« PreviousContinue »
Jocus took Comus' rosy crown,
And gaily wore the prize ;
As thrice he strove to rise.
Then Cupid sought the myrtle grove,
Where Venus did recline,
They join'd to rail at wine.
And Comus, loudly cursing wit,
Roll’d off to some retreat,
In fat unwieldy state.
Bacchus and Jocus still behind,
For one fresh glass prepare ;
And vow to be sincere.
But part in time, whoever hear
This our instructive song ;
They can't continue long.*
[Dr. Parnell's version of this sportive song is executed with a vernacular air of graceful ease, that translation very rarely has put on; and we are accordingly made acquainted by Dr. Johnson, that The latter part is purely Parnell's: of whose compositions the same critic happily said — It is impossible to determine whether they are
the productions of Nature, so excellent as not to want the help of • Art, or of Art so refined as to resemble Nature.']
• On both sides slaughter and gigantic deeds.'
God prosper long from being broke
The Luck* of Eden-Hall ;
There lately did befal.
To chase the spleen with cup and can
Duke Philip took his way,
The like of such a day.
The stout and ever-thirsty duke
A vow to God did make,
Three live-long nights to take.
Sir Musgrave too of Martindale,
A true and worthy knight,
In drinking to delight. * A pint bumper at sir Christopher Musgrave's. See G. Mag. for 1791. The bumpers swiftly pass about,
Six in a hand went round ;
They made the hall resound.
Now when these merry tidings reach'd
The earl of Harold's ears ;
Thus slighted by my peers ?
Saddle my steed, bring forth my boots,
I'll be with them right quick; And, master sheriff, come you too ; • We'll know this scurvy trick.'
.Lo! yonder doth earl Harold come;'
(Did one at table say ;) Tis well,' replied the mettled duke, "How will he get away?'
When thus the earl began ; 'Great duke,
• I'll know how this did chance, • Without inviting me, sure this
• You did not learn in France.
• One of us two, for this offence,
• Under the board shall lie ; • I know thee well, a duke thou art,
So, some years hence, shall I.
• But, trust me, Wharton, pity 't were,
So much good wine to spill, As these companions here may drink, - Ere they have had their fill.
• Let thou and I, in bumpers full,
"This grand affair decide :' Accurs'd be he (duke Wharton said) ‘By whom it is denied.'
To Andrews, and to Hotham fair,
Many a pint went round; And many a gallant gentleman
Lay sick upon the ground.
When, at the last, the duke espied
He had the earl secure ;
Which laid him on the floor.
Who never spoke more words than these,
After he downward sunk,
Duke Wharton sees me drunk.'
Then, with a groan, duke Philip took
The sick man by the joint, And said, Earl Harold, 'stead of thee,
· Would I had drunk the pint.
'Alack! my very heart doth bleed,
• And doth within me sink; ' For surely a more sober earl
' Did never swallow drink.'
With that the sheriff, in a rage,
To see the earl so smit,
Upon renown'd sir Kit.
Then step'd a gallant 'squire forth,
Of visage thin and pale, Lloyd was his name, and of Gang-Hall,
Fast by the river Swale.
Who said he would not have it told,
Where Eden river ran,
So, sheriff, I'm your man.'
Now when these tidings reach'd the room,
Where the duke lay in bed ; How that the 'squire suddenly
Upon the floor was laid :
O heavy tidings ! (quoth the duke)
• Cumberland witness be, • I have not any toper more,
Of such account as he.'
Like tidings to earl Thanet came,
Within as short a space, How that the under-sheriff too
Was fallen from his place.
• Now God be with him (said the earl)
Sith 'twill no better be, I trust I have within my town, *As drunken knights as he.'
Of all the number that were there,
Sir Bains he scorn’d to yield ; But with a bumper in his hand,
He stagger'd o'er the field.