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(Fancy and wit in richest dress) A Sicilian fruitfulness.
Thou through such a mist dost show us That our best friends do not know us, And, for those allowed features Due to reasonable creatures, Liken'st us to fell chimeras, Monsters, — that who see us, fear us ; Worse than Cerberus or Geryon, Or, who first loved a cloud, Ixion.
Irony all, and feigned abuse,
Bacchus we know, and we allow His tipsy rites. But what art thou, That but by reflex canst show What his deity can do, As the false Egyptian spell Aped the true Hebrew miracle? Some few vapors thou mayst raise, The weak brain may serve to amaze ; But to the reins and nobler heart Canst nor life nor heat impart.
Brother of Bacchus, later born! The old world was sure forlorn, Wanting thee, that aidest more The god's victories than, before, All his panthers, and the brawls Of his piping Bacchanals. These, as stale, we disallow, Or judge of thee meant: only thou His true Indian conquest art; And, for ivy round his dart, The reformed god now weaves A finer thyrsus of thy leaves.
Or, as men, constrained to part With what's nearest to their heart, While their sorrow's at the height Lose discrimination quite, And their hasty wrath let fall, To appease their frantic gall, On the darling thing, whatever, Whence they feel it death to sever, Though it be, as they, perforce, Guiltless of the sad divorce.
Scent to match thy rich perfume Chemic art did ne'er presume, Through her quaint alembic strain, None so sovereign to the brain. Nature, that did in thee excel, Framed again no second smell. Roses, violets, but toys For the smaller sort of boys, Or for greener damsels meant ; Thou art the only manly scent.
Stinkingest of the stinking kind ! Filth of the mouth and fog of the mind ! Africa, that brags her foyson, Breeds no such prodigious poison ! Henbane, nightshade, both together, Hemlock, aconite
For I must (nor let it grieve thee, Friendliest of plants, that I must) leave thee. For thy sake, tobacco, I Would do anything but die, And but seek to extend my days Long enough to sing thy praise. But, as she who once hath been A king's consort is a queen Ever after, nor will bate Any tittle of her state Though a widow, or divorced, – So I, from thy converse forced, The old name and style retain, A right Catherine of Spain ; And a seat, too, 'mongst the joys Of the blest tobacco boys; Where, though I, by sour physician, Am debarred the full fruition Of thy favors, I may catch Some collateral sweets, and snatch Sidelong odors, that give life Like glances from a neighbor's wife; And still live in the by-places
Nay, rather, Plant divine, of rarest virtue ! Blisters on the tongue would hurt you ! 'T was but in a sort I blamed thee; None e'er prospered who defamed thee ;
And the suburbs of thy graces ;
And chained her there mid want and strife,
That lowly thing, a drunkard's wife!
And stamped on childhood's brow, so mild,
Go, hear, and see, and feel, and know
All that my soul hath felt and known, GO, FEEL WHAT I HAVE FELT.
Then look within the wine-cup's glow; [By a young lady who was told that she was a monomaniac in her
See if its brightness can atone ; hatred of alcoholic liquors.)
Think if its flavor you would try,
If all proclaimed, —'T is drink and die.
Tell me I hate the bowl,
Hate is a feeble word ;
I loathe, abhor, my very soul
By strong disgust is stirred
Whene'er I see, or hear, or tell
Of the DARK BEVERAGE OF HELL !
Youth's sweetness turned to gall;
We are two travellers, Roger and I.
Roger's my dog: - come here, you scamp!
Jump for the gentlemen,
mind your eye! Strive the besotted heart to melt,
Over the table, – look out for the lamp ! The downward course to stay ;
The rogue is growing a little old ; Be cast with bitter curse aside,
Five years we've tramped through wind and Thy prayers burlesqued, thy tears defied.
weather, Go, stand where I have stood,
And slept out-doors when nights were cold,
And ate and drank -- and starved together.
A bed on the floor, a bit of rosin,
A fire to thaw our thumbs (poor fellow !
there's been frozen),
Plenty of catgut for my fiddle Go, hear what I have heard,
(This out-door business is bad for the strings), The sobs of sad despair,
Then a few nice buckwheats hot from the griddle, As memory's feeling fount hath stirred,
And Roger and I set up for kings !
Roger and I are exceedingly moral,
Are n't we, Roger ? see him wink!Go to my mother's side,
Well, something hot, then, we won't quarrel. And her crushed spirit cheer ;
He's thirsty too,
- see him nod his head ? Thine own deep anguish hide,
What a pity, sir, that dogs can't talk !
