They went to sea in a sieve, they did; In a sieve they went to sea: In spite of all their friends could say, On a winter's morn, on a stormy day, In a sieve they went to sea. And when the sieve turned round and round, And every one cried, "You'll all be drowned!" They called aloud, "Our sieve ain't big; But we don't care a button, we don't care a fig: In a sieve we'll go to sea!" Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
They sailed away in a sieve, they did, In a sieve they sailed so fast, With only a beautiful pea-green veil Tied with a ribbon by way of a sail, To a small tobacco-pipe mast. And every one said who saw them go, "Oh! won't they soon be upset, you know? For the sky is dark and the voyage is long, And, happen what may, it's extremely wrong In a sieve to sail so fast." Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
The water it soon came in, it did; The water it soon came in: So, to keep them dry, they wrapped their feet In a pinky paper all folded neat; And they fastened it down with a pin. And they passed the night in a crockery-jar; And each of them said, "How wise we are! Though the sky be dark, and the voyage be long, Yet we never can think we were rash or wrong, While round in our sieve we spin." Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
And all night long they sailed away; And when the sun went down, They whistled and warbled a moony song To the echoing sound of a coppery gong, In the shade of the mountains brown. "O Timballoo! How happy we are When we live in a sieve and a crockery-jar! And all night long, in the moonlight pale, We sail away with a pea-green sail In the shade of the mountains brown." Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
V They sailed to the Western Sea, they did,— To a land all covered with trees; And they bought an owl and a useful cart, And a pound of rice, and a cranberry-tart, And a hive of silvery bees; And they bought a pig, and some green jackdaws, And a lovely monkey with lollipop paws, And forty bottles of ring-bo-ree, And no end of Stilton cheese. Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
And in twenty years they all came back,— In twenty years or more; And every one said, "How tall they've grown! For they've been to the Lakes, and the Torrible Zone, And the hills of the Chankly Bore." And they drank their health, and gave them a feast Of dumplings made of beautiful yeast; And every one said, "If we only live, We, too, will go to sea in a sieve, To the hills of the Chankly Bore." Far and few, far and few, Are the lands where the Jumblies live; Their heads are green, and their hands are blue; And they went to sea in a sieve.
INCIDENTS IN THE LIFE OF MY UNCLE ARLY
Oh! my aged Uncle Arly, Sitting on a heap of barley Through the silent hours of night, Close beside a leafy thicket; On his nose there was a cricket, In his hat a Railway-Ticket, (But his shoes were far too tight.)
Long ago, in youth, he squander'd All his goods away, and wander'd To the Timskoop-hills afar. There on golden sunsets glazing Every evening found him gazing, Singing, "Orb! you're quite amazing! How I wonder what you are!"
Like the ancient Medes and Persians, Always by his own exertions He subsisted on those hills; Whiles, by teaching children spelling, Or at times by merely yelling, Or at intervals by selling "Propter's Nicodemus Pills."
Later, in his morning rambles, He perceived the moving brambles Something square and white disclose:— 'Twas a First-class Railway-Ticket; But on stooping down to pick it Off the ground, a pea-green cricket Settled on my uncle's nose.
Never, nevermore, oh! never Did that cricket leave him ever,— Dawn or evening, day or night; Clinging as a constant treasure, Chirping with a cheerious measure, Wholly to my uncle's pleasure, (Though his shoes were far too tight.)
So for three and forty winters, Till his shoes were worn to splinters All those hills he wander'd o'er,— Sometimes silent, sometimes yelling; Till he came to Borley-Melling, Near his old ancestral dwelling, (But his shoes were far too tight.)
On a little heap of barley Died my aged Uncle Arly, And they buried him one night Close beside the leafy thicket; There, his hat and Railway-Ticket; There, his ever faithful cricket; (But his shoes were far too tight.)
LINES TO A YOUNG LADY
How pleasant to know Mr. Lear! Who has written such volumes of stuff! Some think him ill-tempered and queer, But a few think him pleasant enough.
His mind is concrete and fastidious, His nose is remarkably big; His visage is more or less hideous, His beard it resembles a wig.
He has ears, and two eyes, and ten fingers, Leastways if you reckon two thumbs; Long ago he was one of the singers, But now he is one of the dumbs.
He sits in a beautiful parlour, With hundreds of books on the wall; He drinks a great deal of Marsala, But never gets tipsy at all.
He has many friends, laymen and clerical, Old Foss is the name of his cat: His body is perfectly spherical, He weareth a runcible hat.
When he walks in a waterproof white, The children run after him so! Calling out, "He's come out in his night- Gown, that crazy old Englishman, oh!"
He weeps by the side of the ocean, He weeps on the top of the hill; He purchases pancakes and lotion, And chocolate shrimps from the mill.
He reads but he cannot speak Spanish, He cannot abide ginger-beer: Ere the days of his pilgrimage vanish, How pleasant to know Mr. Lear.
WAYS AND MEANS
I'll tell thee everything I can; There's little to relate. I saw an aged aged man, A-sitting on a gate. "Who are you, aged man?" I said, "And how is it you live?" His answer trickled through my head Like water through a sieve.
He said, "I look for butterflies That sleep among the wheat: I make them into mutton-pies, And sell them in the street. I sell them unto men," he said, "Who sail on stormy seas; And that's the way I get my bread— A trifle, if you please."
But I was thinking of a plan To dye one's whiskers green, And always use so large a fan That they could not be seen. So, having no reply to give To what the old man said, I cried, "Come, tell me how you live!" And thumped him on the head.
His accents mild took up the tale; He said, "I go my ways And when I find a mountain-rill I set it in a blaze; And thence they make a stuff they call Rowland's Macassar Oil— Yet twopence-halfpenny is all They give me for my toil."
But I was thinking of a way To feed oneself on batter, And so go on from day to day Getting a little fatter. I shook him well from side to side, Until his face was blue; "Come, tell me how you live," I cried, "And what it is you do!"
He said, "I hunt for haddock's eyes Among the heather bright, And work them into waistcoat-buttons In the silent night. And these I do not sell for gold Or coin of silvery shine, But for a copper halfpenny And that will purchase nine."
"I sometimes dig for buttered rolls, Or set limed twigs for crabs; I sometimes search the grassy knolls For wheels of Hansom cabs. And that's the way" (he gave a wink) "By which I get my wealth— And very gladly will I drink Your Honor's noble health."
I heard him then, for I had just Completed my design To keep the Menai Bridge from rust By boiling it in wine. I thanked him much for telling me The way he got his wealth, But chiefly for his wish that he Might drink my noble health.
And now if e'er by chance I put My fingers into glue, Or madly squeeze a right-hand foot Into a left-hand shoe, Or if I drop upon my toe A very heavy weight, I weep, for it reminds me so Of that old man I used to know— Whose look was mild, whose speech was slow, Whose hair was whiter than the snow, Whose face was very like a crow, With eyes, like cinders, all aglow, Who seemed distracted with his woe, Who rocked his body to and fro, And muttered mumblingly, and low, As if his mouth were full of dough, Who snorted like a buffalo— That summer evening, long ago, A-sitting on a gate.
THE WALRUS AND THE CARPENTER
The sun was shining on the sea, Shining with all his might: He did his very best to make The billows smooth and bright— And this was odd, because it was The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily, Because she thought the sun Had got no business to be there After the day was done— "It's very rude of him," she said, "To come and spoil the fun!"
The sea was wet as wet could be, The sands were dry as dry. You could not see a cloud, because No cloud was in the sky: No birds were flying overhead— There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter Were walking close at hand; They wept like anything to see Such quantities of sand: "If this were only cleared away," They said, "it would be grand!"
"If seven maids with seven mops Swept it for half a year, Do you suppose," the Walrus said, "That they could get it clear?" "I doubt it," said the Carpenter, And shed a bitter tear.
"O Oysters come and walk with us!" The Walrus did beseech. "A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk, Along the briny beach: We cannot do with more than four, To give a hand to each."
The eldest Oyster looked at him, But not a word he said: The eldest Oyster winked his eye, And shook his heavy head— Meaning to say he did not choose To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up, All eager for the treat: Their coats were brushed, their faces washed, Their shoes were clean and neat— And this was odd, because, you know, They hadn't any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them, And yet another four; And thick and fast they came at last, And more, and more, and more— All hopping through the frothy waves, And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter Walked on a mile or so, And then they rested on a rock Conveniently low: And all the little Oysters stood And waited in a row.
"The time has come," the Walrus said, "To talk of many things: Of shoes—and ships—and sealing-wax— Of cabbages—and kings— And why the sea is boiling hot— And whether pigs have wings."
"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried, "Before we have our chat; For some of us are out of breath, And all of us are fat!" "No hurry!" said the Carpenter, They thanked him much for that.
"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said, "Is what we chiefly need: Pepper and vinegar besides Are very good indeed— Now if you 're ready, Oysters dear, We can begin to feed."
"But not on us!" the Oysters cried, Turning a little blue. "After such kindness that would be A dismal thing to do!" "The night is fine," the Walrus said, "Do you admire the view?"
"It was so kind of you to come! And you are very nice!" The Carpenter said nothing but "Cut us another slice: I wish you were not quite so deaf— I've had to ask you twice!"
"It seems a shame," the Walrus said, "To play them such a trick, After we've brought them out so far, And made them trot so quick!" The Carpenter said nothing but "The butter's spread too thick!"
"I weep for you," the Walrus said; "I deeply sympathize." With sobs and tears he sorted out Those of the largest size, Holding his pocket-handkerchief Before his streaming eyes.
"O Oysters," said the Carpenter, "You've had a pleasant run! Shall we be trotting home again?" But answer came there none— And this was scarcely odd, because They'd eaten every one.
THE HUNTING OF THE SNARK
We have sailed many months, we have sailed many weeks, (Four weeks to the month you may mark), But never as yet ('tis your Captain who speaks) Have we caught the least glimpse of a Snark!
"We have sailed many weeks, we have sailed many days, (Seven days to the week I allow), But a Snark, on the which we might lovingly gaze, We have never beheld until now!"
"Come, listen, my men, while I tell you again The five unmistakable marks By which you may know, wheresoever you go, The warranted genuine Snarks."
