Imágenes de páginas

So felt perchance Badoura, as she knelt

Before her Father with her strange petition ;
Oh! in her voice what sweet persuasion dwelt !

How moving was her look of meek submission ! I don't know how her gracious Father felt,

But he was far too great a Politician
To let absurd, intrusive feelings glance
Through his profound and passionless countenance.

He simply answer'd that " he quite agreed

In every single syllable she'd said ;
Such notions were most amiable indeed,

And did much credit to her heart and head.
He only griev'd that there was urgent need

That she should set off instantly to wed
The heir apparent of a distant State
Her resolution had been form's too late.”

This was not what Badoura had expected,

And a distracting scene of course ensued; .
The Maid declar'd the match must be rejected,

The King swore roundly,“ d- n him if it should; She ought to jump to be so well connected ;"

She still persisted that she never would :
He swore that she must do as she was bid,
And should be lock'd up closely till she did.

Poor girl, they shut her in a lonely tower,

(Oh! subject meet for melancholy verse ;) Nor would the old hard-hearted brute allow her

One poor companion, save her kind old Nurse. 'Twas a sad stretch of arbitrary power,

For the convenience of his private purse :
(I own to me it seems extremely funny
How money matters mix with matrimony.)

In the meantime, while all the Chinese Court

Was in confusion with this pleasant scene,
Another, quite as pleasant of the sort,

Was acting by the Prince of Fadladeen. But 'twould be indecorous to report

Such angry squabbles as should ne'er have been. The Youth, in short, was of the Lady's mind, And like the Lady was the Youth confin'd.

Judge not, fair dames, too harshly of his heart,

Nor deem him quite to your attractions blind,
Insensible and dead to Cupid's dart,

And careless of the eyes of womankind. Perhaps some luckier beauty had the start

Of poor Badoura in his wayward mind; Perhaps some young Court-Siren's fascination Within his breast had caus'd a palpitation.

XL. Perhaps—but no the truth must be confest;'.

No woman had dominion o'er his soul; His eye had wander'd o’er earth's loveliest,

And still his heart was free from their control : Yet did he madly love, and o'er his rest

Dreams of such bright and passionate beauty stole,
As oft in slumber to the Poet's eyes
Disclose the long-lost joys of Paradise.

He was, I said, a Poet from his birth,

And fairy-land around his boyhood shone ;
His soul drank in the beauty of the earth

With fervent joy, but near bis Father's throne
How did he feel of kindred souls the dearth!

How sigh for some belov'd and loving one,
To whom he might in solitude reveal
Bliss which the hearts around him could not feel !

So he grew pensive, and at times would wander

Through lonely dell, and unfrequented wood;
And on his fate in deep abstraction ponder,

And in his more imaginative mood
Would picture to himself a dream of wonder,

A lot he would have chosen if he could ;
And shadow out a creature who might be
The gentle sharer of his sympathy.

And then he search'd the tomes of old romance,

(I don't know how he got romances) there; He culld from many a heroine's countenance

The traits he thought most exquisitely fair; · From one he stole her eyes' o'erwhelming glance,

And from another clipp'd her auburn hair : From this her lips, from that her blushes stole, And from five hundred form’d one lovely whole

And then for taste and feeling, sense and wit;

With which this dainty creature must abound;
Again he search'd all Tales that e'er were writ,

And chose the brightest models that he found; Which blending with his dreamings, in a fit

Of joy he swore that all the world around No living beauty could be found so bright As that which swam in his Quixottic sight.

XLV. 'Twas ever with him, this imagin'd form,

And as the wayward fancy stronger grew ;
The bright creation shone ini hués so warm,

So palpably apparent to his view,
That he grew quite enraptur'd, and a stort

Of such wild passion on his bosom blew,
That in his fits he deem'd the vision real;
And fell in love with this bright shape ideal.

It was a silly fancy-never mind;

It made him happy, if it made him mad;
The worst on't was he could not feel resign'd

To execute the orders of his Dad.
But when he was, in consequence, confin'd,

Wrapt it this vision, he was seldom sad.
The King imagin'd that the boy was frantic,
Though the fact was he only was romantic.

The good old Monarch lov'd his headstrong son',

(Though 'twas a cruel measure, I must say,
A thing which no wise Father would have done,

To lock him up in that outrageous way ;) And, fearing sorely that his wits were gone,

He bled and dosed him every other day. 'Twas all in vain,-- nơ physic could remove His wild, ideal, solitary love.

Affaits bore now à most forlorn appearance,

Both Monarchs were confoundedly afraid,
That, spite of their parental interference,

The marriage would be grievously délay'd.
Though both had hopes, they said, " that in a year hence

They might perhaps contrive to be obey'd."
So in this state we'll leave them for the present,
And turn to prospects rather less unpleasant.

I don't know how, for many a weary line

I've pros'd of courtship, wedlock, love, and fighting, Till I've arriv'd at Stanza forty-nine,

And grown half weary of the stuff I'm writing;
And yet (confound this stupid head of mine)

Ne'er thought, one single moment, of inditing
A strain of soft and eulogistịc Hummery,
On your approaching nuptials, Miss Montgomery.

A little while-a few short weeks--and thou

Shalt go forth gaily in thy bridal dress; Serene, yet bearing on thy modest brow

The timid blush of virgin bashfulness. And thou shalt pledge the irrevocable yow,

And utter (if thou canst) the fatal « Yes ;"
At which most ladies' lips are apt to falter,
When they come fairly to the marriage altar.

Thou hast done wiselythy young eloquent eyes

Long might with gentle yictorjes have shone;
Well dost thou choose, for many a fleeting prize,

The better triumph of securing one.
Well dost thou choose, for many a lover's sighs,

A husband's smile; and since we can't but own
That you were form’d for doing execution,
The more praiseworthy is your resolution.

But we shall miss, beside our quiet hearth,

Thy delicate form, thine ever-smiling eye,
The frankness of thy laughter-loving mirth,

Thy voice so rich in sweetest melody ;
And when I seek this dearest spot of Earth,

From my world-weary rovings, I shall sigh
To meet no longer in my Father's hall
The fairest face, the lightest step of all.

I'll write a fine description in the papers

Of the proceedings of your wedding-day ;
And give old maids and bachelors the vapours,

Telling how bright your looks, your dress how gay; And then I'll praise your milliners and drapers,

Beginning somewhat in the following way:“ Married last week, at - - in this Shire, Miss H. Montgomery to John Stumps, Esquire."

Fie on my giggling Muse, who can't be serious

For half a stanza on so grave a theme;
But 'tis in vain for me to be imperious,

When she's determin’d to rebel; I deem,
Most courteous readers, that this strain will weary us,

And I shall sadly sink in your esteem
If I pursue it longer; if you please
I'll breathe awhile, and give your Worships ease.

Yet, ere I close my Canto, I must mention .

What should have been declar'd some stanzas backThat 'twas not my original intention

To follow so irregular a track ;
And I must own I merit reprehension

And punishment, for having been so slack
To introduce you to the sportive Dame,
From whom this wondrous story takes its name.

I must implore your pardon, and will try

(If you get through this Canto) in my next To check the rovings of my Phantasy, .

And stick a little closer to my text. I've wander'd from my theme, yet scarce know why,"

As sings a friend of mine,-for I'm perplext
For time; could I but polish as I would,
I'd make my Poem wonderfully good.

« AnteriorContinuar »