« VorigeDoorgaan »
Upon all legal objects of possession,
Which doubles what they think of the transgression.
As the tribunals show through many a session,
The heathens also, though with lesser latitude,
And take what kings call “ an imposing attitude ;" And for their rights connubial make a stand,
When their liege husbands treat them with ingratitude ; And as four wives must have quadruple claims, The Tigris hath its jealousies like Thames.
XII. Gulbeyaz was the fourth, and (as I said)
The favourite ; but what 's favour amongst four ?
Not only as a sin, but as a bore :
Will scarcely find philosophy for more ;
So styled according to the usual forms
To those sad hungry jacobins, the worms, Who on the very loftiest kings have dined,
His highness gazed upon Gulbeyaz' charms, Expecting all the welcome of a lover (A “ Highland welcome ” all the wide world over).
Kisses, sweet words, embraces, and all that
They are put on as easily as a hat,
Trimm'd either heads or hearts to decorate,
Of gentle feminine delight, and shown
Rather to hide what pleases inost unknown,
Of love, when seated on his loveliest throne,
If true, 't is no great lease of its own fire ;
Would like (I think) to trust all to desire, Which is but a precarious bond, in sooth,
And apt to be transferr’d to the first buyer At a sad discount : while your over chilly Women, on t' other hand, seem somewhat silly:
For so it seems to lovers swift or slow,
And see a sentimental passion glow,
In his monastic concubine of snow ;-
The “ tu " 's too much,—but let it stand--the verse
Requires it, that 's to say, the English rhyme, And not the pink of old hexameters;
But, after all, there 's neither tune nor time
And was thrust in to close the octave's chime :
I know not-it succeeded, and suecess
Than other articles of female dress.
They lie, we lie, all lie, but love no less : And no one virtue yet, except starvation, Could stop that worst of vices-propagation.
We leave this royal couple to repose ,
A bed is not a throne, and they may sleep, Whate'er their dreams be, if of joys or woes ;
Yet disappointed joys are woes as deep As man's clay mixture undergoes.
Our least of sorrows are such as we weep; 'T is the vile daily drop on drop which wears The soul out (like the stone) with petty cares.
XXI. A scolding wife, a sullen son, a bill
To pay, unpaid, protested or discounted At a per-centage ; a child cross, dog ill,
A favourite horse fallen lame just as he's mounted; A bad old woman making a worse will, Which leaves you minus of the cash you
counted As certain ;--these are paltry things, and yet I've rarely seen the man they did not fret.
Bills, beasts, and men, and no! not womankind ! With one good hearty curse I vent my gall,
And then my stoicism leaves nought behind Which it can either pain or evil call,
And I can give my whole soul up to mind; Though what is soul or mind, their birth or growth, Is more than I know-the deuce take them both.
As after reading Athanasius' curse,
I doubt if any now could make it worse
'T is so sententious, positive, and terse, And decorates the book of Common Prayer, As doth a rainbow the just clearing air.
XXIV. Gulbeyaz and her lord were sleeping, or
At least one of them—Oh the heavy night! When wicked wives who love some bachelor
Lie down in dudgeon to sigh for the light Of the gray morning, and look vainly for
Its twinkle through the lattice dusky quite, To toss, to tumble, doze, revive, and quake Lest their too lawful bed-fellow should wake.
Also beneath the canopy of beds
For rich men and their brides to lay their heads
Snow.” Well ! 't is all hap-hazard when one weds. Gulbeyaz was an empress, but had been Perhaps as wretched if a peasant's quean.
With all the damsels in their long array,
And, at the usual signal, ta’en their way
In the seraglio, where the ladies lay
The tyrant's wish, “ that mankind only had
My wish is quite as wide, but not so bad,
It being (not now, but only while a lad)
XXVIII. Oh enviable Briareus ! with thy hands
And heads, if thou hadst all things multiplied In such proportion !-But my
So let us back to Lilliput, and guide
At the given signal join’d to their array ;
Yet he could not at times keep by the way, (Although the consequences of such frisks
Are worse than the worst damages men pay
The galleries from room to room they walk’d,
By eunuchs flank'd; while at their head there stalk'd A dame who kept up discipline among
The female ranks, so that none stirr'd or talk'd
XXXI. Whether she was a “ mother," I know not, Or whether they were
"maids” who call'd her mother; But this is her seraglio title, got
I know not how, but good as any other ;
Her office was to keep aloof or smother
More easy by the absence of all men
And guards, and bolts, and walls, and now and then
Along the rest, contrived to keep this den
you ask such a question ?—but we will Continue. As I said, this goodly row
Of ladies of all countries at the will
Like water-lilies floating down a rill,
Like birds, or boys, or bedlamites broke loose,
When freed from bonds (which are of.no great use
Their guards being gone, and, as it were, a truce