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Here the puddle of party ne'er rises in riot,
But the oil of urbanity keeps the waves quiet:
Neither faction nor feud his good humour espouses,
He's the happy Mercutio who curses both houses;
With a pretty plump place and a cellar well stored,
Makes his bow to the bench and his bow to the
In political faith knows how much to believe,
And when 'tis convenient to laugh in his sleeve;
His sense is well set, not a word out of joint,
Rather too much in epigram, too much for point ;
With some effort, hisease,—with some stiffness, his
His spirit is free, the expression is tense: [sense;
His brand on our hogsheads he lawfully puts,
But 'tis harder to brand with his wit all our butts.
'Tis our Irish primum, our raw manufacture,
That keeps well through all seasons, nor needs
an inspector. Thus, in mind and in manners, a man
comme il faut,'
[flow, He glides smoothly through life with a serpentine That still tends to a point, when it seems to incline; And the curve gently blends with the rigid right line.
THE DESPERATE SITUATION OF A JOURNALIST UN
HAPPILY SMITTEN WITH THE LOVE OF RHYME. AGAIN I stop; again the toil refuse ! Away, for pity's sake, distracting Muse; Nor thus come smiling with thy bridal tricks Between my studious face and politics.
Is it for thee to mock the frowns of fate?
Look round, look round, and mark my desperate
Cannot thy gifted eyes a sight behold, [state.
That might have quell’d the Lesbian * bard of old,
And made the blood of Dante's self run cold?
Lo, first, this table spread with fearful books
In which, whoe'er can help it, never looks;
Letters to Lords, Remarks, Reflections, Hints ;
Lives, snatch'd a moment from the public prints;
Pamphlets to prove, on pain of our undoing,
That rags are wealth, and reformation ruin;
Journals and briefs and bills and laws of libel;
And, bloated and blood red, the placeman's an-
Scarce from the load, as from a heap of dead,
My poor old Homer shows his living head;
Milton, in sullen darkness, yields to fate,
And Tasso groans beneath the courtly weight:
Horace alone (the rogue !) his doom has miss'd,
And lies at ease upon the Pension List.
Round these, in tall imaginary chairs,
Imps ever grinning, sit my daily cares;
Distastes, delays, dislikings to begin,
Gnawings of pen, and kneadings of the chin.
Here the blue demon keeps his constant stir,
Who makes a man his own barometer;
There nightmare, horrid mass! unfeatured heap!
Prepares to seize me if I fall asleep:
And there, with hands that grasp one's very soul,
Frowns Headache, scalper of the studious poll;
Headache, who lurks at noon about the courts,
And whets his tomahawk on East's Reports.
Chief of this social game, behind me stands,
Pale, peevish, perriwigg’d, with itching hands,
A goblin, double-tail'd, and cloak’d in black,
Who, while I'm gravely thinking, bites my back.
Around his head flits many a harpy shape
With jaws of parchment and long hairs of tape,
Threatening to pounce, and turn whate'er I write,
With their own venom into foul despight.
Let me but name the court, they swear and curse,
And din me with hard pames; and what is worse,
'Tis now three times that I have miss'd my purse.
No wonder poor Torquato went distracted,
On whose gall’d senses just such pranks were
acted ; When the small tyrant, God knows on what ground, With dungeons and with doctors hemm'd him
round *. See Black's Life of Torquato Tasso, which, if it does not evince a mature judgment in point of style, is written at once with great accuracy of investigation and enthusiasm of sympathy: One can never hear without indignation of the state to which this unfortunate genius was reduced by a petty Italian prince, the Duke of Ferrara, who from some mysterious jealoasy, chose to regard his morbid sensibility as madness, and not only locked him up, but drenched him with nauseous medicines. It is truly humiliating to hear the illustrious poet, in spite of bis natnral higbmindedness, humbly petitioning to be relieved from his inordinate quantity of physic, or promis. ing, in the event of obtaining a small indulgence, to take it more patiently. One of the miseries with which disease, persecution, and fancy, conspired to torment him during his confinement in St. Anne's Hospital, was an idea that he was haunted by a mischievous little goblin, who tumbled his papers about, stole his money, and deranged his contemplations. The following wild and simple touch of pathos is supposed to have been written by him during these afflictions:
Tu che ne vai in Pindo
Ivi pende mia cetra ad un cipresso,
Salutala in mio nome, e dille poi,
Ch'io sou dagli anni, e da fortuna oppresso.
O thou who to Parnagsas takest thy way,
Where hangs my harp upon a cypress tree,
Salute it in my name, and say
That I am old, and full of misery. VOL. y.
Last, but not least, (methinks I see him now!)
With stare expectant and a ragged brow,
Comes the foul fiend, who,-let it rain or shine,
Let it be clear or cloudy, foul or fine,
Or freezing, thawing, drizzling, hailing, snowing,
Or mild, or warm, or hot, or bleak and blowing,
Or damp, or dry, or dull, or sharp, or sloppy,
Is sure to come;—the Devil who comes for copy!
If sights like these my gentle Muse can bear,
Thy visage may be seen, capricious fair,
In courts and taverns, and the Lord knows where.
Gifford may yet his courtly chains forego,
Or leave Reviews to those who dare say no;
Old Brinsley too, with whiskey dead alive,
Look up once more, and feel his flame revive;
And Canning, for a public joke, prefer
Some merriér fiction than his character.
Even Walter Scott may see thee now and then,
Spite of the worn out sword he wields for pen,
And all that ancient state in which he sits,
Of spears, plaids, bugles, helms, and border wits,
Enchanter Scott, who in black letter read,
Gains a rank life by raising of the dead,
Sure but to fix his destiny more fast,
And dying like themselves, be damn'd at last.
But see! even now thy wondrous charm pre-
vails: The shapes are moved : the stricken circle fails : With backward grins of malice they retire, Scared at thy seraph looks and smiles of fire. That instant, as the hindmost shuts the door, The bursting sunshine smites the window'd floor: Bursts too, on every side, the sparkling sound Of birds abroad ; the elastic spirits bound; And the fresh mirth of morning breathes around.
Away, ye clouds :—dull politics give place:-
Off, cares and wants and threats ard all the race
Of foes to freedom and to graceful leisure !
To day is for the Muse and dancing pleasure !
O for a seat in some poetic nook,
Just bid with trees, and sparkling with a brook,
Where through the quivering boughs the sun-
beams shoot Their arrowy diamonds upon flower and fruit, While stealing airs come fuming o'er the stream, And lull the fancy to a waking dream! There shouldst thou come, O first of my desires, What time the noon had spent its fiercer fires, And all the bower with chequer'd shadows strown, Glow'd with a mellow twilight of its own. There shouldst thou come, and there sometimes
with thee Might deign repair the staid Philosophy, To taste thy freshening brook, and trim thy groves, And tell us what good taste true glory loves. I see it now! I pierce the fairy glade, And feel the enclosing influence of the shade. A thousand forms, that sport on summer eves, Glance through the light and whisper in the leaves, While every bough seems nodding with a sprite ; And every air seems hushing the delight; And the calm bliss, fix'd on itself a while, Dimples the' unconscious lips into a smile. Anon, strange music breathes :-—the fairies show Their pranksome crowd, and in grave order go Beside the water, singing, small and clear, New harmonies unknown to mortal ear, Caught upon moonlight nights from some nigh