Page images
PDF
EPUB

1

A politician ?-it was vain

To quote the morning paper ;
The horrid phantoms came again,

Rain, Hail, and Snow, and Vapour.
Flat flattery was my only chance;

I acted deep devotion,
Found magic in her every glance,

Grace in her every motion ;
I wasted all a stripling's lore,

Prayer, passion, folly, feeling ;
And wildly looked upon the floor,

And mildly on the ceiling.
I envied gloves upon her arm

And shawls upon her shoulder ;
And, when my worship was most warm,

She-"never found it colder.”
I don't object to wealth

land;
And she will have the giving
Of an extremely pretty hand,

Some thousands, and a living.
She makes silk purses, broiders stools,

Sings sweetly, dances finely,
Paints screens, subscribes to Sunday-schools,

And sits a horse divinely.
But to be linked in life to her !-

The desperate man who tried it
Might marry a Barometer

And hang himself beside it !

[ocr errors]

v.

PORTRAIT OF A LADY

.N THE EXHIBITION OF THE ROYAL ACADEMY, 1831.

WHAT are you, lady ?-naught is here

To tell us of your name or story, To claim the gazer's smile or tear,

To dub you Whig or damn you Tory; It is beyond a poet's skill

To form the slightest notion whether We e'er shall walk through one quadrille,

Or look upon one moon together. You're very pretty!—all the world

Is talking of your bright brow's splendour, And of your locks, so softly curled,

And of your hands, so white and slender ; Some think you're blooming in Bengal ;

Some say you're blowing in the City ;
Some know you're nobody at all :

I only feel-you're very pretty.
But bless my heart ! it's very wrong;

You're making all our belles ferocious;
Anne “never saw a chin so long ;

And Laura thinks your dress " atrocious :" And Lady Jane, who now and then

Is taken for the village steeple, Is sure

can't be four feet ten, And wonders at the taste of people." Soon pass the praises of a face ;

Swift fades the very best vermilion ;

Fame rides a most prodigious pace;

Oblivion follows on the pillion ; And all who in these sultry rooms

To-day have stared, and pushed, and fainted, Will soon forget your pearls and plumes,

As if they never had been painted. You'll be forgotten-as old debts

By persons who are used to borrow; Forgotten as the sun that sets,

When shines a new one on the morrow; Forgotten-like the luscious peach

That blessed the schoolboy last September ; Forgotten like a maiden speech,

Which all men praise, but none remember. Yet, ere you sink into the stream

That whelms alike sage, saint, and martyr, And soldier's sword, and minstrel's theme,

And Canning's wit, and Gatton's charter, Here, of the fortunes of your youth,

My fancy weaves her dim conjectures, Which have, perhaps, as much of truth

As passion's vows, or Cobbett's lectures. Was't in the north, or in the south

That summer breezes rocked your cradle ?
And had you in your baby mouth

A wooden or a silver ladle ?
And was your first unconscious sleep

By Brownie banned, or blessed by Fairy ?
And did you wake to laugh or weep?

And were you christened Maud or Mary? And was your father called “Your Grace ?"

And did he bet at Ascot races ?

And did he chat of commonplace?

And did he fill a score of places ? And did your lady-mother's charms

Consist in picklings, broilings, bastings? Or did she prate about the arms

Her brave forefathers wore at Hastings ? Where were you finished ? tell me where ?

Was it at Chelsea or at Chiswick ? Had you the ordinary share

Of books and backboard, harp and physic ? And did they bid you banish pride,

And mind your Oriental tinting? And did you learn how Dido died ?

And who found out the art of printing? And are you fond of lanes and brooks

A votary of the sylvan Muses ? Or do you con the little books

Which Baron Brougham and Vaux diffuses ? Or do you love to knit and sow

The fashionable world's Arachne ? Or do you canter down the Row

Upon a very long-tailed hackney? And do you love your brother James ?

And do you pet his mares and setters? And have your friends romantic names ?

And do you write them long, long letters ? And are you—since the world began

All women are—a little spiteful ? And don't

you

dote on Malibran ? And don't you think Tom Moore delightsul ? I see they've brought you flowers to-day;

Delicious food for eyes and noses ;

But carelessly you turn away

From all the pinks and all the roses ; Say, is that fond look sent in search

Of one whose look as fondly answers ? And is he, fairest, in the Church ?

Or is he-ain't he–in the Lancers ? And is your love a motley page

Of black and white, half joy, half sorrow? Are you to wait till you're of age ?

Or are you to be his to-morrow ? Or do they bid you, in their scorn,

Your pure and sinless flame to smother? Is he so very meanly born?

Or are you married to another?
Whate'er you are, at last, adieu !

I think it is your bounden duty
To let the rhymes I coin for you
Be prized by all who prize your beauty.

I seek nor gold nor fame;

I fear no cruel strictures ; I wish some girls that I could name

Were half as silent as their pictures !

From you
From you

APRIL FOOLS.

-“passim
Palantes error certo de tramite pellit;
Ill sinistrorsum, hic dextrorsum abit.”

--HORACE.
This day, beyond all contradiction,
This day is all thine own, Queen Fiction !
And thou art building castles boundless
Of groundless joys, and griefs as groundless;

« PreviousContinue »