Page images
PDF
EPUB

The warrants that put in distresses

When rates have been owing too long, Should appear in poetical dresses,

Ere goods be sold off for a song.

Suppose that-Law making its choices

Of Bishop, Hawes, Rodwell, or CookeThey were all set as glees for four voices,

To sing all offenders to book ?

Our criminal code's as untender,

All prose in its legal dispatch, And no constables seize an offender

While pleasantly singing a catch.

They haul him along like a heifer,

And tell him, “My covey, you'll swing !" Not a hint that the wanton young zephyr

Will fan his shoe-soles with her wing.

The trial has nothing that's rosy

To soften the prisoner's pap, And Judge Park appears dreadfully prosy

While dooming to death in his cap.

Would culprits go into hysterics,

Their spirits more likely elope, If the jury consulted in lyrics,

The judge made a line of the rope ?

When men must be hung for a warning,

How sweet if the Law would incline In the place of the “ Eight in the Morning,”

To let them indulge in the Nine !

How pleasant if asked upon juries

By Muses, thus mild as the doves, In the place of the Fates and the Furies

That call us from home and our loves !

Our warfare is deadly and horrid,

Its bald bulletins are in prose,
And with gore made revoltingly florid,

Not tinted with couleur de rose.

How pleasant in army dispatches,

In reading of red battle-plains,
To alight on some pastoral snatches,

To sweeten the blood and the brains !

How sweet to be drawn for the Locals

By songs setting valor a-gog !
Or be pressed to turn tar by sea-vocals

Inviting—with “Nothing like Grog !"

To tenants but shortish at present,

When Michaelmas comes with its day, 0! a landlord's effusion were pleasant

That talked of the flowers in May !

How sweet if the bill that rehearses

The debt we've incurred in the year, But enriched, as a copy of verses,

The Gem, or a new Souvenir !

0! would that we copied from Turkey

In this little Isle of our own! For the times are so moody and murky,

We want a poetical tone!

TIIE FORLORN SIIEPIIERD'S COMPLAINT.

AN UNPUBLISHED POEM FROM SIDNEY.

It may be necessary to bespeak the indulgent consideration of the reader, for the appearance of the following curiosity in such a work. The truth is, the pages of the Comic Annual naturally present to me the most obvious means of making the Poem known; besides, as it were, offering personal security for my own belief in its authenticity. And, considering my literary credit as so pledged, I do not hesitate to affirm that I think the effusion in question may conficlently be referred to Sidney: and even-on the internal evidence of its pastoral character-to the Arcadia. The verses have never till now appeared in print. The lover of Old English Poctry would vainly hunt for it in any edition cxtant of the works of Sir Philip; and, probably, the family records and remains at Penshurst might be searched to as little purpose for a copy in MS. From the extreme quaintness of the original, which would have required the help of a glossary to render it generally intelligible, I have thought it advisable to translate many of the phrases into more current language; but scrupulously preserving the sense of the text. Enough of the peculiar style, however, still remains, to aid in forming a judgment of the author's ära. As for the apparent incongruity of the double vocation ascribed to the tuneful Swain in the Poem, besides abundant classical evidence that the Corydons of ancient times were often, also, heroes, or warriors, or adventurers, we have the positive contemporary testimony of modern travellers, that in those very pastures where

·

the scene is laid, it is at this day the practice to entrust the charge of the flocks to personages who have formerly been engaged in the same perilous career as the “Forlorn Shepherd." IIis lament, it will be seen, is full of regrets and stealing tears for the stirring times of Auld Lang Syne.

THE FORLORN SHEPIIERD'S COMPLAINT.

" VELL! Ilere I am-no Matter how it suits
A-keeping company vith them dumb Brutes,
Old Park vos no bad Judge-confound his vig!
Of vot vood break the Sperrit of a Prig !

“The Like of Me, to come to New Sow Wales
To go a-tagging arter Vethers' Tails,
And valk in Herbage as delights the Flock,
But stinks of Sweet Herbs vorser nor the Dock !

“ To get to sit this solitary Job
To Von whose Vork vos alvay in a Mob!
It's out of all our Lines, for sure I am
Jack Shepherd even never kep a Lamb!

"I arn't ashamed to say I sit and veep
To think of Seven Year of keepin Sheep,
The spooniest Beast in Nater, all to Sticks,
And not a Votch to take for all their Ticks !

"If I'd foreseed how Transports vould turn out
To only Baa! and Botanize about,
I'd quite as leaf have had the t'other Pull,
And come to Cotton as to all this Vool!

"Von only happy moment I have had
Since here I come to be a Farmer's Cad,
And then I cotched a vild Beast in a Snooze,
And picked her Pouch of three young Kangaroos !

"Vot chance have I to go to Race or Mill ?
Or show a sneaking Kindness for a Till;
And as for Vashings, on a hedge to dry,
I'd put the Natives' Linen in my Eye !

"If this whole Lot of Mutton I could scrag:
And find a Fence to turn it into Swag,
I'd give it all in Lonnon Streets to stand,
And if I had my pick, I'd say the Strand !

“But ven I goes, as maybe vonce I shall,
To my old Crib, to meet with Jack, and Sal,
I've been so gallows honest in this Place,
I shan't not like to show my sheepish Face.

“Its wery hard for nothing but a Box
Of Irish Blackguard to be keepin' Flocks,
'Mong naked Blacks, sich Savages to hus,
They've nayther got a Pocket nor a Pus.

“But folks may tell their Troubles till they're sick
To dumb brute Beasts—and so I'll cut my Stick !
And vot's the Use a Feller's Eyes to pipe
Vere one can't borrow any German's Vipe ?”

« PreviousContinue »