Thomas Hood's Poetical Works (10)

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THE PROGRESS OF ART.


O HAPPY time!   Art's early days!
When o'er each deed, with sweet self-praise,
        Narcissus-like I hung!
When great Rembrandt but little seemed,
And such Old Masters all were deemed
        As nothing to the young!

Some scratchy strokes—abrupt and few,
So easily and swift I drew,
        Sufficed for my design;
My sketchy, superficial hand
Drew solids at a dash—and spanned
        A surface with a line.

Not long my eye was thus content,
But grew more critical—my bent
        Essayed a higher walk;
I copied leaden eyes in lead—
Rheumatic hands in white and red,
        And gouty feet—in chalk.

Anon my studious art for days
Kept making faces—happy phrase,
        For faces such as mine!
Accomplished in the details then,
I left the minor parts of men,
        And drew the form divine.

Old Gods and Heroes—Trojan—Greek,
Figures—long after the antique,
        Great Ajax justly feared;
Hectors, of whom at night I dreamt,
And Nestor, fringed enough to tempt
        Bird-nesters to his beard.

A Bacchus, leering on a bowl,
A Pallas that out-stared her owl,
        A Vulcan—very lame;
A Dian stuck about with stars,
With my right hand I murdered Mars—
        (One Williams did the same).

But tired of this dry work at last,
Crayon and chalk aside I cast,
        And gave my brush a drink!
Dipping—"as when a painter dips
In gloom of earthquake and eclipse,"—
        That is—in Indian ink.

Oh then, what black Mont Blancs arose,
Crested with soot, and not with snows:
        What clouds of dingy hue!
In spite of what the bard has penned,
I fear the distance did not "lend
        Enchantment to the view."

Not Radcliffe's brush did e'er design
Black Forests half so black as mine,
        Or lakes so like a pall;
The Chinese cake dispersed a ray
Of darkness, like the light of Day
        And Martin over all.

Yet urchin pride sustained me still,
I gazed on all with right good will,
        And spread the dingy tint;
"No holy Luke helped me to paint,
The devil surely, not a Saint,
        Had any finger in't!"

But colours came!—like morning light,
With gorgeous hues, displacing night,
        Or Spring's enlivened scene:
At once the sable shades withdrew;
My skies got very, very blue;
        My trees extremely green.

And washed by my cosmetic brush,
How Beauty's cheek began to blush;
        With lock of auburn stain—
(Not Goldsmith's Auburn)—nut-brown hair,
That made her loveliest of the fair;
        Not "loveliest of the plain!"

Her lips were of vermilion hue:
Love in her eyes, and Prussian blue,
        Set all my heart in flame!
A young Pygmalion, I adored
The maids I made—but time was stored
        With evil—and it came!

Perspective dawned—and soon I saw
My houses stand against its law;
        And "keeping" all unkept!
My beauties were no longer things
For love and fond imaginings;
        But horrors to be wept!

Ah! why did knowledge ope my eyes?
Why did I get more artist wise?
        It only serves to hint,
What grave defects and wants are mine;
That I'm no Hilton in design—
        In nature no De Wint!

Thrice happy time!—Art's early days!
When o'er each deed, with sweet self-praise,
        Narcissus-like I hung!
When great Rembrandt but little seemed,
And such Old Masters all were deemed
        As nothing to the young!


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ODE TO M. BRUNEL.


"Well said, old Mole! canst work i' the dark so fast? a worthy pioneer!"

HAMLET.


