Page images
PDF
EPUB

No, thank

ye,

Sir-I never drink; Roger and I are exceedingly moral — Aren't we, Roger?-See him wink!

Well, something hot, then—we won't quarrel. He's thirsty, too-see him nod his head ?

What a pity, Sir, that dogs can't talk ! He understands every word that's said

And he knows good milk from water-and-chalk.

The truth is, Sir, now I reflect,

I've been so sadly given to grog, I wonder I've not lost the respect

(Here's to you, Sir !) even of my dog. But he sticks by, through thick and thin;

And this old coat, with its empty pockets, And rags

that smell of tobacco and gin, He'll follow while he has eyes in his sockets. There isn't another creature living

Would do it, and prove, through every disaster, So fond, so faithful, and so forgiving,

To such a miserable, thankless master ! No, Sir !—see him wag his tail, and grin!

By George! it makes old eyes water That is, there's something in this gin

That chokes a fellow. But no matter.

[ocr errors]

my

We'll have some music, if you're willing,

And Roger here (what a plague a cough is, Sir!) Shall march a little. -Start, you villain !

Paws up! Eyes front! Salute your officer ! 'Bout face! Attention! Take

rifle ! (Some dogs have arms, you see !) Now hold your Cap while the gentlemen give a trifle,

your

To aid a poor old patriot soldier !
March! Halt! Now show how the Rebel shakes,

When he stands up to hear his sentence.
Now tell us how many drams it takes

To honour a jolly new acquaintance.
Five yelps—that's five; he's mighty knowing !

The night's before us, fill the glasses ! -
Quick, Sir! I'm ill-my brain is going !

Some brandy-thank you—there !--it passes ! Why not reform ? That's easily said ;

But I've gone through such wretched treatment, Sometimes forgetting the taste of bread,

And scarce remembering what meat meant, That my poor stomach's past reform;

And there are times when, mad with thinking, I'd sell out heaven for something warm

To prop a horrible inward sinking. Is there a way to forget to think?

At your age, Sir, home, fortune, friends, A dear girl's love—but I took to drink ;

The same old story; you know how it ends. If you

could have seen these classic featuresYou needn't laugh, Sir; they were not then Such a burning libel on God's creatures :

I was one of your handsome men ! If you

had seen her, so fair and young, Whose head was happy on this breast ! If you

could have heard the songs I sung When the wine went round, you wouldn't have gnessed That ever I, Sir, should be straying

From door to door, with fiddle and dog, Ragged and penniless,' and playing

To you to-night for a glass of grog!

She's married since—a parson's wife:
'Twas better for her that we should

part Better the soberest, prosiest life

Than a blasted home and a broken heart. I have seen her ? Once: I was weak and spent

On the dusty road : a carriage stopped : But little she dreamed, as on she went,

Who kissed the coin that her fingers dropped !

You've set me talking, Sir; I'm sorry :

It makes me wild to think of the change! What do you care for a beggar's story?

Is it amusing? you find it strange? I had a mother so proud of me!

'Twas well she died before If the happy spirits in heaven can see

The ruin and wretchedness here below ?

Do

you know

Another glass, and strong, to deaden

This pain; then Roger and I will start. I wonder, has he such a lumpish, leaden,

Aching thing, in place of a heart ? He is sad sometimes, and would weep, if he could,

No doubt, remembering things that wereA virtuous kennel, with plenty of food,

And himself a sober, respectable cur. I'm better now; that glass was wa g.

You rascal! limber your lazy feet!

We must be fiddling and performing
For
supper

and bed, or starve in the street. –
Not a very gay
life to lead, you

think? But soon we shall go where lodgings are free, And the sleepers need neither victuals nor drink ;

The sooner, the better for Roger and me.

[blocks in formation]

CENTUR
ENTURIES since, there flourished a man

(A cruel old Tartar, as rich as the Khan) Whose castle was built on a splendid plan,

With gardens and groves and plantations; But his shaggy beard was as blue as the sky, And he lived alone, for his neighbours were shy, And had heard hard stories, by-the-by,

About his domestic relations.

Just on the opposite side of the plain
A widow abode, with her daughters twain ;
And one of them-neither cross nor vain-

Was a beautiful little treasure :
So he sent them an invitation to tea-
And, having a natural wish to see
His wonderful castle and gardens, all three

Said they'd do themselves the pleasure.

As soon as there happened a pleasant day, They dressed themselves in a sumptuous way, And rode to the castle as proud and gay

As silks and jewels could make them; And they were received in the finest style, And saw every thing that was worth their while, In the halls of BLUEBEARD's grand old pile,

Where he was so kind as to take them.

The ladies were all enchanted quite;
For they found old BLUEBEARD so polite,
That they did not suffer at all from fright,

And frequently called thereafter.
Then he offered to marry the younger one-
And, as she was willing, the thing was done,
And celebrated by all the ton

With feasting and with laughter.

As kind a husband as ever was seen
Was BLUEBEARD then, for a month, I ween;
And she was as proud as any queen,

And as happy as she could be, too.
But her husband called her to him one day,
And said, “My dear, I am going away;
It will not be long that I shall stay;

There is business for me to see to.

“The keys of my castle I leave with you;
But if you value my love, be true,
And forbear to enter the Chamber of Blue !

Farewell, FATIMA! Remember!”
FATIMA promised him; then she ran
To visit the rooms with her sister ANN;

« PreviousContinue »