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CANTO II.

6 Listen, where thou art sitting,
Under the glassy, cool, translucent wave.”

Comus.

My ink is mix'd with tears of deep vexation

To know what Mr. Courtenay has decreed; That here no more our King shall fill his station,

That Club and Punchbowl all to fate must cede ! What! can't we have another Coronation

In the Fusticular Kingdom? I, indeed, Have half a mind—but ah ! 'tis much too late For this same Crown to be a candidate...

Ah! Gerard ! Gerard ! what wouldst thou be doing ?

(Quoth my astonishid Muse) is this thine high Commiseration of the cares pursuing

The unblest course of wretched Royalty ?
Why didst thou prate, last Canto, of the ruin

Of Royal spirits ?-was it all a lie ?
And did you talk in that high-sounding way
Only because you'd nothing else to say ?

IJI.
Gerard, I'm quite asham’d of you-take care- .

I'll not to be treated (trust me) in this sort ;
How can you hope to breathe poetic air - :

In the unhealthy climate of a court?
Do you suppose you'll ever find me there?

Pray have the voters promis'd you support?
Poetic air, said I ?—your chance is small,
Just now, of breathing any air at all.

IV.
Haven't you had an asthma all the spring ?

An't you, this moment, wheezing like a kettle?
And yet forsooth, you want to be a King ;

And, though you scarce can fetch your breath, to settle Affairs of State !-'twould be a pretty thing

I thought you'd been a man of different metal. Reign if you will—but when by me forsaken, You'll find that you're confoundedly mistaken.

V.
Sweet Muse, have patience—trust me, I ne'er meant

In earnest to petition for the throne;
Though thou dost smile but seldom, I'm content

With thy uncertain humours , but I own "Tis a sad bore to have thy fancies pent

Within my brain-wall joys of printing flown-
No praisę my dear anonymous state to sweeten,
And all because some folks are leaving Eton.

V.
But come once more, and kindly condescend

To lend thine inspiration, dearest Muse;
Look net so grave, I ask you as a friend,

For, if you don't assist me, I shall lose
My way in long digressions without end, ..

And not a single reader will peruse
My tedious rhymes I.scarce could get a man to
Wade through my last interminable Canto.

VU. .
I said, just now, I'd introduce my reader

To the fair Sprite ambao gives my Tale a name;
And since, in a few stanzas, I shall need her

For special purposes, 'twould be a shame,
Should I. delay into your view to lead her; ..,

So forth she steps, this visionary dame,
Maimoune, a mad Fairy, gay and bright
As any elf that e'er play'd pranks by night.. .

VIII.
She came on Earth soon after the creation,

And was akin to Oberon, 'tis said;
In Faery-land receiv'd her education,

But never yet bad been induc'd to wed, Though she was woo'd by half the Elfin nation

But still a free and roving life she sled;
And sought diversion for her gentle mind
Chiefly among the haunts of humankind.

IX.
There was a deep and solitary well in

The palace where the Prince was now confind, Which sery'd this lovely Fairy for a dwelling,

A spot just suited to a Fairy's mind;
Much like the fountain where Narcissus fell in

Love with his own fair face, and pin'd, and pin'd
To death (the passion's not at all uncommon.
In Man, and very prevalent with Woman).

Beneath this fountain's fresh and bubbling, water,

Unfathomably deep, the livelong day,
This wondrous Fairy, Time's most radiant daughter,

In unimaginable visions lay,
Where never earthly care or sorrow sought her,

But o'er her head did the wild waters play,
And flitting spirits of the Earth and Air,
Scatter'd sweet dreams and airy music there..

XI.
For she was well belov'd by all th' immortal,

Beings that toam through Ocean, Earthy or Sky;
And oft would blessed spirits pass the portal ,

Of the vast Eden of Eternity
To be her slaves, and to her did resort all

Angelic thoughts, each heavenly phantasy,
That mortals may not know-all came to bless :
This gentle Being's dreams of happiness. . ;

XII.
And all around that fountain, the pure air..

Breath'd of her presence ; every leaf was hung
With music, and each flow'r that blossom'd there

A fine and supernatural fragrance fung On the glad sense; and thither did repair.

Garlanded maids, and lovers fond and young;
And by the side of the low-murmuring stream
Would youthful Poets lay them down to dream.