                         WELL!—Monsieur Brunel,
How prospers now thy mighty undertaking,
To join by a hollow way the Bankside friends
Of Rotherhithe, and Wapping,—
                         Never be stopping,
But poking, groping, in the dark keep making
An archway, underneath the Dabs and Gudgeons,
For Collier men and pitchy old Curmudgeons.
To cross the water in inverse proportion,
Walk under steam-boats under the keel's ridge.
To keep down all extortion,
And without sculls to diddle London Bridge!
In a fresh hunt, a new Great Bore to worry,
Thou didst to earth thy human terriers follow;
Hopeful at last from Middlesex to Surrey,
    To give us the "View hollow."
In short it was thy aim, right north and south,
To put a pipe into old Thames's mouth;
Alas! half-way thou hadst proceeded, when
Old Thames, through roof, not water-proof,
Came, like "a tide in the affairs of men;"
And with a mighty stormy kind of roar,
                         Reproachful of thy wrong,
                         Burst out in that old song
Of Incledon's, beginning "Cease, rude Bore"-
Sad is it, worthy of one's tears,
    Just when one seems the most successful,
To find one's self o'er head and ears
    In difficulties most distressful!
Other great speculations have been nursed,
    Till want of proceeds laid them on a shelf;
But thy concern was at the worst,
    When it began to liquidate itself!
But now Dame Fortune has her false face hidden,
And languishes thy Tunnel,—so to paint,
Under a slow incurable complaint,
                         Bed-ridden!
Why, when thus Thames—bed-bother'd —why repine!
Do try a spare bed at the Serpentine!
Yet let none think thee daz'd, or craz'd, or stupid;
    And sunk beneath thy own and Thames's craft;
Let them not style thee some Mechanic Cupid
    Pining and pouting o'er a broken shaft!
I'll tell thee with thy tunnel what to do;
Light up thy boxes, build a bin or two,
The wine does better that such water trades:
    Stick up a sign—the sign of the Bore's Head;
    I've drawn it ready for thee in black lead,
And make thy cellar subterrane,—Thy Shades?


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FOR THE NEW YEAR.


COME, fill up the Bowl, for if ever the glass
    Found a proper excuse or fit season.
For toasts to be honour'd, or pledges to pass,
    Sure, this hour brings an exquisite reason:
For hark! the last chime of the dial has ceased,
    And Old Time, who his leisure to cozen,
Had finish'd the Months, like the flasks at a feast,
    Is preparing to tap a fresh dozen!
                                        Hip! Hip! and Hurrah!

Then fill, all ye Happy and Free, unto whom
    The past Year has been pleasant and sunny;
Its months each as sweet as if made of the bloom
    Of the thyme whence the bee gathers honey—
Days usher'd by dew-drops, instead of the tears,
    May be wrung from some wretcheder cousin—
Then fill, and with gratitude join in the cheers
    That triumphantly hail a fresh dozen!
                                        Hip! Hip! and Hurrah!

And ye, who have met with Adversity's blast,
    And been bow'd to the earth by its fury;
To whom the Twelve Months, that have recently pass'd,
    Were as harsh as a prejudiced jury,—
Still, fill to the Future! and join in our chime,
    The regrets of remembrance to cozen,
And having obtained a New Trial of Time,
    Shout in hopes of a kindlier dozen!
                                        Hip! Hip! and Hurrah!


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A WATERLOO BALLAD.


To Waterloo, with sad ado,
    And many a sigh and groan,
Amongst the dead, came Patty Head,
    To look for Peter Stone.

"O prithee tell, good sentinel,
    If I shall find him here?
I'm come to weep upon his corse,
    My Ninety-Second dear!

"Into our town a sergeant came,
    With ribands all so fine,
A-flaunting in his cap—alas!
    His bow enlisted mine!

"They taught him how to turn his toes,
    And stand as stiff as starch;
I thought that it was love and May,
    But it was love and March!

"A sorry March indeed to leave
    The friends he might have kep',—
No March of Intellect it was,
    But quite a foolish step.

"O prithee tell, good sentinel,
    If hereabout he lies?
I want a corpse with reddish hair,
    And very sweet blue eyes."

Her sorrow on the sentinel
    Appear'd to deeply strike:—
"Walk in," he said, "among the dead,
    And pick out which you like."

And soon she picked out Peter Stone,
    Half turned into a corse;
A cannon was his bolster, and
    His mattrass was a horse.

"O Peter Stone, O Peter Stone,
    Lord, here has been a skrimmage!
What have they done to your poor breast
    That used to hold my image?"

"O Patty Head, O Patty Head,
    You're come to my last kissing;
Before I'm set in the Gazette
    As wounded, dead, and missing!

"Alas! a splinter of a shell
    Right in my stomach sticks;
French mortars don't agree so well
    With stomachs as French bricks.

"This very night a merry dance
    At Brussels was to be;—
Instead of opening a ball,
    A ball has open'd me.

"Its billet every bullet has,
    And well it does fulfil it;—
I wish mine hadn't come so straight.
    But been a 'crooked billet.'

"And then there came a cuirassier
    And cut me on the ches;—
He had no pity in his heart,
    For he had steel'd his breast.