He understands every word that's said,
And he knows good milk from water-and-chalk. The
gray that streaks her dark hair now, The toil-worn frame, the trembling limb, The truth is, sir, now I reflect, And trace the ruin back to him
I've been so sadly given to grog, Whose plighted faith, in early youth, I wonder I've not lost the respect Promised eternal love and truth,
(Here's to you, sir !) even of my dog. But who, forsworn, hath yielded up
But he sticks by through thick and thin ; This promise to the deadly cup,
And this old coat, with its empty pockets, And led her down from love and light, And rags that smell of tobacco and gin, From all that made her pathway bright, He'll follow while he has eyes in his sockets.
There is n't another creature living
She's married since, — a parson's wife ; Would do it, and prove, through every disaster, 'T was better for her that we should part, – So fond, so faithful, and so forgiving
Better the soberest, prosiest life To such a miserable, thankless master!
Than a blasted home and a broken heart. No, sir ! — see him wag his tail and grin ! I have seen her ? Once : I was weak and spent
By George ! it makes my old eyes water ! On the dusty road, a carriage stopped ; That is, there's something in this gin
But little she dreamed, as on she went, That chokes a fellow. But no matter !
Who kissed the coin that her fingers dropped ! We 'll have some music, if you 're willing, You've set me talking, sir ; I'm sorry ; And Roger (hem ! what a plague a cough is, It makes me wild to think of the change ! sir !)
What do you care for a beggar's story? Shall march a little. Start, you villain !
Is it amusing? you find it strauge ? Stand straight ! 'Bout face ! Salute your offi- I had a mother so proud of me !
'T was well she died before – Do you know Put up that paw! Dress! Take your rifle ! If the happy spirits in heaven can see (Some dogs have arms, you see !) Now hold The ruin and wretchedness here below!
your Cap while the gentlemen give a trifle,
Another glass, and strong, to deaden To aid a poor old patriot soldier !
This pain ; then Roger and I will start.
I wonder, has he such a lumpish, leaden, March! Halt! Now show how the rebel shakes Aching thing in place of a heart ?
When he stands up to hear his sentence. He is sad sometimes, and would weep, if he could, Now tell us how many drams it takes
No doubt, remembering things that were, – To honor a jolly new acquaintance.
A virtuous kennel, with plenty of food, Five yelps, — that 's five ; he's mighty knowing ! And himself a sober, respectable cur.
The night's before us, fill the glasses ! Quick, sir! I'm ill, — my brain is going !
I'm better now; that glass was warming. Some brandy,
there ! it You rascal ! limber your lazy feet ! passes !
We must be fiddling and performing
For supper and bed, or starve in the street. Why not reform ? That's easily said ;
Not a very gay life to lead, you think? But I've gone through such wretched treat But soon we shall go where lodgings are free, ment,
- thank you,
And the sleepers need neither victuals nor Sometimes forgetting the taste of bread,
drink; And scarce remembering what meat meant, The sooner the better for Roger and me! That my poor stomach 's past reform ;
J. T. TROWBRIDGE. And there are times when, mad with thinking, I'd sell out heaven for something warm To prop a horrible inward sinking.
THE POOR MAN AND THE FIEND.
Is there a way to forget to think ?
A FIEND once met a humble man At your age, sir, home, fortune, friends, At night, in the cold dark street, A dear girl's love, - but I took to drink, And led him into a palace fair,
The same old story; you know how it ends. Where music circled sweet ; If you could have seen these classic features, And light and warmth cheered the wanderer's You need n't laugh, sir ; they were not then
heart, Such a burning libel on God's creatures ;
From frost and darkness screened, I was one of your handsome men !
Till his brain grew mad beneath the joy,
And he worshipped before the fiend. If you had seen her, so fair and young,
Whose head was happy on this breast ! Ah! well if he ne'er had knelt to that fiend, If you could have heard the songs I sung
For a taskmaster grim was he ; When the wine went round, you would n't have And he said, “One half of thy life on earth guessed
I enjoin thee to yield to me ; That ever I, sir, should be straying
And when, from rising till set of sun, From door to door, with fiddle and dog,
Thou hast toiled in the heat or snow, Ragged and penniless, and playing
Let thy gains on mine altar an offering be"; To you to-night for a glass of grog !
And the poor man ne'er said “No!”
The poor man had health, more dear than gold ; , Canst drink the waters of the crispéd spring ? Stout bone and muscle strong,
O sweet content ! That neither faint nor weary grew,
Swimm'st thou in wealth, yet sink'st in thine To toil the June day long;
own tears? And the fiend, his god, cried hoarse and loud,
O punishment ! "Thy strength thou must forego,
Then he that patiently want's burden bears Or thou no worshipper art of mine" ;
No burden bears, but is a king, a king ! And the poor man ne'er said “No!”
