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Dubbed her the Beauty of Madrid.
Alas ! what constant pains I took
To merit one approving look !
I courted valour and the muse,
Wrote challenges and billets-doux ;
Paid for sherbet and serenade,
Fenced with Pegru and Alvarade;
Fought all the bull-fights like a hero,
Studied small talk and the Bolero :
Played the guitar-and played the fool,
That out of tune-this out of rule.
I oft at midnight wandered out,
Wrapt up in love and my capoté,
To muse on beauty and the skies,
Cold winds—and Leonora's eyes.
Alas! when all my gains were told,
I'd caught a Tartar—and a cold.
And yet, perchance, that lovely brow
Had still detained my captive vow
That clear blue eye's enchanting roll
Had still enthralled my yielding soul,
But suddenly a vision bright
Came o'er me in a veil of light,
And burst the bonds whose fetters bound me,
And brake the spell that hung around me,
Recalled the heart that madly roved,
And bade me love, and be beloved.
Who was it broke the chain and spell?
Dark-eyed Castilian I thou canst tell !
And am I faithless !-woe the while !
What vow but melts at Rosa's smile ?
For broken vows, and faith betrayed,
The guilt is thine, Castilian maid!
The tale is told, and I am gone :
Think of me, loved and only one,
When none on earth shall care beside
How Carlos lived, or loved, or died !
Thy love on earth shall be to me
A bird upon a leafless tree,
A bark upon a hopeless wave,
A lily on a tombless grave,
A cheering hope, a living ray,
To light me on a weary way.
And thus is love's confession done:
Give me thy parting benison ;
And, ere I rise from bended knee,
To wander o'er a foreign sea
Alone and friendless,-ere I don
My pilgrim's hat and sandal shoon,
Dark-eyed Castilian ! let me win
Forgiveness sweet for venial sin ;
Let lonely sighs, and dreams of thee,
Be penance for my perjury !
What, what is Marriage? Harris, Priscian!
Assist me with a definition.-
“Oh !” cries a charming silly fool,
Emerging from her boarding-school-
“Marriage is—love without disguises,
It is a—something that arises
From raptures and from stolen glances,
To be the end of all romances ;
Vows-quarrels-moonshine-babes—but hush ! I mustn't have you see me blush.”
“Pshaw !” says a modern modish wife,
Marriage is splendour, fashion, life ;
A house in town, and villa shady,
Balls, diamond bracelets, and 'my lady ;'
Then for finale, angry words,
Some people's—'obstinate's—'absurds !'
And peevish hearts, and silly heads,
And oaths, and bêtes, and separate beds.”
An aged bachelor, whose life
Has just been sweetened with a wife,
Tells out the latent grievance thus :
Marriage is—odd ! for one of us
'Tis worse a mile than rope or tree,
Hemlock, or sword, or slavery;
An end at once to all our ways,
Dismission to the one-horse chaise;
Adieu to Sunday car, and pig,
Adieu to wine, and whist, and wig ;
Our friends turn out,- -our wife's are clapt in;
'Tis 'Exit crony,'—'Enter captain !!
Then hurry in a thousand thorns,-
Quarrels, and compliments,-and horns.
This is the yoke, and I must wear it;
Marriage is—hell, or something near it !”
"Why, marriage," says an exquisite,
Sick from the supper of last night,
Marriage is—after one by me !
I promised Tom to ride at three. —
Marriage is—’gad ! I'm rather late ;
La Fleur—my stays ! and chocolate !
Marriage is—really, though, 'twas hard
To lose a thousand on a card ;
Sink the old Duchess !-three revokes !
'Gad! I must fell the abbey oaks :
Mary has lost a thousand more !-
Marriage is—'gad ! a cursed bore ! ”
Hymen, who hears the blockheads groan,
Rises indignant from his throne,
And mocks their self-reviling tears,
And whispers thus in Folly's ears :
“O frivolous of heart and head !
If strifes infest your nuptial bed,
Not Hymen's hand, but guilt and sin,
Fashion and folly, force them in;
If on your couch is seated Care,
I did not bring the scoffer there;
If Hymen's torch is feebler grown,
The hand that quenched it was your own ;
And what I am, unthinking elves,
Ye all have made me for yourselves !”
T. QUINCE, ESQ., TO THE REV. MATTHEW PRINGLE.
You wonder that your ancient friend
Has come so near his journey's end,
And borne his heavy load of ill
O'er Sorrow's slough, and Labour's hill,
Without a partner to beguile
The toilsome way with constant smile,
To share in happiness and pain,
To guide, to comfort, to sustain,
And cheer the last long weary stage
That leads to Death through gloomy Age !
To drop these metaphoric jokes,
And speak like reasonable folks,
It seems you wonder, Mr. Pringle,
That old Tom Quince is living single !
Since my old crony and myself
Laid crabbed Euclid on the shelf,
And made our congé to the Cam,
Long years have passed ; and here I am
With nerves and gout, but yet alive,
A Bachelor, and fifty-five.-
Sir, I'm a Bachelor, and mean
Until the closing of the scene,
Or be it right, or be it wrong,
To play the part I've played so long,
Nor be the rat that others are,
Caught by a ribbon or a star.
“ As years increase,” your worship cries,
" All troubles and anxieties
Come swiftly on : you feel vexation
About your neighbours, or the nation;
The gout in fingers or in toes
Awakes you from your first repose ;
You'll want a clever nurse, when life
Begins to fail you-take a wife !
Believe me, from the mind's disease
Her soothing voice might give you ease,