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Title: A Parody Anthology
Author: Wells, Carolyn
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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Internet Archive)



ANTHOLOGIES

BY CAROLYN WELLS

PUBLISHED BY CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS

    A VERS DE SOCIÉTÉ ANTHOLOGY
    A WHIMSEY ANTHOLOGY
    A SATIRE ANTHOLOGY
    A PARODY ANTHOLOGY
    A NONSENSE ANTHOLOGY

    Each 16mo, Cloth, $1.50 _net_



A Parody Anthology

    BY
    CAROLYN WELLS
    AUTHOR OF “A NONSENSE ANTHOLOGY”


    NEW YORK
    CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS
    1919



    _Copyright, 1904_
    BY CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS

    Published, September, 1904

[Illustration]



    TO
    MRS. THEODORE ROOSEVELT



NOTE


ACKNOWLEDGMENT is hereby gratefully made to the publishers of the
various parodies for permission to include them in this compilation.

The parodies from “Diversions of the Echo Club,” by Bayard Taylor, and
Mary and Her Lamb, from “New Waggings of Old Tales,” by Frank Dempster
Sherman, are published by permission of Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin &
Company.

By the courtesy of John Lane are included the parodies of Anthony C.
Deane, from his volume “New Rhymes for Old;” and those of Owen Seaman,
from volumes “In Cap and Bells” and “The Battle of the Bays.”

Bed During Exams is from “Cap and Gown,” published by Messrs. L. C.
Page & Company.

The Golfer’s Rubaiyat, by H. C. Boynton, is from “A Book of American
Humorous Verse,” published by Messrs. Herbert S. Stone & Company.

Staccato to O Le Lupe is from “Last Scenes from Vagabondia,” by Bliss
Carman and Richard Hovey, published by Messrs. Small, Maynard & Company.

The two poems by Ben King are published by Forbes & Co.

The following are published by Charles Scribner’s Sons: Song, from “The
Book of Joyous Children,” by James Whitcomb Riley; Home Sweet Home,
and Imitation, from “Poems” of H. C. Bunner; and Song of a Heart, and
Godiva, from “Overheard in a Garden,” by Oliver Herford.



CONTENTS


  AFTER OMAR KHAYYAM                                                PAGE
    The Golfer’s Rubaiyat                 _H. W. Boynton_              3
    An Omar for Ladies                    _Josephine Daskam Bacon_     5
    The Modern Rubaiyat                   _Kate Masterson_             7
    Lines Written by Request              _Owen Seaman_               10
    The Baby’s Omar                       _Carolyn Wells_             12

  AFTER CHAUCER
    Ye Clerke of ye Wethere               _Anonymous_                 14

  AFTER SPENSER
    A Portrait                            _John Keats_                15

  AFTER SHAKESPEARE
    The Bachelor’s Soliloquy              _Anonymous_                 17
    Poker                                 _Anonymous_                 18
    Toothache                             _Anonymous_                 19
    A Dreary Song                         _Shirley Brooks_            20
    To the Stall-holders at a Fancy Fair  _W. S. Gilbert_             21
    Song                                  _J. W. Riley_               22
    The Whist Player’s Soliloquy          _Carolyn Wells_             23

  AFTER WITHER
    Answer to Master Wither’s Song        _Ben Jonson_                25

  AFTER HERRICK
    Song                                  _Oliver Herford_            27
    To Julia Under Lock and Key           _Owen Seaman_               27

  AFTER NURSERY RHYMES
    An Idyll of Phatte and Leene          _Anonymous_                 29
    Nursery Song in Pidgin  English       _Anonymous_                 30
    The House that Jack Built             _Samuel Taylor Coleridge_   31
    Boston Nursery Rhymes                 _Rev. Joseph Cook_          32
    A Song of a Heart                     _Oliver Herford_            33
    The Domicile of John                  _A. Pope_                   34
    Mary and the Lamb                     _Frank Dempster Sherman_    37

  AFTER WALLER
    The Aesthete to the Rose              _Punch_                     40

  AFTER DRYDEN
    Three Blessings                       _Anonymous_                 41
    Oyster Crabs                          _Carolyn Wells_             41

  AFTER DR. WATTS
    The Voice of the Lobster              _Lewis Carroll_             42
    The Crocodile                         _Lewis Carroll_             43

  AFTER GOLDSMITH
    When Lovely Woman                     _Phœbe Cary_                44

  AFTER BURNS
    Gaelic Speech                         _Anonymous_                 45
    My Foe                                _Anonymous_                 46
    Rigid Body Sings                      _J. C. Maxwell_             48

  AFTER CATHERINE FANSHAWE
    Cockney Enigma on the Letter H        _Horace Mayhew_             49

  AFTER WORDSWORTH
    On Wordsworth                         _Anonymous_                 51
    Jacob                                 _Phœbe Cary_                51
    Fragment                              _Catherine M. Fanshawe_     52
    Jane Smith                            _Rudyard Kipling_           54
    Only Seven                            _Henry S. Leigh_            55
    Lucy Lake                             _Newton Mackintosh_         57

  AFTER SIR WALTER SCOTT
    Young Lochinvar                       _Anonymous_                 58

  AFTER COLERIDGE
    The Ancient Mariner                   _Anonymous_                 61
    Striking                              _Charles S. Calverley_      64

  AFTER SOUTHEY
    The Old Man’s Cold                    _Anonymous_                 66
    Father William                        _Lewis Carroll_             67
    Lady Jane                             _A. T. Quiller-Couch_       69

  AFTER CAMPBELL
    The New Arrival                       _George W. Cable_           72
    John Thompson’s Daughter              _Phœbe Cary_                73

  AFTER THOMAS MOORE
    The Last Cigar                        _Anonymous_                 76
    ’Twas Ever Thus                       _Anonymous_                 77
    There’s a Bower of Bean-Vines         _Phœbe Cary_                78
    Disaster                              _Charles S. Calverley_      79
    Sarah’s Halls                         _Judy_                      80
    ’Twas Ever Thus                       _Henry S. Leigh_            81

  AFTER JANE TAYLOR
    The Bat                               _Lewis Carroll_             82

  AFTER BARRY CORNWALL
    The Tea                               _Tom Hood, Jr._             83

  AFTER BYRON
    The Rout of Belgravia                 _Jon Duan_                  84
    A Grievance                           _J. K. Stephen_             85

  AFTER CHARLES WOLFE
    The Burial of the Bachelor            _Anonymous_                 88
    Not a Sou had He Got                  _R. Harris Barham_          89
    The Marriage of Sir John Smith        _Phœbe Cary_                91

  AFTER MRS. HEMANS
    The Thyroid Gland                     _R. M._                     93

  AFTER KEATS
    Ode on a Jar of Pickles               _Bayard Taylor_             94

  AFTER HEINE
    Imitation                             _H. C. Bunner_              96
    Commonplaces                          _Rudyard Kipling_           97

  AFTER HOOD
    The Dripping Sheet                    _Anonymous_                 98
    I Remember, I Remember                _Phœbe Cary_               101

  AFTER ALFRED BUNN
    A Yule Tide Parody                    _Anonymous_                103
    Self-Evident                          _J. R. Planché_            104

  AFTER LORD MACAULAY
    The Laureate’s Tourney                _William Aytoun_           105

  AFTER EMERSON
    Mutton                                _Anonymous_                113

  AFTER MARY HOWITT
    The Lobster Quadrille                 _Lewis Carroll_            114

  AFTER MRS. BROWNING
    In the Gloaming                       _Charles S. Calverley_     116
    Gwendoline                            _Bayard Taylor_            118

  AFTER LONGFELLOW
    The Modern Hiawatha                   _Anonymous_                120
    Higher                                _Anonymous_                120
    Topside Galah                         _Anonymous_                122
    Excelsior                             _Anonymous_                124
    The Day is Done                       _Phœbe Cary_               126
    A Psalm of Life                       _Phœbe Cary_               127
    How Often                             _Ben King_                 129
    Desolation                            _Thomas Masson_            130
    The Birds and the Pheasant            _Punch_                    131

  AFTER WHITTIER
    Hiram Hover                           _Bayard Taylor_            133

  AFTER MRS. NORTON
    The Horse and his Master              _Philip F. Allen_          136
    The New Version                       _W. J. Lampton_            138

  AFTER POE
    What Troubled Poe’s Raven             _John Bennett_             139
    The Amateur Flute                     _Anonymous_                140
    Samuel Brown                          _Phœbe Cary_               142
    The Promissory Note                   _Bayard Taylor_            143
    The Cannibal Flea                     _Tom Hood, Jr._            145
    Annabel Lee                           _Stanley Huntley_          147
    The Bells                             _Judy_                     148
    The Goblin Goose                      _Punch_                    150

  AFTER LORD HOUGHTON
    Love and Science                      _Anonymous_                153

  AFTER TENNYSON
    The Bather’s Dirge                    _Tennyson Minor_           155
    Little Miss Muffet                    _Anonymous_                156
    The Musical Pitch                     _Anonymous_                158
    To an Importunate Host                _Anonymous_                158
    The Village Choir                     _Anonymous_                159
    The Biter Bit                         _William Aytoun_           161
    The Laureate                          _William Aytoun_           163
    The Lay of the Lovelorn               _William Aytoun_           165
    In Immemoriam                         _Cuthbert Bede_            174
    Sir Eggnogg                           _Bayard Taylor_            175
    Godiva                                _Oliver Herford_           177
    A Laureate’s Log                      _Punch_                    178
    The Recognition                       _Wm. Sawyer_               180
    The Higher Pantheism in a Nutshell    _A. C. Swinburne_          180
    Timbuctoo                             _W. M. Thackeray_          183

  AFTER TUPPER
    Of Friendship                         _Charles S. Calverley_     185
    Of Reading                            _Charles S. Calverley_     186

  AFTER THACKERAY
    The Willow-Tree                       _W. M. Thackeray_          188

  AFTER CHARLES DICKENS
    Man’s Place in Nature                 _Anonymous_                191

  AFTER ROBERT BROWNING
    Home Truths from Abroad               _Anonymous_                193
    After Browning                        _Anonymous_                194
    The Cock and the Bull                 _Charles S. Calverley_     195
    A Staccato to O Le Lupe               _Bliss Carman_             200
    By the Sea                            _Bayard Taylor_            203
    Angelo Orders his Dinner              _Bayard Taylor_            205
    The Flight of the Bucket              _Rudyard Kipling_          206
    The Jam Pot                           _Rudyard Kipling_          210
    Imitation of Robert Browning          _J. K. Stephen_            210
    The Last Ride Together                _J. K. Stephen_            212
    Up the Spout                          _A. C. Swinburne_          215

  AFTER WALT WHITMAN
    An American, one of the Roughs,
        a Kosmos                          _Anonymous_                219
    Camerados                             _Bayard Taylor_            220
    Imitation of Whitman                  _Judy_                     221
    Imitation of Whitman                  _J. K. Stephen_            224
    The Poet and the Woodlouse            _A. C. Swinburne_          224

  AFTER CHARLES KINGSLEY
    Three Little Fishers                  _Frank H. Stauffer_        229
    The Three Poets                       _Lilian Whiting_           230

  AFTER MRS. R. H. STODDARD
    The Nettle                            _Bayard Taylor_            231

  AFTER BAYARD TAYLOR
    Hadramaut                             _Bayard Taylor_            233

  AFTER WILLIAM MORRIS
    Estunt the Griff                      _Rudyard Kipling_          235

  AFTER ALFRED AUSTIN
    An Ode                                _Anthony C. Deane_         237

  AFTER W. S. GILBERT
    Ode to a London Fog                   _Anonymous_                239
    President Garfield                    _Anonymous_                240
    Propinquity Needed                    _Charles Battell Loomis_   241

  AFTER R. H. STODDARD
    The Cantelope                         _Bayard Taylor_            243

  AFTER A. A. PROCTOR
    The Lost Voice                        _A. H. S._                 244
    The Lost Ape                          _J. W. G. W._              245
    The Lost Word                         _C. H. Webb_               246

  AFTER GEORGE MEREDITH
    At the Sign of the Cock               _Owen Seaman_              248

  AFTER D. G. ROSSETTI
    A Christmas Wail                      _Anonymous_                252
    Ballad                                _Charles S. Calverley_     253
    Cimabuella                            _Bayard Taylor_            255
    The Poster Girl                       _Carolyn Wells_            257

  AFTER JEAN INGELOW
    Lovers, and a Reflection              _Charles S. Calverley_     259
    The Shrimp Gatherers                  _Bayard Taylor_            261

  AFTER CHRISTINA ROSSETTI
    Remember                              _Judy_                     263

  AFTER LEWIS CARROLL
    Waggawocky                            _Shirley Brooks_           264
    The Vulture and the Husband-Man       _A. C. Hilton_             265

  AFTER A. C. SWINBURNE
    Gillian                               _Anonymous_                268
    Atalanta in Camden-town               _Lewis Carroll_            270
    The Manlet                            _Lewis Carroll_            272
    If                                    _Mortimer Collins_         274
    The Maid of the Meerschaum            _Rudyard Kipling_          275
    Quaeritur                             _Rudyard Kipling_          277
    A Melton Mowbray Pork-pie             _Richard Le Gallienne_     278
    Foam and Fangs                        _Walter Parke_             278
    A Song of Renunciation                _Owen Seaman_              279
    Nephelidia                            _A. C. Swinburne_          282
    The Lay of Macaroni                   _Bayard Taylor_            284

  AFTER BRET HARTE
    The Heathen Pass-ee                   _A. C. Hilton_             286
    De Tea Fabula                         _A. T. Quiller-Couch_      289

  AFTER AUSTIN DOBSON
    The Prodigals                         _Anonymous_                292

  AFTER ANDREW LANG
    Bo-Peep                               _Anthony C. Deane_         294

  AFTER W. E. HENLEY
    Imitation                             _Anthony C. Deane_         296

  AFTER R. L. STEVENSON
    Bed During Exams                      _Clara Warren Vail_        298

  AFTER OSCAR WILDE
    More Impressions                      _Oscuro Wildgoose_         299
    Nursery Rhymes à la Mode              _Anonymous_                299
    A Maudle-In Ballad                    _Punch_                    300
    Quite the Cheese                      _H. C. Waring_             302

  AFTER WILLIAM WATSON
    The Three Mice                        _Anthony C. Deane_         304

  AFTER KIPLING
    Fuzzy Wuzzy Leaves Us                 _E. P. C._                 305
    A Ballad                              _Guy Wetmore Carryl_       307
    Jack and Jill                         _Anthony C. Deane_         309
    The Legend of Realism                 _Hilda Johnson_            313

  AFTER STEPHEN PHILLIPS
    Little Jack Horner                    _Anthony C. Deane_         315

  AFTER FIONA MCLEOD
    The Cult of the Celtic                _Anthony C. Deane_         317

  AFTER VARIOUS WRITERS OF VERS DE SOCIÉTÉ
    Behold the Deeds                      _H. C. Bunner_             319
    Culture in the Slums                  _W. E. Henley_             322
    A Ballade of Ballade-Mongers          _Augustus Moore_           322

  AFTER VARIOUS POPULAR SONGS
    Beautiful Snow                        _Anonymous_                324
    The Newest Thing in Christmas Carols  _Anonymous_                325
    The Tale of Lord Lovell               _Anonymous_                326
    “Songs Without Words”                 _Robert J. Burdette_       327
    The Elderly Gentleman                 _George Canning_           328
    Turtle Soup                           _Lewis Carroll_            329
    Some Day                              _F. P. Doveton_            329
    If I Should Die To-night              _Ben King_                 331
    A Love Song                           _Dean Swift_               331
    Old Fashioned Fun                     _W. M. Thackeray_          333

  THEMES WITH VARIATIONS
    Home Sweet Home with Variations       _H. C. Bunner_             334

  MODERN VERSIFICATION ON ANCIENT THEMES
    Goose à la Mode                       _E. Cavazza_               346
    Three Children Sliding                                           346
    Jack and Jill                         _E. Cavazza_               347
    Jack and Jill                         _Charles Battell Loomis_   348
    The Rejected “National Hymns”         _Robert Henry Newell_      352
    A Theme with Variations               _Barry Pain_               356
    The Poets at Tea                      _Barry Pain_               359
    The Poets at a House Party            _Carolyn Wells_            363
    An Old Song by New Singers            _A. C. Wilkie_             368

  INDEX OF TITLES                                                    375

  INDEX OF AUTHORS                                                   385

  INDEX OF AUTHORS PARODIED                                          395



INTRODUCTION

PARODY AS A FINE ART


THE fact that parody has been ably defended by many of the world’s
best minds proves that it is an offensive measure, at least from some
viewpoints. But an analysis of the arguments for and against seems
to show that parody is a true and legitimate branch of art, whose
appreciation depends upon the mental bias of the individual.

To enjoy parody, one must have an intense sense of the humorous and
a humorous sense of the intense; and this, of course, presupposes a
mental attitude of wide tolerance and liberal judgments.

Parodies are not for those who cannot understand that parody is not
necessarily ridicule. Like most other forms of literature, unless the
intent of the writer be thoroughly understood and appreciated, the work
is of little value to the reader.

The defenders of parody have sometimes endeavored to prove that it has
an instructive value, and that it has acted as a reforming influence
against mannerisms and other glaring defects. One enthusiastic
partisan confidently remarks: “It may gently admonish the best and
most established writer, when, from haste, from carelessness, from
over-confidence, he is in danger of forfeiting his reputation; it may
gently lead the tyro, while there is yet time, from the wrong into the
right path.” But this ethical air-castle is rudely shattered by facts,
for what established writer ever changed his characteristic effects as
a result of the parodies upon his works, or what tyro was ever parodied?

It has been said, too, that a good parody makes us love the original
work better; but this statement seems to lack satisfactory proof
except, perhaps, on the principle that a good parody may lead us to
know the original work more thoroughly.

Perhaps the farthest fetched argument of the zealous advocates of
the moral virtues of parody is found in Lord Jeffrey’s review of the
well-known “Rejected Addresses,” where he says, “The imitation lets us
more completely into the secret of the original author, and enables us
to understand far more clearly in what the peculiarity of his manner
consists than most of us would ever have done without this assistance.”
If this be true at all, it is exemplified in very few instances, and
is one of the least of the minor reasons for the existence of a parody.

The main intent of the vast majority of parodies is simply to amuse;
but to amuse intelligently and cleverly. This aim is quite high
enough, and is in no way strengthened or improved by the bolstering up
qualities of avowed virtuous influences.

The requirements of the best parody are in a general way simply the
requirements of the best literature of any sort; but, specifically,
the true parodist requires an exact mental balance, a fine sense of
proportion and relative values, good-humor, refinement, and unerring
taste. Self-control and self-restraint are also needed; a parodist may
go to the very edge, but he must not fall over.

The fact that poor parodies outnumber the good ones in the ratio of
about ten to one (which is not an unusual percentage in any branch of
literature), is because a wide and generous sense of humor is so rarely
found in combination with the somewhat circumscribed quality of good
taste. It is, therefore, on account of the abuse of parody, and not the
use of it, that a defence of the art has been found necessary.

The parody has the sanction of antiquity, and though its absolute
origin is uncertain, and various “Fathers of Parody” have been named,
it is safe to assume that it began with the Greeks. The Romans, too,
indulged in it, and its continuance has been traced all through the
Middle Ages; but these ancient parodies, however acceptable in their
time, are of little interest to us now, save as heirlooms. Their wit
is coarse, their humor heavy; they are usually caustic and often
irreverent.

In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries the art of parody began to
improve, and during the nineteenth it rose to a height that demanded
recognition from the literary world.

It is interesting to note that the age of English parody was ushered in
by such masterpieces as the “Rolliad” and the “Anti-Jacobin,” followed
by the “Rejected Addresses” and the “Bon Gaultier Ballads.” Later came
Thackeray, Calverley, Swinburne and Lewis Carroll, also Bayard Taylor,
Bret Harte, and Phœbe Cary. More modern still is the work of Rudyard
Kipling, Anthony C. Deane, H. C. Bunner, and Owen Seaman.

Though some of these are classed among the minor poets, they are all
major parodists and approach their work armed at all points.

The casual critic of parodies, as a rule, divides them into two
classes, which, though under various forms of terminology, resolve
themselves into parodies of sound and parodies of sense. But there are
really three great divisions, which may be called “word-rendering,”
“form-rendering,” and “sense-rendering.”

The first, mere word-rendering, is simply an imitation of the original,
and depends for its interest entirely upon the substitution of a
trivial or commonplace motive for a lofty one, and following as nearly
as possible the original words.

Form-rendering is the imitation of the style of an author, preferably
an author given to mannerisms or affectation of some sort. The third
division, sense-rendering, is by far the most meritorious, and utilizes
not only the original writer’s diction and style, but follows a train
of thought precisely along the lines that he would have pursued from
the given premises.

This class of parody is seen at its best in Catherine Fanshawe’s
“Imitation of Wordsworth,” and Calverley’s “The Cock and the Bull.”

But though parodies of this sort are of more serious worth, the other
classes show examples quite as good in their own way.

Lewis Carroll’s immortal parody of Southey’s “Father William” is merely
a burlesque of the word-rendering type, yet it is perfect of its kind
and defies adverse criticism.

Miss Cary was a pioneer of parody in America and one of the few women
writers who have done clever work of this sort. Miss Cary’s parodies
are numerous and uniformly first-class examples of their kind. They are
collected in a small book, now out of print, and are well worth reading.

Of course, parodies which burlesque the actual words of the original
are necessarily parodies of some particular poem, and often not so good
an imitation of the style of the author.

More difficult than the parody of a particular poem is the imitation
or burlesque of the literary style of an author. To accomplish this,
the parodist must be himself a master of style, a student of language,
and possessed of a power of mimicry with an instant appreciation of
opportunities.

“Diversions of the Echo Club,” by Bayard Taylor, are among the best of
this class of parodies. Aside from their cleverness they are marked by
good taste, fairness, justice, and a true poetic instinct.

Naturally, parodies of literary style are founded on the works of those
authors whose individual characteristics invite imitation.

Parody is inevitable where sense is sacrificed to sound, where
affectations of speech are evident, or where unwarrantable extravagance
of any sort is indulged in. This explains the numerous (and usually
worthless) parodies of Walt Whitman.

Swinburne and Browning are often parodied for these (perhaps only
apparent) reasons, and the poets of the æsthetic school of course
offered especially fine opportunities.

Parodies of Rossetti and his followers are often exceedingly funny,
though not at all difficult to write, as the originals both in manner
and matter fairly invite absurd incongruities.

Nursery Rhymes seem to find favor with the parodists as themes to work
upon. A collection of Mother Goose’s Melodies as they have been reset
by clever pens, would be both large and interesting.

The masters of parody, however, are as a rule to be found among the
master poets. Thackeray turned his genius to imitative account;
Swinburne parodied himself as well as his fellow-poets; Rudyard
Kipling has done some of the best parodies in the language, and C. S.
Calverley’s burlesques are classics. The work of these writers may
be said to be in the third class; for not only do they preserve the
diction and style of the author imitated, but they seem to go beyond
that, and, assimilating for the moment his very mentality, caricature
not only his expressed thoughts but his abstract cerebrations.

It is easy to understand how Swinburne with his facile fancy and
wonderful command of words could be among the best parodists. In his
“Heptalogia” are long and careful parodies of no less than seven
prominent poets, each of which is a masterpiece, and the parody of
Browning is especially good. Browning, of course, has always been a
tempting mark for the parodists, but though it is easy to imitate his
eccentricities superficially, it is only the greater minds that have
parodied his subtler peculiarities. Among the best are Calverley’s and
Kipling’s.

Kipling’s parodies, written in his early days, and not often to be
found in editions of his collected works, rank with the highest. His
parody of Swinburne, while going to the very limit of legitimate
imitation, is restrained by a powerful hand, and so kept within
convincing bounds. The great fault with most parodies of Swinburne is
that exaggeration is given play too freely, and the result is merely a
meaningless mass of sound. Clever in a different way is Owen Seaman’s
parody of Swinburne. Mr. Seaman is one of the most brilliant of modern
parodists and his parodies, though long, are perfect in all respects.

Among the most exquisite parodies we have ever read must be counted
those of Anthony C. Deane, originally published in various London
papers, and Calverley’s works are too well known even to require
mention.

The Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam is often parodied, but rarely worthily.
One reason for this lies in the fact that it is not Omar who is
parodied at all, but Fitzgerald; consequently, the imitation is merely
a form-rendering and more often only lines in the Rubaiyat metre.

Shakespeare, with the exception of one or two of his most hackneyed
speeches, is rarely parodied; doubtless owing to the fact that his
harmonious work shows no incongruities of matter or manner, and strikes
no false notes for the parodists to catch at.

The extent of the domain of parody is vastly larger than is imagined
by the average reader, and its already published bibliographies show
thousands of collected parodies of varying degrees of merit.

Of all the poets Tennyson has probably been parodied the most; followed
closely in this respect by Edgar Allan Poe. After these, Browning,
Swinburne, and Walt Whitman; then Moore, Wordsworth, Longfellow, and
Thomas Campbell.

Of single poems the one showing the greatest number of parodies is “My
Mother,” by Ann Taylor; after this those most used for the purpose
have been “The Raven,” Gray’s “Elegy,” “The Song of the Shirt,” “The
May Queen,” “Locksley Hall,” “The Burial of Sir John Moore,” and
Kingsley’s “Three Fishers.”

Parody, then, is a tribute to popularity, and consequently to merit of
one sort or another, and in the hands of the initiate may be considered
a touch-stone that proves true worth.



A PARODY ANTHOLOGY



_A Parody Anthology_


AFTER OMAR KHAYYAM


THE GOLFER’S RUBAIYAT

    WAKE! for the sun has driven in equal flight
    The stars before him from the Tee of Night,
      And holed them every one without a Miss,
    Swinging at ease his gold-shod Shaft of Light.

    Now, the fresh Year reviving old Desires,
    The thoughtful Soul to Solitude retires,
      Pores on this Club and That with anxious eye,
    And dreams of Rounds beyond the Rounds of Liars.

    Come, choose your Ball, and in the fire of Spring,
    Your Red Coat and your wooden Putter fling;
      The Club of Time has but a little while
    To waggle, and the Club is on the swing.

    A Bag of Clubs, a Silver Town or two,
    A Flask of Scotch, a Pipe of Shag, and Thou
      Beside me caddying in the Wilderness—
    Ah, Wilderness were Paradise enow.

    Myself, when young, did eagerly frequent
    Jamie and His, and heard great argument
      Of Grip, and Stance, and Swing; but evermore
    Found at the Exit but a Dollar spent.

    With them the seed of Wisdom did I sow,
    And with mine own hand sought to make it grow;
      And this was all the Harvest that I reap’d;
    “You hold it in this Way, and you swing it So.”

    The swinging Brassie strikes; and, having struck,
    Moves on; nor all your Wit or future Luck
      Shall lure it back to cancel half a Stroke,
    Nor from the Card a single Seven pluck.

    No hope by Club or Ball to win the Prize;
    The batter’d, blacken’d Remade sweetly flies,
      Swept cleanly from the Tee; this is the Truth
    Nine-tenths is Skill, and all the rest is Lies.

    And that inverted Ball they call the High,
    By which the Duffer thinks to live or die,
      Lift not your hands to It for help, for it
    As impotently froths as you or I.

    Yon rising Moon that leads us home again,
    How oft hereafter will she wax and wane;
      How oft hereafter rising, wait for us
    At this same Turning—and for One in vain.

    And when, like her, my Golfer, I have been
    And am no more above the pleasant Green,
      And you in your mild Journey pass the Hole
    I made in One—ah, pay my Forfeit then!
                             _H. W. Boynton._


AN OMAR FOR LADIES[A]


    ONE for her Club and her own Latch-key fights,
    Another wastes in Study her good Nights.
      Ah, take the Clothes and let the Culture go,
    Nor heed the grumble of the Women’s Rights!

    Look at the Shop-girl all about us—“Lo,
    The Wages of a month,” she says, “I blow
      Into a Hat, and when my hair is waved,
    Doubtless my Friend will take me to the Show.”

    And she who saved her coin for Flannels red,
    And she who caught Pneumonia instead,
      Will both be Underground in Fifty Years,
    And Prudence pays no Premium to the dead.

    Th’ exclusive Style you set your heart upon
    Gets to the Bargain counters—and anon
      Like monograms on a Saleslady’s tie
    Cheers but a moment—soon for you ’tis gone.

    Think, on the sad Four Hundred’s gilded halls,
    Whose endless Leisure ev’n themselves appalls,
      How Ping-pong raged so high—then faded out
    To those far Suburbs that still chase its Balls.

    They say Sixth Avenue and the Bowery keep
    The _dernier cri_ that once was far from cheap;
      Green Veils, one season chic—Department stores
    Mark down in vain—no profit shall they reap.

    I sometimes think that never lasts so long
    The Style as when it starts a bit too strong;
      That all the Pompadours the parterre boasts
    Some Chorus-girl began, with Dance and Song.

    And this Revival of the Chignon low
    That fills the most of us with helpless Woe,
      Ah, criticise it Softly! for who knows
    What long-necked Peeress had to wear it so!

    Ah, my beloved, try each Style you meet;
    To-day brooks no loose ends, you must be neat.
      To-morrow! why, to-morrow you may be
    Wearing it down your back like Marguerite!

    For some we once admired, the Very Best
    That ever a French hand-boned Corset prest,
      Wore what they used to call Prunella Boots,
    And put on Nightcaps ere they went to rest.

    And we that now make fun of Waterfalls
    They wore, and whom their Crinoline appalls,
      Ourselves shall from old dusty Fashion plates
    Assist our Children in their Costume balls.

    Ah, make the most of what we yet may wear,
    Before we grow so old that we don’t care!
      Before we have our Hats made all alike,
    Sans Plumes, sans Wings, sans Chiffon, and—sans Hair!
                                _Josephine Daskam Bacon._

FOOTNOTES:

[Footnote A: Copyright, 1903, by Harper & Brothers.]



THE MODERN RUBAIYAT

(_Dobley’s Version_)

    HARK! for the message cometh from the King!
    Winter, thy doom is spoke; thy dirges ring,
      Thy time is o’er—and through the Palace door
    Enter the Princess! Hail the new-crowned Spring!

    Comes she all rose-crowned, glowing with the Joy
    Of Laughter and of Cupid, the God-Boy;
      Buds bursting on the bough in welcoming
    To Her we Love, whose loving will not cloy!

    List! from the organ rippling in the Street
    Come sounds rejoicing, glad Her reign to greet.
      The Shad is smiling in the Market Place
    And eke the Little Neck! Ah—Life is Sweet!

    Come, let us lilt a Merry Little Song
    And in an Automobile glide along
      Into the glory of the Year’s new Birth.
    Hasten! Oh, haste! For this is Spring, I Think!

    Come where the Bonnets bloom within the Grove
    And let us pluck them for the One we Love;
      Violets and Things and chiffon-nested Birds.
    Tell me—didst ever see a Glass-Eyed Dove?

    Think you how many Springs will go and come
    When We are Dead Ones—and the busy Hum
      Of life will never reach us—Nothing Done
    And Nothing Doing in the Silence Glum!

    Listen! the cable car’s Gay Gong has rang,
    The Elevated on its perch, A-clang
      Like to a District Messenger astir.
    Thought you, it was a Nightingale that sang?

    Ah! my Beloved, when it’s Really Spring
    We know it by the Buds a-blossoming,
      Signals from earth to sky—Tremendous Sounds
    That might to Some mean any Ancient Thing!

    Then let us to the Caravan at Once,
    The Sawdust where the Peanut haunts
      The air with strange sweet Odors
    And the Elephant does Wild and Woolly Stunts!

    Asparagus is glowing on the Stall,
    The Spring lamb cavorts on the Menu tall;
      Strawberries ripe—a Dollar for the Box:
    Wouldn’t it jar You somehow, After all?

    A Book of Coon Songs underneath the Bough,
    A Jug of Wine, a Dozen Buns, and Thou
      Beside me singing rag-time? I don’t know?
    I wonder would a dozen be enow?

    I sent my soul afling through Joy and Pain
    For Information that the Winds might deign.
      Softly the breezes pitched it, Russie-curved,
    And whispered slowly—sadly—“Guess Again.”

    Sometimes I think the Glories that they Sing
    Are like the grape-vine the Fox tried to cling;
      But take To-day—and make the Most of It,
    I think it’s Just Too Sweet for anything!

    What of To-morrow—say you? Oh, my Friend—
    To-morrow’s Not been Touched. It’s yet to Spend.
      I often wonder if we should expire
    If we could but Collect the Gold we Lend!

    Ah, Love! could Thou and I Creation run,
    How Different our Scheme! The Summer’s sun
      Would see another Springtime blossoming,
    Another Summer’s Rose to Follow On!

    And Leaning from the Sky a Little Star
    Would Tell Us from the Canopy afar
      What now we Grope for in the Dinky-dink,
    And wonder blindly, vaguely, What we Are!

    And when Alone you dream your fancies ripe,
    Thyself all Hasheesh-fed—My Prototype!
      Smoke Up—and when you gather with the Group
    Where I made One—Turn Down an Empty Pipe!
                                _Kate Masterson._


LINES WRITTEN (“BY REQUEST”) FOR A DINNER OF THE OMAR KHAYYAM CLUB

    MASTER, in memory of that Verse of Thine,
    And of Thy rather pretty taste in Wine,
      We gather at this jaded Century’s end,
    Our Cheeks, if so we may, to incarnadine.

    Thou hast the kind of Halo which outstays
    Most other Genii’s. Though a Laureate’s bays
      Should slowly crumple up, Thou livest on,
    Having survived a certain Paraphrase.

    The Lion and the Alligator squat
    In Dervish Courts—the Weather being hot—
      Under Umbrellas. Where is Mahmud now?
    Plucked by the Kitchener and gone to Pot!

    Not so with thee; but in Thy place of Rest,
    Where East is East and never can be West,
      Thou art the enduring Theme of dining Bards;
    O make allowances; they do their Best.

    Our Health—Thy Prophet’s health—is but so-so;
    Much marred by men of Abstinence who know
      Of Thee and all Thy loving Tavern-lore
    Nothing, nor care for it one paltry Blow.

    Yea, we ourselves, who beam around Thy Bowl,
    Somewhat to dull Convention bow the Soul,
      We sit in sable Trouserings and Boots,
    Nor do the Vine-leaves deck a single Poll.

    How could they bloom in uncongenial air?
    Nor, though they bloomed profusely, should we wear
      Upon our Heads—so tight is Habit’s hold—
    Aught else beside our own unaided Hair.

    The Epoch curbs our Fancy. What is more
    To BE, in any case, is now a Bore.
      Even in Humor there is nothing new;
    There is no Joke that was not made before.

    But Thou! with what a fresh and poignant sting
    Thy Muse remarked that Time was on the Wing!
      Ah, Golden Age, when Virgin was the Soil,
    And Decadence was deemed a newish Thing.

    These picturesque departures now are stale;
    The noblest Vices have their vogue and fail;
      Through some inherent Taint or lack of Nerve
    We cease to sin upon a generous scale.

    This hour, though drinking at my Host’s expense,
    I fear to use a fine Incontinence,
      For terror of the Law and him that waits
    Outside, the unknown X, to hale us hence.

    For, should he make of us an ill Report
    As pipkins of the more loquacious Sort,
      We might be lodged, the Lord alone knows where,
    Save Peace were purchased with a pewter Quart.

    And yet, O Lover of the purple Vine,
    Haply Thy Ghost is watching how we dine;
      Ah, let the Whither go; we’ll take our chance
    Of fourteen days with option of a Fine.

    Master, if we, Thy Vessels, staunch and stout,
    Should stagger, half-seas-over, blind with Doubt,
      In sound of that dread moaning of the Bar,
    Be near, be very near, to bail us out!
                            _Owen Seaman._


THE BABY’S OMAR

    OMAR’S the fad! Well then, let us indite
    The shape of verse old Omar used to write;
      And Juveniles are up. So we opine
    _A Baby’s Omar_ would be out of sight!

    Methinks the stunt is easy. Stilted style,
    A misplaced Capital once in a while,—
      Other verse writers do it like a shot;
    And can’t I do it too? Well, I should Smile!

        But how I ramble on. I must dismiss
        Dull Sloth, and set to Work at once, I wis;
          I sometimes think there’s nothing quite so hard
        As a Beginning. Say we start like this:

    Indeed, indeed my apron oft before
    I tore, but was I naughty when I tore?
      And then, and then came Ma, and thread in hand
    Repaired the rent in my small pinafore.

        A Penny Trumpet underneath the Bough,
        A Drum that’s big enough to make a Row;
           A Toy Fire-Engine, and a squeaking Doll,
        Oh, Life were Pandemonium enow.

          Come, fill the Cup, then quickly on the floor
          Your portion of the Porridge gaily pour.
             The Nurse will Spank you, and she’ll be discharged,—
          Ah, but of Nurses there be Plenty more.

            Yes, I can do it! Now, if but my Purse
            Some kindly Editor will reimburse,
              I’ll write a Baby’s Omar; for I’m sure
           These Sample Stanzas here are not so worse.
                                _Carolyn Wells._



AFTER CHAUCER


YE CLERKE OF YE WETHERE

    A CLERKE there was, a puissant wight was hee,
    Who of ye wethere hadde ye maisterie;
    Alway it was his mirthe and his solace—
    To put eche seson’s wethere oute of place.

    Whanne that Aprille shoures wer our desyre,
    He gad us Julye sonnes as hotte as fyre;
    But sith ye summere togges we donned agayne,
    Eftsoons ye wethere chaunged to cold and rayne.

    Wo was that pilgrimme who fared forth a-foote,
    Without ane gyngham that him list uppe-putte;
    And gif no mackyntosches eke had hee,
    A parlous state that wight befelle—pardie!

    We wist not gif it nexte ben colde or hotte,
    Cogswounds! ye barde a grewsome colde hath gotte!
    Certes, that clerke’s ane mightie man withalle,
    Let non don him offence, lest ille befalle.
                            _Anonymous._



AFTER SPENSER


A PORTRAIT

    HE is to weet a melancholy carle:
    Thin in the waist, with bushy head of hair,
    As hath the seeded thistle, when a parle
    It holds with Zephyr, ere it sendeth fair
    Its light balloons into the summer air;
    Thereto his beard had not begun to bloom.
    No brush had touched his cheek, or razor sheer;
    No care had touched his cheek with mortal doom,
    But new he was and bright, as scarf from Persian loom.