O sweet content ! O sweet, O sweet content !
Work apace, apace, apace, apace; Three children blest the poor man's home, Honest labor bears a lovely face ; Stray angels dropped on earth,
Then hey nonny nonny, hey nonny nonny ! The fiend beheld their sweet blue eyes,
And he laughed in fearful mirth :
SWEET IS THE PLEASURE.
Sweet is the pleasure
Itself cannot spoil ! A young wife sat by the poor man's fire,
Is not true leisure
One with true toil ?
Thou that wouldst taste it,
Still do thy best; “Come, mix the cup of woe,
Use it, not waste it, Bid thy young wife drain it to the dregs”;
Else 't is no rest. And the poor man ne'er said “No!”
Wouldst behold beauty 0, misery now for this poor man !
Near thee? all round ? 0, deepest of misery !
Only hath duty Next the fiend his godlike reason took,
Such a sight found. And amongst beasts fed he;
Rest is not quitting And when the sentinel mind was gone,
The busy career ; He pilfered his soul also ;
Rest is the fitting And — marvel of marvels !- he murmured not;
Of self to its sphere. The poor man ne'er said “No!"
'T is the brook's motion, Now, men and matrons in your prime,
Clear without strife, Children and grandsires old,
Fleeing to ocean Come listen, with soul as well as ear,
After its life. This saying whilst I unfold; 0, listen till your brain whirls round,
Deeper devotion And your heart is sick to think,
Nowhere hath knelt; That in England's isle all this befell,
Heart never felt.
'T is loving and serving
The highest and best ;
'T is onwards ! unswerving, – THE HAPPY HEART.
And that is true rest.
JOHN SULLIVAN DWIGHT. Art thou poor, yet hast thou golden slumbers ?
O sweet content !
THE VILLAGE BLACKSMITH.
UNDER a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands ; O sweet content ! O sweet, O sweet content !
The smith, a mighty man is he, Work apace, apace, apace, apace ;
With large and sinewy hands ; Honest labor bears a lovely face ;
And the muscles of his brawny arms Then hey nonny nonny, hey nonny nonny !
Are strong as iron bands.
His hair is crisp and black and long ;
His face is like the tan;
He earns whate'er he can ;
For he owes not any man.
Week in, week out, from morn till night,
You can hear his bellows blow; You can hear him swing his heavy sledge,
With measured beat and slow, Like sexton ringing the village bell,
When the evening sun is low.
And children, coming home from school,
Look in at the open door ;
And hear the bellows roar,
Like chaff from a threshing-floor.
He goes on Sunday to the church,
And sits among his boys ; He hears the parson pray and preach,
He hears his daughter's voice, Singing in the village choir,
And it makes his heart rejoice.
It sounds to him like her mother's voice,
Singing in Paradise ! He needs must think of her once more,
How in the grave she lies ; And with his hard, rough hand he wipes
A tear out of his eyes.
Toiling, rejoicing, sorrowing,
Onward through life he goes ; Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close ; Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a night's repose. Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught ! Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought ; Thus on its sounding anvil shaped Each burning deed and thought !
HENRY WADSWORTH LONGFELLOW.
EARTH, of man the bounteous mother,
Feeds him still with corn and wine ; He who best would aid a brother
Shares with him these gifts divine.
Many a power within her bosom,
Noiseless, hidden, works beneath ;
Golden ear, and clustered wreath.
These to swell with strength and beauty
Is the royal task of man ;
Since his work on earth began.
Bud and harvest, bloom and vintage,
These, like man, are fruits of earth;
All from dust receive their birth.
Barn and mill, and wine-vat's treasures,
Earthly goods for earthly lives, –
These her child from her derives.
What the dream but vain rubelling,
If from earth we sought to flee ?
'T is from it the skies we see.
Wind and frost, and hour and season,
Land and water, sun and shade,
For they work thy toil to aid.
Sow thy seed and reap in gladness!
Man himself is all a seed;
THE USEFUL PLOUGH.
A COUNTRY life is sweet !
To walk in the air how pleasant and fair !
The fairest of flowers adorning the bowers, And every meadow's brow;
So that I say, no courtier may
Compare with them who clothe in gray,
They rise with the morning lark,
Then, folding their sheep, they hasten to sleep;
are singing, On each green, tender bough.
With what content and merriment Their days are spent whose minds are bent
To follow the useful plough !