
In decent order filled; no noise
Loud intervene to drown the voice,
Learning, or wisdom of the Teacher;
Impressive be the Sacred Preacher,
And strict his notes on holy page;
May young and old from age to age
Salute, and still point out, 'The good man's Parsonage!'
TO THE BOOK
Little Casket! Storehouse rare
Of rich conceits, to please the Fair!
Happiest he of mortal men,--
(I crown him monarch of the pen,)--
To whom Sophia deigns to give
The flattering prerogative
To inscribe his name in chief,
On thy first and maiden Leaf.
When thy pages shall be full
Of what brighter wits can cull
Of the Tender or Romantic,
Creeping Prose or Verse Gigantic,--
Which thy spaces so shall cram
That the Bee-like Epigram
(Which a two-fold tribute brings,
Honey gives at once, and stings,)
Hath not room left wherewithal
To infix its tiny scrawl;
Haply some more youthful swain,
Striving to describe his pain,
And the Damsel's ear to seize
With more expressive lays than these,
When he finds his own excluded
And these counterfeits intruded;
While, loitering in the Muse's bower,
He overstayed the eleventh hour,
Till the tables filled--shall fret,
Die, or sicken with regret
Or into a shadow pine:
While this triumphant verse of mine,
Like to some favoured stranger-guest,
Bidden to a good man's Feast
Shall sit--by merit less than fate--
In the upper Seat in State.
TO S[OPHIA] F[REND]
Solemn Legends we are told
Of bright female Names of old,
Phyllus fair, Laodameia,
Helen, but methinks Sophia
Is a name of better meaning
And a sort of Christian leaning.
For it _Wisdom_ means, which passes
Rubies, pearls, or golden masses.
Ever try that Name to merit;
Never quit what you inherit,
Duly from your Father's spirit.
TO R[OTHA] Q[UILLINAN]
ROTHA, how in numbers light,
Ought I to express thee?
Take my meaning in its flight--
Haste imports not always slight--
And believe, I bless thee.
TO S[ARAH] L[OCKE]
Shall I praise a face unseen,
And extol a fancied mien,
Rave on visionary charm,
And from shadows take alarm?
Hatred hates _without a cause;_
Love may love, with more applause,
Or, without a reason given,
Charmed be with unknown Heaven.
Keep the secrets, though, unmocked,
Ever in your bosom _Locke'd_.
TO M[ARY] L[OCKE]
Must I write with pen unwilling
And describe those graces killing
Rightly, which I never saw?
Yes--it is the Album's law.
Let me then Invention strain
On your excelling charms to feign--
Cold is Fiction? I _believe_ it
Kindly, as I did receive it,
Even as J.F.'s tongue did weave it.
AN ACROSTIC AGAINST ACROSTICS
[_To Edward Hogg_]
Envy not the wretched Poet
Doomed to pen these teasing strains,
Wit so cramped, ah, who can show it,
Are the trifles worth the pains.
Rhyme compared with this were easy,
Double Rhymes may not displease ye.
Homer, Horace sly and caustic,
Owed no fame to vile acrostic.
G's, I am sure, the Readers choked with,
Good men's names must not be joked with.
ON BEING ASKED TO WRITE IN MISS WESTWOOD'S ALBUM
My feeble Muse, that fain her best wou'd
Write, at command of Frances Westwood,
But feels her wits not in their best mood,
Fell lately on some idle fancies,
As she's much given to romances,
About this self-same style as Frances;
Which seems to be a name in common
Attributed to man or woman.
She thence contrived this flattering moral,
With which she hopes no soul will quarrel,
That she, whom this twin title decks,
Combines what's good in either sex;
Unites--how very rare the case is!--
Masculine sense to female graces;
And, quitting not her proper rank,
Is both in one--Fanny, and frank.
12_th October_, 1827.
[IN MISS WESTWOOD'S ALBUM]
_By Mary Lamb_
Small beauty to your Book my lines can lend,
Yet you shall have the best I can, sweet friend,
To serve for poor memorials 'gainst the day
That calls you from your Parent-roof away,
From the mild offices of Filial life
To the more serious duties of a Wife.
The World is opening to you--may you rest
With all your prospects realised, and blest!--
I, with the Elder Couple left behind,
On evenings chatting, oft shall call to mind
Those spirits of Youth, which Age so ill can miss,
And, wanting you, half grudge your S--n's bliss;
Till mirthful malice tempts us to exclaim
'Gainst the dear Thief, who robb'd you of your _Name_.
ENFIELD CHASE, 17_th May_, 1828.
_A Drawing by E.I._ [_Emma Isola_]
[_To Sarah Lachlan_]
Solitary man, around thee
Are the mountains: Peace hath found thee
Resting by that rippling tide;
All vain toys of life expelling,
Hermit-like, thou find'st a dwelling,
Lost 'mid foliage stretching wide.
Angels here alone may find thee,
Contemplation fast may bind thee.
Holier spot, or more fantastic,
Livelier scene of deep seclusion,
Armed by Nature 'gainst intrusion,
Never graced a seat Monastic.
TO S[ARAH] T[HOMAS]
Sarah, blest wife of "Terah's faithful Son,"
After a race of years with goodness run,
Regardless heard the promised miracle,
And mocked the blessing as impossible.
How weak is Faith!--even He, the most sincere,
Thomas, to his meek Master not least dear,
Holy, and blameless, yet refused assent
Of full belief, until he could content
Mere human senses. In your piety,
As you are _one_ in _name_, industriously
So copy them: but _shun_ their weak part--_Incredulity_.
TO MRS. SARAH ROBINSON
Soul-breathing verse, thy gentlest guise put on
And greet the honor'd name of Robinson.
Rome in her throng'd and stranger-crowded streets,
And palaces, where pilgrim _pilgrim_ meets,
Holds not, respected Sarah, one that can
Revered make the name of Englishman,
Or loved, more than thy Kinsman, dear to me
By many a friendly act. His heart I see
In thee with answering courtesy renew'd.
Nor shall to thee my debt of gratitude
Soon fade, that didst receive with open hand
One that was come a stranger to thy land--
Now call[s] thee Friend. Her thanks, and mine, command.
Enfield, 14_th March_, 1831.
TO SARAH [APSEY]
Sarah,--your other name I know not,
And fine encomiums I bestow not,
Regard me as an utter stranger,
A hair-brain'd, hasty, album-ranger,
Heaven shield you, Girl, from every danger!
TO JOSEPH VALE ASBURY
Judgements are about us thoroughly;
O'er all Enfield hangs the Cholera,
Savage monster, none like him
Ever rack'd a human limb.
Pest, nor plague, nor fever yellow,
Has made patients more to bellow.
Vain his threatnings! Asbury comes,
And defiance beats by drums;
Label, bottle, box, pill, potion,
Each enlists in the commotion.
And with Vials, like to those
Seen in Patmos, charged with woes,
Breathing Wrath, he falls pell-mell
Upon the Foe, and pays him well.
Revenge!--he has made the monster sick
Yea, Cholera vanish, choleric.
[Footnote 18: _Vide_ Revelations.]
TO D[OROTHY] A[SBURY]
Divided praise, Lady, to you we owe,
Of all the health your husband doth bestow,
Respected wife of skilful Asbury!
Oracular foresight named thee Dorothy;
Tis a Greek word, and signifies God's Gift;
(How Learning helps poor Poets at a shift!)--
You are that gift. When, tired with human ails,
And tedious listening to the sick man's tales,
Sore spent, and fretted, he comes home at eve,
By mild medicaments you his toils deceive.
Under your soothing treatment he revives;
(Restorative is the smile of gentle wives):
You lengthen _his_, who lengthens _all our lives._
TO LOUISA MORGAN
How blest is he who in his _age_, exempt
From fortune's frowns, and from the troublous strife
Of storms that harass still the private life,
"Below ambition, and above contempt,"
Hath gain'd a quiet harbour, where he may
Look back on shipwrecks past, without a sigh
For busier scenes, and hope's gay dreams gone by!
And such a nook of blessedness, they say,
Your Sire at length has found; while you, best Child,
Content in _his_ contentment, acquiesce
In patient toils; and in a station less,
Than you might image, when your prospects smiled.
In your meek virtues there is found a calm,
That on his life's soft evening sheds a balm.
TO SARAH JAMES OF BEGUILDY
Sleep hath treasures worth retracing:
Are you not in slumbers pacing
Round your native spot at times,
And seem to hear Beguildy's chimes?
Hold the airy vision fast;
Joy is but a dream at last:
And what was so fugitive,
Memory only makes to live.
Even from troubles past we borrow
Some thoughts that may lighten sorrow,
Onwards as we pace through life,
Fainting under care or strife,
By the magic of a thought
Every object back is brought
Gayer than it was when real,
Under influence ideal.
In remembrance as a glass,
Let your happy childhood pass;
Dreaming so in fancy's spells,
You still shall hear those old church bells.
TO EMMA BUTTON
EMMA, eldest of your name,
Meekly trusting in her God
Midst the red-hot plough-shares trod,
And unscorch'd preserved her fame.
By that test if _you_ were tried,
Ugly flames might be defied;
Though devouring fire's a glutton,
Through the trial you might go
"On the light fantastic toe,"
Nor for plough-shares care a BUTTON.
