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The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood
by Thomas Hood
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I.

How many sing of wars, Of Greek and Trojan jars— The butcheries of men! The Muse hath a "Perpetual Ruby Pen!" Dabbling with heroes and the blood they spill; But no one sings the man That, like a pelican, Nourishes Pity with his tender Bill!

II.

Thou Wilberforce of hacks! Of whites as well as blacks, Pyebald and dapple gray, Chestnut and bay— No poet's eulogy thy name adorns! But oxen, from the fens, Sheep—in their pens, Praise thee, and red cows with their winding horns! Thou art sung on brutal pipes! Drovers may curse thee, Knackers asperse thee, And sly M.P.'s bestow their cruel wipes; But the old horse neighs thee, And zebras praise thee,— Asses, I mean—that have as many stripes!

III.

Hast thou not taught the Drover to forbear, In Smithfield's muddy, murderous, vile environ,— Staying his lifted bludgeon in the air! Bullocks don't wear Oxide of iron! The cruel Jarvy thou hast summon'd oft, Enforcing mercy on the coarse Yahoo, That thought his horse the courser of the two— Whilst Swift smiled down aloft!— O worthy pair! for this, when ye inhabit Bodies of birds—(if so the spirit shifts From flesh to feather)—when the clown uplifts His hands against the sparrow's nest, to grab it,— He shall not harm the MARTINS and the Swifts!

IV.

Ah! when Dean Swift was quick, how he enhanc'd The horse!—and humbled biped man like Plato! But now he's dead, the charger is mischanc'd— Gone backward in the world—and not advanc'd,— Remember Cato! Swift was the horse's champion—not the King's, Whom Southey sings, Mounted on Pegasus—would he were thrown! He'll wear that ancient hackney to the bone, Like a mere clothes-horse airing royal things! Ah well-a-day! the ancients did not use Their steeds so cruelly!—let it debar men From wanton rowelling and whip's abuse— Look at the ancients' Muse! Look at their Carmen!

V.

O, Martin I how thine eyes— That one would think had put aside its lashes,— That can't bear gashes Thro' any horse's side, must ache to spy That horrid window fronting Fetter-lane,— For there's a nag the crows have pick'd for victual, Or some man painted in a bloody vein— Gods! is there no Horse-spital! That such raw shows must sicken the humane! Sure Mr. Whittle Loves thee but little, To let that poor horse linger in his pane!

VI.

O build a Brookes's Theatre for horses! O wipe away the national reproach— And find a decent Vulture for their corses! And in thy funeral track Four sorry steeds shall follow in each coach! Steeds that confess "the luxury of wo!" True mourning steeds, in no extempore black, And many a wretched hack Shall sorrow for thee,—sore with kick and blow And bloody gash—it is the Indian knack— (Save that the savage is his own tormentor)— Banting shall weep too in his sable scarf— The biped woe the quadruped shall enter, And Man and Horse go half and half, As if their griefs met in a common Centaur!



ODE TO THE GREAT UNKNOWN.[23]

"O breathe not his name!"—Moore.

[Footnote 23: After nearly eighty years it is almost pardonable to remind the reader that in the earlier days of the Waverley Novels their author was much talked of by the above title. The variety of Hood's reading, and his resource in simile, are very noticeable in this Ode. The likening of Dominie Sampson to Lamb's friend, George Dyer and the comparison of Mause Headrigg to Rae Wilson on his travels, are admirable examples.]

I.

Thou Great Unknown! I do not mean Eternity, nor Death, That vast incog! For I suppose thou hast a living breath, Howbeit we know not from whose lungs 'tis blown, Thou man of fog! Parent of many children—child of none! Nobody's son! Nobody's daughter—but a parent still! Still but an ostrich parent of a batch Of orphan eggs,—left to the world to hatch Superlative Nil! A vox and nothing more,—yet not Vauxhall; A head in papers, yet without a curl! Not the Invisible Girl! No hand—but a handwriting on a wall— A popular nonentity, Still call'd the same,—without identity! A lark, heard out of sight,— A nothing shin'd upon,—invisibly bright, "Dark with excess of light!" Constable's literary John-a-nokes— The real Scottish wizard—and not which, Nobody—in a niche; Every one's hoax! Maybe Sir Walter Scott— Perhaps not! Why dost thou so conceal and puzzle curious folks?

II.

Thou,—whom the second-sighted never saw, The Master Fiction of fictitious history! Chief Nong-tong-paw! No mister in the world—and yet all mystery! The "tricksy spirit" of a Scotch Cock Lane— A novel Junius puzzling the world's brain— A man of Magic—yet no talisman! A man of clair obscure—not he o' the moon! A star—at noon. A non-descriptus in a caravan, A private—of no corps—a northern light In a dark lantern,—Bogie in a crape— A figure—but no shape; A vizor—and no knight; The real abstract hero of the age; The staple Stranger of the stage; A Some One made in every man's presumption, Frankenstein's monster—but instinct with gumption; Another strange state captive in the north, Constable-guarded in an iron mask— Still let me ask, Hast thou no silver platter, No door-plate, or no card—or some such matter, To scrawl a name upon, and then cast forth?

III.

Thou Scottish Barmecide, feeding the hunger Of Curiosity with airy gammon! Thou mystery-monger, Dealing it out like middle cut of salmon, That people buy and can't make head or tail of it; (Howbeit that puzzle never hurts the sale of it;) Thou chief of authors mystic and abstractical, That lay their proper bodies on the shelf— Keeping thyself so truly to thyself, Thou Zimmerman made practical! Thou secret fountain of a Scottish style, That, like the Nile, Hideth its source wherever it is bred, But still keeps disemboguing (Not disembroguing) Thro' such broad sandy mouths without a head! Thou disembodied author—not yet dead,— The whole world's literary Absentee! Ah! wherefore hast thou fled, Thou learned Nemo—wise to a degree, Anonymous LL.D.!

IV.

Thou nameless captain of the nameless gang That do—and inquests cannot say who did it! Wert thou at Mrs. Donatty's death-pang? Hast thou made gravy of Weare's watch—or hid it? Hast thou a Blue-Beard chamber? Heaven forbid it! I should be very loth to see thee hang! I hope thou hast an alibi well plann'd, An innocent, altho' an ink-black hand. Tho' that hast newly turn'd thy private bolt on The curiosity of all invaders— I hope thou art merely closeted with Colton, Who knows a little of the Holy Land, Writing thy next new novel—The Crusaders!

V.

Perhaps thou wert even born To be Unknown.—Perhaps hung, some foggy morn, At Captain Coram's charitable wicket, Pinn'd to a ticket That Fate had made illegible, foreseeing The future great unmentionable being.— Perhaps thou hast ridden A scholar poor on St. Augustine's Back, Like Chatterton, and found a dusty pack Of Rowley novels in an old chest hidden; A little hoard of clever simulation, That took the town—and Constable has bidden Some hundred pounds for a continuation— To keep and clothe thee in genteel starvation.

VI.

I like thy Waverley—first of thy breeding; I like its modest "sixty years ago," As if it was not meant for ages' reading. I don't like Ivanhoe, Tho' Dymoke does—it makes him think of clattering In iron overalls before the king Secure from battering, to ladies flattering, Tuning, his challenge to the gauntlet's ring— Oh better far than all that anvil clang It was to hear thee touch the famous string Of Robin Hood's tough bow and make it twang, Rousing him up, all verdant, with his clan, Like Sagittarian Pan!

VII.

I like Guy Mannering—but not that sham son Of Brown:—I like that literary Sampson, Nine-tenths a Dyer, with a smack of Porson. I like Dirk Hatteraick, that rough sea Orson That slew the Gauger; And Dandie Dinmont, like old Ursa Major; And Merrilies, young Bertram's old defender, That Scottish Witch of Endor, That doom'd thy fame. She was the Witch, I take it, To tell a great man's fortune—or to make it!

VIII.

I like thy Antiquary. With his fit on, He makes me think of Mr. Britton, I like thy Antiquary. With Ins fit on, It makes me think Who has—or had—within his garden wall, A miniature Stone Henge, so very small That sparrows find it difficult to sit on; And Dousterwivel, like Poyais' M'Gregor; And Edie Ochiltree, that old Blue Beggar, Painted so cleverly, I think thou surely knowest Mrs. Beverly! I like thy Barber—him that fir'd the Beacon— But that's a tender subject now to speak on!

IX.

I like long-arm'd Rob Roy.—His very charms Fashion'd him for renown!—In sad sincerity, The man that robs or writes must have long arms, If he's to hand his deeds down to posterity! Witness Miss Biffin's posthumous prosperity, Her poor brown crumpled mummy (nothing more) Bearing the name she bore, A thing Time's tooth is tempted to destroy! But Roys can never die—why else, in verity, Is Paris echoing with "Vive le Roy"! Aye, Rob shall live again, and deathless Di Vernon, of course, shall often live again— Whilst there's a stone in Newgate, or a chain, Who can pass by Nor feel the Thief's in prison and at hand? There be Old Bailey Jarvies on the stand!

X.

I like thy Landlord's Tales!—I like that Idol Of love and Lammermoor—the blue-eyed maid That led to church the mounted cavalcade, And then pull'd up with such a bloody bridal! Throwing equestrian Hymen on his haunches— I like the family (not silver) branches That hold the tapers To light the serious legend of Montrose.— I like M'Aulay's second-sighted vapors, As if he could not walk or talk alone, Without the devil—or the Great Unknown,— Dalgetty is the dearest of Ducrows!

XI.

I like St. Leonard's Lily—drench'd with dew! I like thy Vision of the Covenanters, That bloody-minded Grahame shot and slew. I like the battle lost and won; The hurly-burlys bravely done, The warlike gallop and the warlike canters! I like that girded chieftain of the ranters, Ready to preach down heathens, or to grapple, With one eye on his sword, And one upon the Word,— How he would cram the Caledonian Chapel! I like stern Claverhouse, though he cloth dapple His raven steed with blood of many a corse— I like dear Mrs. Headrigg, that unravels Her texts of scripture on a trotting horse— She is so like Rae Wilson when he travels!

XII.

I like thy Kenilworth—but I'm not going To take a Retrospective Re-Review Of all thy dainty novels—merely showing The old familiar faces of a few, The question to renew, How thou canst leave such deeds without a name, Forego the unclaim'd Dividends of fame, Forego the smiles of literary houris— Mid-Lothian's trump, and Fife's shrill note of praise, And all the Carse of Gowrie's, When thou might'st have thy statue in Cromarty— Or see thy image on Italian trays, Betwixt Queen Caroline and Buonaparte, Be painted by the Titian of R.A's, Or vie in signboards with the Royal Guelph! P'rhaps have thy bust set cheek by jowl with Homer's, P'rhaps send out plaster proxies of thyself To other Englands with Australian roamers— Mayhap, in Literary Owhyhee Displace the native wooden gods, or be The china-Lar of a Canadian shelf!

XIII.

It is not modesty that bids thee hide— She never wastes her blushes out of sight: It is not to invite The world's decision, for thy fame is tried,— And thy fair deeds are scatter'd far and wide, Even royal heads are with thy readers reckon'd,— From men in trencher caps to trencher scholars In crimson collars, And learned serjeants in the Forty-Second! Whither by land or sea art thou not beckon'd? Mayhap exported from the Frith of Forth, Defying distance and its dim control; Perhaps read about Stromness, and reckon'd worth A brace of Miltons for capacious soul— Perhaps studied in the whalers, further north, And set above ten Shakspeares near the pole!