"Next thing a lancer, with his lance,
    Began to thrust away;
I call'd for quarter, but, alas!
    It was not Quarter-day.

"He ran his spear right through my arm,
    Just here above the joint;—
O Patty dear, it was no joke,
    Although it had a point.

"With loss of blood I fainted off,
    As dead as women do—
But soon by charging over me,
    The Coldstream brought me to.

"With kicks and cuts, and balls and blows,
    I throb and ache all over;
I'm quite convinc'd the field of Mars
    Is not a field of clover!

"O why did I a soldier turn
    For any royal Guelph?
I might have been a Butcher, and
    In business for myself!

"O why did I the bounty take?
    (And here he gasp'd for breath)
My shillingsworth of 'list is nail'd
    Upon the door of death!

"Without a coffin I shall lie
    And sleep my sleep eternal:
Not ev'n a shell—my only chance
    Of being made a Kernel!

"O Patty dear, our wedding bells
    Will never ring at Chester!
Here I must lie in Honour's bed,
    That isn't worth a tester!

"Farewell, my regimental mates,
    With whom I used to dress!
My corps is changed, and I am now
    In quite another mess.

"Farewell, my Patty dear, I have
    No dying consolations,
Except, when I am dead, you'll go
    And see th' Illuminations."


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COCKLE v. CACKLE.


THOSE who much read advertisements and bills
    Must have seen puffs of Cockle's Pills,
        Call'd Anti-bilious—
Which some Physicians sneer at, supercilious,
But which we are assured, if timely taken,
        May save your liver and bacon;
Whether or not they really give one ease,
        I, who have never tried,
        Will not decide;
But no two things in union go like these—
Viz.—Quacks and Pills—save Ducks and Pease.
Now Mrs. W. was getting sallow,
Her lilies not of the white kind, but yellow,
And friends portended was preparing for
        A human Pâté Périgord;
She was, indeed, so very far from well,
Her Son, in filial fear, procured a box
Of those said pellets to resist Bile's shocks,
And—tho' upon the ear it strangely knocks—
To save her by a Cockle from a shell!
But Mrs. W., just like Macbeth,
Who very vehemently bids us "throw
Bark to the Bow-wows,"hated physic so,
It seem'd to share "the bitterness of Death:"
Rhubarb—Magnesia—Jalap, and the kind—
Senna—Steel—Assa-fœtida, and Squills—
Powder or Draught—but least her throat inclined
To give a course to Boluses or Pills;
No—not to save her life, in lung or lobe,
For all her lights' or all her liver's sake,
Would her convulsive thorax undertake,
Only one little uncelestial globe!
'Tis not to wonder at, in such a case,
If she put by the pill-box in a place
For linen rather than for drugs intended—
Yet for the credit of the pills let's say
        After they thus were stow'd away.
        Some of the linen mended;
But Mrs. W. by disease's dint,
Kept getting still more yellow in her tint,
When lo! her second son, like elder brother,
Marking the hue on the parental gills,
Brought a new charge of Anti-tumeric Pills,
To bleach the jaundiced visage of his Mother—
Who took them—in her cupboard—like the other.

        "Deeper and deeper, still," of course,
        The fatal colour daily grew in force;
Till daughter W. newly come from Rome,
Acting the self-same filial, pillial, part,
To cure Mamma, another dose brought home
Of Cockles;—not the Cockles of her heart!
        These going where the others went before,
        Of course she had a very pretty store,
And then—some hue of health her check adorning,
        The Medicine so good must be,
        They brought her dose on dose, when she
Gave to the up-stairs cupboard, "night and morning."
Till wanting room at last, for other stocks,
Out of the window one fine day she pitch'd
The pillage of each box, and quite enrich'd
The feed of Mister Burrell's hens and cocks,— 
        A little Barber of a by-gone day,
                        Over the way
Whose stock in trade, to keep the least of shops,
Was one great head of Kemble,—that is, John,
Staring in plaster, with a Brutus on,
And twenty little Bantam fowls—with crops,
Little Dame W. thought when through the sash
        She gave the physic wings,
        To find the very things
So good for bile, so bad for chicken rash,
For thoughtless cock, and unreflecting pullet!
But while they gather'd up the nauseous nubbies,
Each peck'd itself into a peck of troubles,
And brought the hand of Death upon its gullet.
They might as well have addled been, or ratted.
For long before the night—ah woe betide
The Pills! each suicidal Bantam died
                           Unfatted!

