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And many a belle looked half provoked,
When favoured swains stood dumb and choked ;
And warblers whined, and punsters joked,
And dandies bit their lips.
At last an old Ecclesiastic,
Who looked half kind and half sarcastic,
And seemed in every transient look
At once to flatter and rebuke,
Cut off the sport with “Pshaw ! enough :"
And then took breath,—and then took snuff:
“Chloe,” he said, "you're like the moon;
You shine as bright, you change as soon ;
Your wit is like the moon's fair beam,
In borrowed light 'tis over us thrown;
Yet, like the moon's, that sparkling stream
To careless eyes appears your own;
Your cheek by turns is pale and red,
And then to close the simile,
(From which methinks you turn your head,
As half in anger, half in glee,)
Dark would the night appear without you,
And-twenty fools have rhymed about you !"
« Mercy o' me, what a multitude are here !
They grow still, too; from all parts they are coming, As if we kept a fair here."
The sun hath shed a mellower beam,
Fair Thames, upon thy silver stream,
And air and water, earth and heaven,
Lie in the calm repose of even.
How silently the breeze moves on,
Flutters, and whispers, and is gone !
How calmly does the quiet sky
Sleep in its cold serenity!
Alas ! how sweet a scene were here
For shepherd or for sonnetteer ;
How fit the place, how fit the time,
For making love, or making rhyme !
But though the sun's descending ray
Smiles warmly on the close of day,
'Tis not to gaze upon his light
That Eton's sons are here to-night;
And though the river, calm and clear,
Makes music to the poet's ear,
'Tis not to listen to the sound
That Eton's sons are thronging round :
The sun unheeded may decline-
Blue eyes send out a brighter shine ;
The wave may cease its gurgling moan-
Glad voices have a sweeter tone;
For in our calendar of bliss
We have no hour so gay as this,
When the kind hearts and brilliant eyes
Of those we know, and love, and prize,
Are come to cheer the captive's thrall,
And smile upon his festival.
Stay, Pegasus !—and let me ask
Ere I go onward in my task,-
Pray, reader, were you ever here,
Just at this season of the year ?
No !—then the end of next July
Should bring you, with admiring eye,
To hear us row, and see us row,
And cry, “How fast them boys does go ! "
For Father Thames beholds to-night
A thousand visions of delight;
Tearing and swearing, jeering, cheering,
Lame steeds to right and left careering,
Displays, dismays, disputes, distresses,
Ruffling of temper and of dresses ;
Wounds on the heart—and on the knuckles ;
Losing of patience—and of buckles.
An interdict is laid on Latin,
And scholars smirk in silk and satin,
And dandies start their thinnest pumps,
And Michael Oakley's in the dumps;
And there is nought beneath the sun
But dash, and splash, and falls, and fun.
Lord ! what would be the Cynic's mirth,
If fate would lift him to the earth,
And set his tub, with magic jump,
Squat down beside the Brocas Clump!
What scoffs the sage would utter there
From his unpolished elbow-chair,
To see the sempstress' handiwork,
The Greek confounded with the Turk,
Parisian mixed with Piedmontese,
And Persian joined to Portuguese ;
And mantles short, and mantles long,
And mantles right, and mantles wrong,
Mis-shaped, mis-coloured, and mis-placed
With what the tailor calls a taste !
And then the badges and the boats,
The flags, the drums, the paint, the coats ;
But more than these, and more than all,
The puller's intermitted call-
“Easy!"_"Hard all!”—“Now pick her up!"-
“Upon my life, how I shall sup i”
Would be a fine and merry matter
To wake the sage's love of satire.
Kind readers, at my laughing age
I thank my stars I'm not a sage ;
I, an unthinking, scribbling elf,
Love to please others—and myself ;
Therefore I fly a malo joco,
But like desi pere in loco.
Excuse me, that I wander so;
All modern pens digress, you know.
Now to my theme ! Thou Being gay,
Houri or goddess, nymph or fay,
Whoe'er-whate'er—where'er thou art-
Who, with thy warm and kindly heart,
Hast made these blest abodes thy care,-
Being of water, earth, or air,--
Beneath the moonbeam hasten hither,
Enjoy thy blessings ere they wither,
And witness with thy gladdest face
The glories of thy dwelling-place !
The boats put off ; throughout the crowd
The tumult thickens; wide and loud
The din re-echoes; man and horse
Plunge onward in their mingled course.
Look at the troop! I love to see
Our real Etonian cavalry :
They start in such a pretty trim,
And such sweet scorn of life and limb.
I must confess I never found
A horse much worse for being sound;
I wish my nag not wholly blind,
And like to have a tail behind;
And though he certainly may hear
Correctly with a single ear,
I think, to look genteel and neat,
He ought to have his two complete.
But these are trifles 1-off they go
Beside the wondering river's flow;
And if, by dint of spur and whip,
They shamble on without a trip,
Well have they done! I make no question
They're shaken into good digestion.
I and my Muse-my Muse and I-
Will follow with the company,
And get to Surly Hall in time
To make a supper, and a rhyme.
Yes ! while the animating crowd,
The gay, and fair, and kind, and proud,
With eager voice and eager glance,
Wait till the pageantry advance,
We'll throw around a hasty view,
And try to get a sketch or two.
First in the race is William Tag,
Thalia's most industrious fag ;
Whate'er the subject he essays
To dress in never-dying lays,
A chief, a cheese, a dearth, a dinner,
A cot, a castle, cards, Corinna,
Hibernia, Baffin's Bay, Parnassus,
Beef, Bonaparte, beer, Bonassus-
Will hath his ordered words, and rhymes
For various scenes and various times;
Which suit alike for this or that,
And come, like volunteers, quite pat,
He hath his elegy, or sonnet,