Page images

No footman in lace and in ruffles

Need dangle behind my arm.chair; And never mind seeking for truses,

Although they be ever so rare.

But a plain leg of mutton, my Lucy,

I prithee get ready at three :
Have it smoking, and tender and juicy,

And what better meat can there be ?
And when it has feasted the master,

'Twill amply suffice for the maid ; Meanwhile I will smoke my canaster. And tipple my ale in the shade.

William Makepeace Thackeray.




"Hush ! in the canal below
Don't you hear the plash of oars
Underneath the lantern's glow,
And a thrilling voice begins
To the sound of mandolins ?
Begins singing of amore
And delire and dolore
O the ravishing tenore !

"Lady, do you know the tune?
Ah, we all of us have hummed it !
I've an old guitar has thrummed it,
Under many a changing moon.
Shall I try it ? DO RE MI * *
What is this ? Ma foi, the fact is,
That my hand is out of practice,
And my poor old fiddle cracked is,
And a man-I let the truth out,-
Who's had almost every tooth out,
Cannot sing as once he sung,
When he was young as you are young,
When he was young and lutes were strung,
And love-lamps in the casement hung."

William Makepeace Thackeray.



There's a tempting bit of greenery--of rus in urbe scenery

That's haunied by the London “ upper ten;" Where, by exercise on horseback, an equestrian may force back

Little fits of tedium vitæ now and then.

Oh! the times that I have been there, and the types that I have

seen there Of that gorgeous Cockney animal, the “swell ; And the scores of pretty riders (both patricians and outsiders)

Are considerably more than I can tell.

When first the warmer weather brought these people all together,

And the crowds began to thicken through the Row, I reclined against the railing on a sunny day, inhaling

All the spirits that the breezes could bestow.

And the riders and the walkers and the thinkers and the talkers

Left me lonely in the thickest of the throng, Not a touch upon my shoulder-not a nod from one beholder

As the stream of Art and Nature went along.

But I brought away one image, from that fashionable scrimmage,

Of a figure and a sace--ah, such a face ! Love has photograph'd the leatures of that loveliest of creatures

On my memory, as Love alone can trace.

Did I hate the little dandy in the whiskers, (they were sandy,)

Whose absurd salute was honour'd by a smile ?
Did I marvel at his rudeness in presuming on her goodness,

When she evidently loathed him all the while ?

Oh the hours that I have wasted, the regrets that I have tasted,

Since the day (it seems a century ago)
When my heart was won instanter by a lady in a canter,
On a certain sunny day in Rotten Row !

Henry S. Leigh.



( Historical Contrast. )
When one whose nervous English verse,

Public and party hates defied,
Who bore and bandied many a curse

Of angry times-when Dryden died,
Cur royal Abbey's Bishop-Dean

Waited for no suggestive prayer,
But, ere one day closed o'er the scene,

Craved as a boon to lay him there.
The wayward faith, the faulty lise,

Vanished before a nation's pain ; “ Panther” and “Hind forgot their strise,

And rival siatesmen thronged the fane. O gentle Censor of our age !

Prime master of our ampler tongue ! Whose word of wit and generous page

Were never wroth except with wrong,Fielding—without the manners' dross,

Scott—with a spirit's larger room, What prelate deems thy grave his loss?

What Haliflax erects thy tomb? But may be, He who so could draw

The hidden great, the humble wise, Yielding with them to God's good law, Makes the Pantheon where he lies.

Richard, Lord Houghton.



All through the sultry hours of June,
From morning blithe to golden noon,

And till the star of evening climbs
The gray-blue East, a world

too soon, There sings a Thrush amid the limes,

God's poet, hid in foliage green,
Sings endless songs, himself unseen;

Right seldom come his silent times.
Linger, ye summer hours serene !

Sing on, dear Thrushi, amid the limes !

Nor from these confines wander out,
Where with old gun bucolic lout

Commits all day his murderous crimes :
Though cherries ripe are sweet, no doubt,

Sweeter thy song amid the limes.

May I not dream God sends thee there,
Thou mellow angel of the air,

Even to rebuke my earthlier rhymes
With music's soul, all praise and prayer?

Is that thy lesson in the lines ?

Closer to God art thou than I:
His minstrel thou, whose brown wings fly

Through silent æther's summer climes.
Ah, never may thy music die !
Sing on, dear Thrush, amid the limes !

Mortimer Collins.


BLUE as the sky were the simple flowers

We gathered together that day,
Tho’ dead and dry they recall the hours

Of a happiness pass'd away.
They grew mid the rushes so tall and green,

Low down in the sedges cool,
We drew them out of their home, unseen,

In a fortunate fairy pool.
And you gave me some and I took them home,

And treasured those blossoms blue,
Tho'never a flower was needed less
To be given to me by you.

Charlotte Alington Barnard.



A LOVELY young lady I mourn in my rhymes,
She was pleasant, good-natured, and civil (sometimes),
Her figure was good, she had very fine eyes,
And her talk was mixture of foolish and wise.
Her adorers were many, and one of them said,
“She waltzed rather well—it's a pity she's dead.”

George John Cayley.



HAYRICK some do spell thy name,
And thy verse approves the same ;
For 'tis like fresh-scented hay,-
With country lasses in't at play.

William Allingham.


Not hopeless, round this calm sepulchral spot,

A wreath presaging life, we twine ;
If God be Love, what sleeps below was not
Without a spark divine.

Sir Francis Hastings Doyle.



When Letty had scarce passed her third glad year,

And her young, artless words began to flow, One day we gave the child a coloured sphere

Of the wide earth, that she might mark and know By tint and outline all its sea and land.

She patted all the world ; old empires peeped Between her baby fingers ; her soft hand

Was welcome at all frontiers; how she leaped,

« PreviousContinue »