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On bust or coin we mark the wreath,
Forgetful of its bloody story,
How many myriads writhed in death,
That one might bear this type of glory.
Cæsar first wore the badge, 'tis said,
'Cause his bald sconce had nothing on it,
Knocking some millions on the head,
To get his own a leafy bonnet.
Luckily for the Laurel's name,
Profaned to purposes so frightful,
'Twas worn by nobler heirs of fame,
All innocent, and some delightful.
With its green leaves were victors crown'd
In the Olympic games for running,
Who wrestled best, or gallop'd round
The Circus with most speed and cunning. Apollo, crown'd with Bays, gives laws
To the Parnassian Empyrean;
They by the leaf were paid, not sheet,
And that's the reason they surpass us.
One wreath thus twines the heads about,
Whose brains have brighten'd all our sconces,
And those who others' brains knock'd out,
'Cause they themselves were royal dunces.
Men fight in these degenerate days,
For crowns of gold, not laurel fillets;
And bards who borrow fire from bays,
Must have them in the grate for billets.
Laureats we have (for cash and sack)
Of all calibres and diameters,
But 'stead of poetry, alack!
They give us lachrymose Hexameters.
And that illustrious leaf for which
Folks wrote and wrestled, sang and bluster'd,
Is now boild down to give a rich
And dainty flavour to our custard!
TO THE LADIES OF ENGLAND.
BEAUTIES!-(for, dress'd with so much taste,
All may with such a term be graced,
Attend the friendly stanza,
Which deprecates the threatend change
Of English modes for fashions strange,
And French extravaganza.
What! when her sons renown have won
In arts and arms, and proudly shone
A pattern to the nations,
Shall England's recreant daughters kneel
At Gallic shrines, and stoop to steal
Fantastic innovations ?