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My jaws with utter dread enclosed
The morsel I was munching,
And terror locked them up so tight,
My very teeth went crunching
All through my bread and tongue at once,
Like Sandwich made at lunching.
My hand, that held the tea-pot fast,
Stiffened, but yet unsteady,
Kept pouring, pouring, pouring o'er
The cup in one long eddy,
Till both my hose were marked with tea,
As they were marked already.
I felt my visage turn from red
To white—from cold to hot;
But it was nothing wonderful
My color changed, I wot,
For, like some variable silks,
I felt that I was shot.
And, looking forth with anxious eye,
From my snug upper story,
I saw our melancholy corps,
Going to beds all gory;
The pioneers seemed very loth
To axe their way to glory.
The captain marched as mourners march,
The ensign too seemed lagging,
And many more, although they were
No ensigns, took to flagging—
Like corpses in the Serpentine,
Methought they wanted dragging.
But while I watched, the thought of death
Came like a chilly gust,
And lo! I shut the window down,
With very little lust
To join so many marching men,
That soon might be March dust.
Quoth I, “Since Fate ordains it so,
Our foe the coast must land on;”—
I felt so warm beside the fire
I cared not to abandon;
Our hearths and homes are always things
That patriots make a stand on.
“The fools that fight abroad for home,”
Thought I, “may get a wrong one;
Let those that have no homes at all,
Go battle for a long one.”
The mirror here confirmed me this
Reflection, by a strong one.
For there, where I was wont to shave,
And deck me like Adonis,
There stood the leader of our foes,
With vultures for his cronies—
No Corsican, but Death himself,
The Bony of all Bonies.
A horrid sight it was, and sad
To see the grisly chap
Put on my crimson livery,
And then begin to clap
My helmet on—ah me! it felt
Like any felon's cap.
My plume seemed borrowed from a hearse,
An undertaker's crest;
My epaulettes like coffin-plates;
My belt so heavy pressed,
Four pipe-clay cross-roads seemed to lie
At once upon my breast.
My brazen breast-plate only lacked
A little heap of salt,
To make me like a corpse full dressed,
Preparing for the vault—
To set up what the Poet calls
My everlasting halt.
This funeral show inclined me quite
To peace :—and here I am I
While better lions go to war,
Enjoying with the lamb
A lengthened life, that might have been
A martial epigram.
THE FALL OF THE DEER.
[FROM AN old Ms.]
Now the loud Crye is up, and harke
The barkye Trees give back the Bark!
The House Wyfe heares the merrie rout,
And runnes—and lets the beere run out,
Leaving her Babes to weepe—for why?
She likes to heare the Deer Dogges crye,
And see the wild Stag how he stretches
The naturall Buck-skin of his Breeches,
Running like one of Human kind,
Dogged by fleet Bailiffes close behind—
As if he had not payde his Bill
For Wen’son, or was owing still
For his two Hornes, and soe did get
Over his Head and Ears in Debt;-
Wherefore he strives to paye his Waye
With his long Legges the while he maye;—
But he is chased, like Silver Dish,
As well as anye Hart may wish,
Except that one whose Heart doth beat
So faste it hasteneth his feet;-
And runninge soe, he holdeth Death
Four Feet from him—till his Breath
Faileth, and slacketh Pace at last,
From runninge slow he standeth faste,
With hornie Bayonettes at baye,
To baying Dogges around, and they
Pushing him sore, he pusheth sore,
And goreth them that seek his Gore—
Whatever Dogge his Horne doth rive
Is dead—as sure as he's alive
Soe that courageous Hart doth fight
With Fate, and calleth up his might,
And standeth stout that he maye fall
Bravelye, and be avenged of all,
Nor like a Craven yeeld his Breath
Under the Jawes of Dogges and Death !
A RISE AT THE FATHER OF ANGLING.
THE memory of Izaak Walton has hitherto floated down the stream of time without even a nibble at it; but, alas ! where is the long line so pure and even that does not come sooner or later to have a weak length detected in it 2 The severest critic of Moliere was an old woman; and now a censor of the same sex takes upon herself to tax the immortal work of our Piscator, with holding out an evil temptation to the rising generation. Instead of concurring in the general admiration of his fascinating pictures of fishing, she boldly asserts that the rod has been the spoiling of her child; and insists that in calling the Angler gentle and inoffensive, the Author was altogether wrong in his dubbing. To render her strictures more attractive, she has thrown them into a poetical form; having probably learned by experience that a rhyme at the end of a line is a very taking bait to the generality of readers. Hark! how she rates the meek Palmer, whom Winifred Jenkins would have called “an angle upon earth.”
TO MR. IZAAR WALTON, ATMR. MAJOR'S THE BOOKSELLER'S IN FLEET STREET.
Mr. Walton, it's harsh to say it, but as a Parent I can't help wishing
You'd been hung before you published your book, to set all the young people a fishing !
There's my Robert, the trouble I’ve had with him it surpasses a mortal's bearing,
And all through those devilish angling works—the Lord forgive me for swearing !
I thought he were took with the Morbus one day, I did, with his nasty angle