« PreviousContinue »
THE LANDED INTEREST.
(AGE OF BRONZE, Stanza 14.)
ALAS, the country! how shall tongue or pen
The farm which never yet was left on hand ?
To die for England—why then live ?--for rent !
Their love of country, millions all mis-spent,
(BEPPO, Stanzas 41-45.)
With all its sinful doings, I must say,
That Italy's a pleasant place to me, Who love to see the Sun shine every day,
And vines (not nail'd to walls) from tree to tree Festoon'd, much like the back scene of a play,
Or melodrame, which people flock to see,
I like on Autumn evenings to ride out,
Without being forced to bid my groom be sure My cloak is round his middle strapp'd about,
Because the skies are not the most secure; I know too that, if stopp'd upon my route,
Where the green alleys windingly allure, Reeling with grapes red waggons choke the way,– In England 'twould be dung, dust, or a dray.
I also like to dine on becaficas,
To see the Sun set, sure he'll rise to-morrow, Not through a misty morning, twinkling weak as
A drunken man's dead eye in maudlin sorrow, But with all Heaven t'himself; that day will break as
Beauteous as cloudless, not be forced to borrow That sort of farthing candlelight which glimmers Where reeking London's smoky caldron simmers.
I love the language, that soft bastard Latin,
Which melts like kisses from a female mouth, And sounds as if it should be writ on satin,
With syllables which breathe of the sweet South, And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in,
That not a single accent seems uncouth, Like our harsh northern whistling, grunting guttural, Which we're obliged to hiss, and spit, and sputter all,
I like the women too (forgive my folly),
From the rich peasant cheek of ruddy bronze, And large black eyes that flash on you a volley
Of rays that say a thousand things at once, To the high dama's brow, more melancholy,
But clear, and with a wild and liquid glance, Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes, Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies.
(BEPPO, Stanzas 47-49.)
“ ENGLAND! with all thy faults I love thee still,”
I said at Calais, and have not forgot it; I like to speak and lucubrate my fill;
I like the government (but that is not it); I like the freedom of the press and quill ;
I like the Habeas Corpus (when we've got it) ; I like a parliamentary debate, Particularly when ’tis not too late ;
I like the taxes, when they're not too many ;
I like a seacoal fire, when not too dear; I like a beef-steak, too, as well as any;
Have no objection to a pot of beer; I like the weather, when it is not rainy,
That is, I like two months of every year. And so God save the Regent, Church and King ! Which means that I like all and every thing.
Our standing army, and disbanded seamen,
Poor's rate, Reform, my own, the nation's debt, Our little riots just to show we are free men,
Our trifling bankruptcies in the Gazette,
All these I can forgive, and those forget,