    Ne carèd he for wine, or half and half;
    Ne carèd he for fish, or flesh, or fowl;
    And sauces held he worthless as the chaff;
    He ’sdeigned the swine-head at the wassail-bowl:
    Ne with lewd ribbalds sat he cheek by jowl;
    Ne with sly lemans in the scorner’s chair;
    But after water-brooks this pilgrim’s soul
    Panted and all his food was woodland air;
    Though he would oft-times feast on gilliflowers rare

    The slang of cities in no wise he knew,
    _Tipping the wink_ to him was heathen Greek;
    He sipped no “olden Tom,” or “ruin blue,”
    Or Nantz, or cherry-brandy, drunk full meek
    By many a damsel brave and rouge of cheek;
    Nor did he know each aged watchman’s beat,
    Nor in obscurèd purlieus would he seek
    For curlèd Jewesses, with ankles neat,
    Who, as they walk abroad, make tinkling with their feet.
                            _John Keats._



AFTER SHAKESPEARE


THE BACHELOR’S SOLILOQUY

    TO wed, or not to wed? That is the question
    Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer
    The pangs and arrows of outrageous love
    Or to take arms against the powerful flame
    And by oppressing quench it.
                  To wed—to marry—
    And by a marriage say we end
    The heartache and the thousand painful shocks
    Love makes us heir to—’tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wished! to wed—to marry—
    Perchance a scold! aye, there’s the rub!
    For in that wedded life what ills may come
    When we have shuffled off our single state
    Must give us serious pause. There’s the respect
    That makes us Bachelors a numerous race.
    For who would bear the dull unsocial hours
    Spent by unmarried men, cheered by no smile
    To sit like hermit at a lonely board
    In silence? Who would bear the cruel gibes
    With which the Bachelor is daily teased
    When he himself might end such heart-felt griefs
    By wedding some fair maid? Oh, who would live
    Yawning and staring sadly in the fire
    Till celibacy becomes a weary life
    But that the dread of something after wed-lock
    (That undiscovered state from whose strong chains
    No captive can get free) puzzles the will
    And makes us rather choose those ills we have
    Than fly to others which a wife may bring.
    Thus caution doth make Bachelors of us all,
    And thus our natural taste for matrimony
    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.
    And love adventures of great pith and moment
    With this regard their currents turn away
    And lose the name of Wedlock.
                            _Anonymous._


POKER

    TO draw, or not to draw,—that is the question:—
    Whether ’tis safer in the player to take
    The awful risk of skinning for a straight,
    Or, standing pat, to raise ’em all the limit
    And thus, by bluffing, get in. To draw,—to skin;
    No more—and by that skin to get a full,
    Or two pairs, or the fattest bouncing kings
    That luck is heir to—’tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wished. To draw—to skin;
    To skin! perchance to burst—ay, there’s the rub!
    For in the draw of three what cards may come,
    When we have shuffled off th’ uncertain pack,
    Must give us pause. There’s the respect
    That makes calamity of a bobtail flush;
    For who would bear the overwhelming blind,
    The reckless straddle, the wait on the edge,
    The insolence of pat hands and the lifts
    That patient merit of the bluffer takes,
    When he himself might be much better off
    By simply passing? Who would trays uphold,
    And go out on a small progressive raise,
    But that the dread of something after call—
    The undiscovered ace-full, to whose strength
    Such hands must bow, puzzles the will,
    And makes us rather keep the chips we have
    Than be curious about the hands we know not of.
    Thus bluffing does make cowards of us all:
    And thus the native hue of a four-heart flush
    Is sicklied with some dark and cussed club,
    And speculators in a jack-pot’s wealth
    With this regard their interest turn away
    And lose the right to open.
                            _Anonymous._


TOOTHACHE

    TO have it out or not. That is the question—
    Whether ’tis better for the jaws to suffer
    The pangs and torments of an aching tooth
    Or to take steel against a host of troubles,
    And, by extracting them, end them? To pull—to tug!—
    No more: and by a tug to say we end
    The toothache and a thousand natural ills
    The jaw is heir to. ’Tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wished! To pull—to tug!—
    To tug—perchance to break! Ay, there’s the rub,
    For in that wrench what agonies may come
    When we have half dislodged the stubborn foe,
    Must give us pause. There’s the respect
    That makes an aching tooth of so long life.
    For who would bear the whips and stings of pain,
    The old wife’s nostrum, dentist’s contumely;
    The pangs of hope deferred, kind sleep’s delay;
    The insolence of pity, and the spurns,
    That patient sickness of the healthy takes,
    When he himself might his quietus make
    For one poor shilling? Who would fardels bear,
    To groan and sink beneath a load of pain?—
    But that the dread of something lodged within
    The linen-twisted forceps, from whose pangs
    No jaw at ease returns, puzzles the will,
    And makes it rather bear the ills it has
    Than fly to others that it knows not of.
    Thus dentists do make cowards of us all,
    And thus the native hue of resolution
    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of fear;
    And many a one, whose courage seeks the door,
    With this regard his footsteps turns away,
    Scared at the name of dentist.
                            _Anonymous._


A DREARY SONG

    WELL, don’t cry, my little tiny boy,
      With hey, ho, the wind and the rain
    Amuse yourself, and break some toy,
      For the rain it raineth every day.

    Alas, for the grass on Papa’s estate,
      With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    He’ll have to buy hay at an awful rate,
      For the rain it raineth every day.

    Mamma, she can’t go out for a drive,
      With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    How cross she gets about four or five,
      For the rain it raineth every day.

    If I were you I’d be off to bed,
      With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    Or the damp will give you a cold in the head,
      For the rain it raineth every day.

    A great while ago this song was done,
      With hey, ho, the wind and the rain,
    And I, for one, cannot see it’s fun,
      But the Dyces and the Colliers can—they say.
                            _Shirley Brooks._


TO THE STALL-HOLDERS AT A FANCY FAIR


    WITH pretty speech accost both old and young,
    And speak it trippingly upon the tongue;
    But if you mouth it with a hoyden laugh,
    With clumsy ogling and uncomely chaff—
    As I have oft seen done at fancy fairs,
    I had as lief a huckster sold my wares,
    Avoid all so-called beautifying, dear.
    Oh! it offends me to the soul to hear
    The things that men among themselves will say
    Of some _soi-disant_ “beauty of the day,”
    Whose face, when she with cosmetics has cloyed it,
    Out-Rachels Rachel! pray you, girls, avoid it.
    Neither be you too tame—but, ere you go,
    Provide yourselves with sprigs of mistletoe;
    Offer them coyly to the Roman herd—
    But don’t you suit “the action to the word,”
    For in that very torrent of your passion
    Remember modesty is still in fashion.
    Oh, there be ladies whom I’ve seen hold stalls—
    Ladies of rank, my dear—to whom befalls
    Neither the accent nor the gait of ladies;
    So clumsily made up with Bloom of Cadiz,
    Powder-rouge—lip-salve—that I’ve fancied then
    They were the work of Nature’s journeymen.
                            _W. S. Gilbert._


SONG

    WITH a hey! and a hi! and a hey-ho rhyme!
                  Oh, the shepherd lad
                  He is ne’er so glad
    As when he pipes, in the blossom-time,
                  So rare!
    While Kate picks by, yet looks not there.
                  So rare! so rare!
    With a hey! and a hi! and a ho!
    The grasses curdle where the daisies blow!
    With a hey! and a hi! and a hey-ho vow!
                  Then he sips her face
                  At the sweetest place—
    And ho! how white is the hawthorn now!—
                  So rare!—
    And the daisied world rocks round them there.
                  So rare! so rare!
    With a hey! and a hi! and a ho!
    The grasses curdle where the daisies blow!
                            _James Whitcomb Riley._


THE WHIST-PLAYER’S SOLILOQUY

    TO trump, or not to trump,—that is the question:
    Whether ’t is better in this case to notice
    The leads and signals of outraged opponents,
    Or to force trumps against a suit of diamonds,
    And by opposing end them? To trump,—to take,—
    No more; and by that trick to win the lead
    And after that, return my partner’s spades
    For which he signalled,—’tis a consummation
    Devoutly to be wished. To trump—to take,—
    To take! perchance to win! Ay, there’s the rub;
    For if we win this game, what hands may come
    When we have shuffled up these cards again.
    Play to the score? ah! yes, there’s the defect
    That makes this Duplicate Whist so much like work.
    For who would heed the theories of Hoyle,
    The laws of Pole, the books of Cavendish,
    The Short-Suit system, Leads American,
    The Eleven Rule Finesse, The Fourth-best play,
    The Influence of signals on The Ruff,
    When he himself this doubtful trick might take
    With a small two-spot? Who would hesitate,
    But that the dread of something afterwards,
    An undiscovered discard or forced lead
    When playing the return, puzzles the will,
    And makes us rather lose the tricks we have
    To win the others that we know not of?
    Thus Duplicate Whist makes cowards of us all;
    And thus the native hue of Bumblepuppy
    Is sicklied o’er with the pale cast of thought.
    And good whist-players of great skill and judgment,
    With this regard their formulas defy,
    And lose the game by ruffing.
                            _Carolyn Wells._



AFTER WITHER


ANSWER TO MASTER WITHERS SONG, “SHALL I, WASTING IN DESPAIR?”

    SHALL I, mine affections slack,
    ’Cause I see a woman’s black?
    Or myself, with care cast down,
    ’Cause I see a woman brown?
    Be she blacker than the night,
    Or the blackest jet in sight!
      If she be not so to me,
      What care I how black she be?

    Shall my foolish heart be burst,
    ’Cause I see a woman’s curst?
    Or a thwarting hoggish nature
    Joinèd in as bad a feature?
    Be she curst or fiercer than
    Brutish beast, or savage man!
      If she be not so to me,
      What care I how curst she be?

    Shall a woman’s vices make
    Me her vices quite forsake?
    Or her faults to me made known,
    Make me think that I have none?
    Be she of the most accurst,
    And deserve the name of worst!
      If she be not so to me,
      What care I how bad she be?

    ’Cause her fortunes seem too low,
    Shall I therefore let her go?
    He that bears an humble mind
    And with riches can be kind,
    Think how kind a heart he’d have,
    If he were some servile slave!
      And if that same mind I see
      What care I how poor she be?

    Poor, or bad, or curst, or black,
    I will ne’er the more be slack!
    If she hate me (then believe!)
    She shall die ere I will grieve!
    If she like me when I woo
    I can like and love her too!
      If that she be fit for me!
      What care I what others be?
                            _Ben Jonson._



AFTER HERRICK


SONG

    GATHER Kittens while you may,
    Time brings only Sorrow;
    And the Kittens of To-day
    Will be Old Cats To-morrow.
                            _Oliver Herford._


TO JULIA UNDER LOCK AND KEY

    (_A form of betrothal gift in America is an anklet
    secured by a padlock, of which the other party keeps
    the key_)

    WHEN like a bud my Julia blows
    In lattice-work of silken hose,
    Pleasant I deem it is to note
    How, ’neath the nimble petticoat,
    Above her fairy shoe is set
    The circumvolving zonulet.
    And soothly for the lover’s ear
    A perfect bliss it is to hear
    About her limb so lithe and lank
    My Julia’s ankle-bangle clank.
    Not rudely tight, for ’twere a sin
    To corrugate her dainty skin;
    Nor yet so large that it might fare
    Over her foot at unaware;
    But fashioned nicely with a view
    To let her airy stocking through:
    So as, when Julia goes to bed,
    Of all her gear disburdenèd,
    This ring at least she shall not doff
    Because she cannot take it off.
    And since thereof I hold the key,
    She may not taste of liberty,
    Not though she suffer from the gout,
    Unless I choose to let her out.
                            _Owen Seaman._



AFTER NURSERY RHYMES


AN IDYLL OF PHATTE AND LEENE

    THE hale John Sprat—oft called for shortness, Jack—
    Had married—had, in fact, a wife—and she
    Did worship him with wifely reverence.
    He, who had loved her when she was a girl,
    Compass’d her, too, with sweet observances;
    E’en at the dinner table did it shine.
    For he—liking no fat himself—he never did,
    With jealous care piled up her plate with lean,
    Not knowing that all lean was hateful to her.
    And day by day she thought to tell him o ’t,
    And watched the fat go out with envious eye,
    But could not speak for bashful delicacy.

    At last it chanced that on a winter day,
    The beef—a prize joint!—little was but fat;
    So fat, that John had all his work cut out,
    To snip out lean fragments for his wife,
    Leaving, in very sooth, none for himself;
    Which seeing, she spoke courage to her soul,
    Took up her fork, and, pointing to the joint
    Where ’twas the fattest, piteously she said;
    “Oh, husband! full of love and tenderness!
    What is the cause that you so jealously
    Pick out the lean for me. I like it not!
    Nay, loathe it—’tis on the fat that I would feast;
    O me, I fear you do not like my taste!”

    Then he, dropping his horny-handled carving knife,
    Sprinkling therewith the gravy o’er her gown,
    Answer’d, amazed: “What! you like fat, my wife!
    And never told me. Oh, this is not kind!
    Think what your reticence has wrought for us;
    How all the fat sent down unto the maid—
    Who likes not fat—for such maids never do—
    Has been put in the waste-tub, sold for grease,
    And pocketed as servant’s perquisite!
    Oh, wife! this news is good; for since, perforce,
    A joint must be not fat nor lean, but both;
    Our different tastes will serve our purpose well;
    For, while you eat the fat—the lean to me
    Falls as my cherished portion. Lo! ’tis good!”
    So henceforth—he that tells the tale relates—
    In John Sprat’s household waste was quite unknown;
    For he the lean did eat, and she the fat,
    And thus the dinner-platter was all cleared.
                            _Anonymous._


NURSERY SONG IN PIDGIN ENGLISH

    SINGEE a songee sick a pence,
      Pockee muchee lye;
    Dozen two time blackee bird
      Cookee in e pie.
    When him cutee topside
      Birdee bobbery sing;
    Himee tinkee nicey dish
      Setee foree King!
    Kingee in a talkee loom
      Countee muchee money;
    Queeny in e kitchee,
      Chew-chee breadee honey.
    Servant galo shakee,
      Hangee washee clothes;
    Cho-chop comee blackie bird,
      Nipee off her nose!
                            _Anonymous._


THE HOUSE THAT JACK BUILT

    AND this reft house is that the which he built,
    Lamented Jack! and here his malt he piled.
    Cautious in vain! these rats that squeak so wild,

    Squeak not unconscious of their father’s guilt.
    Did he not see her gleaming through the glade!
    Belike ’twas she, the maiden all forlorn.
    What though she milked no cow with crumpled horn,

    Yet, aye she haunts the dale where erst she strayed:
    And aye before her stalks her amorous knight!
    Still on his thighs their wonted brogues are worn,
    And through those brogues, still tattered and betorn,
    His hindward charms gleam an unearthly white.
                            _Samuel Taylor Coleridge._



_BOSTON NURSERY RHYMES_


RHYME FOR A GEOLOGICAL BABY

    TRILOBITE, Graptolite, Nautilus pie;
    Seas were calcareous, oceans were dry.
    Eocene, miocene, pliocene Tuff,
    Lias and Trias and that is enough.


RHYME FOR ASTRONOMICAL BABY

    BYE Baby Bunting,
    Father’s gone star-hunting;
    Mother’s at the telescope
    Casting baby’s horoscope.
    Bye Baby Buntoid,
    Father’s found an asteroid;
    Mother takes by calculation
    The angle of its inclination.


RHYME FOR BOTANICAL BABY

    LITTLE bo-peepals
    Has lost her sepals,
    And can’t tell where to find them;
    In the involucre
    By hook or by crook or
    She’ll make up her mind not to mind them.


RHYME FOR A CHEMICAL BABY

    OH, sing a song of phosphates,
      Fibrine in a line,
    Four-and-twenty follicles
      In the van of time.

    When the phosphorescence
      Evoluted brain,
    Superstition ended,
      Men began to reign.
                            _Rev. Joseph Cook._


A SONG OF A HEART

    UPON a time I had a Heart,
    And it was bright and gay;
    And I gave it to a Lady fair
    To have and keep alway.

    She soothed it and she smoothed it
    And she stabbed it till it bled;
    She brightened it and lightened it
    And she weighed it down with lead.

    She flattered it and battered it
    And she filled it full of gall;
    Yet had I Twenty Hundred Hearts,
    Still should she have them all.
                            _Oliver Herford._


THE DOMICILE OF JOHN

    BEHOLD the mansion reared by Daedal Jack!
      See the malt stored in many a plethoric sack,
    In the proud cirque of Ivan’s Bivouac!

    Mark how the rat’s felonious fangs invade
      The golden stores in John’s pavilion laid!

    Anon, with velvet foot and Tarquin strides,
      Subtle Grimalkin to his quarry glides;
    Grimalkin grim, that slew the fierce rodent,
      Whose tooth insidious Johann’s sackcloth rent!

    Lo! Now the deep-mouthed canine foe’s assault!
      That vexed the avenger of the stolen malt,
    Stored in the hallowed precincts of that hall,
      That rose complete at Jack’s creative call.

    Here stalks the impetuous cow with the crumpled horn,
      Whereon the exacerbating hound was torn
    Who bayed the feline slaughter-beast that slew
      The rat predaceous, whose keen fangs ran through
    The textile fibres that involved the grain
      That lay in Hans’ inviolate domain.

    Here walks forlorn the damsel crowned with rue,
      Lactiferous spoils from vaccine dugs who drew
    Of that corniculate beast whose tortuous horn
      Tossed to the clouds, in fierce vindictive scorn,
    The baying hound whose braggart bark and stir
      Arched the lithe spine and reared the indignant fur
    Of puss, that, with verminicidal claw,
      Struck the weird rat, in whose insatiate maw
    Lay reeking malt, that erst in Juan’s courts we saw.

    Robed in senescent garb, that seems, in sooth,
      Too long a prey to Chronos’ iron tooth,
    Behold the man whose amorous lips incline
      Full with young Eros’ osculative sign,
    To the lorn maiden whose lactalbic hands
      Drew albulactic wealth from lacteal glands
    Of that immortal bovine, by whose horn
      Distort, to realms ethereal was borne
    The beast catulean, vexer of that sly
      Ulysses quadrupedal, who made die
    The old mordaceous rat that dared devour
      Antecedaneous ale in John’s domestic bower.

    Lo! Here, with hirsute honors doffed, succinct
      Of saponaceous locks, the priest who linked
    In Hymen’s golden bands the man unthrift
      Whose means exiguous stared from many a rift,
    E’en as he kissed the virgin all forlorn
      Who milked the cow with implicated horn,
    Who in fierce wrath the canine torturer skied,
      That dared to vex the insidious muricide,
    Who let auroral effluence through the pelt
      Of that sly rat that robbed the palace that Jack built.

    The loud cantankerous Shanghai comes at last,
      Whose shouts aroused the shorn ecclesiast,
    Who sealed the vows of Hymen’s sacrament
      To him who, robed in garments indigent,
    Exosculates the damsel lachrymose,
      The emulgator of the horned brute morose
    That on gyrated horn, to heaven’s high vault
      Hurled up, with many a tortuous somersault,
    The low bone-cruncher, whose hot wrath pursued
      The scratching sneak, that waged eternal feud
    With long-tailed burglar, who his lips would smack
      On farinaceous wealth, that filled the halls of Jack.

    Vast limbed and broad the farmer comes at length,
      Whose cereal care supplied the vital strength
    Of chanticleer, whose matutinal cry
      Roused the quiescent form and ope’d the eye
    Of razor-loving cleric, who in bands
      Connubial linked the intermixed hands
    Of him, whose rent apparel gaped apart,
      And the lorn maiden with lugubrious heart,
    Her who extraught the exuberant lactic flow
      Of nutriment from that cornigerent cow,
    Eumenidal executor of fate,
      That to sidereal altitudes elate
    Cerberus, who erst with fang lethiferous
      Left lacerate Grimalkin latebrose—
    That killed the rat
      That ate the malt
        That lay in the house that Jack built.
                            _A. Pope._


MARY AND THE LAMB

    MARY,—what melodies mingle
      To murmur her musical name!
    It makes all one’s finger-tips tingle
      Like fagots, the food of the flame;
    About her an ancient tradition
      A romance delightfully deep
    Has woven in juxtaposition
      With one little sheep,—

    One dear little lamb that would follow
      Her footsteps, unwearily fain.
    Down dale, over hill, over hollow,
      To school and to hamlet again;
    A gentle companion, whose beauty
      Consisted in snow-driven fleece,
    And whose most imperative duty
      Was keeping the peace.

    His eyes were as beads made of glassware,
      His lips were coquettishly curled,
    His capers made many a lass swear
      His caper-sauce baffled the world;
    His tail had a wag when it relished
      A sip of the milk in the pail,—
    And this fact has largely embellished
      The wag of this tale.

    One calm summer day when the sun was
      A great golden globe in the sky,
    One mild summer morn when the fun was
      Unspeakably clear in his eye,
    He tagged after exquisite Mary,
      And over the threshold of school
    He tripped in a temper contrary,
      And splintered the rule.

    A great consternation was kindled
      Among all the scholars, and some
    Confessed their affection had dwindled
      For lamby, and looked rather glum;
    But Mary’s schoolmistress quick beckoned
      The children away from the jam,
    And said, _sotto voce_, she reckoned
      That Mame loved the lamb.

    Then all up the spine of the rafter
      There ran a most risible shock,
    And sorrow was sweetened with laughter
      At this little lamb of the flock;
    And out spoke the schoolmistress Yankee,
      With rather a New Hampshire whine,
    “Dear pupils, sing Moody and Sankey,
      Hymn ’Ninety and Nine.’”

    Now after this music had finished,
      And silence again was restored,
    The ardor of lamby diminished,
      His quips for a moment were floored
    Then cried he, “Bah-ed children, you blundered
      When singing that psalmistry, quite.
    I’m labelled by Mary, ’Old Hundred,’
      And I’m labelled right.”

    Then vanished the lambkin in glory,
      A halo of books round his head:
    What furthermore happened the story,
      Alackaday! cannot be said.
    And Mary, the musical maid, is
      To-day but a shadow in time;
    Her epitaph, too, I’m afraid is
      Writ only in rhyme.

    She’s sung by the cook at her ladle
      That stirs up the capering sauce;
    She’s sung by the nurse at the cradle
      When ba-ba is restless and cross;
    And lamby, whose virtues were legion,
      Dwells ever in songs that we sing,
    He makes a nice dish in this region
      To eat in the spring!
                            _Frank Dempster Sherman._



AFTER WALLER


THE AESTHETE TO THE ROSE

        Go, flaunting Rose!
    Tell her that wastes her love on thee,
        That she nought knows
    Of the New Cult, Intensity,
    If sweet and fair to her you be.

        Tell her that’s young,
    Or who in health and bloom takes pride,
        That bards have sung
    Of a new youth—at whose sad side
    Sickness and pallor aye abide.

        Small is the worth
    Of Beauty in crude charms attired.
        She must shun mirth,
    Have suffered, fruitlessly desired,
    And wear no flush by hope inspired.

        Then die, that she
    May learn that Death is passing fair;
        May read in thee
    How little of Art’s praise they share,
    Who are not sallow, sick, and spare!
                            _Punch._



AFTER DRYDEN


THREE BLESSINGS

    THREE brightest blessings of this thirsty race,
    (Whence sprung and when I don’t propose to trace);
    Pale brandy, potent spirit of the night,
    Brisk soda, welcome when the morn is bright;
    To make the third, combine the other two,
    The force of nature can no further go.
                            _Anonymous._


OYSTER-CRABS

    THREE viands in three different courses served,
    Received the commendation they deserved.
    The first in succulence all else surpassed;
    The next in flavor; and in both, the last.
    For Nature’s forces could no further go;
    To make the third, she joined the other two.
                                  _Carolyn Wells._



AFTER DR. WATTS


THE VOICE OF THE LOBSTER

    “’TIS the voice of the Lobster: I heard him declare
    ‘You have baked me too brown, I must sugar my hair.’
    As a duck with its eyelids, so he with his nose
    Trims his belt and his buttons, and turns out his toes.
    When the sands are all dry, he is gay as a lark,
    And will talk in contemptuous tones of the Shark:
    But, when the tide rises and sharks are around,
    His voice has a timid and tremulous sound.

    “I passed by his garden, and marked, with one eye,
    How the Owl and the Panther were sharing a pie;
    The Panther took pie-crust, and gravy, and meat,
    While the Owl had the dish as its share of the treat.
    When the pie was all finished, the Owl, as a boon,
    Was kindly permitted to pocket the spoon;
    While the Panther received knife and fork with a growl,
    And concluded the banquet by ——”
                                   _Lewis Carroll._


THE CROCODILE

    HOW doth the little crocodile
      Improve his shining tail,
    And pour the waters of the Nile
      On every golden scale!

    How cheerfully he seems to grin,
      How neatly spreads his claws,
    And welcomes little fishes in,
      With gently smiling jaws!
                            _Lewis Carroll._



AFTER GOLDSMITH


WHEN LOVELY WOMAN

    WHEN lovely woman wants a favor,
      And finds, too late, that man won’t bend,
    What earthly circumstance can save her
      From disappointment in the end?

    The only way to bring him over,
      The last experiment to try,
    Whether a husband or a lover,
      If he have feeling is—to cry.
                            _Phœbe Cary._



AFTER BURNS


GAELIC SPEECH; OR, “AULD LANG SYNE” DONE UP IN TARTAN

    SHOULD Gaelic speech be e’er forgot,
      And never brocht to min’,
    For she’ll be spoke in Paradise
      In the days of auld lang syne.
    When Eve, all fresh in beauty’s charms,
      First met fond Adam’s view,
    The first word that he’ll spoke till her
      Was, “_cumar achum dhu_.”

    And Adam in his garden fair,
      Whene’er the day did close,
    The dish that he’ll to supper teuk
      Was always Athole brose.
    When Adam from his leafy bower
      Cam oot at broke o’ day,
    He’ll always for his morning teuk
      A quaich o’ usquebae.

    An’ when wi’ Eve he’ll had a crack,
      He’ll teuk his sneeshin’ horn,
    An’ on the tap ye’ll well mitch mark
      A pony praw Cairngorm.
    The sneeshin’ mull is fine, my friens—
      The sneeshin’ mull is gran’;
    We’ll teukta hearty sneesh, my friens,
      And pass frae han’ to han’.

    When man first fan the want o’ claes,
      The wind an’ cauld to fleg.
    He twisted roon’ about his waist
      The tartan philabeg.
    An’ music first on earth was heard
      In Gaelic accents deep,
    When Jubal in his oxter squeezed
      The blether o’ a sheep.

    The praw bagpipes is gran’, my friens,
      The praw bagpipes is fine;
    We’ll teukta nother pibroch yet,
      For the days o’ auld lang syne!
                            _Anonymous._


MY FOE

    JOHN ALCOHOL, my foe, John,
      When we were first acquaint,
    I’d siller in my pockets, John,
      Which noo, ye ken, I want;
    I spent it all in treating, John,
      Because I loved you so;
    But mark ye, how you’ve treated me,
      John Alcohol, my foe.

    John Alcohol, my foe, John,
      We’ve been ower lang together,
    Sae ye maun tak’ ae road, John,
      And I will take anither;
    Foe we maun tumble down, John,
      If hand in hand we go;
    And I shall hae the bill to pay,
      John Alcohol, my foe.

    John Alcohol, my foe, John,
      Ye’ve blear’d out a’ my een,
    And lighted up my nose, John,
      A fiery sign atween!
    My hands wi’ palsy shake, John,
      My locks are like the snow;
    Ye’ll surely be the death of me,
      John Alcohol, my foe.

    John Alcohol, my foe, John,
      ’Twas love to you, I ween,
    That gart me rise sae ear’, John,
      And sit sae late at e’en;
    The best o’ friens maun part, John,
      It grieves me sair, ye know;
    But “we’ll nae mair to yon town,”
      John Alcohol, my foe.

    John Alcohol, my foe, John,
      Ye’ve wrought me muckle skaith,
    And yet to part wi’ you, John,
      I own I’m unko’ laith;
    But I’ll join the temperance ranks, John,
      Ye needna say me no;
    It’s better late than ne’er do weel,
      John Alcohol, my foe.
                            _Anonymous._


RIGID BODY SINGS

    GIN a body meet a body
      Flyin’ through the air,
    Gin a body hit a body,
      Will it fly? and where?
    Ilka impact has its measure,
      Ne’er a’ ane hae I,
    Yet a’ the lads they measure me,
      Or, at least, they try.

    Gin a body meet a body
      Altogether free,
    How they travel afterwards
      We do not always see.
    Ilka problem has its method
      By analytics high;
    For me, I ken na ane o’ them,
      But what the waur am I?
                            _J. C. Maxwell._



AFTER CATHERINE FANSHAWE


COCKNEY ENIGMA ON THE LETTER H

    I DWELLS in the Herth and I breathes in the Hair;
    If you searches the Hocean you’ll find that I’m there;
    The first of all Hangels in Holympus am Hi,
    Yet I’m banished from ’Eaven, expelled from on ’Igh.
    But tho’ on this Horb I am destined to grovel,
    I’m ne’er seen in an ’Ouse, in an ’Ut, nor an ’Ovel;
    Not an ’Oss nor an ’Unter e’er bears me, alas!
    But often I’m found on the top of a Hass.
    I resides in a Hattic and loves not to roam,
    And yet I’m invariably habsent from ’Ome.
    Tho’ ’ushed in the ’Urricane, of the Hatmosphere part,
    I enters no ’Ed, I creeps into no ’Art,
    But look and you’ll see in the Heye I appear.
    Only ’ark and you’ll ’ear me just breathe in the Hear;
    Tho’ in sex not an ’E, I am (strange paradox!),
    Not a bit of an ’Effer, but partly a Hox.
    Of Heternity Hi’m the beginning! and mark,
    Tho’ I goes not with Noar, I’m the first in the Hark.
    I’m never in ’Elth—have with Fysic no power;
    I dies in a Month, but comes back in a Hour.
                            _Horace Mayhew._



AFTER WORDSWORTH


ON WORDSWORTH

    HE lived amidst th’ untrodden ways
      To Rydal Lake that lead;
    A bard whom there was none to praise
      And very few to read.

    Behind a cloud his mystic sense,
      Deep hidden, who can spy?
    Bright as the night when not a star
      Is shining in the sky.

    Unread his works—his “Milk White Doe”
      With dust is dark and dim;
    It’s still in Longmans’ shop, and oh!
      The difference to him.
                            _Anonymous._


JACOB

    HE dwelt among “Apartments let,”
      About five stories high;
    A man, I thought, that none would get,
      And very few would try.

    A boulder, by a larger stone
      Half hidden in the mud,
    Fair as a man when only one
      Is in the neighborhood.

    He lived unknown, and few could tell
      When Jacob was not free;
    But he has got a wife—and O!
      The difference to me!
                            _Phœbe Cary._


FRAGMENT IN IMITATION OF WORDSWORTH

    THERE is a river clear and fair,
    ’Tis neither broad nor narrow;
    It winds a little here and there—
    It winds about like any hare;
    And then it holds as straight a course
    As, on the turnpike road, a horse,
    Or, through the air, an arrow.

    The trees that grow upon the shore
    Have grown a hundred years or more;
    So long there is no knowing:
    Old Daniel Dobson does not know
    When first those trees began to grow;
    But still they grew, and grew, and grew,
    As if they’d nothing else to do,
    But ever must be growing.

    The impulses of air and sky
    Have reared their stately heads so high,
    And clothed their boughs with green;
    Their leaves the dews of evening quaff,—
    And when the wind blows loud and keen,
    I’ve seen the jolly timbers laugh,
    And shake their sides with merry glee—
    Wagging their heads in mockery.

    Fixed are their feet in solid earth
    Where winds can never blow;
    But visitings of deeper birth
    Have reached their roots below.
    For they have gained the river’s brink,
    And of the living waters drink.

    There’s little Will, a five years’ child—
    He is my youngest boy;
    To look on eyes so fair and wild,
    It is a very joy.
    He hath conversed with sun and shower,
    And dwelt with every idle flower,
    As fresh and gay as them.
    He loiters with the briar-rose,—
    The blue-bells are his play-fellows,
    That dance upon their slender stem.

    And I have said, my little Will,
    Why should he not continue still
    A thing of Nature’s rearing?
    A thing beyond the world’s control—
    A living vegetable soul,—
    No human sorrow fearing.
    It were a blessed sight to see
    That child become a willow-tree,
    His brother trees among.
    He’d be four times as tall as me,
    And live three times as long.
                            _Catherine M. Fanshawe._


JANE SMITH

    I JOURNEYED, on a winter’s day,
      Across the lonely wold;
    No bird did sing upon the spray,
      And it was very cold.

    I had a coach with horses four,
      Three white (though one was black),
    And on they went the common o’er,
      Nor swiftness did they lack.

    A little girl ran by the side,
      And she was pinched and thin.
    “Oh, please, sir, do give me a ride!
      I’m fetching mother’s gin.”

    “Enter my coach, sweet child,” said I,
      “For you shall ride with me;
    And I will get you your supply
      Of mother’s eau-de-vie.”

    The publican was stern and cold,
      And said: “Her mother’s score
    Is writ, as you shall soon behold,
      Behind the bar-room door!”

    I blotted out the score with tears,
      And paid the money down;
    And took the maid of thirteen years
      Back to her mother’s town.

    And though the past with surges wild
      Fond memories may sever,
    The vision of that happy child
      Will leave my spirits never!
                            _Rudyard Kipling._


ONLY SEVEN

(_A Pastoral Story after Wordsworth_)

    I MARVELLED why a simple child,
      That lightly draws its breath,
    Should utter groans so very wild,
      And look as pale as Death.

    Adopting a parental tone,
      I ask’d her why she cried;
    The damsel answered with a groan,
      “I’ve got a pain inside!

    “I thought it would have sent me mad
      Last night about eleven.”
    Said I, “What is it makes you bad?
    How many apples have you had?”
      She answered, “Only seven!”

    “And are you sure you took no more,
      My little maid?” quoth I;
    “Oh, please, sir, mother gave me four,
      But they were in a pie!”

    “If that’s the case,” I stammer’d out,
      “Of course you’ve had eleven.”
    The maiden answered with a pout,
      “I ain’t had more nor seven!”

    I wonder’d hugely what she meant,
      And said, “I’m bad at riddles;
    But I know where little girls are sent
      For telling taradiddles.

    “Now, if you won’t reform,” said I,
      “You’ll never go to Heaven.”
    But all in vain; each time I try,
    That little idiot makes reply,
      “I ain’t had more nor seven!”

POSTSCRIPT

    To borrow Wordsworth’s name was wrong,
      Or slightly misapplied;
    And so I’d better call my song,
      “Lines after Ache-Inside.”
                            _Henry S. Leigh._


LUCY LAKE

    POOR Lucy Lake was overgrown,
      But somewhat underbrained.
    She did not know enough, I own,
      To go in when it rained.

    Yet Lucy was constrained to go;
      Green bedding,—you infer.
    Few people knew she died, but oh,
      The difference to her!
                            _Newton Mackintosh._



AFTER SIR WALTER SCOTT


YOUNG LOCHINVAR

(_The true story in blank verse_)

    OH! young Lochinvar has come out of the West,
    Thro’ all the wide border his horse has no equal,
    Having cost him forty-five dollars at the market,
    Where good nags, fresh from the country,
    With burrs still in their tails are selling
    For a song; and save his good broadsword
    He weapon had none, except a seven shooter
    Or two, a pair of brass knuckles, and an Arkansaw

    Toothpick in his boot, so, comparatively speaking,
    He rode all unarmed, and he rode all alone,
    Because there was no one going his way.
    He stayed not for brake, and he stopped not for
    Toll-gates; he swam the Eske River where ford
    There was none, and saved fifteen cents
    In ferriage, but lost his pocket-book, containing
    Seventeen dollars and a half, by the operation.

    Ere he alighted at the Netherby mansion
    He stopped to borrow a dry suit of clothes,
    And this delayed him considerably, so when
    He arrived the bride had consented—the gallant
    Came late—for a laggard in love and a dastard in war
    Was to wed the fair Ellen, and the guests had assembled.

    So boldly he entered the Netherby Hall
    Among bridesmen and kinsmen and brothers and
    Brothers-in-law and forty or fifty cousins;
    Then spake the bride’s father, his hand on his sword
    (For the poor craven bridegroom ne’er opened his head):

    “Oh, come ye in peace here, or come ye in anger,
    Or to dance at our bridal, young Lord Lochinvar?”
    “I long wooed your daughter, and she will tell you
    I have the inside track in the free-for-all
    For her affections! My suit you denied; but let
    That pass, while I tell you, old fellow, that love
    Swells like the Solway, but ebbs like its tide,
    And now I am come with this lost love of mine
    To lead but one measure, drink one glass of beer;
    There are maidens in Scotland more lovely by far
    That would gladly be bride to yours very truly.”

    The bride kissed the goblet, the knight took it up,
    He quaffed off the nectar and threw down the mug,
    Smashing it into a million pieces, while
    He remarked that he was the son of a gun
    From Seven-up and run the Number Nine.
    She looked down to blush, but she looked up again
    For she well understood the wink in his eye;
    He took her soft hand ere her mother could
    Interfere, “Now tread we a measure; first four
    Half right and left; swing,” cried young Lochinvar.

    One touch to her hand and one word in her ear,
    When they reached the hall-door and the charger
    Stood near on three legs eating post-hay;
    So light to the croup the fair lady he swung,
    Then leaped to the saddle before her.
    “She is won! we are gone! over bank! bush, and spar,
    They’ll have swift steeds that follow”—but in the

    Excitement of the moment he had forgotten
    To untie the horse, and the poor brute could
    Only gallop in a little circus around the
    Hitching-post; so the old gent collared
    The youth and gave him the awfullest lambasting
    That was ever heard of on Canobie Lee;
    So dauntless in war and so daring in love,
    Have ye e’er heard of gallant like young Lochinvar?
                            _Anonymous._



AFTER COLERIDGE


THE ANCIENT MARINER

(_The Wedding Guest’s Version of the Affair from His Point of View_)

    IT is an Ancient Mariner,
      And he stoppeth one of three—
    In fact he coolly took my arm—
      “There was a ship,” quoth he.

