Графични страници
PDF файл
[blocks in formation]

“Take your night-cap again, my good lord, I desire,

For I wish not to keep it a minute,
What belongs to a Nelson, where'er there's a fire,
Is sure to be instantly in it.”

In “Bozzi and Piozzi” the former says :-
“Did any one, that he was happy cry,
Johnson would tell him plumply 'twas a lie;
A lady told him she was really so,
On which he sternly answered, “Madam, no!
Sickly you are, and ugly, foolish, poor,
And therefore can't be happy, I am sure.'"

“Grant me an honest fame, or grant me none,'

Says Pope, (I don't know where,) a little liar,
Who, if he praised a man, 'twas in a tone
That made his praise like bunches of sweet-briar,
Which, while a pleasing fragrance it bestows,
Pops out a pretty prickle on your nose.”

He seems to have gained little by his early poems, many of which were directed against the Royal Academicians. One commences :

“Sons of the brush, I'm here again!

At times a Pindar and Fontaine,
Casting poetic pearl (I fear) to swine!
For, bang me, if my last years odes
Paid rent for lodgings near the gods,

Or put one sprat into this mouth divine." Sometimes he calls the Academicians, “Sons of Canvas;" sometimes “Tagrags and bobtails of the sacred brush.” He afterwards wrote a doleful elergy, “The Sorrows of Peter,” and seems not to have thought himself sufficiently patronized, alluding to which he says— “Much did King Charles our Butler's works admire, Read them and quoted them from morn to night, Yet saw the bard in penury expire, Whose wit had yielded him so much delight.” Wolcott was a little restricted by a due re

gard for religion or social decorum. He reminds us of Sterne, often atoning for a transgression by a tender and elevated sentiment. The following from the “ Tales of a Hoy,” supposed to be told on a voyage from Margate gives a good specimen of his style

Captain Noah. Ob, I recollect her. Poor Corinna !* I could cry for her, Mistress Bliss-a sweet creature! So kind! so lovely! and so good-natured! She would not hurt a fly! Lord! Lord ! tried to make every body happy. Gone! Ha! Mistress Bliss, gone! poor soul. Oh! she is in Heaven, depend on it-nothing can hinder it. Oh, Lord, no, nothing-an angel !-an angel by this time-for it must give God very little trouble to make her an angel — she was so charming! Such terrible figures as my Lord C. and my Lady Mary, to be sure, it would take at least a month to make such ones anything like angels—but poor Corinna wanted very few repairs. Perhaps the sweet little soul is now seeing what is going on in our cabin-wbo knows? Charming little Corinna! Lord! how funny it was, for all the world like a rabbit or a squirrel or a kitten at play. Gone! as you say, Gone! Well now for her epitaph.

“Here sleeps what was innocence once, but its snows
Were sullied and trod with disdain ;
Here lics what was beauty, but plucked was its rose

And flung like a weed to the plain.
“ () pilgrim ! look down on her grave with a sigh
Who fell the sad victim of art,
Even cruelty's self must bid her hard eye

A pearl of compassion impart.
“ Ab! think not ye prudes that a sigh or a tear

Can offend of all nature the God!
Lo! Virtue already has mourned at her bier
And the lily will bloom on her sod.”

He wrote some pretty “new-old” balladspurporting to have been written by Queen Elizabeth, Sir T. Wyatt, &c., on light and generally

* A girl, who had been unfortunate in love.

The Landlord's Daughter.


amorous subjects. Much of his satire was political, and necessarily fleeting.

In “Orson and Ellen” he gives a good description of the landlord of a village inn and his daughter,

“The landlord had a red round face

Which some folks said in fun
Resembled the Red Lion's phiz,
And some, the rising Sun.
“Large slices from his cheeks and chin

Like beef-steaks one might cut;
And then his paunch, for goodly size

Beat any brewer's butt.
“ The landlord was a boozer stout

A snufftaker and smoker;
And 'twixt his eyes a nose did shine
Bright as a red-hot poker.