XIII.
And ever on that spot the rays of Morning "

Fell thickest, and the Sun's meridian light
Sparkled and danced amid the waves, adorning

The crystal chamber of the sleeping Sprite.
But when the rising Moon was nightly born in

The Eastern skies, and the sweet dews of Night
Lay heavy on the Earth, that Sprite arose
Fresh from the visions of the day's tepose.

XIV.
And then, she gaily wander'd through the world,

Where'er her fancy led her, and would stray
(The sails of her bright meteor-wings unfurld)

Through many a populous city; and survey The chambers of the sleeping ; oft she euri'd

The locks of young chastè maidens, as they lay, And lit new lustre in their sleeping eyes, And breath'd upon their cheeks the bloom of Paradise.

XV.

And she would scatter o'er the Poet's brain

(As he lay smiling through swift-springing tears) A strange and unintelligible train

Of fancies, and ring loud into his ears
A long, mysterious, and perplexing strain

Of music, or combine the joy of years
In half an hour of slumber ; till he started
From such sweet visions, weeping and wild-hearted.

XVI.
And, in her mirthful moments, would she seek

The bachelor's room, and spoil his lonely rest;
Or with old maids play many a wicked freak;

Or rattle loudly at the miser's chest,
Till he woke trembling; she would often wreak

Her vengeance on stern fathers who repress'd Their children's young and innocent loves, and sold (Like our two Kings) their happiness for gold.

XVII.
I can't tell half the merry tricks she play'd

. On earth, nor half the clamour, and the fuss
Old women made about her.—I'm afraid

No Sprite was ever half so mischievous.
But so it happen'd that one night she stray'd

Into the Prince's chamber--(prying Puss!
I wonder what, the deuce, she wanted there
With a young man abed, so fresh and fair.)

XVIII.
Tranquil and happy in his sleep he lay,

For he was dreaming of that vision bright;
And o'er his flush'd cheek stole a wandering ray

Of silent but most passionate delight,
As he was gazing his soul's eyes away

On some imagined form—he was a sight
Of wondrous beauty, and Maimoune stood
Gazing upon him long in solitude.

XIX.
Oh! how she long'd to peep beneath the lid

That veil'd his eyes' dark azure, and espy,
The sweet imaginations that it hid .

Wandering beneath its fringed canopy.
Yet would she not awake him; all she did

Was but one instant on his breast to lie, And kiss the lips which tremulously mov'd :: As if to meet the lips of her he lov’d. '.

XX. Hark! a dull sound swings through the troubled air !

She hears the flapping of unholy wingsAwhile she listens mute with finger fair

Rais'd to her delicate lips; then swiftly springs Into the infinite sky-what meets she there?

Ha! a bad Spirit in its wanderings
Darkens the face of the full moon, and mars
The pale-ey'd beauty of the silent stars.

XXI.
Up sprang Maimoune-winds are not so fleet

Through the spell-troubled atmosphere,—and soon You might behold those hostile Spirits meet

Within the circle of the full-orb'd moon.
Well knew the Fiend that battle or retreat

To him was hopeless—so he crav’d a boon,
That, as her anger he was loth to stir,
She'd let him pass in peace-and he'd let her.

XXII.
Ho!” quoth the Fairy (and she laugh'd aloud)

“ Kind Sir Rebellious, courteous terms are these : But mine must first be thought on-Spirit proud,

Now whether thy sweet Spritehood doth it please, That I should dash thee from thy murky cloud

Into yon deep uncomfortable seas;
Or shut those fair and dainty limbs of thine
In the dark trunk of that wind-shaken pine ?

XXIII.
" Or wilt thou shiver in the realm of Frost,

Ten thousand years fast fetter'd to the Pole? Or, to the centre of the deep earth tost,

There tumble, free from Gravity's control, In many an antic gambol?to thy cost

Curs'd Spirit thou hast dar'd me-for a soul More dark than thou, more mischievously wicked, Roams not the earth- at least with such a thick head.

XXIV. “ I've some old scores to pay you off, Sir, now:

Didn't I see you tap Tom Goddard's ale ? Didn't you pull down Pocock's barley-mow ?

Didn't you nick the Parson's pony's tail? Didn't you milk John Squizzle's spotted cow ?

And thump his Sister with the milking pail ? Didn't I see you through the keyhole creep, And give Miss Bab the fidgets in her sleep?

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