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When far from town, in some sequester'd spot,
You mourn the hardship of our sex's lot,
Ill humour, vapours, sullenness, and spleen,
May add fresh horrors to the gloomy scene,
And make the tyrants who contrive your fate
Partake the misery themselves create.
If, press’d by cares, they need a friend's relief,
Be all your study to augment their grief;
If pleased or gay, your utmost arts employ
To sink their spirits and dispel their joy;
Oppose their projects, cross their favourite views,
Their wishes frustrate, their requests refuse ;
And make them feel that discontented wives
Can prove the torment of their husbands' lives.
RT, HON. R. FITZPATRICK.
GENTLEMEN of the session round,
With reverence and respect profound,
I on the spot, before you, here,
Counsel for plaintiff Noon appear :-
For why?-Said Noon in sundry cases,
Things, matters, premises, and places
(As per instructions in my brief),
Stands much aggrieved ; and claims relief,
My client, gentlemen, refers
To clouds of evidence;—and avers
That Morn and Afternoon combining,
Plotting, contriving, and designing
By covert guile and oyert act
( Contra statut provis' et facť)
From his undoubted claim and right,
Have partly, and would oust him quite,
Cancel all proofs of his identity,
And make him a downright nonentity;
Scarce to be found by search or trial,
Save on the surface of a dial:
For this he owns, and owns with pride,
Hurt as he is by all beside,
Spite of ill luck, spite of ill will,
His friend the Sun sticks by him still.
The special damag'e he sustains,
Thus with submission Noon explains.
Time was (he warrants me to say) When people rose because 'twas day; Rising so soon, they dress’d as soon; And all the world was gay by Noon, Whose presence twofold lustre threw : Nature's meridian, and Day's too. Think, then, how Noon held up his head! But oh! that golden age is fled! The’ intruder Morn, too near allied To luxury, indolence, and pride, By such encroachments has crépt on, That Noon is fairly pass'd and gone, And westward far his journey takes Ere half the modern world awakes : Whereby he mourns his honour lost, His joy abridged, his influence cross'd; And fears, among politer folk (Should fashion carry on the joke) His very name may soon be hiss'd hence, As much a bore as his existence.
So close his neighbour Morning shaves! Now mark how Afternoon behaves!
In palace, college, hall, of yore
Bounce went at Noon the buttery door;
The mutton-bell the guests convoked ;
His rosy gills the chaplain stroked ;
All stomachs and all spirits up;
They sliced, they laugh'd, they smack'd the cup;
Then with new glee new toils begun;
And seem'd to live two days in one.
Now, appetite at four, at five,
At six is scarcely yet alive;
And Afternoon usurps the place
Which Noon once held with twice the grace.
Yet let not Afternoon presume ;-
Himself may meet an equal doom;
To modish whim, perforce may yield,
And quit, ere dinnertime, the field;
Though past the hour, when stretch'd for rest,
Our sires were in their nightcaps dress'd.
(This by the by.)— Poor Noon meanwhile,
Scouted by taste and ton and style,
Scarce sees a dinner in a year,
Save where daylabourers club for beer;
Or gipsies stolen fuel store,
To cook the mess—they stole before.
Here Noon aforesaid ends his charge,
And hopes he need not now enlarge
On merits held, agreed, and known,
Time immemorial for his own.
If haply in life's earlier day
He gave you many an hour of play,
If e'er intenser rays he shoot,
Ripening your grain, mellowing your fruit,
If oft in winter's dire extreme,
He treats you with a casual gleam;
And though oblique, and though oppress'd,
Faint as he shines, yet shines his best,
Hear and redress a case so hard !
He'll not demur from your award;
But, sure of candour and support,
Rest on the judgment of the court.
ON A BROOMSTICK. " WRITE on a broomstick, friend, you cried : • Write on, and for YOURSELF,' says Pride. How shall I both commands fulfil ? You ought to rule me, and Pride will.
What if I try, in one design
Duty and Vanity to join ?
And while I urge the broomstick’s plea,
Describe how it resembles me?
Perhaps you may approve the hint;
Though if you should, there's danger in't:
Approval, such as yours, to get,
Would only make me prouder yet.
'Can prouder be?' quoth critic Laughter,
That's even as shall appear hereafter :
Inquire we now, wherein and why,
Such as the broomstick is, am I.
When once 'tis sever'd from the tree
None heeds the broomstick's pedigree:
And who, I wonder, cares a pin
From whom I sprung, to whom I'm kin?
Before the broomstick of to-day
Came, as a broomstick, into play,
'Twas pluck'd and peeld and lopp'd and clipp'd
Of boughs, as I of fortune stripp’d;
Then, like myself, at random hurl'd,
A bare adventurer on the world.
Most broomsticks to a twist incline,
Just like this poking pate of mine :
Nor can you set, by art or might,
The wood quite straight, the head upright:
Nor is the head nor is the wood
Worth half the trouble if you could.
A broomstick's point (if you attend)
Is always near its bigger end;
So (this dull ditty makes it plain)
My thickest part is next my brain.
Humour a broomstick as you may,
'Twill crack before it will give way:
And I, for my own whims contending,
Bear great antipathy to bending.
Though oft in squabbles it appear,
No broomstick fights a volunteer;
Press'd into combat, if it break
One's head, 'tis for another's sake:-
Such would I be ;—my friends to guard,
Would smite; and if I smote, smite hard ;
But never, through the whole of life,
Stand forth a principal in strife.
The broomstick ne'er affects extremes,
Content to be the thing it seems :
May I, with steadfast mind and phiz,
Taking the world as the world is,
Make such philosophy my own;
Glad to let-well enough alone!
True to its proper part and place,
The broomstick scorps to push a face: