Page images
PDF
EPUB

Whistling he leapt from leaf to leaf;
But what is music to the deaf?

At length, while poring on the ground,
With monumental look profound,
A curious vegetable caught
His—something similar to thought:
Wondering, he ponder'd stooping low,
(Trelooby always lov'd a show)
And on the mandrake's vernal station,
Star'd with prodigious observation.
The' affronted mandrake, with a frown,
Address'd in rage the wealthy clown:

“ Proud member of the rambling race, That vegetate from place to place, Pursue the leveret at large, Nor near thy blunderbuss discharge. Disdainful though thou look'st on me, What art thou, or what can'st thou be? Nature, that mark'd thee as a fool, Gave no materials for the school, In what consists thy work and fame? The preservation of the gameFor what, thou avaricious elf, But to destroy it all thyself? To lead a life of drink and feast, To'oppress the poor, and cheat the priest, Or triumph in a virgin lost, Is all the manhood thou canst boast.Pretty, in nature's various plan, To see a weed that's like a man; But 'tis a grievous thing, indeed, To see a man so like a weed.” Vol. XXX.

Ff

THE BROCADE GOWN AND LINEN RAG.

From a fine lady to her maid,
A gown descended of brocade.
French !-Yes, from Paris--that's enough,
That would give dignity to stuff.
By accident or by design,
Or from some cause I can't divine;
A linen rag (sad source of wrangling!)
On a contiguous peg was dangling,
Vilely besmear'd—for late its master
It serv'd in quality of plaister.
The gown (contemptuous beholder,)
Gave a French shrug from either shoulder,
And rustling with emotions furious,
Bespoke the rag in terms injurious :

“Unfit for tinder, lint, or fodder,
Thou thing of filth, (and what is odder)
Discarded from thy owner's back,
Dar'st thou proceed, and gold attack?
Instant away—or in this place,
Begar me give you coup de grace."

To this replied the honest rag,
Who lik'd a jest, and was a wag :

“ Though thy glib tongue without a halt rur, Thou shabby second-hand subaltern, At once so ancient and so easy, At once so gorgeous and so greasy ; I value not thy gasconading, Nor all thy alamode parading ; But to abstain from words imperious, And to be sober, grave, and serious,

Though, says friend Horace, 'tis no treason,
At once to giggle and to reason,
When me you lessen, friend, you dream,
For know I am not what I seem ;
Soon by the mill's refining motion,
The sweetest daughter of the ocean,
Fair Medway, shall with snowy hue,
My virgin purity renew,
And give me reinform'd existence,
A good retention and subsistence.
Then shall the sons of genius join,
To make my second life divine.
O Murray! let me then dispense
Some portion of thy eloquence ;
For Greek and Roman rhetoric shine
United and improv'd in thine.
The spirit-stirring sage" alarms,
And Ciceronian sweetness charms,
The' Athenian Akenside may deign
To stamp me deathless with his pen,
While flows, approv'd by all the Nine,
The' immortal soul of every line.
Collins, perhaps, his aid may lend,
Melpomene's selected friend.
Perhaps our great Augustan Gray
May grace me with a Doric lay :
With sweet, with manly words of woe,
That nervously pathetic flow,
What, Mason, may I owe to you?
Learning's first pride, and nature's too ;
On thee she cast her sweetest smile,
And gave thee art's correcting file ;

• Demosthenes.

That file which, with assiduous pain,
The viper envy bites in vain.-
Such glories my mean lot betide,
Hear, tawdry fool, and check thy pride-
Thou, after scouring, dyeing, turning,
(If haply thou escape a burning)
From gown to petticoat descending,
And in a beggar's mantle ending,
Shalt in a dunghill or a sty,
Midst filth and vermin, rot and die."

MADAM AND THE MAGPIE.

Ye thunders roll, ye oceans roar,
And wake the rough resounding shore ;
Ye guns in smoke and flames engage,

and shake the ramparts with your rage;
Boreas distend your chops and blow;
Ring, ring, ye bonny bells of Bow;
Ye drums and rattles, rend the ears,
Like twenty thousand Southwark fairs;
Blow ye bulls, and bawl ye bats,
Encore, encore, ye amorous cats :
In vain, poor things, ye squeak and squall,
Soft Sylvia shall out-tongue you all :
But here she comes--there's no relief,
She comes, and blessed are the deaf.

“A magpie! why you're mad, my dear, To bring a chattering magpie here. A prating play-thing, fit for boysYou know I can't endure a noiseYou brought this precious present sure, My headach and my cough to cure ;

Pray hand him in, and let him stain
Each curtain, and each counterpane ;
Yes, he shall roost upon my toilet,
Or on my pillow-he can't spoil it :
He'll only make me catch my death.-
O heavens! for a little breath!-
Thank God, I never knew resentment,
But am all patience and contentment,
Or else, you paltry knave, I should
(As any other woman would)
Wring off his neck, and down your gullet
Cram it by way of chick or pullet.-
Well, I must lock up all my rings,
My jewels, and my curious things:
My Chinese toys must go to pot ;
My dearest pinchbecks—and what not?
For all your magpies are, like lawyers,
At once thieves, brawlers, and destroyers.
You for a wife bave search’d the globe,
You've got a very female Job,
Pattern of love, and peace and unity,
Or how could you expect impunity?
O Lord! this nasty thing will bite,
And scratch, and clapper-claw and fight.
O monstrous wretch, thus to devise
To tear out your poor Sylvia's eyes.
You're a fine popish plot pursuing,
By presents to effect my ruin ;
And thus for good are ill retorting
To me, who brought you such a fortune ;
To me, you low-liv'd clown, to me,
Who came of such a family :
Me, who from age to age possess’d
A lion rampant on my crest;

« PreviousContinue »