Page images

Better to bottom tarts and cheese cakes nice,

Better the roast meat from the fire to save, Better be twisted into caps for spice

Than thus be patched and cobbled in one's grave. 20

So York shall taste what Cloueto never knew,

So from our works sublimer fumes shall rise; While Nancy earns the praise to Shakespeare due,

For glorious puddings and immortal pies.


[ocr errors]

THYRSIS," when we parted, swore

Ere the spring he would return
Ah! what means yon violet flower!

And the bud that decks the thorn
'Twas the lark that upward sprung!
'Twas the nightingale that sung!


Idle notes ! untimely green!

Why this unavailing haste?
Western gales and skies serene

Speak not always winter past.
Cease, my doubts, my fears to move,
Spare the honor of my love.



IN Britain's isle, no matter where,

An ancient pile of building stands:

The Huntingdons and Hattons there

Employed the power of fairy hands


To raise the ceiling's fretted height,

Each panel in achievements clothing, Rich windows that exclude the light,

And passages that lead to nothing.


Full oft within the spacious walls,

When he had fifty winters o'er him, My grave Lord-Keeper led the brawlso;

The seals and ma'ces danced before him.

His bushy beard, and shoe-strings green,

His high-crowned hat, and satin doublet, Moved the stout heart of England's queen,

Though Pope and Spaniard could not trouble it.


[ocr errors]

What, in the very first beginning !

Shame of the versifying tribe!
Your history whither are you spinning ?

Can you do nothing but describe?


A house there is (and that's enough)

From whence one fatal morning issues A brace of warriors, not in buff,

But rustling in their silks and tissues.


[ocr errors]


The first came cap-a-pee from France,

Her conquering destiny fulfilling,

Whom meaner beauties eye askance,

And vainly ape her art of killing.


The other amazono kind heaven

Had armed with spirit, wit, and satire; But Cobhamo had the polish given,

And tipped her arrows with good-nature.

To celebrate her eyes, her air

Coarse panegyrics would but tease her; Melissa is her nom de guerre.

Alas, who would not wish to please her!

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

With bonnet blue and capuchine,o

And aprons long, they hid their armor; And veiled their weapons, bright and keen,

In pity to the country farmer.


Fame, in the shape of Mr. P-t,

(By this time all the parish know it,) Had told that thereabouts there lurked

A wicked imp they call a poet:


Who prowled the country far and near,

Bewitched the children of the peasants, Dried up the cows, and lamed the deer,

And sucked the eggs, and killed the pheasants.

My lady heard their joint petition,

Swore by her coronet and ermine,


She'd issue out her high commission

To rid the manor of such vermin.

The heroines undertook the task,

Through lanes unknown, o'er stiles they ventured, Rapped at the door, nor stayed to ask,

But bounce into the parlor entered.


The trembling family they daunt,

They flirt, they sing, they laugh, they tattle, Rummage his mother, pinch his aunt,

And up stairs in a whirlwind rattle:


Each hole and cupboard they explore,

Each creek and cranny of his chamber, Run hurry-scurry round the floor,

And o'er the bed and tester clamber;


Into the drawers and china pry,

Papers and books, a huge imbroglio! Under a tea-cup he might lie,

Or creased, like dogs-ears, in a folio.


On the first marching of the troops,

The Muses, hopeless of his pardon, Conveyed him underneath their hoops

To a small closet in the garden.

So rumor says: (who will, believe.)

But that they left the door ajar,


Where, safe and laughing in his sleeve,

He heard the distant din of war.

Short was his joy. He little knew

The power of magic was no fable Out of the window, whisk, they flew,

But left a spello upon the table.


The words too eager to unriddle,

The poet felt a strange disorder; Transparent bird-lime formed the middle,

And chains invisible the border.


So cunning was the apparatus,

The powerful pot-hooks did so move him, That, will he, nill he, to the great house

He went, as if the devil drove him.


Yet on his way (no sign of grace,

For folks in fear are apt to pray) To Phoebus he preferred his case,

And begged his aid that dreadful day.

The godhead would have backed his quarrel;

But with a blush, on recollection, Owned that his quiver and his laurel

'Gainst four such eyes were no protection.


The court was sate, the culprit there,

Forth from their gloomy mansions creeping,

« PreviousContinue »