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geleeue me stile, as I have ever beece
POEMS OF TEMPERANCE AND LABOR.
The plain truth will seem to be
A constrained hyperbole, Ye who would have your features florid,
And the passion to proceed
More from a mistress than a weed.
Sooty retainer to the vine !
Sorcerer! that mak'st us dote upon
| Thy begrimed complexion, Avoid in youth luxurious diet,
And, for thy pernicious sake, Restrain the passions' lawless riot ;
More and greater oaths to break
Than reclaimed lovers take
'Gainst women! Thou thy siege dost lay So shall ye, spite of age's fiat,
Much, too, in the female way,
While thou suck'st the laboring breath
Faster than kisses, or than death.
Thou in such a cloud dost bind us
And ill fortune, that would thwart us,
Shoots at rovers, shooting at us ;
While each man, through thy heightening steam,
Does like a smoking Etna seem; This is the solace, this the science,
And all about us does express Life's purest, sweetest, best appliance,
(Fancy and wit in richest dress) That disappoints not man's reliance,
A Sicilian fruitfulness.
Thou through such a mist dost show us
That our best friends do not know us,
Liken'st us to fell chimeras,
Monsters, — that who see us, fear us ;
Worse than Cerberus or Geryon,
Or, who first loved a cloud, Ixion.
Bacchus we know, and we allow
His tipsy rites. But what art thou, Or a fit expression find,
That but by reflex canst show Or a language to my mind
What his deity can do, — (Still the phrase is wide or scant),
As the false Egyptian spell
Some few vapors thou mayst raise
The weak brain may serve to amaze ; For I hate, yet love, thee so,
But to the reins and nobler heart That, whichever thing I show,
| Canst nor life nor heat impart.
Or, as men, constrained to part With what's nearest to their heart, While their sorrow 's at the height Lose discrimination quite, And their hasty wrath let fall, To appease their frantic gall, On the darling thing, whatever, Whence they feel it death to sever, Though it be, as they, perforce, Guiltless of the sad divorce.
Brother of Bacchus, later born!
Scent to match thy rich perfume
Stinkingest of the stinking kind !
Nay, rather, Plant divine, of rarest virtue ; Blisters on the tongue would hurt you ! 'T was but in a sort I blamed thee ; None e'er prospered who defamed thee; Irony all, and feigned abuse, Such as perplexed lovers use At a need, when, in despair To paint forth their fairest fair, Or in part but to express That exceeding comeliness Which their fancies doth so strike, They borrow language of dislike; And, instead of dearest Miss, Jewel, honey, sweetheart, bliss, And those forms of old admiring, Call her cockatrice and siren, Basilisk, and all that's evil, Witch, hyena, mermaid, devil, Ethiop, wench, and blackamoor, Monkey, ape, and twenty more ; Friendly traitress, loving foe, -Not that she is truly so, But no other way they know, A contentment to express Borders so upon excess That they do not rightly wot Whether it be from pain or not.
For I must (nor let it grieve thee, Friendliest of plants, that I must) leave thee. For thy sake, Tobacco, I Would do anything but die, And but seek to extend my days Long enough to sing thy praise. But, as she who once hath been A king's consort is a queen Ever after, nor will bate Any tittle of her state Though a widow, or divorced, So I, from thy converse forced, The old name and style retain, A right Katherine of Spain; And a seat, too, 'mongst the joys Of the blest Tobacco Boys; Where, though I, by sour physician, Am debarred the full fruition Of thy favors, I may catch Some collateral sweets, and snatch Sidelong odors, that give life Like glances from a neighbor's wife; And still live in the by-places And the suburbs of thy graces ; And in thy borders take delight, An unconquered Canaanite.
We are two travelers, Roger and I.
Roger 's my dog :- come here, you scamp ! Jump for the gentlemen, — mind your eye!
Over the table, - look out for the lamp!The rogue is growing a little old; Five years we've tramped through wind and
weather, And slept out-doors when nights were cold,
And ate and drank-and starved together.
We've learned what comfort is, I tell you !
A bed on the floor, a bit of rosin,
The paw he holds up there's been frozen),
(This out-door business is bad for the strings),
Then a few nice buckwheats hot from the griddle, I'd sell out heaven for something warm
To prop a horrible inward sinking.
Is there a way to forget to think? Roger and I are exceedingly moral,
At your age, sir, home, fortune, friends, Are n't we, Roger?— see him wink!
A dear girl's love, — but I took to drink, Well, something hot, then, — wewon't quarrel. The same old story ; you know how it ends. He's thirsty too, — see him nod his head ? If you could have seen these classic features, — What a pity, sir, that dogs can't talk !
You need n't laugh, sir; they were not then He understands every word that 's said, — Such a burning libel on God's creatures ;
And he knows good milk from water-and-chalk. I was one of your handsome men !
The truth is, sir, now I reflect,
If you had seen her, so fair and young, I've been so sadly given to grog,
Whose head was happy on this breast ! I wonder I've not lost the respect
If you could have heard the songs I sung (Here's to you, sir !) even of my dog.
When the wine went round, you would n't But he sticks by through thick and thin ;
have guessed And this old coat, with its empty pockets, That ever I, sir, should be straying And rags that smell of tobacco and gin,
From door to door, with fiddle and dog, He'll follow while he has eyes in his sockets. Ragged and penniless, and playing
To you to-night for a glass of grog! There is n't another creature living
Would do it, and prove, through every disaster, She's married since, - a parson's wife; So fond, so faithful, and so forgiving
'T was better for her that we should part, — To such a miserable, thankless master! Better the soberest, prosiest life No, sir ! - see him wag his tail and grin!
Than a blasted home and a broken heart. By George ! it makes my old eyes water !- I have seen her ? Once : I was weak and spent That is, there's something in this gin
On the dusty road, a carriage stopped ; That chokes a fellow. But no matter ! But little she dreamed, as on she went,
Who kissed the coin that her fingers dropped ! We'll have some music, if you 're willing, And Roger (hem ! what a plague a cough is, You've set me talking, sir ; I'm sorry; sir !)
It makes me wild to think of the change! Shall march a little. Start, you villain ! | What do you care for a beggar's story? Stand straight! 'Bout face! Salute your offi- Is it amusing ? you find it strange ? cer!
I had a mother so proud of me! Put up that paw! Dress! Take your rifle! I 'Twas well she died before- Do you know (Soine dogs have arms, you see !) Now hold If the happy spirits in heaven can see your
The ruin and wretchedness here below ?
Another glass, and strong, to deaden
This pain ; then Roger and I will start. March! Halt! Now show how the rebel shakes I wonder, has he such a lumpish, leaden, When he stands up to hear his sentence.
| Aching thing in place of a heart ? Now tell us how many drams it takes
He is sad sometimes, and would weep, if he could, To honor a jolly new acquaintance.
No doubt, remembering things that were, -
And himself a sober, respectable cur.
You rascal ! limber your lazy feet!
We must be fiddling and performing Why not reform ? That's easily said,
For supper and bed, or starve in the street. But I've gone through such wretched treat- Not a very gay life to lead, you think? ment,
But soon we shall go where lodgings are free, Sometimes forgetting the taste of bread,
And the sleepers need neither victuals nor And scarce remembering what meat meant,
drink ;That my poor stomach 's past reform ;
The sooner the better for Roger and me! And there are times when, mad with thinking, I
J. T. TROWBRIDGE.