    “Bother your ships!” said I, “is this
      The time a yarn to spin?
    This is a wedding, don’t you see,
      And I am next of kin.

    “The wedding breakfast has begun,
      We’re hungry as can be—
    Hold off! Unhand me, longshore man!”
      With that his hand dropt he.

    But there was something in his eye,
      That made me sick and ill,
    Yet forced to listen to his yarn—
      The Mariner’d had his will.

    While Tom and Harry went their way
      I sat upon a stone—
    So queer on Fanny’s wedding day
      Me sitting there alone!

    Then he began, that Mariner,
      To rove from pole to pole,
    In one long-winded, lengthened-out,
      Eternal rigmarole,

    About a ship in which he’d sailed,
      Though whither, goodness knows,
    Where “ice will split with a thunder-fit,”
      And every day it snows.

    And then about a precious bird
      Of some sort or another,
    That—was such nonsense ever heard?—
      Used to control the weather!

    Now, at this bird the Mariner
      Resolved to have a shy,
    And laid it low with his cross-bow—
      And then the larks! My eye!

    For loss of that uncommon fowl,
      They couldn’t get a breeze;
    And there they stuck, all out of luck,
      And rotted on the seas.

    The crew all died, or seemed to die,
      And he was left alone
    With that queer bird. You never heard
      What games were carried on!

    At last one day he stood and watched
      The fishes in the sea,
    And said, “I’m blest!” and so the ship
      Was from the spell set free.

    And it began to rain and blow,
      And as it rained and blew,
    The dead got up and worked the ship—
      That was a likely crew!

    However, somehow he escaped,
      And got again to land,
    But mad as any hatter, say,
      From Cornhill to the Strand.

    For he believes that certain folks
      Are singled out by fate,
    To whom this cock-and-bull affair
      Of his he must relate.

    Describing all the incidents,
      And painting all the scenes,
    As sailors will do in the tales
      They tell to the Marines.

    Confound the Ancient Mariner!
      I knew I should be late;
    And so it was; the wedding guests
      Had all declined to wait.

    Another had my place, and gave
      My toast; and sister Fan
    Said “’Twas a shame. What could you want
      With that seafaring man?”

    I felt like one that had been stunned
      Through all this wrong and scorn;
    A sadder and a later man
      I rose the morrow morn.
                            _Anonymous_


STRIKING

    IT was a railway passenger,
      And he lept out jauntilie.
    “Now up and bear, thou stout portèr,
      My two chattèls to me.

    “Bring hither, bring hither my bag so red,
      And portmanteau so brown;
    (They lie in the van, for a trusty man
      He labelled them London town:)

    “And fetch me eke a cabman bold,
      That I may be his fare, his fare;
    And he shall have a good shilling,
    If by two of the clock he do me bring
      To the Terminus, Euston Square.”

    “Now,—so to thee the saints alway,
      Good gentleman, give luck,—
    As never a cab may I find this day,
      For the cabman wights have struck.

    And now, I wis, at the Red Post Inn,
      Or else at the Dog and Duck,
    Or at Unicorn Blue, or at Green Griffin,
    The nut-brown ale and the fine old gin
      Right pleasantly they do suck.“

    “Now rede me aright, thou stout portèr,
      What were it best that I should do:
    For woe is me, an’ I reach not there
      Or ever the clock strike two.”

    “I have a son, a lytel son;
      Fleet is his foot as the wild roebuck’s:
    Give him a shilling, and eke a brown,
    And he shall carry thy fardels down
    To Euston, or half over London town,
      On one of the station trucks.”

    Then forth in a hurry did they twain fare,
    The gent and the son of the stout portèr,
    Who fled like an arrow, nor turned a hair,
      Through all the mire and muck:
    “A ticket, a ticket, sir clerk, I pray:
    For by two of the clock must I needs away.”
    “That may hardly be,” the clerk did say,
      “For indeed—the clocks have struck.”
                            _Charles S. Calverley._



AFTER SOUTHEY


THE OLD MAN’S COLD AND HOW HE GOT IT

(_By Northey-Southey-Eastey-Westey_)

    “YOU are cold, Father William,” the young man cried,
      “You shake and you shiver, I say;
    You’ve a cold, Father William, your nose it is red,
      Now tell me the reason, I pray.”

    “In the days of my youth,” Father William replied—
      (He was a dissembling old man)
    “I put lumps of ice in my grandpapa’s boots,
      And snowballed my Aunt Mary Ann.”

    “Go along, Father William,” the young man cried,
      “You are trying it on, sir, to-day;
    What makes your teeth chatter like bone castanets?
      Come tell me the reason, I pray.”

    “In the days of my youth,” Father William replied,
      “I went to the North Pole with Parry;
    And now, my sweet boy, the Arc-tic doloreaux
      Plays with this old man the Old Harry.”

    “Get out! Father William,” the young man cried.
      “Come, you shouldn’t go on in this way;
    You are funny, but still you’ve a frightful bad cold—
      Now tell me the reason, I pray.”

    “I am cold, then, dear youth,” Father William replied;
      “I’ve a cold, my impertinent son,
    Because for some weeks my coals have been bought
      At forty-eight shillings a ton!”


FATHER WILLIAM

    “YOU are old, Father William,” the young man said,
      “And your hair has become very white;
    And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
      Do you think, at your age, it is right?”

    “In my youth,” Father William replied to his son,
      “I feared it might injure the brain;
    But now that I’m perfectly sure I have none,
      Why, I do it again and again.”

    “You are old,” said the youth, “as I mentioned before,
      And grown most uncommonly fat;
    Yet you turned a back-somersault in at the door—
      Pray what is the reason of that?”

    “In my youth,” said the sage, as he shook his gray locks,
      “I kept all my limbs very supple
    By the use of this ointment—one shilling the box—
      Allow me to sell you a couple.”

    “You are old,” said the youth, “and your jaws are too weak
      For anything tougher than suet;
    Yet you finished the goose, with the bones and the beak;
      Pray, how did you manage to do it?”

    “In my youth,” said his father, “I took to the law,
      And argued each case with my wife;
    And the muscular strength which it gave to my jaw,
      Has lasted the rest of my life.”

    “You are old,” said the youth, “one would hardly suppose
      That your eye was as steady as ever;
    Yet you balanced an eel on the end of your nose—
      What made you so awfully clever?”

    “I have answered three questions and that is enough,”
      Said his father; “don’t give yourself airs!
    Do you think I can listen all day to such stuff?
      Be off, or I’ll kick you downstairs!”
                            _Lewis Carroll_


LADY JANE

(_Sapphics_)

    DOWN the green hill-side fro’ the castle window
    Lady Jane spied Bill Amaranth a-workin’;
    Day by day watched him go about his ample
                            Nursery garden.

    Cabbages thriv’d there, wi’ a mort o’ green-stuff—
    Kidney beans, broad beans, onions, tomatoes,
    Artichokes, seakale, vegetable marrows,
                            Early potatoes.

    Lady Jane cared not very much for all these:
    What she cared much for was a glimpse o’ Willum
    Strippin’ his brown arms wi’ a view to horti-
                            Cultural effort.

    Little guessed Willum, never extra-vain, that
    Up the green hill-side, i’ the gloomy castle,
    Feminine eyes could so delight to view his
                            Noble proportions.

    Only one day while, in an innocent mood,
    Moppin’ his brow (cos ’twas a trifle sweaty)
    With a blue kerchief—lo, he spies a white un
                            Coyly responding.

    Oh, delightsome Love! Not a jot do _you_ care
    For the restrictions set on human inter-
    Course by cold-blooded social refiners;
                            Nor do I, neither.

    Day by day, peepin’ fro’ behind the bean-sticks,
    Willum observed that scrap o’ white a-wavin’,
    Till his hot sighs out-growin’ all repression
                            Busted his weskit.

    Lady Jane’s guardian was a haughty Peer, who
    Clung to old creeds and had a nasty temper;
    Can we blame Willum that he hardly cared to
                            Risk a refusal?

    Year by year found him busy ’mid the bean-sticks,
    Wholly uncertain how on earth to take steps.
    Thus for eighteen years he beheld the maiden
                            Wave fro’ her window.

    But the nineteenth spring, i’ the castle post-bag,
    Came by book-post Bill’s catalogue o’ seedlings
    Mark’d wi’ blue ink at “Paragraphs relatin’
                            Mainly to Pumpkins.”

    “W. A. can,” so the Lady Jane read,
    “Strongly commend that very noble Gourd, the
    _Lady Jane_, first-class medal, ornamental;
                            Grows to a great height.”

    Scarce a year arter, by the scented hedgerows—
    Down the mown hill-side, fro’ the castle gateway—
    Came a long train and, i’ the midst, a black bier,
                            Easily shouldered.

    “Whose is yon corse that, thus adorned wi’ gourd leaves
    Forth ye bear with slow step?” A mourner answer’d,
    “’Tis the poor clay-cold body Lady Jane grew
                            Tired to abide in.”

    “Delve my grave quick, then, for I die to-morrow.
    Delve it one furlong fro’ the kidney bean-sticks,
    Where I may dream she’s goin’ on precisely
                            As she was used to.”

    Hardly died Bill when, fro’ the Lady Jane’s grave,
    Crept to his white death-bed a lovely pumpkin:
    Climb’d the house wall and over-arched his head wi’
                            Billowy verdure.

    Simple this tale!—but delicately perfumed
    As the sweet roadside honeysuckle. That’s why,
    Difficult though its metre was to tackle,
                            I’m glad I wrote it.
                            _A. T. Quiller-Couch._



AFTER CAMPBELL


THE NEW ARRIVAL

    THERE came to port last Sunday night
      The queerest little craft,
    Without an inch of rigging on;
      I looked and looked—and laughed!
    It seemed so curious that she
      Should cross the Unknown water,
    And moor herself within my room—
      My daughter! Oh, my daughter!

    Yet by these presents witness all
      She’s welcome fifty times,
    And comes consigned in hope and love—
      And common-metre rhymes.
    She has no manifest but this,
      No flag floats o’er the water;
    She’s too new for the British Lloyds—
      My daughter! Oh, my daughter!

    Ring out, wild bells—and tame ones too,
      Ring out the lover’s moon;
    Ring in the little worsted socks,
      Ring in the bib and spoon.
    Ring out the muse, ring in the nurse,
      Ring in the milk and water;
    Away with paper, pen, and ink—
      My daughter! Oh, my daughter!
                            _George Washington Cable._


JOHN THOMPSON’S DAUGHTER

    A FELLOW near Kentucky’s clime
      Cries, “Boatman, do not tarry,
    And I’ll give thee a silver dime
      To row us o’er the ferry.”

    “Now, who would cross the Ohio,
      This dark and stormy water?”
    “O, I am this young lady’s beau,
      And she, John Thompson’s daughter.

    “We’ve fled before her father’s spite
      With great precipitation;
    And should he find us here to-night,
      I’d lose my reputation.

    “They’ve missed the girl and purse beside,
      His horsemen hard have pressed me;
    And who will cheer my bonny bride,
      If yet they shall arrest me?”

    Out spoke the boatman then in time,
      “You shall not fail, don’t fear it;
    I’ll go, not for your silver dime,
      But for your manly spirit.

    “And by my word, the bonny bird
      In danger shall not tarry;
    For though a storm is coming on,
      I’ll row you o’er the ferry.”

    By this the wind more fiercely rose,
      The boat was at the landing;
    And with the drenching rain their clothes
      Grew wet where they were standing.

    But still, as wilder rose the wind,
      And as the night grew drearer;
    Just back a piece came the police,
      Their tramping sounded nearer.

    “Oh, haste thee, haste!” the lady cries,
      “It’s anything but funny;
    I’ll leave the light of loving eyes,
      But not my father’s money!”

    And still they hurried in the face
      Of wind and rain unsparing;
    John Thompson reached the landing place—
      His wrath was turned to swearing.

    For by the lightning’s angry flash,
      His child he did discover;
    One lovely hand held all the cash,
      And one was round her lover!

    “Come back, come back!” he cried in woe,
      Across the stormy water;
    “But leave the purse, and you may go,
      My daughter, oh, my daughter!”

    ’Twas vain; they reached the other shore
      (Such doom the Fates assign us);
    The gold he piled went with his child,
      And he was left there _minus_.
                            _Phœbe Cary._



AFTER THOMAS MOORE


THE LAST CIGAR

    ’TIS a last choice Havana
      I hold here alone;
    All its fragrant companions
      In perfume have flown.
    No more of its kindred
      To gladden the eye,
    So my empty cigar case
      I close with a sigh.

    I’ll not leave thee, thou lone one,
      To pine; but the stem
    I’ll bite off and light thee
      To waft thee to them.
    And gently I’ll scatter
      The ashes you shed,
    As your soul joins its mates in
      A cloud overhead.

    All pleasure is fleeting,
      It blooms to decay;
    From the weeds’ glowing circle
      The ash drops away.
    A last whiff is taken,
      The butt-end is thrown,
    And with empty cigar-case,
      I sit all alone.
                            _Anonymous._


’TWAS EVER THUS

    I NEVER bought a young gazelle,
      To glad me with its soft black eye,
    But, when it came to know me well,
      ’Twas sure to butt me on the sly.

    I never drilled a cockatoo,
      To speak with almost human lip,
    But, when a pretty phrase it knew,
      ’Twas sure to give some friend a nip.

    I never trained a collie hound
      To be affectionate and mild,
    But, when I thought a prize I’d found,
      ’Twas sure to bite my youngest child.

    I never kept a tabby kit
      To cheer my leisure with its tricks,
    But, when we all grew fond of it,
      ’Twas sure to catch the neighbor’s chicks.

    I never reared a turtle-dove,
      To coo all day with gentle breath,
    But, when its life seemed one of love,
      ’Twas sure to peck its mate to death.

    I never—well I never yet—
      And I have spent no end of pelf—
    Invested money in a pet
      That didn’t misconduct itself.
                            _Anonymous._


“THERE’S A BOWER OF BEAN-VINES”

    There’s a bower of bean-vines in Benjamin’s yard,
      And the cabbages grow round it, planted for greens;
    In the time of my childhood ’twas terribly hard
      To bend down the bean-poles, and pick off the beans.

    That bower and its products I never forget,
      But oft, when my landlady presses me hard,
    I think, are the cabbages growing there yet,
      Are the bean-vines still bearing in Benjamin’s yard?

    No, the bean-vines soon withered that once used to wave,
      But some beans had been gathered, the last that hung on;
    And a soup was distilled in a kettle, that gave
      All the fragrance of summer when summer was gone.

    Thus memory draws from delight, ere it dies,
      An essence that breathes of it awfully hard;
    As thus good to my taste as ’twas then to my eyes,
      Is that bower of bean-vines in Benjamin’s yard.
                            _Phœbe Cary._


DISASTER

    ’TWAS ever thus from childhood’s hour!
      My fondest hopes would not decay;
    I never loved a tree or flower
      Which was the first to fade away!
    The garden, where I used to delve
      Short-frock’d, still yields me pinks in plenty;
    The pear-tree that I climbed at twelve
      I see still blossoming, at twenty.

    I never nursed a dear gazelle;
      But I was given a parroquet—
    (How I did nurse him if unwell!)
      He’s imbecile, but lingers yet.
    He’s green, with an enchanting tuft;
      He melts me with his small black eye;
    He’d look inimitable stuffed,
      And knows it—but he will not die!

    I had a kitten—I was rich
      In pets—but all too soon my kitten
    Became a full-sized cat, by which
      I’ve more than once been scratched and bitten.
    And when for sleep her limbs she curl’d
      One day beside her untouch’d plateful,
    And glided calmly from the world,
      I freely own that I was grateful.

    And then I bought a dog—a queen!
      Ah, Tiny, dear departing pug!
    She lives, but she is past sixteen
      And scarce can crawl across the rug.
    I loved her beautiful and kind;
      Delighted in her pert bow-wow;
    But now she snaps if you don’t mind;
      ’Twere lunacy to love her now.

    I used to think, should e’er mishap
      Betide my crumple-visaged Ti,
    In shape of prowling thief, or trap,
      Or coarse bull-terrier—I should die.
    But ah! disasters have their use,
      And life might e’en be too sunshiny;
    Nor would I make myself a goose,
      If some big dog should swallow Tiny.
                            _Charles S. Calverley._


SARAH’S HALLS

    THE broom that once through Sarah’s halls,
      In hole and corner sped,
    Now useless leans ’gainst Sarah’s walls
      And gathers dust instead.
    So sweeps the slavey now-a-days
      So work is shifted o’er,
    And maids that once gained honest praise
      Now earn that praise no more!
    No more the cobweb from its height
      The broom of Sarah fells;
    The fly alone unlucky wight
      Invades the spider’s cells.
    Thus energy so seldom wakes,
      All sign that Sarah gives
    Is when some dish or platter breaks,
      To show that still she lives.
                            _Judy._


’TWAS EVER THUS

    I NEVER rear’d a young gazelle,
      (Because, you see, I never tried);
    But had it known and loved me well,
      No doubt the creature would have died.
    My rich and aged Uncle John
      Has known me long and loves me well
    But still persists in living on—
      I would he were a young gazelle.

    I never loved a tree or flower;
      But, if I had, I beg to say
    The blight, the wind, the sun, or shower
      Would soon have withered it away.
    I’ve dearly loved my Uncle John,
      From childhood to the present hour,
    And yet he will go living on on—
      I would he were a tree or flower!
                            _Henry S. Leigh._



AFTER JANE TAYLOR


THE BAT

    TWINKLE, twinkle, little bat!
    How I wonder what you’re at!

    Up above the world you fly,
    Like a tea-tray in the sky.
                            _Lewis Carroll._



AFTER BARRY CORNWALL


THE TEA

    THE tea! The tea! The beef, beef-tea!
    The brew from gravy-beef for me!
    Without a doubt, as I’ll be bound,
    The best for an invalid ’tis found;
    It’s better than gruel; with sago vies;
    Or with the cradled babe’s supplies.

    I like beef-tea! I like beef-tea,
    I’m satisfied, and aye shall be,
    With the brew I love, and the brew I know,
    And take it wheresoe’er I go.
    If the price should rise, or meat be cheap,
    No matter. I’ll to beef-tea keep.

    I love—oh, how I love to guide
    The strong beef-tea to its place inside,
    When round and round you stir the spoon
    Or whistle thereon to cool it soon.
    Because one knoweth—or ought to know,
    That things get cool whereon you blow.

    I never have drunk the dull souchong,
    But I for my loved beef-tea did long,
    And inly yearned for that bountiful zest,
    Like a bird. As a child on that I messed—
    And a mother it was and is to me,
    For I was weaned on the beef—beef-tea!
                            _Tom Hood, Jr._



AFTER BYRON


THE ROUT OF BELGRAVIA

    THE Belgravians came down on the Queen in her hold,
    And their costumes were gleaming with purple and gold,
    And the sheen of their jewels was like stars on the sea,
    As their chariots rolled proudly down Piccadill-ee.

    Like the leaves of _Le Follet_ when summer is green,
    That host in its glory at noontide was seen;
    Like the leaves of a toy-book all thumb-marked and worn,
    That host four hours later was tattered and torn.

    For the rush of the crowd, which was eager and vast,
    Had rumpled and ruined and wrecked as it passed;
    And the eyes of the wearer waxed angry in haste,
    As a dress but once worn was dragged out at the waist.

    And there lay the feather and fan side by side,
    But no longer they nodded or waved in their pride;
    And there lay lace flounces and ruching in slips,
    And spur-torn material in plentiful strips.

    And there were odd gauntlets and pieces of hair;
    And fragments of back-combs and slippers were there;
    And the gay were all silent, their mirth was all hushed,
    Whilst the dewdrops stood out on the brows of the crushed.

    And the dames of Belgravia were loud in their wail,
    And the matrons of Mayfair all took up the tale;
    And they vow as they hurry unnerved from the scene,
    That it’s no trifling matter to call on the Queen.
                            _Jon Duan._


A GRIEVANCE

    DEAR Mr. Editor: I wish to say—
      If you will not be angry at my writing it—
    But I’ve been used, since childhood’s happy day,
      When I have thought of something, to inditing it;
    I seldom think of things; and, by the way,
      Although this metre may not be exciting, it
    Enables one to be extremely terse,
    Which is not what one always is in verse.

    I used to know a man, such things befall
      The observant wayfarer through Fate’s domain
    He was a man, take him for all in all,
      We shall not look upon his like again;
    I know that statement’s not original;
      What statement is, since Shakespere? or, since Cain,
    What murder? I believe ’twas Shakespere said it, or
    Perhaps it may have been your Fighting Editor.

    Though why an Editor should fight, or why
      A Fighter should abase himself to edit,
    Are problems far too difficult and high
      For me to solve with any sort of credit.
    Some greatly more accomplished man than I
      Must tackle them: let’s say then Shakespere said it;
    And, if he did not, Lewis Morris may
    (Or even if he did). Some other day,

    When I have nothing pressing to impart,
      I should not mind dilating on this matter.
    I feel its import both in head and heart,
      And always did,—especially the latter.
    I could discuss it in the busy mart
      Or on the lonely housetop; hold! this chatter
    Diverts me from my purpose. To the point:
    The time, as Hamlet said, is out of joint,

    And perhaps I was born to set it right,—
      A fact I greet with perfect equanimity.
    I do not put it down to “cursed spite,”
      I don’t see any cause for cursing in it. I
    Have always taken very great delight
      In such pursuits since first I read divinity.
    Whoever will may write a nation’s songs
    As long as I’m allowed to right its wrongs.

    What’s Eton but a nursery of wrong-righters,
      A mighty mother of effective men;
    A training ground for amateur reciters,
      A sharpener of the sword as of the pen;
    A factory of orators and fighters,
      A forcing-house of genius? Now and then
    The world at large shrinks back, abashed and beaten,
    Unable to endure the glare of Eton.

    I think I said I knew a man: what then?
      I don’t suppose such knowledge is forbid.
    We nearly all do, more or less, know men,—
      Or think we do; nor will a man get rid
    Of that delusion, while he wields a pen.
      But who this man was, what, if aught, he did,
    Nor why I mentioned him, I do not know;
    Nor what I “wished to say” a while ago.
                            _J. K. Stephen._



AFTER CHARLES WOLFE


THE BURIAL OF THE BACHELOR

    NOT a laugh was heard, not a frivolous note,
      As the groom to the wedding we carried;
    Not a jester discharged his farewell shot
      As the bachelor went to be married.

    We married him quickly that morning bright,
      The leaves of our prayer-books turning,
    In the chancel’s dimly religious light,
      And tears in our eyelids burning.

    No useless nosegay adorned his chest,
      Not in chains but in laws we bound him;
    And he looked like a bridegroom trying his best
      To look used to the scene around him.

    Few and small were the fees it cost,
      And we spoke not a word of sorrow,
    But we silently gazed on the face of the lost
      And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

    We thought as we hurried him home to be fed,
      And tried our low spirits to rally,
    That the weather looked very like squalls overhead
      For the passage from Dover to Calais.

    Lightly they’ll talk of the bachelor gone,
      And o’er his frail fondness upbraid him;
    But little he’ll reck if they let him alone,
      With his wife that the parson hath made him.

    But half of our heavy task was done,
      When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
    And we judged by the knocks which had now begun
      That their cabby was rapidly tiring.

    Slowly and sadly we led them down,
      From the scene of his lame oratory;
    We told the four-wheeler to drive them to town,
      And we left them alone in their glory.
                            _Anonymous._


NOT A SOU HAD HE GOT

    NOT a sou had he got—not a guinea or note,
      And he looked confoundedly flurried
    As he bolted away without paying his shot,
      And the Landlady after him hurried.

    We saw him again at dead of night,
      When home from the club returning;
    We twigged the Doctor beneath the light
      Of the gas-lamp brilliantly burning.

    All bare and exposed to the midnight dews,
      Reclined in the gutter we found him;
    And he look’d like a gentleman taking a snooze,
      With his Marshal cloak around him.

    “The Doctor’s as drunk as the d——,” we said,
      And we managed a shutter to borrow;
    We raised him, and sighed at the thought that his head
      Would “consumedly ache” on the morrow.

    We bore him home, and we put him to bed,
      And we told his wife and his daughter
    To give him, next morning, a couple of red
      Herrings, with soda-water.

    Loudly they talked of his money that’s gone
      And his lady began to upbraid him;
    But little he reck’d, so they let him snore on
      ’Neath the counterpane just as we laid him.

    We tucked him in, and had hardly done
      When, beneath the window calling,
    We heard the rough voice of a son of a gun
      Of a watchman “One o’clock!” bawling.

    Slowly and sadly we all walk’d down
      From his room in the uppermost story;
    A rushlight was placed on the cold hearth-stone,
      And we left him alone in his glory!
                            _R. Harris Barham._


THE MARRIAGE OF SIR JOHN SMITH

    NOT a sigh was heard, nor a funeral tone,
      As the man to his bridal we hurried;
    Not a woman discharged her farewell groan,
      On the spot where the fellow was married.

    We married him just about eight at night,
      Our faces paler turning,
    By the struggling moonbeam’s misty light,
      And the gas-lamp’s steady burning.

    No useless watch-chain covered his vest,
      Nor over-dressed we found him;
    But he looked like a gentleman wearing his best,
      With a few of his friends around him.

    Few and short were the things we said,
      And we spoke not a word of sorrow,
    But we silently gazed on the man that was wed,
      And we bitterly thought of the morrow.

    We thought, as we silently stood about,
      With spite and anger dying,
    How the merest stranger had cut us out,
      With only half our trying.

    Lightly we’ll talk of the fellow that’s gone,
      And oft for the past upbraid him;
    But little he’ll reck if we let him live on,
      In the house where his wife conveyed him.

    But our heavy task at length was done,
      When the clock struck the hour for retiring;
    And we heard the spiteful squib and pun
      The girls were sullenly firing.

    Slowly and sadly we turned to go,—
      We had struggled, and we were human;
    We shed not a tear, and we spoke not our woe,
      But we left him alone with his woman.
                            _Phœbe Cary._



AFTER MRS. HEMANS


THE THYROID GLAND

    “WE hear thee speak of the thyroid gland,
    But what thou say’st we don’t understand;
    Professor, where does the acinus dwell?
    We hashed our dissection and can’t quite tell.
    Is it where the mascula lutea flows,
    And the suprachordial tissue grows?”
              “Not there, not there, my class!”

    “Is it far away where the bronchi part
    And the pneumogastric controls the heart?
    Where endothelium encardium lines,
    And a subpericardial nerve intertwines?
    Where the subpleural plexus of lymphatics expand?
    Is it there, Professor, that gruesome gland?”
              “Not there, not there, my class!”

    “I have not seen it, my gentle youths,
    My myxoedemia, I’m told, it soothes.
    Landois says stolidly ‘functions unknown;’
    Foster adopts an enquiring tone.
    Duct does not lead to its strange recess,
    Far below the vertex, above the pes,
              It is there, I am told, my class!”
                            _R. M._



AFTER KEATS


I.

ODE ON A JAR OF PICKLES

    A SWEET, acidulous, down-reaching thrill
      Pervades my sense. I seem to see or hear
    The lushy garden-grounds of Greenwich Hill
      In autumn, where the crispy leaves are sere;
    And odors haunt me of remotest spice
      From the Levant or musky-aired Cathay,
    Or from the saffron-fields of Jericho,
                  Where everything is nice.
      The more I sniff, the more I swoon away,
    And what else mortal palate craves, forego.

II.

    ODORS unsmelled are keen, but those I smell
      Are keener; wherefore let me sniff again!
    Enticing walnuts, I have known ye well
      In youth, when pickles were a passing pain;
    Unwitting youth, that craves the candy stem,
      And sugar plums to olives doth prefer,
    And even licks the pots of marmalade
                  When sweetness clings to them.
      But now I dream of ambergris and myrrh,
    Tasting these walnuts in the poplar shade.

III.

    LO! hoarded coolness in the heart of noon,
      Plucked with its dew, the cucumber is here,
    As to the Dryad’s parching lips a boon,
      And crescent bean-pods, unto Bacchus dear;
    And, last of all, the pepper’s pungent globe,
      The scarlet dwelling of the sylph of fire,
    Provoking purple draughts; and, surfeited,
                  I cast my trailing robe
      O’er my pale feet, touch up my tuneless lyre,
    And twist the Delphic wreath to suit my head.

IV.

    HERE shall my tongue in otherwise be soured
      Than fretful men’s in parched and palsied days;
    And, by the mid-May’s dusky leaves embowered,
      Forget the fruitful blame, the scanty praise.
    No sweets to them who sweet themselves were born,
      Whose natures ooze with lucent saccharine;
    Who, with sad repetition soothly cloyed,
                  The lemon-tinted morn
      Enjoy, and find acetic twilight fine.
    Wake I, or sleep? The pickle-jar is void.
                            _Bayard Taylor._



AFTER HEINE


IMITATION

    MY love she leans from the window
      Afar in a rosy land;
    And red as a rose are her blushes,
      And white as a rose her hand.

    And the roses cluster around her,
      And mimic her tender grace;
    And nothing but roses can blossom
      Wherever she shows her face.

    I dwell in a land of winter,
      From my love a world apart,—
    But the snow blooms over with roses
      At the thought of her in my heart.

    This German style of poem
      Is uncommonly popular now;
    For the worst of us poets can do it—
      Since Heine showed us how.
                            _H. C. Bunner._


COMMONPLACES

    RAIN on the face of the sea,
      Rain on the sodden land,
    And the window-pane is blurred with rain
      As I watch it, pen in hand.

    Mist on the face of the sea,
      Mist on the sodden land,
    Filling the vales as daylight fails,
      And blotting the desolate sand.

    Voices from out of the mist,
      Calling to one another:
    “Hath love an end, thou more than friend,
      Thou dearer than ever brother?”

    Voices from out of the mist,
      Calling and passing away;
    But I cannot speak, for my voice is weak,
      And ... this is the end of my lay.
                            _Rudyard Kipling._



AFTER HOOD


SONG OF THE SHEET

THE DRIPPING SHEET

    _This sheet wrung out of cold or tepid water is thrown
    around the body. Quick rubbing follows, succeeded by
    the same operation with a dry sheet. Its operation is
    truly shocking. Dress after to prevent remarks._

    WITH nerves all shattered and worn,
      With shouts terrific and loud,
    A patient stood in a cold wet sheet—
      A Grindrod’s patent shroud.
    Wet, wet, wet,
      In douche and spray and sleet,
    And still, with a voice I shall never forget,
      He sang the song of the sheet.

    “Drip, drip, drip,
      Dashing, and splashing, and dipping;
    And drip, drip, drip,
      Till your fat all melts to dripping.
    It’s oh, for dry deserts afar,
      Or let me rather endure
    Curing with salt in a family jar,
      If this is the water cure.

    “Rub, rub, rub,
      He’ll rub away life and limb;
    Rub, rub, rub
      It seems to be fun for him.
    Sheeted from head to foot,
      I’d rather be covered with dirt;
    I’ll give you the sheet and the blankets to boot,
      If you’ll only give me my shirt.

    “Oh, men, with arms and hands,
      Oh, men, with legs and shins,
    It is not the sheet you’re wearing out,
      But human creatures’ skins.
    Rub, rub, rub,
      Body, and legs, and feet;
    Rubbing at once with a double rub,
      A skin as well as a sheet.

    “My wife will see me no more—
      She’ll see the bone of her bone,
    But never will see the flesh of her flesh,
      For I’ll have no flesh of my own.
    The little that was my own,
      They won’t allow me to keep;
    It’s a pity that flesh should be so dear,
      And water so very cheap.

    “Pack, pack, pack,
      Whenever your spirit flags,
    You’re doomed by hydropathic laws
      To be packed in cold water rags;
    Rolled up on bed or on floor,
      Or sweated to death in a chair;
    But my chairman’s rank—my shadow I’d thank
      For taking my place in there.

    “Slop, slop, slop,
      Never a moment of time;
    Slop, slop, slop,
      Slackened like mason’s lime.
    Stand and freeze and steam—
      Steam or freeze and stand;
    I wish those friends had their tongues benumbed,
      That told me to leave dry land.

    “Up, up, up,
      In the morn before daylight,
    The bathman cries ‘Get up,’
      (I wish he were up for a fight).
    While underneath the eaves,
      The dry snug swallows cling;
    But give them a cold wet sheet to their backs,
      And see if they’ll come next spring.

    “Oh! oh! it stops my breath,
      (He calls it short and sweet),
    Could they hear me underneath
      I’ll shout them from the street!
    He says that in half an hour
      A different man I’ll feel;
    That I’ll jump half over the moon and want
      To walk into a meal!

    “I feel more nerve and power,
      And less of terror and grief;
    I’m thinking now of love and hope—
      And now of mutton and beef.
    This glorious scene will rouse my heart,
      Oh, who would lie in bed?
    I cannot stop, but jump and hop,
      Going like needle and thread.”

    With buoyant spirit upborne,
      With cheeks both healthy and red,
    The same man ran up the Malvern Crags,
      Pitying those in bed.
    Trip, trip, trip,
      Oh, life with health is sweet;
    And still in a voice both strong and quick,
    Would that its tones could reach the sick,
      He sang the Song of the Sheet.
                            _Anonymous._


I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER

    I REMEMBER, I remember,
      The house where I was wed,
    And the little room from which that night
      My smiling bride was led.
    She didn’t come a wink too soon,
      Nor make too long a stay;
    But now I often wish her folks
      Had kept the girl away!

    I remember, I remember,
      Her dresses, red and white,
    Her bonnets and her caps and cloaks,—
      They cost an awful sight!
    The “corner lot” on which I built,
      And where my brother met
    At first my wife, one washing-day,—
      That man is single yet!

    I remember, I remember,
      Where I was used to court,
    And thought that all of married life
      Was just such pleasant sport:—
    My spirit flew in feathers then,
      No care was on my brow;
    I scarce could wait to shut the gate,—
      I’m not so anxious now!

    I remember, I remember,
      My dear one’s smile and sigh;
    I used to think her tender heart
      Was close against the sky.
    It was a childish ignorance,
      But now it soothes me not
    To know I’m farther off from Heaven
      Than when she wasn’t got!
                            _Phœbe Cary._



AFTER ALFRED BUNN


A YULE-TIDE PARODY

    WHEN other wits and other bards,
      Their tales at Christmas tell,
    Or praise on cheap and colored cards
      The time they love so well,
    Secure from scorn and ridicule
      I hope my verse may be,
    If I can still remember Yule,
      And Yule remember me.

    The days are dark, the days are drear,
      When dull December dies;
    But, while we mourn an ended year,
      Another’s star will rise.
    I hail the season formed by rule
      For merriment and glee;
    So let me still remember Yule,
      And Yule remember me.

    The rich plum-pudding I enjoy,
      I greet the pie of mince;
    And loving both while yet a boy,
      Have loved them ever since.
    More dull were I than any mule
      That eyes did ever see,
    If I should not remember Yule,
      And Yule remember me.
                            _Anonymous._


SELF-EVIDENT

    WHEN other lips and other eyes
      Their tales of love shall tell,
    Which means the usual sort of lies
      You’ve heard from many a swell;
    When, bored with what you feel is bosh,
      You’d give the world to see
    A friend, whose love you know will wash,
      Oh, then remember me!

    When Signor Solo goes his tours,
      And Captain Craft’s at Ryde,
    And Lord Fitzpop is on the moors,
      And Lord knows who besides;
    When to exist you feel a task
      Without a friend at tea,
    At such a moment I but ask
      That you’ll remember me.
                            _J. R. Planché._



AFTER LORD MACAULAY


THE LAUREATE’S TOURNEY

_By the Hon. T— B— M._

FYTTE THE FIRST

    “WHAT news, what news, thou pilgrim gray, what news from the
              southern land?
    How fare the bold Conservatives, how is it with Ferrand?
    How does the little Prince of Wales—how looks our lady Queen?
    And tell me, is the monthly nurse once more at Windsor seen?”

    “I bring no tidings from the Court, nor from St. Stephen’s hall;
    I’ve heard the thundering tramp of horse, and the trumpet’s
              battle-call;
    And these old eyes have seen a fight, which England ne’er had seen,
    Since fell King Richard sobbed his soul through blood on Bosworth
              Green.

    “‘He’s dead, he’s dead, the Laureate’s dead!’ ’Twas thus the cry
              began,
    And straightway every garret-roof gave up its minstrel man;
    From Grub Street, and from Houndsditch, and from Farringdon Within,
    The poets all towards Whitehall poured on with eldritch din.

    “Loud yelled they for Sir James the Graham; but sore afraid was he;
    A hardy knight were he that might face such a minstrelsie.
    ‘Now by St. Giles of Netherby, my patron Saint, I swear,
    I’d rather by a thousand crowns Lord Palmerston were here!—

    “‘What is’t ye seek, ye rebel knaves—what make you there beneath?’
    ‘The bays, the bays! we want the bays! we seek the laureate wreath!
    We seek the butt of generous wine that cheers the son of song;
    Choose thou among us all, Sir Knight—we may not tarry long!’

    “Loud laughed the good Sir James in scorn ‘Rare jest it were, I
              think,
    But one poor butt of Xeres, and a thousand rogues to drink!
    An’ if it flowed with wine or beer, ’tis easy to be seen,
    That dry within the hour would be the well of Hippocrene.

    “‘Tell me, if on Parnassus’ heights there grow a thousand sheaves;
    Or has Apollo’s laurel bush yet borne ten hundred leaves?
    Or if so many leaves were there, how long would they sustain
    The ravage and the glutton bite of such a locust train?

    “‘No! get ye back into your dens, take counsel for the night,
    And choose me out two champions to meet in deadly fight;
    To-morrow’s dawn shall see the lists marked out in Spitalfields,
    And he who wins shall have the bays, and he shall die who yields!’

