Графични страници
PDF файл


A thundering voice replies, « What miscreant

knave Dares break the sabbath of old Wyschard's grave?'

“No miscreant knave, worm-eaten sir, am I, But Hodge the sexton :-knave! I scorn the word,

I at my honest calling work, for why? Your kinsman's just brought down to be interr'd.'

My kinsman's to be buried here?-Oh, oh! What year of our Lord is it, fellow, let me know.'

'Tis eighteen hundred, sir, and two.'

Ay, goodman sexton, say you so ? Then Time on me a march hath stole;

'Twas near seven hundred years ago That I became the tenant of this hole :

Men like myself behind I left but few; Since then the world, I wot, is fangled all anew! 'Tell me, in sooth, are other folks like thee?

For, by thy voice, thou seem'st a tiny elf.' "Tiny!' quoth Hodge: 'Zooks, I am six feet three!

There's no man in the hundred but myself Can say as much—thy namesake that is dead, I'll warrant him, was shorter by the head.'

“Thy words lack proof: I prithee, honest friend, Thrust through this chink thy little finger's end!

Whence I may know if thou the truth doth state, And judge, by sample small, of thy dimensions

great.' Thought Hodge—Although I little fear the

dead, Fool-hardy mortals perils strange environ.'

His finger then withheld he, but, instead Thrust in his pickaxe nozzle, sheath'd with iron :


And he was in the right,

For at a single bite
Old Wyschard snapp'd it off clean as a whistle.-

Hence, lying varlet, bear
Your pigmy corpse elsewhere,
'Twould Wyschard's grave disgrace!

In the stoutest of your race
There's no more substance than a bit of gristle.'




AND this reft house is that, the which he built,
Lamented Jack! and here his malt he piled,
Cautious in vain! Those rats that squeak so wild,
Squeak, not unconscious of their father's guilt.
Did ye not see her gleaming through the glade!
Belike, 'twas she, the maiden all forlorn,
What though she milk no cow with crumpled horn,
Yet aye she haunts the dale where erst she stray’d:
And aye beside her stalks her amorous knight!
Still on his thighs their wonted brogues are worn,
And through those brogues, still tatter'd and

betorn, His hindward charms gleam an unearthly white, As when through broken clouds, at night's high noon,

[moon! Peeps in fair fragments forth the

1 harvest COLERIDGE,



This parody was written at Trinity College, Cambridge, and

arose from the circumstance of ihe author's barber coming too late to dress him at bis lodgings, at the shop of Mr. Jack son, an apothecary at Cambridge, where he lodged, till a vacancy in the College, by which he lost his dinner in the hall; when, in imitation of the despairing bard, who pros phesied the destruction of King Edward's race, he poured forth his curses upon the whole race of barbers, predicting. their ruin in the simplicity of a future generation.

THE BARBER. Ruin seize thee, scoundrel Coe! Confusion on thy frizzing wait; Hadst thou the only comb below, Thou never more shouldst touch my pate. Club nor queue, nor twisted tail, Nor e’en thy chattering, barber! shall avail To save thy horsewhipp'd back from daily fears, From Cantab's curse,

from Cantab's tears!" Such were the sounds that o'er the powder'd pride Of Coe the barber scatter'd wild dismay, As down the steep of Jackson's slippery lane He wound with puffing march his toilsome tardy

way. In a room where Cambridge town Frowns o'er the kennels' stinking flood, Robed in a flannel powdering gown, With haggard eyes poor Erskine stood : (Long his beard, and blowzy hair,. Stream'd like an old wig to the troubled air);


And with clung guts, and face than razor thinner,
Swore the loud sorrows of his dinner.
• Hark! how each striking clock and tolling bell,
With awful sounds, the hour of eating tell !
O'er thee, oh Coe! their dreaded notes they wave,
Soon shall such sounds proclaim thy yawning

grave ;
Vocal in vain, through all this lingering day,
The grace already said, the plates are swept away.
• Cold is Beau *** 's tongue,
That soothed each virgin's pain ;
Bright perfumed M** has cropp'd his head :
Almacks, you moan in vain!
Each youth whose high toupee
Made huge Plinlimmon bow his cloud-capp'd head
In humble Tyburn-top we see;
Esplash'd with dirt and sun-burn'd face;
Far on before the ladies mend their pace,
The Macaroni sneers, and will not see.
Dear lost companions of the coxcomb's art,
Dear as a turkey to these famish'd eyes,
Dear as the ruddy port which warms my heart,
Ye sunk amidst the fainting misses' cries -
No more I weep_They do not sleep:
At yonder ball, a slovenly band,
I see them sit; they linger yet,
Avengers of fair Nature's hand ;
With me in dreadful resolution join, [line.'
To crop with one accord, and starve they curred
“ Weave the warp, and weave the woof,
The windingsheet of barber's race ;
Give ample room and verge enough
Their lengthen’d lanthorn jaws to trace.

To see,

Mark the year,

and mark the night, When all their shops shall echo with affright, Loud screams shall through St. James's turrets like Eton boy, the king!

[ring, Puppies of France, with unrelenting paws That scrape the foretops of our aching heads, No longer England owns your fribblish laws, No more her folly Gallia's vermin feeds. They wait at Dover for the first fair wind, Soup-meagre in the van, and snuff roast beef be.


“ Mighty barbers, mighty lords,
Low on a greasy bench they lie!
No pitying heart or purse affords
A sixpence for a mutton pie!
Is the mealy 'prentice fled ?
Poor Coe is gone all supperless to bed.
The swarm that in thy shop each morning sat
Comb their lank hair on forehead flat: [beaux,
Fair laughs the morn, when all the world are
While vainly strutting through a silly land,
In foppish train, the puppy barber goes,
Lace on his shirt, and money at command ;
Regardless of the skulking bailiff's sway,
That hid in some dark court expects his evening


“ The porter mug fill high,
Baked curls and locks prepare;
Reft of our heads, they yet by wigs may live!
Close by the greasy chair
Fell thirst and famine lie,
No more to art will beauteous nature give.

« ПредишнаНапред »