"Let us take them in order. The first is the taste, Which is meagre and hollow, but crisp: Like a coat that is rather too tight in the waist, With a flavour of Will-o-the-wisp."
"Its habit of getting up late you'll agree That it carries too far, when I say That it frequently breakfasts at five-o'clock tea, And dines on the following day."
"The third is its slowness in taking a jest. Should you happen to venture on one, It will sigh like a thing that is greatly distressed; And it always looks grave at a pun."
"The fourth is its fondness for bathing-machines, Which it constantly carries about, And believes that they add to the beauty of scenes— A sentiment open to doubt."
"The fifth is ambition. It next will be right To describe each particular batch; Distinguishing those that have feathers, and bite, From those that have whiskers, and scratch."
"For, although common Snarks do no manner of harm, Yet I feel it my duty to say Some are Boojums—" The Bellman broke off in alarm, For the Baker had fainted away.
They roused him with muffins—they roused him with ice— They roused him with mustard and cress— They roused him with jam and judicious advice— They set him conundrums to guess.
When at length he sat up and was able to speak, His sad story he offered to tell; And the Bellman cried, "Silence! Not even a shriek!" And excitedly tingled his bell.
"My father and mother were honest, though poor—" "Skip all that!" cried the Bellman in haste, "If it once becomes dark, there's no chance of a Snark, We have hardly a minute to waste!"
"I skip forty years," said the Baker, in tears, "And proceed without further remark To the day when you took me aboard of your ship To help you in hunting the Snark."
"You may seek it with thimbles—and seek it with care; You may hunt it with forks and hope; You may threaten its life with a railway-share; You may charm it with smiles and soap—"
"I said it in Hebrew—I said it in Dutch— I said it in German and Greek; But I wholly forgot (and it vexes me much) That English is what you speak!"
"The thing can be done," said the Butcher, "I think The thing must be done, I am sure. The thing shall be done! Bring me paper and ink, The best there is time to procure."
So engrossed was the Butcher, he heeded them not, As he wrote with a pen in each hand, And explained all the while in a popular style Which the Beaver could well understand.
"Taking Three as the subject to reason about— A convenient number to state— We add Seven and Ten and then multiply out By One Thousand diminished by Eight."
"The result we proceed to divide, as you see, By Nine Hundred and Ninety and Two; Then subtract Seventeen, and the answer must be Exactly and perfectly true."
"As to temper, the Jubjub's a desperate bird, Since it lives in perpetual passion: Its taste in costume is entirely absurd— It is ages ahead of the fashion."
"Its flavor when cooked is more exquisite far Than mutton or oysters or eggs: (Some think it keeps best in an ivory jar, And some, in mahogany kegs.)"
"You boil it in sawdust; you salt it in glue: You condense it with locusts and tape; Still keeping one principal object in view— To preserve its symmetrical shape."
The Butcher would gladly have talked till next day, But he felt that the Lesson must end, And he wept with delight in attempting to say He considered the Beaver his friend.
SYLVIE AND BRUNO
He thought he saw a Banker's clerk Descending from the 'bus; He looked again, and found it was A Hippopotamus. "If this should stay to dine," he said, "There won't be much for us!"
He thought he saw an Albatross That fluttered round the lamp: He looked again, and found it was A Penny-Postage-Stamp. "You'd best be getting home," he said; "The nights are very damp!"
He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four That stood beside his bed: He looked again, and found it was A Bear without a Head. "Poor thing," he said, "poor silly thing! It's waiting to be fed!"
He thought he saw a Kangaroo That worked a coffee-mill: He looked again, and found it was A Vegetable-Pill. "Were I to swallow this," he said, "I should be very ill!"
He thought he saw a Rattlesnake That questioned him in Greek: He looked again, and found it was The Middle of Next Week. "The one thing I regret," he said, "Is that it cannot speak!"
GENTLE ALICE BROWN
It was a robber's daughter, and her name was Alice Brown. Her father was the terror of a small Italian town; Her mother was a foolish, weak, but amiable old thing; But it isn't of her parents that I'm going for to sing.
As Alice was a-sitting at her window-sill one day, A beautiful young gentleman he chanced to pass that way; She cast her eyes upon him, and he looked so good and true, That she thought, "I could be happy with a gentleman like you!"
And every morning passed her house that cream of gentlemen, She knew she might expect him at a quarter unto ten, A sorter in the Custom-house, it was his daily road (The Custom-house was fifteen minutes' walk from her abode.)
But Alice was a pious girl, who knew it wasn't wise To look at strange young sorters with expressive purple eyes; So she sought the village priest to whom her family confessed, The priest by whom their little sins were carefully assessed.
"Oh, holy father," Alice said, "'twould grieve you, would it not? To discover that I was a most disreputable lot! Of all unhappy sinners I'm the most unhappy one!" The padre said, "Whatever have you been and gone and done?"
"I have helped mamma to steal a little kiddy from its dad, I've assisted dear papa in cutting up a little lad. I've planned a little burglary and forged a little check, And slain a little baby for the coral on its neck!"
The worthy pastor heaved a sigh, and dropped a silent tear— And said, "You mustn't judge yourself too heavily, my dear— It's wrong to murder babies, little corals for to fleece; But sins like these one expiates at half-a-crown apiece."
"Girls will be girls—you're very young, and flighty in your mind; Old heads upon young shoulders we must not expect to find: We mustn't be too hard upon these little girlish tricks— Let's see—five crimes at half-a-crown—exactly twelve-and-six."
"Oh, father," little Alice cried, "your kindness makes me weep, You do these little things for me so singularly cheap— Your thoughtful liberality I never can forget; But O there is another crime I haven't mentioned yet!"
"A pleasant-looking gentleman, with pretty purple eyes, I've noticed at my window, as I've sat a-catching flies; He passes by it every day as certain as can be— I blush to say I've winked at him and he has winked at me!"
"For shame," said Father Paul, "my erring daughter! On my word This is the most distressing news that I have ever heard. Why, naughty girl, your excellent papa has pledged your hand To a promising young robber, the lieutenant of his band!"
"This dreadful piece of news will pain your worthy parents so! They are the most remunerative customers I know; For many many years they've kept starvation from my doors, I never knew so criminal a family as yours!"
"The common country folk in this insipid neighborhood Have nothing to confess, they're so ridiculously good; And if you marry any one respectable at all, Why, you'll reform, and what will then become of Father Paul?"
The worthy priest, he up and drew his cowl upon his crown, And started off in haste to tell the news to Robber Brown; To tell him how his daughter, who now was for marriage fit, Had winked upon a sorter, who reciprocated it.
Good Robber Brown, he muffled up his anger pretty well, He said, "I have a notion, and that notion I will tell; I will nab this gay young sorter, terrify him into fits, And get my gentle wife to chop him into little bits."
"I've studied human nature, and I know a thing or two, Though a girl may fondly love a living gent, as many do— A feeling of disgust upon her senses there will fall When she looks upon his body chopped particularly small."
He traced that gallant sorter to a still suburban square; He watched his opportunity and seized him unaware; He took a life-preserver and he hit him on the head, And Mrs. Brown dissected him before she went to bed.
And pretty little Alice grew more settled in her mind, She nevermore was guilty of a weakness of the kind, Until at length good Robber Brown bestowed her pretty hand On the promising young robber, the lieutenant of his band.
THE STORY OF PRINCE AGIB
Strike the concertina's melancholy string! Blow the spirit-stirring harp like any thing! Let the piano's martial blast Rouse the Echoes of the Past, For of Agib, Prince of Tartary, I sing!
Of Agib, who amid Tartaric scenes, Wrote a lot of ballet-music in his teens: His gentle spirit rolls In the melody of souls— Which is pretty, but I don't know what it means
Of Agib, who could readily, at sight, Strum a march upon the loud Theodolite: He would diligently play On the Zoetrope all day, And blow the gay Pantechnicon all night.
One winter—I am shaky in my dates— Came two starving minstrels to his gates, Oh, Allah be obeyed, How infernally they played! I remember that they called themselves the "Oiiaits."
Oh! that day of sorrow, misery, and rage, I shall carry to the Catacombs of Age, Photographically lined On the tablet of my mind, When a yesterday has faded from its page!
Alas! Prince Agib went and asked them in! Gave them beer, and eggs, and sweets, and scents, and tin. And when (as snobs would say) They "put it all away," He requested them to tune up and begin.
Though its icy horror chill you to the core, I will tell you what I never told before, The consequences true Of that awful interview, For I listened at the key-hole in the door!
They played him a sonata—let me see! "Medulla oblongata"—key of G. Then they began to sing That extremely lovely thing, "Scherzando! ma non troppo, ppp."
He gave them money, more than they could count, Scent, from a most ingenious little fount, More beer, in little kegs, Many dozen hard-boiled eggs, And goodies to a fabulous amount.
Now follows the dim horror of my tale, And I feel I'm growing gradually pale, For, even at this day, Though its sting has passed away, When I venture to remember it, I quail!
The elder of the brothers gave a squeal, All-overish it made me for to feel! "Oh Prince," he says, says he, "If a Prince indeed you be, I've a mystery I'm going to reveal!"
"Oh, listen, if you'd shun a horrid death, To what the gent who's speaking to you, saith: No 'Oiiaits' in truth are we, As you fancy that we be, For (ter-remble) I am Aleck—this is Beth!"
Said Agib, "Oh! accursed of your kind, I have heard that you are men of evil mind!" Beth gave a dreadful shriek— But before he'd time to speak I was mercilessly collared from behind.
In number ten or twelve or even more, They fastened me, full length upon the floor. On my face extended flat I was walloped with a cat For listening at the key-hole of the door.
Oh! the horror of that agonizing thrill! (I can feel the place in frosty weather still). For a week from ten to four I was fastened to the floor, While a mercenary wopped me with a will!
They branded me, and broke me on a wheel, And they left me in an hospital to heal; And, upon my solemn word, I have never never heard What those Tartars had determined to reveal.
But that day of sorrow, misery, and rage, I shall carry to the Catacombs of Age, Photographically lined On the tablet of my mind, When a yesterday has faded from its page!