    “Down went the window with a crash,—in silence and in fear
    Each ragged bard looked anxiously upon his neighbor near;
    Then up and spake young Tennyson—‘Who’s here that fears for death?
    ’Twere better one of us shall die, than England lose the wreath!

    “Let’s cast the lot among us now, which two shall fight to-morrow;
    For armor bright we’ll club our mite, and horses we can borrow;
    ’T were shame that bards of France should sneer, and German Dichters
              too,
    If none of British song might dare a deed of derringdo!’

    “‘The lists of Love are mine,’ said Moore, ‘and not the lists of
              Mars;’
    Said Hunt, ‘I seek the jars of wine, but shun the combat’s jars!’
    ‘I’m old,’ quoth Samuel Rogers.—‘Faith,’ says Campbell, ‘so am I!’
    ‘And I’m in holy orders, sir!’ quoth Tom of Ingoldsby.

    “‘Now out upon ye, craven loons,’ cried Moxon, good at need;
    ‘Bide, if ye will, secure at home, and sleep while others bleed.
    I second Alfred’s motion, boys,—let’s try the chance of lot;
    And monks shall sing, and bells shall ring, for him that goes to
              pot.’

    “Eight hundred minstrels slunk away—two hundred stayed to draw;
    Now Heaven protect the daring wight that pulls the longest straw!
    ’Tis done! ’tis done! And who hath won? Keep silence one and all,—
    The first is William Wordsworth hight, the second Ned Fitzball!”


FYTTE THE SECOND

    OH, bright and gay hath dawned the day on lordly Spitalfields,—
    How flash the rays with ardent blaze from polished helms and shields!
    On either side the chivalry of England throng the green,
    And in the middle balcony appears our gracious Queen.

    With iron fists, to keep the lists, two valiant knights appear,
    The Marquis Hal of Waterford, and stout Sir Aubrey Vere.
    “What ho! there, herald, blow the trump! Let’s see who comes to claim
    The butt of golden Xeres, and the Laureate’s honored name!”

    That instant dashed into the lists, all armed from head to heel,
    On courser brown, with vizor down, a warrior sheathed in steel;
    Then said our Queen—“Was ever seen so stout a knight and tall?
    His name—his race?”—“An’t please your grace, it is the brave
              Fitzball.

    “Oft in the Melodrama line his prowess hath been shown,
    And well throughout the Surrey side his thirst for blood is known.
    But see, the other champion comes!”—Then rang the startled air
    With shouts of “Wordsworth, Wordsworth, ho! the bard of Rydal’s
              there.”

    And lo! upon a little steed, unmeet for such a course,
    Appeared the honored veteran; but weak seemed man and horse.
    Then shook their ears the sapient peers,—“That joust will soon be
              done:
    My Lord of Brougham, I’ll back Fitzball, and give you two to one!”

    “Done,” quoth the Brougham,—“And done with you!” “Now minstrels,
              are you ready?”
    Exclaimed the Lord of Waterford,—“You’d better both sit steady.
    Blow, trumpets, blow the note of charge! and forward to the fight!”
    “Amen!” said good Sir Aubrey Vere; “Saint Schism defend the right!”

    As sweeps the blast against the mast when blows the furious squall,
    So started at the trumpet’s sound the terrible Fitzball;
    His lance he bore his breast before,—Saint George protect the just!
    Or Wordsworth’s hoary head must roll along the shameful dust!

    “Who threw that calthrop? Seize the knave!” Alas! the deed is done;
    Down went the steed, and o’er his head flew bright Apollo’s son.
    “Undo his helmet! cut the lace! pour water on his head!”
    “It ain’t no use at all, my lord; ’cos vy? the covey’s dead!”

    Above him stood the Rydal bard—his face was full of woe.
    “Now there thou liest, stiff and stark, who never feared a foe:
    A braver knight, or more renowned in tourney and in hall,
    Ne’er brought the upper gallery down than terrible Fitzball!”

    They led our Wordsworth to the Queen—she crowned him with the bays
    And wished him many happy years, and many quarter-days;
    And if you’d have the story told by abler lips than mine,
    You’ve but to call at Rydal Mount, and taste the Laureate’s wine!
                                                 _William Aytoun._



AFTER EMERSON


MUTTON

    IF the fat butcher thinks he slays,
      Or he—the mutton—thinks he’s slain,
    Why, “troth is truth,” the eater says—
      “I’ll come, and cut and come again.”

    To hungry wolves that on him leer
      Mutton is cheap, and sheep the same,
    No famished god would at him sneer—
      To famine, chops are more than fame.

    Who hiss at him, him but assures
      That they are geese, but wanting wings—
    Your coat is his whose life is yours,
      And baa! the hymn the mutton sings.

    Ye curs, and gods of grander blood,
      And you, ye Paddies fresh from Cork,
    Come taste, ye lovers of the good—
      Eat! Stuff! and turn your back on pork.
                            _Anonymous._



AFTER MARY HOWITT


THE LOBSTER QUADRILLE

    “WILL you walk a little faster?” said a whiting to a snail,
    “There’s a porpoise close behind us, and he’s treading on my tail.
    See how eagerly the lobsters and the turtles all advance!
    They are waiting on the shingle—will you come and join the dance?
      Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
      Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?

    “You can really have no notion how delightful it will be
    When they take us up and throw us, with the lobsters, out to sea!”
    But the snail replied “Too far, too far!” and gave a look askance—
    Said he thanked the whiting kindly, but he would not join the dance.
      Would not, could not, would not, could not, would not join the dance.
      Would not, could not, would not, could not, could not join the dance.

    “What matters it how far we go?” his scaly friend replied.
    “There is another shore, you know, upon the other side.
    The further off from England the nearer is to France—
    Then turn not pale, beloved snail, but come and join the dance.
      Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, will you join the dance?
      Will you, won’t you, will you, won’t you, won’t you join the dance?”
                                        _Lewis Carroll._



AFTER MRS. BROWNING


IN THE GLOAMING

    IN the gloaming to be roaming, where the crested waves are foaming,
    And the shy mermaidens combing locks that ripple to their feet;
    When the gloaming is, I never made the ghost of an endeavor
    To discover—but whatever were the hour, it would be sweet.

    “To their feet,” I say, for Leech’s sketch indisputably teaches
    That the mermaids of our beaches do not end in ugly tails,
    Nor have homes among the corals; but are shod with neat balmorals,
    An arrangement no one quarrels with, as many might with scales.

    Sweet to roam beneath a shady cliff, of course with some young lady,
    Lalage, Nærea, Haidee, or Elaine, or Mary Ann:
    Love, you dear delusive dream, you! Very sweet your victims deem you,
    When, heard only by the seamew, they talk all the stuff one can.

    Sweet to haste, a licensed lover, to Miss Pinkerton, the glover;
    Having managed to discover what is dear Nærea’s “size”:
    P’raps to touch that wrist so slender, as your tiny gift you tender,
    And to read you’re no offender, in those laughing hazel eyes.

    Then to hear her call you “Harry,” when she makes you fetch and
              carry—
    O young men about to marry, what a blessed thing it is!
    To be photograph’d—together—cased in pretty Russia leather—
    Hear her gravely doubting whether they have spoilt your honest phiz!

    Then to bring your plighted fair one first a ring—a rich and rare
              one—
    Next a bracelet, if she’ll wear one, and a heap of things beside;
    And serenely bending o’er her, to inquire if it would bore her
    To say when her own adorer may aspire to call her bride!

    Then, the days of courtship over, with your WIFE to start for Dover
    Or Dieppe—and live in clover evermore, what e’er befalls;
    For I’ve read in many a novel that, unless they’ve souls that grovel
    Folks _prefer_ in fact a hovel to your dreary marble halls.

    To sit, happy married lovers; Phillis trifling with a plover’s
    Egg, while Corydon uncovers with a grace the Sally Lunn,
    Or dissects the lucky pheasant—that, I think, were passing pleasant,
    As I sit alone at present, dreaming darkly of a Dun.
                                                _C. S. Calverley._


GWENDOLINE

    ’TWAS not the brown of chestnut boughs
      That shadowed her so finely;
    It was the hair that swept her brows,
      And framed her face divinely;
    Her tawny hair, her purple eyes,
      The spirit was ensphered in,
    That took you with such swift surprise,
      Provided you had peered in.

    Her velvet foot amid the moss
      And on the daisies patted,
    As, querulous with sense of loss,
      It tore the herbage matted.
    “And come he early, come he late,”
      She saith, “it will undo me;
    The sharp fore-speeded shaft of fate
      Already quivers through me.

    “When I beheld his red-roan steed,
      I knew what aim impelled it.
    And that dim scarf of silver brede,
      I guessed for whom he held it.
    I recked not, while he flaunted by,
      Of Love’s relentless vi’lence
    Yet o’er me crashed the summer sky,
      In thunders of blue silence.

    “His hoof-prints crumbled down the dale,
      But left behind their lava;
    What should have been my woman’s mail
      Grew jellied as guava.
    I looked him proud, but ’neath my pride
      I felt a boneless tremor;
    He was the Beér, I descried,
      And I was but the Seemer!

    “Ah, how to be what then I seemed,
      And bid him seem that is so!
    We always tangle threads we dreamed,
      And contravene our bliss so,
    I see the red-roan steed again!
      He looks as something sought he;
    Why, hoity-toity!—_he_ is fain,
      So _I_’ll be cold and haughty!”
                            _Bayard Taylor._



AFTER LONGFELLOW


THE MODERN HIAWATHA

    HE killed the noble Mudjokivis.
    Of the skin he made him mittens,
    Made them with the fur side inside,
    Made them with the skin side outside.
    He, to get the warm side inside,
    Put the inside skin side outside;
    He, to get the cold side outside,
    Put the warm side fur side inside.
    That’s why he put the fur side inside,
    Why he put the skin side outside,
    Why he turned them inside outside.
                            _Anonymous._


HIGHER

    THE shadows of night were a-comin’ down swift,
    And the dazzlin’ snow lay drift on drift,
    As thro’ a village a youth did go,
    A-carryin’ a flag with this motto,—
                                  Higher!

    O’er a forehead high curled copious hair,
    His nose a Roman, complexion fair,
    O’er an eagle eye an auburn lash,
    And he never stopped shoutin’ thro’ his moustache!
                                  “Higher!”

    He saw thro’ the windows as he kept gettin’ upper
    A number of families sittin’ at supper,
    But he eyes the slippery rocks very keen
    And fled as he cried, and cried while a fleein’—
                                  “Higher!”

    “Take care you there!” said an old woman; “stop!
    It’s blowing gales up there on top—
    You’ll tumble off on t’other side!”
    But the hurryin’ stranger loud replied,
                                  “Higher!”

    “Oh! don’t you go up such a shocking night,
    Come sleep on my lap,” said a maiden bright.
    On his Roman nose a tear-drop come,
    But still he remarked, as he upward clomb,
                                  “Higher!”

    “Look out for the branch of that sycamore-tree!
    Dodge rolling stones, if any you see!”
    Sayin’ which the farmer went home to bed
    And the singular voice replied overhead,
                                  “Higher!”

    About quarter past six the next afternoon,
    A man accidentally goin’ up soon,
    Heard spoken above him as often as twice
    The very same word in a very weak voice,
                                  “Higher!”

    And not far, I believe, from quarter of seven—
    He was slow gettin’ up, the road bein’ uneven—
    Found the stranger dead in the drifted snow,
    Still clutchin’ the flag with the motto—
                                  Higher!

    Yes! lifeless, defunct, without any doubt,
    The lamp of life being decidedly out,
    On the dreary hillside the youth was a layin’!
    And there was no more use for him to be sayin’
                                  “Higher!”
                            _Anonymous._


TOPSIDE GALAH!

    THAT nightee teem he come chop, chop,
    One young man walkee, no can stop,
    Colo makee; icee makee;
    He got flag; chop b’long welly culio, see—
              Topside Galah!

    He too muchee folly; one piecee eye
    Lookee sharp—so fashion—alla same mi;
    He talkee largee, talkee stlong,
    To muchee culio; alla same gong—
              Topside Galah!

    Inside any house he can see light;
    Any piecee loom got fire all light;
    He lookee see plenty ice more high,
    Inside he mouf he plenty cly—
              Topside Galah!

    “No can walkee!” olo man speakee he;
    “Bimeby lain come, no can see;
    Hab got water welly wide!”
    Maskee, mi must go topside—
              Topside Galah!

    “Man-man,” one galo talkee he,
    “What for you go topside look see?”
    “Nother teem,” he makee plenty cly,
    Maskee, alla teem walkee plenty high—
              Topside Galah!

    “Take care that spilum tlee, young man;
    Take care that icee!” he no man-man
    That coolie chin-chin he good-night;
    He talkee “mi can go all light”—
              Topside Galah!

    Joss pidgin man chop-chop begin,
    Morning teem that Joss chin-chin,
    No see any man, he plenty fear,
    Cause some man talkee, he can hear—
              Topside Galah!

    Young man makee die; one largee dog see
    Too muchee bobbery, findee he.
    Hand too muchee colo, inside can stop
    Alla same piecee flag, got culio chop—
              Topside Galah!
                            _Anonymous._


EXCELSIOR

    THE swampy State of Illinois
      Contained a greenish sort of boy,
      Who read with idiotic joy—
                        “Excelsior!”

    He tarried not to eat or drink,
      But put a flag of lightish pink,
      And traced on it in violet ink—
                        Excelsior!

    Though what he meant by that absurd,
      Uncouth, and stupid, senseless word,
      Has not been placed upon record—
                        Excelsior!

    The characters were very plain,
      In German text, yet he was fain
      With greater clearness to explain—
                        Excelsior!

    And so he ran, this stupid wight,
      And hollered out with all his might,
      (As to a person out of sight)—
                        “Excelsior!”

    And everybody thought the lad
      Within an ace of being mad,
      Who cried in accents stern and sad—
                        “Excelsior!”

    “Come to my arms,” the maiden cried;
      The youth grinned sheepishly, and sighed,
      And then appropriately replied—
                        “Excelsior!”

    The evening sun is in the sky,
      But still the creature mounts on high
      And shouts (nor gives a reason why)
                        “Excelsior!”

    And ere he gains the topmost crag
      His feeble legs begin to lag;
      Unsteadily he holds the flag—
                        Excelsior!

    Now P. C. Nab is on his track!
      He puts him in an empty sack,
      And brings him home upon his back—
                        Excelsior!

    Nab takes him to a lumber store,
      They toss him in and lock the door,
      Which only makes him bawl the more—
                        “Excelsior!”
                            _Anonymous._


“THE DAY IS DONE”

    THE day is done, and darkness
      From the wing of night is loosed,
    As a feather is wafted downward,
      From a chicken going to roost.

    I see the lights of the baker,
      Gleam through the rain and mist,
    And a feeling of sadness comes o’er me,
      That I cannot well resist.

    A feeling of sadness and longing
      That is not like being sick,
    And resembles sorrow only
      As a brickbat resembles a brick.

    Come, get for me some supper,—
      A good and regular meal—
    That shall soothe this restless feeling,
      And banish the pain I feel.

    Not from the pastry bakers,
      Not from the shops for cake;
    I wouldn’t give a farthing
      For all that they can make.

    For, like the soup at dinner,
      Such things would but suggest
    Some dishes more substantial,
      And to-night I want the best.

    Go to some honest butcher,
      Whose beef is fresh and nice,
    As any they have in the city,
      And get a liberal slice.

    Such things through days of labor,
      And nights devoid of ease,
    For sad and desperate feelings,
      Are wonderful remedies.

    They have an astonishing power
      To aid and reinforce,
    And come like the “finally, brethren,”
      That follows a long discourse.

    Then get me a tender sirloin
      From off the bench or hook.
    And lend to its sterling goodness
      The science of the cook.

    And the night shall be filled with comfort,
      And the cares with which it begun
    Shall fold up their blankets like Indians,
      And silently cut and run.
                            _Phœbe Cary._


A PSALM OF LIFE

    TELL me not, in idle jingle,
      Marriage is an empty dream,
    For the girl is dead that’s single,
      And things are not what they seem.

    Married life is real, earnest,
      Single blessedness a fib,
    Taken from man, to man returnest,
      Has been spoken of the rib.

    Not enjoyment, and not sorrow,
      Is our destined end or way;
    But to act, that each to-morrow
      Nearer brings the wedding-day.

    Life is long, and youth is fleeting,
      And our hearts, if there we search,
    Still like steady drums are beating
      Anxious marches to the Church.

    In the world’s broad field of battle,
      In the bivouac of life,
    Be not like dumb, driven cattle;
      Be a woman, be a wife!

    Trust no Future, howe’er pleasant!
      Let the dead Past bury its dead!
    Act—act in the living Present.
      Heart within, and Man ahead!

    Lives of married folks remind us
      We can live our lives as well,
    And, departing, leave behind us;—
      Such examples as will tell;—

    Such examples, that another,
      Sailing far from Hymen’s port,
    A forlorn, unmarried brother,
      Seeing, shall take heart, and court.

    Let us then be up and doing,
      With the heart and head begin;
    Still achieving, still pursùing,
      Learn to labor, and to win!
                            _Phœbe Cary._


HOW OFTEN

    THEY stood on the bridge at midnight,
      In a park not far from the town;
    They stood on the bridge at midnight,
      Because they didn’t sit down.

    The moon rose o’er the city,
      Behind the dark church spire;
    The moon rose o’er the city
      And kept on rising higher.

    How often, oh, how often!
      They whispered words so soft;
    How often, oh, how often;
      How often, oh, how oft!
                            _Ben King._


DESOLATION

    SOMEWHAT back from the village street
    Stands the old fashioned country seat.
    Across its antique portico
    Tall poplar trees their shadows throw.
    And there throughout the livelong day,
    Jemima plays the pi-a-na.
          Do, re, mi,
          Mi, re, do.

    In the front parlor there it stands,
    And there Jemima plies her hands,
    While her papa, beneath his cloak,
    Mutters and groans: “This is no joke!”
    And swears to himself and sighs, alas!
    With sorrowful voice to all who pass.
          Do, re, mi,
          Mi, re, do.

    Through days of death and days of birth
    She plays as if she owned the earth.
    Through every swift vicissitude
    She drums as if it did her good,
    And still she sits from morn till night
    And plunks away with main and might
          Do, re, mi,
          Mi, re, do.

    In that mansion used to be
    Free-hearted hospitality;
    But that was many years before
    Jemima dallied with the score.
    When she began her daily plunk,
    Into their graves the neighbors sunk.
          Do, re, mi,
          Mi, re, do.

    To other worlds they’ve long since fled,
    All thankful that they’re safely dead.
    They stood the racket while alive
    Until Jemima rose at five.
    And then they laid their burdens down,
    And one and all they skipped the town.
          Do, re, mi,
          Mi, re, do.
                            _Tom Masson._


THE BIRDS AND THE PHEASANT

    I SHOT a partridge in the air,
      It fell in turnips, “Don” knew where;
    For just as it dropped, with my right
      I stopped another in its flight.

    I killed a pheasant in the copse,
      It fell amongst the fir-tree tops;
    For though a pheasant’s flight is strong,
      A cock, hard hit, cannot fly long.

    Soon, soon afterwards, in a pie,
      I found the birds in jelly lie;
    And the pheasant at a fortnight’s end,
      I found again in the carte of a friend.
                            _Punch._



AFTER WHITTIER


HIRAM HOVER

(_A Ballad of New England life_)

    WHERE the Moosatockmaguntic
    Pours its waters in the Skuntic,
      Met, along the forest side
      Hiram Hover, Huldah Hyde.

    She, a maiden fair and dapper,
    He, a red-haired, stalwart trapper,
      Hunting beaver, mink, and skunk
      In the woodlands of Squeedunk.

    She, Pentucket’s pensive daughter,
    Walked beside the Skuntic water
      Gathering, in her apron wet,
      Snake-root, mint, and bouncing-bet.

    “Why,” he murmured, loth to leave her,
    “Gather yarbs for chills and fever,
      When a lovyer bold and true,
      Only waits to gather you?”

    “Go,” she answered, “I’m not hasty,
    I prefer a man more tasty;
      Leastways, one to please me well
      Should not have a beasty smell.”

    “Haughty Huldah!” Hiram answered,
    “Mind and heart alike are cancered;
      Jest look here! these peltries give
      Cash, wherefrom a pair may live.

    “I, you think, am but a vagrant,
    Trapping beasts by no means fragrant;
      Yet, I’m sure it’s worth a thank—
      I’ve a handsome sum in bank.”

    Turned and vanished Hiram Hover,
    And, before the year was over,
      Huldah, with the yarbs she sold,
      Bought a cape, against the cold.

    Black and thick the furry cape was,
    Of a stylish cut the shape was;
      And the girls, in all the town,
      Envied Huldah up and down.

    Then at last, one winter morning,
    Hiram came without a warning.
      “Either,” said he, “you are blind,
      Huldah, or you’ve changed your mind.

    “Me you snub for trapping varmints,
    Yet you take the skins for garments;
      Since you wear the skunk and mink,
      There’s no harm in me, I think.”

    “Well,” said she, “we will not quarrel,
    Hiram; I accept the moral,
      Now the fashion’s so I guess
      I can’t hardly do no less.”

    Thus the trouble all was over
    Of the love of Hiram Hover.
      Thus he made sweet Huldah Hyde
      Huldah Hover as his bride.

    Love employs, with equal favor,
    Things of good and evil savor;
      That which first appeared to part,
      Warmed, at last, the maiden’s heart.

    Under one impartial banner,
    Life, the hunter, Love the tanner,
      Draw, from every beast they snare,
      Comfort for a wedded pair!
                            _Bayard Taylor._



AFTER MRS. NORTON


THE HORSE AND HIS MASTER

(_A panegyric_)

    My—anything but beautiful, that standest “knock-knee’d” by,
    “Inverted arch” describes thy back, as “dismal” doth thine eye.
    Fret not—go roam the commons now, limp there for want of speed;
    I dare not mount on thee (’twere pain), thou bag of bones, indeed.
    Fret not with that too patient hoof, puff not with wheezy wind;
    The harder that thou roarest now the more we lag behind;
    The stranger “had” thy master, brute, for twice ten pounds, all told;
    I only wish he had thee back! Too late—I’m sold! I’m sold!

    To-morrow’s sun will dawn again, but ah! no ride for me.
    Can I gallop over Rotten Row astride on such as thee?
    ’Tis evening now, and getting dark, and blowing up for rain;
    I’ll lead thee then, with slow, slow steps, to some “bait stables”
              plain.
    (When a horse dealer cheats, with eyes of clap-trap truth and tears,
    A hack’s form for an instant like a thoroughbred’s appears.)
    And sitting down, I’ll ponder well beside this water’s brink,
    Here—what’s thy name? Come, Rosinante! Drink pretty (?) creature,
              drink!

    Drink on, inflate thy skin. Away! this wretched farce is o’er;
    I could not live a day and know that we must meet once more.
    I’ve tempted thee, in vain (though Sanger’s power be strong,
    They could not tempt this beast to trot), oh, thou hast lived too
              long!
    Who says that I’ll give in? Come up! who says thou art not old?
    Thy faults were faults, poor useless steed, I fear, when thou wert
              foal’d.
    Thus, thus I whack upon thy back; go, scour with might and main
    The asphalt! Ha! who stops thee now may have thee for his gain.
                                         _Philip F. Allen._


THE NEW VERSION

    A SOLDIER of the Russians
      Lay japanned at Tschrtzvkjskivitch,
    There was lack of woman’s nursing
      And other comforts which
    Might add to his last moments
      And smooth the final way;—
    But a comrade stood beside him
      To hear what he might say.
    The japanned Russian faltered
      As he took that comrade’s hand,
    And he said: “I never more shall see
      My own, my native land;
    Take a message and a token
      To some distant friends of mine,
    For I was born at Smnlxzrskgqrxzski,
      Fair Smnlxzrskgqrxzski on the Irkztrvzkimnov.”
                            _W. J. Lampton._



AFTER POE


WHAT TROUBLED POE’S RAVEN

    COULD Poe walk again to-morrow, heavy with dyspeptic sorrow,
    While the darkness seemed to borrow darkness from the night before,
    From the hollow gloom abysmal, floating downward, grimly dismal,
    Like a pagan curse baptismal from the bust above the door,
    He would hear the Raven croaking from the dusk above the door,
                “Never, never, nevermore!”

    And, too angry to be civil, “Raven,” Poe would cry “or devil,
    Tell me why you will persist in haunting Death’s Plutonian shore?”
    Then would croak the Raven gladly, “I will tell you why so sadly,
    I so mournfully and madly, haunt you, taunt you, o’er and o’er,
    Why eternally I haunt you, daunt you, taunt you, o’er and o’er—
                Only this, and nothing more.

    “Forty-eight long years I’ve pondered, forty-eight long years I’ve
              wondered,
    How a poet ever blundered into a mistake so sore.
    How could lamp-light from your table ever in the world be able,
    From _below_, to throw my sable shadow ‘streaming on the floor,’
    When I perched up here on Pallas, high above your chamber-door?
                Tell me that—if nothing more!”

    Then, like some wan, weeping willow, Poe would bend above his pillow,
    Seeking surcease in the billow where mad recollections drown,
    And in tearful tones replying, he would groan “There’s no denying
    Either I was blindly lying, or the world was upside down—
    Say, by Joe!—it was just midnight—so the world _was_ upside down—
                Aye, the world was upside down!”
                                                  _John Bennett._


THE AMATEUR FLUTE

    HEAR the fluter with his flute, Silver flute!
    Oh, what a world of wailing is awakened by its toot!
            How it demi-semi quavers
              On the maddened air of night!
            And defieth all endeavors
              To escape the sound or sigh
            Of the flute, flute, flute,
            With its tootle, tootle, toot;
    With reiterated tooteling of exasperating toots,
    The long protracted tootelings of agonizing toots
            Of the flute, flute, flute, flute,
                  Flute, flute, flute,
    And the wheezings and the spittings of its toots.
            Should he get that other flute,
                  Golden flute,
    Oh, what a deeper anguish will his presence institoot!
            How his eyes to heaven he’ll raise,
                  As he plays,
                  All the days!
                  How he’ll stop us on our ways
                  With its praise!
                  And the people—oh, the people,
                  That don’t live up in the steeple,
                  But inhabit Christian parlors
            Where he visiteth and plays,
                  Where he plays, plays, plays
                  In the cruellest of ways,
                And thinks we ought to listen,
                And expects us to be mute,
            Who would rather have the earache
                Than the music of his flute,
                  Of his flute, flute, flute,
                  And the tootings of his toot,
    Of the toots wherewith he tooteleth its agonizing toot,
                Of the flute, flewt, fluit, floot,
                Phlute, phlewt, phlewght,
    And the tootle, tootle, tooting of its toot.
                            _Anonymous._


SAMUEL BROWN

    IT was many and many a year ago,
      In a dwelling down in town,
    That a fellow there lived whom you may know,
      By the name of Samuel Brown;
    And this fellow he lived with no other thought
      Than to our house to come down.

    I was a child, and he was a child,
      In that dwelling down in town,
    But we loved with a love that was more than love,
      I and my Samuel Brown,—
    With a love that the ladies coveted,
      Me and Samuel Brown.

    And this was the reason that, long ago,
      To that dwelling down in town,
    A girl came out of her carriage, courting
      My beautiful Samuel Brown;
    So that her high-bred kinsmen came,
      And bore away Samuel Brown,
    And shut him up in a dwelling house,
      In a street quite up in the town.

    The ladies not half so happy up there,
      Went envying me and Brown;
    Yes! that was the reason (as all men know,
      In this dwelling down in town),
    That the girl came out of the carriage by night,
      Coquetting and getting my Samuel Brown.

    But our love is more artful by far than the love
      Of those who are older than we,—
      Of many far wiser than we,—
    And neither the girls that are living above,
      Nor the girls that are down in town,
    Can ever dissever my soul from the soul
      Of the beautiful Samuel Brown.

    For the morn never shines, without bringing me lines,
      From my beautiful Samuel Brown;
    And the night’s never dark, but I sit in the park
      With my beautiful Samuel Brown.
    And often by day, I walk down in Broadway,
    With my darling, my darling, my life and my stay,
      To our dwelling down in town,
      To our house in the street down town.
                            _Phœbe Cary._


THE PROMISSORY NOTE

      In the lonesome latter years
            (Fatal years!)
      To the dropping of my tears
      Danced the mad and mystic spheres
      In a rounded, reeling rune,
            ’Neath the moon,
    To the dripping and the dropping of my tears.

      Ah, my soul is swathed in gloom,
          (Ulalume!)
      In a dim Titanic tomb,
      For my gaunt and gloomy soul
      Ponders o’er the penal scroll,
      O’er the parchment (not a rhyme),
      Out of place,—out of time,—
      I am shredded, shorn, unshifty,
          (Oh, the fifty!)
      And the days have passed, the three,
          Over me!
    And the debit and the credit are as one to him and me!

      ’Twas the random runes I wrote
      At the bottom of the note,
          (Wrote and freely
          Gave to Greeley)
      In the middle of the night,
      In the mellow, moonless night,
      When the stars were out of sight,
      When my pulses, like a knell,
          (Israfel!)
      Danced with dim and dying fays
      O’er the ruins of my days,
      O’er the dimeless, timeless days,
      When the fifty, drawn at thirty,
      Seeming thrifty, yet the dirty
    Lucre of the market, was the most that I could raise!
        Fiends controlled it,
        (Let him hold it!)
    Devils held for me the inkstand and the pen;
      Now the days of grace are o’er,
        (Ah, Lenore!)
      I am but as other men;
      What is time, time, time,
      To my rare and runic rhyme,
      To my random, reeling rhyme,
      By the sands along the shore,
    Where the tempest whispers, “Pay him!” and I answer, “Nevermore!”
                            _Bayard Taylor._


THE CANNIBAL FLEA

    IT was many and many a year ago
    In a District called E. C.,
    That a Monster dwelt whom I came to know
    By the name of Cannibal Flea,
    And the brute was possessed with no other thought
    Than to live—and to live on me!

    I was in bed, and he was in bed
    In the District named E. C.,
    When first in his thirst so accurst he burst
    Upon me, the Cannibal Flea,
    With a bite that felt as if some one had driven
    A bayonet into me.

    And this was the reason why long ago
    In that District named E. C.
    I tumbled out of my bed, willing
    To capture the Cannibal Flea,
    Who all the night until morning came
    Kept boring into me!
    It wore me down to a skeleton
    In the District hight E. C.

    From that hour I sought my bed—eleven—
    Till daylight he tortured me.
    Yes!—that was the reason (as all men know
    In that District named E. C.)
    I so often jumped out of my bed by night
    Willing the killing of Cannibal Flea.

    But his hops they were longer by far than the hops
    Of creatures much larger than he—
    Of parties more long-legged than he;
    And neither the powder nor turpentine drops,
    Nor the persons engaged by me,
    Were so clever as ever to stop me the hop
    Of the terrible Cannibal Flea.

    For at night with a scream, I am waked from my dream
    By the terrible Cannibal Flea;
    And at morn I ne’er rise without bites—of such size!—
    From the terrible Cannibal Flea.
    So I’m forced to decide I’ll no longer reside
    In the District—the District—where he doth abide,
    The locality known as E. C.
    That is postally known as E. C.
                            _Tom Hood, Jr._


ANNABEL LEE

    ’TWAS more than a million years ago,
      Or so it seems to me,
    That I used to prance around and beau
      The beautiful Annabel Lee.
    There were other girls in the neighborhood
      But none was a patch to she.

    And this was the reason that long ago,
      My love fell out of a tree,
    And busted herself on a cruel rock;
      A solemn sight to see,
    For it spoiled the hat and gown and looks
      Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.

    We loved with a love that was lovely love,
      I and my Annabel Lee,
    And we went one day to gather the nuts
      That men call hickoree.
    And I stayed below in the rosy glow
      While she shinned up the tree,
    But no sooner up than down kerslup
      Came the beautiful Annabel Lee.

    And the pallid moon and the hectic noon
      Bring gleams of dreams for me,
    Of the desolate and desperate fate
      Of the beautiful Annabel Lee.
    And I often think as I sink on the brink
    Of slumber’s sea, of the warm pink link
      That bound my soul to Annabel Lee;
    And it wasn’t just best for her interest
      To climb that hickory tree,
    For had she stayed below with me,
      We’d had no hickory nuts maybe,
    But I should have had my Annabel Lee.
                            _Stanley Huntley._


THE BELLS

    HEAR a voice announcing IRVING in The Bells—sledge’s bells!
        What a scene of wild excitement the advertisement foretells!
          See the rush upon the pay-hole—
          People stand a night and day whole
        To secure a little corner for The Bells!
    To look ghastly pale and shudder, every man and “every brudder”
    Feels that nothing can be equal to The Bells!
          Bells! Bells! Bells! Bells!
          Too horrified to cheer,
            Folk will testify by fear
        How appalled they are by IRVING in The Bells;
            While great beads of perspiration will appear,
        For in conscience-stricken terrors he excels!
                                  Gloomy Bells!
    Pit and gallery will glory in the weird and frightful story,
        Which may even thrill the bosom of the swells,
            For every Yankee “dude”
            Unquestionably should
          Have nightmare after witnessing The Bells!
    Will our cousins all go frantic from Pacific to Atlantic, or
              condemn as childish antic
        IRVING’s dancing, and his gasping, and his yells!
    There’s a certain admiration which the strange impersonation
                                  Still compels,
    E’en from those who can’t see beauty in The Bells—
    In the play that MR. LEWIS calls The Bells!
                                  Wondrous Bells!
            You first made Henry famous, so the stage historian tells.
    Will the scene be now repeated which in London always greeted
        His performance of Mathias in The Bells?
            Or will every sneering Yankee,
            In his nasal tones, say “Thankee,
        I guess this is just another of your mighty British ‘sells’”?
    Let the thought for ever perish, that the actor whom we cherish
        Could fail to lick creation in The Bells!
            But if there are detractors
            Of this foremost of our actors,
      Of the gentlemanly IRVING—friend of Toole’s—
    “They are neither man nor woman, they are neither brute nor human,”
                                  They are fools!
                                                          _Judy._


THE GOBLIN GOOSE

    ONCE it happened I’d been dining, on my couch I slept reclining,
    And awoke with moonlight shining brightly on my bedroom floor,
    It was in the bleak December, Christmas night as I remember,
    But I had no dying ember, as Poe had, when near the door,
    Like a gastronomic goblin just beside my chamber door
                Stood a bird,—and nothing more.

    And I said, for I’m no craven, “Are you Edgar’s famous raven,
    Seeking as with him a haven—were you mixed up with Lenore?”
    Then the bird uprose and fluttered, and this sentence strange he
              uttered,
    “Hang Lenore,” he mildly muttered; “you have seen me once before,
    Seen me on this festive Christmas, seen me surely once before,
                I’m the Goose—and nothing more.”

    Then he murmured, “Are you ready?” and with motion slow and steady,
    Straight he leapt upon my bed; he simply gave a stifled roar;
    And I cried, “As I’m a sinner, at a Goose-Club I was winner,
    ’Tis a memory of my dinner, which I ate at half-past four,
    Goose well-stuffed with sage and onions, which I ate at half-past
              four.”
                Quoth he hoarsely, “Eat no more!”

    Said I, “I’ve enjoyed your juices, breast and back; but tell me,
              Goose, is
    This revenge, and what the use is of your being such a bore?
    For Goose-flesh I will no more ax, if you’ll not sit on my thorax,
    Go try honey mixed with borax, for I hear your throat is sore,
    You speak gruffly, though too plainly, and I’m sure your throat is
              sore.”
                Quoth the nightmare, “Eat no more!”

    “Goose!” I shrieked out, “leave, oh, leave me, surely you don’t mean
              to grieve me,
    You are heavy, pray reprieve me, now my penance must be o’er;
    Though to-night you’ve brought me sorrow, comfort surely comes
              to-morrow,
    Some relief from those I’d borrow at my doctor’s ample store.”
                Quoth the goblin, “Eat no more!”

    And that fat Goose, never flitting, like a nightmare still is sitting
    With me all the night emitting words that thrill my bosom’s core,
    Now throughout the Christmas season, while I lie and gasp and wheeze,
              on
    Me he sits until my reason nothing surely can restore,
                While that Goose says, “Eat no more!”
                                                            _Punch._



AFTER LORD HOUGHTON


LOVE AND SCIENCE

(_The Sphygmophon is an apparatus connected with the telephone, by the
help of which the movements of the pulse and heart may be rendered
audible_)

    I WANDERED by the brookside,
      I wandered by the mill;
    The Sphygmophon was fixed there,
      Its wires ran past the hill.
    I heeded not the grasshopper,
      Nor chirp of any bird,
    For the beating of my own heart
      Was all the sound I heard.

    To test his apparatus,
      One end I closely press’d,
    The other at a distance,
      I hoped was next his chest.
    I listened for his footfall,
      I listened for his word,
    Still the bumping of my own heart
      Was all the sound I heard.

    He came not, no he came not,
      The night came on alone;
    And thinking he had tricked me,
      I loosed the Sphygmophon.
    The evening air passed by my cheek,
      The leaves above were stirred,
    When—the thumping of his own heart
      Was all the sound I heard.

    With joy I grasped the magnet,
      When some one stood behind,
    His hand was on my shoulder
      (But that I did not mind).
    Each spoke then—nearer—nearer,
      We shouted every word;
    But the booming of our own hearts
      Was all the sound we heard.
                            _Anonymous._



AFTER TENNYSON


THE BATHER’S DIRGE

    BREAK, break, break,
      On thy cold, hard stones, O sea!
    And I hope that my tongue won’t utter
      The curses that rise in me.

    Oh, well for the fisherman’s boy,
      If he likes to be soused with the spray!
    Oh, well for the sailor lad,
      As he paddles about in the bay!

    And the ships swim happily on,
      To their haven under the hill;
    But O for a clutch of that vanished hand,
      And a kick—for I’m catching a chill!