WRITTEN UPON THE COVER OF A BLOTTING BOOK
Blank tho' I be, within you'll find
Relics of th' enraptured mind:
Where truth and fable, mirth and wit,
Are safely here deposited.
The placid, furious, envious, wise,
Impart to me their secresies;
Here hidden thoughts in blotted line
Nor sybil can the sense divine;
Lethe and I twin sisters be--
Then, stranger, open me and see.
* * * * *
POLITICAL AND OTHER EPIGRAMS
TO SIR JAMES MACKINTOSH
Though thou'rt like Judas, an apostate black,
In the resemblance one thing thou dost lack:
When he had gotten his ill-purchased pelf,
He went away, and wisely hanged himself.
This thou may'st do at last; yet much I doubt,
If thou hast any _bowels_ to gush out!
* * * * *
_Characters That Might Have Been Drawn on the Above Evening_
I put my night-cap on my head,
And went, as usual, to my bed;
And, most surprising to relate,
I woke--a Minister of State!
MESSRS. C[ANNIN]G AND F[RER]E
At Eton School brought up with dull boys,
We shone like _men_ among the _school-boys_;
But since we in the world have been,
We are but _school-boys_ among _men_.
I deal in aliments fictitious
And teaze the poor with soups nutritious.
Of bones and flesh I make dilution
And belong to the National Institution.
ON A LATE EMPIRIC OF "BALMY" MEMORY
(1802. Not printed till 1820)
His namesake, born of Jewish breeder,
Knew "from the Hyssop to the Cedar;"
But he, unlike the Jewish leader,
Scarce knew the Hyssop from the Cedar.
* * * * *
Princeps his rent from tinneries draws,
His best friends are refiners;--
What wonder then his other friends
He leaves for under-_miners._
Ye Politicians, tell me, pray,
Why thus with woe and care rent?
This is the worst that you can say,
Some wind has blown the _wig_ away,
And left the _hair apparent._
* * * * *
THE TRIUMPH OF THE WHALE
Io! Paean! Io! sing
To the funny people's King.
Not a mightier whale than this
In the vast Atlantic is;
Not a fatter fish than he
Flounders round the polar sea.
See his blubbers--at his gills
What a world of drink he swills,
From his trunk, as from a spout,
Which next moment he pours out.
Such his person--next declare,
Muse, who his companions are.--
Every fish of generous kind
Scuds aside, or slinks behind;
But about his presence keep
All the Monsters of the Deep;
Mermaids, with their tails and singing
His delighted fancy stinging;
Crooked Dolphins, they surround him,
Dog-like Seals, they fawn around him.
Following hard, the progress mark
Of the intolerant salt sea shark.
For his solace and relief,
Flat fish are his courtiers chief.
Last and lowest in his train,
Ink-fish (libellers of the main)
Their black liquor shed in spite:
(Such on earth the things _that write_.)
In his stomach, some do say,
No good thing can ever stay.
Had it been the fortune of it
To have swallowed that old Prophet,
Three days there he'd not have dwell'd,
But in one have been expell'd.
Hapless mariners are they,
Who beguil'd (as seamen say),
Deeming him some rock or island,
Footing sure, safe spot, and dry land,
Anchor in his scaly rind;
Soon the difference they find;
Sudden plumb, he sinks beneath them;
Does to ruthless seas bequeath them.
Name or title what has he?
Is he Regent of the Sea?
From this difficulty free us,
Buffon, Banks or sage Linnaeus.
With his wondrous attributes
Say what appellation suits.
By his bulk, and by his size,
By his oily qualities,
This (or else my eyesight fails),
This should be the PRINCE OF WHALES.
_St. Crispin to Mr. Gifford_ (1819)
All unadvised, and in an evil hour,
Lured by aspiring thoughts, my son, you daft
The lowly labours of the Gentle Craft
For learned toils, which blood and spirits sour.
All things, dear pledge, are not in all men's power;
The wiser sort of shrub affects the ground;
And sweet content of mind is oftener found
In cobbler's parlour, than in critic's bower.
The sorest work is what doth cross the grain;
And better to this hour you had been plying
The obsequious awl with well-waxed finger flying,
Than ceaseless thus to till a thankless vein;
Still teazing Muses, which are still denying;
Making a stretching-leather of your brain.
In one great man we view with odds
A parallel to all the gods.
Great Jove, that shook heaven with his brow,
Could never match his princely bow.
In him a Bacchus we behold:
Like Bacchus, too, he ne'er grows old.
Like Phoebus next, a flaming lover;
And then he's Mercury--all over.
A Vulcan, for domestic strife,
He lamely lives without his wife.