FERDINANDO AND ELVIRA, OR THE GENTLE PIEMAN
* * * * *
"Love you?" said I, then I sighed, and then I gazed upon her sweetly— For I think I do this sort of thing particularly neatly—
"Tell me whither I may his me, tell me, dear one, that I may know— Is it up the highest Andes? down a horrible volcano?"
But she said, "It isn't polar bears, or hot volcanic grottoes, Only find out who it is that writes those lovely cracker mottoes."
Seven weary years I wandered—Patagonia, China, Norway, Till at last I sank exhausted, at a pastrycook his doorway.
And he chirped and sang and skipped about, and laughed with laughter hearty, He was wonderfully active for so very stout a party.
And I said, "Oh, gentle pieman, why so very, very merry? Is it purity of conscience, or your one-and-seven sherry?"
* * * * *
"Then I polish all the silver which a supper-table lacquers; Then I write the pretty mottoes which you find inside the crackers."
"Found at last!" I madly shouted. "Gentle pieman, you astound me!" Then I waved the turtle soup enthusiastically round me.
And I shouted and I danced until he'd quite a crowd around him, And I rushed away, exclaiming, "I have found him! I have found him!"
The bravest names for fire and flames, And all that mortal durst, Were General John and Private James, Of the Sixty-seventy-first.
General John was a soldier tried, A chief of warlike dons; A haughty stride and a withering pride Were Major-General John.
A sneer would play on his martial phiz, Superior birth to show; "Pish!" was a favorite word of his, And he often said "Ho! Ho!"
Full-Private James described might be, As a man of mournful mind; No characteristic trait had he Of any distinctive kind.
From the ranks, one day, cried Private James, "Oh! Major-General John, I've doubts of our respective names, My mournful mind upon."
"A glimmering thought occurs to me, (Its source I can't unearth), But I've a kind of notion we Were cruelly changed at birth."
"I've a strange idea, each other's names That we have each got on. Such things have been," said Private James. "They have!" sneered General John.
"My General John, I swear upon My oath I think it is so—" "Pish!" proudly sneered his General John, And he also said "Ho! ho!"
"My General John! my General John! My General John!" quoth he, "This aristocratical sneer upon Your face I blush to see."
"No truly great or generous cove Deserving of them names Would sneer at a fixed idea that's drove In the mind of a Private James!"
Said General John, "Upon your claims No need your breath to waste; If this is a joke, Full-Private James, It's a joke of doubtful taste."
"But being a man of doubtless worth, If you feel certain quite That we were probably changed at birth, I'll venture to say you're right."
So General John as Private James Fell in, parade upon; And Private James, by change of names, Was Major-General John.
There were three sailors of Bristol City Who took a boat and went to sea, But first with beef and captain's biscuits, And pickled pork they loaded she.
There was gorging Jack, and guzzling Jimmy, And the youngest he was little Billee. Now when they'd got as far as the Equator, They'd nothing left but one split pea.
Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy, "I am extremely hungaree." To gorging Jack says guzzling Jimmy, "We've nothing left, us must eat we."
Says gorging Jack to guzzling Jimmy, "With one another we shouldn't agree! There's little Bill, he's young and tender, We're old and tough, so let's eat he."
"O Billy! we're going to kill and eat you, So undo the button of your chemie." When Bill received this information, He used his pocket-handkerchie,
"First let me say my catechism, Which my poor mother taught to me." "Make haste! make haste!" says guzzling Jimmy, While Jack pulled out his snicker-snee.
Then Bill went up to the main-top-gallant-mast, And down he fell on his bended knee, He scarce had come to the Twelfth Commandment When up he jumps—"There's land I see!"
"Jerusalem and Madagascar, And North and South Amerikee, There's the British flag a-riding at anchor, With Admiral Napier, K.C.B."
So when they got aboard of the Admiral's, He hanged fat Jack and flogged Jimmee, But as for little Bill, he made him The captain of a Seventy-three.
W. M. Thackeray.
THE WRECK OF THE "JULIE PLANTE"
On wan dark night on Lac St. Pierre, De win' she blow, blow, blow, An' de crew of de wood scow "Julie Plante" Got scar't an' run below— For de win' she blow lak hurricane; Bimeby she blow some more, An' de scow bus' up on Lac St. Pierre Wan arpent from de shore.
De captinne walk on de fronte deck, An' walk de him' deck too— He call de crew from up de hole, He call de cook also. De cook she's name was Rosie, She come from Montreal, Was chambre maid on lumber barge, On de Grande Lachine Canal.
De win' she blow from nor'-eas'-wes',— De sout' win' she blow too, Wen Rosie cry, "Mon cher captinne, Mon cher, w'at I shall do?" Den de captinne t'row de big ankerre, But still de scow she dreef, De crew he can't pass on de shore, Becos he los' hees skeef.
De night was dark lak wan black cat, De wave run high an' fas', Wen de captinne tak' de Rosie girl An' tie her to de mas'. Den he also tak' de life preserve, An' jomp off on de lak', An' say, "Good-by, ma Rosie dear, I go down for your sak'."
Nex' morning very early 'Bout ha'f-pas' two—t'ree—four— De captinne—scow—an' de poor Rosie Was corpses on de shore. For de win' she blow lak' hurricane, Bimeby she blow some more, An' de scow, bus' up on Lac St. Pierre, Wan arpent from de shore.
Now all good wood scow sailor man Tak' warning by dat storm An' go an' marry some nice French girl An' live on wan beeg farm. De win' can blow lak' hurricane An' s'pose she blow some more, You can't get drown on Lac St. Pierre So long you stay on shore.
William H. Drummond.
Upon the poop the captain stands, As starboard as may be; And pipes on deck the topsail hands To reef the topsail-gallant strands Across the briny sea.
"Ho! splice the anchor under-weigh!" The captain loudly cried; "Ho! lubbers brave, belay! belay! For we must luff for Falmouth Bay Before to-morrow's tide."
The good ship was a racing yawl, A spare-rigged schooner sloop, Athwart the bows the taffrails all In grummets gay appeared to fall, To deck the mainsail poop.
But ere they made the Foreland Light, And Deal was left behind, The wind it blew great gales that night, And blew the doughty captain tight, Full three sheets in the wind.
And right across the tiller head The horse it ran apace, Whereon a traveller hitched and sped Along the jib and vanished To heave the trysail brace.
What ship could live in such a sea? What vessel bear the shock? "Ho! starboard port your helm-a-lee! Ho! reef the maintop-gallant-tree, With many a running block!"
And right upon the Scilly Isles The ship had run aground; When lo! the stalwart Captain Giles Mounts up upon the gaff and smiles, And slews the compass round.
"Saved! saved!" with joy the sailors cry, And scandalize the skiff; As taut and hoisted high and dry They see the ship unstoppered lie Upon the sea-girt cliff.
And since that day in Falmouth Bay, As herring-fishers trawl, The younkers hear the boatswains say How Captain Giles that awful day Preserved the sinking yawl.
A SAILOR'S YARN
As narrated by the second mate to one of the marines.
This is the tale that was told to me, By a battered and shattered son of the sea: To me and my messmate, Silas Green, When I was a guileless young marine.
"'T was the good ship 'Gyacutus,' All in the China seas; With the wind a lee, and the capstan free, To catch the summer breeze."
"'T was Captain Porgie on the deck To the mate in the mizzen hatch, While the boatswain bold, in the for'ard hold, Was winding his larboard watch."
"'Oh, how does our good ship head to-night? How heads our gallant craft?' 'Oh, she heads to the E. S. W. by N. And the binnacle lies abaft.'"
"'Oh, what does the quadrant indicate? And how does the sextant stand?' 'Oh, the sextant's down to the freezing point And the quadrant's lost a hand.'"
"'Oh, if the quadrant's lost a hand, And the sextant falls so low, It's our body and bones to Davy Jones This night are bound to go."
"'Oh, fly aloft to the garboard-strake, And reef the spanker boom, Bend a stubbing sail on the martingale To give her weather room."
"'Oh, boatswain, down in the for'ard hold What water do you find?' 'Four foot and a half by the royal gaff And rather more behind.'"
"'Oh, sailors, collar your marline spikes And each belaying pin; Come, stir your stumps to spike the pumps, Or more will be coming in.'"
"'They stirred their stumps, they spiked the pumps They spliced the mizzen brace; Aloft and alow they worked, but, oh! The water gained apace."
"They bored a hole below her line To let the water out, But more and more with awful roar The water in did spout."
"Then up spoke the cook of our gallant ship— And he was a lubber brave— 'I've several wives in various ports, And my life I'd like to save.'"
"Then up spoke the captain of marines, Who dearly loved his prog: 'It's awful to die, and it's worse to be dry, And I move we pipes to grog.'"
"Oh, then 'twas the gallant second-mate As stopped them sailors' jaw, 'Twas the second-mate whose hand had weight In laying down the law."
"He took the anchor on his back, And leapt into the main; Through foam and spray he clove his way, And sunk, and rose again."
"Through foam and spray a league away The anchor stout he bore, Till, safe at last, I made it fast, And warped the ship ashore."
This is the tale that was told to me, By that modest and truthful son of the sea. And I envy the life of a second mate, Though captains curse him and sailors hate; For he ain't like some of the swabs I've seen, As would go and lie to a poor marine.
THE WALLOPING WINDOW-BLIND
A capital ship for an ocean trip Was the "Walloping Window-blind"— No gale that blew dismayed her crew Or troubled the captain's mind. The man at the wheel was taught to feel Contempt for the wildest blow, And it often appeared, when the weather had cleared, That he'd been in his bunk below.
The boatswain's mate was very sedate, Yet fond of amusement, too; And he played hop-scotch with the starboard watch, While the captain tickled the crew. And the gunner we had was apparently mad, For he sat on the after rail, And fired salutes with the captain's boots, In the teeth of the booming gale.
The captain sat in a commodore's hat And dined in a royal way On toasted pigs and pickles and figs And gummery bread each day. But the cook was Dutch and behaved as such: For the food that he gave the crew Was a number of tons of hot-cross buns Chopped up with sugar and glue.
And we all felt ill as mariners will, On a diet that's cheap and rude; And we shivered and shook as we dipped the cook In a tub of his gluesome food. Then nautical pride we laid aside, And we cast the vessel ashore On the Gulliby Isles, where the Poohpooh smiles, And the Anagazanders roar.
