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Beginning with the laws which keep
The planets in their radiant courses,
And ending with some precept deep
For dressing eels or shoeing horses.
He was a shrewd and sound divine,
Of loud Dissent the mortal terror;
And when, by dint of page and line,
He stablished Truth, or started Error,
The Baptist found him far too deep;
The Deist sighed with saving sorrow;
And the lean Levite went to sleep,
And dreamed of tasting pork to-morrow.
His sermons never said or showed
That Earth is foul, that Heaven is gracious,
Without refreshment on the road
From Jerome, or from Athanasius;
And sure a righteous zeal inspired
The hand and head that penned and planned them,
For all who understood, admired,
And some who did not understand them.
He wrote, too, in a quiet way,
Small treatises and smaller verses;
And sage remarks on chalk and clay,
And hints to noble lords and nurses;
True histories of last year's ghost,
Lines to a ringlet or a turban;
And trifles for the Morning Post,
And nothing for Sylvanus Urban.
He did not think all mischief fair,
Although he had a knack of joking;
He did not make himself a bear,
Although he had a taste for smoking:
And when religious sects ran mad,
He held, in spite of all his learning,
That if a man's belief is bad,
It will not be improved by burning.
And he was kind, and loved to sit
In the low hut or garnished cottage,
And praise the farmer's homely wit,
And share the widow's homelier pottage:
At his approach complaint grew mild,
And when his hand unbarred the shutter,
The clammy lips of Fever smiled
The welcome which they could not utter.
He always had a tale for me
Of Julius Caesar or of Venus:
From him I learned the rule of three,
Cat's cradle, leap-frog, and Quae genus;
I used to singe his powdered wig,
To steal the staff he put such trust in;
And make the puppy dance a jig
When he began to quote Augustin.
Alack the changel in vain I look
For haunts in which my boyhood trifled;
The level lawn, the trickling brook,
The trees I climbed, the beds I rifled:
The church is larger than before:
You reach it by a carriage entry:
It holds three hundred people more:
And pews are fitted up for gentry.
Sit in the Vicar's seat: you'll hear
The doctrine of a gentle Johnian,
Whose hand is white, whose tone is clear,
Whose tone is very Ciceronian.
Where is the old man laid —look down,
And construe on the slab before you,
Hic JAcET GULIELMUS BROWN,
WIR NULLA NoN DoNANDUs LAURA.
THE BACHELOR's CANE BOTTOMED CHAIR.
IN tattered old slippers that toast at the bars,
And a ragged old jacket perfumed with cigars,
Away from the world and its toils and its cares,
I've a snug little kingdom up four pair of stairs.
To mount to this realm is a toil, to be sure,
But the fire there is bright and the air rather pure;
And the view I behold on a sunshiny day
Is grand through the chimney-pots over the way.
This snug little chamber is crammed in all nooks,
With worthless old knicknacks and silly old books,
And foolish old odds and foolish old ends,
Cracked bargains from brokers, cheap keepsakes from friends.
Old armor, prints, pictures, pipes, china (all cracked),
Old rickety tables, and chairs broken-backed;
A twopenny treasury, wondrous to see;
What matter? 'tis pleasant to you, friend, and me.
No better divan need the Sultan require,
Than the creaking old sofa that basks by the fire;
And 'tis wonderful, surely, what music you get
From the rickety, ramshackle, wheezy spinet.
That praying-rug came from a Turcoman's camp;
By Tiber once twinkled that brazen old lamp;
A Mameluke fierce yonder dagger has drawn:
'Tis a murderous knife to toast muffins upon.
Long, long through the hours, and the night, and the chimes,
Here we talk of old books, and old friends, and old times;
As we sit in a fog made of rich Latakie
This chamber is pleasant to you, friend, and me.
But of all the cheap treasures that garnish my nest,
There's one that I love and I cherish the best;
For the finest of couches that's padded with hair
I never would change thee, my cane-bottomed chair.
'Tis a bandy-legged, high-shouldered, worm-eaten seat,
With a creaking old back, and twisted old feet;
But since the fair morning when FANNY sat there,
I bless thee and love thee, old cane-bottomed chair.
If chairs have but feeling in holding such charms,
A thrill must have passed through your withered old arms!
I looked, and I longed, and I wished in despair;
I wished myself turned to a cane-bottomed chair.
It was but a moment she sat in this place,
She'd a scarf on her neck, and a smile on her face!
A smile on her face, and a rose in her hair,
And she sat there, and bloomed in my cane-bottomed chair.
And so I have valued my chair ever since,
Like the shrine of a saint, or the throne of a prince;
Saint FANNY, my patroness sweet I declare,
The queen of my heart and my cane-bottomed chair.
When the candles burn low, and the company's gone,
In the silence of night as I sit here alone—
I sit here alone, but we yet are a pair—
My FANNY I see in my cane-bottomed chair.
She comes from the past and revisits my room;
She looks as she then did, all beauty and bloom;
So smiling and tender, so fresh and so fair,
And yonder she sits in my cane-bottomed chair.
OH ! I have loved thee fondly, ever
Preferr'd thee to the choicest wine;
From thee my lips they could not sever
By saying thou contain'dst strychnine.
Did I believe the slander ? Never!
I held thee still to be divine.
For me thy color hath a charm,
Although 'tis true they call thee Pale;
And be thou cold when I am warm,
As late I've been—so high the scale
Of FAHRENHEIT-and febrile harm
Allay, refrigerating Ale!
How sweet thou art!—yet bitter, too;
And sparkling, like satiric fun;
But how much better thee to brew,
Than a conundrum or a pun,
It is, in every point of view,
Must be allow'd by every one.
Refresh my heart and cool my throat,
Light, airy child of malt and hops |
That dost not stuff, engross, and bloat
The skin, the sides, the chin, the chops,
And burst the buttons off the coat,
Like stout and porter—fattening slops!
“CHILDREN MUST BE PAID FOR.”
Sweet is the sound of infant voice;
Young innocence is full of charms:
There's not a pleasure half so choice,
As tossing up a child in arms.
Babyhood is a blessed state,
Felicity expressly made for;
But still, on earth it is our fate,
That even “Children must be paid for."
If in an omnibus we ride,
It is a beauteous sight to see,
When full the vehicle inside,
Age taking childhood on its knee.
But in the dog-days' scorching heat,
When a slight breath of air is pray'd for,
Half suffocated in our seat,
We feel that “Children must be paid for."
There is about the sports of youth
A charm that reaches every heart,
Marbles or tops are games of truth,
The bat plays no deceiver's part.
But if we hear a sudden crash,
No explanation need be stay'd for,
We know there's something gone to smash;
We feel that “Children must be paid for.”
How exquisite the infant's grace,
When, clambering upon the knee,
The cherub, smiling, takes his place
Upon his mother's lap at tea;