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Unknown to me the stocks are falling;

Unwatched by me the glass may fall; Let all the world pursue its calling,–

I'm not at home if people call.

(1829.)

THE FANCY BALL.

A visor for a visor! what care I
What curious eye doth quote deformities ?'

Shakspeare.

“You used to talk,” said Miss Mac Call,

“Of flowers, and flames, and Cupid; But now you never talk at all;

You're getting vastly stupid.
You'd better burn your Blackstone, Sir,

You never will get through it ;
There's a Fancy Ball at Winchester,

Do let us take you to it.”

I made that night a solemn vow,

To startle all beholders ;
I wore white muslin on my brow,

Green velvet on my shoulders;
My trowsers were supremely wide,

I learned to swear “by Allah !" I stuck a poniard by my side,

And called myself “Abdallah !"

Oh! a Fancy Ball's a strange affair,

Made up of silks and leathers, Light heads, light heels, false hearts, false hair,

Pins, paint, and ostrich-feathers;

The dullest Duke in all the town

To-day may shine a droll one;
And rakes, who have not half a crown,

Look royal in a whole one.

Go, call the lawyer from his pleas,

The school-boy from his Latin;
Be stoics here in ecstacies,

And savages in satin ;
Let young and old forego-forget

Their labor and their sorrow,
And none--except the Cabinet-

Take counsel for the morrow.

Begone, dull care! This life of ours

Is very dark and chilly; We'll sleep through all its serious hours,

And laugh through all its silly. Be mine such motley scene as this,

Where, by established usance, Miss Gravity is quite amiss,

And Madam Sense a nuisance !

Hail, blest Confusion! here are met

All tongues, and times, and faces ; The Lancers flirt with Juliet,

The Brahmin talks of races ; And where's your genius, bright Corinne ?

And where your brogue, Sir Lucius ? And, Chinca Ti, you have not seen

One chapter of Confucius.

Lo! dandies from Kamtschatka flirt

With beauties from the Wrekin; And belles from Berne look very pert

On Mandarins from Pekin; The Cardinal is here from Rome,

The Commandant from Seville, And Hamlet's father from the tomb,

And Faustus from the Devil.

O sweet Anne Page !—those dancing eyes

Have peril in their splendor ! “O sweet Anne Page !”—80 Slender sighs,

And what am I, but slender ?
Alas! when next your spells engage

So fond and starved a sinner,
My pretty Page, be Shakspeare's Page,

And ask the fool to dinner!

What mean those laughing Nuns, I pray,

What mean they, Nun or Fairy ?
I guess they told no beads to-day,

And sang no Ave Mary;
From Mass and Matins, Priest and Pix,

Barred door, and window grated,
I wish all pretty Catholics

Were thus emancipated.

Four Seasons come to dance quadrilles

With four well-seasoned sailors; And Raleigh talks of railroad bills

With Timon, prince of railers;

I find Sir Charles, of Aubyn Park,

Equipped for a walk to Mecca; And I run away from Joan of Arc,

To romp with sad Rebecca.

Fair Cleopatra's very plain,

Puck halts, and Ariel swaggers ; And Cæsar's murdered o’er again,

Though not by Roman daggers; Great Charlemagne is four feet high,

Sad stuff has Bacon spoken, Queen Mary's waist is all awry,

And Psyche's nose is broken.

Our happiest bride,—how very odd!

Is the mourning Isabella ;
And the heaviest foot that ever trod

Is the foot of Cinderella;
Here sad Calista laughs outright,

There Yorick looks most grave, Sir,
And a Templar waves the cross to-night,

Who never crossed the wave, Sir.

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