Composed of sand was that favored land, And trimmed with cinnamon straws; And pink and blue was the pleasing hue Of the Tickletoeteaser's claws. And we sat on the edge of a sandy ledge And shot at the whistling bee; And the Binnacle-bats wore water-proof hats As they danced in the sounding sea.
On rubagub bark, from dawn to dark, We fed, till we all had grown Uncommonly shrunk,—when a Chinese junk Came by from the torriby zone. She was stubby and square, but we didn't much care, And we cheerily put to sea; And we left the crew of the junk to chew The bark of the rubagub tree.
Charles E. Carryl.
THE ROLLICKING MASTODON
A rollicking Mastodon lived in Spain, In the trunk of a Tranquil Tree. His face was plain, but his jocular vein Was a burst of the wildest glee. His voice was strong and his laugh so long That people came many a mile, And offered to pay a guinea a day For the fractional part of a smile.
The Rollicking Mastodon's laugh was wide— Indeed, 't was a matter of family pride; And oh! so proud of his jocular vein Was the Rollicking Mastodon over in Spain.
The Rollicking Mastodon said one day, "I feel that I need some air, For a little ozone's a tonic for bones, As well as a gloss for the hair." So he skipped along and warbled a song In his own triumphulant way. His smile was bright and his skip was light As he chirruped his roundelay.
The Rollicking Mastodon tripped along, And sang what Mastodons call a song; But every note of it seemed to pain The Rollicking Mastodon over in Spain.
A Little Peetookle came over the hill, Dressed up in a bollitant coat; And he said, "You need some harroway seed, And a little advice for your throat." The Mastodon smiled and said, "My child, There's a chance for your taste to grow. If you polish your mind, you'll certainly find How little, how little you know."
The Little Peetookle, his teeth he ground At the Mastodon's singular sense of sound; For he felt it a sort of a musical stain On the Rollicking Mastodon over in Spain. "Alas! and alas! has it come to this pass?" Said the Little Peetookle. "Dear me! It certainly seems your horrible screams Intended for music must be!"
The Mastodon stopped, his ditty he dropped, And murmured, "Good morning, my dear! I never will sing to a sensitive thing That shatters a song with a sneer!" The Rollicking Mastodon bade him "adieu." Of course 't was a sensible thing to do; For Little Peetookle is spared the strain Of the Rollicking Mastodon over in Spain.
THE SILVER QUESTION
The Sun appeared so smug and bright, One day, that I made bold To ask him what he did each night With all his surplus gold.
He flushed uncomfortably red, And would not meet my eye. "I travel round the world," he said, "And travelling rates are high."
With frigid glance I pierced him through. He squirmed and changed his tune. Said he: "I will be frank with you: I lend it to the Moon."
"Poor thing! You know she's growing old And hasn't any folk. She suffers terribly from cold, And half the time she's broke."
* * * * *
That evening on the beach I lay Behind a lonely dune, And as she rose above the bay I buttonholed the Moon.
"Tell me about that gold," said I. I saw her features fall. "You see, it's useless to deny; The Sun has told me all."
"Sir!" she exclaimed, "how can you try An honest Moon this way? As for the gold, I put it by Against a rainy day."
I smiled and shook my head. "All right, If you must know," said she, "I change it into silver bright Wherewith to tip the Sea."
"He is so faithful and so good, A most deserving case; If he should leave, I fear it would Be hard to fill his place."
* * * * *
When asked if they accepted tips, The waves became so rough; I thought of those at sea in ships, And felt I'd said enough.
For if one virtue I have learned, 'Tis tact; so I forbore To press the matter, though I burned To ask one question more.
I hate a scene, and do not wish To be mixed up in gales, But, oh, I longed to ask the Fish Whence came their silver scales!
THE SINGULAR SANGFROID OF BABY BUNTING
Bartholomew Benjamin Bunting Had only three passions in life, And one of the trio was hunting, The others his babe and his wife. And always, so rigid his habits, He frolicked at home until two, And then started hunting for rabbits, And hunted till fall of the dew.
Belinda Bellonia Bunting, Thus widowed for half of the day, Her duty maternal confronting, With baby would patiently play. When thus was her energy wasted, A patented food she'd dispense. (She had bought it the day that they pasted The posters all over her fence.)
But Bonaparte Buckingham Bunting, The infant thus blindly adored, Replied to her worship by grunting, Which showed he was brutally bored. 'Twas little he cared for the troubles Of life. Like a crab on the sands, From his sweet little mouth he blew bubbles, And threatened the air with his hands.
Bartholomew Benjamin Bunting One night, as his wife let him in, Produced as the fruit of his hunting A cottontail's velvety skin, Which, seeing young Bonaparte wriggle, He gave him without a demur, And the babe with an aqueous giggle He swallowed the whole of the fur!
Belinda Bellonia Bunting Behaved like a consummate loon: Her offspring in frenzy confronting She screamed herself mottled maroon: She felt of his vertebrae spinal, Expecting he'd surely succumb, And gave him one vigorous, final, Hard prod in the pit of his tum.
But Bonaparte Buckingham Bunting, At first but a trifle perplexed, By a change in his manner of grunting Soon showed he was horribly vexed. He displayed not a sign of repentance But spoke, in a dignified tone, The only consecutive sentence He uttered. 'Twas: "Lemme alone."
The Moral: The parent that uses Precaution his folly regrets: An infant gets all that he chooses, An infant chews all that he gets.
And colics? He constantly has 'em So long as his food is the best, But he'll swallow with never a spasm What ostriches couldn't digest.
Guy Wetmore Carryl.
FAITHLESS NELLY GRAY
Ben Battle was a soldier bold, And used to war's alarms: But a cannon-ball took off his legs, So he laid down his arms!
Now, as they bore him off the field, Said he, "Let others shoot, For here I leave my second leg, And the Forty-second Foot!"
The army surgeons made him limbs: Said he, "They're only pegs; But there's as wooden members quite, As represent my legs!"
Now Ben he loved a pretty maid, Her name was Nelly Gray; So he went to pay her his devours When he'd devoured his pay!
But when he called on Nelly Gray, She made him quite a scoff; And when she saw his wooden legs, Began to take them off!
"O Nelly Gray! O Nelly Gray! Is this your love so warm? The love that loves a scarlet coat, Should be more uniform!"
Said she, "I loved a soldier once, For he was blithe and brave; But I will never have a man With both legs in the grave!"
"Before you had those timber toes, Your love I did allow, But then you know, you stand upon Another footing now!"
"O Nelly Gray! O Nelly Gray! For all your jeering speeches, At duty's call I left my legs In Badajos's breaches!"
"Why, then," said she, "you've lost the feet Of legs in war's alarms, And now you cannot wear your shoes Upon your feats of arms!"
"Oh, false and fickle Nelly Gray; I know why you refuse: Though I've no feet—some other man Is standing in my shoes!"
"I wish I ne'er had seen your face; But now a long farewell! For you will be my death—alas! You will not be my Nell!"
Now, when he went from Nelly Gray, His heart so heavy got— And life was such a burden grown, It made him take a knot!
So round his melancholy neck A rope he did entwine, And, for his second time in life Enlisted in the Line!
One end he tied around a beam, And then removed his pegs, And as his legs were off,—of course, He soon was off his legs!
And there he hung till he was dead As any nail in town,— For though distress had cut him up, It could not cut him down!
A dozen men sat on his corpse, To find out why he died— And they buried Ben in four cross-roads, With a stake in his inside!
THE ELDERLY GENTLEMAN
By the side of a murmuring stream an elderly gentleman sat. On the top of his head was a wig, and a-top of his wig was his hat.
The wind it blew high and blew strong, as the elderly gentleman sat; And bore from his head in a trice, and plunged in the river his hat.
The gentleman then took his cane which lay by his side as he sat; And he dropped in the river his wig, in attempting to get out his hat.
His breast it grew cold with despair, and full in his eye madness sat; So he flung in the river his cane to swim with his wig, and his hat.
Cool reflection at last came across while this elderly gentleman sat; So he thought he would follow the stream and look for his cane, wig, and hat.
His head being thicker than common, o'er-balanced the rest of his fat; And in plumped this son of a woman to follow his wig, cane, and hat.
Prope ripam fluvii solus A senex silently sat; Super capitum ecce his wig, Et wig super, ecce his hat.
Blew Zephyrus alte, acerbus, Dum elderly gentleman sat; Et a capite took up quite torve Et in rivum projecit his hat.
Tunc soft maledixit the old man, Tunc stooped from the bank where he sat Et cum scipio poked in the water, Conatus servare his hat.
Blew Zephyrus alte, acerbus, The moment it saw him at that; Et whisked his novum scratch wig In flumen, along with his hat.
Ab imo pectore damnavit In coeruleus eye dolor sat; Tunc despairingly threw in his cane Nare cum his wig and his hat.
Contra bonos mores, don't swear It 'est wicked you know (verbum sat), Si this tale habet no other moral Mehercle! You're gratus to that!
James Appleton Morgan.
In candent ire the solar splendor flames; The foles, languescent, pend from arid rames; His humid front the cive, anheling, wipes, And dreams of erring on ventiferous ripes.
How dulce to vive occult to mortal eyes, Dorm on the herb with none to supervise, Carp the suave berries from the crescent vine, And bibe the flow from longicaudate kine.
To me also, no verdurous visions come Save you exiguous pool's confervascum,— No concave vast repeats the tender hue That laves my milk-jug with celestial blue.
Me wretched! Let me curr to quercine shades! Effund your albid hausts, lactiferous maids! Oh, might I vole to some umbrageous chump,— Depart,—be off,—excede,—evade,—erump!
O. W. Holmes.
A HOLIDAY TASK
Qui nunc dancere vult modo Wants to dance in the fashion, oh! Discere debet—ought to know, Kickere floor cum heel et toe One, two three, Hop with me, Whirligig, twirligig, rapide.
Polkam jungere, Virgo, vis, Will you join the Polka, Miss? Liberius—most willingly. Sic agimus—then let us try: Nunc vide Skip with me, Whirlabout, roundabout, celere.
