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Now, Venus, pour your lustre o’er us!
Your would-be servant stands before us.
Hail, Corydon! let others blame
The fury of his fictioned flame;
I love to hear the beardless youth
Talking of constancy and truth ;
Swearing more darts are in his liver
Than ever gleamed in Cupid's quiver ;
And wondering at those hearts of stone,
Which never melted like his own.
Oh! when I look on Fashion's moth,
Wrapt in his visions, and his cloth,
I would not, for a nation's gold,
Disturb the dream, or spoil the fold !
And who the maid whose gilded chain
Hath bound the heart of such a swain ?
Ah! look on those surrounding Graces !
There is no lack of pretty faces;
M- 1, the Goddess of the night,
Looks beautiful with all her might;
And M- , in that simple dress,
Enthralls us more, by studying less ;
D--, in your becoming pride,
Ye march to conquest side by side,
And A— , thou fleetest by,
Bright in thine arch simplicity;
Slight are the links thy power hath wreathed,
Yet, by the tone thy voice hath breathed,
By thy glad smile, and ringlets curled,
I would not break them for the world!
But this is idle ! Paying court
I know was never yet my forte;
And all I say of Nymph and Queen,
To cut it short, can only mean,
That when I throw my gaze around,
I see much beauty on the ground.
Hark! hark! a mellow'd note
Over the water seem'd to float!
Hark! the note repeated !
A sweet, and soft, and soothing strain
Echoed, and died, and rose again,
As if the Nymphs of Fairy reign
Were holding to-night their revel rout,
And pouring their fragrant voices out,
On the blue waters seated.
Hark to the tremulous tones that flow,
And the voice of the boatmen as they row!
Cheerfully to the heart they go,
And touch a thousand pleasant strings
Of Triumph, and Pride, and Hope, and Joy,
And thoughts that are only known to Boy,
And young Imaginings!
The note is near, the Voice comes clear,
And we catch its Echo on the ear
With a feeling of delight;
And as the gladdening sounds we hear,
There's many an eager listener here,
And many a straining sight.
One moment,—and ye see Where, fluttering quick, as the breezes blow, Backwards and forwards, to and fro, Bright with the beam of retiring day, Old Eton's flag on its watery way
Moves on triumphantly ; But what, that ancient poets have told Of Amphitrite's Car of Gold, With the Nymphs behind, and the Nymphs
before, And the Nereid's song, and the Triton's roar,
Could equal half the pride
That herald's the Monarch's plashing oar
Over the swelling tide ?
And look !—they land, those gallant crews,
With their jackets light, and their bellying
And Ashley walks, applauded, by,
With a world's talent in his eye;
And Kinglake, dear to Poetry,
And dearer to his friends;
Hibernian Roberts, you are there,
With that unthinking, merry stare,
· Which still its influence lends
To make us drown our Devils blue,
In laughing at ourselves—and you !
Still I could lengthen out the tale,
And sing Sir Thomas with his ale,
To all that like to read;
Still I could choose to linger long,
Where Friendship bids the willing song
Flow out for honest Meade!
Yet, e'en on this triumphant day,
One thought of grief will rise;
And though I bid my fancy play,
And jest and laugh through all the lay,
Yet sadness still will have its way,
And burst the vain disguise !
Yes! when the pageant shall have past,
I shall have look”d upon my last;
I shall not e'er behold again
Our pullers' unremitted strain;
Nor listen to the charming cry
Of contest or of victory,
That speaks what those young bosoms feel,
As keel is pressing fast on keel;
Oh! bright these glories still shall be,
But they shall never dawn for me.
E’en when a Realm's Congratulation
Sang Pæans for the Coronation ;
Amidst the pleasure that was round me,
A melancholy Spirit found me;
And while all else were singing “ Io !"
I couldn't speak a word but “Heighi hc!”
And so, instead of laughing gaily,
I dropped a tear, and wrote my “VALE.”
ETON! the Monarch of thy prayers
E’en now receives his load of cares;
Throned in the consecrated choir,
He takes the sceptre of his sire,
And wears the crown his father bore,
And swears the oath his father swore;
And therefore sounds of joy resound,
Fair Eton, on thy classic ground.
A gladder gale is round thee breathed,
And on thy mansions thou hast wreathed
A thousand lamps, whose various hue
Waits but the night to burst to view;
Woe to the poets that refuse
To wake and woo their idle Muse,
When those glad notes—“God save the King,”
From hill, and vale, and hamlet ring!
Hark, how the loved, inspiring tune
Peals forth from every loyal loon
Who loves his country, and excels
In drinking beer, or ringing bells !
It is a day of shouts and greeting,
A day of idleness and eating;
And triumph swells in every soul,
And mighty beeves are roasted whole;
And ale, unbought, is set a-running,
And Pleasure's hymn grows rather stunning;
And children roll upon the green,
And cry—“Confusion to the Queen !”