XIV.

Oh, when thou writest by Aladdin's lamp, With such a giant genius at command, Forever at thy stamp, To fill thy treasury from Fairy Land, When haply thou might'st ask the pearly hand Of some great British Vizier's eldest daughter, Tho' princes sought her, And lead her in procession hymeneal, Oh, why dost thou remain a Beau Ideal! Why stay, a ghost, on the Lethean Wharf, Envelop'd in Scotch mist and gloomy fogs? Why, but because thou art some puny Dwarf, Some hopeless Imp, like Biquet with the Tuft, Fearing, for all thy wit, to be rebuff'd, Or bullied by our great reviewing Gogs?

XV.

What in this masquing age Maketh Unknowns so many and so shy? What but the critic's page? One hath a cast, he hides from the world's eye; Another hath a wen,—he won't show where; A third has sandy hair, A hunch upon his back, or legs awry, Things for a vile reviewer to espy! Another hath a mangel-wurzel nose,— Finally, this is dimpled, Like a pale crumpet face, or that is pimpled, Things for a monthly critic to expose— Nay, what is thy own case—that being small, Thou choosest to be nobody at all!

XVI.

Well, thou art prudent, with such puny bones— E'en like Elshender, the mysterious elf, That shadowy revelation of thyself— To build thee a small hut of haunted stones— For certainly the first pernicious man That ever saw thee, would quickly draw thee In some vile literary caravan— Shown for a shilling Would be thy killing, Think of Crachami's miserable span! No tinier frame the tiny spark could dwell in Than there it fell in— But when she felt herself a show, she tried To shrink from the world's eye, poor dwarf! and died!

XVII.

O since it was thy fortune to be born A dwarf on some Scotch Inch, and then to flinch From all the Gog-like jostle of great men, Still with thy small crow pen Amuse and charm thy lonely hours forlorn— Still Scottish story daintily adorn, Be still a shade—and when this age is fled, When we poor sons and daughters of reality Are in our graves forgotten and quite dead, And Time destroys our mottoes of morality— The lithographic hand of Old Mortality Shall still restore thy emblem on the stone, A featureless death's head, And rob Oblivion ev'n of the Unknown!



ODE TO JOSEPH GRIMALDI, SENIOR.

"This fellow's wise enough to play the fool, And to do that well craves a kind of wit." Twelfth Night.

I.

Joseph! they say thou'st left the stage, To toddle down the hill of life, And taste the flannel'd ease of age, Apart from pantomimic strife— "Retir'd—(for Young would call it so)— The world shut out"—in Pleasant Row!

II.

And hast thou really wash'd at last From each white cheek the red half-moon! And all thy public Clownship cast, To play the private Pantaloon? All youth—all ages—yet to be Shall have a heavy miss of thee!

III.

Thou didst not preach to make us wise— Thou hadst no finger in our schooling— Thou didst not "lure us to the skies"— Thy simple, simple trade was—Fooling! And yet, Heav'n knows! we could—we can Much "better spare a better man!"

IV.

Oh, had it pleased the gout to take The reverend Croly from the stage, Or Southey, for our quiet's sake, Or Mr. Fletcher, Cupid's sage, Or, damme! namby-pamby Poole,— Or any other clown or fool!

V.

Go, Dibdin—all that bear the name, Go, Byeway Highway man! go! go! Go, Skeffy—man of painted fame, But leave thy partner, painted Joe! I could bear Kirby on the wane, Or Signor Paulo with a sprain!

VI.

Had Joseph Wilfrid Parkins made His gray hairs scarce in private peace— Had Waithman sought a rural shade— Or Cobbett ta'en a turnpike lease— Or Lisle Bowles gone to Balaam Hill— I think I could be cheerful still!

VII.

Had Medwin left off, to his praise, Dead lion kicking, like—a friend!— Had long, long Irving gone his ways, To Muse on death at Ponder's End Or Lady Morgan taken leave Of Letters—still I might not grieve!

VIII.

But, Joseph—everybody's Jo!— Is gone—and grieve I will and must! As Hamlet did for Yorick, so Will I for thee (though not yet dust), And talk as he did when he miss'd The kissing-crust that he had kiss'd!

IX.

Ah, where is now thy rolling head! Thy winking, reeling, drunken eyes, (As old Catullus would have said), Thy oven-mouth, that swallow'd pies— Enormous hunger—monstrous drowth! Thy pockets greedy as thou mouth!

X.

Ah, where thy ears, so often cuff'd!— Thy funny, flapping, filching hands!— Thy partridge body, always stuff'd With waifs, and strays, and contrabands!— Thy foot—like Berkeley's Foote—for why? 'Twas often made to wipe an eye!

XI.

Ah, where thy legs—that witty pair! For "great wits jump"—and so did they! Lord! how they leap'd in lamplight air! Caper'd—and bounc'd—and strode away!— That years should tame the legs—alack! I've seen spring thro' an Almanack!

XII.

But bounds will have their bound—the shocks Of Time will cramp the nimblest toes; And those that frisk'd in silken clocks May look to limp in fleecy hose— One only—(Champion of the ring) Could ever make his Winter,—Spring!

XIII.

And gout, that owns no odds between The toe of Czar and toe of Clown, Will visit—but I did not mean To moralize, though I am grown Thus sad,—Thy going seem'd to beat A muffled drum for Fun's retreat!

XIV.

And, may be—'tis no time to smother A sigh, when two prime wags of London Are gone—thou, Joseph, one,—the other A Joe!—"sic transit gloria Munden!" A third departure some insist on,— Stage-apoplexy threatens Liston!—

XV.

Nay, then, let Sleeping Beauty sleep With ancient "Dozey" to the dregs— Let Mother Goose wear mourning deep, And put a hatchment o'er her eggs! Let Farley weep—for Magic's man Is gone,—his Christmas Caliban!

XVI.

Let Kemble, Forbes, and Willet rain, As tho' they walk'd behind thy bier,— For since thou wilt not play again, What matters,—if in heav'n or here! Or in thy grave, or in thy bed!— There's Quick might just as well be dead!

XVII.

Oh, how will thy departure cloud The lamplight of the little breast! The Christmas child will grieve aloud To miss his broadest friend and best,— Poor urchin! what avails to him The cold New Monthly's Ghost of Grimm?

XVIII.

For who like thee could ever stride! Some dozen paces to the mile!— The motley, medley coach provide— Or like Joe Frankenstein compile The vegetable man complete!— A proper Covent Garden feat!

XIX.

Oh, who like thee could ever drink, Or eat,—swill, swallow—bolt—and choke! Nod, weep, and hiccup—sneeze and wink?— Thy very yawn was quite a joke! Tho' Joseph, Junior, acts not ill, "There's no Fool like the old Fool" still!

XX.

Joseph, farewell! dear funny Joe! We met with mirth,—we part in pain! For many a long, long year must go Ere Fun can see thy like again— For Nature does not keep great stores Of perfect Clowns—that are not Boors!



AN ADDRESS TO THE STEAM WASHING COMPANY.

"Archer. How many are there, Scrub?" "Scrub. Five-and-forty, Sir." Beaux' Stratagem.

"For shame—let the linen alone!" M. W. of Windsor.

Mr. Scrub—Mr. Slop—or whoever you be! The Cock of Steam Laundries,—the head Patentee Of Associate Cleansers,—Chief founder and prime Of the firm for the wholesale distilling of grime— Co-partners and dealers, in linen's propriety— That make washing public—and wash in society— O lend me your ear! if that ear can forego, For a moment, the music that bubbles below,— From your new Surrey Geisers all foaming and hot,— That soft "simmer's sang" so endear'd to the Scot— If your hands may stand still, or your steam without danger— If your suds will not cool, and a mere simple stranger, Both to you and to washing, may put in a rub,— O wipe out your Amazon arms from the tub,— And lend me your ear,—Let me modestly plead For a race that your labors may soon supersede— For a race that, now washing no living affords— Like Grimaldi must leave their aquatic old boards, Not with pence in their pockets to keep them at ease, Not with bread in the funds—or investments of cheese,— But to droop like sad willows that liv'd by a stream, Which the sun has suck'd up into vapor and steam. Ah, look at the laundress, before you begrudge— Her hard daily bread to that laudable drudge— When chanticleer singeth his earliest matins, She slips her amphibious feet in her pattens, And beginneth her toil while the morn is still gray, As if she was washing the night into day— Not with sleeker or rosier fingers Aurora Beginneth to scatter the dewdrops before her; Not Venus that rose from the billow so early, Look'd down on the foam with a forehead more pearly— Her head is involv'd in an aerial mist, And a bright-beaded bracelet encircles her wrist; Her visage glows warm with the ardor of duty; She's Industry's moral—she's all moral beauty! Growing brighter and brighter at every rub— Would any man ruin her?—No, Mr. Scrub! No man that is manly would work her mishap— No man that is manly would covet her cap— Nor her apron—her hose—nor her gown made of stuff— Nor her gin—nor her tea—nor her wet pinch of snuff! Alas! so she thought—but that slippery hope Has betrayed her—as tho' she had trod on her soap! And she,—whose support,—like the fishes that fly, Was to have her fins wet, must now drop from her sky— She whose living it was, and a part of her fare, To be damp'd once a day, like the great white sea bear, With her hands like a sponge, and her head like a mop— Quite a living absorbent that revell'd in slop— She that paddled in water, must walk upon sand, And sigh for her deeps like a turtle on land!

Lo, then, the poor laundress, all wretched she stands, Instead of a counterpane wringing her hands! All haggard and pinch'd, going down in life's vale, With no fagot for burning, like Allan-a-dale! No smoke from her flue—and no steam from her pane, There once she watch'd heaven, fearing God and the rain— Or gaz'd o'er her bleach-field so fairly engross'd, Till the lines wander'd idle from pillar to post! Ah, where are the playful young pinners—ah, where The harlequin quilts that cut capers in air— The brisk waltzing stockings—the white and the black, That danced on the tight-rope, or swung on the slack— The light sylph-like garments, so tenderly pinn'd, That blew into shape, and embodied the wind! There was white on the grass—there was white on the spray— Her garden—it looked like a garden of May! But now all is dark—not a shirt's on a shrub— You've ruin'd her prospects in life, Mr. Scrub! You've ruin'd her custom—now families drop her— From her silver reduc'd—nay, reduc'd from her copper! The last of her washing is done at her eye, One poor little kerchief that never gets dry! From mere lack of linen she can't lay a cloth, And boils neither barley nor alkaline broth,— But her children come round her as victuals grow scant, And recall, with foul faces, the source of their want— When she thinks of their poor little mouths to be fed, And then thinks of her trade that is utterly dead, And even its pearlashes laid in the grave— Whilst her tub is a dry rotting, stave after stave, And the greatest of Coopers, ev'n he that they dub Sir Astley, can't bind up her heart or her tub,— Need you wonder she curses your bones, Mr. Scrub! Need you wonder, when steam has depriv'd her of bread, If she prays that the evil may visit your head— Nay, scald all the heads of your Washing Committee,— If she wishes you all the soot blacks of the city— In short, not to mention all plagues without number, If she wishes you all in the Wash at the Humber!

