« AnteriorContinuar »
Fled some few years, old Time may try
Again to wake my rhyme, when I,
Obeying the vagary,
May thus subscribe the muse's frisk:
“My pensive public-yours ! -A BRISK
Young SEPTUAGENARY !"
ANSWER TO “AN OLD MAN'S PÆAN.”
[Written (invitâ Minerva) at the instigation of J. H.]
Thou greybeard gay! whose muse-(perchance
In second childhood's ignorance)
Inspired “An Old Man's Pæan,"
Hear how a brother senior sings
In 'strains antipodean!
Young, I could take a morning's sport;
Play matches in the Tennis Court,
So strong was I and plastic ;
Dine out, and yet with spirit light
Could sport the toe fantastic.
Behold me now!—my limbs are stiff:
An open door, an east-wind's whiff,
Brings sharp rheumatic touches;
A chamber-horse my only nag,
I mope at home, or slowly drag
My gouty feet on crutches.
Once I devour'd whatever came,
And never knew, except by name,
The heartburn, bile, dyspepsy:
Now I must fast-eat what I hate,
Or all my ailments aggravate,
From ache to epilepsy.
How starving Tantalus of old
Was punish'd by the Gods, is told
In many a classic stanza;
And all must recollect the wand
That whisk'd the viands from the hand
Of hungry Sancho Panza :
Their fate without their fault is mine.
Champagne and claret, drinks divine
As nectar or ambrosia,
I may not quaff, but—(horrid bore!)
My sherry from a cruet pour
And think of past symposia.
At home my wife will supervise
Each meal I take. I wish her eyes
Were sometimes touch'd with blindness !
But no—they move not from my plate:
God bless her! how I love, yet hate
Her ever watchful kindness.
“My dear! you know you 're bilious--pray
Avoid the turtle soup to-day,
And do not touch the salmon;
Just take a chicken wing, or leg,
But no rich sauce--and let me beg
You will not taste the gammon."
Shell-fish--of yore my favourite food,
Are now my bane; yet crabs eschew'd,
Might make an angel crabbed
No wonder if I quit the treat
Of dainties that I may not eat,
Half starving and half rabid.
Debarr’d by fond affection's care
From all my palate yearns to share,
A kindness still more cruel
Gives me carte blanche in all I loathe
Bread-puddings, sago, mutton-broth,
Rice-milk, and water-gruel!