    Break, break, break,
      At my poor bare feet, O sea!
    But the artful scamp who has collar’d my clothes
      Will never come back to me.
                            _Tennyson Minor._


LITTLE MISS MUFFET

(_Reset as an Arthurian Idyl_)

    UPON a tuffet of most soft and verdant moss,
    Beneath the spreading branches of an ancient oak,
    Miss Muffet sat, and upward gazed,
    To where a linnet perched and sung,
    And rocked him gently, to and fro.
    Soft blew the breeze
    And mildly swayed the bough,
    Loud sung the bird,
    And sweetly dreamed the maid;
    Dreamed brightly of the days to come—
    The golden days, with her fair future blent.
    When one—some wondrous stately knight—
    Of our great Arthur’s “Table Round;”
    One, brave as Launcelot, and
    Spotless as the pure Sir Galahad,
    Should come, and coming, choose her
    For his love, and in her name,
    And for the sake of her fair eyes,
    Should do most knightly deeds.
    And as she dreamed and softly sighed,
    She pensively began to stir,
    With a tiny golden spoon
    Within an antique dish upon her lap,
    Some snow-white milky curds;
    Soft were they, full of cream and rich,
    And floated in translucent whey;
    And as she stirred, she smiled,
    Then gently tasted them.
    And smiling, ate, nor sighed no more.
    Lo! as she ate—nor harbored thought of ill—
    Near and nearer yet, there to her crept,
    A monster great and terrible,
    With huge, misshapen body—leaden eyes—
    Full many a long and hairy leg,
    And soft and stealthy footstep.
    Nearer still he came—Miss Muffet yet,
    All unwitting his dread neighborhood,
    Did eat her curds and dream.
    Blithe, on the bough, the linnet sung—
    All terrestrial natures, sleeping, wrapt
    In a most sweet tranquillity.
    Closer still the spider drew, and—
    Paused beside her—lifted up his head
    And gazed into her face.
    Miss Muffet then, her consciousness alive
    To his dread eyes upon her fixed,
    Turned and beheld him.
    Loud screamed she, frightened and amazed,
    And straightway sprung upon her feet,
    And, letting fall her dish and spoon,
    She—shrieking—turned and fled.
                            _Anonymous._


THE MUSICAL PITCH

    BREAK, break, break,
      O voice!—let me urge thy plea!
    Oh, lower the Pitch, lest utter
      Despair be the end of me!

    ’Tis well for the fiddles to squeak,
      The bassoon to grunt in its play;
    ’Twere well had I lungs of brass,
      Or that nothing but strings give way!

    Break, break, break,
      O voice! I must urge thy plea,
    For the tender skin of my larynx is torn,
      And I fail in my upper G!
                            _Anonymous._


TO AN IMPORTUNATE HOST

(_During dinner and after Tennyson_)

    ASK me no more: I’ve had enough Chablis;
      The wine may come again and take the shape
      From glass to glass of “Mountain” or of “Cape,”
    But my dear boy, when I have answered thee,
          Ask me no more.

    Ask me no more: what answer should I give,
      I love not pickled pork, nor partridge pie;
      I feel if I took whiskey I should die!
    Ask me no more—for I prefer to live:
          Ask me no more.

    Ask me no more: unless my fate is sealed,
      And I have striven against you all in vain.
      Let your good butler bring me “Hock” again;
    Then rest, dear boy. If for this once I yield,
          Ask me no more.
                            _Anonymous._


THE VILLAGE CHOIR

    HALF a bar, half a bar,
    Half a bar onward!
    Into an awful ditch
    Choir and precentor hitch,
    Into a mess of pitch,
        They led the Old Hundred.
    Trebles to right of them,
    Tenors to left of them,
    Basses in front of them,
        Bellowed and thundered.
    Oh, that precentor’s look,
    When the sopranos took
    Their own time and hook
        From the Old Hundred!

    Screeched all the trebles here,
    Boggled the tenors there,
    Raising the parson’s hair,
        While his mind wandered;
    Theirs not to reason why
    This psalm was pitched too high:
    Theirs but to gasp and cry
        Out the Old Hundred.
    Trebles to right of them,
    Tenors to left of them,
    Basses in front of them,
        Bellowed and thundered.
    Stormed they with shout and yell,
    Not wise they sang nor well,
    Drowning the sexton’s bell,
    While all the church wondered.

    Dire the precentor’s glare,
    Flashed his pitchfork in air
    Sounding fresh keys to bear
        Out the Old Hundred.
    Swiftly he turned his back,
    Reached he his hat from rack,
    Then from the screaming pack,
        Himself he sundered.
    Tenors to right of him,
    Tenors to left of him,
    Discords behind him,
        Bellowed and thundered.
    Oh, the wild howls they wrought:
    Right to the end they fought!
    Some tune they sang, but not,
        Not the Old Hundred.
                            _Anonymous._


THE BITER BIT

    THE sun is in the sky, mother, the flowers are springing fair;
    And the melody of woodland birds is stirring in the air;
    The river, smiling to the sky, glides onward to the sea,
    And happiness is everywhere, oh, mother, but with me!

    They are going to the church, mother—I hear the marriage bell
    It booms along the upland—Oh! it haunts me like a knell;
    He leads her on his arm, mother, he cheers her faltering step,
    And closely to his side she clings—she does, the demirep!

    They are crossing by the stile, mother, where we so oft have stood,
    The stile beside the shady thorn, at the corner of the wood;
    And the boughs, that wont to murmur back the words that won my ear,
    Wave their silver branches o’er him, as he leads his bridal fere.

    He will pass beside the stream, mother, where first my hand he pressed,
    By the meadow where, with quivering lip, his passion he confessed;
    And down the hedgerows where we’ve strayed again and yet again;
    But he will not think of me, mother, his broken-hearted Jane!

    He said that I was proud, mother, that I looked for rank and gold,
    He said I did not love him—he said my words were cold;
    He said I kept him off and on, in hopes of higher game—
    And it may be that I did, mother; who hasn’t done the same?

    I did not know my heart, mother—I know it now too late;
    I thought that I without a pang could wed some nobler mate;
    But no nobler suitor sought me—and he has taken wing,
    And my heart is gone, and I am left a lone and blighted thing.

    You may lay me in my bed, mother—my head is throbbing sore;
    And, mother, prithee, let the sheets be duly aired before;
    And, if you’d please, my mother dear, your poor desponding child,
    Draw me a pot of beer, mother, and mother, draw it mild!
                            _William Aytoun._


THE LAUREATE

    WHO would not be
    The Laureate bold,
    With his butt of sherry
            To keep him merry,
    And nothing to do but to pocket his gold?

    ’Tis I would be the Laureate bold!
    When the days are hot, and the sun is strong,
    I’d lounge in the gateway all the day long
    With her Majesty’s footmen in crimson and gold.
    I’d care not a pin for the waiting-lord,
    But I’d lie on my back on the smooth greensward
    With a straw in my mouth, and an open vest,
    And the cool wind blowing upon my breast,
    And I’d vacantly stare at the clear blue sky,
    And watch the clouds that are listless as I,
            Lazily, lazily!
    And I’d pick the moss and the daisies white,
    And chew their stalks with a nibbling bite;
    And I’d let my fancies roam abroad
    In search of a hint for a birthday ode,
            Crazily, crazily!
    Oh, that would be the life for me,
    With plenty to get and nothing to do,
    But to deck a pet poodle with ribbons of blue,
    And whistle all day to the Queen’s cockatoo,
            Trance-somely, trance-somely!
    Then the chambermaids, that clean the rooms,
    Would come to the windows and rest on their brooms,

    With their saucy caps and their crispéd hair,
    And they’d toss their heads in the fragrant air,
    And say to each other—“Just look down there,
    At the nice young man, so tidy and small,
    Who is paid for writing on nothing at all,
            Handsomely, handsomely!”

    They would pelt me with matches and sweet pastilles,
    And crumpled-up balls of the royal bills,
    Giggling and laughing, and screaming with fun,
    As they’d see me start, with a leap and a run,
    From the broad of my back to the points of my toes,
    When a pellet of paper hit my nose,
            Teasingly, sneezingly!

    Then I’d fling them bunches of garden flowers,
    And hyacinths plucked from the Castle bowers;
    And I’d challenge them all to come down to me,
    And I’d kiss them all till they kissed me,
            Laughingly, laughingly.

    Oh, would not that be a merry life,
    Apart from care and apart from strife,
    With the Laureate’s wine, and the Laureate’s pay,
    And no deductions at quarter-day?
    Oh, that would be the post for me!
    With plenty to get and nothing to do,
    But to deck a pet poodle with ribbons of blue,
    And whistle a tune to the Queen’s cockatoo,
    And scribble of verses remarkably few,
    And empty at evening a bottle or two,
            Quaffingly, quaffingly!

            ’Tis I would be
            The Laureate bold,
            With my butt of sherry
            To keep me merry,
    And nothing to do but to pocket my gold!
                            _William Aytoun._


THE LAY OF THE LOVELORN

    COMRADES, you may pass the rosy. With permission of the chair,
    I shall leave you for a little, for I’d like to take the air.

    Whether ’twas the sauce at dinner, or that glass of ginger-beer,
    Or these strong cheroots, I know not, but I feel a little queer.

    Let me go. Nay, Chuckster, blow me, ’pon my soul, this is too bad!
    When you want me, ask the waiter; he knows where I’m to be had.

    Whew! This is a great relief now! Let me but undo my stock;
    Resting here beneath the porch, my nerves will steady like a rock.

    In my ears I hear the singing of a lot of favourite tunes—
    Bless my heart, how very odd! Why surely there’s a brace of moons!

    See! the stars! how bright they twinkle, winking with a frosty glare,
    Like my faithless cousin Amy when she drove me to despair.

    Oh, my cousin, spider-hearted! Oh, my Amy! No, confound it,
    I must wear the mournful willow,—all around my heart I’ve bound it!

    Falser than the bank of fancy, frailer than a shining glove,
    Puppet to a father’s anger, minion to a nabob’s love!

    Is it well to wish thee happy? Having known me, could you ever
    Stoop to marry half a heart, and a little more than half a liver?

    Happy! Damme! Thou shalt lower to his level day by day,
    Changing from the best of china to the commonest of clay.

    As the husband is, the wife is,—he is stomach-plagued and old;
    And his curry soups will make thy cheek the color of his gold.

    When his feeble love is sated, he will hold thee surely then
    Something lower than his hookah,—something less than his cayenne.

    What is this? His eyes are pinky. Was ’t the claret? Oh, no, no,—
    Bless your soul! it was the salmon,—salmon always makes him so.

    Take him to thy dainty chamber—soothe him with thy lightest fancies;
    He will understand thee, won’t he?—pay thee with a lover’s glances?

    Louder than the loudest trumpet, harsh as harshest ophicleide,
    Nasal respirations answer the endearments of his bride.

    Sweet repose, delightful music! Gaze upon thy noble charge,
    Till the spirit fill thy bosom that inspired the meek Laffarge.

    Better thou wert dead before me,—better, better that I stood,
    Looking on thy murdered body, like the injured Daniel Good!

    Better thou and I were lying, cold and timber-stiff and dead,
    With a pan of burning charcoal underneath our nuptial bed!

    Cursed be the Bank of England’s notes, that tempt the soul to sin!
    Cursed be the wants of acres,—doubly cursed the want of tin!

    Cursed be the marriage-contract, that enslaved thy soul to greed!
    Cursed be the sallow lawyer that prepared and drew the deed!

    Cursed be his foul apprentice, who the loathsome fees did earn!
    Cursed be the clerk and parson,—cursed be the whole concern!

    Oh, ’tis well that I should bluster,—much I’m like to make of that;
    Better comfort have I found in singing “All Around my Hat.”

    But that song, so wildly plaintive, palls upon my British ears.
    ’Twill not do to pine for ever,—I am getting up in years.

    Can’t I turn the honest penny, scribbling for the weekly press,
    And in writing Sunday libels drown my private wretchedness?

    Oh, to feel the wild pulsation that in manhood’s dawn I knew,
    When my days were all before me, and my years were twenty-two!

    When I smoked my independent pipe along the Quadrant wide,
    With the many larks of London flaring up on every side;

    When I went the pace so wildly, caring little what might come;
    Coffee-milling care and sorrow with a nose-adapted thumb;

    Felt the exquisite enjoyment, tossing nightly off, oh, heavens!
    Brandies at the Cider Cellars, kidneys smoking hot at Evans’!

    Or in the Adelphi sitting, half in rapture, half in tears,
    Saw the glorious melodrama conjure up the shades of years!

    Saw Jack Sheppard, noble stripling, act his wondrous feats again,
    Snapping Newgate’s bars of iron, like an infant’s daisy chain.

    Might was right, and all the terrors, which had held the world in awe,
    Were despised, and priggings prospered, spite of Laurie, spite of law.

    In such scenes as these I triumphed, ere my passion’s edge was rusted,
    And my cousin’s cold refusal left me very much disgusted!

    Since, my heart is sere and withered, and I do not care a curse
    Whether worse shall be the better, or the better be the worse.

    Hark! my merry comrades call me, bawling for another jorum;
    They would mock me in derision, should I thus appear before ’em.

    Womankind shall no more vex me, such at least as go arrayed
    In the most expensive satins and the newest silk brocade.

    I’ll to Afric, lion-haunted, where the giant forest yields
    Rarer robes and finer tissue than are sold at Spitalfields.

    Or to burst all chains of habit, flinging habit’s self aside
    I shall walk the tangled jungle in mankind’s primeval pride;

    Feeding on the luscious berries and the rich cassava root,
    Lots of dates and lots of guavas, clusters of forbidden fruit.

    Never comes the trader thither, never o’er the purple main
    Sounds the oath of British commerce, or the accent of Cockaigne.

    There, methinks, would be enjoyment, where no envious rule prevents;
    Sink the Steamboats! cuss the railways! rot, oh, rot the Three per
              Cents!

    There the passions, cramped no longer, shall have space to breathe,
              my cousin!
    I will wed some savage woman—nay, I’ll wed at least a dozen.

    There I’ll rear my young mulattoes, as no Bond Street brats are
              reared;
    They shall dive for alligators, catch the wild goats by the beard—

    Whistle to the cockatoos, and mock the hairy-faced baboon,
    Worship mighty Mumbo Jumbo in the Mountains of the Moon.

    I myself, in far Timbuctoo, leopard’s blood will daily quaff,
    Ride a tiger-hunting, mounted on a thorough-bred giraffe.

    Fiercely shall I shout the war-whoop, as some sullen stream he
              crosses,
    Startling from their noonday slumbers iron-bound rhinoceroses.

    Fool! again the dream, the fancy! But I know my words are mad,
    For I hold the gray barbarian lower than the Christian cad.

    I the swell—the city dandy! I to seek such horrid places,—
    I to haunt with squalid negroes, blubber-lips, and monkey-faces.

    I to wed with Coromantees! I, who managed—very near—
    To secure the heart and fortune of the widow Shillibeer!

    Stuff and nonsense! let me never fling a single chance away;
    Maids ere now, I know, have loved me, and another maiden may.

    _Morning Post_ (_The Times_ won’t trust me) help me, as I know you
              can;
    I will pen an advertisement,—that’s a never failing plan.

    “Wanted—by a bard, in wedlock, some young interesting woman;
    Looks are not so much an object, if the shiners be forthcoming!

    “Hymen’s chains the advertiser vows shall be but silken fetters;
    Please address to A. T., Chelsea. N. B.—You must pay the letters.”

    That’s the sort of thing to do it. Now I’ll go and taste the balmy,—
    Rest thee with thy yellow nabob, spider-hearted Cousin Amy!
                                                    _William Aytoun._


IN IMMEMORIAM

    WE seek to know, and knowing seek;
    We seek, we know, and every sense
    Is trembling with the great Intense
    And vibrating to what we speak.

    We ask too much, we seek too oft,
    We know enough, and should no more;
    And yet we skim through Fancy’s lore
    And look to earth and not aloft.

    A something comes from out the gloom;
    I know it not, nor seek to know;
    I only see it swell and grow,
    And more than this world would presume.

    Meseems, a circling void I fill,
    And I, unchanged where all is changed;
    It seems unreal; I own it strange,
    Yet nurse the thoughts I cannot kill.

    I hear the ocean’s surging tide,
    Raise quiring on its carol-tune;
    I watch the golden-sickled moon,
    And clearer voices call besides.

    O Sea! whose ancient ripples lie
    On red-ribbed sands where seaweeds shone;
    O Moon! whose golden sickle’s gone;
    O Voices all! like ye I die!
                            _Cuthbert Bede._


SIR EGGNOGG

    FORTH from the purple battlements he fared,
    Sir Eggnogg of the Rampant Lily, named
    From that embrasure of his argent shield
    Given by a thousand leagues of heraldry
    On snuffy parchments drawn. So forth he fared,
    By bosky boles and autumn leaves he fared,
    Where grew the juniper with berries black,
    The sphery mansions of the future gin.
    But naught of this decoyed his mind, so bent
    On fair Miasma, Saxon-blooded girl,
    Who laughed his loving lullabies to scorn,
    And would have snatched his hero-sword to deck
    Her haughty brow, or warm her hands withal,
    So scornful she; and thence Sir Eggnogg cursed
    Between his teeth, and chewed his iron boots
    In spleen of love. But ere the morn was high
    In the robustious heaven, the postern-tower
    Clang to the harsh, discordant, slivering scream
    Of the tire-woman, at the window bent
    To dress her crispéd hair. She saw, ah, woe!
    The fair Miasma, overbalanced, hurled
    O’er the flamboyant parapet which ridged
    The muffled coping of the castle’s peak,
    Prone on the ivory pavement of the court,
    Which caught and cleft her fairest skull, and sent
    Her rosy brains to fleck the Orient floor.
    This saw Sir Eggnogg, in his stirrups poised.
    Saw he and cursed, with many a deep-mouthed oath,
    And, finding nothing more could reunite
    The splintered form of fair Miasma, rode
    On his careering palfrey to the wars,
    And there found death, another death than hers.
                            _Bayard Taylor._


GODIVA

    “I waited for the Train at Coventry,”
    The Train was several hundred years too late
    (It had not been invented yet, you see);
    Such is the Cold Cast Irony of Fate.
    At last the Train arrived, and with it too
    Your Book—a Precious Package marked “collect.”
    Raptured I read it through and through, and through,
    And then I paused in sadness to reflect—
    How that same Book had been a priceless boon,
    But for a little accident of Date;
    If only I had not been born so soon,
    Or if you had not gone to press so late.
    O Book, if only you had come to me
    Ere I rode forth upon that morning sad!
    In naught but Faith and Hope and Charity,
    And other Vague Abstractions thinly clad;
    In whole Editions I would have invested
    (I hope you get good Royalties therefrom),
    To keep the naughty townfolk interested
    And most Particularly, Peeping Tom.
                            _Oliver Herford._


A LAUREATE’S LOG

(_Rough-weather notes from the New Birthday-Book_)

MONDAY

    IF you’re waking, please don’t call me, please don’t call me, Currie
              dear,
    For they tell me that to-morrow toward the open we’re to steer!
    No doubt, for you and those aloft, the maddest merriest way,—
    But I always feel best in a bay, Currie,
    I always feel best in a bay.

TUESDAY

    Take, take, take?
    What will I take for tea?
    The thinnest slice—no butter,
    And that’s quite enough for me.

WEDNESDAY

    It is the little roll within the berth
    That, by and by, will put an end to mirth,
    And, never ceasing, slowly prostrate all.

THURSDAY

    Let me alone! What pleasure can you have
    In chaffing evil? Tell me what’s the fun
    Of ever climbing up the climbing wave?

    All you, the rest, you know how to behave
    In roughish weather! I, for one
    Ask for the shore—or death, dark death,—
    I am so done.

FRIDAY

    Twelve knots an hour! But what am I?
      A poet with no land in sight,
      Insisting that he feels “all right,”
    With half a smile and half a sigh.

SATURDAY

    Comfort? Comfort scorned of lubbers! Hear this truth the Poet roar,
    That a sorrow’s crown of sorrows is remembering days on shore.
    Drug his soda lest he learn it when the foreland gleams a speck
    In the dead unhappy night, when he can’t sit up on deck!

SUNDAY

    Ah! you’ve called me nice and early, nice and early, Currie dear!
    What? Really in? Well, come, the news I’m precious glad to hear;
    For though in such good company I willingly would stay—
    I’m glad to be back in the bay, Currie,
    I’m glad to be back in the bay.
                                 _Punch._


THE RECOGNITION

    HOME they brought her sailor son,
      Grown a man across the sea,
    Tall and broad and black of beard,
      And hoarse of voice as man may be.

    Hand to shake and mouth to kiss,
      Both he offered ere he spoke;
    But she said—“What man is this
      Comes to play a sorry joke?”

    Then they praised him—call’d him “smart,”
      “Tightest lad that ever stept;”
    But her son she did not know,
      And she neither smiled nor wept.

    Rose, a nurse of ninety years,
      Set a pigeon-pie in sight;
    She saw him eat—“’Tis he! ’tis he!”
      She knew him—by his appetite!
                            _William Sawyer._


THE HIGHER PANTHEISM IN A NUTSHELL

    ONE, who is not, we see; but one, whom we see not, is;
    Surely this is not that: but that is assuredly this.

    What, and wherefore, and whence? for under is over and under;
    If thunder could be without lightning, lightning could be without
              thunder.

    Doubt is faith in the main: but faith, on the whole, is doubt;
    We cannot believe by proof: but could we believe without?

    Why, and whither, and how? for barley and rye are not clover;
    Neither are straight lines curves: yet over is under and over.

    Two and two may be four: but four and four are not eight;
    Fate and God may be twain: but God is the same thing as fate.

    Ask a man what he thinks, and get from a man what he feels;
    God, once caught in the fact, shews you a fair pair of heels.

    Body and spirit are twins: God only knows which is which;
    The soul squats down in the flesh, like a tinker drunk in a ditch.

    One and two are not one: but one and nothing is two;
    Truth can hardly be false, if falsehood cannot be true.

    Once the mastodon was: pterodactyls were common as cocks;
    Then the mammoth was God: now is He a prize ox.

    Parallels all things are: yet many of these are askew.
    You are certainly I: but certainly I am not you.

    Springs the rock from the plain, shoots the stream from the rock;
    Cocks exist for the hen: but hens exist for the cock.

    God, whom we see not, is: and God, who is not, we see;
    Fiddle, we know, is diddle: and diddle, we take it, is dee.
                            _Algernon Charles Swinburne._


TIMBUCTOO.—PART I.


_The situation._

    IN Africa (a Quarter of the World),                          1
    Men’s skins are black, their hair is crisp and curl’d,
    And somewhere there, unknown to public view,
    A mighty city lies, called Timbuctoo.

_The natural history._

    There stalks the tiger,—there the lion roars,                5
    Who sometimes eats the luckless blackamoors;
    All that he leaves of them the monster throws
    To jackals, vultures, dogs, cats, kites, and crows;
    His hunger thus the forest monster gluts,
    And then lies down ’neath trees called cocoa-nuts.          10

_The lion hunt._

    Quick issue out, with musket, torch, and brand,
    The sturdy blackamoors, a dusky band!
    The beast is found—pop goes the musketoons—
    The lion falls covered with horrid wounds.

_Their lives at home._

    At home their lives in pleasure always flow,                15
    But many have a different lot to know!


_Abroad._

    They’re often caught and sold as slaves, alas!


_Reflections on the foregoing._

    Thus men from highest joy to sorrow pass;
    Yet though thy monarch and thy nobles boil
    Rack and molasses in Jamaica’s isle,                        20
    Desolate Africa! thou art lovely yet!
    One heart yet beats which ne’er thee shall forget.

    What though thy maidens are a blackish brown,
    Does virtue dwell in whiter breasts alone?
    Oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no, oh no!                          25
    It shall not, must not, cannot, e’er be so.
    The day shall come when Albion’s self shall feel
    Stern Afric’s wrath, and writhe ’neath Afric’s steel.

    I see her tribes the hill of glory mount,
    And sell their sugars on their own account;                 30
    While round her throne the prostrate nations come,
    Sue for her rice, and barter for her rum!


    Notes.—Lines 1 and 2.—See Guthrie’s Geography. The
    site of Timbuctoo is doubtful; the author has neatly
    expressed this in the poem, at the same time giving us
    some slight hints relative to its situation.

    Line 5.—So Horace: leonum arida nutrix.

    Line 13.—“Pop goes the musketoons.” A learned friend
    suggested “Bang” as a stronger expression, but as
    African gunpowder is notoriously bad, the author
    thought “Pop” the better word.

    Lines 15-18.—A concise but affecting description is
    here given of the domestic habits of the people. The
    infamous manner in which they are entrapped and sold
    as slaves is described, and the whole ends with an
    appropriate moral sentiment. The enthusiasm the author
    feels is beautifully expressed in lines 25 and 26.

                                        _W. M. Thackeray._



AFTER TUPPER


OF FRIENDSHIP

    CHOOSE judiciously thy friends; for to discard them is undesirable,
    Yet it is better to drop thy friends, O my daughter, than to drop
              thy H’s.
    Dost thou know a wise woman? yea, wiser than the children of light?
    Hath she a position? and a title? and are her parties in the _Morning
              Post_?
    If thou dost, cleave unto her, and give up unto her thy body and
              mind;
    Think with her ideas, and distribute thy smiles at her bidding:
    So shalt thou become like unto her; and thy manners shall be
              “formed,”
    And thy name shall be a Sesame, at which the doors of the great shall
              fly open:
    Thou shalt know every Peer, his arms, and the date of his creation,
    His pedigree and their intermarriages, and cousins to the sixth
              remove:
    Thou shalt kiss the hand of Royalty, and lo! in next morning’s
              papers,
    Side by side with rumors of wars, and stories of shipwrecks and
              sieges,
    Shall appear thy name, and the minutiæ of thy head-dress and
              petticoat,
    For an enraptured public to muse upon over their matutinal muffin.
                                                  _Charles S. Calverley._


OF READING

    READ not Milton, for he is dry; nor Shakespeare, for he wrote of
              common life;
    Nor Scott, for his romances, though fascinating, are yet
              intelligible;
    Nor Thackeray, for he is a Hogarth, a photographer who flattereth
              not;
    Nor Kingsley, for he shall teach thee that thou shouldest not dream,
              but do.
    Read incessantly thy Burke; that Burke who, nobler than he of old,
    Treateth of the Peer and Peeress, the truly Sublime and Beautiful;
    Likewise study the “creations” of “the Prince of modern Romance;”
    Sigh over Leonard the Martyr, and smile on Pelham the puppy;
    Learn how “love is the dram-drinking of existence;”
    And how we “invoke, in the Gadara of our still closets,
    The beautiful ghost of the Ideal, with the simple wand of the pen.”
    Listen how Maltravers and the orphan “forgot all but love,”
    And how Devereux’s family chaplain “made and unmade kings;”
    How Eugene Aram, though a thief, a liar, and a murderer,
    Yet, being intellectual, was amongst the noblest of mankind;
    So shalt thou live in a world peopled with heroes and master spirits
    And if thou canst not realize the Ideal, thou shalt at least
              idealize the Real.
                                                _Charles S. Calverley._



AFTER THACKERAY


THE WILLOW-TREE

(_Another version_)

    LONG by the willow-trees
      Vainly they sought her,
    Wild rang the mother’s screams
      O’er the gray water:
    “Where is my lovely one?
      Where is my daughter?

    “Rouse thee, Sir Constable—
      Rouse thee and look;
    Fisherman, bring your net,
      Boatman, your hook.
    Beat in the lily-beds,
      Dive in the brook!”

    Vainly the constable
      Shouted and called her;
    Vainly the fisherman
      Beat the green alder;
    Vainly he flung the net,
      Never it hauled her!

    Mother beside the fire
      Sat, her nightcap in;
    Father, in easy chair,
      Gloomily napping,
    When at the window-sill
      Came a light tapping!

    And a pale countenance
      Looked through the casement,
    Loud beat the mother’s heart,
      Sick with amazement,
    And at the vision which
      Came to surprise her,
    Shrieked in an agony—
      “Lor’! it’s Elizar!”

    Yes, ’twas Elizabeth—
      Yes, ’twas their girl;
    Pale was her cheek, and her
      Hair out of curl.
    “Mother,” the loving one,
      Blushing exclaimed,
    “Let not your innocent
      Lizzy be blamed.

    “Yesterday, going to Aunt
      Jones’s to tea,
    Mother, dear mother, I
      Forgot the door-key!
    And as the night was cold
      And the way steep,
    Mrs. Jones kept me to
      Breakfast and sleep.”

    Whether her Pa and Ma
      Fully believed her,
    That we shall never know,
      Stern they received her;
    And for the work of that
      Cruel, though short, night
    Sent her to bed without
      Tea for a fortnight.

MORAL

        Hey diddle diddlety,
        Cat and the fiddlety,
    Maidens of England, take caution by she!
        Let love and suicide
        Never tempt you aside,
    And always remember to take the door-key.
                            _W. M. Thackeray._



AFTER CHARLES DICKENS


MAN’S PLACE IN NATURE

(_Dedicated to Darwin and Huxley_)

    THEY told him gently he was made
      Of nicely tempered mud,
    That man no lengthened part had played
      Anterior to the Flood.
    ’Twas all in vain; he heeded not,
      Referring plant and worm,
    Fish, reptile, ape, and Hottentot,
      To one primordial germ.

    They asked him whether he could bear
      To think his kind allied
    To all those brutal forms which were
      In structure Pithecoid;
    Whether he thought the apes and us
      Homologous in form;
    He said, “Homo and Pithecus
      Came from one common germ.”

    They called him “atheistical,”
      “Sceptic,” and “infidel.”
    They swore his doctrines without fail
      Would plunge him into hell.
    But he with proofs in no way lame.
      Made this deduction firm,
    That all organic beings came
      From one primordial germ.

    That as for the Noachian flood,
      ’Twas long ago disproved,
    That as for man being made of mud,
      All by whom truth is loved
    Accept as fact what, _malgré_ strife,
      Research tends to confirm—
    That man, and everything with life,
      Came from one common germ.
                            _Anonymous._



AFTER ROBERT BROWNING


HOME TRUTHS FROM ABROAD


I

        “OH! to be in England
        Now that April’s there.
        And whoever wakes in England
        Sees some morning” in despair;
    There’s a horrible fog i’ the heart o’ the town,
    And the greasy pavement is damp and brown,
    While the rain-drop falls from the laden bough
        In England——now!

II

    “And after April when May follows,”
    How foolish seem the returning swallows.
    Hark! how the east wind sweeps along the street,
    And how we give one universal sneeze!
    The hapless lambs at thought of mint-sauce bleat,
    And ducks are conscious of the coming peas.
    Lest you should think the Spring is really present,
    A biting frost will come to make things pleasant;
    And though the reckless flowers begin to blow,
    They’d better far have nestled down below;
    An English Spring sets men and women frowning,
    Despite the rhapsodies of Robert Browning.
                            _Anonymous._


AFTER BROWNING

    NOT that I care for ceremonies—no;
    But still there are occasions, as you see
    (Observe the costumes—gallantly they show
    To my poor judgment!) which, twixt you and me,
    Not to come forth, one’s few remaining hairs,
    Or wig,—it matters little,—bravely brushed
    And oiled, dress-coated, sprucely-clad, the tears
    And tweaks and wrenches, people overflushed
    With—well, not wine—oh, no, we’ll rather say
    Anticipation, the delight of seeing
    No matter what! inflict upon you (pray
    Remove your elbow, friend!) in spite of being
    Not quite the man one used to be, and not
    So young as once one was, would argue one
    Churlish, indifferent, hipped, rheumatic, what
    You please to say.

                  So, not to spoil the fun—
    Comprenez-vous?—observe that lady there,
    In native worth! Aha! you see the jest?
    Not bad, I think. My own, too! Woman’s fair.
    Or not—the odds so long as she is dressed?
    They’re coming! Soh! Ha, Bennett’s Barcarole—
    A poor thing, but mine own! That minor third
    Is not so bad now! Mum, sirs! (Bless my soul,
    I wonder what her veil cost!) Mum’s the word!
                            _Anonymous._


THE COCK AND THE BULL

    YOU see this pebble-stone? It’s a thing I bought
    Off a bit of a chit of a boy i’ the mid o’ the day.
    I like to dock the smaller parts o’ speech,
    As we curtail the already cur-tail’d cur—
    (You catch the paronomasia, play ’po’ words?)
    Did, rather, i’ the pre-Landseerian days.
    Well, to my muttons. I purchased the concern,
    And clapt it i’ my poke, having given for same
    By way o’ chop, swop, barter or exchange—
    “Chop” was my snickering dandiprat’s own term—
    One shilling and fourpence, current coin o’ the realm.
    O-n-e one, and f-o-u-r four
    Pence, one and fourpence—you are with me, sir?—
    What hour it skills not: ten or eleven o’ the clock,
    One day (and what a roaring day it was
    Go shop or sight-see—bar a spit o’ rain!)
    In February, eighteen sixty-nine,
    Alexandria Victoria, Fidei—
    Hm—hm—how runs the jargon? being on the throne.

    Such, sir, are all the facts, succinctly put,
    The basis or substratum—what you will will—
    Of the impending eighty thousand lines.
    “Not much in ’em either,” quoth perhaps simple Hodge.
    But there’s a superstructure. Wait a bit.
    Mark first the rationale of the thing:
    Hear logic rivel and levigate the deed.
    That shilling—and for matter o’ that, the pence—
    I had o’ course upo’ me—wi’ me say—
    (_Mecum_’s the Latin, make a note o’ that)
    When I popp’d pen i’ stand, scratch’d ear, wiped snout,
    (Let everybody wipe his own himself)
    Sniff’d—tch!—at snuff-box; tumbled up, ne-heed,
    Haw-haw’d (not hee-haw’d, that’s another guess thing),
    Then fumbled at, and stumbled out of, door.
    I shoved the timber ope wi’ my omoplat;
    And _in vestibulo_, i’ the lobby to wit
    (Iacobi Facciolati’s rendering, sir),
    Donn’d galligaskins, antigropeloes,
    And so forth; and, complete with hat and gloves,
    One on and one a-dangle i’ my hand,
    And ombrifuge (Lord love you!), case o’ rain,
    I flopp’d forth, ’sbuddikins! on my own ten toes
    (I do assure you there be ten of them),
    And went clump-clumping up hill and down dale
    To find myself o’ the sudden i’ front o’ the boy.
    But case I hadn’t ’em on me, could I ha’ bought
    This sort-o’-kind-o’-what-you-might-call toy,
    This pebble thing, o’ the boy-thing? Q. E. D.
    That’s proven without aid from mumping Pope,
    Sleek porporate or bloated Cardinal.
    (Isn’t it, old Fatchaps? You’re in Euclid now.)
    So, having the shilling—having i’ fact a lot—
    And pence and halfpence, ever so many o’ them,
    I purchased, as I think I said before,
    The pebble (_lapis_, _lapidis_, _-di_, _-dem_, _-de_—
    What nouns ’crease short i’ the genitive, Fatchaps, eh?)
    O’ the boy, a bare-legg’d beggarly son of a gun,
    for one and fourpence. Here we are again.

    Now Law steps in, bigwigg’d, voluminous-jaw’d;
    Investigates and re-investigates.
    Was the transaction illegal? Law shakes head
    Perpend, sir, all the bearings of the case.

    At first the coin was mine, the chattel his.
    But now (by virtue of the said exchange
    And barter) _vice versa_ all the coin,
    _Per juris operationem_, vests
    I’ the boy and his assigns till ding o’ doom;
    (_In sæcula sæculo-o-o-rum_;
    I think I hear the Abate mouth out that.)
    To have and hold the same to him and them.
    _Confer_ some idiot on Conveyancing.

    Whereas the pebble and every part thereof,
    And all that appertaineth thereunto,
    _Quodcunque pertinet ad eam rem_
    (I fancy, sir, my Latin’s rather pat),
    Or shall, will, may, might, can, could, would or should
    (_Subaudi cætera_—clap we to the close—
    For what’s the good of Law in a case o’ the kind),
    Is mine to all intents and purposes.
    This settled, I resume the thread o’ the tale.
    Now for a touch o’ the vendor’s quality.
    He says a gen’lman bought a pebble of him
    (This pebble i’ sooth, sir, which I hold i’ my hand),
    And paid for’t, _like_ a gen’lman, on the nail.
    “Did I o’ercharge him a ha’penny? Devil a bit.
    Fiddlepin’s end! Get out, you blazing ass!
    Gabble o’ the goose. Don’t bugaboo-baby _me_!
    Go double or quits? Yah! tittup! what’s the odds?”
    There’s the transaction view’d i’ the vendor’s light.

    Next ask that dumpled hag, stood snuffling by,
    With her three frowsy blowsy brats o’ babes,
    The scum o’ the kennel, cream o’ the filth-heap—Faugh!
    Aie, aie, aie, aie! οτοτοτοτοτοἱ
    (’Stead which we blurt out Hoighty toighty now),
    And the baker and candlestickmaker, and Jack and Jill,
    Blear’d Goody this and queasy Gaffer that.
    Ask the schoolmaster. Take schoolmaster first.

    He saw a gentleman purchase of a lad
    A stone, and pay for it _rite_, on the square,
    And carry it off _per saltum_, jauntily,
    _Propria quae maribus_, gentleman’s property now
    (Agreeably to the law explain’d above),
    _In proprium usum_, for his private ends,
    The boy he chuck’d a brown i’ the air, and bit
    I’ the face the shilling; heaved a thumping stone
    At a lean hen that ran cluck clucking by
    (And hit her, dead as nail i’ post o’ door),
    Then _abiit_—what’s the Ciceronian phrase?—
    _Excessit, evasit, erupit_—off slogs boy;
    Off like bird, _avi similis_—(you observed
    The dative? Pretty i’ the Mantuan!)—_Anglice_
    Off in three flea skips. _Hactenus_, so far,
    So good, _tam bene_. _Bene, satis, male_,—
    Where was I with my trope ’bout one in a quag?
    I did once hitch the syntax into verse:
    _Verbum personale_, a verb personal,
    _Concordat_—ay, “agrees,” old Fatchaps—_cum
    Nominativo_, with its nominative,
    _Genere_, i’ point o’ gender, _numero_,
    O’ number, _et persona_, and person. _Ut_,
    Instance: _Sol ruit_, down flops sun, _et_, and,
    _Montes umbrantur_, out flounce mountains. Pah!
    Excuse me, sir, I think I’m going mad.
    You see the trick on’t though, and can yourself
    Continue the discourse _ad libitum_.
    It takes up about eighty thousand lines,
    A thing imagination boggles at;
    And might, odds-bobs, sir! in judicious hands,
    Extend from here to Mesopotamy.
                            _Charles S. Calverley._


A STACCATO TO O LE LUPE

    O LE LUPE, Gelett Burgess, this is very sad to find;
    In the _Bookman_ for September, in a manner most unkind,
    There appears a half-page picture, makes me think
    I’ve lost my mind.