Ah, perhaps, in some moment of drowth and despair, When her linen got scarce, and her washing grew rare— When the sum of her suds might be summ'd in a bowl, And the rusty cold iron quite enter'd her soul— When, perhaps, the last glance of her wandering eye Had caught "the Cock Laundresses' Coach" going by, Or her lines that hung idle, to waste the fine weather, And she thought of her wrongs and her rights both together, In a lather of passion that froth'd as it rose, Too angry for grammar, too lofty for prose, On her sheet—if a sheet were still left her—to write, Some remonstrance like this then, perchance, saw the light—

LETTER OF REMONSTRANCE

FROM BRIDGET JONES

TO THE NOBLEMEN AND GENTLEMEN FORMING THE WASHING COMMITTEE.

It's a shame, so it is,—men can't Let alone Jobs as is Woman's right to do—and go about there Own— Theirs Reforms enuff Alreddy without your new schools For washing to sit Up,—and push the Old Tubs from their stools! But your just like the Raddicals,—for upsetting of the Sudds When the world wagged well enuff—and Wommen washed your old dirty duds, I'm Certain sure Enuff your Ann Sisters had no steem Indians, that's Flat,— But I warrant your Four Fathers went as Tidy and gentlemanny for all that— I suppose your the Family as lived in the Great Kittle I see on Clapham Commun, some times a very considerable period back when I were little, And they Said it went with Steem,—But that was a joke! For I never see none come of it,—that's out of it—but only sum Smoak— And for All your Power of Horses about your Indians you never had but Two In my time to draw you About to Fairs—and hang you, you know that's true! And for All your fine Perspectuses,—howsomever you bewhich 'em, Theirs as Pretty ones off Primerows Hill, as ever a one at Mitchum, Tho' I cant sea What Prospectives and washing has with one another to Do— It aint as if a Bird'seye Hankicher could take a Birds-high view! But Thats your look out—I've not much to do with that—But pleas God to hold up fine, I'd show you caps and pinners and small things as lilliwhit as Ever crosst the Line Without going any Father off then Little Parodies Place, And Thats more than you Can—and I'll say it behind your face— But when Folks talks of washing, it aint for you to Speak,— As kept Dockter Pattyson out of his Shirt for a Weak! Thinks I, when I heard it—Well there's a pretty go! That comes o' not marking of things or washing out the marks, and Huddling 'em up so! Till Their friends conies and owns them, like drownded corpeses in a Vault, But may Hap you havint Larn'd to spel—and That aint your Fault, Only you ought to leafe the Linnins to them as has Larn'd,— For if it warnt for Washing,—and whare Bills is concarned What's the Yuse, of all the world, for a Womans Headication, And Their Being maid Schollards of Sundays—fit for any Cityation.

Well, what I says is This—when every Kittle has its spout, Theirs no nead for Companys to puff steem about! To be sure its very Well, when Their aint enuff Wind For blowing up Boats with,—but not to hurt human kind Like that Pearkins with his Blunderbush, that's loaded with hot water, Tho' a X Sherif might know Better, than make things for slaughtter, As if War warnt Cruel enuff—wherever it befalls, Without shooting poor sogers, with sich scalding hot balls,— But thats not so Bad as a Sett of Bare Faced Scrubbs As joins their Sopes together, and sits up Steem rubbing Clubs, For washing Dirt Cheap,—and eating other Peple's grubs! Which is all verry Fine for you and your Patent Tea, But I wonders How Poor Wommen is to get Their Beau-He! They must drink Hunt wash (the only wash God nose there will be!) And their Little drop of Somethings as they takes for their Goods, When you and your Steem has ruined (G—d forgive mee) their lively Hoods, Poor Wommen as was born to Washing in their youth! And now must go and Larn other Buisnesses Four Sooth! But if so be They leave their Lines what are they to go at— They won't do for Angells—nor any Trade like That, Nor we cant Sow Babby Work,—for that's all Bespoke,— For the Quakers in Bridle! and a vast of the confined Folk Do their own of Themselves—even the better-most of em—aye, and evn them of middling degrees— Why Lauk help you Babby Linen aint Bread and Cheese! Nor we can't go a hammering the roads into Dust, But we must all go and be Bankers,—like Mr. Marshes and Mr. Charnberses,—and that's what we must! God nose you oght to have more Concern for our Sects, When you nose you have suck'd us and hanged round our Mutherly necks, And remembers what you Owes to Wommen Besides washing— You aint, blame you! like Men to go a slushing and sloshing In mop caps, and pattins, adoing of Females Labers And prettily jear'd At you great Horse God Meril things, aint you now by your next door naybors— Lawk I thinks I see you with your Sleaves tuckt up No more like Washing than is drownding of a Pupp, And for all Your Fine Water Works going round and round They'll scruntch your Bones some day—I'll be bound And no more nor be a gudgement,—for it cant come to good To sit up agin Providince, which your a doing,—nor not fit It should, For man warnt maid for Wommens starvation, Nor to do away Laundrisses as is Links of the Creation— And cant be dun without in any Country But a naked Hottinpot Nation. Ah, I wish our Minister would take one of your Tubbs And preach a Sermon in it, and give you some good rubs— But I warrants you reads (for you cant spel we nose) nyther Bybills or Good Tracks, Or youd no better than Taking the close off one's Backs— And let your neighbors oxin an Asses alone,— And every Thing thats hern,—and give every one their Hone!

Well, its God for us All, and every Washer Wommen for herself, And so you might, without shoving any on us off the shelf, But if you warnt Noddis youd Let wommen abe And pull off Your Pattins,—and leave the washing to we That nose what's what—Or mark what I say, Youl make a fine Kittle of fish of Your Close some Day— When the Aulder men wants Their Bibs and their aint nun at all, And Cristmass cum—and never a Cloth to lay in Gild Hall, Or send a damp shirt to his Woship the Mare Till hes rumatiz Poor Man, and cant set uprite to do good in his Harm-Chare— Besides Miss-Matching Larned Ladys Hose, as is sent for you not to wash (for you don't wash) And make Peples Stockins yeller as oght to be Blew, With a vast more like That,—and all along of Steem Which warnt meand by Nater for any sich skeam— But thats your Losses and youl have to make It Good, And I cant say I'm Sorry afore God if you shoud, For men mought Get their Bread a great many ways Without taking ourn,—aye, and Moor to your Prays You might go and skim the creme off Mr. Muck-Adam's milky ways—that's what you might, Or bete Carpets—or get into Parleamint,—or drive Crabrolays from morning to night, Or, if you must be of our sects, be Watchmen, and slepe upon a poste! (Which is an od way of sleping, I must say,—and a very hard pillow at most,) Or you might be any trade, as we are not on that I'm awares, Or be Watermen now, (not Water-wommen) and roe peple up and down Hungerford stares, Or if You Was even to Turn Dust Men a dry sifting Dirt! But you oughtint to Hurt Them as never Did You no Hurt!

Yourn with Anymocity, BRIDGET JONES.



ODE TO CAPTAIN PAERY[24]

"By the North Pole, I do challenge thee!" Love's Labour's Lost.

[Footnote 24: The famous Arctic explorer was engaged for many years, from 1818 onwards, in his various efforts to discover the North-West Passage. He died in 1855.]

I.

Parry, my man! has thy brave leg Yet struck its foot against the peg On which the world is spun? Or hast thou found No Thoroughfare Writ by the hand of Nature there Where man has never run!

II.

Hast thou yet traced the Great Unknown Of channels in the Frozen Zone, Or held at Icy Bay, Hast thou still miss'd the proper track For homeward Indian men that lack A bracing by the way?

III.

Still hast thou wasted toil and trouble On nothing but the North-Sea Bubble Of geographic scholar? Or found new ways for ships to shape, Instead of winding round the Cape, A short cut thro' the collar?

IV.

Hast found the way that sighs were sent to The Pole—tho' God knows whom they went to! That track reveal'd to Pope— Or if the Arctic waters sally, Or terminate in some blind alley, A chilly path to grope?

V.

Alas! tho' Ross, in love with snows, Has painted them couleur de rose, It is a dismal doom, As Clauclio saith, to Winter thrice, "In regions of thick-ribbed ice"— All bright,—and yet all gloom!

VI.

'Tis well for Gheber souls that sit Before the fire and worship it With pecks of Wallsend coals, With feet upon the fender's front, Roasting their corns—like Mr. Hunt— To speculate on poles.

VII.

'Tis easy for our Naval Board— 'Tis easy for our Civic Lord Of London and of ease, That lies in ninety feet of down, With fur on his nocturnal gown, To talk of Frozen Seas!

VIII.

'Tis fine for Monsieur Ude to sit, And prate about the mundane spit, And babble of Cook's track— He'd roast the leather off his toes, Ere he would trudge thro' polar snows, To plant a British Jack!

IX.

Oh, not the proud licentious great, That travel on a carpet skate, Can value toils like thine! What 'tis to take a Hecla range, Through ice unknown to Mrs. Grange, And alpine lumps of brine?

X.

But we, that mount the Hill o' Rhyme, Can tell how hard it is to climb The lofty slippery steep, Ah! there are more Snow Hills than that Which doth black Newgate, like a hat, Upon its forehead, keep.

XI.

Perchance thou'rt now—while I am writing— Feeling a bear's wet grinder biting About thy frozen spine! Or thou thyself art eating whale, Oily, and underdone, and stale, That, haply, cross'd thy line!

XII.

But I'll not dream such dreams of ill— Rather will I believe thee still Safe cellar'd in the snow,— Reciting many a gallant story, Of British kings and British glory, To crony Esquimaux—

XIII.

Cheering that dismal game where Night Makes one slow move from black to white Thro' all the tedious year,— Or smitten by some fond frost fair, That comb'd out crystals from her hair, Wooing a seal-skin dear!

XIV.

So much a long communion tends, As Byron says, to make us friends With what we daily view— God knows the daintiest taste may come To love a nose that's like a plum In marble, cold and blue!

XV.

To dote on hair, an oily fleece! As tho' it hung from Helen o' Greece— They say that love prevails Ev'n in the veriest polar land— And surely she may steal thy hand That used to steal thy nails!

XVI.

But ah, ere thou art fixed to marry, And take a polar Mrs. Parry, Think of a six months' gloom— Think of the wintry waste, and hers, Each furnish'd with a dozen furs, Think of thine icy dome!

XVII.

Think of the children born to blubber! Ah me! hast thou an Indian rubber Inside!—to hold a meal For months,—about a stone and half Of whale, and part of a sea calf— A fillet of salt veal!—

XVIII.

Some walrus ham—no trifle but A decent steak—a solid cut Of seal—no wafer slice! A reindeer's tongue and drink beside! Gallons of sperm—not rectified! And pails of water-ice!

XIX.

Oh, canst thou fast and then feast thus? Still come away, and teach to us Those blessed alternations— To-day to run our dinners fine, To feed on air and then to dine With Civic Corporations—

XX.

To save th' Old Bailey daily shilling, And then to take a half-year's filling In P.N.'s pious Row— When ask'd to Hock and haunch o' ven'son, Thro' something we have worn our pens on For Longman and his Co.

XXI.

O come and tell us what the Pole is— Whether it singular and sole is,— Or straight, or crooked bent,— If very thick or very thin,— Made of what wood—and if akin To those there be in Kent?