        Think of poor Burrell's shock,
Of Nature's debt to see his hens all payers,
And laid in death as Everlasting Layers.
With Bantam's small Ex-Emperor, the Cock,
In ruffled plumage and funereal hackle,
Giving, undone by Cockle, a last Cackle!
To see as stiff as stone, his un'live stock,
It really was enough to move his block.
Down on the floor he dash'd, with horror big.
Mr. Beh's third wife's mother's coachman's wig,
And with a tragic stare like his own Kemble,
Burst out with natural emphasis enough,
        And voice that grief made tremble,
Into that very speech of sad Macduff—
"What!—all my pretty chickens and their dam,
        At one fell swoop!—
        Just when I'd bought a coop
To see the poor lamented creatures cram!

        After a little of this mood,
        And brooding over the departed brood,
With razor he began to ope each craw,
Already turning black, as black as coals;
When lo! the undigested cause he saw—
        "Pison'd by goles! "

To Mrs. W.'s luck a contradiction,
Her window still stood open to conviction;
And by short course of circumstantial labour,
He fixed the guilt upon his adverse neighbour;—
Lord! how he rail'd at her: declaring now,
He'd bring an action ere next Term of Hilary.
Then, in another moment, swore a vow,
He'd make her do pill-penance in the pillory!
She, meanwhile distant from the dimmest dream
Of combating with guilt, yard-arm or arm-yard,
Lapp'd in a paradise of tea and cream;
When up ran Betty with a dismal scream—
"Here's Mr. Burrell, ma'am, with all his farm-yard!"
Straight in he came, unbowing and unbending,
        With all the warmth that iron and a barber
                        Can harbour;
To dress the head and front of her offending,
The fuming phial of his wrath uncorking;
In short, he made her pay him altogether,
In hard cash, very hard, for ev'ry feather,
Charging of course, each Bantam as a Dorking;
Nothing could move him, nothing make him supple,
So the sad dame unpocketing her loss,
Had nothing left but to sit hands across,
And see her poultry "going down ten couple."

Now birds by poison slain,
As venom'd dart from Indian's hollow cane,
Aye edible; and Mrs. W.'s thrift,—
She had a thrifty vein,—
Destined one pair for supper to make shift,—
Supper as usual at the hour of ten:
But ten o'clock arrived and quickly pass'd,
Eleven—twelve—and one o'clock at last,
Without a sign of supper even then!
At length the speed of cookery to quicken.
Betty was call'd, and with reluctant feet,
        Came up at a white heat—
"Well, never I see chicken like then chicken!
My saucepans, they have been a pretty white in 'em!
Enough to stew them, if it comes to that,
To flesh and bones, and perfect rags; but drat
Those Anti-biling Pills! there is no bile in 'em!"


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ODE ON A DISTANT PROSPECT OF CLAPHAM ACADEMY.

[No connection with any other ode.]


AH me! those old familiar bounds!
That classic house, those classic grounds
    My pensive thought recalls!
What tender urchins now confine,
What little captives now repine,
    Within yon irksome walls?

Ay, that's the very house!   I know
Its ugly windows, ten a-row!
    Its chimneys in the rear!
And there's the iron rod so high,
That drew the thunder from the sky
    And turn'd our table-beer!

There I was birch'd! there I was bred!
There like a little Adam fed
    From Learning's woeful tree!
The weary tasks I used to con!—
The hopeless leaves I wept upon!—
    Most fruitless leaves to me!—

The summon'd class!—the awful bow!—
I wonder who is master now
    And wholesome anguish sheds!
How many ushers now employs,
How many maids to see the boys
    Have nothing in their heads!

And Mrs. S——?—Doth she abet
(Like Pallas in the parlour) yet
    Some favour'd two or three,—
The little Crichtons of the hour,
Her muffin-medals that devour,
    And swill her prize—bohea?

Ay, there's the playground! there's the lime,
Beneath whose shade in summer's prime
    So wildly I have read!—
Who sits there now, and skims the cream
Of young Romance, and weaves a dream
    Of Love and Cottage-bread?

Who struts the Randall of the walk?
Who models tiny heads in chalk?
    Who scoops the light canoe?
What early genius buds apace?
Where's Poynter? Harris? Bowers? Chase?
    Hal Baylis? blithe Carew?