    They have reproduced a window,—Doxey’s window (I dare say
    In your rambles you have seen it, passed it twenty times a day),—
    As “A Novel Exhibition of Examples of Decay.”

    There is Nordau we all sneer at, and Verlaine we all adore,
    And a little book of verses with its betters by the score,
    With three faces on the cover I believe I’ve seen before.

    Well, here’s matter for reflection, makes me wonder where I am.
    Here is Ibsen the gray lion, linked to Beardsley the black lamb.
    I was never out of Boston; all that I can say is, “Damn!”

    Who could think, in two short summers we should cause so much remark,
    With no purpose but our pastime, and to make the public hark,
    When I soloed on THE CHAP-BOOK, and you answered with THE LARK!

    Do young people take much pleasure when they read that sort of thing?
    “Well, they buy it,” answered Doxey, “and I take what it will bring.
    Publishers may dread extinction—not with such fads on the string.

    “There is always sale for something, and demand for what is new.
    These young people who are restless, and have nothing else to do,
    Like to think there is ‘a movement,’ just to keep themselves in view.

    “There is nothing in Decadence but the magic of a name.
    People talk and papers drivel, scent a vice, and hint a shame;
    And all that is good for business, helps to boom my little game.”

    But when I sit down to reason, think to stand upon my nerve,
    Meditate on portly leisure with a balance in reserve,
    In he comes with his “Decadence!” like a fly in my preserve.

    I can see myself, O Burgess, half a century from now,
    Laid to rest among the ghostly, like a broken toy somehow;
    All my lovely songs and ballads vanished with your “Purple Cow.”

    But I will return some morning, though I know it will be hard,
    To Cornhill among the bookstalls, and surprise some minor bard;
    Turning over their old rubbish for the treasures we discard.

    I shall warn him like a critic, creeping when his back is turned:
    “Ink and paper, dead and done with; Doxey spent what Doxey earned;
    Poems doubtless are immortal where a poem can be discerned!”

    How his face will go to ashes, when he feels his empty purse!
    How he’ll wish his vogue were greater,—plume himself it is no worse;
    Then go bother the dear public with his puny little verse!

    Don’t I know how he will pose it, patronize our larger time:
    “Poor old Browning; little Kipling; what attempts they made to rhyme!”
    Just let me have half an hour with that nincompoop sublime!

    I will haunt him like a purpose, I will ghost him like a fear;
    When he least expects my presence, I’ll be mumbling in his ear:
    “O Le Lupe lived in Frisco, and I lived in Boston here.

    “Never heard of us? Good heavens, can you never have been told
    Of the Larks we used to publish, and the Chap-Books that we sold?
    Where are all our first editions?” I feel damp and full of mould.
                                            _Bliss Carman._


BY THE SEA

_Mutatis Mutandis_

    IS it life or is it death?
      A whiff of the cool salt scum,
    As the whole sea puffed its breath
      Against you,—blind and dumb:
    This way it answereth.

    Nearer the sands it shows
      Spotted and leprous tints;
    But stay! yon fisher knows
      Rock-tokens, which evince
    How high the tide arose.

    How high? In you and me
      ’Twas falling then, I think;
    Open your heart’s eyes, see
      From just so slight a chink
    The chasm that now must be.

    You sighed and shivered then.
      Blue ecstasies of June
    Around you, shouts of fishermen,
      Sharp wings of sea gulls, soon
    To dip—the clock struck ten!

    Was it the cup too full,
      To carry it you grew
    Too faint, the wine’s hue dull
      (Dulness, misjudged untrue!),
    Love’s flower unfit to cull?

    You should have held me fast
      One moment, stopped my pace.
    Crushed down the feeble, vast
      Suggestions of embrace,
    And so be crowned at last.

    But now! Bare-legged and brown
      Bait-diggers delve the sand,
    Tramp i’ the sunshine down
      Burnt-ochre vestured land,
    And yonder stares the town.

    A heron screams! I shut
      This book of scurf and scum,
    Its final pages uncut;
      The sea-beast, blind and dumb,
    Done with his bellowing? All but!
                            _Bayard Taylor._


ANGELO ORDERS HIS DINNER

    I, ANGELO, obese, black-garmented,
    Respectable, much in demand, well fed
    With mine own larder’s dainties, where, indeed,
    Such cakes of myrrh or fine alyssum seed,
    Thin as a mallow-leaf, embrowned o’ the top.
    Which, cracking, lets the ropy, trickling drop
    Of sweetness touch your tongue, or potted nests
    Which my recondite recipe invests
    With cold conglomerate tidbits—ah, the bill!
    (You say), but given it were mine to fill
    My chests, the case so put were yours, we’ll say
    (This counter, here, your post, as mine to-day),
    And you’ve an eye to luxuries, what harm
    In smoothing down your palate with the charm
    Yourself concocted? There we issue take;
    And see! as thus across the rim I break
    This puffy paunch of glazed embroidered cake,
    So breaks, through use, the lust of watering chaps
    And craveth plainness: do I so? Perhaps;
    But that’s my secret. Find me such a man
    As Lippo yonder, built upon the plan
    Of heavy storage, double-navelled, fat
    From his own giblet’s oils, an Ararat
    Uplift o’er water, sucking rosy draughts
    From Noah’s vineyard,—crisp, enticing wafts
    Yon kitchen now emits, which to your sense
    Somewhat abate the fear of old events,
    Qualms to the stomach,—I, you see, am slow
    Unnecessary duties to forego,—
    You understand? A venison haunch, _haut gout_.
    Ducks that in Cimbrian olives mildly stew.
    And sprigs of anise, might one’s teeth provoke
    To taste, and so we wear the complex yoke
    Just as it suits,—my liking, I confess,
    More to receive, and to partake no less,
    Still more obese, while through thick adipose
    Sensation shoots, from testing tongue to toes
    Far off, dim-conscious, at the body’s verge,
    Where the froth-whispers of its waves emerge
    On the untasting sand. Stay, now! a seat
    Is bare: I, Angelo, will sit and eat.
                            _Bayard Taylor._


THE FLIGHT OF THE BUCKET

    _PRE-ADMONISHETH the writer_:
    H’m, for a subject it is well enough!
    Who wrote “Sordello” finds no subject tough.

    Well, Jack and Jill—God knows the life they led
    (The poet never told us, more’s the pity)
    Pent up in some damp kennel of their own,
    Beneath the hillside; but it once befell
    That Jack and Jill, niece, cousin, uncle, aunt
    (Some one of all the brood), would wash and scour,
    Rinse out a cess-pit, swab the kennel floor,
    And water (_liquor vitae_, Lawson calls,
    But I—I hold by whisky. Never mind;
    I didn’t mean to hurt your feelings, sir,
    And missed the scrap o’ blue at buttonhole),
    Spring water was the needful at the time,
    So they must climb the hill for ’t. Well and good.
    We all climb hills, I take it, on some quest,
    Maybe for less than stinking (I forgot!
    I mean than wholesome) water.... Ferret out
    The rotten bucket from the lumber shed,
    Weave ropes and splice the handle—off they go
    To where the cold spring bubbles up i’ the cleft,
    And sink the bucket brimful in the spate.
    Then downwards—hanging back? (You bet your life
    The girl’s share fell upon Jack’s shoulders.) Down,
    Down to the bottom—all but—trip, slip, squelch!
    And guggle-guggle goes the bucketful
    Back to the earth, and Jack’s a broken head,
    And swears amid the heather does our Jack.
    (A man would swear who watched both blood and bucket,

    One dripping down his forehead, t’ other fled
    _Clinkety-tinkle_, to the stones below,
    A good half-hour’s trudge to get it back.)
    Jack, therefore, as I said, exploded straight
    In brimstone-flavored language. You, of course,
    Maintain he bore it calmly—not a bit.
    A good bucolic curse that rent the cliffs
    And frightened for a moment quaking Jill
    Out of the limp, unmeaning girl’s tee-hee
    That womankind delight in.... Here we end
    The first verse—there’s a deal to study in ’t.

    So much for Jack—but here’s a fate above,
    A cosmic force that blunders into right,
    Just when the strained sense hints at revolution
    Because the world’s great fly-wheel runs aslant—
    And up go Jill’s red kibes. (You think I’m wrong;
    And Fate was napping at the time; perhaps
    You’re right.) We’ll call it Devil’s agency
    That sent the shrieking sister on her head,
    And knocked the tangled locks against the stones.
    Well, down went Jill, but wasn’t hurt. Oh, no!
    The Devil pads the world to suit his own,
    And packs the cards according. Down went Jill
    Unhurt. And Jack trots off to bed, poor brute,
    Fist welted into eyeball, mouth agape
    For yelling,—your bucolic always yells,
    And out of his domestic pharmacy
    Rips forth the cruet-stand, upsets the cat,
    And ravages the store-room for his balm.
    _Eureka!_—but he didn’t use that word—
    A pound of candles, corpse-like, side by side,
    Wrapped up in his medicament. Out, knife!
    Cut string, and strip the shrouding from the lot!
    Steep swift and jam it on the gaping cut;
    Then bedward—cursing man and friends alike.

    Now back to Jill. She wasn’t hurt, I said,
    And all the woman’s spite was up in arms.
    So Jack’s abed. She slips, peeks through the door,
    And sees the split head like a luggage-label,
    Halved, quartered, on the pillow. “Ee-ki-ree,
    Tee-hee-hee-hee,” she giggles through the crack,
    Much as the Roman ladies grinned—don’t smile—
    To see the dabbled bodies in the sand,

    Appealing to their benches for a sign.
    Down thumbs, and giggle louder—so did Jill.
    But mark now! Comes the mother round the door,
    Red-hot from climbing up the hill herself,
    And caught the graceless giggler. Whack! flack! whack!
    Here’s Nemesis whichever way you like!
    She didn’t stop to argue. Given a head
    Broken, a woman chuckling at the door,
    And here’s your circumstantial evidence complete.
    Whack! while Jack sniffs and sniggers from the bed.
    I like that horny-handed mother o’ Jill.
    The world’s best women died, sir, long ago.
    Well, Jack’s avenged; as for the other, gr-r-r-r!
                            _Rudyard Kipling._


THE JAM-POT

    THE Jam-pot—tender thought!
      I grabbed it—so did you.
    “What wonder while we fought
      Together that it flew
    In shivers?” you retort.

    You should have loosed your hold
      One moment—checked your fist.
    But, as it was, too bold
      You grappled and you missed.
    More plainly—you were sold.

    “Well, neither of us shared
      The dainty.” That your plea?
    “Well, neither of us cared,”
      I answer.... “Let me see.
    How have your trousers fared?”
                            _Rudyard Kipling._


IMITATION OF ROBERT BROWNING

    BIRTHDAYS? yes, in a general way;
    For the most if not for the best of men.
    You were born (I suppose) on a certain day,
    So was I; or perhaps in the night, what then?

    Only this: or at least, if more
    You must know, not think it, and learn, not speak;
    There is truth to be found on the unknown shore,
    And many will find where few will seek.

    For many are called and few are chosen,
    And the few grow many as ages lapse.
    But when will the many grow few; what dozen
    Is fused into one by Time’s hammer-taps?

    A bare brown stone in a babbling brook,—
    It was wanton to hurl it there, you say,—
    And the moss, which clung in the sheltered nook
    (Yet the stream runs cooler) is washed away.

    That begs the question; many a prater
    Thinks such a suggestion a sound “stop thief!”
    Which, may I ask, do you think the greater,
    Sergeant-at-arms or a Robber Chief?

    And if it were not so? Still you doubt?
    Ah! yours is a birthday indeed, if so.
    That were something to write a poem about,
    If one thought a little. I only know.

_P. S._

    There’s a Me Society down at Cambridge,
    Where my works, _cum notis variorum_,
    Are talked about; well, I require the same bridge
    That Euclid took toll at as Asinorum.

    And, as they have got through several ditties
    I thought were as stiff as a brick-built wall,
    I’ve composed the above, and a stiff one it is,
    A bridge to stop asses at, once for all.
                            _J. K. Stephen._


THE LAST RIDE TOGETHER

(_From her Point of View_)

    WHEN I had firmly answered “No,”
    And he allowed that that was so,
    I really thought I should be free
    For good and all from Mr. B.,
            And that he would soberly acquiesce.
    I said that it would be discreet
    That for awhile we should not meet;
    I promised that I would always feel
    A kindly interest in his weal;
    I thanked him for his amorous zeal;
            In short, I said all I could but “yes.”

    I said what I’m accustomed to;
    I acted as I always do.
    I promised he should find in me
    A friend,—a sister, if that might be;
            But he was still dissatisfied.
    He certainly was most polite;
    He said exactly what was right,
    He acted very properly,
    Except indeed for this, that he
    insisted on inviting me
            To come with him for “one more last ride.”

    A little while in doubt I stood:
    A ride, no doubt, would do me good;
    I had a habit and a hat
    Extremely well worth looking at;
            The weather was distinctly fine.
    My horse, too, wanted exercise,
    And time, when one is riding, flies;
    Besides, it really seemed, you see,
    The only way of ridding me
    Of pertinacious Mr. B.;
            So my head I graciously incline.

    I won’t say much of what happened next;
    I own I was extremely vexed.
    Indeed I should have been aghast
    If any one had seen what passed;
            But nobody need ever know
    That, as I leaned forward to stir the fire,
    He advanced before I could well retire;
    And I suddenly felt, to my great alarm,
    The grasp of a warm, unlicensed arm,
    An embrace in which I found no charm;
            I was awfully glad when he let me go.

    Then we began to ride; my steed
    Was rather fresh, too fresh indeed,
    And at first I thought of little, save
    The way to escape an early grave,
        As the dust rose up on either side.
    My stern companion jogged along
    On a brown old cob both broad and strong.
    He looked as he does when he’s writing verse,
    Or endeavoring not to swear and curse,
    Or wondering where he has left his purse;
        Indeed it was a sombre ride.

    I spoke of the weather to Mr. B.,
    But he neither listened nor spoke to me.
    I praised his horse, and I smiled the smile
    Which was wont to move him once in a while.
        I said I was wearing his favorite flowers,
    But I wasted my words on the desert air,
    For he rode with a fixed and gloomy stare.
    I wonder what he was thinking about.
    As I don’t read verse, I shan’t find out.
    It was something subtle and deep, no doubt,
        A theme to detain a man for hours.

    Ah! there was the corner where Mr. S.
    So nearly induced me to whisper “yes;”
    And here it was that the next but one
    Proposed on horseback, or would have done,
        Had his horse not most opportunely shied;
    Which perhaps was due to the unseen flick
    He received from my whip; ’t was a scurvy trick,
    But I never could do with that young man,—
    I hope his present young woman can.
    Well, I must say, never, since time began,
        Did I go for a duller or longer ride.

    He never smiles and he never speaks;
    He might go on like this for weeks;
    He rolls a slightly frenzied eye
    Towards the blue and burning sky,
        And the cob bounds on with tireless stride.
    If we aren’t home for lunch at two

    I don’t know what papa will do;
    But I know full well he will say to me,
    “I never approved of Mr. B.;
    It’s the very devil that you and he
        Ride, ride together, forever ride.”
                            _J. K. Stephen._


UP THE SPOUT

I.

    HI! Just you drop that! Stop, I say!
    Shirk work, think slink off, twist friend’s wrist?
      Where that spined sand’s lined band’s the bay—
    Lined blind with true sea’s blue, as due—
      Promising—not to pay?

II.

    For the sea’s debt leaves wet the sand;
      Burst worst fate’s weight’s in one burst gun?
    A man’s own yacht, blown—What? off land?
      Tack back, or veer round here, then—queer!
    Reef points, though—understand?

III.

    I’m blest if I do. Sigh? be blowed!
      Love’s doves make break life’s ropes, eh? Tropes!
    Faith’s brig, baulked, sides caulked, rides at road;
      Hope’s gropes befogged, storm-dogged and bogged—
    Clogged, water-logged, her load!

IV.

    Stowed, by Jove, right and tight, away.
      No show now how best plough sea’s brow,
    Wrinkling—breeze quick, tease thick, ere day,
      Clear sheer wave’s sheen of green, I mean,
    With twinkling wrinkles—eh?

V.

    Sea sprinkles wrinkles, tinkles light
      Shells’ bells—boy’s joys that hap to snap!
    It’s just sea’s fun, breeze done, to spite
      God’s rods that scourge her surge, I’d urge—
    Not proper, is it—quite?

VI.

    See, fore and aft, life’s craft undone!
      Crank plank, split spritsail—mark, sea’s lark!
    That gray cold sea’s old sprees, begun
      When men lay dark i’ the ark, no spark,
    All water—just God’s fun!

VII.

    Not bright, at best, his jest to these
      Seemed—screamed, shrieked, wreaked on kin for sin!
    When for mirth’s yell earth’s knell seemed please
      Some dumb new grim great whim in him
    Made Jews take chalk for cheese.

VIII.

    Could God’s rods bruise God’s Jews? Their jowls
      Bobbed, sobbed, gaped, aped, the plaice in face!
    None heard, ’tis odds, his—God’s—folk’s howls.
      Now, how must I apply, to try
    This hookiest-beaked of owls?

IX.

    Well, I suppose God knows—I don’t.
      Time’s crimes mark dark men’s types, in stripes
    Broad as fen’s lands men’s hands were wont
      Leave grieve unploughed, though proud and loud
    With birds’ words—No! he won’t!

X.

    One never should think good impossible.
      Eh? say I’d hide this Jew’s oil’s cruse—
    His shop might hold bright gold, engrossible
      By spy—spring’s air takes there no care
    To wave the heath-flower’s glossy bell!

XI.

    But gold bells chime in time there, coined—
      Gold! Old Sphinx winks there—‘Read my screed!’
    Doctrine Jews learn, use, burn for, joined
      (Through new craft’s stealth) with health and wealth—
    At once all three purloined!

XII.

    I rose with dawn, to pawn, no doubt,
      (Miss this chance, glance untried aside?)
    John’s shirt, my—no! Ay, so—the lout!
      Let yet the door gape, store on floor
    And not a soul about?

XIII.

    Such men lay traps, perhaps—and I’m
      Weak—meek—mild—child of woe, you know!
    But theft, I doubt, my lout calls crime.
      Shrink? Think! Love’s dawn in pawn—you spawn
    Of Jewry! Just in time!
                       _Algernon Charles Swinburne._



AFTER WHITMAN


AN AMERICAN, ONE OF THE ROUGHS, A KOSMOS

    NATURE, continuous Me!
    Saltness, and vigorous, never torpi-yeast of Me!
    Florid, unceasing, forever expansive;
    Not Schooled, not dizened, not washed and powdered;
    Strait-laced not at all; far otherwise than polite;
    Not modest, nor immodest;
    Divinely tanned and freckled; gloriously unkempt;
    Ultimate yet unceasing; capricious though determined;
    Speak as thou listeth, and tell the askers that which they seek to
              know.
    Thy speech to them will be not quite intelligible.
    Never mind! utter thy wild commonplaces;
    Yawp them loudly, shrilly;
    Silence with shrill noise the lisps of the foo-foos.
    Answer in precise terms of barbaric vagueness
    The question that the Fun editor hath sparked through Atlantic cable
    To W..T W..TM.N, the speaker of the pass-word primeval;
    The signaller of the signal of democracy;
    The seer and hearer of things in general;
    The poet translucent; fleshy, disorderly, sensually inclined;
    Each tag and part of whom is a miracle.
    (Thirteen pages of MS. relating to Mr. W..t W..tm.n are here omitted.)
    Rhapsodically state the fact that is and is not;
    That is not, being past; that is, being eternal;
    If indeed it ever was, which is exactly the point in question.
                                                 _Anonymous._


CAMERADOS

    EVERYWHERE, everywhere, following me;
    Taking me by the buttonhole, pulling off my boots, hustling me with
              the elbows;
    Sitting down with me to clams and the chowder-kettle;
    Plunging naked at my side into the sleek, irascible surges;
    Soothing me with the strain that I neither permit nor prohibit;
    Flocking this way and that, reverent, eager, orotund, irrepressible;
    Denser than sycamore leaves when the north-winds are scouring
              Paumanok;
    What can I do to restrain them? Nothing, verily nothing.
    Everywhere, everywhere, crying aloud for me;
    Crying, I hear; and I satisfy them out of my nature;
    And he that comes at the end of the feast shall find something over.
    Whatever they want I give; though it be something else, they shall
              have it.
    Drunkard, leper, Tammanyite, small-pox and cholera patient, shoddy
              and codfish millionnaire,
    And the beautiful young men, and the beautiful young women, all the
              same,
    Crowding, hundreds of thousands, cosmical multitudes,
    Buss me and hang on my hips and lean up to my shoulders,
    Everywhere listening to my yawp and glad whenever they hear it;
    Everywhere saying, say it, Walt, we believe it:
    Everywhere, everywhere.
                            _Bayard Taylor._


IMITATION OF WALT WHITMAN

    WHO am I?
    I have been reading Walt Whitman, and know not whether he be me, or
              me he;—
    Or otherwise!
    Oh, blue skies! oh, rugged mountains! oh, mighty, rolling Niagara!
    Oh, chaos and everlasting bosh!
    I am a poet; I swear it! If you do not believe it you are a dolt, a
              fool, an idiot!
    Milton, Shakespere, Dante, Tommy Moore, Pope, never, but Byron, too,
              perhaps, and last, not least, Me, and the Poet Close.
    We send our resonance echoing down the adamantine cañons of the
              future!
    We live forever! The worms who criticise us (asses!) laugh, scoff,
              jeer, and babble babble—die!
    Serve them right.
    What is the difference between Judy, the pride of Fleet Street, the
              glory of Shoe Lane, and Walt Whitman?
    Start not! ’Tis no end of a minstrel show who perpends this query;
    ’Tis no brain-racking puzzle from an inner page of the Family
              Herald,
    No charade, acrostic (double or single), conundrum, riddle, rebus,
              anagram, or other guess-work.
    I answer thus: We both write truths—great, stern, solemn,
              unquenchable truths—couched in more or less ridiculous
              language.
    I, as a rule use rhyme, he does not; therefore, I am his Superior
              (which is also a lake in his great and glorious country).
    I scorn, with the unutterable scorn of the despiser of pettiness,
              to take a mean advantage of him.
    He writes, he sells, he is read (more or less); why then should I
              rack my brains and my rhyming dictionary? I will see the
              public hanged first!
    I sing of America, of the United States, of the stars and stripes
              of Oshkosh, of Kalamazoo, and of Salt Lake City.
    I sing of the railroad cars, of the hotels, of the breakfasts, the
              lunches, the dinners, and the suppers;
    Of the soup, the fish, the entrées, the joints, the game, the
              puddings and the ice-cream.
    I sing all—I eat all—I sing in turn of Dr. Bluffem’s Antibilious
              Pills.
    No subject is too small, too insignificant, for Nature’s poet.
    I sing of the cocktail, a new song for every cocktail, hundreds of
              songs, hundreds of cocktails.
    It is a great and a glorious land! The Mississippi, the Missouri,
              and a million other torrents roll their waters to the
              ocean.
    It is a great and glorious land! The Alleghanies, the Catskills, the
              Rockies (see atlas for other mountain ranges too numerous
              to mention) pierce the clouds!
    And the greatest and most glorious product of this great and glorious
              land is Walt Whitman;
    This must be so, for he says it himself.
    There is but one greater than he between the rising and the setting
              sun.
    There is but one before whom he meekly bows his humbled head.
    Oh, great and glorious land, teeming producer of all things, creator
              of Niagara, and inventor of Walt Whitman,
    Erase your national advertisements of liver pads and cures for
              rheumatism from your public monuments, and inscribe thereon
              in letters of gold the name _Judy_.
                                                             _Judy._


IMITATION OF WALT WHITMAN

    THE clear cool note of the cuckoo which has ousted the legitimate
              nest-holder,
    The whistle of the railway guard despatching the train to the
              inevitable collision,
    The maiden’s monosyllabic reply to a polysyllabic proposal,
    The fundamental note of the last trump, which is presumably D
              natural;
    All of these are sounds to rejoice in, yea to let your ribs re-echo
              with.
    But better than all of them is the absolutely last chord of the
              apparently inexhaustible pianoforte player.
                                               _J. K. Stephen._


THE POET AND THE WOODLOUSE

    SAID a poet to a woodlouse, “Thou art certainly my brother;
      I discern in thee the markings of the fingers of the Whole;
    And I recognize, in spite of all the terrene smut and smother,
      In the colors shaded off thee, the suggestions of a soul.

    “Yea,” the poet said, “I smell thee by some passive divination,
      I am satisfied with insight of the measure of thine house;
    What had happened I conjecture, in a blank and rhythmic passion,
      Had the æons thought of making thee a man and me a louse.

    “The broad lives of upper planets, their absorption and digestion,
      Food and famine, health and sickness, I can scrutinize and test,
    Through a shiver of the senses comes a resonance of question,
      And by proof of balanced answer I decide that I am best.

    “Man the fleshly marvel always feels a certain kind of awe stick
      To the skirts of contemplation, cramped with nympholeptic weight;
    Feels his faint sense charred and branded by the touch of solar
              caustic,
      On the forehead of his spirit feels the footprint of a Fate.”

    “Notwithstanding which, O poet,” spake the woodlouse, very blandly,
      “I am likewise the created,—I the equipoise of thee;
    I the particle, the atom, I behold on either hand lie
      The inane of measured ages that were embryos of me.

    “I am fed with intimations, I am clothed with consequences,
      And the air I breathe is colored with apocalyptic blush;
    Ripest-budded odors blossom out of dim chaotic stenches,
      And the Soul plants spirit-lilies in sick leagues of human slush.

    “I am thrilled half cosmically through by cryptophantic surgings,
      Till the rhythmic hills roar silent through a spongious kind of
              blee;
    And earth’s soul yawns disembowelled of her pancreatic organs,
      Like a madrepore if mesmerized, in rapt catalepsy.

    “And I sacrifice, a Levite; and I palpitate, a poet;
      Can I close dead ears against the rush and resonance of things?
    Symbols in me breathe and flicker up the heights of her heroic;
      Earth’s worst spawn, you said, and cursed me? Look! approve me!
              I have wings.

    “Ah, men’s poets! men’s conventions crust you round and swathe you
              mist-like,
      And the world’s wheels grind your spirits down the dust ye
              overtrod;
    We stand sinlessly stark-naked in effulgence of the Christlight,
      And our polecat chokes not cherubs; and our skunk smells sweet
              to God.

    “For he grasps the pale Created by some thousand vital handles,
      Till a Godshine, bluely winnowed through the sieve of
              thunder-storms,
    Shimmers up the non-existence round the churning feet of angels;
      And the atoms of that glory may be seraphs, being worms.

    “Friends, your nature underlies us and your pulses overplay us;
      Ye, with social sores unbandaged, can ye sing right and steer
              wrong?
    For the transient cosmic, rooted in imperishable chaos,
      Must be kneaded into drastics as material for a song.

    “Eyes once purged from homebred vapors through humanitarian passion
      See that monochrome a despot through a democratic prism;
    Hands that rip the soul up, reeking from divine evisceration,
      Not with priestlike oil anoint him, but a stronger-smelling chrism.

    “Pass, O poet, retransfigured! God, the psychometric rhapsode,
      Fills with fiery rhythms the silence, stings the dark with stars
              that blink;
    All eternities hang round him like an old man’s clothes collapsèd,
      While he makes his mundane music—AND HE WILL NOT STOP, I THINK.”
                                     _Algernon Charles Swinburne._



AFTER CHARLES KINGSLEY


THREE LITTLE FISHERS

    THREE little fishers trudged over the hill,
      Over the hill in the sun’s broad glare,
    With rods and crooked pins, to the brookby the mill,
      While three fond mothers sought them everywhere.
    For boys will go fishing, though mothers deny.
    Watching their chance they sneak off on the sly
      To come safely back in the gloaming.

    Three mothers waited outside the gate.
      Three little fishers, tired, sunburnt, and worn,
    Came into sight as the evening grew late,
      Their chubby feet bleeding, their clothing all torn,
    For “boys will be boys”—have a keen eye for fun,
    While mothers fret, fume, scold, and—succumb,
      And welcome them home in the gloaming.

    Three little fishers were called to explain—
      Each stood condemned, with his thumb in his eye,
    They promised never to do so again,
      And were hung up in the pantry to dry.
    Three mothers heaved great sighs of relief,
    An end had been put to their magnified grief,
      When the boys came home in the gloaming.
                            _Frank H. Stauffer._


THE THREE POETS

    THREE poets went sailing down Boston Bay,
      All into the East as the sun went down.
    Each felt that the editors loved him best,
      And would welcome spring poetry in Boston town.
    For poets must dream, though the editors frown;
    Their revel in visions will not be turned down,
      Though the general reader is moaning!

    Three editors climbed to the loftiest tower
      That they could find in all Boston town.
    And they planned to conceal themselves, hour after hour,
      Till the Sun—and the poets—had both gone down.
    For spring poets must write, though the editors rage.
    The artistic nature must thus be engaged,
      Though the publishers all are groaning!

    Three corpses lay out on the Back Bay sand
      Just after the first Spring Sun went down,
    And the Press sat down to a banquet grand
      In honor of poets no more in the town.
    For poets will write while the editors sleep,
    Though they’ve little to earn and nothing to keep,
      And the populace all are moaning!
                            _Lilian Whiting._



AFTER MRS. R. H. STODDARD


THE NETTLE

    IF days were nights, I could their weight endure,
    This darkness cannot hide from me the plant
    I seek; I know it by the rasping touch.
    The moon is wrapped in bombazine of cloud;
    The capes project like crooked lobster-shears
    Into the bobbery of the waves; the marsh,
    At ebb, has now a miserable smell.
    I will not be delayed nor hustled back,
    Though every wind should muss my outspread hair.
    I snatch the plant that seems my coming fate;
    I pass the crinkled satin of the rose,
    The violets, frightened out of all their wits,
    And other flowers, to me so commonplace,
    And cursed with showy mediocrity,
    To cull the foliage which repels and stings.
    Weak hands may bleed; but mine are tough with pride,
    And I but smile where others sob and screech.
    The draggled flounces of the willow lash
    My neck; I tread upon the bouncing rake,
    Which bangs me sorely, but I hasten on,
    With teeth firm-set as biting on a wire,
    And feet and fingers clinched in bitter pain.
    This, few would comprehend; but, if they did,
    I should despise myself and merit scorn.
    We all are riddles which we cannot guess;
    Each has his gimcracks and his thingumbobs,
    And mine are night and nettles, mud and mist,
    Since others hate them, cowardly avoid.
    Things are mysterious when you make them so,
    And the slow-pacing days are mighty queer;
    But Fate is at the bottom of it all,
    And something somehow turns up in the end.
                            _Bayard Taylor._



AFTER BAYARD TAYLOR


HADRAMAUT

    THE grand conglomerate hills of Araby,
      That stand empanoplied in utmost thought,
    With dazzling ramparts front the Indian sea,
                Down there in Hadramaut.

    The sunshine smashes in the doors of morn
      And leaves them open; there the vibrant calm
    Of life magniloquent pervades forlorn
                The giant fronds of palm.

    The cockatoo upon the upas screams;
      The armadillo fluctuates o’er the hill;
    And like a flag, incarnadined in dreams,
                All crimsonly I thrill!

    There have iconoclasts no power to harm,
      So, folded grandly in translucent mist,
    I let the lights stream down my jasper arm,
                And o’er my opal fist.

    An Adamite of old, primeval Earth,
      I see the Sphinx upon the porphyry shore,
    Deprived of utterance ages ere her birth,
                As I am,—only more!

    Who shall ensnare me with invested gold,
      Or prayer symbols, backed like malachite?
    Let gaunt reformers objurgate and scold,
                I gorge me with delight.

    I do not yearn for what I covet most;
      I give the winds the passionate gifts I sought;
    And slumber fiercely on the torrid coast,
                Down there in Hadramaut!
                            _Bayard Taylor._



AFTER WILLIAM MORRIS


ESTUNT THE GRIFF

    (_Argument: Showing how a man of England, hearing from
    certain Easterlings of the glories of their land, set
    sail to rule it_)

    AND so unto the End of Graves came he,
    Where nigh the staging, ready for the sea,
    Oarless and sailless lay the galley’s bulk,
    Albeit smoke did issue from the hulk
    And fell away, across the marshes dun,
    Into the visage of the wan-white sun.
    And seaward ran the river, cold and gray,
    Bearing the brown-sailed Eastland boats away
    ’Twixt the low shore and shallow sandy spit.
    Yet he, being sad, took little heed of it,
    But straightly fled toward the misty beach,
    And hailed in choked and swiftly spoken speech
    A shallop, that for men’s conveyance lay
    Hard by the margin of that watery way.
    Then many that were in like evil plight—
    Sad folk, with drawn, dumb lips and faces white,
    That writhed themselves into a hopeless smile—
    Crowded the shallop, making feint the while
    Of merriment and pleasure at that tide,
    Though oft upon the laughers’ lips there died
    The jest, and in its place there came a sigh,
    So that men gat but little good thereby,
    And, shivering, clad themselves about with furs.
    Strange faces of the swarthy outlanders
    Looked down upon the shallop as she threw
    The sullen waters backward from her screw
    And, running forward for some little space,
    Stayed featly at the galley’s mounting-place,
    Where slowly these sad-faced landsmen went
    Crabwise and evil-mouthed with discontent,
    Holding to sodden rope and rusty chain
    And bulwark that was wetted with the rain:
    For ’neath their feet the black bows rose and fell,
    Nor might a man walk steadfastly or well
    Who had not hand upon a rail or rope;
    And Estunt turned him landward, and wan hope
    Grew on his spirit as an evil mist,
    Thinking of loving lips his lips had kissed
    An hour since, and how those lips were sweet
    An hour since, far off in Fenchurch Street.
    Then, with a deep-drawn breath most like a sigh,
    He watched the empty shallop shoreward hie;
    Then turned him round the driving rain to face,
    And saw men heave the anchor from its place;
    Whereat, when by the river-mouth, the ship
    Began, amid the waters’ strife to dip,
    His soul was heaved between his jaws that day,
    And to the East the good ship took her way.
                            _Rudyard Kipling._



AFTER ALFRED AUSTIN


AN ODE

    I SING a song of sixpence, and of rye
      A pocketful—recalling, sad to state,
    The niggardly emoluments which I
      Receive as Laureate!

    Also I sing of blackbirds—in the mart
      At four-a-penny. Thus, in other words,
    The sixpence which I mentioned at the start
      Purchased two dozen birds.

    So four-and-twenty birds were deftly hid—
      Or shall we say, were skilfully concealed?—
    Within the pie-dish. When they raised the lid,
      What melody forth pealed!

    Now I like four-and-twenty blackbirds sing,
      With all their sweetness, all their rapture keen;
    And isn’t this a pretty little thing
      To set before the Queen?

    The money-counting monarch—sordid man!—
      His wife, who robbed the little busy bees,
    I disregard. In fact a poet can
      But pity folks like these.

    The maid was in the garden. Happy maid!
      Her choice entitles her to rank above
    Master and Mistress. Gladly she surveyed
      The Garden That I Love!

    —Where grow my daffodils, anemones,
      Tulips, auriculas, chrysanthemums,
    Cabbages, asparagus, sweet peas,
      With apples, pears, and plums—

    (That’s a parenthesis. The very name
      Of garden really carries one astray!)
    But suddenly a feathered ruffian came,
      And stole her nose away.

    Eight stanzas finished! So my Court costume
      I lay aside: the Laureate, I suppose,
    Has done his part; the man may now resume
      His journalistic prose.
                            _Anthony C. Deane._



AFTER W. S. GILBERT


ODE TO A LONDON FOG

    ROLL on, thick haze, roll on!
        Through each familiar way
            Roll on!
    What though I must go out to-day?
    What though my lungs are rather queer?
    What though asthmatic ills I fear?
    What though my wheeziness is clear?
            Never you mind!
                  Roll on!

    Roll on, thick haze, roll on!
    Through street and square and lane
                  Roll on!
    It’s true I cough and cough again;
    It’s true I gasp and puff and blow;
    It’s true my trip may lay me low—
    But that’s not your affair, you know.
            Never you mind!
                  Roll on!
                            _Anonymous._


PRESIDENT GARFIELD

    WHEN he was a lad he served a term
    On a big canal with a boatman’s firm;
    With a heart so free and a will so strong,
    On the towpath drove two mules along.
    And he drove those mules so carefullee
    He’s a candidate now for the Presidencee.

    As a driver boy he made such a mark
    He came to the deck of the inland barque
    And all of the perils to boat and crew.
    He stood at the helm and guided thro’.
    He stood at the helm so manfullee
    He’s a candidate now for the Presidencee.

    He did so well with the helm and mules,
    They made him a teacher of district schools;
    And when from college in a bran new suit,
    A Greek Professor at the Institute,
    Where Greek and Latin he taught so free
    He’s a candidate now for the Presidencee.

    Now boys who cherish ambitious schemes,
    Though now you may be but drivers of teams,
    Look well to the work you may chance to do,
    And do it with a hand that is kind and true.
    Whatever you do, do it faithfullee,
    And you may aspire to the Presidencee.
                            _Anonymous._


PROPINQUITY NEEDED

    CELESTINE Silvousplait Justine de Mouton Rosalie,
    A coryphée who lived and danced in naughty, gay Paree,
    Was every bit as pretty as a French girl e’er can be
              (Which isn’t saying much).