XXII.

There's Combe, there's Spurzheim, and there's Gall, Have talk'd of poles—yet, after all, What has the public learn'd? And Hunt's account must still defer,— He sought the poll at Westminster— And is not yet return'd!

XXIII.

Alvanly asks if whist, dear soul, Is play'd in snow-towns near the Pole, And how the fur-man deals? And Eldon doubts if it be true, That icy Chancellors really do Exist upon the seals!

XXIV.

Barrow, by well-fed office grates, Talks of his own bechristen'd Straits, And longs that he were there; And Croker, in his cabriolet, Sighs o'er his brown horse, at his Bay, And pants to cross the mer!

XXV.

O come away, and set us right, And, haply, throw a northern light On questions such as these:— Whether, when this drown'd world was lost. The surflux waves were lock'd in frost, And turned to Icy Seas!

XXVI.

Is Ursa Major white or black? Or do the Polar tribes attack Their neighbors—and what for? Whether they ever play at cuffs, And then, if they take off their muffs In pugilistic war?

XXVII.

Tells us, is Winter champion there, As in our milder fighting air? Say, what are Chilly loans? What cures they have for rheums beside, And if their hearts get ossified From eating bread of bones?

XXVIII.

Whether they are such dwarfs—the quicker To circulate the vital liquor,— And then, from head to heel— How short the Methodists must choose Their dumpy envoys not to lose Their toes in spite of zeal?

XXIX.

Whether 'twill soften or sublime it To preach of Hell in such a climate— Whether may Wesley hope To win their souls—or that old function Of seals—with the extreme of unction— Bespeaks them for the Pope?

XXX.

Whether the lamps will e'er be "learn'd" Where six months' "midnight oil" is burn'd Or Letters must confer With people that have never conn'd An A, B, C, but live beyond The Sound of Lancaster!

XXXI.

O come away at any rate— Well hast thou earn'd a downier state— With all thy hardy peers— Good lack, thou must be glad to smell dock, And rub thy feet with opodeldock, After such frosty years.

XXXII.

Mayhap, some gentle dame at last, Smit by the perils thou hast pass'd. However coy before, Shall bid thee now set up thy rest In that Brest Harbor, woman's breast, And tempt the Fates no more!



ODE TO W. KITCHENER, M.D.[25]

AUTHOR OF "THE COOK'S ORACLE," "OBSERVATIONS ON VOCAL MUSIC," "THE ART OF INVIGORATING AND PROLONGING LIFE," "PRACTICAL OBSERVATIONS ON TELESCOPES, OPERA-GLASSES, AND SPECTACLES," "THE HOUSEKEEPER'S LEDGER," AND "THE PLEASURE OF MAKING A WILL."

"I rule the roast, as Milton says! "—Caleb Quotem.

[Footnote 25: Hood, for obvious purposes, slightly departs from the true spelling of Dr. Kitchiner's name. He was an M. D. of Glasgow, who, having been left a handsome fortune by his father, abandoned the active practice of his profession, and devoted himself to science, notably to that of optics, as well as to gastronomy, being himself eminent as a gourmet. He was the author of a once famous Cookery Book, The Cook's Oracle; and an improved kitchen range still bears his name.]

Oh! multifarious man! Thou Wondrous, Admirable Kitchen Crichton! Born to enlighten The laws of Optics, Peptics, Music, Cooking— Master of the Piano—and the Pan— As busy with the kitchen as the skies! Now looking At some rich stew thro' Galileo's eyes,— Or boiling eggs—timed to a metronome— As much at home In spectacles as in mere isinglass— In the art of frying brown—as a digression On music and poetical expression, Whereas, how few of all our cooks, alas! Could tell Calliope from "Callipee!" How few there be Could leave the lowest for the highest stories, (Observatories,) And turn, like thee, Diana's calculator, However cook's synonymous with Kater! Alas! still let me say, How few could lay The carving knife beside the tuning fork, Like the proverbial Jack ready for any work!

II.

Oh, to behold thy features in thy book! Thy proper head and shoulders in a plate, How it would look! With one rais'd eye watching the dial's date, And one upon the roast, gently cast down— Thy chops—done nicely brown— The garnish'd brow—with "a few leaves of bay"— The hair—"done Wiggy's way!" And still one studious finger near thy brains, As if thou wert just come From editing some New soup—or hashing Dibdin's cold remains; Or, Orpheus-like,—fresh from thy dying strains Of music,—Epping luxuries of sound, As Milton says, "in many a bout Of linked sweetness long drawn out," Whilst all thy tame stuff'd leopards listen'd round!

III.

Oh, rather thy whole proper length reveal, Standing like Fortune,—on the jack—thy wheel. (Thou art, like Fortune, full of chops and changes, Thou hast a fillet too before thine eye!) Scanning our kitchen, and our vocal ranges, As tho' it were the same to sing or fry— Nay, so it is—hear how Miss Paton's throat Makes "fritters" of a note! And how Tom Cook (Fryer and Singer born By name and nature) oh! how night and morn He for the nicest public taste doth dish up The good things from that Pan of music, Bishop! And is not reading near akin to feeding, Or why should Oxford Sausages be fit Receptacles for wit? Or why should Cambridge put its little, smart, Minc'd brains into a Tart? Nay, then, thou wert but wise to frame receipts, Book-treats, Equally to instruct the Cook and cram her— Receipts to be devour'd, as well as read, The Culinary Art in gingerbread— The Kitchen's Eaten Grammar!

IV.

Oh, very pleasant is thy motley page— Aye, very pleasant in its chatty vein— So—in a kitchen—would have talk'd Montaigne, That merry Gascon—humorist, and sage! Let slender minds with single themes engage, Like Mr. Bowles with his eternal Pope,— Or Haydon on perpetual Haydon,—or Hume on "Twice three make four," Or Lovelass upon Wills,—Thou goest on Plaiting ten topics, like Tate Wilkinson! Thy brain is like a rich Kaleidoscope, Stuff'd with a brilliant medley of odd bits, And ever shifting on from change to change, Saucepans—old Songs—Pills—Spectacles—and Spits! Thy range is wider than a Rumford Range! Thy grasp a miracle!—till I recall Th' indubitable cause of thy variety— Thou art, of course, th' Epitome of all That spying—frying—singing—mix'd Society Of Scientific Friends, who used to meet Welch Rabbits—and thyself—in Warren Street!

V.

Oh, hast thou still those Conversazioni, Where learned visitors discoursed—and fed? There came Belzoni, Fresh from the ashes of Egyptian dead— And gentle Poki—and that Royal Pair, Of whom thou didst declare— "Thanks to the greatest Cooke we ever read— They were—what Sandwiches should be—half bred"! There fam'd M'Adam from his manual toil Relax'd—and freely own'd he took thy hints On "making Broth with Flints"— There Parry came, and show'd thee polar oil For melted butter—Combe with his medullary Notions about the Skullery, And Mr. Poole, too partial to a broil— There witty Rogers came, that punning elf! Who used to swear thy book Would really look A Delphic "Oracle," if laid on Delf— There, once a month, came Campbell and discuss'd His own—and thy own—"Magazine of Taste"— There Wilberforce the Just Came, in his old black suit, till once he trac'd Thy sly advice to Poachers of Black Folks, That "do not break their yolks"— Which huff'd him home, in grave disgust and haste!

VI.

There came John Clare, the poet, nor forbore Thy Patties—thou wert hand-and-glove with Moore, Who call'd thee "Kitchen Addison"—for why? Thou givest rules for Health and Peptic Pills, Forms for made dishes, and receipts for Wills, "Teaching us how to live and how to die!" There came thy Cousin-Cook, good Mrs. Fry— There Trench, the Thames Projector, first brought on His sine Quay non,— There Martin would drop in on Monday eves, Or Fridays, from the pens, and raise his breath 'Gainst cattle days and death,— Answer'd by Mellish, feeder of fat beeves, Who swore that Frenchmen never could be eager For fighting on soup meagre— "And yet, (as thou would'st add,) the French have seen A Marshall Tureen"!

VII.

Great was thy Evening Cluster!—often grac'd With Dollond—Burgess—and Sir Humphry Davy! 'Twas there M'Dermot first inclin'd to Taste,— There Colborn learn'd the art of making paste For puffs—and Accum analyzed a gravy. Colman—the Cutter of Coleman Street, 'tis said Came there,—and Parkins with his Ex-wise-head, (His claim to letters)—Kater, too, the Moon's Crony,—and Graham, lofty on balloons,— There Croly stalk'd with holy humor heated, Who wrote a light-horse play, which Yates completed— And Lady Morgan, that grinding organ, And Brasbridge telling anecdotes of spoons,— Madame Valbreque thrice honor'd thee, and came With great Rossini, his own bow and fiddle,— The Dibdins,—Tom, Charles, Frognall,—came with tuns Of poor old books, old puns! And even Irving spar'd a night from fame,— And talk'd—till thou didst stop him in the middle, To serve round Tewah-diddle!

VIII.

Then all the guests rose up, and sighed good-bye! So let them:—thou thyself art still a Host! Dibdin—Cornaro—Newton—Mrs. Fry! Mrs. Glasse, Mr. Spec!—Lovelass—and Weber, Matthews in Quot'em—Moore's fire-worshipping Gheber— Thrice-worthy Worthy, seem by thee engross'd! Howbeit the Peptic Cook still rules the roast, Potent to hush all ventriloquial snarling,— And ease the bosom pangs of indigestion! Thou art, sans question, The Corporation's love its Doctor Darling! Look at the Civic Palate—nay, the Bed Which set dear Mrs. Opie on supplying Illustrations of Lying! Ninety square feet of down from heel to head It measured, and I dread Was haunted by a terrible night Mare, A monstrous burthen on the corporation!— Look at the Bill of Fare for one day's share, Sea-turtles by the score—Oxen by droves, Geese, turkeys, by the flock—fishes and loaves Countless, as when the Lilliputian nation Was making up the huge man-mountain's ration!

IX.

Oh! worthy Doctor! surely thou hast driven The squatting Demon from great Garratt's breast— (His honor seems to rest!—) And what is thy reward?—Hath London given Thee public thanks for thy important service? Alas! not even The tokens it bestowed on Howe and Jervis!— Yet could I speak as Orators should speak Before the worshipful the Common Council (Utter my bold bad grammar and pronounce ill,) Thou should'st not miss thy Freedom, for a week, Richly engross'd on vellum:—Reason urges That he who rules our cookery—that he Who edits soups and gravies, ought to be A Citizen, where sauce can make a Burgess!



THE LAST MAN.

I.

'Twas in the year two thousand and one, A pleasant morning of May, I sat on the gallows-tree, all alone, A channting a merry lay,— To think how the pest had spared my life, To sing with the larks that day!

II.

When up the heath came a jolly knave, Like a scarecrow, all in rags: It made me crow to see his old duds All abroad in the wind, like flags;— So up he came to the timber's foot And pitch'd down his greasy bags.—

III.

Good Lord! how blythe the old beggar was! At pulling out his scraps,— The very sight of his broken orts Made a work in his wrinkled chaps: "Come down," says he, "you Newgate-bird, And have a taste of my snaps!"—

IV.

