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The Cock was of a larger egg

Than modern poultry drop, Stept forward on a firmer leg.

And crammed a plumper crop; Upon an ampler dunghill trod,

Crowed lustier, late and early, Sipt wine from silver, praising God,

And raked in golden barley.

A private life was all his joy,

Till in a court he saw
A something-pottle-bodied boy,

That knuckled at the taw:
He stooped and clutched him, fair and good,

Flew over roof and casement: His brothers of the weather stood

Stock-still for sheer amazement.

But he, by farmstead, thorpe and spire,

And followed with acclaims,
A sign to many a staring shire,

Came crowing over Thames.
Rio-lit down by smoky Paul's they bore,

Till, where the street grows straiter,
One fixed forever at the door,

And one became head-waiter.

* # * *

But whither would my fancy go?

How out of place she makes The violet of a legend blow

Among the chops and steaks! 'Tis but a steward of the can,

One shade more plump than common; As just and mere a serving-man

As any, born of woman.

1 ranged too high: what draws me down Into-the common day?

Is it the weight of that half-crown,
Which I shall have to pay?

For, something duller than at first,
Nor wholly comfortable,

I sit, (my empty glass reversed,)
And thrumming on the table:

Half-fearful that, with self at strife,

I take myself to task:
Lest of the fulness of my life

I leave an empty flask:
For I had hope, by something rare,

To prove myself a poet; But, while I plan and plan, my hair

Is gray before I know it.

So fares it since the years began,

Till they be gathered up; The truth that flies the flowing can,

Will haunt the vacant cup: And others' follies teach us not,

Nor much their wisdom teaches; And most, of sterling worth, is what

Our own experience preaches.

Ah! let the rusty theme alone!

We know not what we know.
But for my pleasant hour, 'tis gone,

'Tis gone, and let it go.
'Tis gone: a thousand such have slipt

Away from my embraces, • And fallen into the dusty crypt

Of darkened forms and faces.

Go, therefore, thou! thy betters went
Long since, and came no more:

With peals of genial clamor sent
From many a tavern-door,

With twisted quirks and happy hits,
From misty men of letters;

The tavern-hours of mighty wits—
Thine elders and thy betters.

Hours, when the Poet's words and looks

Had yet their native glow:
Nor yet the fear of little books

Had made him talk for show;
But, all his vast heart sherris-warmed,

He flashed his random speeches;
Ere days, that deal in ana, swarmed

His literary leeches.

So mix forever with the past,

Like all good things on earth!
For should I prize thee, couldst thou last5

At half thy real worth?
I hold it good, good things should pass:

With time I will not quarrel:
It is but yonder empty glass

That makes me maudlin-moral.

Head-waiter of the chop-house here,

To which I most resort,
I too must part: I hold thee dear

For this good pint of port.
For this, thou shalt from all things suck

Marrow of mirth and laughter; And, wheresoe'er thou move, good luck

Shall fling her old shoe after.

But thou wilt never move from hence.

The sphere thy fate allots:
Thy latter days increased with pence

Go down among the pots:
Thou battenest by the greasy gleam

In haunts of hungry sinners,
Old boxes, larded with the steam

Of thirty thousand dinners.

We fret, we fume, would shift our skins,

Would quarrel with our lot;
Thy care is, under polished tins,

To serve the hot-and-hot;
To come and go, and come again,

Returning like the pewit,
And watched by silent gentlemen,

That trifle with the cruet.

Live long, ere from thy topmost head

The thick-set hazel dies;
Long, ere the hateful crow shall tread

The corners of thine eyes;
Live long, nor feel in head or chest

Our changeful equinoxes,
Till mellow Death, like some late guest,

Shall call thee from the boxes.

But when he calls, and thou shalt cease

To pace the gritted floor,
And, laying down an unctuous lease

Of life, shalt earn no more:
No carved cross-bones, the types of Death,

Shall show thee past to Heaven; But carved cross-pipes, and, underneath,

A pint-pot, neatly graven.

LADY CLARE.

It was the time when lilies blow,
And clouds are highest up in air,

Lord Ronald brought a lily-white doe
To give his cousin, Lady Clare.

I trow they did not part in scorn:
Lovers long-betrothed were they:

They two will wed the morrow morn;
God's blessing on the day!

"He does not love me for my birth,
Nor for my lands so broad and fair;

He loves me for my own true worth,
And that is well," said Lady Clare.

In there came old Alice the nurse,

Said, " Who was this that went from thee?"

"It was my cousin," said Lady Clare, "To-morrow he weds with me."

"O God be thanked!" said Alice the nurse, "That all comes round so just and fair:

Lord Ronald is heir of all your lands,
And you are not the Lady Clare."

"Are ye out of your mind, my nurse, my nurse?"

Said Lady Clare, "that ye speak so wild?" "As God's above," said Alice the nurse,

"I speak the truth: you are my child.

"The old Earl's daughter died at my breast;

I speak the truth as I live by bread! I buried her like my own sweet child,

And put my child in her stead."

"Falsely, falsely have ye done,

0 mother," she said, " if this be true,

To keep the best man under the sun
So many years from his due."

"Nay now, my child," said Alice the nurse, "But keep the secret for your life,

And all you have will be Lord Ronald's,
When you are man and wife."

"If I'm a beggar born," she said,
"I will speak out, for I dare not lie.

Pull off, pull off the brooch of gold,
And fling the diamond necklace by/*

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