    Maurice Boulanger (there’s a name that would adorn a king),
    But Morris Baker was the name they called the man I sing.
    He lived in New York City in the Street that’s labeled Spring
              (Chosen because it rhymed).

    Now Baker was a lonesome youth and wanted to be wed,
    And for a wife, all over town he hunted, it is said;
    And up and down Fifth Avenue he ofttimes wanderéd
              (He was a peripatetic Baker, he was).

    And had he met Celestine, not a doubt but Cupid’s darts
    Would in a trice have wounded both of their fond, loving hearts;
    But he has never left New York to stray in foreign parts
              (Because he hasn’t the price).

    And she has never left Paree and so, of course, you see
    There’s not the slightest chance at all she’ll marry Morris B.
    For love to get well started, really needs propinquity
              (Hence my title).
                            _Charles Battell Loomis._



AFTER R. H. STODDARD


THE CANTELOPE

    SIDE by side in the crowded streets,
      Amid its ebb and flow,
    We walked together one autumn morn;
      (’Twas many years ago!)

    The markets blushed with fruits and flowers;
      (Both Memory and Hope!)
    You stopped and bought me at the stall,
      A spicy cantelope.

    We drained together its honeyed wine,
      We cast the seeds away;
    I slipped and fell on the moony rinds,
      And you took me home on a dray!

    The honeyed wine of your love is drained;
      I limp from the fall I had;
    The snow-flakes muffle the empty stall,
      And everything is sad.

    The sky is an inkstand, upside down,
      It splashes the world with gloom;
    The earth is full of skeleton bones,
      And the sea is a wobbling tomb!
                            _Bayard Taylor._



AFTER A. A. PROCTOR


THE LOST VOICE

    SEATED at Church in the winter
      I was frozen in every limb;
    And the village choir shrieked wildly
      Over a noisy hymn.

    I do not know what they were singing,
      For while I was watching them
    Our Curate began his sermon
      With the sound of a slight “Ahem!”

    It frightened the female portion,
      Like the storm which succeeds a calm,
    Both maidens and matrons heard it
      With a touch of inane alarm.

    It told them of pain and sorrow,
      Cold, cough, and neuralgic strife,
    Bronchitis, and influenza
      All aimed at our Curate’s life.

    It linked all perplex’d diseases
      Into one precious frame;
    They trembled with rage if a sceptic
      Attempted to ask its name.

    They have wrapped him in mustard plasters,
      Stuffed him with food and wine,
    They have fondled, caressed, and nursed him,
      With sympathy divine.

    It may be that other Curates
      Will preach in that Church to them,
    Will there be every time, Good Heavens!
      Such a fuss for a slight—Ahem!
                            _A. H. S._


THE LOST APE

    SEATED one day on an organ,
      A monkey was ill at ease,
    When his fingers wandered idly,
      In search of the busy fleas.
    I knew not what he was slaying,
      Or what he was dreaming then,
    But a sound burst forth from that organ,
      Not at all like a grand Amen.

    It came through the evening twilight
      Like the close of the feline psalm,
    But the melody raised by their voices
      Compared to this noise was balm!
    It was worse than Salvation’s Sorrow,
      With their band of drum and fife,
    And cut, like an evening “Echo,”
      The Tit-Bits out of “Life.”

    I upset my table and tea things,
      And left not one perfect piece;
    I gazed at the wreck in silence,
      Not loth, but unable to speak!
    Then I sought him, alas! all vainly,
      The source of that terrible whine,
    With his cracked and tuneless organ,
      And its melodies undivine.

    Of course there was no policeman
      To move him away,—and men
    Who grind organs smile demurely
      At your curses, and smile again.
    It may be that I could choke him—
      Could kill him—but organ men,
    If you kill a dozen to-day,
      To-morrow will come again!
                            _J. W. G. W._


THE LOST WORD

    SEATED one day at the typewriter,
      I was weary of a’s and e’s,
    And my fingers wandered wildly
      Over the consonant keys.

    I know not what I was writing,
      With that thing so like a pen;
    But I struck one word astounding—
      Unknown to the speech of men.

    It flooded the sense of my verses,
      Like the break of a tinker’s dam,
    And I felt as one feels when the printer
      Of your “infinite calm” makes clam.

    It mixed up s’s and x’s
      Like an alphabet coming to strife.
    It seemed the discordant echo
      Of a row between husband and wife.

    It brought a perplexed meaning
      Into my perfect piece,
    And set the machinery creaking
      As though it were scant of grease.

    I have tried, but I try it vainly,
      The one last word to divine
    Which came from the keys of my typewriter
      And so would pass as mine.

    It may be some other typewriter
      Will produce that word again,
    It may be, but only for others—
      _I_ shall write henceforth with a pen.
                            _C. H. Webb._



AFTER GEORGE MEREDITH


AT THE SIGN OF THE COCK

(FRENCH STYLE, 1898)

    (_Being an Ode in further “Contribution to the Song
    of French History,” dedicated, without malice or
    permission, to Mr. George Meredith_)

I

    ROOSTER her sign,
    Rooster her pugnant note, she struts
    Evocative, amazon spurs aprick at heel;
    Nid-nod the authentic stump
    Of the once ensanguined comb vermeil as wine;
    With conspuent doodle-doo
    Hails breach o’ the hectic dawn of yon New Year,
    Last issue up to date
    Of quiverful Fate
    Evolved spontaneous; hails with tonant trump
    The spiriting prime o’ the clashed carillon-peal;
    Ruffling her caudal plumes derisive of scuts;
    Inconscient how she stalks an immarcessibly absurd Bird.

II

    Mark where her Equatorial Pioneer
    Delirant on the tramp goes littoralwise.
    His Flag at furl, portmanteaued; drains to the dregs
    The penultimate brandy-bottle, coal-on-the-headpiece gift
    Of who avenged the Old Sea-Rover’s smirch.
    Marchant he treads the all-along of inarable drift
    On dubiously connivent legs,
    The facile prey of predatory flies;
    Panting for further; sworn to lurch
    Empirical on to the Menelik-buffered, enhavened blue,
    Rhyming—see Cantique I.—with doodle-doo.

III

    Infuriate she kicked against Imperial fact;
    Vulnant she felt
    What pin-stab should have stained Another’s pelt
    Puncture her own Colonial lung-balloon,
    Volant to nigh meridian. Whence rebuffed,
    The perjured Scythian she lacked
    At need’s pinch, sick with spleen of the rudely cuffed
    Below her breath she cursed; she cursed the hour
    When on her spring for him the young Tyrannical broke
    Amid the unhallowed wedlock’s vodka-shower,
    She passionate, he dispassionate; tricked
    Her wits to eye-blind; borrowed the ready as for dower;
    Till from the trance of that Hymettus-moon
    She woke,
    A nuptial-knotted derelict;
    Pensioned with Rescripts other aid declined
    By the plumped leech saturate urging Peace
    In guise of heavy-armed Gospeller to men,
    Tyrannical unto fraternal equal liberal, her. Not she;
    Not till Alsace her consanguineous find
    What red deteutonising artillery
    Shall shatter her beer-reek alien police
    The just-now pluripollent; not till then.

IV

    More pungent yet the esoteric pain
    Squeezing her pliable vitals nourishes feud
    Insanely grumous, grumously insane.
    For lo!
    Past common balmly on the Bordereau,
    Churns she the skim o’ the gutter’s crust
    With Anti-Judaic various carmagnole,
    Whooped praise of the Anti-Just;
    Her boulevard brood
    Gyratory in convolvements militant-mad;
    Theatrical of faith in the Belliform,
    Her Og,
    Her Monstrous. Fled what force she had
    To buckle the jaw-gape, wide agog
    For the Preconcerted One,
    The Anticipated, ripe to clinch the whole;
    Queen-bee to hive the hither and thither volant swarm.

    Bides she his coming; adumbrates the new
    Expurgatorial Divine,
    Her final effulgent Avatar,
    Postured outside a trampling mastodon
    Black as her Baker’s charger; towering; visibly gorged
    With blood of traitors. Knee-grip stiff,
    Spine straightened, on he rides;
    Embossed the Patriot’s brow with hieroglyph
    Of martial _dossiers_, nothing forged
    About him save his armour. So she bides
    Voicing his advent indeterminably far,
    Rooster her sign,
    Rooster her conspuent doodle-doo.

V

    Behold her, pranked with spurs for bloody sport,
    How she acclaims,
    A crapulous chanticleer,
    Breach of the hectic dawn of yon New Year.
    Not yet her fill of rumours sucked;
    Inebriate of honour; blushfully wroth;
    Tireless to play her old primeval games;
    Her plumage preened the yet unplucked
    Like sails of a galleon, rudder hard amort
    With crepitant mast
    Fronting the hazard to dare of a dual blast
    The intern and the extern, blizzards both.
                            _Owen Seaman._



AFTER DANTE GABRIEL ROSSETTI


A CHRISTMAS WAIL

(_Not by Dante Gabriel Rossetti_)

    ON Christmas day I dined with Brown.
        (_Oh the dinner was fine to see!_)
    I drove to his house, right merrily down,
    To a western square of London town.
        (_And I moan and I cry, Woe’s me!_)

    We dined off turkey and Christmas beef:
        (_Oh the dinner was fine to see!_)
    My anguish is sore and my comfort’s brief,
    And nought but blue pills can ease my grief,
        (_As I moan and I cry, Woe’s me!_)

    We gorged plum-pudding and hot mince pies,
        (_Oh the dinner was fine to see!_)
    And other nameless atrocities,
    The weight of which on my—bosom lies.
        (_And I moan and I cry, Woe’s me!_)

    We drank dry Clicquot and rare old port,
        (_Oh the dinner was fine to see!_)
    And I pledged my host for a right good sort
    In bumpers of both, for I never thought
        (_I should moan and cry, Woe’s me!_)

    But I woke next day with a fearful head,
          (_Oh that dinner was fine to see!_)
    And on my chest is a weight like lead,
    And I frequently wish that I were dead,
          (_And I moan and I cry, Woe’s me!_)

    And as for Brown—why the truth to tell—
          (_Oh that dinner was fine to see!_)
    I hate him now with the hate of hell,
    Though before I loved him passing well,
          (_And I moan and I cry, Woe’s me!_)
                            _Anonymous._


BALLAD

    THE auld wife sat at her ivied door
      (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese),
    A thing she had frequently done before,
      And her spectacles lay on her apron’d knees.

    The piper he piped on the hill-top high
      (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese),
    Till the cow said “I die,” and the goose ask’d “Why?”
      And the dog said nothing, but search’d for fleas.

    The farmer he strode through the square farmyard
      (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese);
    His last brew of ale was a trifle hard—
      The connection of which with the plot one sees.

    The farmer’s daughter had frank blue eyes
      (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese);
    She hears the rooks caw in the windy skies,
      As she sits at her lattice and shells her peas.

    The farmer’s daughter hath ripe red lips
      (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese);
    If you try to approach her, away she skips
      Over tables and chairs with apparent ease.

    The farmer’s daughter hath soft brown hair
      (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese),
    And I met with a ballad, I can’t say where,
      Which wholly consisted of lines like these.

PART II

    She sat with her hands ’neath her dimpled cheeks
      (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese),
    And spake not a word. While a lady speaks
      There is hope, but she didn’t even sneeze.

    She sat, with her hands ’neath her crimson cheeks
      (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese);
    She gave up mending her father’s breeks,
      And let the cat roll in her new chemise.

    She sat, with her hands ’neath her burning cheeks
      (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese),
    And gazed at the piper for thirteen weeks;
      Then she follow’d him out o’er the misty leas.

    Her sheep follow’d her, as their tails did them
      (Butter and eggs and a pound of cheese),
    And this song is consider’d a perfect gem,
      And as to the meaning, it’s what you please.
                            _Charles S. Calverley._


CIMABUELLA

    FAIR-TINTED cheeks, clear eyelids drawn
      In crescent curves above the light
    Of eyes, whose dim, uncertain dawn
      Becomes not day: a forehead white
    Beneath long yellow heaps of hair:
    She is so strange she must be fair.

    Had she sharp, slant-wise wings outspread,
      She were an angel; but she stands
    With flat dead gold behind her head,
      And lilies in her long thin hands:
    Her folded mantle, gathered in,
    Falls to her feet as it were tin.

    Her nose is keen as pointed flame;
      Her crimson lips no thing express;
    And never dread of saintly blame
      Held down her heavy eyelashes:
    To guess what she were thinking of
    Precludeth any meaner love.

    An azure carpet, fringed with gold,
      Sprinkled with scarlet spots, I laid
    Before her straight, cool feet unrolled;
      But she nor sound nor movement made
    (Albeit I heard a soft, shy smile,
    Printing her neck a moment’s while).

    And I was shamed through all my mind
      For that she spake not, neither kissed,
    But stared right past me. Lo! behind
      Me stood, in pink and amethyst,
    Sword-girt and velvet-doubleted,
    A tall, gaunt youth, with frowzy head.

    Wide nostrils in the air, dull eyes,
      Thick lips that simpered, but, ah me!
    I saw, with most forlorn surprise,
      He was the Thirteenth Century,
    I but the Nineteenth; then despair
    Curdled beneath my curling hair.

    O Love and Fate! How could she choose
      My rounded outlines, broader brain,
    And my resuscitated Muse?
      Some tears she shed, but whether pain
    Or joy in him unlocked their source,
    I could not fathom which, of course.

    But I from missals quaintly bound,
      With cither and with clavichord,
    Will sing her songs of sovran sound:
      Belike her pity will afford
    Such fain return as suits a saint
    So sweetly done in verse and paint.
                            _Bayard Taylor._


THE POSTER GIRL

    THE blessed Poster girl leaned out
      From a pinky-purple heaven.
    One eye was red and one was green;
      Her bang was cut uneven;
    She had three fingers on her hand,
      And the hairs on her head were seven.

    Her robe, ungirt from clasp to hem,
      No sunflowers did adorn,
    But a heavy Turkish portière
      Was very neatly worn;
    And the hat that lay along her back
      Was yellow, like canned corn.

    It was a kind of wobbly wave
      That she was standing on,
    And high aloft she flung a scarf
      That must have weighed a ton;
    And she was rather tall—at least
      She reached up to the sun.

    She curved and writhed, and then she said
      Less green of speech than blue:
    “Perhaps I _am_ absurd—perhaps
      I _don’t_ appeal to you;
    But my artistic worth depends
      Upon the point of view.”

    I saw her smile, although her eyes
      Were only smudgy smears;
    And then she swished her swirling arms,
      And wagged her gorgeous ears.
    She sobbed a blue-and-green-checked sob,
      And wept some purple tears.
                            _Carolyn Wells._



AFTER JEAN INGELOW


LOVERS, AND A REFLECTION

    IN moss-prankt dells which the sunbeams flatter
      (And heaven it knoweth what that may mean;
    Meaning, however, is no great matter),
      Where woods are a-tremble, with rifts atween;

    Thro’ God’s own heather we wonn’d together,
      I and my Willie (O love my love):
    I need hardly remark it was glorious weather,
      And flitterbats waver’d alow, above:

    Boats were curtseying, rising, bowing,
      (Boats in that climate are so polite),
    And sands were a ribbon of green endowing,
      And oh, the sundazzle on bark and bight!

    Thro’ the rare red heather we danced together,
      (O love my Willie!) and smelt for flowers:
    I must mention again it was gorgeous weather,
      Rhymes are so scarce in this world of ours:

    By rises that flush’d with their purple favors,
      Thro’ becks that brattled o’er grasses sheen,
    We walked and waded, we two young shavers,
      Thanking our stars we were both so green.

    We journeyed in parallels, I and Willie,
      In fortunate parallels! Butterflies,
    Hid in weltering shadows of daffodilly
      Or marjoram, kept making peacock eyes:

    Songbirds darted about, some inky
      As coal, some snowy (I ween) as curds;
    Or rosy as pinks, or as roses pinky—
      They reck of no eerie To-come, those birds!

    But they skim over bents which the millstream washes,
      Or hang in the lift ’neath a white cloud’s hem;
    They need no parasols, no goloshes;
      And good Mrs. Trimmer she feedeth them.

    Then we thrid God’s cowslips (as erst His heather)
      That endowed the wan grass with their golden blooms;
    And snapt—(it was perfectly charming weather)—
      Our fingers at Fate and her goodness-glooms:

    And Willie ’gan sing (oh, his notes were fluty;
      Wafts fluttered them out to the white-winged sea)—
    Something made up of rhymes that have done much duty,
      Rhymes (better to put it) of “ancientry:”

    Bowers of flowers encounter’d showers
      In William’s carol—(O love my Willie!)
    Then he bade sorrow borrow from blithe to-morrow
      I quite forget what—say a daffodilly:

    A nest in a hollow, “with buds to follow,”
      I think occurred next in his nimble strain;
    And clay that was “kneaden” of course in Eden—
      A rhyme most novel, I do maintain:

    Mists, bones, the singer himself, love-stories,
      And all least furlable things got “furled;”
    Not with any design to conceal their “glories,”
      But simply and solely to rhyme with “world.”

           *       *       *       *       *

    O if billows and pillows and hours and flowers,
      And all the brave rhymes of an elder day,
    Could be furled together, this genial weather,
      And carted or carried on “wafts” away,
    Nor ever again trotted out—ah me!
    How much fewer volumes of verse there’d be!
                            _Charles S. Calverley._


THE SHRIMP-GATHERERS

    SCARLET spaces of sand and ocean,
      Gulls that circle and winds that blow;
    Baskets and boats and men in motion,
      Sailing and scattering to and fro.

    Girls are waiting, their wimples adorning
      With crimson sprinkles the broad gray flood;
    And down the beach the blush of the morning
      Shines reflected from moisture and mud.

    Broad from the yard the sail hangs limpy;
      Lightly the steersman whistles a lay;
    Pull with a will, for the nets are shrimpy,
      Pull with a whistle, our hearts are gay!

    Tuppence a quart; there are more than fifty!
      Coffee is certain, and beer galore;
    Coats are corduroy, minds are thrifty,
      Won’t we go it on sea and shore!

    See, behind, how the hills are freckled
      With low white huts, where the lasses bide
    See, before, how the sea is speckled
      With sloops and schooners that wait the tide

    Yarmouth fishers may rail and roister,
      Tyne-side boys may shout, “Give way!”
    Let them dredge for the lobster and oyster,
      Pink and sweet are our shrimps to-day!

    Shrimps and the delicate periwinkle,
      Such are the sea-fruits lasses love;
    Ho! to your nets till the blue stars twinkle,
      And the shutterless cottages gleam above!
                            _Bayard Taylor._



AFTER CHRISTINA ROSSETTI


REMEMBER

    REMEMBER it, although you’re far away—
        Too far away more fivers yet to land,
        When you no more can proffer notes of hand,
    Nor I half yearn to change my yea to nay.
    Remember, when no more in airy way,
        You tell me of repayment sagely planned:
        Only remember it, you understand!
    It’s rather late to counsel you to pay;
    Yet if you should remember for awhile,
        And then forget it wholly, I should grieve;
        For, though your light procrastinations leave
        Small remnants of the hope that once I had,
    Than that you should forget your debt and smile,
        I’d rather you’d remember and be sad.
                                    _Judy._



AFTER LEWIS CARROLL


WAGGAWOCKY

    ’TWAS Maytime, and the lawyer coves
      Did jibe and jabber in the wabe,
    All menaced were the Tichborne groves,
      And their true lord, the Babe.

    “Beware the Waggawock, my son,
      The eyelid twitch, the knees’ incline,
    Beware the Baignet network, spun
      For gallant Ballantine.”

    He took his ton-weight brief in hand,
      Long time the hidden clue he sought,
    Then rested he by the Hawkins tree,
      And sat awhile in thought.

    And as in toughish thought he rocks,
      The Waggawock, sans truth or shame,
    Came lumbering to the witness box,
      And perjured out his Claim.

    “Untrue! untrue!” Then, through and through
      The weary weeks he worked the rack;
    But March had youth, ere with the Truth
      He dealt the final whack.

    “And hast thou slain the Waggawock
      Come to my arms, my Beamish Boy!
    O Coleridge, J.! Hoorah! hooray!”
      Punch chortled in his joy.
                            _Shirley Brooks._


THE VULTURE AND THE HUSBANDMAN

(_By Louisa Caroline_)

    THE rain was raining cheerfully
       As if it had been May,
    The Senate House appeared inside
       Unusually gay;
    And this was strange, because it was
       A Viva-Voce day.

    The men were sitting sulkily,
       Their paper work was done,
    They wanted much to go away
       To ride or row or run;
    “It’s very rude,” they said, “to keep
       Us here and spoil our fun.”

    The papers they had finished lay
       In piles of blue and white,
    They answered everything they could,
       And wrote with all their might,
    But though they wrote it all by rote,
       They did not write it right.

    The Vulture and the Husbandman
      Besides these piles did stand;
    They wept like anything to see
      The work they had in hand:
    “If this were only finished up,”
      Said they, “it would be grand!”

    “If seven D’s or seven C’s
      We give to all the crowd,
    Do you suppose,” the Vulture said,
      “That we could get them ploughed?”
    “I think so,” said the Husbandman,
      “But pray don’t talk so loud.”

    “O Undergraduates, come up,”
      The Vulture did beseech,
    “And let us see if you can learn
      As well as we can teach;
    We cannot do with more than two,
      To have a word with each.”

    Two Undergraduates came up,
      And slowly took a seat;
    They knit their brows and bit their thumbs,
      As if they found them sweet;
    And this is odd, because, you know,
      Thumbs are not good to eat.

    “The time has come,” the Vulture said,
      “To talk of many things,
    Of Accidence and Adjectives,
      And names of Jewish kings;
    How many notes a sackbut has,
      And whether shawms have strings.”

    “Please, Sir,” the Undergraduates said,
      Turning a little blue,
    “We did not know that was the sort
      Of thing we had to do.”
    “We thank you much,” the Vulture said;
      “Send up another two.”

    Two more came up, and then two more,
      And more, and more, and more,
    And some looked upwards at the roof,
      And some down upon the floor,
    But none were any wiser than
      The pair that went before.

    “I weep for you,” the Vulture said;
      “I deeply sympathize!”
    With sobs and tears he gave them all
      D’s of the largest size,
    While at the Husbandman he winked
      One of his streaming eyes.

    “I think,” observed the Husbandman,
      “We’re getting on too quick;
    Are we not putting down the D’s
      A little bit too thick?”
    The Vulture said with much disgust,
      “Their answers make me sick.”

    “Now, Undergraduates,” he cried,
      “Our fun is nearly done;
    Will anybody else come up?”
      But answer came there none;
    But this was scarcely odd, because
      They’d ploughed them every one!
                            _A. C. Hilton._



AFTER A. C. SWINBURNE


GILLIAN

    JACK and Jille
        I have made me an end of the moods of maidens,
          I have loosed me, and leapt from the links of love;
        From the kiss that cloys and desire that deadens,
          The woes that madden, the words that move.
        In the dim last days of a spent September,
          When fruits are fallen, and flies are fain;
        Before you forget, and while I remember,
          I cry as I shall cry never again.

    Went up a hylle
        Where the strong fell faints in the lazy levels
          Of misty meadows, and streams that stray;
        We raised us at eve from our rosy revels,
          With the faces aflame for the death of the day;
        With pale lips parted, and sighs that shiver,
          Low lids that cling to the last of love:
        We left the levels, we left the river,
          And turned us and toiled to the air above.

    To fetch a paile of water,
        By the sad sweet springs that have salved our sorrow,
          The fates that haunt us, the grief that grips—
        Where we walk not to-day nor shall walk not to-morrow—
          The wells of Lethe for wearied lips.
        With souls nor shaken with tears nor laughter,
          With limp knees loosed as of priests that pray,
        We bowed us and bent to the white well-water,
          We dipped and we drank it and bore away.

    Jack felle downe
        The low light trembled on languid lashes,
          The haze of your hair on my mouth was blown,
        Our love flashed fierce from its fading ashes,
          As night’s dim net on the day was thrown.
        What was it meant for, or made for, that minute,
          But that our lives in delight should be dipt?
        Was it yours, or my fault, or fate’s, that in it
          Our frail feet faltered, our steep steps slipt.

    And brake his crowne, and Jille came tumblynge after.
        Our linked hands loosened and lapsed in sunder,
          Love from our limbs as a shift was shed,
        But paused a moment, to watch with wonder
          The pale pained body, the bursten head.
        While our sad souls still with regrets are riven,
          While the blood burns bright on our bruised brows,
        I have set you free, and I stand forgiven—
          And now I had better go call my cows.
                            _Anonymous._


ATALANTA IN CAMDEN-TOWN

          Ay, ’twas here, on this spot,
            In that summer of yore,
          Atalanta did not
            Vote my presence a bore,
    Nor reply to my tenderest talk, “She had heard all that nonsense
              before.”

          She’d the brooch I had bought
            And the necklace and sash on,
          And her heart, as I thought,
            Was alive to my passion;
    And she’d done up her hair in the style that the Empress had brought
              into fashion.

          I had been to the play
            With my pearl of a Peri—
          But, for all I could say,
            She declared she was weary,
    That “the place was so crowded and hot, and she couldn’t abide that
              Dundreary.”

          Then I thought, “’Tis for me
            That she whines and she whimpers!”
          And it soothed me to see
            Those sensational simpers,
    And I said, “This is scrumptious,”—a phrase I had learned from the
              Devonshire shrimpers.

          And I vowed, “’Twill be said
            I’m a fortunate fellow,
          When the breakfast is spread,
            When the topers are mellow,
    When the foam of the bird-cake is white and the fierce
              orange-blossoms are yellow!”

          Oh, that languishing yawn!
            Oh, those eloquent eyes!
          I was drunk with the dawn
            Of a splendid surmise surmise—
    I was stung by a look, I was slain by a tear, by a tempest of sighs.

          And I whispered, “’Tis time!
            Is not Love at its deepest?
          Shall we squander Life’s prime,
            While thou waitest and weepest?
    Let us settle it, License or Banns?—though undoubtedly Banns are the
              cheapest.”

          “Ah, my Hero!” said I,
            “Let me be thy Leander!”
          But I lost her reply—
            Something ending with “gander”—
    For the omnibus rattled so loud that no mortal could quite understand
              her.
                                                     _Lewis Carroll._


THE MANLET

    IN stature the Manlet was dwarfish—
      No burly big Blunderbore he:
    And he wearily gazed on the crawfish
      His Wifelet had dressed for his tea.
    “Now reach me, sweet Atom, my gunlet,
      And hurl the old shoelet for luck;
    Let me hie to the bank of the runlet
                And shoot thee a Duck!”

    She has reached him his minnikin gunlet:
      She has hurled the old shoelet for luck;
    She is busily baking a bunlet,
      To welcome him home with his duck.
    On he speeds, never wasting a wordlet,
      Though thoughtlets cling closely as wax,
    To the spot where the beautiful birdlet
                So quietly quacks.

    Where the Lobsterlet lurks and the Crablet
      So slowly and creepily crawls:
    Where the Dolphin’s at home and the Dablet
      Pays long ceremonious calls:
    Where the Grublet is sought by the Froglet:
      Where the Frog is pursued by the Duck:
    Where the Ducklet is chased by the Doglet—
                So runs the world’s luck.

    He has loaded with bullet and powder:
      His footfall is noiseless as air:
    But the Voices grow louder and louder
      And bellow and bluster and blare.
    They bristle before him and after,
      They flutter above and below,
    Shrill shriekings of lubberly laughter,
                Weird wailings of woe!

    They echo without him, within him:
      They thrill through his whiskers and beard:
    Like a teetotum seeming to spin him,
      With sneers never hitherto sneered.
    “Avengement,” they cry, “on our Foelet!
      Let the Manikin weep for our wrongs!
    Let us drench him from toplet to toelet
                With nursery songs!

    “He shall muse upon Hey! Diddle! Diddle!
      On the Cow that surmounted the Moon!
    He shall rave of the Cat and the Fiddle,
      And the Dish that eloped with the Spoon:
    And his soul shall be sad for the Spider,
      When Miss Muffett was sipping her whey,
    That so tenderly sat down beside her,
                And scared her away!

    “The music of Midsummer-madness
      Shall sting him with many a bite,
    Till, in rapture of rollicking sadness,
      He shall groan with a gloomy delight;
    He shall swathe him like mists of the morning,
      In platitudes luscious and limp,
    Such as deck, with a deathless adorning,
                The Song of the Shrimp!

    “When the Ducklet’s dark doom is decided,
      We will trundle him home in a trice:
    And the banquet so plainly provided
      Shall round into rosebuds and rice:
    In a blaze of pragmatic invention
      He shall wrestle with Fate and shall reign:
    But he has not a friend fit to mention,
                So hit him again!”

    He has shot it, the delicate darling!
      And the Voices have ceased from their strife:
    Not a whisper of sneering or snarling,
      As he carries it home to his wife:
    Then, cheerily champing the bunlet
      His spouse was so skilful to bake,
    He hies him once more to the runlet,
                To fetch her the Drake!
                            _Lewis Carroll._


IF!

    IF life were never bitter,
      And love were always sweet,
    Then who would care to borrow
    A moral from to-morrow—
    If Thames would always glitter,
      And joy would ne’er retreat,
    If life were never bitter,
      And love were always sweet!

    If care were not the waiter
      Behind a fellow’s chair,
    When easy-going sinners
    Sit down to Richmond dinners,
    And life’s swift stream flows straighter,
     By Jove, it would be rare,
    If care were not the waiter
      Behind a fellow’s chair.

    If wit were always radiant,
      And wine were always iced,
    And bores were kicked out straightway
    Through a convenient gateway;
    Then down the year’s long gradient
      ’Twere sad to be enticed,
    If wit were always radiant,
      And wine were always iced.
                            _Mortimer Collins._


THE MAID OF THE MEERSCHAUM

    NUDE nymph, when from Neuberg’s I led her
      In velvet enshrined and encased,
    When with rarest Virginia I fed her,
      And pampered each maidenly taste
    On “Old Judge” and “Lone Jack” and brown “Bird’s-eye,”
      The best that a mortal might get—
    Did she know how, from whiteness of curds, I
      Should turn her to jet?

    She was blonde and impassive and stately
      When first our acquaintance began,
    When she smiled from the pipe-bowl sedately
      On the “Stunt” who was scarcely a man.
    But _labuntur anni fugaces_,
      And changed in due season were we,
    For she wears the blackest of faces,
      And I’m a D. C.

    Unfailing the comfort she gave me
      In the days when I owned to a heart,
    When the charmers that used to enslave me
      For Home or the Hills would depart.
    She was Polly or Agnes or Kitty
      (Whoever pro tem. was my flame),
    And I found her most ready to pity,
      And—always the same.

    At dawn, when the pig broke from cover,
      At noon, when the pleaders were met,
    She clung to the lips of her lover
      As never live maiden did yet;
    At the Bund, when I waited the far light
      That brought me my Mails o’er the main—
    At night, when the tents, in the starlight,
      Showed white on the plain.

    And now, though each finely cut feature
      Is flattened and polished away,
    I hold her the loveliest creature
      That ever was fashioned from clay.
    Let an epitaph thus, then, be wrought for
      Her tomb, when the smash shall arrive:
    “_Hic jacet_ the life’s love I bought for
      Rupees twenty-five.”
                            _Rudyard Kipling._


QUAERITUR

    DAWN that disheartens the desolate dunes,
      Dulness of day as it bursts on the beach,
    Sea-wind that shrillest the thinnest of tunes,
      What is the wisdom thy wailings would teach?
    Far, far away, down the foam-frescoed reach,
      Where ravening rocks cleave the crest of the seas,
    Sigheth the sound of thy sonorous speech,
      As gray gull and guillemot gather their fees;
      Taking toll of the beasts that are bred in the seas.

    Foam-flakes fly farther than faint eyes can follow—
      Drop down the desolate dunes and are done;
    Fleeter than foam-flowers flitteth the Swallow,
      Sheer for the sweets of the South and the Sun.
    What is thy tale? O thou treacherous Swallow!
      Sing me thy secret, Beloved of the Skies,
    That I may gather my garments and follow—
      Flee on the path of thy pinions and rise
      Where strong storms cease and the weary wind dies.

    Lo! I am bound with the chains of my sorrow;
      Swallow, swift Swallow, ah, wait for a while!
    Stay but a moment—it may be to-morrow
      Chains shall be severed and sad souls shall smile!
    Only a moment—a mere minute’s measure—
      How shall it hurt such a swift one as thou?
    Pitiless Swallow, full flushed for thy pleasure,
      Canst thou not even one instant allow
      To weak-winged wanderers? Wait for me now.
                            _Rudyard Kipling._


A MELTON MOWBRAY PORK-PIE

    STRANGE pie that is almost a passion,
      O passion immoral for pie!
    Unknown are the ways that they fashion,
      Unknown and unseen of the eye.
    The pie that is marbled and mottled,
      The pie that digests with a sigh:
    For all is not Bass that is bottled,
      And all is not pork that is pie.
                            _Richard Le Gallienne._


FOAM AND FANGS

    O NYMPH with the nicest of noses;
      And finest and fairest of forms;
    Lips ruddy and ripe as the roses
      That sway and that surge in the storms;
    O buoyant and blooming Bacchante,
      Of fairer than feminine face,
    Rush, raging as demon of Dante—
      To this, my embrace!

    The foam and the fangs and the flowers,
      The raving and ravenous rage
    Of a poet as pinion’d in powers
      As condor confined in a cage!
    My heart in a haystack I’ve hidden,
      As loving and longing I lie,
    Kiss open thine eyelids unbidden—
      I gaze and I die!

    I’ve wander’d the wild waste of slaughter,
      I’ve sniffed up the sepulchre’s scent,
    I’ve doated on devilry’s daughter,
      And murmur’d much more than I meant;
    I’ve paused at Penelope’s portal,
      So strange are the sights that I’ve seen,
    And mighty’s the mind of the mortal
      Who knows what I mean.
                            _Walter Parke._


A SONG OF RENUNCIATION

    IN the days of my season of salad,
      When the down was as dew on my cheek,
    And for French I was bred on the ballad,
      For Greek on the writers of Greek,—
    Then I sang of the rose that is ruddy,
      Of “pleasure that winces and stings,”
    Of white women, and wine that is bloody,
      And similar things.

    Of Delight that is dear as Desi-er,
      And Desire that is dear as Delight;
    Of the fangs of the flame that is fi-er,
      Of the bruises of kisses that bite;
    Of embraces that clasp and that sever,
      Of blushes that flutter and flee
    Round the limbs of Dolores, whoever
      Dolores may be.

    I sang of false faith that is fleeting
      As froth of the swallowing seas,
    Time’s curse that is fatal as Keating
      Is fatal to amorous fleas;
    Of the wanness of woe that is whelp of
      The lust that is blind as a bat—
    By the help of my Muse and the help of
      The relative THAT.

    Panatheist, bruiser and breaker
      Of kings and the creatures of kings,
    I shouted on Freedom to shake her
      Feet loose of the fetter that clings;
    Far rolling my ravenous red eye,
      And lifting a mutinous lid,
    To all monarchs and matrons I said I
      Would shock them—and did.

    Thee I sang, and thy loves, O Thalassian,
      O “noble and nude and antique!”
    Unashamed in the “fearless old fashion,”
      Ere washing was done by the week;
    When the “roses and rapture” that girt you
      Were visions of delicate vice,
    And the “lilies and languors of virtue”
      Not nearly so nice.

    O delights of the time of my teething,
      Felise, Fragoletta, Yolande!
    Foam-yeast of a youth in its seething
      On blasted and blithering sand!
    Snake-crowned on your tresses and belted
      With blossoms that coil and decay,
    Ye are gone; ye are lost; ye are melted
      Like ices in May.

    Hushed now is the bibulous bubble
      Of “lithe and lascivious” throats;
    Long stript and extinct is the stubble
      Of hoary and harvested oats;
    From the sweets that are sour as the sorrel’s
      The bees have abortively swarmed;
    And Algernon’s earlier morals
      Are fairly reformed.

    I have written a loyal Armada,
      And posed in a Jubilee pose;
    I have babbled of babies and played a
      New tune on the turn of their toes;
    Washed white from the stain of Astarte,
      My books any virgin may buy;
    And I hear I am praised by a party
      Called Something Mackay!

    When erased are the records, and rotten
      The meshes of memory’s net;
    When the grace that forgives has forgotten
      The things that are good to forget;
    When the trill of my juvenile trumpet
      Is dead and its echoes are dead;
    Then the laurel shall lie on the crumpet
      And crown of my head!
                            _Owen Seaman._


NEPHELIDIA

    FROM the depth of the dreamy decline of the dawn through a notable
              nimbus of nebulous moonshine,
      Pallid and pink as the palm of the flag-flower that flickers with
              fear of the flies as they float,
    Are they looks of our lovers that lustrously lean from a marvel of
              mystic miraculous moonshine,
      These that we feel in the blood of our blushes that thicken and
              threaten with throbs through the throat?
    Thicken and thrill as a theatre thronged at appeal of an actor’s
              appalled agitation,
      Fainter with fear of the fires of the future than pale with the
              promise of pride in the past;
    Flushed with the famishing fulness of fever that reddens with
              radiance of rathe recreation,
      Gaunt as the ghastliest of glimpses that gleam through the gloom
              of the gloaming when ghosts go aghast?
    Nay, for the nick of the tick of the time is a tremulous touch on
              the temples of terror,
      Strained as the sinews yet strenuous with strife of the dead who
              is dumb as the dust-heaps of death;
    Surely no soul is it, sweet as the spasm of erotic emotional
              exquisite error,
      Bathed in the balms of beatified bliss, beatific itself by
              beatitude’s breath.
    Surely no spirit or sense of a soul that was soft to the spirit and
              soul of our senses
      Sweetens the stress of surprising suspicion that sobs in the
              semblance and sound of a sigh;
    Only this oracle opens Olympian, in mystical moods and triangular
              tenses,—
      “Life is the lust of a lamp for the light that is dark till the
              dawn of the day when we die.”
    Mild is the mirk and monotonous music of memory, melodiously mute as
              it may be,
      While the hope in the heart of a hero is bruised by the breach of
              men’s rapiers, resigned to the rod;
    Made meek as a mother whose bosom-beats bound with the bliss-bringing
              bulk of a balm-breathing baby,
      As they grope through the grave-yard of creeds, under skies growing
              green at a groan for the grimness of God.
    Blank is the book of his bounty beholden of old, and its binding is
              blacker than bluer:
      Out of blue into black is the scheme of the skies, and their dews
              are the wine of the bloodshed of things;
    Till the darkling desire of delight shall be free as a fawn that is
              freed from the fangs that pursue her,
      Till the heart-beats of hell shall be hushed by a hymn from the
              hunt that has harried the kennel of kings.
                                           _Algernon Charles Swinburne._


THE LAY OF MACARONI

    AS a wave that steals when the winds are stormy
      From creek to cove of the curving shore,
    Buffeted, blown, and broken before me,
      Scattered and spread to its sunlit core:
    As a dove that dips in the dark of maples
      To sip the sweetness of shelter and shade,
    I kneel in thy nimbus, O noon of Naples,
      I bathe in thy beauty, by thee embayed.