Alack! they're gone—a thousand ways!
And some are serving in "the Greys,"
    And some have perish'd young!—
Jack Harris weds his second wife;
Hal Baylis drives the wane of life;
    And blithe Carew—is hung!

Grave Bowers teaches A B C
To savages at Owhyee!
    Poor Chase is with the worms!—
All, all are gone—the olden breed!—
New crops of mushroon boys succeed,
    "And push us from our forms!"

Lo! where they scramble forth, and shout,
And leap, and skip, and mob about,
    At play where we have play'd!
Some hop, some run, (some fall,) some twine
Their crony arms; some in the shine,—
    And some are in the shade!

Lo there what mix'd conditions run!
The orphan lad; the widow's son;
    And Fortune's favour'd care—
The wealthy-born, for whom she hath
Mac-Adamised the future path—
    The Nabob's pamper'd heir!

Some brightly starr'd—some evil born,—
For honour some, and some for scorn,—
    For fair or foul renown!
Good, bad, indiff'rent—none may lack!
Look, here's a White, and there's a Black
    And there's a Creole brown!

Some laugh and sing, some mope and weep,
And wish their frugal sires would keep
    Their only sons at home;—
Some tease their future tense, and plan
The full-grown doings of the man,
    And plant for years to come!

A foolish wish!   There's one at hoop;
And four at fives! and five who stoop
    The marble taw to speed!
And one that curvets in and out,
Reining his fellow Cob about,—
    Would I were in his steed!

Yet he would glady halt and drop
That boyish harness off, to swop
    With this world's heavy van—
To toil, to tug.   O little fool!
While thou canst be a horse at school,
    To wish to be a man!

Perchance thou deem'st it were a thing
To wear a crown,—to be a king!
    And sleep on regal down!
Alas! thou know'st not kingly cares;
For happier is thy head that wears
    That hat without a crown!

And dost thou think that years acquire
New added joys?   Dost think thy sire
    More happy than his son?
That manhood's mirth?—Oh, go thy ways
To Drury-lane when——* plays,
    And see how forced our fun!

Thy taws are brave!—thy tops are rare!—
Our tops are spun with coils of care,
    Our dumps are no delight!—
The Elgin marbles are but tame,
And 'tis at best a sorry game
    To fly the Muse's kite!

Our hearts are dough, our heels are lead,
Our topmost joys fall dull and dead
    Like balls with no rebound!
And often with a faded eye
We look behind, and send a sigh
    Towards that merry ground!

Then be contented.   Thou hast got
The most of heaven in thy young lot;
    There's sky-blue in thy cup!
Thou'lt find thy Manhood all too fast—
Soon come, soon gone! and Age at last
    A sorry breaking-up!

* This blank exists in the original.


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PLAYING AT SOLDIERS.

"WHO'LL SERVE THE KING?"

AN ILLUSTRATION.


WHAT little urchin is there never
Hath had that early scarlet fever,
    Of martial trappings caught?
Trappings well call'd—because they trap
And catch full many a country chap
    To go where fields are fought!

What little urchin with a rag
Hath never made a little flag
    (Our plate will show the manner),
And wooed each tiny neighbour still,
Tommy or Harry, Dick or Will,
    To come beneath the banner!

Just like that ancient shape of mist,
In Hamlet, crying "'List, oh, 'list!"
    Come, who will serve the king,
And strike frog-eating Frenchmen dead,
And cut off Bonyparty's head?—
    And all that sort of thing.

So used I, when I was a boy,
To march with military toy,
    And ape the soldier's life;—
And with a whistle or a hum,
I thought myself a Duke of Drum
    At least, or Earl of Fife.

With gun of tin and sword of lath,
Lord! how I walk'd in glory's path
    With regimental mates,
By sound of trump and rub-a dubs—
To 'siege the washhouse—charge the tubs—
    Or storm the garden gates.

Ah me! my retrospective soul!
As over memory's muster-roll
    I cast my eyes anew,
My former comrades all the while
Rise up before me, rank and file,
    And form in dim review.

Ay, there they stand, and dress in line,
Lubbock, and Fenn, and David Vine,
    And dark "Jamacky Forde!"
And limping Wood, and "Cockey Hawes,"
Our captain always made, because
    He had a real sword!

