[ocr errors]

If, after all, there should be some so blind

To their own good, this warning to despise,
Led by some tortuosity of mind,

Not to believe my verse and their own eyes,

66 the moral cannot find,"
I tell him, if a clergyman, he lies--
Should captains the remark, or critics, make,
They also lie too-under a mistake.

that they

[ocr errors]

CCIX. The public approbation I expect,

And beg they 'll take my word about the moral, Which I with their amusement will connect

(So children cutting teeth receive a coral); Meantime, they 'll doubtless please to recollect

My epical pretensions to the laurel : For fear some prudish readers should grow skittish, I 've bribed my grandmother's Review—the British.

ССХ. I sent it in a letter to the editor,

Who thank'd me duly by return of postI'm for a handsome article his creditor;

Yet, if my gentle Muse he please to roast,
And break a promise after having made it her,

Denying the receipt of what it cost,
And smear his page with gall instead of honey,
All I can say is—that he had the money.

I think that with this holy new alliance

I may insure the public, and defy
All other magazines of art or science,

Daily, or monthly, or three-monthly; I Have not essay'd to multiply their clients,

Because they tell me 't were in vain to try, And that the Edinburgh Review and Quarterly Treat a dissenting author very martyrly.

Non ego hoc ferrem calida juventa

Consule Planco," Horace said, and so
Say I, by which quotation there is meant a

Hint that some six or seven good years ago
(Long ere I dreamt of dating from the Brenta),

was most ready to return á blow, And would not brook at all this sort of thing In my hot youth-when George the Third was King.

But now, at thirty years, my hair is gray

(I wonder what it will be like at forty ? I thought of a peruke the other day),

My heart is not much greener; and, in short, I Have squander'd my whole summer while 't was May,

And feel no more the spirit to retort; I
Have spent my life, both interest and principal,
And deem not, what I deem'd, my soul invincible.

No moreno more-Oh! never more on me

The freshness of the heart can fall like dew,
Which out of all the lovely things we see

Extracts emotions beautiful and new,
Hived in our bosoms like the bag o' the bee :

Think'st thou the honey with those objects grew ? •
Alas ! 't was not in them, but in thy power,
To double even the sweetness of a flower.

[ocr errors]

No more—no more-Oh! never more, my heart,

Canst thou be my sole world, my universe !
Once all in all, but now a thing apart,

Thou canst not be my blessing or my curse ; The illusion 's gone for ever, and thou art

Insensible, I trust, but none the worse ; And in thy stead I 've got a deal of judgment, Though Heaven knows how it ever found a lodgment.

My days of love are over-me no more?

The charms of maid, wife, and still less of widow,
Can make the fool of which they made before-

In short I must not lead the life I did do :
The credulous hope of mutual minds is o'er,

The copious use of claret is forbid, too ;
So, for a good old gentlemanly vice,
I think I must take up with avariee.

CCXVII. Ambition was my idol, which was broken

Before the shrines of Sorrow and of Pleasure ; And the two last have left me many a token

O'er which reflection may be made at leisure : Now, like Friar Bacon's brazen head, I 've spoken, 6. Time is, time was, time 's past;

;" a chymic treasure Is glittering youth, which I have spent betimes My heart in passion, and my head on rhymes.

CCXVIII. What is the end of fame? 't is but to fill

A certain portion of uncertain paper ; Some liken it to climbing up a hill,

Whose summit, like all hills, is lost in vapour ; For this men write, speak, preach, and heroes kill,

And bards burn what they call their “ midnight taper," To have, when the original is dust, A name, a wretched picture, and worse bust.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

What are the hopes of man? old Egypt's king,

Cheops, erected the first pyramid
And largest, thinking it was just the thing


memory whole, and mummy But somebody or other, rummaging,

Burglariously broke his coffin's lid;
Let not a monument give you or me hopes,
Since not a pinch of dust remains of Cheops.

To keep

hid ;

But I, being fond of true philosophy,

Say very often to myself, “Alas!
All things that have been born were born to die,

And flesh (which Death mows down to hay) is grass ; You ’ve pass'd your youth not so unpleasantly,

And if you had it o'er again—'t would pass-
So thank your stars that matters are no worse,
And read your Bible, sir, and mind your purse."

But for the present, gentle reader ! and

Still gentler purchaser ! the bard—that 's I-
Must, with permission, shake you by the hand,

And so your humble servant, and good bye ! We meet again, if we should understand

Each other ; and if not, I shall not try Your patience further than by this short sample, 'T were well if others follow'd my example.

CCXXII. “ Go, little book, from this my

solitude !
I cast thee on the waters ; go thy ways !
And if, as I believe, thy vein be good,

The world will find thee after many days."
When Southey 's read, and Wordsworth understood,

I can't help putting in my claim to praise-
The four first rhymes are Southey's, every line ;
For God's sake, reader ! take them not for mine.


Note 1. Stanza v.

Brave men were living before Agamemnon.
«Vixere fortes ante Agamemnona," &c.-HORACE.

Note 2. Stanza xvii.

Save thine incomparable oil,» Macassar! “Description des vertus incomparables de l'huile de Macassar.”-See the devertisement.

Note 3. Stanza xlii.
Although Longinus tells us there is no hymn

Where the sublime soars forth on wings more ainple. See Longinus, Section 10, ίνα μή έν τι περί αυτήν πάθος φαίνεται, παθών δε σύνοδος.

Note 4. Stanza xliv.

They only add them all in an appendix. Fact. There is, or was, such an edition, with all the obnoxious epigrams of Martial placed by themselves at the end.

Note 5. Stanza ixxxvüi.

The bard I quote from does not sing amiss. Campbell's Gertrude of Wyoming, (I think) the opening of Canto II, but quote from memory.

Note 6. Stanza cxlviii.

Is it for this that General Count O'Reilly,

Who took Algiers, declares I used him vilely? Donna Julia here made a mistake. Count O'Reilly did not take Algiers--but Algiers very nearly took him; he and his army and fleet retreated with great loss, and not much credit, from before that city, in the year 17,

Note 7. Stanza ccxvi.

My days of love are over; me no more.

“Me nec foemina, nec puer
Jam, nec spes animi credula mutui;

Nec certare juvat mero,
Nec vincire novis tempora floribus.”




Oh ye ! who teach the ingenuous youth of nations,

Holland, France, England, Germany, or Spain, I pray ye flog them upon all occasions,

It mends their morals : never mind the pain : The best of mothers and of educations,

In Juan's case, were but employ'd in vain, Since in a way, that 's rather of the oddest, he Became divested of his native modesty.

Had he but been placed at a public school,

In the third form, or even in the fourth,
His daily task had kept his fancy cool,

At least had he been nurtured in the north.
Spain may prove an exception to the rule ;

But then exceptions always prove its worth :
A lad of sixteen causing a divorce
Puzzled his tutors very much, of course.

III. I can't


that it puzzles me at all, If all things be consider'd : first there was His lady mother, mathematical,

A never mind; his tutor, an old ass ;
A pretty woman—

—(that 's quite natural,
Or else the thing had hardly come to pass);
A husband rather old, not much in unity
With his young wife--a time, and opportunity.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Well-well, the world must turn upon its axis,

And all mankind turn with it, heads or tails, And live and die, make love, and pay our taxes,

And as the veering wind shifts, shift our sails ; The king commands us, and the doctor quacks us,

The priest instructs, and so our life exhales, A little breath, love, wine, ambition, fame, Fighting, devotion, dust-perhaps a name.

« VorigeDoorgaan »