Then down the rope, like a tar from the mast, I slided, and by him stood: But I wish'd myself on the gallows again When I smelt that beggar's food,— A foul beef bone and a mouldy crust;— "Oh!" quoth he, "the heavens are good!"

V.

Then after this grace he cast him down: Says I, "You'll get sweeter air A pace or two off, on the windward side"— For the felons' bones lay there— But he only laugh'd at the empty skulls, And offer'd them part of his fare.

VI.

"I never harm'd them, and they won't harm me: Let the proud and the rich be cravens!" I did not like that strange beggar man, He look'd so up at the heavens— Anon he shook out his empty old poke;— "There's the crumbs," saith he, "for the ravens!"

VII.

It made me angry to see his face, It had such a jesting look; But while I made up my mind to speak, A small case-bottle he took: Quoth he, "Though I gather the green water-cress, My drink is not of the brook!"

VIII.

Full manners-like he tender'd the dram; Oh it came of a dainty cask! But, whenever it came to his turn to pull, "Your leave, good sir, I must ask; But I always wipe the brim with my sleeve, When a hangman sups at my flask!"

IX.

And then he laugh'd so loudly and long, The churl was quite out of breath; I thought the very Old One was come To mock me before my death, And wish'd I had buried the dead men's bones That were lying about the heath!

X

But the beggar gave me a jolly clap— "Come, let us pledge each other, For all the wide world is dead beside, And we are brother and brother— I've a yearning for thee in my heart, As if we had come of one mother."

XI.

"I've a yearning for thee in my heart That almost makes me weep, For as I pass'd from town to town The folks were all stone-asleep,— But when I saw thee sitting aloft, It made me both laugh and leap!"

XII.

Now a curse (I thought) be on his love, And a curse upon his mirth,— An it were not for that beggar man I'd be the King of the earth,— But I promis'd myself, an hour should come To make him rue his birth!—

XIII.

So down we sat and bons'd again Till the sun was in mid-sky, When, just as the gentle west-wind came, We hearken'd a dismal cry: "Up, up, on the tree," quoth the beggar man, "Till those horrible dogs go by!"

XIV.

And, lo! from the forest's far-off skirts, They came all yelling for gore, A hundred hounds pursuing at once, And a panting hart before, Till he sunk adown at the gallows' foot, And there his haunches they tore!

XV.

His haunches they tore, without a horn To tell when the chase was done; And there was not a single scarlet coat To flaunt it in the sun!— I turn'd, and look'd at the beggar man, And his tears dropt one by one!

XVI.

And with curses sore he chid at the hounds, Till the last dropt out of sight, Anon saith he, "Let's down again, And ramble for our delight, For the world's all free, and we may choose A right cozie barn for to-night!"

XVII.

With that, he set up his staff on end, And it fell with the point due West; So we far'd that way to a city great, Where the folks had died of the pest— It was fine to enter in house and hall, Wherever it liked me best!—

XVIII.

For the porters all were stiff and cold, And could not lift their heads; And when we came where their masters lay, The rats leapt out of the beds:— The grandest palaces in the land Were as free as workhouse sheds.

XIX.

But the beggar man made a mumping face, And knocked at every gate: It made me curse to hear how he whined, So our fellowship turn'd to hate, And I bade him walk the world by himself, For I scorn'd so humble a mate!

XX.

So he turn'd right and I turn'd left, As if we had never met; And I chose a fair stone house for myself, For the city was all to let; And for three brave holydays drank my fill Of the choicest that I could get.

XXI.

And because my jerking was coarse and worn, I got me a properer vest; It was purple velvet, stitch'd o'er with gold, And a shining star at the breast,— 'Twas enough to fetch old Joan from her grave To see me so purely drest!—

XXII.

But Joan was dead and under the mould, And every buxom lass; In vain I watch'd, at the window pane, For a Christian soul to pass;— But sheep and kine wander'd up the street, And brows'd on the new-come grass.—

XXIII.

When lo! I spied the old beggar man, And lustily he did sing!— His rags were lapp'd in a scarlet cloak, And a crown he had like a King; So he stept right up before my gate And danc'd me a saucy fling!

XXIV.

Heaven mend us all!—but, within my mind, I had kill'd him then and there; To see him lording so braggart-like That was born to his beggar's fare, And how he had stolen the royal crown His betters were meant to wear.

XXV.

But God forbid that a thief should die Without his share of the laws! So I nimbly whipt my tackle out, And soon tied up his claws,— I was judge, myself, and jury, and all, And solemnly tried the cause.

XXVI.

But the beggar man would not plead, but cried Like a babe without its corals, For he knew how hard it is apt to go When the law and a thief have quarrels, There was not a Christian soul alive To speak a word for his morals.

XXVII.

Oh, how gaily I doff'd my costly gear, And put on my work-day clothes;— I was tired of such a long Sunday life, And never was one of the sloths; But the beggar man grumbled a weary deal, And made many crooked mouths.

XXVIII.

So I haul'd him off to the gallows' foot. And blinded him in his bags; 'Twas a weary job to heave him up, For a doom'd man always lags; But by ten of the clock he was off his legs In the wind and airing his rags!

XXIX.

So there he hung, and there I stood The LAST MAN left alive, To have my own will of all the earth: Quoth I, now I shall thrive! But when was ever honey made With one bee in a hive!

XXX.

My conscience began to gnaw my heart Before the day was done, For other men's lives had all gone out, Like candles in the sun!— But it seem'd as if I had broke, at last, A thousand necks in one!

XXXI.

So I went and cut his body down To bury it decentlie;— God send there were any good soul alive To do the like by me! But the wild dogs came with terrible speed, And bay'd me up the tree!

XXXII.

My sight was like a drunkard's sight, And my head began to swim, To see their jaws all white with foam, Like the ravenous ocean-brim;— But when the wild dogs trotted away Their jaws were bloody and grim!

XXXIII.

Their jaws were bloody and grim, good Lord! But the beggar man, where was he?— There was nought of him but some ribbons of rags Below the gallows' tree!— I know the Devil, when I am dead, Will send his hounds for me!—

XXXIV.

I've buried my babies one by one, And dug the deep hole for Joan, And cover'd the faces of kith and kin, And felt the old churchyard stone Go cold to my heart, full many a time, But I never felt so lone!

XXXV.

For the lion and Adam were company, And the tiger him beguil'd; But the simple kine are foes to my life, And the household brutes are wild. If the veriest cur would lick my hand, I could love it like a child!

XXXVI.

And the beggar man's ghost besets my dreams, At night to make me madder,— And my wretched conscience, within my breast, Is like a stinging adder;— I sigh when I pass the gallows' foot, And look at the rope and ladder!—

XXXVII.

For hanging looks sweet,—but, alas! in vain, My desperate fancy begs,— I must turn my cup of sorrows quite up, And drink it to the dregs,— For there is not another man alive, In the world, to pull my legs!



FAITHLESS SALLY BROWN.[26]

[Footnote 26: These famous verses were first published as from an anonymous correspondent in the London Magazine. When Hood reprinted them, under his own name, in the first series of Whims and Oddities, he prefaced them with the following words:—

"I have never been vainer of any verses than of my part in the following Ballad. Dr. Watts, amongst evangelical nurses, has an enviable renown; and Campbell's Ballads enjoy a snug, genteel popularity. Sally Brown has been favored perhaps with as wide a patronage as the Moral Songs, though its circle may not have been of so select a class as the friends of 'Hohenlinden.' But I do not desire to see it amongst what are called Elegant Extracts. The lamented Emery, dressed as Tom Tug, sang it at his last mortal benefit at Covent Garden; and ever since it has been a great favorite with the watermen of Thames, who time their oars to it, as the wherrymen of Venice time theirs to the lines of Tasso. With the watermen it went naturally to Vauxhall, and over land to Sadler's Wells. The Guards—not the mail coach, but the Lifeguards—picked it out from a fluttering hundred of others, all going to one air, against the dead wall at Knightsbridge. Cheap printers of Shoe Lane and Cow Cross (all pirates!) disputed about the copyrights, and published their own editions; and in the meantime the authors, to have made bread of their song (it was poor old Homer's hard ancient case!), must have sung it about the streets. Such is the lot of Literature! the profits of 'Sally Brown' were divided by the Ballad Mongers;—it has cost, but has never brought me, a halfpenny."]

AN OLD BALLAD.

Young Ben he was a nice young man, A carpenter by trade; And he fell in love with Sally Brown, That was a lady's maid.

But as they fetch'd a walk one day, They met a press-gang crew; And Sally she did faint away, Whilst Ben he was brought to.

The Boatswain swore with wicked words, Enough to shock a saint. That though she did seem in a fit, 'Twas nothing but a feint.

"Come, girl," said he, "hold up your head, He'll be as good as me; For when your swain is in our boat, A boatswain he will be."

So when they'd made their game of her, And taken off her elf, She roused, and found she only was A coming to herself.

"And is he gone, and is he gone?" She cried, and wept outright: "Then I will to the water-side, And see him out of sight."

A waterman came up to her,— "Now, young woman," said he, "If you weep on so, you will make Eye-water in the sea."

"Alas! they've taken my beau, Ben, To sail with old Benbow"; And her woe began to run afresh, As if she'd said Gee woe!

Says he, "They've only taken him To the Tender-ship, you see";— "The Tender-ship," cried Sally Brown, What a hard-ship that must be!

"O! would I were a mermaid now, For then I'd follow him; But, oh! I'm not a fish-woman, And so I cannot swim.

"Alas! I was not born beneath 'The virgin and the scales,' So I must curse my cruel stars, And walk about in Wales,"

Now Ben had sail'd to many a place That's underneath the world; But in two years the ship came home, And all the sails were furl'd.

But when he call'd on Sally Brown, To see how she went on, He found she'd got another Ben, Whose Christian name was John.

"O Sally Brown, O Sally Brown, How could you serve me so, I've met with many a breeze before, But never such a blow!"

Then reading on his 'bacco box, He heaved a heavy sigh, And then began to eye his pipe, And then to pipe his eye.

And then he tried to sing "All's Well," But could not, though he tried; His head was turn'd, and so he chew'd His pigtail till he died.

His death, which happen'd in his berth, At forty-odd befell: They went and told the sexton, and The sexton toll'd the bell.



"AS IT FELL UPON A DAY."

Oh! what's befallen Bessy Brown, She stands so squalling in the street; She's let her pitcher tumble down, And all the water's at her feet!

The little school-boys stood about, And laugh'd to see her pumping, pumping; Now with a curtsey to the spout, And then upon her tiptoes jumping.

Long time she waited for her neighbors, To have their turns:—but she must lose The watery wages of her labors,— Except a little in her shoes!

Without a voice to tell her tale, And ugly transport in her face; All like a jugless nightingale, She thinks of her bereaved case.

At last she sobs—she cries—she screams! And pours her flood of sorrows out, From eyes and mouth, in mingled streams, Just like the lion on the spout.

For well poor Bessy knows her mother Must lose her tea, for water's lack, That Sukey burns—and baby-brother Must be dryrubb'd with huck-a-back!



THE STAG-EYED LADY.

A MOORISH TALE.

Scheherazade immediately began the following story.

I.

Ali Ben Ali (did you never read His wond'rous acts that chronicles relate,— How there was one in pity might exceed The Sack of Troy?) Magnificent he sate Upon the throne of greatness—great indeed! For those that he had under him were great— The horse he rode on, shod with silver nails, Was a Bashaw—Bashaws have horses' tails.