Long Lawrence, Natty Smart, and Soame,
Who said he had a gun at home,
    But that was all a brag;
Ned Ryder, too, that used to sham
A prancing horse, and big Sam Lamb
    That would hold up the flag!

Tom Anderson, and "Dunny White,"
Who never right-abouted right,
    For he was deaf and dumb;
Jack Pike, Jem Crack, and Sandy Gray,
And Dickey Bird, that wouldn't play
    Unless he had the drum.

And Peter Holt, and Charley Jepp,
A chap that never kept the step—
    No more did "Surly Hugh;"
Bob Harrington, and "Fighting Jim"—
We often had to halt for him,
    To let him tie his shoe.

"Quarrelsome Scott," and Martin Dick,
That kill'd the bantam cock, to stick
    The plumes within his hat;
Bill Hook, and little Tommy Grout,
That got so thump'd for calling out
    "Eyes right!" to "Squinting Matt."

Dan Simpson, that, with Peter Dodd,
Was always in the awkward squad,
    And those two greedy Blakes
That took our money to the fair,
To buy the corps a trumpet there,
    And laid it out in cakes.

Where are they now?—an open war
With open mouth declaring for?—
    Or fall'n in bloody fray?
Compell'd to tell the truth I am,
Their fights all ended with the sham,—
    Their soldiership in play.

Brave Soame sends cheeses out in trucks,
And Martin sells the cock he plucks,
    And Jepp now deals in wine;
Harrington bears a lawyer's bag,
And warlike Lamb retains his flag,
    But on a tavern sign.

They tell me Cockey Hawes's sword
Is seen upon a broker's board:
    And as for "Fighting Jim,"
In Bishopsgate, last Whitsuntide,
His unresisting cheek I spied
    Beneath a quaker brim!

Quarrelsome Scott is in the church,
For Ryder now your eye must search
    The marts of silk and lace—
Bird's drums are filled with figs, and mute,
And I—I've got a substitute
    To Soldier in my place!


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"NAPOLEON'S MIDNIGHT REVIEW."

A NEW VERSION.


        IN his bed, bolt upright,
        In the dead of the night,
The French Emperor starts like a ghost!
        By a dream held in charm,
        He uplifts his right arm,
For he dreams of reviewing his host.

        To the stable he glides,
        For the charger he rides;
And he mounts him, still under the spell;
        Then, with echoing tramp,
        They proceed through the camp,
All intent on a task he loves well.

        Such a sight soon alarms,
        And the guards present arms,
As he glides to the posts that they keep;
        Then he gives the brief word,
        And the bugle is heard,
Like a hound giving tongue in its sleep.

        Next the drums they arouse,
        But with dull row-de-dows,
And they give but a somnolent sound;
        Whilst the foot and horse, both,
        Very slowly and loth,
Begin drowsily mustering round.

        To the right and left hand,
        They fall in, by command,
In a line that might better be dress'd;
        Whilst the steeds blink and nod,
        And the lancers think odd.
To be rous'd like the spears from their rest.

        With their mouths of wide shape,
        Mortars seem all agape,
Heavy guns look more heavy with sleep;
        And, whatever their bore,
        Seem to think it one more
In the night such a field day to keep.

        Then the arms, christened small,
        Fire no volley at all,
But go off, like the rest, in a doze,
        And the eagles, poor things,
        Tuck their heads 'neath their wings,
And the band ends in tunes through the nose.

        Till each pupil of Mars
        Takes a wink like the stars—
Open order no eye can obey:
        If the plumes in their heads
        Were the feathers of beds,
Never top could be sounder than they!

        So, just wishing good night,
        Bows Napoleon, polite;
But instead of a loyal endeavour
        To reply with a cheer;
        Not a sound met his ear,
Though each face seem'd to say "Nap for ever!"


________________

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QUEEN MAB.


A little fairy comes at night,
    Her eyes are blue, her hair is brown,
With silver spots upon her wings,
    And from the moon she flutters down.

She has a little silver wand,
    And when a good child goes to bed
She waves her wand from right to left,
    And makes a circle round its head.

And then it dreams of pleasant things,
    Of fountains filled with fairy fish,
And trees that bear delicious fruit,
    And bow their branches at a wish;

Of arbours filled with dainty scents
    From lovely flowers that never fade;
Bright flies that glitter in the sun,
    And glow-worms shining in the shade.