Tum laeva cito, tum dextra First to the left, and then t' other way; Aspice retro in vultu, You look at her, and she looks at you. Das palmam, Change hands ma'am Celere—run away, just in sham.
Gilbert Abbott a Becket.
PUER EX JERSEY
Puer ex Jersey Iens ad school; Vidit in meadow, Infestum mule.
Ille approaches O magnus sorrow! Puer it skyward. Funus ad morrow.
Qui vidit a thing Non ei well-known, Est bene for him Relinqui id alone.
THE LITTLE PEACH
Une petite peche dans un orchard fleurit, Attendez a mon narration triste! Une petite peche verdante fleurit. Grace a chaleur de soleil, et moisture de miste. Il fleurit, il fleurit, Attendez a mon narration triste!
Signes dures pour les deux, Petit Jean et sa soeur Sue, Et la peche d'une verdante hue, Qui fleurit, qui fleurit, Attendez a mon narration triste!
Monsieur McGinte allait en has jusqu'an fond du mer, Ils ne l'ont pas encore trouve Je crois qu'il est certainement mouille. Monsieur McGinte, je le repete, allait jusqu'au fond du mer, Habille dans sa meilleure costume.
YE LAYE OF YE WOODPECKORE
O whither goest thou, pale student Within the wood so fur? Art on the chokesome cherry bent? Dost seek the chestnut burr?
O it is not for the mellow chestnut That I so far am come, Nor yet for puckery cherries, but For Cypripedium.
A blossom hangs the choke-cherry And eke the chestnut burr, And thou a silly fowl must be, Thou red-head wood-peckere.
Turn back, turn back, thou pale student, Nor in the forest go; There lurks beneath his bosky tent The deadly mosquito,
And there the wooden-chuck doth tread, And from the oak-tree's top The red, red squirrels on thy head The frequent acorn drop.
The wooden-chuck is next of kin Unto the wood-peckere: I fear not thine ill-boding din, And why should I fear her?
What though a score of acorns drop And squirrels' fur be red! 'Tis not so ruddy as thy top— So scarlet as thy head.
O rarely blooms the Cypripe- dium upon its stalk; And like a torch it shines to me Adown the dark wood-walk.
O joy to pluck it from the ground, To view the purple sac, To touch the sessile stigma's round— And shall I then turn back?
O black and shining is the log That feeds the sumptuous weed, Nor stone is found nor bedded log Where foot may well proceed.
Midmost it glimmers in the mire Like Jack o' Lanthorn's spark, Lighting, with phosphorescent fire, The green umbrageous dark.
There while thy thirsty glances drink The fair and baneful plant, Thy shoon within the ooze shall sink And eke thine either pant.
Give o'er, give o'er, thou wood-peckore; The bark upon the tree, Thou, at thy will, mayst peck and bore But peck and bore not me.
Full two long hours I've searched about And 't would in sooth be rum, If I should now go back without The Cypripedium.
Farewell! Farewell! But this I tell To thee, thou pale student, Ere dews have fell, thou'lt rue it well That woodward thou didst went:
Then whilst thou blows the drooping nose And wip'st the pensive eye— There where the sad symplocarpus foetidus grows, Then think—O think of I!
Loud flouted there that student wight Solche warnynge for to hear; "I scorn, old hen, thy threats of might, And eke thine ill grammere."
"Go peck the lice (or green or red) That swarm the bass-wood tree, But wag no more thine addled head Nor clack thy tongue at me."
The wood-peck turned to whet her beak, The student heard her drum, As through the wood he went to seek The Cypripedium.
Alas! and for that pale student: The evening bell did ring, And down the walk the Freshmen went Unto the prayer-meeting;
Upon the fence loud rose the song, The weak, weak tea was o'er— Ha! who is he that sneaks along Into South Middle's door?
The mud was on his shoon, and O! The briar was in his thumb, His staff was in his hand but no— No Cypripedium.
Henry A. Beers.
COLLUSION BETWEEN A ALEGAITER AND A WATER-SNAIK
There is a niland on a river lying, Which runs into Gautimaly, a warm country, Lying near the Tropicks, covered with sand; Hear and their a symptum of a Wilow, Hanging of its umberagious limbs & branches Over the clear streme meandering far below. This was the home of the now silent Alegaiter, When not in his other element confine'd: Here he wood set upon his eggs asleep With 1 ey observant of flis and other passing Objects: a while it kept a going on so: Fereles of danger was the happy Alegaiter! But a las! in a nevil our he was fourced to Wake! that dreme of Blis was two sweet for him. 1 morning the sun arose with unusool splender Whitch allso did our Alegaiter, coming from the water, His scails a flinging of the rais of the son back, To the fountain-head which tha originly sprung from, But having not had nothing to eat for some time, he Was slepy and gap'd, in a short time, widely. Unfoalding soon a welth of perl-white teth, The rais of the son soon shet his sinister ey Because of their mutool splendor and warmth. The evil Our (which I sed) was now come; Evidently a good chans for a water-snaik Of the large specie, which soon appeared Into the horison, near the bank where reposed Calmly in slepe the Alegaiter before spoken of. About 60 feet was his Length (not the 'gaiter) And he was aperiently a well-proportioned snaik. When he was all ashore he glared upon The iland with approval, but was soon "Astonished with the view and lost to wonder" (from Wats) (For jest then he began to see the Alegaiter) Being a nateral enemy of his'n, he worked hisself Into a fury, also a ni position. Before the Alegaiter well could ope His eye (in other words perceive his danger) The Snaik had enveloped his body just 19 Times with "foalds voluminous and vast" (from Milton) And had tore off several scails in the confusion, Besides squeazing him awfully into his stomoc. Just then, by a fortinate turn in his affairs, He ceazed into his mouth the careless tale Of the unreflecting water-snaik! Grown desperate He, finding that his tale was fast squesed Terrible while they roaled all over the iland.
It was a well-conduckted Affair; no noise Disturbed the harmony of the seen, ecsept Onct when a Willow was snaped into by the roaling. Eeach of the combatence hadn't a minit for holering. So the conflick was naterally tremenjous! But soon by grate force the tail was bit complete- Ly of; but the eggzeration was too much For his delicate Constitootion; he felt a compression Onto his chest and generally over his body; When he ecspressed his breathing, it was with Grate difficulty that he felt inspired again onct more. Of course this state must suffer a revolootion. So the alegaiter give but one yel, and egspired. The water-snaik realed hisself off, & survay'd For say 10 minits, the condition of His fo: then wondering what made his tail hurt, He slowly went off for to cool.
J. W. Morris.
ODD TO A KROKIS
Selestial apoley which Didest inspire. the souls of burns and pop with sackred fir. Kast thy Mantil over me When i shal sing, the praiz Of A sweat flower who grows in spring Which has of late kome under the Fokis. of My eyes. It is called a krokis. Sweat lovly prety littil sweat Thing, you bloometh before The lairicks on High sing, thy lefs are neithir Red Nor yelly. but Just betwixt the two you hardy felly.
i fear youl yet be Nippit with the frost. As Maney a one has known to there kost. you should have not kome out in such a hurrey. As this is only the Month of Febrywurrey. and you may expick yet Much bad wethir. when all your blads will krunkil up like Burnt leather. alas. alas. theres Men which tries to rime, who have like you kome out befor there time. The Moril of My peese depend upon it. is good so here i End my odd or sonit.
SOME VERSES TO SNAIX
Prodiggus reptile! long and skaly kuss! You are the dadrattedest biggest thing I ever Seed that cud ty itself into a double bo- Not, and cum all strate again in a Minnit or so, without winkin or seemin To experience any particular pane In the diafram.
Stoopenjus inseck! marvelous annimile! You are no doubt seven thousand yeres Old, and hav a considerable of a Family sneekin round thru the tall Gras in Africa, a eetin up little greezy Niggers, and wishin they was biggir.
I wonder how big yu was when yu Was a inphant about 2 fete long. I Expec yu was a purty good size, and Lived on phrogs, and lizzerds, and polly- Wogs and sutch things.
You are havin' a nice time now, ennyhow— Don't have nothing to do but lay oph. And etc kats and rabbits, and stic Out yure tung and twist yur tale. I wunder if yu ever swollered a man Without takin oph his butes. If there was Brass buttins on his kote, I spose Yu had ter swaller a lot of buttin- Wholes, and a shu—hamer to nock The soals oph of the boots and drive in The tax, so that they wouldn't kut yure Inside. I wunder if vittles taste Good all the way down. I expec so— At leest, fur 6 or 7 fete.
You are so mighty long, I shud thynk If your tale was kold, yure hed Woodent no it till the next day, But it's hard tu tell: snaix is snaix.
A GREAT MAN
Ye muses, pour the pitying tear For Pollio snatch'd away: For had he liv'd another year! —He had not dy'd to-day.
O, were he born to bless mankind, In virtuous times of yore, Heroes themselves had fallen behind! —Whene'er he went before.
How sad the groves and plains appear, And sympathetic sheep: Even pitying hills would drop a tear! —If hills could learn to weep.
His bounty in exalted strain Each bard might well display: Since none implor'd relief in vain! —That went reliev'd away.
And hark! I hear the tuneful throng; His obsequies forbid. He still shall live, shall live as long —As ever dead man did.
On the Glory of her Sex, Mrs. Mary Blaize
Good people all, with one accord, Lament for Madam Blaize, Who never wanted a good word— From those who spoke her praise.
The needy seldom pass'd her door, And always found her kind; She freely lent to all the poor— Who left a pledge behind.
She strove the neighborhood to please With manners wondrous winning; And never follow'd wicked ways— Unless when she was sinning.
At church, in silks and satins new, With hoop of monstrous size, She never slumber'd in her pew— But when she shut her eyes.
Her love was sought, I do aver, By twenty beaux and more; The King himself has follow'd her— When she has walk'd before.
But now, her wealth and finery fled, Her hangers-on cut short all; The doctors found, when she was dead— Her last disorder mortal.
Let us lament, in sorrow sore, For Kent Street well may say, That had she lived a twelvemonth more— She had not died to-day.
A quiet home had Parson Gray, Secluded in a vale; His daughters all were feminine, And all his sons were male.
How faithfully did Parson Gray The bread of life dispense— Well "posted" in theology, And post and rail his fence.
