Page images

You know Camilla-o'er the plain She guides the fiery hunter's rein; First in the chase she sounds the horn, Trampling to earth the farmer's corn, That hardly deign'd to bend its head, Beneath her namesake's lighter tread. With Bob the Squire, her polish'd lover, She wields the gun, or beats the cover ; And then her steed !-why! every clown Tells how she rubs Smolensko down, And combs the mane, and cleans the hoof, While wondering hostlers stand aloof.

At night, before the Christmas fire She plays backgammon with the Squire ; Shares in his laugh, and his liquor, Mimics her father and the Vicar ; Swears at the grooms—without a blush Dips in her ale the captured brush, Until — her father duly tiredThe parson's wig as duly fired The dogs all still—the Squire asleep, And dreaming of his usual leap

She leaves the dregs of white and red,
And lounges languidly to bed ;
And still in nightly visions borne,
She gallops o'er the rustic's corn;
Still wields the lash—still shakes the box,
Dreaming of “ sixes "--and the fox.

And this is bliss—the story runs, Camilla never wept-save once ; Yes ! once indeed Camilla cried'Twas when her dear Blue-stockings died.

Pretty Cordelia thinks she's ill —
She seeks her med'eine at Quadrille ;
With hope, and fear, and envy sick,
She gazes on the dubious trick,
As if Eternity were laid
Upon a diamond, or a spade.
And I have seen a transient pique
Wake, o'er that soft and girlish cheek,
A chilly and a feverish hue,
Blighting the soil where Beauty grew,
And bidding Hate and Malice rove
In eyes that ought to beam with love..

Turn we to Fannia—she was fair
As the soft fleeting forms of air,
Shaped by the fancy-fitting theme
For youthful bard's enamour'd dream.
The neck, on whose transparent glow
The auburn ringlets sweetly flow,
The eye that swims in liquid fire,
The brow that frowns in playful ire ;
All these, when Fannia’s early youth
Look'd lovely in its native truth,
Diffused a bright, unconscious grace,
Almost divine, o’er form and face.

Her lip has lost its fragrant dew, Her cheek has lost its rosy hue, Her eye the glad enlivening rays That glitter'd there in happier days, Her heart the ignorance of woe Which Fashion's votaries may not know.

The city's smoke—the noxious airThe constant crowd—the torch's glareThe morning sleep-—the noonday callThe late repast-the midnight ball,

Bid Faith and Beauty die, and taint
Her heart with fraud, her face with paint.

And what the boon, the prize enjoy’d,
For fame defaced, and peace destroyed !
Why ask we this? With conscious grace
She criticises silk and lace;
Queen of the modes, she reigns alike
O’er sarcenet, bobbin, net, vandyke,
O'er rouge and ribbons, combs and curls,
Perfumes and patches, pins and pearls ;
Feelings and faintings, songs and sighs,
Small-talk and scandal, love and lies.

Circled by beaux behold her sit, While Dandies tremble at her wit ; The Captain bates "a woman's gab ;"> “ A devil!” cries the shy Cantab; The young Etonian strives to fly The glance of her sarcastic eye, For well he knows she looks him o'er, To stamp him “ buck,” or dub him “bore."

Such is her life-a life of waste,
A life of wretchedness—and taste.
And all the glory Fannia boasts,
And all the price that glory costs,
At once are reckon'd up, in one
One word of bliss and folly- Ton.

Not these the thoughts that could perplex The fancies of our fickle sex, When England's favourite, good Queen Bess, Was Queen alike o'er war and dress. Then ladies gay play'd chesse—and ballads, And learnt to dress their hair-and salads ; Sweets—and sweet looks were studied then, And both were pleasing to the men; For cookery was allied to taste, And girls were taught to blush-and baste. Dishes were bright-and so were eyes, And lords made love and ladies, pies.

Then Valour won the wavering field,
By dint of hauberk, and of shield;
And Beauty won the wavering heart,
By dint of pickle, and of tart.

« PreviousContinue »