And sure--unless our wits be dull--
Minerva-like, when moon was full,
He issued from paternal skull.
THE THREE GRAVES
Close by the ever-burning brimstone beds
Where Bedloe, Oates and Judas, hide their heads,
I saw great Satan like a Sexton stand
With his intolerable spade in hand,
Digging three graves. Of coffin shape they were,
For those who, coffinless, must enter there
With unblest rites. The shrouds were of that cloth
Which Clotho weaveth in her blackest wrath:
The dismal tinct oppress'd the eye, that dwelt
Upon it long, like darkness to be felt.
The pillows to these baleful beds were toads,
Large, living, livid, melancholy loads,
Whose softness shock'd. Worms of all monstrous size
Crawl'd round; and one, upcoil'd, which never dies.
A doleful bell, inculcating despair,
Was always ringing in the heavy air.
And all about the detestable pit
Strange headless ghosts, and quarter'd forms, did flit;
Rivers of blood, from living traitors spilt,
By treachery stung from poverty to guilt.
I ask'd the fiend, for whom these rites were meant?
"These graves," quoth he, "when life's brief oil is spent,
When the dark night comes, and they're sinking bedwards,
--I mean for Castles, Oliver, and Edwards."
SONNET TO MATHEW WOOD, ESQ.
_Alderman and M.P._
Hold on thy course uncheck'd, heroic WOOD!
Regardless what the player's son may prate,
Saint Stephens' fool, the Zany of Debate--
Who nothing generous ever understood.
London's twice Praetor! scorn the fool-born jest--
The stage's scum, and refuse of the players--
Stale topics against Magistrates and Mayors--
City and Country both thy worth attest.
Bid him leave off his shallow Eton wit,
More fit to sooth the superficial ear
Of drunken PITT, and that pickpocket Peer,
When at their sottish orgies they did sit,
Hatching mad counsels from inflated vein,
Till England, and the nations, reeled with pain.
ON A PROJECTED JOURNEY
To gratify his people's wish
See G[eorg]e at length prepare--
He's setting out for Hanover--
We've often wished him there.
SONG FOR THE C[ORONATIO]N
_Tune, "Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch"_
_Roi's_ wife of Brunswick Oels!
_Roi's_ wife of Brunswick Oels!
Wot you how she came to him,
While he supinely dreamt of no ills?
Vow! but she is a canty Queen,
And well can she scare each royal orgie.--
To us she ever must be dear,
Though she's for ever cut by Georgie.--
_Roi's_ wife, etc. _Da capo._
Not a woman, child, or man in
All this isle, that loves thee, C[anni]ng.
Fools, whom gentle manners sway,
May incline to C[astlerea]gh,
Princes, who old ladies love,
Of the Doctor may approve,
Chancery lads do not abhor
Their chatty, childish Chancellor.
In Liverpool some virtues strike,
And little Van's beneath dislike.
Tho, if I were to be dead for't,
I could never love thee, H[eadfor]t:
(Every man must have his way)
Other grey adulterers may.
But thou unamiable object,--
Dear to neither prince, nor subject;--
Veriest, meanest scab, for pelf
Fastning on the skin of Guelph,
Thou, thou must, surely, _loathe thyself._
ON THE ARRIVAL IN ENGLAND OF LORD BYRON'S REMAINS
Manners, they say, by climate alter not:
Who goes a drunkard will return a sot.
So lordly Juan, damn'd to lasting fame,
Went out a pickle, and came back the same.
_Suggested by a Sight of Waltham Cross_
Time-mouldering CROSSES, gemm'd with imagery
Of costliest work, and Gothic tracery,
Point still the spots, to hallow'd wedlock dear,
Where rested on its solemn way the bier,
That bore the bones of Edward's Elinor
To mix with Royal dust at Westminster.--
Far different rites did thee to dust consign,
Duke Brunswick's daughter, Princely Caroline.
A hurrying funeral, and a banish'd grave,
High-minded Wife! were all that thou could'st have.
Grieve not, great Ghost, nor count in death thy losses;
Thou in thy life-time had'st thy share of _crosses._
FOR THE "TABLE BOOK"
Laura, too partial to her friends' enditing,
Requires from each a pattern of their _writing._
A weightier trifle Laura might command;
For who to Laura would refuse his--_hand?_
THE ROYAL WONDERS
Two miracles at once! Compell'd by fate,
His tarnish'd throne the Bourbon doth vacate;
While English William,--a diviner thing,--
Of his free pleasure hath put off _the king._
The forms of distant old respect lets pass,
And melts his crown into the common mass.
Health to fair France, and fine regeneration!
But England's is the nobler abdication.
"BREVIS ESSE LABORO"
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