'Gainst all the vices of the age He manfully did battle; His chickens were a biped breed, And quadruped his cattle.
No clock more punctually went, He ne'er delayed a minute— Nor ever empty was his purse, When he had money in it.
His piety was ne'er denied; His truths hit saint and sinner; At morn he always breakfasted; He always dined at dinner.
He ne'er by any luck was grieved, By any care perplexed— No filcher he, though when he preached, He always "took" a text.
As faithful characters he drew As mortal ever saw; But ah! poor parson! when he died, His breath he could not draw!
AN ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF A MAD DOG
Good people all, of every sort, Give ear unto my song; And if you find it wondrous short,— It cannot hold you long.
In Islington there was a man, Of whom the world might say That still a godly race he ran,— Whene'er he went to pray.
A kind and gentle heart he had, To comfort friends and foes; The naked every day he clad,— When he put on his clothes.
And in that town a dog was found, As many dogs there be, Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound, And curs of low degree.
The dog and man at first were friends; But when a pique began, The dog, to gain some private ends, Went mad, and bit the man.
Around from all the neighboring streets, The wondering neighbors ran, And swore the dog had lost his wits To bite so good a man.
The wound it seemed both sore and sad To every Christian eye; And while they swore the dog was mad They swore the man would die.
But soon a wonder came to light, That showed the rogues they lied; The man recovered of the bite, The dog it was that died.
THE WONDERFUL OLD MAN
There was an old man Who lived on a common And, if fame speaks true, He was born of a woman. Perhaps you will laugh, But for truth I've been told He once was an infant Tho' age made him old.
Whene'er he was hungry He longed for some meat; And if he could get it 'T was said he would eat. When thirsty he'd drink If you gave him a pot, And what he drank mostly Ran down his throat.
He seldom or never Could see without light, And yet I've been told he Could hear in the night. He has oft been awake In the daytime, 't is said, And has fallen asleep As he lay in his bed.
'T is reported his tongue Always moved when he talk'd, And he stirred both his arms And his legs when he walk'd; And his gait was so odd Had you seen him you 'd burst, For one leg or t' other Would always be first.
His face was the drollest That ever was seen, For if 't was not washed It seldom was clean; His teeth he expos'd when He happened to grin, And his mouth stood across 'Twixt his nose and his chin.
When this whimsical chap Had a river to pass, If he couldn't get over He stayed where he was. 'T is said he ne'er ventured To quit the dry ground, Yet so great was his luck He never was drowned.
At last he fell sick, As old chronicles tell, And then, as folks say, He was not very well. But what was as strange In so weak a condition, As he could not give fees He could get no physician.
What wonder he died! Yet 't is said that his death Was occasioned at last By the loss of his breath. But peace to his bones Which in ashes now moulder. Had he lived a day longer He'd have been a day older.
Once—but no matter when— There lived—no matter where— A man, whose name—but then I need not that declare.
He—well, he had been born, And so he was alive; His age—I details scorn— Was somethingty and five.
He lived—how many years I truly can't decide; But this one fact appears He lived—until he died.
"He died," I have averred, But cannot prove 't was so, But that he was interred, At any rate, I know.
I fancy he'd a son, I hear he had a wife: Perhaps he'd more than one, I know not, on my life!
But whether he was rich, Or whether he was poor, Or neither—both—or which, I cannot say, I'm sure.
I can't recall his name, Or what he used to do: But then—well, such is fame! 'T will so serve me and you.
And that is why I thus, About this unknown man Would fain create a fuss, To rescue, if I can.
From dark oblivion's blow, Some record of his lot: But, ah! I do not know Who—where—when—why—or what.
In this brief pedigree A moral we should find— But what it ought to be Has quite escaped my mind!
ON THE OXFORD CARRIER
Here lieth one, who did most truly prove That he could never die while he could move; So hung his destiny never to rot While he might still jog on and keep his trot; Made of sphere metal, never to decay Until his revolution was at stay. Time numbers motion, yet (without a crime 'Gainst old truth) motion number'd out his time, And like an engine moved with wheel and weight, His principles being ceased, he ended straight. Rest, that gives all men life, gave him his death, And too much breathing put him out of breath; Nor were it contradiction to affirm, Too long vacation hasten'd on his term. Merely to drive the time away he sicken'd, Fainted, and died, nor would with ale be quicken'd; "Nay," quoth he, on his swooning bed outstretch'd, "If I mayn't carry, sure I'll ne'er be fetch'd, But vow, though the cross doctors all stood hearers, For one carrier put down to make six bearers." Ease was his chief disease; and to judge right, He died for heaviness that his cart went light: His leisure told him that his time was come, And lack of load made his life burdensome. That even to his last breath (there be that say't), As he were press'd to death, he cried, "More weight;" But, had his doings lasted as they were, He had been an immortal carrier. Obedient to the moon he spent his date In course reciprocal, and had his fate Link'd to the mutual flowing of the seas, Yet (strange to think) his wane was his increase: His letters are deliver'd all, and gone, Only remains the superscription.
From the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn through a notable nimbus of nebulous noonshine, Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with fear of the flies as they float, Are they looks of our lovers that lustrously lean from a marvel of mystic miraculous moonshine, These that we feel in the blood of our blushes that thicken and threaten with sobs from the throat? Thicken and thrill as a theatre thronged at appeal of an actor's appalled agitation, Fainter with fear of the fires of the future than pale with the promise of pride in the past; Flushed with the famishing fulness of fever that reddens with radiance of rathe recreation, Gaunt as the ghastliest of glimpses that gleam through the gloom of the gloaming when ghosts go aghast? Nay, for the nick of the tick of the time is a tremulous touch on the temples of terror, Strained as the sinews yet strenuous with strife of the dead who is dumb as the dust-heaps of death: Surely no soul is it, sweet as the spasm of erotic emotional exquisite error, Bathed in the balms of beatified bliss, beatific itself by beatitude's breath. Surely no spirit or sense of a soul that was soft to the spirit and soul of our senses Sweetens the stress of suspiring suspicion that sobs in the semblance and sound of a sigh; Only this oracle opens Olympian, in mystical moods and triangular tenses— Life is the lust of a lamp for the light that is dark till the dawn of the day when we die. Mild is the mirk and monotonous music of memory melodiously mute as it may be, While the hope in the heart of a hero is bruised by the breach of men's rapiers resigned to the rod; Made meek as a mother whose bosom—beats bound with the bliss— bringing bulk of a balm—breathing baby, As they grope through the grave-yards of creeds, under skies growing green'at a groan for the grimness of God. Blank is the book of his bounty beholden of old and its binding is blacker than bluer: Out of blue into black is the scheme of the skies, and their dews are the wine of the bloodshed of things; Till the darkling desire of delight shall be free as a fawn that is freed from the fangs that pursue her, Till the heart-beats of hell shall be hushed by a hymn from the hunt that has harried the kernel of kings.
A. C. Swinburne, in "The Heptalogia."
MARTIN LUTHER AT POTSDAM
What lightning shall light it? What thunder shall tell it? In the height of the height, in the depth of the deep?
Shall the sea—storm declare it, or paint it, or smell it? Shall the price of a slave be its treasure to keep? When the night has grown near with the gems on her bosom, When the white of mine eyes is the whiteness of snow, When the cabman—in liquor—drives a blue roan, a kicker, Into the land of the dear long ago.
Ah!—Ah, again!—You will come to me, fall on me— You are so heavy, and I am so flat. And I? I shall not be at home when you call on me, But stray down the wind like a gentleman's hat: I shall list to the stars when the music is purple, Be drawn through a pipe, and exhaled into rings; Turn to sparks, and then straightway get stuck in the gateway That stands between speech and unspeakable things.
As I mentioned before, by what light is it lighted? Oh! Is it fourpence, or piebald, or gray? Is it a mayor that a mother has knighted, Or is it a horse of the sun and the day? Is it a pony? If so, who will change it? O golfer, be quiet, and mark where it scuds, And think of its paces—of owners and races— Relinquish the links for the study of studs.
Not understood? Take me hence! Take me yonder! Take me away to the land of my rest— There where the Ganges and other gees wander, And uncles and antelopes act for the best, And all things are mixed and run into each other In a violet twilight of virtues and sins, With the church-spires below you and no one to show you Where the curate leaves off and the pew-rent begins!
In the black night through the rank grass the snakes peer— The cobs and the cobras are partial to grass— And a boy wanders out with a knowledge of Shakespeare That's not often found in a boy of his class, And a girl wanders out without any knowledge, And a bird wanders out, and a cow wanders out, Likewise one wether, and they wander together— There's a good deal of wandering lying about.
But it's all for the best; I've been told by my friends, Sir, That in verses I'd written the meaning was slight; I've tried with no meaning—to make 'em amends, Sir— And find that this kind's still more easy to write. The title has nothing to do with the verses, But think of the millions—the laborers who In busy employment find deepest enjoyment, And yet, like my title, have nothing to do!
I know not of what we ponder'd Or made pretence to talk, As, her hand within mine, we wander'd Tow'rd the pool by the limetree walk, While the dew fell in showers from the passion flowers And the blush-rose bent on her stalk.
I cannot recall her figure: Was it regal as Juno's own? Or only a trifle bigger Than the elves who surround the throne Of the Faery Queen, and are seen, I ween, By mortals in dreams alone?
What her eyes were like, I know not: Perhaps they were blurred with tears; And perhaps in your skies there glow not (On the contrary) clearer spheres. No as to her eyes I am just as wise As you or the cat, my dears.
Her teeth, I presume, were "pearly": But which was she, brunette or blonde? Her hair, was it quaintly curly, Or as straight as a beadle's wand? That I failed to remark;—it was rather dark And shadowy round the pond.
Then the hand that reposed so snugly In mine—was it plump or spare? Was the countenance fair or ugly? Nay, children, you have me there! My eyes were p'raps blurr'd; and besides, I'd heard That it's horribly rude to stare.
And I—was I brusque and surly? Or oppressively bland and fond? Was I partial to rising early? Or why did we twain abscond, All breakfastless too, from the public view To prowl by a misty pond?
