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By lawless clerks, that, with their bloody hands, In murdered English write Rock's murderous commands.
But, ah! what shrilly cry doth now alarm
The sooty fowls that dozed upon the beam,
All sudden fluttering from the brandished arm
And cackling chorus with the human scream;
Meanwhile the scourge plies that unkindly seam
In Phelim's brogues, which bares his naked skin,
Like traitor gap in warlike fort, I deem,
That falsely lets the fierce besieger in,
Nor seeks the pedagogue by other course to win.
No parent dear he hath to heed his cries ; -
Alas ! his parent dear is far aloof,
And deep in Seven-Dial cellar lies,
Killed by kind cudgel-play, or gin of proof,
Or climbeth, catwise, on some London roof,
Singing, perchance, a lay of Erin's Isle,
Or, whilst he labors, weaves a fancy-woof,
Dreaming he sees his home,— his Phelim smile
Ah, me! that luckless imp, who weepeth all the wbile !
Ah! who can paint that hard and heavy time,
When first the scholar lists in Learning's train,
And mounts her rugged steep enforced to climb,
Like sooty imp, by sharp posterior pain,
From bloody twig, and eke that Indian cane,
Wherein, alas ! no sugаred juices dwell ?
For this, the while one stripling's sluices drain,
Another weepeth over chillblains fell,
Always upon the heel, yet never to be well!
Anon a third, for his delicious root,
Late ravished from his tooth by elder chit,
So soon is human violence afoot,
So hardly is the harmless biter bit !
Meanwhile, the tyrant, with untimely wit
And mouthing face, derides the small one's moan,
Who, all lamenting for his loss, doth sit,
Alack,— mischance comes seldomtimes alone,
But aye the worried dog must rue more curs than one.
For, lo! the pedagogue, with sudden drub,
Smites his scald head, that is already sore, —
Superfluous wound, — such is Misfortune's rub!
Who straight makes answer with redoubled roar,
And sheds salt tears twice faster than before,
That still with backward fist he strives to dry;
Washing with brackish moisture, o’er and o'er,
His muddy cheek, that grows more foul thereby,
Till all his rainy face looks grim as rainy sky.
So Dan, by dint of noise, obtains a peace,
And with his natural untender knack,
By new distress, bids former grievance cease,
Like tears dried up with rugged huckaback,
That sets the mournful visage all awrack;
Yet soon the childish countenance will shine
Even as thorough storms the soonest slack,
For grief and beef in adverse ways incline,
This keeps, and that decays, when duly soaked in brine.
Now, all is hushed, and, with a look profound.
The Dominie lays ope the learned page;
(So be it called) although he doth expound
Without a book, both Greek and Latin sage;
Now telleth he of Rome's rude infant age,
How Romulus was bred in savage wood,
By wet-nurse wolf, devoid of wolfish rage,
And laid foundation-stone of walls of mud, But watered it, alas ! with warm fraternal blood.
Anon, he turns to that Homeric war,
How Troy was sieged like Londonderry town;
And stout Achilles, at his jaunting-car,
Dragged mighty Hector with a bloody crown:
And eke the bard, that sung of their renown,
In garb of Greece most beggar-like and torn,
He paints, with colly, wandering up and down :
Because, at once, in seven cities born;
And so, of parish rights, was, all his days, forlorn.
Anon, through old Mythology he goes,
Of gods defunct, and all their pedigrees,
But shuns their scandalous amours, and shows
How Plato wise, and clear-eyed Socrates,
Confessed not to those heathen he's and she's;
But through the clouds of the Olympic cope
Beheld St. Peter with his holy keys,
And owned their love was naught, and bowed to Pope, Whilst all their purblind race in Pagan mist did grope.
From such quaint themes he turns, at last, aside,
To new philosophies, that still are green,
And shows what railroads have been tracked to guide
The wheels of great political machine ;
If English corn should grow abroad, I ween,
And gold be made of gold, or paper sheet;
How many pigs be born to each spalpeen;
And, ah! how man shall thrive beyond his meat,--With twenty souls alive to one square sod of peat !
Here he makes end; and all the fry of youth,
That stood around with serious look intense,
Close up again their gaping eyes and mouth,
Which they had opened to his eloquence,
As if their hearing were a three-fold sense.
But now the current of his words is done,
And whether any fruits shall spring from thence,
In future time, with any mother's son !
It is a thing, God wot! that can be told by none.
Now by the creeping shadows of the noon,
The hour is come to lay aside their lore;
The cheerful pedagogue perceives it soon,
And cries “ Begone !” unto the imps,— and four
Snatch their two hats and struggle for the door,
Like ardent spirits vented from a cask,
All blithe and boisterous,— but leave two more,
With Reading made Uneasy for a task,
To weep, whilst all their mates in merry sunshine bask.
Like sportive Elfins, on the verdant sod,
With tender moss so sleekly overgrown,
That doth not hurt, but kiss, the sole unshod,
So soothly kind is Erin to her own!
And one, at Hare and Hound, plays all alone,-
For Phelim's gone to tend his step-dame's cow;
Ah! Phelim's step-dame is a cankered crone !
Whilst other twain play at an Irish row,
And, with shillelah small, break one another's brow;
But careful Dominie, with ceaseless thrift,
Now changeth ferula for rural hoe;
But, first of all, with tender hand doth shift
His college gown, because of solar glow,
And hangs it on a bush, to scare the crow :
Meanwhile, he plants in earth the dappled bean,
Or trains the young potatoes all a-row,
Or plucks the fragrant leek for pottage green, With that crisp curly herb, called Kale in Aberdeen.
And so he wisely spends the fruitful hours,
Linked each to each by labor, like a bee,
Or rules in Learning's hall, or trims her bowers ; —
Would there were many more such wights as he,
To sway each capital academie
Of Cam and Isis ; for, alack! at each
There dwells I wot some dronish Dominie,
That does no garden work, nor yet doth teach,
But wears a floury head, and talks in flowery speech !
ON THE ART-UNIONS.
That picture-raffles will conduce to nourish
Design, or cause good Coloring to flourish,
Admits of logic-chopping and wise sawing,
But surely Lotteries encourage Drawing !
THE SUPERIORITY OF MACHINERY.
A MECHANIC his labor will often discard
If the rate of his pay he dislikes :
But a clock — and its case is uncommonly hard —
Will continue to work though it strikcs.