II.

Ali was cruel—a most cruel one! 'Tis rumored he had strangled his own mother— Howbeit such deeds of darkness he had done, 'Tis thought he would have slain his elder brother And sister too—but happily that none Did live within harm's length of one another, Else he had sent the Sun in all its blaze To endless night, and shorten'd the Moon's days.

III.

Despotic power, that mars a weak man's wit, And makes a bad man—absolutely bad, Made Ali wicked—to a fault:—'tis fit Monarchs should have some check-strings; but he had No curb upon his will—no, not a bit— Wherefore he did not reign well—and full glad His slaves had been to hang him—but they falter'd And let him live unhang'd—and still unalter'd,

IV.

Until he got a sage-bush of a beard, Wherein an Attic owl might roost—a trail Of bristly hair—that, honor'd and unshear'd, Grew downward like old women and cow's tail; Being a sign of age—some gray appear'd, Mingling with duskier brown its warnings pale; But yet, not so poetic as when Time Comes like Jack Frost, and whitens it in rime.

V.

Ben Ali took the hint, and much did vex His royal bosom that he had no son, No living child of the more noble sex, To stand in his Morocco shoes—not one To make a negro-pollard—or tread necks When he was gone—doom'd, when his days were done, To leave the very city of his fame Without an Ali to keep up his name.

VI.

Therefore he chose a lady for his love, Singling from out the herd one stag-eyed dear; So call'd, because her lustrous eyes, above All eyes, were dark, and timorous, and clear; Then, through his Muftis piously he strove, And drumm'd with proxy-prayers Mohammed's ear: Knowing a boy for certain must come of it, Or else he was not praying to his Profit.

VII.

Beer will grow mothery, and ladies fair Will grow like beer; so did that stag-eyed dame: Ben Ali, hoping for a son and heir, Boy'd up his hopes, and even chose a name Of mighty hero that his child should bear; He made so certain ere his chicken came:— But oh! all worldly wit is little worth, Nor knoweth what to-morrow will bring forth!

VIII.

To-morrow came, and with to-morrow's sun A little daughter to this world of sins,— Miss-fortunes never come alone—so one Brought on another, like a pair of twins: Twins! female twins!—it was enough to stun Their little wits and scare them from their skins To hear their father stamp, and curse, and swear, Pulling his beard because he had no heir.

IX.

Then strove their stag-eyed mother to calm down This his paternal rage, and thus addrest; "Oh! Most Serene! why dost thou stamp and frown, And box the compass of the royal chest?" "Ah! thou wilt mar that portly trunk, I own I love to gaze on!—Pr'ythee, thou hadst best Pocket thy fists. Nay, love, if you so thin Your beard, you'll want a wig upon your chin!"

X.

But not her words, nor e'en her tears, could slack The quicklime of his rage, that hotter grew: He call'd his slave to bring an ample sack Wherein a woman might be poked—a few Dark grimly men felt pity and look'd black At this sad order; but their slaveships knew When any dared demur, his sword so bending Cut off the "head and front of their offending."

XI.

For Ali had a sword, much like himself, A crooked blade, guilty of human gore— The trophies it had lopp'd from many an elf Were struck at his head-quarters by the score— Not yet in peace belaid it on the shelf, But jested with it, and his wit cut sore; So that (as they of Public Houses speak) He often did his dozen butts a week.

XII.

Therefore his slaves, with most obedient fears, Came with the sack the lady to enclose; In vain from her stag-eyes "the big round tears Coursed one another down her innocent nose"; In vain her tongue wept sorrow in their ears; Though there were some felt willing to oppose, Yet when their heads came in their heads, that minute, Though 'twas a piteous case, they put her in it.

XIII.

And when the sack was tied, some two or three Of these black undertakers slowly brought her To a kind of Moorish Serpentine; for she Was doom'd to have a winding sheet of water. Then farewell, earth—farewell to the green tree— Farewell, the sun—the moon—each little daughter! She's shot from off the shoulders of a black, Like bag of Wall's-End from a coalman's back.

XIV.

The waters oped, and the wide sack full-fill'd All that the waters oped, as down it fell; Then closed the wave, and then the surface rill'd A ring above her, like a water-knell; A moment more, and all its face was still'd, And not a guilty heave was left to tell That underneath its calm and blue transparence A dame lay drowned in her sack, like Clarence.

XV.

But Heaven beheld, and awful witness bore,— The moon in black eclipse deceased that night, Like Desdemona smother'd by the Moor— The lady's natal star with pale afright Fainted and fell—and what were stars before, Turn'd comets as the tale was brought to light; And all looked downward on the fatal wave, And made their own reflections on her grave.

XVI.

Next night, a head—a little lady head, Push'd through the waters a most glassy face, With weedy tresses, thrown apart and spread, Comb'd by 'live ivory, to show the space Of a pale forehead, and two eyes that shed A soft blue mist, breathing a bloomy grace Over their sleepy lids—and so she rais'd Her aqualine nose above the stream, and gazed.

XVII.

She oped her lips—lips of a gentle blush, So pale it seem'd near drowned to a white,— She oped her lips, and forth there sprang a gush Of music bubbling through the surface light; The leaves are motionless, the breezes hush To listen to the air—and through the night There come these words of a most plaintive ditty, Sobbing as they would break all hearts with pity:

THE WATER PERI'S SONG.

Farewell, farewell, to my mother's own daughter. The child that she wet-nursed is lapp'd in the wave; The Mussulman, coming to fish in this water, Adds a tear to the flood that weeps over her grave.

This sack is her coffin, this water's her bier, This grayish bath cloak is her funeral pall; And, stranger, O stranger! this song that you hear Is her epitaph, elegy, dirges, and all! Farewell, farewell, to the child of Al Hassan, My mother's own daughter—the last of her race— She's a corpse, the poor body! and lies in this basin, And sleeps in the water that washes her face.



THE IRISH SCHOOLMASTER.

I.

Alack! 'tis melancholy theme to think How Learning doth in rugged states abide, And, like her bashful owl, obscurely blink, In pensive glooms and corners, scarcely spied; Not, as in Founders' Halls and domes of pride, Served with grave homage, like a tragic queen, But with one lonely priest compell'd to hide, In midst of foggy moors and mosses green, In that clay cabin hight the College of Kilreen!

II.

This College looketh South and West alsoe, Because it hath a cast in windows twain; Crazy and crack'd they be, and wind doth blow Through transparent holes in every pane, Which Pan, with many paines, makes whole again With nether garments, which his thrift doth teach To stand for glass, like pronouns, and when rain Stormeth, he puts, "once more unto the breach," Outside and in, tho' broke, yet so he mendeth each.

III.

And in the midst a little door there is, Whereon a board that doth congratulate With painted letters, red as blood I wis, Thus written, "CHILDREN TAKEN IN TO BATE": And oft, indeed, the inward of that gate, Most ventriloque, doth utter tender squeak, And moans of infants that bemoan their fate, In midst of sounds of Latin, French, and Greek, Which, all i' the Irish tongue, he teacheth them to speak.

IV.

For some are meant to right illegal wrongs, And some for Doctors of Divinitie, Whom he doth teach to murder the dead tongues, And soe win academical degree; But some are bred for service of the sea, Howbeit, their store of learning is but small, For mickle waste he counteth it would be To stock a head with bookish wares at all, Only to be knock'd off by ruthless cannon-ball.

V.

Six babes he sways,—some little and some big, Divided into classes six; alsoe, He keeps a parlor boarder of a pig, That in the College fareth to and fro, And picketh up the urchins' crumbs below, And eke the learned rudiments they scan, And thus his A, B, C, doth wisely know,— Hereafter to be shown in caravan, And raise the wonderment of many a learned man.

VI.

Alsoe, he schools some tame familiar fowls, Whereof, above his head, some two or three Sit darkly squatting, like Minerva's owls, But on the branches of no living tree, And overlook the learned family; While, sometimes, Partlet, from her gloomy perch, Drops feather on the nose of Dominie, Meanwhile, with serious eye, he makes research In leaves of that sour tree of knowledge—now a birch.

VII.

No chair he hath, the awful Pedagogue, Such as would magisterial hams imbed, But sitteth lowly on a beechen log, Secure in high authority and dread: Large, as a dome for Learning, seems his head, And, like Apollo's, all beset with rays, Because his locks are so unkempt and red, And stand abroad in many several ways:— No laurel crown he wears, howbeit his cap is baize.

VIII.

And, underneath, a pair of shaggy brows O'erhang as many eyes of gizzard hue, That inward giblet of a fowl, which shows A mongrel tint, that is ne brown ne blue; His nose,—it is a coral to the view; Well nourish'd with Pierian Potheen,— For much he loves his native mountain dew;— But to depict the dye would lack, I ween, A bottle-red, in terms, as well as bottle-green.

IX.

As for his coat, 'tis such a jerkin short As Spenser had, ere he composed his Tales; But underneath he hath no vest, nor aught, So that the wind his airy breast assails; Below, he wears the nether garb of males, Of crimson plush, but non-plushed at the knee;— Thence further down the native red prevails, Of his own naked fleecy hosierie:— Two sandals, without soles, complete his cap-a-pie.

X.

Nathless, for dignity, he now doth lap His function in a magisterial gown, That shows more countries in it than a map,— Blue tinct, and red, and green, and russet brown, Besides some blots, standing for country-town; And eke some rents, for streams and rivers wide; But, sometimes, bashful when he looks adown, He turns the garment of the other side, Hopeful that so the holes may never be espied!

XI.

And soe he sits, amidst the little pack, That look for shady or for sunny noon, Within his visage, like an almanack,— His quiet smile foretelling gracious boon: But when his mouth droops down, like rainy moon, With horrid chill each little heart unwarms, Knowing that infant show'rs will follow soon, And with forebodings of near wrath and storms They sit, like timid hares, all trembling on their forms.

XII.

Ah! luckless wight, who cannot then repeat "Corduroy Colloquy,"—or "Ki, Kae, Kod,"— Full soon his tears shall make his turfy seat More sodden, tho' already made of sod, For Dan shall whip him with the word of God,— Severe by rule, and not by nature mild, He never spoils the child and spares the rod, But spoils the rod and never spares the child, And soe with holy rule deems he is reconcil'd.

XIII.

But, surely, the just sky will never wink At men who take delight in childish throe, And stripe the nether-urchin like a pink Or tender hyacinth, inscribed with woe; Such bloody Pedagogues, when they shall know, By useless birches, that forlorn recess, Which is no holiday, in Pit below, Will hell not seem design'd for their distress,— A melancholy place, that is all bottomlesse?

XIV.

Yet would the Muse not chide the wholesome use Of needful discipline, in due degree. Devoid of sway, what wrongs will time produce, Whene'er the twig untrained grows up a tree. This shall a Carder, that a Whiteboy be, Ferocious leaders of atrocious bands, And Learning's help be used for infamie, By lawless clerks, that, with their bloody hands, In murder'd English write Rock's murderous commands.

XV.

But ah! what shrilly cry doth now alarm The sooty fowls that dozed upon the beam, All sudden fluttering from the brandish'd arm, And cackling chorus with the human scream; Meanwhile, the scourge plies that unkindly seam In Phelim's brogues, which bares his naked skin, Like traitor gap in warlike fort, I deem, That falsely lets the fierce besieger in, Nor seeks the Pedagogue by other course to win.