What passed, what was felt or spoken— Whether anything passed at all— And whether the heart was broken That beat under that sheltering shawl— (If shawl she had on, which I doubt)—has gone. Yes, gone from me past recall.
Was I haply the lady's suitor? Or her uncle? I can't make out— Ask your governess, dears, or tutor. For myself, I'm in hopeless doubt As to why we were there, and who on earth we were, And what this is all about.
C. S. Calverley.
THE COCK AND THE BULL
You see this pebble-stone? It's a thing I bought Of a bit of a chit of a boy i' the mid o' the day— I like to dock the smaller parts-o-speech, As we curtail the already cur-tailed cur (You catch the paronomasia, play 'po' words?) Did, rather, i' the pre-Landseerian days. Well, to my muttons. I purchased the concern, And clapt it i' my poke, having given for same By way o' chop, swop, barter or exchange— "Chop" was my snickering dandiprat's own term— One shilling and fourpence, current coin o' the realm. O-n-e one and f-o-u-r four Pence, one and fourpence—you are with me, sir?— What hour it skills not: ten or eleven o' the clock, One day (and what a roaring day it was Go shop or sight-see—bar a spit o' rain!) In February, eighteen sixty nine, Alexandrina Victoria, Fidei, Hm—hm—how runs the jargon? being on the throne.
Such, sir, are all the facts, succinctly put, The basis or substratum—what you will— Of the impending eighty thousand lines. "Not much in 'em either," quoth perhaps simple Hodge. But there's a superstructure. Wait a bit.
Mark first the rationale of the thing: Hear logic rivel and levigate the deed. That shilling—and for matter o' that, the pence— I had o' course upo' me—wi' me say— (Mecum's the Latin, make a note o' that) When I popp'd pen i' stand, scratched ear, wiped snout, (Let everybody wipe his own himself) Sniff'd—tch!—at snuffbox; tumbled up, he-heed, Haw-haw'd (not he-haw'd, that's another guess thing): Then fumbled at, and stumbled out of, door, I shoved the timber ope wi' my omoplat; And in vestibulo, i' the lobby to-wit, (Iacobi Facciolati's rendering, sir,) Donned galligaskins, antigropeloes, And so forth; and, complete with hat and gloves, One on and one a-dangle i' my hand, And ombrifuge (Lord love you!) cas o' rain, I flopped forth, 'sbuddikins! on my own ten toes, (I do assure you there be ten of them) And went clump-clumping up hill and down dale To find myself o' the sudden i' front o' the boy. Put case I hadn't 'em on me, could I ha' bought This sort-o'-kind-o'-what-you-might-call-toy, This pebble-thing, o' the boy-thing? Q. E. D. That's proven without aid for mumping Pope, Sleek porporate or bloated cardinal. (Isn't it, old Fatchops? You're in Euclid now.) So, having the shilling—having i' fact a lot— And pence and halfpence, ever so many o' them, I purchased, as I think I said before, The pebble (lapis, lapidis, di, dem, de— What nouns 'crease short i' the genitive, Fatchops, eh?) O the boy, a bare-legg'd beggarly son of a gun, For one-and-fourpence. Here we are again. Now Law steps in, biwigged, voluminous-jaw'd; Investigates and re-investigates. Was the transaction illegal? Law shakes head. Perpend, sir, all the bearings of the case.
At first the coin was mine, the chattel his. But now (by virtue of the said exchange And barter) vice versa all the coin, Rer juris operationem, vests I' the boy and his assigns till ding o' doom; In saecula saeculo-o-o-orum; (I think I hear the Abate mouth out that.) To have and hold the same to him and them ... Confer some idiot on Conveyancing. Whereas the pebble and every part thereof, And all that appertaineth thereunto, Quodcunque pertinet ad em rem, (I fancy, sir, my Latin's rather pat) Or shall, will, may, might, can, could, would, or should, Subaudi caetera—clap we to the close— For what's the good of law in such a case o' the kind Is mine to all intents and purposes. This settled, I resume the thread o' the tale.
Now for a touch o' the vendor's quality. He says a gen'lman bought a pebble of him, (This pebble i' sooth, sir, which I hold i' my hand)— And paid for 't, like a gen'lman, on the nail. "Did I o'ercharge him a ha'penny? Devil a bit. Fiddlepin's end! Get out, you blazing ass! Gabble o' the goose. Don't bugaboo-baby me! Go double or quits? Yah! tittup! what's the odds?" —There's the transaction viewed in the vendor's light.
Next ask that dumpled hag, stood snuffling by, With her three frowsy blowsy brats o' babes, The scum o' the Kennel, cream o' the filth-heap—Faugh! Aie, aie, aie, aie! [Greek: otototototoi], ('Stead which we blurt out, Hoighty toighty now)— And the baker and candlestick maker, and Jack and Gill, Blear'd Goody this and queasy Gaffer that, Ask the Schoolmaster, Take Schoolmaster first. He saw a gentleman purchase of a lad A stone, and pay for it rite on the square, And carry it off per saltum, jauntily Propria quae maribus, gentleman's property now (Agreeable to the law explained above). In proprium usum, for his private ends, The boy he chucked a brown i' the air, and bit I' the face the shilling; heaved a thumping stone At a lean hen that ran cluck-clucking by, (And hit her, dead as nail i' post o' door,) Then abiit—What's the Ciceronian phrase? Excessit, evasit, erupit—off slogs boy; Off like bird, avi similis—(you observed The dative? Pretty i' the Mantuan!)—Anglice Off in three flea skips. Hactenus, so far, So good, tam bene. Bene, satis, male,— Where was I with my trope 'bout one in a quag? I did once hitch the Syntax into verse Verbum personale, a verb personal, Concordat—"ay", agrees old Fatchops—cum Nominativo, with its nominative, Genere, i' point of gender, numero, O' number, et persona, and person. Ut, Instance: Sol ruit, down flops sun, et and, Montes umbrantur, out flounce mountains. Pah! Excuse me, sir, I think I'm going mad.
You see the trick on't, though, and can yourself Continue the discourse ad libitum. It takes up about eighty thousand lines, A thing imagination boggles at; And might, odds-bobs, sir! in judicious hands Extend from here to Mesopotamy.
LOVERS AND A REFLECTION
In moss-prankt dells which the sunbeams flatter (And heaven it knoweth what that may mean; Meaning, however, is no great matter) Where woods are a-tremble with words a-tween;
Thro' God's own heather we wonned together, I and my Willie (O love my love): I need hardly remark it was glorious weather, And flitter-bats wavered alow, above:
Boats were curtseying, rising, bowing, (Boats in that climate are so polite,) And sands were a ribbon of green endowing, And O the sun-dazzle on bark and bight!
Thro' the rare red heather we danced together (O love my Willie,) and smelt for flowers: I must mention again it was glorious weather, Rhymes are so scarce in this world of ours:
By rises that flushed with their purple favors, Thro' becks that brattled o'er grasses sheen, We walked or waded, we two young shavers, Thanking our stars we were both so green.
We journeyed in parallels, I and Willie, In fortunate parallels! Butterflies, Hid in weltering shadows of daffodilly Or marjoram, kept making peacock eyes:
Song-birds darted about, some inky As coal, some snowy (I ween) as curds; Or rosy as pinks, or as roses pinky— They reek of no eerie To-come, those birds!
But they skim over bents which the mill-stream washes, Or hang in the lift 'neath a white cloud's hem; They need no parasols, no goloshes; And good Mrs. Trimmer she feedeth them.
Then we thrid God's cowslips (as erst his heather), That endowed the wan grass with their golden blooms; And snapt—(it was perfectly charming weather)— Our fingers at Fate and her goddess-glooms:
And Willie 'gan sing—(Oh, his notes were fluty; Wafts fluttered them out to the white-winged sea)— Something made up of rhymes that have done much duty, Rhymes (better to put it) of "ancientry":
Bowers of flowers encountered showers In William's carol—(O love my Willie!) Then he bade sorrow borrow from blithe tomorrow I quite forget what—say a daffodilly.
A nest in a hollow, "with buds to follow," I think occurred next in his nimble strain; And clay that was "kneaden" of course in Eden— A rhyme most novel I do maintain:
Mists, bones, the singer himself, love-stories, And all least furlable things got furled; Not with any design to conceal their glories, But simply and solely to rhyme with world.
O if billows and pillows and hours and flowers, And all the brave rhymes of an elder day, Could be furled together, this genial weather, And carted or carried on wafts away,
Nor ever again trotted out—ah me! How much fewer volumes of verse there'd be.
AN IMITATION OF WORDSWORTH
There is a river clear and fair, 'Tis neither broad nor narrow; It winds a little here and there— It winds about like any hare; And then it takes as straight a course As on the turnpike road a horse, Or through the air an arrow.
The trees that grow upon the shore, Have grown a hundred years or more; So long there is no knowing. Old Daniel Dobson does not know When first these trees began to grow; But still they grew, and grew, and grew, As if they'd nothing else to do, But ever to be growing.
The impulses of air and sky Have rear'd their stately heads so high, And clothed their boughs with green; Their leaves the dews of evening quaff,— And when the wind blows loud and keen, I've seen the jolly timbers laugh, And shake their sides with merry glee— Wagging their heads in mockery.
Fix'd are their feet in solid earth, Where winds can never blow; But visitings of deeper birth Have reach'd their roots below. For they have gain'd the river's brink, And of the living waters drink.
There's little Will, a five years child— He is my youngest boy: To look on eyes so fair and wild, It is a very joy:— He hath conversed with sun and shower, And dwelt with every idle flower, As fresh and gay as them. He loiters with the briar rose,— The blue-belles are his play-fellows, That dance upon their slender stem.
And I have said, my little Will, Why should not he continue still A thing of Nature's rearing? A thing beyond the world's control— A living vegetable soul,— No human sorrow fearing.
It were a blessed sight to see That child become a Willow-tree, His brother trees among. He'd be four times as tall as me, And live three times as long.
Catharine M. Fanshawe.
THE FAMOUS BALLAD OF THE JUBILEE CUP
You may lift me up in your arms, lad, and turn my face to the sun, For a last look back at the dear old track where the Jubilee cup was won; And draw your chair to my side, lad—no, thank ye, I feel no pain— For I'm going out with the tide, lad; but I'll tell you the tale again.
