Oldalképek
PDF

WILL WATERPROOF'S LYRICAL MONOLOGUE.

127

For, something duller than at first,

Nor wholly comfortable,
I sit, my empty glass reversed,

And thrumming on the table :

He looks not like the common breed

That with the napkin dally ;
I think he came like Ganymede,

From some delightful valley.
The Cock was of a larger egg

Than modern poultry drop, Stept forward on a firmer leg,

And cramm'd a plumper crop; Upon an ampler dunghill trod,

Crow'd lustier late and early, Sipt wine from silver, praising God,

And raked in golden barley.

Half fearful that, with self at strife,

I take myself to task ;
Lest of the fullness of my life

I leave an empty flask :
For I had hope, by something rare,

To prove myself a poet : But, while I plan and plan, my hair

Is gray before I know it.

A private life was all his joy,

Till in a court he saw
A something-pottle-bodied boy

That knuckled at the taw :
Hestoop’dand clutch'd him, fair and good,

Flew over roof and casement : His brothers of the weather stood

Stock-still for sheer amazement.

But he, by farmstead, thorpe and spire,

And follow'd with acclaims, A sign to many a staring shire

Came crowing over Thames. Right down by smoky Paul's they bore,

Till, where the street grows straiter, One fix'd for ever at the door, And one became head-waiter.

So fares it since the years began,

Till they be gather'd up ; The truth, that flies the flowing can,

Will haunt the vacant cup : And others' follies teach us not,

Nor much their wisdom teaches ; And most, of sterling worth, is what

Our own experience preaches. Ah, let the rusty theme alone !

We know not what we know. But for my pleasant hour, 'tis gone ;

'Tis gone, and let it go. 'Tis gone : a thousand such have slipt

Away from my embraces, And fall'n into the dusty crypt

Of darken’d forms and faces.

But whither would my fancy go ?

How out of place she makes The violet of a legend blow

Among the chops and steaks ! 'Tis but a steward of the can,

One shade more plump than common; As just and mere a serving-man

As any born of woman.
I ranged too high : what draws me down

Into the common day?
Is it the weight of that half-crown,

Which I shall have to pay ?

Go, therefore, thou ! thy betters went

Long since, and came no more ;
With peals of genial clamour sent

From many a tavern-door,
With twisted quirks and happy hits,

From misty men of letters;
The tavern-hours of mighty wits-

Thine elders and thy betters.
Hours, when the Poet's words and looks

Had yet their native glow : Nor yet the fear of little books

Had made him talk for show;

[blocks in formation]

I trow they did not part in scorn :

Lovers long-betroth'd were they : They too will wed the morrow morn :

God's blessing on the day!

But thou wilt never move from hence,

The sphere thy fate allots :
Thy latter days increased with pence

Go down among the pots :
Thou battenest by the greasy gleam

In haunts of hungry sinners,
Old boxes, larded with the steam

Of thirty thousand dinners. We fret, we fume, would shift our skins,

Would quarrel with our lot ;
Thy care is, under polish'd tins,

To serve the hot-and-hot ;
To come and go, and come again,

Returning like the pewit,
And watch'd by silent gentlemen,

That trifle with the cruet.

He does not love me for my birth,

Nor for my lands so broad and fair ; He loves me for my own true worth,

And that is well,' said Lady Clare.

In there came old Alice the nurse,
Said, “Who was this that went from

thee?'
'It was my cousin,' said Lady Clare,

• To-morrow he weds with me.'

Live long, ere from thy topmost head

The thick-set hazel dies ; Long, ere the hateful crow shall tread

The corners of thine eyes:

"O God be thank'd!' said Alice the

nurse, “That all comes round so just and fair : Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands,

And you are not the Lady Clare.'

[merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

THE CAPTAIN.

A LEGEND OF THE NAVY.

He that only rules by terror

Doeth grievous wrong.
Deep as Hell I count his error.

Let him hear my song.
Brave the Captain was : the seamen

Made a gallant crew,
Gallant sons of English freemen,

Sailors bold and true.
But they hated his oppression,

Stern he was and rash;
So for every light transgression

Doom'd them to the lash.
Day by day more harsh and cruel

Seem'd the Captain's mood.
Secret wrath like smother'd fuel

Burnt in each man's blood. Yet he hoped to purchase glory,

Hoped to make the name Of his vessel great in story,

Wheresoe'er he came. So they past by capes and islands, .

Many a harbour-mouth,
Sailing under palmy highlands

Far within the South.
On a day when they were going

O'er the lone expanse,
In the north, her canvas flowing,

Rose a ship of France.
Then the Captain's colour heighten'd,

Joyful came his speech :
But a cloudy gladness lighten'd

In the eyes of each. *Chase,' he said : the ship flew forward,

And the wind did blow;
Stately, lightly, went she Norward,

Till she neard the foe.
Then they look'd at him they hated,
Had what they desired :

Mute with folded arms they waited

Not a gun was fired.
But they heard the foeman's thunder

Roaring out their doom ;
All the air was torn in sunder,

Crashing went the boom, Spars were splinterd, decks were shat

ter'd, Bullets fell like rain; Over mast and deck were scatter'd

Blood and brains of men. Spars were splinter'd; decks were broken:

Every mother's son-
Down they dropt-no word was spoken-

Each beside his gun.
On the decks as they were lying,

Were their faces grim.
In their blood, as they lay dying,

Did they smile on him.
Those, in whom he had reliance

For his noble name,
With one smile of still defiance

Sold him unto shame.
Shame and wrath his heart confounded,

Pale he turn'd and red,
Till himself was deadly wounded

Falling on the dead.
Dismal error ! fearful slaughter !

Years have wander'd by,
Side by side beneath the water

Crew and Captain lie ;
There the sunlit ocean tosses

O'er them mouldering,
And the lonely seabird crosses

With one wast of the wing.

THE LORD OF BURLEIGH.

In her ear he whispers gaily,

If my heart by signs can tell, Maiden, I have watch'd thee daily,

And I think thou lov'st me well.'

« ElőzőTovább »