XVI.

No parent dear he hath to heed his cries;— Alas! his parent dear is far aloof, And deep in Seven-Dial cellar lies, Killed by kind cudgel-play, or gin of proof, Or climbeth, catwise, on some London roof, Singing, perchance, a lay of Erin's Isle, Or, whilst he labors, weaves a fancy-woof, Dreaming he sees his home,—his Phelim smile;— Ah me! that luckless imp, who weepeth all the while!

XVII.

Ah! who can paint that hard and heavy time, When first the scholar lists in Learning's train, And mounts her rugged steep, enforc'd to climb, Like sooty imp, by sharp posterior pain, From bloody twig, and eke that Indian cane, Wherein, alas! no sugar'd juices dwell, For this, the while one stripling's sluices drain, Another weepeth over chilblains fell, Always upon the heel, yet never to be well!

XVIII.

Anon a third, for his delicious root, Late ravish'd from his tooth by elder chit, So soon is human violence afoot, So hardly is the harmless biter bit! Meanwhile, the tyrant, with untimely wit And mouthing face, derides the small one's moan, Who, all lamenting for his loss, doth sit, Alack,—mischance comes seldomtimes alone, But aye the worried dog must rue more curs than one.

XIX.

For lo! the Pedagogue, with sudden drub, Smites his scald-head, that is already sore,— Superfluous wound,—such is Misfortune's rub! Who straight makes answer with redoubled roar, And sheds salt tears twice faster than before, That still, with backward fist, he strives to dry; Washing, with brackish moisture, o'er and o'er, His muddy cheek, that grows more foul thereby, Till all his rainy face looks grim as rainy sky.

XX.

So Dan, by dint of noise, obtains a peace, And with his natural untender knack, By new distress, bids former grievance cease, Like tears dried up with rugged huckaback, That sets the mournful visage all awrack; Yet soon the childish countenance will shine Even as thorough storms the soonest slack, For grief and beef in adverse ways incline, This keeps, and that decays, when duly soak'd in brine.

XXI.

Now all is hushed, and, with a look profound, The Dominie lays ope the learned page; (So be it called) although he doth expound Without a book, both Greek and Latin sage; Now telleth he of Rome's rude infant age, How Romulus was bred in savage wood, By wet-nurse wolf, devoid of wolfish rage; And laid foundation-stone of walls of mud, But watered it, alas! with warm fraternal blood.

XXII.

Anon, he turns to that Homeric war, How Troy was sieged like Londonderry town; And stout Achilles, at his jaunting-car, Dragged mighty Hector with a bloody crown; And eke the bard, that sung of their renown, In garb of Greece, most beggar-like and torn, He paints, with colly, wand'ring up and down, Because, at once, in seven cities born; And so, of parish rights, was, all his days, forlorn.

XXIII.

Anon, through old Mythology he goes, Of Gods defunct, and all their pedigrees, But shuns their scandalous amours, and shows How Plato wise, and clear-ey'd Socrates, Confess'd not to those heathen hes and shes; But thro' the clouds of the Olympic cope Beheld St. Peter, with his holy keys, And own'd their love was naught, and bow'd to Pope, Whilst all their purblind race in Pagan mist did grope!

XXIV.

From such quaint themes he turns, at last, aside, To new philosophies, that still are green, And shows what railroads have been track'd, to guide The wheels of great political machine; If English corn should grow abroad, I ween, And gold be made of gold, or paper sheet; How many pigs be born to each spalpeen; And, ah! how man shall thrive beyond his meat,— With twenty souls alive, to one square sod of peat!

XXV.

Here, he makes end; and all the fry of youth, That stood around with serious look intense, Close up again their gaping eyes and mouth, Which they had opened to his eloquence, As if their hearing were a threefold sense. But now the current of his words is done, And whether any fruits shall spring from thence, In future time, with any mother's son, It is a thing, God wot! that can be told by none.

XXVI.

Now by the creeping shadows of the noon, The hour is come to lay aside their lore; The cheerful Pedagogue perceives it soon, And cries, "Begone!" unto the imps,—and four Snatch their two hats and struggle for the door, Like ardent spirits vented from a cask, All blithe and boisterous,—but leave two more, With Reading made Uneasy for a task, To weep, whilst all their mates in merry sunshine bask,

XXVII.

Like sportive Elfins, on the verdant sod, With tender moss so sleekly overgrown, That doth not hurt, but kiss, the sole unshod, So soothly kind is Erin to her own! And one, at Hare and Hound, plays all alone,— For Phelim's gone to tend his step-dame's cow; Ah! Phelim's step-dame is a canker'd crone! Whilst other twain play at an Irish row, And, with shillelah small, break one another's brow!

XXVIII.

But careful Dominie, with ceaseless thrift, Now changeth ferula for rural hoe; But, first of all, with tender hand doth shift His college gown, because of solar glow, And hangs it on a bush, to scare the crow: Meanwhile, he plants in earth the dappled bean, Or trains the young potatoes all a-row, Or plucks the fragrant leek for pottage green, With that crisp curly herb, call'd Kale in Aberdeen.

XXIX.

And so he wisely spends the fruitful hours, Linked each to each by labor, like a bee; Or rules in Learning's hall, or trims her bow'rs;— Would there were many more such wights as he, To sway each capital academie Of Cam and Isis; for, alack! at each There dwells, I wot, some dronish Dominie, That does no garden work, nor yet doth teach, But wears a floury head, and talks in flow'ry speech!



FAITHLESS NELLY GRAY.

A PATHETIC BALLAD.

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 devour'd 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!"

"O, 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 burthen 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!



BIANCA'S DREAM.

A VENETIAN STORY.

I.

Bianca!—fair Bianca!—who could dwell With safety on her dark and hazel gaze, Nor find there lurk'd in it a witching spell, Fatal to balmy nights and blessed days? The peaceful breath that made the bosom swell, She turn'd to gas, and set it in a blaze; Each eye of hers had Love's Eupyrion in it, That he could light his link at in a minute.

II.

So that, wherever in her charms she shone, A thousand breasts were kindled into flame; Maidens who cursed her looks forgot their own, And beaux were turn'd to flambeaux where she came; All hearts indeed were conquer'd but her own, Which none could ever temper down or tame: In short, to take our haberdasher's hints, She might have written over it,—"from Flints."

III.

She was, in truth, the wonder of her sex, At least in Venice—where with eyes of brown Tenderly languid, ladies seldom vex An amorous gentle with a needless frown; Where gondolas convey guitars by pecks, And Love at casements climbeth up and down, Whom for his tricks and custom in that kind, Some have considered a Venetian blind.

IV.

Howbeit, this difference was quickly taught, Amongst more youths who had this cruel jailer, To hapless Julio—all in vain he sought With each new moon his hatter and his tailor; In vain the richest padusoy he bought, And went in bran new beaver to assail her— As if to show that Love had made him smart All over—and not merely round his heart.

V.

In vain he labor'd thro' the sylvan park Bianca haunted in—that where she came, Her learned eyes in wandering might mark The twisted cypher of her maiden name, Wholesomely going thro' a course of bark: No one was touched or troubled by his flame, Except the Dryads, those old maids that grow In trees,—like wooden dolls in embryo.

VI.

In vain complaining elegies he writ, And taught his tuneful instrument to grieve, And sang in quavers how his heart was split, Constant beneath her lattice with each eve; She mock'd his wooing with her wicked wit, And slash'd his suit so that it matched his sleeve, Till he grew silent at the vesper star, And, quite despairing, hamstring'd his guitar.

VII.

Bianca's heart was coldly frosted o'er With snows unmelting—an eternal sheet, But his was red within him, like the core Of old Vesuvius, with perpetual heat; And oft he longed internally to pour His flames and glowing lava at her feet, But when his burnings he began to spout. She stopp'd his mouth, and put the crater out.

VIII.

Meanwhile he wasted in the eyes of men, So thin, he seem'd a sort of skeleton-key Suspended at death's door—so pale—and then He turn'd as nervous as an aspen tree; The life of man is three score years and ten, But he was perishing at twenty-three, For people truly said, as grief grew stronger, "It could not shorten his poor life—much longer."

IX.

For why, he neither slept, nor drank, nor fed, Nor relished any kind of mirth below; Fire in his heart, and frenzy in his head, Love had become his universal foe, Salt in his sugar—nightmare in his bed, At last, no wonder wretched Julio, A sorrow-ridden thing, in utter dearth Of hope,—made up his mind to cut her girth!

X.

For hapless lovers always died of old, Sooner than chew reflection's bitter cud; So Thisbe stuck herself, what time 'tis told, The tender-hearted mulberries wept blood; And so poor Sappho when her boy was cold, Drown'd her salt tear drops in a salter flood, Their fame still breathing, tho' their breath be past, For those old suitors lived beyond their last.

XI.

So Julio went to drown,—when life was dull, But took his corks, and merely had a bath; And once he pull'd a trigger at his skull, But merely broke a window in his wrath; And once, his hopeless being to annul, He tied a pack-thread to a beam of lath, A line so ample, 'twas a query whether 'Twas meant to be a halter or a tether.

XII.

Smile not in scorn, that Julio did not thrust His sorrows thro'—'tis horrible to die! And come down, with our little all of dust, That dun of all the duns to satisfy: To leave life's pleasant city as we must, In Death's most dreary spunging-house to lie, Where even all our personals must go To pay the debt of nature that we owe!

XIII.

So Julio liv'd:—'twas nothing but a pet He took at life—a momentary spite; Besides, he hoped that time would some day get The better of love's flame, howover bright; A thing that time has never compass'd yet, For love, we know, is an immortal light. Like that old fire, that, quite beyond a doubt, Was always in,—for none have found it out.

XIV.

Meanwhile, Bianca dream'd—'twas once when Night Along the darken'd plain began to creep, Like a young Hottentot, whose eyes are bright, Altho' in skin as sooty as a sweep: The flow'rs had shut their eyes—the zephyr light Was gone, for it had rock'd the leaves to sleep. And all the little birds had laid their heads Under their wings—sleeping in feather beds.

XV.

Lone in her chamber sate the dark-ey'd maid, By easy stages jaunting thro' her pray'rs, But list'ning side-long to a serenade, That robb'd the saints a little of their shares; For Julio underneath the lattice play'd His Deh Vieni, and such amorous airs, Born only underneath Italian skies, Where every fiddle has a Bridge of Sighs.

XVI.

Sweet was the tune—the words were even sweeter— Praising her eyes, her lips, her nose, her hair, With all the common tropes wherewith in metre The hackney poets overcharge their fair. Her shape was like Diana's, but completer; Her brow with Grecian Helen's might compare: Cupid, alas! was cruel Sagittarius, Julio—the weeping water-man Aquarius.

XVII.

Now, after listing to such laudings rare, 'Twas very natural indeed to go— What if she did postpone one little pray'r— To ask her mirror "if it was not so?" 'Twas a large mirror, none the worse for wear, Reflecting her at once from top to toe: And there she gazed upon that glossy track, That show'd her front face tho' it "gave her back."

XVIII.

