Page images


With evening came the banquet and the wine;
The conversazione, the duet,

Attuned by voices more or less divine,

(My heart or head aches with the memory yet.) The four Miss Rawbolds in a glee would shine;

But the two youngest loved more to be set Down to the harp-because to music's charms They added graceful necks, white hands and arms. CVIII.

Sometimes a dance (though rarely on field days,

For then the gentlemen were rather tired) Display'd some sylph-like figures in its maze, Then there was small-talk ready when required; Flirtation-but decorous; the mere praise

Of charms that should or should not be admired. The hunters fought their fox-hunt o'er again, And then retreated soberly-at ten.

angling, the cruellest, the coldest, and the stupidest of pretended sports. They may talk about the beauties of nature, but the angler merely thinks of his dish of fish; he has no leisure to take his eyes from off the streams, and a single bite is worth to him more than all the scenery around. Besides, some fish bite best on a rainy day. The whale, the shark, and the tunny fishery have somewhat of noble and perilous in them; even net fishing, trawling, etc. are more humane and useful-but angling! No angler can be a good man.

. One of the best men I ever knew ;- —as humane, delicate minded, generous, and excellent a creature as any in the world, was an angler: true, he angled with painted flies, and would have been incapable of the extravagances of I. Walton. >>

The above addition was made by a friend in reading over the MS.-< Audi alteram partem »—I leave it to counterbalance my own observation.


The politicians, in a nook apart,

Discuss'd the world, and settled all the spheres; The wits watched every loop-hole for their art,

To introduce a bon-mot head and ears;

Small is the rest of those who would be smart,

A moment's good thing may have cost them years Before they find an hour to introduce it, And then, even then, some bore may make them lose it.


But all was gentle and aristocratic

In this our party; polish'd, smooth and cold,
As Phidian forms cut out of marble Attic.

There now are no Squire Westerns as of old;
And our Sophias are not so emphatic,
But fair as then, or fairer to behold.

We have no accomplish'd black guards, like Tom Jones,
But gentlemen in stays, as stiff as stones.


They separated at an early hour;

That is, ere midnight—which is London's noon : But in the country ladies seek their bower A little earlier than the waning Moon. Peace to the slumbers of each folded flowerMay the rose call back its true colours soon! Good hours of fair cheeks are the fairest tinters, And lower the price of rouge—at least some winters.




Ir from great Nature's or our own abyss

Of thought, we could but snatch a certainty, Perhaps mankind might find the path they missBut then 'twould spoil much good philosophy. One system eats another up, and this

Much as old Saturn ate his progeny; For when his pious consort gave him stones In lieu of sons, of these he made no bones.


But System doth reverse the Titan's breakfast,
And eats her parents, albeit the digestion
Is difficult. Pray tell me, can you make fast
After due search, your faith to any question?
Look back o'er ages, ere unto the stake fast

You bind yourself, and call some mode the best one. Nothing more true than not to trust your senses; And yet what are your other evidences?


For me, I know nought; nothing I deny,
Admit, reject, contemn; and what know you,
Except perhaps that you were born to die?
And both may after all turn out untrue.
age may come, Font of Eternity,


When nothing shall be either old or new. Death, so call'd, is a thing which makes men weep, And yet a third of life is pass'd in sleep.


A sleep without dreams, after a rough day
Of toil, is what we covet most;

and yet

How clay shrinks back from more quiescent clay! very Suicide that pays his debt


At once without instalments (an old

[ocr errors]


Of paying debts, which creditors regret)
Lets out impatiently his rushing breath,
Less from disgust of life than dread of death.


'Tis round him, near him, here, there, every where: And there's a courage which grows out of fear, Perhaps of all most desperate, which will dare

The worst to know it :- when the mountains rear

Their peaks beneath your human foot, and there
You look down o'er the precipice, and drear

The gulf of rock yawns,

you can't gaze a minute Without an awful wish to plunge within it.


'Tis true, you don't-but, pale and struck with terror,
Retire: but look into your past impression!

And you will find, though shuddering at the mirror
Of your own thoughts, in all their self confession,

The lurking bias, be it truth or error,

To the unknown; a secret prepossession,

Toplunge with all your fears-but where? You know not, And that's the reason why you do or do not.


But what's this to the purpose? you will say.
Gent. Reader, nothing; a mere speculation,
For which my sole excuse is-'tis my way,

Sometimes with and sometimes without occasion

« PreviousContinue »