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He met a dustman ringing a bell,

And he gave him a mortal thrust; For himself, by law, since Adam's flaw,

Is contractor for all our dust. He saw a sailor mixing his grog,

And he marked him out for slaughter;
For on water he scarcely had cared for death,

And never on rum-and-water.
Death saw two players playing at cards,

But the game was n't worth a dump,
For he quickly laid them flat with a spade,

To wait for the final trump!

O HAPPY time ! – Art's early days !
When o'er each deed, with sweet self-praise,

Narcissus-like I hung!
When great Rembrandt but little seemed,
And such Old Masters all were deemed

As nothing to the young !
Some scratchy strokes — abrupt and few,
So easily and swift I drew,

Sufficed for my design;
My sketchy, superficial hand,
Drew solids at a dash — and spanned

A surface with a line.
Not long my eye was thus content,
But grew more critical — my bent

Essayed a higher walk;
I copied leaden eyes in lead —
Rheumatic hands in white and red,

And gouty feet — in chalk.

Anon my studious art for days
Kept making faces — happy phrase,

For faces such as mine!
Accomplished in the details then,
I left the minor parts of men,

And drew the form divine. Old gods and heroes — Trojan-Greek, Figures — long after the antique,

Great Ajax justly feared ;
Hectors, of whom at night I dreamt,
And Nestor, fringed enough to tempt

Bird-nesters to his beard.
A Bacchus, leering on a bowl,
A Pallas, that out-stared her owl,

A Vulcan — very lame;
A Dian stuck about with stars,
With my right hand I murdered Mars -

(One Williams did the same.) But tired of this dry work at last, Crayon and chalk aside I cast,

And gave my brush a drink. Dipping —" as when a painter dips In gloom of earthquake and eclipse,"__

That is — in Indian ink.
O then, what black Mont Blancs arose,
Crested with soot, and not with snows :

What clouds of dingy hue!
In spite of what the bard has penned,
I fear the distance did not “ lend

Enchantment to the view.”
Not Radclyffe’s brush did e'er design
Black forests half so black as mine,

Or lakes so like a pall;
The Chinese cake dispersed a ray
Of darkness, like the light of Day

And Martin, over all.
Yet urchin pride sustained me still;
I gazed on all with right good will,

And spread the dingy tint;
“No holy Luke helped me to paint;
The Devil, surely not a Saint,

Had any finger in 't !”
But colors came ! — like morning light,
With gorgeous hues displacing night,

Or Spring's enlivened scene :
At once the sable shades withdrew;
My skies got very, very blue;

My trees, extremely green.
And, washed by my cosmetic brush,
How Beauty's cheek began to blush !

With lock of auburn stain — (Not Goldsmith's Auburn) --nut-brown hair, That made her loveliest of the fair ;

Not “ loveliest of the plain ! "
Her lips were of vermilion hue;
Love in her eyes, and Prussian blue,

Set all my heart in flame !
A young Pygmalion, I adored
The maids I made — but time was stored

With evil — and it came !
Perspective dawned — and soon I saw
My houses stand against its law;

And “keeping” all unkept !

My beauties were no longer things
For love and fond imaginings;

But horrors to be wept !
Ah! why did knowledge ope my eyes ?
Why did I get more artist-wise ?

It only serves to hint
What grave defects and wants are mine;
That I'm no Hilton in design-

In nature no Dewint!
Thrice happy time! — Art's early days!
When o'er each deed, with sweet self-praise,

Narcissus-like I hung !
When great Rembrandt but little seemed,
And such Old Masters all were deemed

As nothing to the young !

On Hounslow heath — and close beside the road,

As western travellers may oft have seen,--
A little house some years ago there stood,

A minikin abode ;
And built like Mr. Birkbeck's, all of wood ;
The walls of white, the window-shutters green; —
Four wheels it had at North, South, East, and West,

(Though now at rest,)
On which it used to wander to and fro,
Because its master ne'er maintained a rider,
Like those who trade in Paternoster Row;
But made his business travel for itself,

Till he had made his pelf,
And then retired — if one may call it so.

Of a roadsider.

Perchance, the very race and constant riot
Of stages, long and short, which thereby ran,
Made him more relish the repose and quiet

Of his now sedentary caravan ;
Perchance, he loved the ground because ’t was common,
And so he might impale a strip of soil,

That furnished, by his toil,
Some dusty greens, for him and his old woman; —
And five tall hollyhocks, in dingy flower.
Howbeit, the thoroughfare did no ways spoil
His peace, - unless, in some unlucky hour,
A stray horse came and gobbled up his bower!
But, tired of always looking at the coaches,
The same to come,-- when they had seen them one day!

And, used to brisker life, both man and wife
Began to suffer N U E's approaches,
And feel retirement like a long wet Sunday,-
So, having had some quarters of school-breediny,
They turned themselves, like other folks, to reading ;
But setting out where others nigh have done,
And being ripened in the seventh stage,

The childhood of old age,
Began, as other children have begun,--
Not with the pastorals of Mr. Pope,

Or Bard of Hope,
Or Paley ethical, or learned Porson, -
But spelt, on Sabbaths, in St. Mark, or John,
And then relaxed themselves with Whittington,

Or Valentine and Orson —
But chiefly fairy tales they loved to con,
And being easily melted in their dotage,

Slobbered, — and kept

Reading, — and wept
Over the White Cat, in their wooden cottage.

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