And long her lovely eyes were held in thrall, By that dear page where first the woman reads: That Julio was no flatt'rer, none at all, She told herself—and then she told her beads; Meanwhile, the nerves insensibly let fall Two curtains fairer than the lily breeds; For Sleep had crept and kiss'd her unawares, Just at the half-way milestone of her pray'rs.

XIX.

Then like a drooping rose so bended she, Till her bow'd head upon her hand reposed; But still she plainly saw, or seem'd to see, That fair reflection, tho' her eyes were closed, A beauty-bright as it was wont to be, A portrait Fancy painted while she dozed: 'Tis very natural some people say, To dream of what we dwell on in the day.

XX.

Still shone her face—yet not, alas! the same, But 'gan some dreary touches to assume, And sadder thoughts, with sadder changes came— Her eyes resigned their light, her lips their bloom, Her teeth fell out, her tresses did the same, Her cheeks were tinged with bile, her eyes with rheum: There was a throbbing at her heart within, For, oh! there was a shooting in her chin.

XXI.

And lo! upon her sad desponding brow, The cruel trenches of besieging age, With seams, but most unseemly, 'gan to show Her place was booking for the seventh stage; And where her raven tresses used to flow, Some locks that Time had left her in his rage. And some mock ringlets, made her forehead shady, A compound (like our Psalms) of tete and braidy.

XXII.

Then for her shape—alas! how Saturn wrecks, And bends, and corkscrews all the frame about, Doubles the hams, and crooks the straightest necks, Draws in the nape, and pushes forth the snout, Makes backs and stomachs concave or convex: Witness those pensioners called In and Out, Who all day watching first and second rater, Quaintly unbend themselves—but grow no straighter.

XXIII.

So Time with fair Bianca dealt, and made Her shape a bow, that once was like an arrow; His iron hand upon her spine he laid, And twisted all awry her "winsome marrow." In truth it was a change!—she had obey'd The holy Pope before her chest grew narrow, But spectacles and palsy seem'd to make her Something between a Glassite and a Quaker.

XXIV.

Her grief and gall meanwhile were quite extreme, And she had ample reason for her trouble; For what sad maiden can endure to seem Set in for singleness, tho' growing double. The fancy madden'd her; but now the dream, Grown thin by getting bigger, like a bubble, Burst,—but still left some fragments of its size, That, like the soapsuds, smarted in her eyes.

XXV.

And here—just here—as she began to heed The real world, her clock chimed out its score; A clock it was of the Venetian breed, That cried the hour from one to twenty-four; The works moreover standing in some need Of workmanship, it struck some dozens more; A warning voice that clench'd Bianca's fears, Such strokes referring doubtless to her years.

XXVI.

At fifteen chimes she was but half a nun, By twenty she had quite renounced the veil; She thought of Julio just at twenty-one, And thirty made her very sad and pale, To paint that ruin where her charms would run; At forty all the maid began to fail, And thought no higher, as the late dream cross'd her, Of single blessedness, than single Gloster.

XXVII.

And so Bianca changed;—the next sweet even, With Julio in a black Venetian bark, Row'd slow and stealthily—the hour, eleven, Just sounding from the tow'r of old St. Mark; She sate with eyes turn'd quietly to heav'n, Perchance rejoicing in the grateful dark That veil'd her blushing cheek,—for Julio brought her Of course—to break the ice upon the water.

XXVIII.

But what a puzzle is one's serious mind To open;—oysters, when the ice is thick, Are not so difficult and disinclin'd; And Julio felt the declaration stick About his throat in a most awful kind; However, he contrived by bits to pick His trouble forth,—much like a rotten cork Grop'd from a long-necked bottle with a fork.

XXIX.

But love is still the quickest of all readers; And Julio spent besides those signs profuse That English telegraphs and foreign pleaders, In help of language, are so apt to use, Arms, shoulders, fingers, all were interceders, Nods, shrugs, and bends,—Bianca could not choose But soften to his suit with more facility, He told his story with so much agility.

XXX.

"Be thou my park, and I will be thy dear, (So he began at last to speak or quote;) Be thou my bark, and I thy gondolier, (For passion takes this figurative note;) Be thou my light, and I thy chandelier; Be thou my dove, and I will be thy cote: My lily be, and I will be thy river; Be thou my life—and I will be thy liver."

XXXI.

This, with more tender logic of the kind, He pour'd into her small and shell-like ear, That timidly against his lips inclin'd; Meanwhile her eyes glanced on the silver sphere That even now began to steal behind A dewy vapor, which was lingering near, Wherein the dull moon crept all dim and pale, Just like a virgin putting on the veil:—

XXXII.

Bidding adieu to all her sparks—the stars, That erst had woo'd and worshipp'd in her train, Saturn and Hesperus, and gallant Mars— Never to flirt with heavenly eyes again. Meanwhile, remindful of the convent bars, Bianca did not watch these signs in vain, But turn'd to Julio at the dark eclipse, With words, like verbal kisses, on her lips.

XXXIII.

He took the hint full speedily, and, back'd By love, and night, and the occasion's meetness, Bestow'd a something on her cheek that smack'd (Tho' quite in silence) of ambrosial sweetness; That made her think all other kisses lack'd Till then, but what she knew not, of completeness; Being used but sisterly salutes to feel, Insipid things—like sandwiches of veal.

XXXIV.

He took her hand, and soon she felt him wring The pretty fingers all instead of one; Anon his stealthy arm began to cling About her waist that had been clasp'd by none, Their dear confessions I forbear to sing, Since cold description would but be outrun; For bliss and Irish watches have the pow'r, In twenty minutes, to lose half an hour!



THE DEMON-SHIP.

'Twas off the Wash—the sun went down—the sea look'd black and grim, For stormy clouds, with murky fleece, were mustering at the brim; Titanic shades! enormous gloom!—as if the solid night Of Erebus rose suddenly to seize upon the light! It was a time for mariners to bear a wary eye With such a dark conspiracy between the sea and sky!

Down went my-helm—close reef'd—the tack held freely in my hand— With ballast snug—I put about, and scudded for the land. Loud hiss'd the sea beneath her lee—my little boat flew fast, But faster still the rushing storm came borne upon the blast. Lord! what a roaring hurricane beset the straining sail! What furious sleet, with level drift, and fierce assaults of hail!

What darksome caverns yawn'd before! what jagged steeps behind! Like battle-steeds, with foamy manes, wild tossing in the wind. Each after each sank down astern, exhausted in the chase, But where it sank another rose and galloped in its place; As black as night—they turned to white, and cast against the cloud A snowy sheet, as if each surge upturned a sailor's shroud:— Still flew my boat; alas! alas! her course was nearly run! Behold yon fatal billow rise—ten billows heap'd in one!

With fearful speed the dreary mass came rolling, rolling, fast, As if the scooping sea contain'd one only wave at last! Still on it came, with horrid roar, a swift pursuing grave; It seem'd as though some cloud had turned its hugeness to a wave! Its briny sleet began to beat beforehand in my face— I felt the rearward keel begin to climb its swelling base! I saw its alpine hoary head impending over mine! Another pulse—and down it rush'd—an avalanche of brine! Brief pause had I, on God to cry, or think of wife and home; The waters clos'd—and when I shriek'd, I shriek'd below the foam! Beyond that rush I have no hint of any after deed— For I was tossing on the waste, as senseless as a weed.

* * * * *

"Where am I? in the breathing world, or in the world of death?" With sharp and sudden pang I drew another birth of breath; My eyes drank in a doubtful light, my ears a doubtful sound— And was that ship a real ship whose tackle seem'd around? A moon, as if the earthly moon, was shining up aloft; But were those beams the very beams that I had seen so oft? A face, that mock'd the human face, before me watch'd alone; But were those eyes the eyes of man that look'd against my own?

Oh! never may the moon again disclose me such a sight As met my gaze, when first I look'd, on that accursed night! I've seen a thousand horrid shapes begot of fierce extremes Of fever; and most frightful things have haunted in my dreams— Hyenas—cats—blood-loving bats—and apes with hateful stare,— Pernicious snakes, and shaggy bulls—the lion, and she-bear— Strong enemies, with Judas looks, of treachery and spite— Detested features, hardly dimm'd and banish'd by the light! Pale-sheeted ghosts, with gory locks, upstarting from their tombs— All phantasies and images that flit in midnight glooms— Hags, goblins, demons, lemures, have made me all aghast,— But nothing like that GRIMLY ONE who stood beside the mast!

His cheek was black—his brow was black—his eyes and hair as dark; His hand was black, and where it touch'd, it left a sable mark; His throat was black, his vest the same, and when I look'd beneath, His breast was black—all, all, was black, except his grinning teeth. His sooty crew were like in hue, as black as Afric slaves! Oh, horror! e'en the ship was black that plough'd the inky waves!

"Alas!" I cried, "for love of truth and blessed mercy's sake, Where am I? in what dreadful ship? upon what dreadful lake?" "What shape is that, so very grim, and black as any coal? It is Mahound, the Evil One, and he has gain'd my soul! Oh, mother dear! my tender nurse! dear meadows that beguil'd My happy days, when I was yet a little sinless child,— My mother dear—my native fields, I never more shall see: I'm sailing in the Devil's Ship, upon the Devil's Sea!"

Loud laugh'd that SABLE MARINER, and loudly in return His sooty crew sent forth a laugh that rang from stem to stern— A dozen pair of grimly cheeks were crumpled on the nonce— As many sets of grinning teeth came shining out at once: A dozen gloomy shapes at once enjoy'd the merry fit, With shriek and yell, and oaths as well, like Demons of the Pit. They crow'd their fill, and then the Chief made answer for the whole;— "Our skins," said he, "are black, ye see, because we carry coal; You'll find your mother sure enough, and see your native fields— For this here ship has pick'd you up—the Mary Ann of Shields!"



TIM TURPIN.

A PATHETIC BALLAD.

Tim Turpin he was gravel blind, And ne'er had seen the skies: For Mature, when his head was made, Forgot to dot his eyes.

So, like a Christmas pedagogue, Poor Tim was forc'd to do— Look out for pupils, for he had A vacancy for two.

There's some have specs to help their sight Of objects dim and small: But Tim had specks within his eyes, And could not see at all.

Now Tim he woo'd a servant-maid, And took her to his arms; For he, like Pyramus, had cast A wall-eye on her charms.

By day she led him up and down Where'er he wished to jog, A happy wife, altho' she led The life of any dog.

But just when Tim had liv'd a month In honey with his wife, A surgeon ope'd his Milton eyes, Like oysters, with a knife.

But when his eyes were open'd thus, He wish'd them dark again: For when he look'd upon his wife, He saw her very plain.

Her face was bad, her figure worse, He couldn't bear to eat: For she was any thing but like A Grace before his meat.

Tim he was a feeling man: For when his sight was thick, It made him feel for every thing— But that was with a stick.

So with a cudgel in his hand— It was not light or slim— He knocked at his wife's head until It open'd unto him.

And when the corpse was stiff and cold, He took his slaughter'd spouse, And laid her in a heap with all The ashes of her house.

But like a wicked murderer, He lived in constant fear From day to day, and so he cut His throat from ear to ear.

The neighbors fetch'd a doctor in: Said he, this wound I dread Can hardly be sew'd up—his life Is hanging on a thread.

But when another week was gone, He gave him stronger hope— Instead of hanging on a thread, Of hanging on a rope.

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