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Twelve waxen tapers he hath had made,
In size and weight the same, And to each of these twelve tapers
He hath given an Apostle's name.
One holy nun had bleached the wax,
Another the wicks had spun;
Which they were set upon.
From that which should burn the longest
The Infant his name must take, And the Saint who owned it was to be
His Patron for his name's sake.
A godlier or a goodlier sight
Was no where to be seen, Methinks, that day in Christendom,
Than in the chamber of that good Queen.
Twelve little altars have been there
Erected for the nonce;
Which are all to be lit at once.
Altars more gorgeously drest
You no where could desire;
In his most rich attire.
A high altar hath there been raised,
Where the Crucifix you see, And the sacred Pix, that shines with gold,
And sparkles with jewelry.
Bishop Boyl, with his precious mitre on,
Haih taken there his stand,
By the Queen's own royal hand.
In one part of the anle-room
The ladies of the Queen,
Upon their knees were seen.
In the other part of the ante-room,
The chiefs of the realm you behold, Ricos Omes, and Bishops, and Abbots,
And Knights, and Barons bold.
Queen Mary could behold all this,'
As she lay in her state bed ; And from the pillow needed not
To lift her languid head.
One fear she had, though still her heart
The unwelcome thought eschew'd, That haply the unlucky lot
Might fall upon St. Jude.
But the saints, she trusted, that ill chance
Would certainly forefend,
Of seeing the wished-for end.
Because there was a double chance
For the best of all good names,
It might be the lesser St. James.
And now Bishop Boyl hath said the Mass,
And as soon as the Mass was done, The Priests who by the Twelve Tapers stood,
Each instantly lighted one.
The tapers were short and slender too,
Yet, to the expectant throng, Before they to the socket burnt,
The time, I trow, seemed long.
The first that went out was St. Peter,
The second was St. John, And now St. Matthias is going,
And now St. Matthew is gone.
Next there went St. Andrew,
There goes St. Phillip too ! And see! there is an end
Of St. Bartholomew.
St. Simon is in the snuff,
But it was a matter of doubt
Soonest to have gone out.
There are only three remaining,
St. Jude and the two St. James ;
For the best of all good names.
Great was then Queen Mary's hope,
But greater her fear, I guess, When one of the three went out,
And that was St. James the less.
They are now within less than quarter inch,
The only remaining two !
And it made a gutter too
Up started Queen Mary,
Up she sate in her bed ; 'I never can call him Judas!
She claspt her hands and said.
"I never can call him Judas !
Again did she exclaim; 'Holy Mother preserve us !
It is not a Christian's name!
She spread her hands and claspt them again,
And the Infant in the cradle Set
up a cry, an angry cry, As loud as he was able.
Holy Mother preserve us!
The Queen her prayers renewed ; When in came a moth at the window,
And fluttered about St. Jude.
St. James hath fallen in the socket,
But as yet the flame is not out,
That flutters so blindly about.
And before the flame and the molten wax
That silly moth could kill,
And St. James is burning still !
Oh that was a joy for Queen Mary's heart,
The babe is christened James !
The best of all good names !
Glory to Santiago,
The mighty one in war!
King James the Conqueror !
Now shall the crescent wane,
The Cross be set on high
Wo, wo to Mawmetry !
Valencia shall be subdued,
Majorca shall be won;
Joy, joy for Aragon!
Shine brighter now, ye stars that crown
Our Lady del Pilar!
Ruy diez de Bivar.
THE BLUNDER ER.
FEW PASSAGES IN THE LIFE OF A SHORT-SIGHTED MAN.
BY THE AUTHOR OF THE ORDINARYMAN.'
ZESYWAN. Of all the evils to which mankind are subject, there is none more pitiable in its victim than an inordinary limitation of vision. I, alas! am one of those unfortunate individuals, whose nose is doomed to be ‘spectacle bestrid' during my mortal existence, and who can discern no object, unless it be thrust into my very face. This, it may readily be imagined, is at all times disagreeable, but particularly so when the article in question is obnoxious to the senses. O ye bipeds of oculars unimpaired! – ye all-seeing gentry!-- little do ye know the thousand evils that daily accumulate upon our devoted heads, and sometimes shoulders! Little do ye ken the numerous faux pas that we of the limited vision are almost constantly being pushed into, to the imminent jeopardy of our moral and physical sense, as men of feeling.
