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And over their tea, and muffins, and crumpets,
Circulate many a scandalous word,
And whisper tales they could only have heard
Through some such Diabolical Trumpets !
No sun — no moon!
No morn — no noon —
No dawn — no dusk — no proper time of day-
No sky — no earthly view
No distance looking blue —
No road — no street — no “t’other side the way”—
No end to any Row —
No indications where the Crescents go —
No top to any steeple —
No recognitions of familiar people —
No courtesies for showing 'em —
No knowing 'em!
No travelling at all — no locomotion,
No inkling of the way — no notion —
“No go"— by land or ocean —
No mail — no post –
No news from any foreign coast -
No park — no ring — no afternoon gentility -
No company — no nobility —
No warmth, no cheerfulness, no healthful ease,
No comfortable feel in any member —
No shade, no shine, no butterflies, no bees,
No fruits, no flowers, no leaves, no birds,
ALACK! 't is melancholy theme to think
How Learning doth in rugged states abide,
And, like her bashful owl, obscurely blink,
In pensive glooms and corners, scarcely spied;
Not, as in Founders' Halls and domes of pride,
Served with grave homage, like a tragic queen,
But with one lonely priest compelled to hide,
In midst of foggy moors and mosses green,
In that clay cabin hight the College of Kilreen!
This college looketh South and West alsoe,
Because it hath a cast in windows twain ;
Craży and cracked they be, and wind doth blow
Thorough transparent holes in every pane,
Which Dan, with many paines, makes whole again
With nether garments, which his thrift doth teach
To stand for glass, like pronouns, and when rain
Stormeth, he puts, “once more unto the breach,” Outside and in, though broke, yet so he mendeth each.
And in the midst a little door there is,
Whereon a board that doth congratulate
With painted letters, red as blood I wis,
Thus written, “Children taken in to Bate;"
And oft, indeed, the inward of that gate,
Most ventriloque, doth utter tender squeak,
And moans of infants that bemoan their fate
In midst of sounds of Latin, French, and Greek, Which, all i' the Irish tongue, he teacheth them to speak.
For some are meant to right illegal wrongs,
And some for Doctors of Divinitie,
Whom he doth teach to murder the dead tongues
And soe win academical degree ;
But some are bred for service of the sea,
Howbeit, their store of learning is but small,
For mickle waste he counteth it would be
To stock a head with bookish wares at all,
Only to be knocked off by ruthless cannon-ball.
Six babes he sways, — some little and some big
Divided into classes six ; — alsoe,
He keeps a parlor boarder of a pig,
That in the college fareth to and fro,
And picketh up the urchins' crumbs below,-
And eke the learned rudiments they scan,
And thus his A, B, C, doth wisely know,—
Hereafter to be shown in caravan,
And raise the wonderment of many a learned man.
Alsoe, he schools some tame familiar fowls,
Whereof, above his head, some two or three
Sit darkly squatting, like Minerva's owls,
But on the branches of no living tree,
And overlook the learned family;
While, sometimes, Partlet, from her gloomy perch,
Drops feather on the nose of Dominie,
Meanwhile, with serious eye, he makes research
In leaves of that sour tree of knowledge — now a birch.
No chair he hath, the awful pedagogue,
Such as would magisterial hams imbed,
But sitteth lowly on a beechen log,
Secure in high authority and dread:
Large, as a dome for learning, seems his head
And like Apollo's, all beset with rays,
Because his locks are so unkempt and red,
And stand abroad in many several ways: —
No laurel crown he wears, howbeit his cap is baize,
And, underneath, a pair of shaggy brows
O’erhang as many eyes of gizzard hue,
That inward giblet of a fowl, which shows
A mongrel tint, that is ne brow ne blue;
His nose, – it is a coral to the view;
Well nourished with Pierian potheen,
For much he loves his native mountain dew; -
But to depict the dye would lack, I ween,
A bottle-red, in terms, as well as bottle-green.
As for his coat, 't is such a jerkin short
As Spenser had, ere he composed his Tales;
But underneath he hath no vest, nor aught,
So that the wind his airy breast assails ;
Below, he wears the nether garb of males,
Of crimson plush, but non-plushed at the knee:-
Thence further down the native red prevails,
Of his own naked fleecy hosierie:-
Two sandals, without soles, complete his cap-a-pie.
Nathless, for dignity, he now doth lap
His function in a magisterial gown,
That shows more countries in it than a map,
Blue tinct, and red, and green, and russet brown,
Besides some blots, standing for country-town;
And eke some rents, for streams and rivers wide ;
But, sometimes, bashful when he looks adown,
He turns the garment of the other side,
Hopeful that so the holes may never be espied !
And soe he sits, amidst the little pack,
That look for shady or for sunny noon.
Within his visage, like an almanack, –
His quiet smile foretelling gracious boon:
But when his mouth droops down, like rainy moon,
With horrid chill each little heart unwarms,
Knowing that infant showers will follow soon,
And with forebodings of near wrath and storms
They sit, like timid hares, all trembling on their forms.
Ah! luckless wight, who cannot then repeat
“Corduroy Colloquy,'' — or “Ki, Kæ, Kod,”—
Full soon his tears shall make his turfy seat
More sodden, though already made of sod,
For Dan shall whip him with the word of God,
Severe by rule, and not by nature mild,
He never spoils the child and spares the rod,
But spoils the rod and never spares the child,
And soe with holy rule deems he is reconciled.
But surely the just sky will never wink
At men who take delight in childish throe,
And stripe the nether-urchin like a pink
Or tender hyacinth, inscribed with woe;
Such bloody pedagogues, when they shall know,
By useless birches, that forlorn recess,
Which is no holiday, in Pit below,
Will hell not seem designed for their distress, –
A melancholy place, that is all bottomlesse ?
Yet would the Muse not chide the wholesome use
Of needful discipline, in due degree.
Devoid of sway, what wrongs will time produce !
Whene'er the twig untrained grows up a tree,
This shall a Carder, that a Whiteboy be,
Ferocious leaders of atrocious bands,
And Learning's help be used for infamie,