I'm seventy-nine or nearly, and my head it has long turned gray, But it all comes back as clearly as though it was yesterday— The dust, and the bookies shouting around the clerk of the scales, And the clerk of the course, and the nobs in force, and 'Is 'Ighness the Pr**ce of W*les.
'Twas a nine-hole thresh to wind'ard (but none of us cared for that), With a straight run home to the service tee, and a finish along the flat, "Stiff?" ah, well you may say it! Spot barred, and at five stone ten! But at two and a bisque I'd ha' run the risk; for I was a greenhorn then.
So we stripped to the B. Race signal, the old red swallowtail— There was young Ben Bolt and the Portland Colt, and Aston Villa, and Yale; And W. G., and Steinitz, Leander and The Saint, And the G*rm*n Emp*r*r's Meteor, a-looking as fresh as paint;
John Roberts (scratch), and Safety Match, The Lascar, and Lorna Doone, Oom Paul (a bye), and Romany Rye, and me upon Wooden Spoon; And some of us cut for partners, and some of us strung for baulk, And some of us tossed for stations—But there, what use to talk?
Three-quarter-back on the Kingsclere crack was station enough for me, With a fresh jackyarder blowing and the Vicarage goal a-lee! And I leaned and patted her centre-bit and eased the quid in her cheek, With a "Soh my lass!" and a "Woa you brute!"—for she could do all but speak.
She was geared a thought too high perhaps; she was trained a trifle fine; But she had the grand reach forward! I never saw such a line! Smooth-bored, clean run, from her fiddle head with its dainty ear half-cock, Hard-bit, pur sang, from her overhang to the heel of her off hind sock.
Sir Robert he walked beside me as I worked her down to the mark; "There's money on this, my lad," said he, "and most of 'em's running dark; But ease the sheet if you're bunkered, and pack the scrummages tight, And use your slide at the distance, and we'll drink to your health to-night!"
But I bent and tightened my stretcher. Said I to myself, said I— "John Jones, this here is the Jubilee Cup, and you have to do or die." And the words weren't hardly spoken when the umpire shouted "Play!" And we all kicked off from the Gasworks End with a "Yoicks!" and a "Gone Away!"
And at first I thought of nothing, as the clay flew by in lumps, But stuck to the old Ruy Lopez, and wondered who'd call for trumps, And luffed her close to the cushion, and watched each one as it broke, And in triple file up the Rowley Mile we went like a trail of smoke.
The Lascar made the running but he didn't amount to much, For old Oom Paul was quick on the ball, and headed it back to touch; And the whole first flight led off with the right as The Saint took up the pace, And drove it clean to the putting green and trumped it there with an ace.
John Roberts had given a miss in baulk, but Villa cleared with a punt; And keeping her service hard and low the Meteor forged to the front; With Romany Rye to windward at dormy and two to play, And Yale close up—but a Jubilee Cup isn't run for every day.
We laid our course for the Warner—I tell you the pace was hot! And again off Tattenham Corner a blanket covered the lot. Check side! Check side! now steer her wide! and barely an inch of room, With The Lascar's tail over our lee rail and brushing Leander's boom.
We were running as strong as ever—eight knots—but it couldn't last; For the spray and the bails were flying, the whole field tailing fast; And the Portland Colt had shot his bolt, and Yale was bumped at the Doves, And The Lascar resigned to Steinitz, stalemated in fifteen moves.
It was bellows to mend with Roberts—starred three for a penalty kick: But he chalked his cue and gave 'em the butt, and Oom Paul marked the trick— "Offside—No Ball—and at fourteen all! Mark Cock! and two for his nob!" When W.G. ran clean through his lee and beat him twice with a lob.
He yorked him twice on a crumbling pitch and wiped his eye with a brace, But his guy-rope split with the strain of it and he dropped back out of the race; And I drew a bead on the Meteor's lead, and challenging none too soon, Bent over and patted her garboard strake, and called upon Wooden Spoon.
She was all of a shiver forward, the spoondrift thick on her flanks, But I'd brought her an easy gambit, and nursed her over the banks; She answered her helm—the darling! and woke up now with a rush, While the Meteor's jock, he sat like a rock—he knew we rode for his brush!
There was no one else left in it. The Saint was using his whip, And Safety Match, with a lofting catch, was pocketed deep at slip; And young Ben Bolt with his niblick took miss at Leander's lunge, But topped the net with the ricochet, and Steinitz threw up the sponge.
But none of the lot could stop the rot—nay, don't ask me to stop! The villa had called for lemons, Oom Paul had taken his drop, And both were kicking the referee. Poor fellow! he done his best; But, being in doubt, he'd ruled them out—which he always did when pressed.
So, inch by inch, I tightened the winch, and chucked the sandbags out— I heard the nursery cannons pop, I heard the bookies shout: "The Meteor wins!" "No, Wooden Spoon!" "Check!" "Vantage!" "Leg Before!" "Last Lap!" "Pass Nap!" At his saddle-flap I put up the helm and wore.
You may overlap at the saddle-flap, and yet be loo'd on the tape: And it all depends upon changing ends, how a seven-year-old will shape; It was tack and tack to the Lepe and back—a fair ding-dong to the Ridge, And he led by his forward canvas yet as we shot 'neath Hammersmith Bridge.
He led by his forward canvas—he led from his strongest suit— But along we went on a roaring scent, and at Fawley I gained a foot. He fisted off with his jigger, and gave me his wash—too late! Deuce—Vantage—Check! By neck and neck we rounded into the straight.
I could hear the "Conquering 'Ero" a-crashing on Godfrey's band, And my hopes fell sudden to zero, just there, with the race in hand— In sight of the Turf's Blue Ribbon, in sight of the umpire's tape, As I felt the tack of her spinnaker c-rack! as I heard the steam escape!
Had I lost at that awful juncture my presence of mind? ... but no! I leaned and felt for the puncture, and plugged it there with my toe.... Hand over hand by the Members' Stand I lifted and eased her up, Shot—clean and fair—to the crossbar there, and landed the Jubilee Cup!
"The odd by a head, and leg before," so the Judge he gave the word: And the umpire shouted "Over!" but I neither spoke nor stirred. They crowded round: for there on the ground I lay in a dead-cold swoon, Pitched neck and crop on the turf atop of my beautiful Wooden Spoon.
Her dewlap tire was punctured, her bearings all red hot; She'd a lolling tongue, and her bowsprit sprung, and her running gear in a knot; And amid the sobs of her backers, Sir Robert loosened her girth And led her away to the knacker's. She had raced her last on earth!
But I mind me well of the tear that fell from the eye of our noble Pr*nce, And the things he said as he tucked me in bed—and I 've lain there ever since; Tho' it all gets mixed up queerly that happened before my spill,— But I draw my thousand yearly: it 'll pay for the doctor's bill.
I'm going out with the tide, lad—you 'll dig me a numble grave, And whiles you will bring your bride, lad, and your sons, if sons you have, And there when the dews are weeping, and the echoes murmur "Peace!" And the salt, salt tide comes creeping and covers the popping-crease;
In the hour when the ducks deposit their eggs with a boasted force, They'll look and whisper "How was it?" and you'll take them over the course, And your voice will break as you try to speak of the glorious first of June, When the Jubilee Cup, with John Jones up, was won upon Wooden Spoon.
Arthur T. Quiller-Couch.
A SONG OF IMPOSSIBILITIES
Lady, I loved you all last year, How honestly and well— Alas! would weary you to hear, And torture me to tell; I raved beneath the midnight sky, I sang beneath the limes— Orlando in my lunacy, And Petrarch in my rhymes. But all is over! When the sun Dries up the boundless main, When black is white, false-hearted one, I may be yours again!
When passion's early hopes and fears Are not derided things; When truth is found in falling tears, Or faith in golden rings; When the dark Fates that rule our way Instruct me where they hide One woman that would ne'er betray, One friend that never lied; When summer shines without a cloud, And bliss without a pain; When worth is noticed in a crowd, I may be yours again!
When science pours the light of day Upon the lords of lands; When Huskisson is heard to say That Lethbridge understands; When wrinkles work their way in youth, Or Eldon's in a hurry; When lawyers represent the truth, Or Mr. Sumner Surrey; When aldermen taste eloquence Or bricklayers champagne; When common law is common sense, I may be yours again!
When learned judges play the beau, Or learned pigs the tabor; When traveller Bankes beats Cicero, Or Mr. Bishop Weber; When sinking funds discharge a debt, Or female hands a bomb; When bankrupts study the Gazette, Or colleges Tom Thumb; When little fishes learn to speak, Or poets not to feign; When Dr. Geldart construes Greek, I may be yours again!
When Pole and Thornton honor cheques, Or Mr. Const a rogue; When Jericho's in Middlesex, Or minuets in vogue; When Highgate goes to Devonport, Or fashion to Guildhall; When argument is heard at Court, Or Mr. Wynn at all; When Sydney Smith forgets to jest, Or farmers to complain; When kings that are are not the best, I may be yours again!
When peers from telling money shrink, Or monks from telling lies; When hydrogen begins to sink, Or Grecian scrip to rise; When German poets cease to dream, Americans to guess; When Freedom sheds her holy beam On Negroes, and the Press; When there is any fear of Rome, Or any hope of Spain; When Ireland is a happy home, I may be yours again!
When you can cancel what has been, Or alter what must be, Or bring once more that vanished scene, Those withered joys to me; When you can tune the broken lute, Or deck the blighted wreath, Or rear the garden's richest fruit, Upon a blasted heath; When you can lure the wolf at bay Back to his shattered chain, To-day may then be yesterday— I may be yours again!
TRUST IN WOMEN
When these things following be done to our intent, Then put women in trust and confident.
When nettles in winter bring forth roses red, And all manner of thorn trees bear figs naturally, And geese bear pearls in every mead, And laurel bear cherries abundantly, And oaks bear dates very plenteously, And kisks give of honey superfluence, Then put women in trust and confidence.
When box bear paper in every land and town, And thistles bear berries in every place, And pikes have naturally feathers in their crown, And bulls of the sea sing a good bass, And men be the ships fishes trace, And in women be found no insipience, Then put them in trust and confidence.