And talking birds with gifted tongues,
    For singing songs and telling tales,
And pretty dwarfs to show the way
    Through fairy hills and fairy dales.

But when a bad child goes to bed,
    From left to right she weaves her rings,
And then it dreams all through the night
    Of only ugly horrid things!

Then lions come with glaring eyes,
    And tigers growl, a dreadful noise,
And ogres draw their cruel knives,
    To shed the blood of girls and boys.

Then stormy waves rush on to drown,
    Or raging flames come scorching round,
Fierce dragons hover in the air,
    And serpents crawl along the ground.

Then wicked children wake and weep,
    And wish the long black gloom away;
But good ones love the dark, and find
    The night as pleasant as the day.


________________

[Top of page]

ODE TO DR. KITCHENER.


        YE Muses nine inspire
        And stir up my poetic fire;
        Teach my burning soul to speak
        With a bubble and a squeak!
Of Dr. Kitchener I fain would sing,
Till pots, and pans, and mighty kettles ring.

        O culinary sage!
(I do not mean the herb in use,
That always goes along with goose)
        How have I feasted on thy page:
        "When like a lobster boil'd the morn
        From black to red began to turn,"
Till midnight, when I went to bed,
And clapt my tewah-diddle on my head.

Who is there cannot tell,
Thou leadest a life of living well?
"What baron, or squire, or knight of the shire
Lives half so well as a holy Fry—er?"
In doing well thou must be reckon'd
The first,—and Mrs. Fry the second;
And twice Job,—for, in thy fev'rish toils,
Thou wast all over roasts—as well as boils.

Thou wast indeed no dunce,
To treat thy subjects and thyself at once;
Many a hungry poet eats
        His brains like thee,
        But few there be
Could live so long on their receipts
    What living soul or sinner
    Would slight thy invitation to a dinner,
Ought with the Danaides to dwell,
    Draw gravy in a cullender, and hear
    For ever in his ear
The pleasant tinkling of thy dinner bell.

        Immortal Kitchener! thy fame
        Shall keep itself when Time makes game
Of other men's—yea, it shall keep, all weathers,
And thou shalt be upheld by thy pen feathers.
Yea, by the sauce of Michael Kelly! 
        Thy name shall perish never,
        But be magnified for ever—
—By all whose eyes are bigger than their belly.

        Yea, till the world is done—
        —To a turn—and Time puts out the sun,
        Shall live the endless echo of thy name.
        But, as for thy more fleshy frame,
        Ah!   Death's carnivorous teeth will tittle
        Thee out of breath, and eat it for cold victual;
But still thy fame shall be among the nation
Preserved to the last course of generations.

Ah me, my soul is touch'd with sorrow!
    To think how flesh must pass away-
    So mutton, that is warm to-day,
Is cold, and turn'd to hashes, on the morrow!
    Farewell!   I would say more, but I
    Have other fish to fry.


________________

[Top of page]

THE CIGAR.


SOME sigh for this and that;
    My wishes don't go far;
The world may wag at will,
    So I have my cigar.

Some fret themselves to death
    With Whig and Tory jar,
I don't care which is in,
    So I have my cigar.

Sir John requests my vote, 
    And so does Mr. Marr;
I don't care how it goes
    So I have my cigar.

Some want a German row,
    Some wish a Russian war;
I care not—I'm at peace,
    So I have my cigar.

I never see the Post,
    I seldom read the Star;
The Globe I scarcely heed
    So I have my cigar.

They tell me that Bank Stock
    Is sunk much under par:
It's all the same to me,
    So I have my cigar.

Honours have come to men
    My juniors at the Bar;
No matter—I can wait,
    So I have my cigar.

Ambition frets me not;
    A cab or glory's car
Are just the same to me,
    So I have my cigar.

I worship no vain gods,
    But serve the household Lar;
I'm sure to be at home,
    So I have my cigar.

I do not seek for fame,
    A General with a scar
A private let me be,
    So I have my cigar.

To have my choice among
    The toys of life's bazaar,
The deuce may take them all
    So I have my cigar.

Some minds are often tost
    By tempests like a tar;
I always seem in port,
    So I have my cigar.

The ardent flame of love
    My bosom cannot char,
I smoke, but do not burn
    So I have my cigar.

They tell me Nancy Low
    Has married Mr. R.;
The jilt! but I can live,
    So I have my cigar.


________________


The End.

 

 



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