Page images

And when Dissension flung her stain

Upon the light of Hymen's altar, And Destiny made Hymen's chain

As galling as the hangman's halter, He passed a most domestic life,

By many mistresses befriended, And did not put away his wife,

For fear the priest should be offended.

And thus at last he sank to rest

Amid the blessings of his people,
And sighs were heard from every breast,

And bells were tolled from every steeple, And loud was every public throng

His brilliant character adorning, And poets raised a mourning song,

And clothiers raised the price of mourning.

His funeral was very grand,

Followed by many robes and maces, And all the great ones of the land

Struggling, as heretofore, for places; And every loyal minister

Was there, with signs of purse-felt sorrow, Save Pozzy, his lord chancellor,

Who promised to attend to-morrow.

Peace to his dust. His fostering care

By grateful hearts shall long be cherished; And all his subjects shall declare

They lost a grinder when he perished. They who shall look upon the lead

In which a people's love hath shrined him, Will say when all the worst is said,

Perhaps he leaves a worse behind him.

THE CHAUNT OF THE BRAZEN HEAD. “Brazen companion of my solitary hours! do you, while I recline, pronounce a prologue to those sentiments of Wisdom and Virtue, which are hereafter to be the oracles of statesmen, and the guides of philosophers. Give me to-night a proem of our essay, an opening of our case, a division of our subject. Speak !"" (Slow music. The Friar falls asleep. The head chaunts as follows.)


[merged small][ocr errors]

I THINK, whatever mortals crave,

With impotent endeavour,-
A wreath, a rank, a throne, a grave, -

The world goes round for ever :
I think that life is not too long ;

And therefore I determine,
That many people read a song

Who will not read a sermon.


I think you've looked through many hearts,

And mused on many actions,
And studied Man's component parts,

And Nature's compound fractions ;
I think you've picked up truth by bits

From foreigner and neighbour;
I think the world has lost its wits,

And you have lost your labour.

I think the studies of the wise,

The hero's noisy quarrel, .
The majesty of woman's eyes,

The poet's cherished laurel,
And all that makes us lean or fat,

And all that charms or troubles,-
This bubble is more bright than that,

But still they all are bubbles.


I think the thing you call Renown,

The unsubstantial vapour
For which the soldier burns a town,

The sonnetteer a taper,
Is like the mist which, as he flies,

The horseman leaves behind him ;
He cannot mark its wreaths arise,

Or if he does they blind him.

I think one nod of Mistress Chance

Makes creditors of debtors,
And shifts the funeral for the dance,

The sceptre for the fetters :
I think that Fortune's favoured guest

May live to gnaw the platters,
And he that wears the purple vest

May wear the rags and tatters. I think the Tories love to buy

“Your Lordships" and "your Graces," By loathing common honesty,

And lauding commonplaces :
I think that some are very wise,

And some are very funny,
And some grow rich by telling lies,

And some by telling money.

I think the Whigs are wicked knaves

(And very like the Tories)
Who doubt that Britain rules the waves,

And ask the price of glories :
I think that many fret and fume

At what their friends are planning,
And Mr. Hume hates Mr. Brougham,

As much as Mr. Canning.

I think that friars and their hoods,

Their doctrines and their maggots,
Have lighted up too many feuds,

And far too many faggots :
I think, while zealots fast and frown,

And fight for two or seven,
That there are fifty roads to Town,

And rather more to Heaven.
I think that, thanks to Paget's lance,

And thanks to Chester's learning,
The hearts that burned for fame in France

At home are safe from burning : I think the Pope is on his back;

And, though 'tis fun to shake him, I think the Devil not so black

As many people make him.

I think that Love is like a play,

Where tears and smiles are blended, Or like a faithless April day,

Whose shine with shower is ended : Like Colnbrook pavement, rather rough,

Like trade, exposed to losses,
And like a Highland plaid, -all stuff,

And very full of crosses.

I think the world, though dark it be,

Has aye one rapturous pleasure Concealed in life's monotony,

For those who seek the treasure :
One planet in a starless night,

One blossom on a briar,
One friend not quite a hypocrite,

One woman not a liar !

I think poor beggars court St. Giles,

Rich beggars court St. Stephen ; And death looks down with nods and smiles,

And makes the odds all even :
I think some die upon the field,

And some upon the billow,
And some are laid beneath a shield,

And some beneath a willow.

I think that very few have sighed

When Fate at last has found them,
Though bitter foes were by their side,

And barren moss around them :
I think that some have died of drought,

And some have died of drinking ;
I think that nought is worth a thought,-

And I'm a fool for thinking!


(From Beranger.) This morning, as in bed I lay,

Half waking and half sleeping, A score of Loves, immensely gay,

Were round my chamber creeping; I could not move my hand or head

To ask them what the stir meant ;
And “ Ah !” they cried, “our friend is dead;
Prepare for his interment !”.

All whose hearts with mine were blended,
Weep for me! my days are ended !

« PreviousContinue »