“Sweet Ellen gave the pot with hands

That might with thousands vie :
Her face like veal, was white and red
And sparkling was her eye.
“Her shape, the poplar's easy form

Her neck the lily's white
Soft heaving, like the summer wave

And lifting rich delight.
And o'er this neck of globe-like mould

In ringlets waved her hair;
Ah, what sweet contrast for the eye

The jetty and the fair.
“ Her lips, like cherries moist with dew

So pretty, plump, and pleasing,
And like the juicy cherry too

Did seem to ask for squeezing.
“Yet what is beanty's use alack !

To market can it go ?
Say~will it buy a loin of veal,

Or round of beef? No-no.
“ Will butchers say . Choose what you please
Miss Nancy or Miss Betty ?
Or gardeners, 'Take my beans and peas
Because you are so pretty ??"

He wrote a pleasant satire on the tax upon hair-powder introduced by Pitt, and the shifts to which poor people would be put to hide their hair. He seems to have been as inimical as most people to taxation. He parodies Dryden's “ Alexander's Feast :"

“Of taxes now the sweet musician sung

The court and chorus joined
And filled the wondering wind,
And taxes, taxes, through the garden rung.
“ Monarch's first of taxes think
Taxes are a monarch's treasure

Sweet the pleasure

Rich the treasure Monarchs love a guinea clink. ...." He was, as we may suppose, averse to making Sunday a severe day. He wrote a poem against those who wished to introduce a more strict observance of Sunday, and called it, “The Sorrows of Sunday.” He says: “ Heaven glorieth not in phizzes of dismay Heaven takes no pleasure in perpetual sobbing, Consenting freely that my favourite day, May have her tea and rolls, and hob-and-nobbing; Life with the down of cygnets may be clad Ab! wby not make her path a pleasant trackNo! cries the pulpit Terrorist (bow mad) No! let the world be one huge hedge-bog's back.” He wrote a great variety of gay little sonnets, such as “The Ode to a Pretty Barmaid :" “ Sweet nymph with teeth of pearl and dimpled chin,

And roses, that would tempt a saint to sin,
Daily to thee so constant I return,
Whose smile improves the coffee's every drop
Gives tenderness to every steak and chop
And bids our pockets at expenses spurn.

Conjugal Harmony.


“What youth well-powdered, of pomatum smelling

Shall on that lovely bosom fix his dwelling?
Perhaps the waiter, of himself so full !
With thee he means the coffee-house to quit
Open a tavern and become a wit

And proudly keep the head of the Black Bull. “'Twas here the wits of Anna's Attic age

Together mingled their poetic rage, Here Prior, Pope, and Addison and Steele, Here Parnel, Swift, and Bolingbroke and Gay Poured their keen prose, and turned the merry lay Gave the fair toast, and made a hearty meal. “Nymph of the roguish smile, which thousands seek Give me another, and another steak, A kingdom for another steak, but given By thy fair bands, that shame the snow of heaven. ...."

He seems to have some misgivings about conjugal felicity :“An owl fell desperately in love, poor soul, Sigbing and hooting in his lonely holeA parrot, the dear object of his wishes Who in her cage enjoyed the loaves and fishes In short had all she wanted, meat and drink Washing and lodging full enough I think.”

Poll takes compassion on him and they are duly married —

A day or two passed amorously sweet
Love, kissing, cooing, billing, all their meat,
At length they both felt hungry—'What's for dinner?
Pray, what have we to eat my dear,' quotb Poll.
Nothing,' by all my wisdom, answered Owl.

I never thought of that, as I'm a sinner
But Poll on something I shall put my pats
What sayst tbou, deary, to a dish of rats ??
"Rats-Mister Owl, d'ye think that I'll eat rats,
Eat them yourself or give them to the cats,
Whines the poor bride, now bursting into tears :
• Well, Polly, would you ratber dine on mouse
I'll catch a few if any in the house;'
'I won't eat rats, I won't eat mice--I won't
Don't tell me of such dirty vermin-don't

« ПредишнаНапред »