My misfortunes commenced from infancy — yea from my veriest infancy - and have continued up to this day, with a frequency and regularity as astonishing as unfortunate. My mother has often told me, that when a baby, I would make a dozen ineffectual attempts to
gain her breast; and my first essays in the art of walking, have been memorialized, by a multiplicity of scars, occasioned by violent contact with chairs, tables, and other articles of domestic usefulness. boy, I was still more deserving of commiseration. In fact, my misfortunes seemed to accumulate with my growth. The delicacies of the dinner table were invariably appropriated by my brothers and sisters, before I could be made conscious of their presence ; and if I failed to examine closely every particle upon the prongs of my fork, or in the concave of my spoon, I might inadvertently swallow a red pepper for a sausage, or masticate a quantity of horse-radish for as much sugar or Sago cheese. My good old aunt, pitying my situation, resolved to better it, and for this purpose purchased me a pair of spectacles, the first I had worn. For a time I got on very well, in the way of eating comfortable dinners; but this fortune was too good to last long. My affectionate brethren and sisters contrived to abstract my glasses. In vain I replaced them. They were continually stolen ; and I was every day compelled to partake of what they, in the fulness of their stomachs, thought proper to leave me. In due season,
I was ushered into the solar system of society ; but I had not revolved a month upon my own axis, among the planets and sattelites of the beau ciel, before they all complained that I passed them in my diurnal transits without a smile or bow of recognition, and unanimously concluded to eject me from their sphere. I deprecated their displeasure, acknowledged the imperfection of my vision, and was again admitted in their circles. I now resolved to speak to every one I passed ; and then,' thought I, in the fondness of my imagination, 'there will be no mistake!' I put my resolution at once in practice, and for a while things went swimmingly on; but at length the same result was the consequence.
•What have I done, now ?' asked I of a friend : 'why am I again thrust without the pale of society ?'
• The reason is, simply,' said he, gazing about to see that no one observed him speaking to so proscribed a being as I, 'that people are not willing to meet on terms of sociability and equality a man who claims the acquaintance of every loafer, male or female, he may chance to meet. At Trinity Church, last Sunday, you offered your arm to a chamber-maid ; and you were yesterday observed by a party of ladies in the act of making a profound bow to three of the most notorious courtezans in town.'
•Good God !' exclaimed I, “is it possible ?'
These were not the only bad effects of my politeness. A great six-foot whiskerando charged me with the heinous crime of insulting his sister, by speaking to her without the previous formality of an introduction; and it was with the greatest difficulty that I could persuade the fellow to refrain from horse-whipping me - a thing which he had fully resolved upon, and which nothing but my humble apologies, and labored explanations, joined to the entreaties of one or two of my personal friends, deterred him from putting into practice.
* Happier,' thought I, ‘far happier, had I been born blind, for then I should at least have avoided the tissue of blunders into which I hourly stumbled. My life has been one continued series of getting into scrapes in the worst way, and getting out of them the best way I
could. Why am I coupled with such a destiny? I am one of the gentlest and most inoffensive of mankind, and yet the sulkiest blackguard about town encounters not half the difficulties which fall to my lot.'
Such were my musings, as I passed down Broadway — such my reflections when my dog — as I thought, but alas ! it was another's — rushed between my legs, and nearly tripped me up. Although naturally, or rather commonly, a good-natured man, I was not at that precise moment, as the reader may imagine, in my smoothest mood. The current of my mind had been agitated by more than one circumstance that day, and the little dog rendered me absolutely angry. With an exclamation of wrath, 1 gave this member of the canine race a kick, which sent him howling to the opposite side of the street.
*Sare,' said a tall, swarthy, Frenchified, ferocious-looking personage, bowing until his mustaches brushed my nose, 'You av', by H—11! kick my dog! What for you ’av' done dis for, eh ?'
My dear Sir,' exclaimed I, terribly discomposed, 'I beg ten thousand pardons. I really thought it was my own dog.'
"Ah, you t'ought it was your dog, eh? No, sare, it is my leetle dog dat you ’av' kick!'
Sir, I am exceedingly sorry; I mistook him for my own dog. I assure you, I thought it was my own dog, at the time.'
* By Gar, Sare, dey is not resemblance dere ; de one dog is of de white, and de oder dog is of de black color. Beside, Sare, de one 'av'
got de ear ver' wide, and de oder ver' short; de one 'av' got de tail ver' much, and de oder 'av' lose he tail ver' much !'
But, Sir, I am near-sighted; my eyes are impaired; I could not distinguish between the dogs.
The foreigner looked steadily in my face for a moment; but perceiving nothing there but truth, his countenance became calm, and comparatively pleasant.
• You ’av’, den, Monsieur, de vision not very far, eh ?' I assented.
Ah! den dat is all de apology which I demand :' and, with a graceful adieu, he passed on.
• How fortunate for me,' soliloquized I, ‘that he was a Frenchman! Had he been one of my own countrymen, I should no doubt have figured in the gutter.' 'Strange, strange people, these Americans ! They punish an offence first, and inquire into its causes and effects afterward. My apology would have been laughed at by a Yankee. They have generally so much in view themselves, that they cannot appreciate the difficulties of one whose vision is not as extensive as their own. Alas !' sighed I, pausing, and wiping the glasses of my spectacles, 'who ever pitied a near-sighted man ?
It was nearly sunset. The benches and avenues of the Battery were thronged with human beings. The rich, the poor, the young, the old, the gay, the dignified, the ungainly and the beautiful - the merchant, the artizan, the statesman and the philosopher sighted and the far-sighted — all recreated themselves here, promenading or sitting, thinking or talking, as their several inclinations prompted; for no matter how different the tastes and pursuits of men may be, they all coincide in the admiration of nature.