Page images
PDF

But when a man tells horrid lies,
You shouldn't talk about his eyes.”
Madam! you'll think it rather odd
That, while I bow me to the rod,
And make no shadow of defence,
I still persist in my offence;
And great and small may join to blame
The echo of the Hoaxer's fame;
But be it known to great and small,-
I can't write sermons at a ball.

'Tis Alfred fills the public prints With all the sly, ingenious hints That fly about, begirt with cares, And terrify the Bulls and Bears. Unrivallid statesman! War and peace He makes and breaks with perfect ease; Skilful to crown and to depose, He sets up kings and overthrows; As if apprentic'd to the work, He ties the bowstring round the Turk, Or makes the Algerine devout, Or plagues His Holiness with gout, Or drives the Spaniards from Madrid As quick as Bonaparte did. Sometimes at home his plots he lays, And wildly still his fancy plays. He pulls the Speaker from the Chair, Murders the Sheriffs, or the Mayor,

Or drags a Bishop through the mire,
Or sets the Theatres on fire,
Or brings the weavers to subjection,
Or prates of mobs and insurrection.
One dash of his creative pen
Can raise a hundred thousand men ;
They march ! he wills, and myriads fall;
One dash annihilates them all!

And now, amid that female rout,
What scandal doth he buzz about ?
What grand affair or mighty name
Entrusts he to the gossip Fame?
Uncheck’d, unstay'd, he hurries on
With wondrous stories of the Ton;
Describes how London ladies lose
Their heads in helmets, like the Blues;
And how the highest circles meet
To dance with pattens on their feet !
And all the while he tells his lie
With such a solemn gravity,
That many a Miss parades the room,
Dreaming about a casque and plume;
And vows it grievously must tire one
To waltz upon a pump of iron.

Jacques, the Cantab! I see him brood, Wrapt in his mental solitude, On thoughts that lie too deep, I wis, For such a scene and hour as this.

Now shall the rivers freeze in May,
Coquettes be silent at the play;
Old men shall dine without a story,
And mobs be civil to a Tory!
All miracles shall well befall,
When Youth is thoughtful at a ball.

From thoughts that grieve, and words that

vex, And names invented to perplex; From latent findings, never found; And mystic figures, square and round; Shapes from whose labyrinthine toil A Dædalus might well recoil ; He steals one night—one single night, And gives its moments to delight. Yet still upon his struggling soul The muddy wave of Cam will roll, And all the monsters grim, that float Upon that dark and mirky moat, Come jabbering round him-dark equation, Subtle distinction, disputation; Notion, idea, mystic schism, Assumption, proof, and syllogism; And many an old and awful name Of optic or mechanic fame. Look! in the van stern Euclid shows The Asses' Bridge upon his nose; Bacon comes forward, sage austere, And Locke and Paley both are there;

And Newton, with a spiteful hiss,
Points to his “de Principiis.
Yet often, with his magic wand,
Doth Mirth dispel that hideous band;
And then, in strange confusion lost,
The mind of Jacques is tempest-tost.
By turns, around it come and flee
The dulce, and the utile ;
By turns, as Thought or Pleasure wills,
Quadratics struggle with Quadrilles ;
And figures sour, and figures sweet,
Of problems—and of dances-meet;
Bisections fight with “ down the middles,"
And chords of arcs with chords of fiddles ;
Vain are the poor musician's graces;
His bass gives way to given bases;
His studied trill to shapely trine;
His mellowed shake to puzzling sine;
Each forming set recalls a vision
Of some enchanting proposition,
And merry · Chassez-croisès huit"
Is little more than Q. E. D.
Ah! Stoic youth! before his eye
Bright beauties walk unheeded by;
And while his distant fancy strays
Remote through Algebraic maze,
He sees, in whatsoe’er he views,
The very object he pursues,
And fairest forms, from heel to head,
Seem crooked as his x and z.

Peace to the man of marble !

Hush! Whence is the universal rush ? Why doth confusion thus affright The peaceful order of the night, Thwart the musicians in their task, And check the schoolboy's pas de basque ? The Lady Clare hath lost a comb! If old Queen Bess, from out her tomb, Had burst with royal indignation Upon our scandalous flirtation,Darted a glance immensely chilling Upon our waltzing and quadrilling,– Flown at the fiddlers in a pet, And bade them play her minuet,Her stately step, and angry eye, Her waist so low, her neck so high, Her habit of inspiring fear, Her knack of boxing on the ear,Could ne'er have made the people stare, Like the lost comb of Lady Clare! The tresses it was wont to bind, Joy in their freedom! unconfined They float around her, and bedeck The marble whiteness of her neck With veil of more resplendent hue Than ever Aphrodite threw Around her, when, unseen, she trod Before the sight of man or God.

« PreviousContinue »