    What is it ails me that I should sing of her?
      The queen of the flashes and flames that were!
    Yea, I have felt the shuddering sting of her,
      The flower-sweet throat and the hands of her!
    I have swayed and sung to the sound of her psalters,
      I have danced her dances of dizzy delight,
    I have hallowed mine hair to the horns of her altars,
      Between the nightingale’s song and the night!

    What is it, Queen, that now I should do for thee?
      What is it now I should ask at thine hands?
    Blow of the trumpets thine children once blew for thee?
      Break from thine feet and thine bosom the bands?
    Nay, as sweet as the songs of Leone Leoni,
      And gay as her garments of gem-sprinkled gold,
    She gives me mellifluous, mild macaroni,
      The choice of her children when cheeses are old!

    And over me hover, as if by the wings of it,
      Frayed in the furnace by flame that is fleet,
    The curious coils and the strenuous strings of it,
      Dropping, diminishing down, as I eat;
    Lo! and the beautiful Queen, as she brings of it,
      Lifts me the links of the limitless chain,
    Bidding mine mouth chant the splendidest things of it,
      Out of the wealth of my wonderful brain!

    Behold! I have done it: my stomach is smitten
      With sweets of the surfeit her hands have unrolled.
    Italia, mine cheeks with thine kisses are bitten,
      I am broken with beauty, stabbed, slaughtered, and sold!
    No man of thy millions is more macaronied,
      Save mighty Mazzini, than musical Me;
    The souls of the Ages shall stand as astonied,
      And faint in the flame I am fanning for thee!
                            _Bayard Taylor._



AFTER BRET HARTE


THE HEATHEN PASS-EE

_By Bred Hard_

      Which I wish to remark,
        And my language is plain,
      That for plots that are dark
        And not always in vain
    The heathen Pass-ee is peculiar,
    And the same I would rise to explain.

      I would also premise
        That the term of Pass-ee
      Most fitly applies,
        As you probably see,
    To one whose vocation is passing
    The ordinary B. A. degree.

      Tom Crib was his name,
        And I shall not deny
      In regard to the same
        What that name might imply;
    But his face it was trustful and childlike,
    And he had a most innocent eye.

      Upon April the First
        The Little-Go fell,
      And that was the worst
        Of the gentleman’s sell,
    For he fooled the Examining Body
    In a way I’m reluctant to tell.

        The candidates came,
        And Tom Crib soon appeared;
      It was Euclid. The same
        Was “the subject he feared;”
    But he smiled as he sat by the table,
    With a smile that was wary and weird.

        Yet he did what he could,
        And the papers he showed
      Were remarkably good,
        And his countenance glowed
    With pride when I met him soon after
    As he walked down the Trumpington Road.

        We did not find him out,
        Which I bitterly grieve,
      For I’ve not the least doubt
        That he’d placed up his sleeve
    Mr. Todhunter’s excellent Euclid,
    The same with intent to deceive.

      But I shall not forget
        How the next day at two
      A stiff paper was set
        By Examiner U.,
    On Euripides’ tragedy, Bacchae,
    A subject Tom partially knew.

      But the knowledge displayed
        By that heathen Pass-ee,
      And the answers he made,
        Were quite frightful to see,
    For he rapidly floored the whole paper
    By about twenty minutes to three.

      Then I looked up at U.,
        And he gazed upon me;
      I observed “This won’t do;”
        He replied, “Goodness me;
    We are fooled by this artless young person,”
    And he sent for that heathen Pass-ee.

      The scene that ensued
        Was disgraceful to view,
      For the floor it was strewed
        With a tolerable few
    Of the “tips” that Tom Crib had been hiding
    For the subject he “partially knew.”

      On the cuff of his shirt
        He had managed to get
      What we hoped had been dirt,
        But which proved, I regret,
    To be notes on the rise of the Drama,
    A question invariably set.

      In his various coats
        We proceeded to seek,
      Where we found sundry notes
        And—with sorrow I speak speak—
    One of Bohn’s publications, so useful
    To the student in Latin or Greek.

      In the crown of his cap
        Were the Furies and Fates,
      And a delicate map
        Of the Dorian States;
    And we found in his palms, which were hollow,
    What are frequent in palms,—that is dates.

      Which I wish to remark,
        And my language is plain,
      That for plots that are dark
        And not always in vain
    The heathen Pass-ee is peculiar,
    Which the same I am free to maintain.
                            _A. C. Hilton._


DE TEA FABULA

_Plain Language from Truthful James_

    DO I sleep? Do I dream?
        Am I hoaxed by a scout?
    Are things what they seem,
        Or is Sophists about?
    Is our το τι ηυ ειναι a failure, or is Robert Browning played out?

    Which expressions like these
        May be fairly applied
    By a party who sees
        A Society skied
    Upon tea that the Warden of Keble had biled with legitimate pride.

    ’Twas November the third,
        And I says to Bill Nye,
    “Which it’s true what I’ve heard:
        If you’re, so to speak, fly,
    There’s a chance of some tea and cheap culture, the sort recommended
              as High.”

    Which I mentioned its name,
        And he ups and remarks:
    “If dress-coats is the game
        And pow-wow in the Parks,
    Then I’m nuts on Sordello and Hohenstiel-Schwangau and similar
              Snarks.”

    Now the pride of Bill Nye
        Cannot well be express’d;
    For he wore a white tie
        And a cut-away vest:
    Says I, “Solomon’s lilies ain’t in it, and they was reputed well
              dress’d.”

    But not far did we wend,
        When we saw Pippa pass
    On the arm of a friend
        —Dr. Furnivall ’twas,
    And he wore in his hat two half-tickets for London, return,
              second-class.

    “Well,” I thought, “this is odd.”
        But we came pretty quick
    To a sort of a quad
        That was all of red brick,
    And I says to the porter,—“R. Browning: free passes; and kindly
              look slick.”

    But says he, dripping tears
        In his check handkerchief,
    “That symposium’s career’s
        Been regrettably brief,
    For it went all its pile upon crumpets and busted on gunpowder
              leaf!”

    Then we tucked up the sleeves
        Of our shirts (that were biled),
    Which the reader perceives
        That our feelings were riled,
    And we went for that man till his mother had doubted the traits
              of her child.

    Which emotions like these
        Must be freely indulged
    By a party who sees
        A Society bulged
    On a reef the existence of which its prospectus had never divulged.

    But I ask,—Do I dream?
        Has it gone up the spout?
    Are things what they seem,
        Or is Sophists about?
    Is our το τι ηυ ειναι a failure, or is Robert Browning played out?
                                                _A. T. Quiller-Couch._



AFTER AUSTIN DOBSON


THE PRODIGALS

(_Dedicated to Mr. Chaplin, M.P., and Mr. Richard Power, M.P., and 223
who followed him_)

    MINISTERS! you, most serious,
      Critics and statesmen of all degrees,
    Hearken awhile to the motion of us—
      Senators keen for the Epsom breeze!
      Nothing we ask of poets or fees;
    Worry us not with objections, pray!
      Lo, for the speaker’s wig we seize—
    Give us, ah! give us the Derby Day.

    Scots most prudent, penurious!
      Irishmen busy as bumblebees!
    Hearken awhile to the motion of us—
      Senators keen for the Epsom breeze!
      For Sir Joseph’s sake, and his owner’s, please!
    (Solomon raced like fun, they say.)
      Lo, for we beg on our bended knees—
    Give us, ah! give us the Derby Day.

    Campbell—Asheton be generous!
      (But they voted such things were not the cheese.)
    Sullivan, hear us, magnanimous!
      (But Sullivan thought with their enemies.)
      And shortly they got both of help and ease,
    For a mad majority crowded to say,
      “Debate we’ve drunk to the dregs and lees:
    Give us, ah! give us the Derby Day.”

ENVOI:

    Prince, most just was the motion of these,
      And many were seen by the dusty way,
    Shouting glad to the Epsom breeze
      Give us, ah! give us the Derby Day.
                            _Anonymous._



AFTER ANDREW LANG


BO-PEEP

    UNHAPPY is Bo-Peep,
      Her tears profusely flow,
    Because her precious sheep
      Have wandered to and fro,
      Have chosen far to go,
    For “pastures new” inclined,
      (See Lycidas)—and lo!
    Their tails are still behind!

    How catch them while asleep?
      (I think Gaboriau
    For machinations deep
      Beats Conan Doyle and Co.)
      But none a hint bestow
    Save this, on how to find
      The flocks she misses so—
    “Their tails are still behind!”

    This simple faith to keep
      Will mitigate her woe,
    She is not Joan, to leap
      To arms against the foe
      Or conjugate τὑρτω;
    Nay, peacefully resigned
      She waits, till time shall show
    Their tails are still behind!

    Bo-Peep, rejoice! Although
      Your sheep appear unkind,
    Rejoice at last to know
      Their tails are still behind!
                            _Anthony C. Deane._



AFTER W. E. HENLEY


IMITATION

    CALM and implacable,
    Eying disdainfully the world beneath,
    Sat Humpty-Dumpty on his mural eminence
    In solemn state:
    And I relate his story
    In verse unfettered by the bothering restrictions of rhyme or metre,
    In verse (or “rhythm,” as I prefer to call it)
    Which, consequently, is far from difficult to write.

    He sat. And at his feet
    The world passed on—the surging crowd
    Of men and women, passionate, turgid, dense,
    Keenly alert, lethargic, or obese.
    (Those two lines scan!)

    Among the rest
    He noted Jones; Jones with his Roman nose,
    His eyebrows—the left one streaked with a dash of gray—
    And yellow boots.
    Not that Jones
    Has anything in particular to do with the story;
    But a descriptive phrase
    Like the above shows that the writer is
    A Master of Realism.

    Let us proceed. Suddenly from his seat
    Did Humpty-Dumpty slip. Vainly he clutched
    The impalpable air. Down and down,
    Right to the foot of the wall,
    Right on to the horribly hard pavement that ran beneath it,
    Humpty-Dumpty, the unfortunate Humpty-Dumpty,
    Fell.

    And him, alas! no equine agency,
    Him no power of regal battalions—
    Resourceful, eager, strenuous—
    Could ever restore to the lofty eminence
    Which once was his.
    Still he lies on the very identical
    Spot where he fell—lies, as I said on the ground,
    Shamefully and conspicuously abased!
                            _Anthony C. Deane._



AFTER R. L. STEVENSON


BED DURING EXAMS

    I USED to go to bed at night,
    And only worked when day was light.
    But now ’tis quite the other way,
    I never get to bed till day.

    I look up from my work and see
    The morning light shine in on me,
    And listen to the warning knell—
    The tinkle of the rising bell.

    And does there not seem cause to weep,
    When I should like so much to sleep,
    I have to sing this mournful lay,
    I cannot get to bed till day?
                        _Clara Warren Vail._



AFTER OSCAR WILDE


MORE IMPRESSIONS

(_La Fuite des Oies_)

    TO outer senses they are geese,
      Dull drowsing by a weedy pool;
      But try the impression trick. Cool! Cool!
    Snow-slumbering sentinels of Peace!

    Deep silence on the shadowy flood,
      Save rare sharp stridence (that means “quack”),
      Low amber light in Ariel track
    Athwart the dun (that means the mud).

    And suddenly subsides the sun,
      Bulks mystic, ghostly, thrid the gloom
      (That means the white geese waddling home),
    And darkness reigns! (See how it’s done?)
                            _Oscuro Wildgoose._


NURSERY RHYMES À LA MODE

    (_Our nurseries will soon be too cultured to admit the
    old rhymes in their Philistine and unæsthetic garb.
    They may be redressed somewhat on this model_)

    OH, but she was dark and shrill,
      (Hey-de-diddle and hey-de-dee!)
      The cat that (on the first April)
    Played the fiddle on the lea.
    Oh, and the moon was wan and bright,
      (Hey-de-diddle and hey-de-dee!)
      The Cow she looked nor left nor right,
      But took it straight at a jump, pardie!
    The hound did laugh to see this thing,
      (Hey-de-diddle and hey-de-dee!)
    As it was parlous wantoning,
      (Ah, good my gentles, laugh not ye,)
    And underneath a dreesome moon
      Two lovers fled right piteouslie;
    A spooney plate with a plated spoon,
      (Hey-de-diddle and hey-de-dee!)

POSTSCRIPT

    Then blame me not, altho’ my verse
      Sounds like an echo of C. S. C.
    Since still they make ballads that worse and worse
      Savor of diddle and hey-de-dee.
                            _Anonymous._


A MAUDLE-IN BALLAD

(_To his Lily_)

    MY lank limp lily, my long lithe lily,
    My languid lily-love fragile and thin,
    With dank leaves dangling and flower-flap chilly,
    That shines like the shin of a Highland gilly!
    Mottled and moist as a cold toad’s skin!
    Lustrous and leper-white, splendid and splay!
    Art thou not Utter and wholly akin
    To my own wan soul and my own wan chin,
    And my own wan nose-tip, tilted to sway
    The peacock’s feather, _sweeter than sin_,
    That I bought for a halfpenny yesterday?

    My long lithe lily, my languid lily,
    My lank limp lily-love, how shall I win—
    Woo thee to wink at me? Silver lily,
    How shall I sing to thee, softly or shrilly?
    What shall I weave for thee—what shall I spin—
    Rondel, or rondeau, or virelai?
    Shall I buzz like a bee with my face thrust in
    Thy choice, chaste chalice, or choose me a tin
    Trumpet, or touchingly, tenderly play
    On the weird bird-whistle, _sweeter than sin_,
    That I bought for a halfpenny yesterday.

    My languid lily, my lank limp lily,
    My long lithe lily-love, men may grin—
    Say that I’m soft and supremely silly—
    What care I while you whisper stilly;
    What care I while you smile? Not a pin!
    While you smile, you whisper—’Tis sweet to decay?

    I have watered with chlorodine, tears of chagrin,
    The churchyard mould I have planted thee in,
    Upside down in an intense way,
    In a rough red flower-pot, _sweeter than sin_,
    That I bought for a halfpenny yesterday.
                            _Punch._


QUITE THE CHEESE

(_By a Wilde Æsthete_)

    THERE was once a maiden who loved a cheese;
          _Sing, hey! potatoes and paint!_
    She could eat a pound and a half with ease
          _Oh, the odorous air was faint!_

    What was the cheese that she loved the best?
          _Sing, hey, red pepper and rags!_
    You will find it out if you read the rest;
          _Oh, the horrors of frowning crags!_

    Came lovers to woo her from every land—
          _Sing, hey! fried bacon and files!_
    They asked for her heart, but they meant her hand,
          _Oh, the joy of the Happy Isles._

    A haughty old Don from Oporto came;
          _Sing, hey! new carrots and nails!_
    The Duke of GORGONZOLA, his famous name,
          _Oh, the lusciously-scented gales!_

    Lord STILTON belonged to a mighty line!
          _Sing, hey! salt herrings and stones!_
    He was “Blue” as chine—his taste divine!
          _Oh, the sweetness of dulcet tones._

    Came stout DOUBLE GLO’STER—a man and wife,
          _Sing, hey! post pillars and pies!_
    And the son was SINGLE, and fair as fate;
          _Oh, the purple of sunset skies!_

    DE CAMEMBERT came from his sunny France,
          _Sing, hey! pork cutlets and pearls!_
    He would talk sweet nothings, and sing and dance,
          _Oh, the sighs of the soft sweet girls._

    Came GRUYÈRE so pale! a most hole-y man!
          _Sing, hey! red sandstone and rice!_
    But the world saw through him as worldings can,
          _Oh, the breezes from Isles of Spice._

    But the maiden fair loved no cheese but one!
          _Sing, hey! acrostics and ale!_
    Save for SINGLE GLO’STER she love had none!
          _Oh, the roses on fair cheeks pale!_

    He was fair and single—and so was she!
          _Sing, hey! tomatoes and tar!_
    And so now you know which it is to be!
          _Oh, the aid of a lucky star!_

    They toasted the couple the livelong night,
          _Sing, hey! cast iron and carp!_
    And engaged a poet this song to write.
          _Oh, the breathing Æolian harp!_

    So he wrote this ballad at vast expense!
          _Sing, hey! pump-handles and peas!_
    And, though you may think it devoid of sense,
          _Oh, he_ fancies it QUITE THE CHEESE!
                            _H. C. Waring._



AFTER WILLIAM WATSON


THE THREE MICE

    THREE mice—three sightless mice—averse from strife,
      Peaceful descendants of the Armenian race,
    Intent on finding some secluded place
      Wherein to pass their inoffensive life;
    How little dreamt they of that farmer’s wife—
      The Porte’s malicious minion—giving chase,
      And in a moment—ah, the foul disgrace!—
    Shearing their tails off with a carving-knife!

    And oh, my unemotional countrymen,
      Who choose to dally and to temporize,
    When once before with vitriolic pen
      I told the tale of Turkish infamies,
    Once more I call to vengeance,—now as then,
      Shouting the magic word “Atrocities!”
                            _Anthony C. Deane._



AFTER KIPLING


FUZZY WUZZY LEAVES US


    We’ve been visited by men across the seas,
    And some of them could write, and some could not;
    The English, French, and German—whom you please,
    But Kipling was the finest of the lot.
    In sooth, we’re loath to lose him from our list;
    Though he’s not been wholly kind in all his dealings;
    Indeed from first to last I must insist,
    He has played the cat and banjo with our feelings.

        But here’s _to_ you, Mr. Kipling, with your comments and your
              slurs;
        You’re a poor, benighted Briton, but the Prince of Raconteurs!
        We’ll give you your certificate, and if you want it signed,
        Come back and have a fling at us whenever you’re inclined!

    You harrowed us with murder and with blood;
    You dipped us deep in Simla’s petty guile;
    Yet we have found ourselves misunderstood
    When we served you a sensation in our style;
    And though you saw some grewsome pictures through
    The Windy City’s magnifying lens,
    Yet we took it just a little hard of _you_,
    A-objecting to the slaughter of our pens!

        But here’s _to_ you, Mr. Kipling, and the boys of Lung-tung-pen,
        And all we have to ask you is, make ’em kill again!
        For though we’re crude in some things here, which fact I much
              deplore,
        We know genius when we see it, and we’re not afraid of gore.

    And yet we love you best on Greenough Hill,
    By Bisesa and her sisters dark perplext;
    In your sermons, which have power to lift and thrill
    Just because they have the heart of man as text;
    And when you bend, the little ones to please,
    With Bagheera and Baloo at hide and seek,
    Oh! a happy hour with Mowgli in the trees
    Sets a little chap a-dreaming for a week.

    So, here’s _to_ you, Mr. Kipling, and to Mowgli and Old Kaa,
        And to her who loved and waited where the Gates of Sorrow are;
        For where is brush more potent to paint since Art began
        The white love of a Woman and the red blood of a Man.

    So, since to us you’ve given such delight,
    We hope that you won’t think us quite so bad.
    You’re all hot sand and ginger, when you write,
    But we’re sure you’re only shamming when you’re mad.
    Yet so you leave us Gunga Din’s salaam,
    So you incarnate Mulvaney on a spree;
    Mr. Kipling, sir, we do not “care a damn”
    For the comments you may make on such as we!

        Then here’s _to_ you, Mr. Kipling, and Columbia avers
        You’re a poor, benighted Briton, but the Prince of Raconteurs.
        You may scathe us, and may leave us; still in our hearts will
              stay
        The man who made Mulvaney and the road to Mandalay.
                                                        _E. P. C._


A BALLAD

(_In the manner of R-dy-rd K-pl-ng_)

    AS I was walkin’ the jungle round, a-killin’ of tigers an’ time;
    I seed a kind of an author man a writin’ a rousin’ rhyme;
    ’E was writin’ a mile a minute an’ more, an’ I sez to ’im, “’Oo are
              you?”
    Sez ’e, “I’m a poet—’er majesty’s poet—soldier an’ sailor, too!”
    An ’is poem began in Ispahan an’ ended in Kalamazoo,
    It ’ad army in it, an’ navy in it, an’ jungle sprinkled through,
    For ’e was a poet—’er majesty’s poet—soldier an’ sailor, too!

    An’ after, I met ’im all over the world, a doin’ of things a host;
    ’E ’ad one foot planted in Burmah, an’ one on the Gloucester coast;
    ’E’s ’alf a sailor an’ ’alf a whaler, ’e’s captain, cook, and crew,
    But most a poet—’er majesty’s poet—soldier an’ sailor too!
    ’E’s often Scot an’ ’e’s often not, but ’is work is never through,
    For ’e laughs at blame, an’ ’e writes for fame, an’ a bit for
              revenoo,—
    Bein’ a poet—’er majesty’s poet—soldier an’ sailor too!

    ’E’ll take you up to the Ar’tic zone, ’e’ll take you down to the
              Nile,
    ’E’ll give you a barrack ballad in the Tommy Atkins style,
    Or ’e’ll sing you a Dipsy Chantey, as the bloomin’ bo’suns do,
    For ’e is a poet—’er majesty’s poet—soldier an’ sailor too.
    An’ there isn’t no room for others, an’ there’s nothin’ left to do;
    ’E ’as sailed the main from the ’Orn to Spain, ’e ’as tramped the
              jungle through,
    An’ written up all there is to write—soldier an’ sailor, too!

    There are manners an’ manners of writin’, but ’is is the _proper_
              way,
    An’ it ain’t so hard to be a bard if you’ll imitate Rudyard K.;
    But sea an’ shore an’ peace an’ war, an’ everything else in view—
    ’E ’as gobbled the lot!—’er majesty’s poet—soldier a’n sailor, too.
    ’E’s not content with ’is Indian ’ome, ’e’s looking for regions new,
    In another year ’e’ll ’ave swept ’em clear, an’ what’ll the rest of
              us do?
    _’E’s crowdin’ us out!_—’er majesty’s poet—soldier an’ sailor too!
                                                  _Guy Wetmore Carryl._


JACK AND JILL

    _HERE is the tale—and you must make the most of it!
      Here is the rhyme—ah, listen and attend!
    Backwards—forwards—read it all and boast of it
      If you are anything the wiser at the end!_

    Now Jack looked up—it was time to sup, and the bucket was yet to
              fill;
    And Jack looked round for a space and frowned, then beckoned his
              sister Jill,
    And twice he pulled his sister’s hair, and thrice he smote her side;
    “Ha’ done, ha’ done with your impudent fun—ha’ done, with your
              games!” she cried;
    “You have made mud-pies of a marvellous size—finger and face are
              black,
    You have trodden the Way of the Mire and Clay—now up and wash you,
              Jack!
    Or else, or ever we reach our home, there waiteth an angry dame—
    Well you know the weight of her blow—the supperless open shame!
    Wash, if you will, on yonder hill—wash if you will, at the spring,—
    Or keep your dirt, to your certain hurt, and an imminent walloping!”

    “You must wash—you must scrub—you must scrape!” growled Jack, “you
              must traffic with can and pails,
    Nor keep the spoil of the good brown soil in the rim of your
              fingernails!
    The morning path you must tread to your bath—you must wash ere the
              night descends,
    And all for the cause of conventional laws and the soapmaker’s
              dividends!
    But if ’t is sooth that our meal in truth depends on our washing,
              Jill,
    By the sacred right of our appetite—haste—haste to the top of the
              hill!”

    They have trodden the Way of the Mire and Clay, they have toiled and
              travelled far,
    They have climbed to the brow of the hill-top now, where the bubbling
              fountains are,
    They have taken the bucket and filled it up—yea, filled it up to the
              brim;
    But Jack he sneered at his sister Jill, and Jill she jeered at him:
    “What, blown already!” Jack cried out (and his was a biting mirth!)
    “You boast indeed of your wonderful speed—but what is the boasting
              worth?
    Now, if you can run as the antelope runs, and if you can turn like
              a hare,

    Come, race me, Jill, to the foot of the hill—and prove your boasting
              fair!“
    ”Race? What is a race?“ (and a mocking face had Jill as she spake the
              word)
    ”Unless for a prize the runner tries? The truth indeed ye heard,
    For I can run as the antelope runs, and I can turn like a hare:—
    The first one down wins half a crown—and I will race you there!“
    ”Yea, if for the lesson that you will learn (the lesson of humbled
              pride),
    The price you fix at two-and-six, it shall not be denied;
    Come, take your stand at my right hand, for here is the mark we toe:
    Now, are you ready, and are you steady? Gird up your petticoats? Go!“

    And Jill she ran like a winging bolt, a bolt from the bow released,
    But Jack like a stream of the lightning gleam, with its pathway duly
              greased;
    He ran down hill in front of Jill like a summer lightning flash—
    Till he suddenly tripped on a stone, or slipped, and fell to the
              earth with a crash.
    Then straight did rise on his wondering eyes the constellations fair,
    Arcturus and the Pleiades, the Greater and Lesser Bear,
    The swirling rain of a comet’s train he saw, as he swiftly fell—
    And Jill came tumbling after him with a loud, triumphant yell:
    “You have won, you have won, the race is done! And as for the wager
              laid—
    You have fallen down with a broken crown—the half-crown debt is
              paid!”

    They have taken Jack to the room at the back where the family
              medicines are,
    And he lies in bed with a broken head in a halo of vinegar;
    While, in that Jill had laughed her fill as her brother fell to
              earth
    She had felt the sting of a walloping—she hath paid the price of her
              mirth!

    _Here is the tale—and now you have the whole of it!
      Here is the story, well and wisely planned;
    Beauty—Duty—these make up the soul of it—
      But, ah, my little readers, will you mark and understand?_
                                                 _Anthony C. Deane._


THE LEGEND OF REALISM

    THIS is the sorrowful story,
      Told when the twilight fails,
    And the authors sit together
      Reading each other’s tales.

    “Our fathers lived in the cloudland,
      They were Romanticists,
    They went down to the valley
      To play with the Scientists.

    “Our fathers murmured of moonshine,
      Our fathers sang to the stars,
    Our fathers were playfully prolix,
      Our fathers knew nothing of ‘pars.’

    “Then came the terrible savants,
      Nothing of play they knew,
    Only—they caught our fathers,
      And set them to burrow too.

    “Set them to work in the workshop,
      With crucible, test, and scales,
    Put them in mud-walled prisons,
      And—cut up their beautiful tales.

    “Now we can read our fathers,
      Trenchant, and terse, and cold,
    Stooping to dig in dust-heaps,
      Sharing the common mold.

    “Driving a quill quotidian,
      Mending a muddy plot,
    Sitting in mud-walled prisons,
      Steeping their souls in rot.

    “Thus and so do our fathers,
      Thus and so must we do,
    For we are the slaves of science,
      And we are Realists too.”

    This is the horrible story,
      Told as the twilight fails,
    And the authors sit together
      Reading each other’s tales.
                      _Hilda Johnson._



AFTER STEPHEN PHILLIPS


LITTLE JACK HORNER

    Littlé Jack Horner sát in án anglé Meditating.
                  Before we go farther,
    Please clearly understand this is blank verse.
    If it reads strangely, and the accent falls
    In unexpected places, do not dare
    To criticise. Remember once for all,
    That I and Milton judge questións like that—
    _Vide_ my letters to the daily press.
    As for my critics—wholesale ignorance
    Were a term far too mild to paint their gross
    Unintellectuality. So much said,
    I start again.
                  In a cornér he sat,
    Remote from comrades. Resolutely his hand
    Clutched a delicious pie. Anon his thumb
    From thé pasty depth próduced á curránt.

    (Excuse another interruption, but
    Observe the beauty of that ultimate line!
    With equal ease I might have written it
    “Produced a currant from the pasty depth,”
    But I—and Milton in his better moments—
    Prefer to be original.) In his soul
    The obsession of his own superior virtue
    Grew and prevailed, till at the last he cried:
    “I am a Paragon of Excellence!”

    Happy Jack Horner, thus fully convinced
    Of his remarkable superiority!
    And happy readers, who peruse his tale
    Retold in such magnificent blank verse!
                            _Anthony C. Deane._



AFTER FIONA McLEOD, W. B. YEATS, AND OTHERS


THE CULT OF THE CELTIC

    WHEN the eager squadrons of day are faint and disbanded,
      And under the wind-swept stars the reaper gleans
    The petulant passion flowers—although, to be candid,
      I haven’t the faintest notion what that means—

    Surely the Snow-White Bird makes melody sweeter
      High in the air than skimming the clogging dust.
    (Yes, there’s certainly something queer about this metre,
      But, as it’s Celtic, you and I must take it on trust.)

    And oh, the smile of the Slave as he shakes his fetters!
      And oh, the Purple Pig as it roams afar!
    And oh, the—something or other in capital letters—
      As it yields to the magic spell of a wind-swept star!

    And look at the tricksy Elves, how they leap and frolic,
      Ducking the Bad Banshee in the moonlit pool,
    Celtic, yet fully content to be “symbolic,”
      Never a thought in their heads about Home Rule!

    But the wind-swept star—you notice it has to figure,
      Taking an average merely, in each alternate verse
    Of every Celtic poem—smiles with a palpable snigger,
      While the Yellow Wolf-Hound bays his blighting curse,

    And the voices of dead desires in sufferers waken,
      And the voice of the limitless lake is harsh and rough,
    And the voice of the reader, too, unless I’m mistaken,
      Is heard to remark that he’s had about enough.

    But since the critics have stated with some decision
      That stanzas very like these are simply grand,
    Showing “a sense of beauty and intimate vision,”
      Proving a “Celtic Renaissance” close at hand;

    Then, although I admit it’s a terrible tax on
      Powers like mine, yet I sincerely felt
    My task, as an unintelligent Saxon,
      Was, at all hazards, to try to copy the Celt!
                            _Anthony C. Deane._



AFTER VARIOUS WRITERS OF VERS DE SOCIÉTÉ


BEHOLD THE DEEDS!

(_Chant Royal_)

    (_Being the Plaint of Adolphe Culpepper Ferguson,
    Salesman of Fancy Notions, held in durance of his
    Landlady for a failure to connect on Saturday night_)

I

    I WOULD that all men my hard case might know;
      How grievously I suffer for no sin:
    I, Adolphe Culpepper Ferguson, for lo!
      I, of my landlady am locked in.
    For being short on this sad Saturday,
    Nor having shekels of silver wherewith to pay,
    She has turned and is departed with my key;
    Wherefore, not even as other boarders free,
      I sing (as prisoners to their dungeon stones
    When for ten days they expiate a spree):
      Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

II

    One night and one day have I wept my woe;
      Nor wot I when the morrow doth begin,
    If I shall have to write to Briggs & Co.,
      To pray them to advance the requisite tin
    For ransom of their salesman, that he may
    Go forth as other boarders go alway—
    As those I hear now flocking from their tea,
    Led by the daughter of my landlady
      Pianoward. This day for all my moans,
    Dry bread and water have been servèd me.
      Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

III

    Miss Amabel Jones is musical, and so
      The heart of the young he-boarder doth win,
    Playing “The Maiden’s Prayer,” adagio—
      That fetcheth him, as fetcheth the banco skin
    The innocent rustic. For my part, I pray:
    That Badarjewska maid may wait for aye
    Ere sits she with a lover, as did we
    Once sit together, Amabel! Can it be
      That all of that arduous wooing not atones
    For Saturday shortness of trade dollars three?
      Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

IV

    Yea! she forgets the arm was wont to go
      Around her waist. She wears a buckle whose pin
    Galleth the crook of the young man’s elbow;
      I forget not, for I that youth have been.
    Smith was aforetime the Lothario gay.
    Yet once, I mind me, Smith was forced to stay
    Close in his room. Not calm, as I, was he;
    But his noise brought no pleasaunce, verily.
      Small ease he gat of playing on the bones,
    Or hammering on his stove-pipe, that I see.
      Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

V

    Thou, for whose fear the figurative crow
      I eat, accursed be thou and all thy kin!
    Thee will I show up—yea, up will I show
      Thy too thick buckwheats, and thy tea too thin
    Ay! here I dare thee, ready for the fray!
    Thou dost not keep a first-class house, I say!
    It does not with the advertisements agree.
    Thou lodgest a Briton with a pugaree,
      And thou hast harbored Jacobses and Cohns,
    Also a Mulligan. Thus denounce I thee!
      Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!

ENVOY

    Boarders! the worst I have not told to ye:
    She hath stole my trousers, that I may not flee
      Privily by the window. Hence these groans,
    There is no fleeing in a _robe de nuit_.
      Behold the deeds that are done of Mrs. Jones!
                            _H. C. Bunner._


CULTURE IN THE SLUMS

(_Inscribed to an Intense Poet_)

    “O CRIKEY Bill!” she ses to me, she ses,
    “Look sharp,” ses she, “with them there sossiges.
    Yea! sharp with them there bags of mysteree!
    For lo!” she ses, “for lo! old pal,” ses she,
      “I’m blooming peckish, neither more or less.”
    Was it not prime—I leave you all to guess
    How prime—to have a Jude in love’s distress
      Come spooning round, and murmuring balmilee,
                        “O crikey, Bill!”

    For in such rorty wise doth Love express
    His blooming views, and asks for your address,
      And makes it right, and does the gay and free.
    I kissed her—I did so! And her and me
    Was pals. And if that ain’t good business,
                        O crikey, Bill!
                            _W. E. Henley._


A BALLADE OF BALLADE-MONGERS

(_After the manner of Master François Villon of Paris_)

    IN Ballades things always contrive to get lost,
      And Echo is constantly asking where
    Are last year’s roses and last year’s frost?
      And where are the fashions we used to wear?
    And what is a “gentleman,” and what is a “player”?
      Irrelevant questions I like to ask:
    Can you reap the tret as well as the tare?
      And who was the Man in the Iron Mask?

    What has become of the ring I tossed
      In the lap of my mistress false and fair?
    Her grave is green and her tombstone mossed;
      But who is to be the next Lord Mayor?
    And where is King William, of Leicester Square?
      And who has emptied my hunting flask?
    And who is possessed of Stella’s hair?
      And who was the Man in the Iron Mask?

    And what became of the knee I crossed,
      And the rod and the child they would not spare?
    And what will a dozen herring cost
      When herring are sold at three halfpence a pair?
    And what in the world is the Golden Stair?
      Did Diogenes die in a tub or cask,
    Like Clarence, for love of liquor there?
      And who was the Man in the Iron Mask?

ENVOY

    Poets, your readers have much to bear,
      For Ballade-making is no great task,
    If you do not remember, I don’t much care
      Who was the man in the Iron Mask.
                            _Augustus M. Moore_



AFTER VARIOUS POPULAR SONGS


BEAUTIFUL SNOW

(_With a drift_)

    OH! the snow, the beautiful snow
    (This is a parody, please, you know;
    Over and over again you may meet
    Parodies writ on this poem so sweet;
    Rhyming, chiming, skipping along,
    Comical bards think they do nothing wrong;
    Striving to follow what others have done,
    One to the number may keep up the fun).
    Beautiful snow, so gently you scud,
    Pure for a minute, then dirty as mud!

    Oh! the snow, the beautiful snow!
    Here’s a fine mess you have left us below;
    Chilling our feet to the tips of our toes;
    Cheekily landing full pert on our nose;
    Jinking, slinking, ever you try
    ’Neath our umbrella to flop in our eye;
    Gamins await us at every new street,
    Watching us carefully, guiding our feet,
    Joking, mocking, ready to throw
    A hard-compressed ball of this beautiful snow.
                            _Anonymous._


THE NEWEST THING IN CHRISTMAS CAROLS

    GOD rest you, merry gentlemen!
      May nothing you dismay;
    Not even the dyspeptic plats
      Through which you’ll eat your way;
    Nor yet the heavy Christmas bills
      The season bids you pay;
    No, nor the ever tiresome need
      Of being to order gay;

    Nor yet the shocking cold you’ll catch
      If fog and slush hold sway;
    Nor yet the tumbles you must bear
      If frost should win the day;
    Nor sleepless nights—they’re sure to come—
      When “waits” attune their lay;
    Nor pantomimes, whose dreariness
      Might turn macassar gray;

    Nor boisterous children, home in heaps,
      And ravenous of play;
    Nor yet—in fact, the host of ills
      Which Christmases array.
    God rest you, merry gentlemen,
      May none of these dismay!
                            _Anonymous._


THE TALE OF LORD LOVELL

    LORD LOVELL he stood at his own front door,
      Seeking the hole for the key;
    His hat was wrecked, and his trousers bore
      A rent across either knee,
    When down came the beauteous Lady Jane
      In fair white draperie.

    “Oh, where have you been, Lord Lovell?” she said,
      “Oh, where have you been?” said she;
    “I have not closed an eye in bed,
      And the clock has just struck three.
    Who has been standing you on your head
      In the ash-barrel, pardie?”

    “I am not drunk, Lad’ Shane,” he said:
      “And so late it cannot be;
    The clock struck one as I enteréd—
      I heard it two times or three;
    It must be the salmon on which I fed
      Has been too many for me.”

    “Go tell your tale, Lord Lovell,” she said,
      “To the maritime cavalree,
    To your grandmother of the hoary head—
      To any one but me:
    The door is not used to be openéd
      With a cigarette for a key.”
                            _Anonymous._


“SONGS WITHOUT WORDS”

    I CANNOT sing the old songs,
      Though well I know the tune,
    Familiar as a cradle-song
      With sleep-compelling croon;
    Yet though I’m filled with music
      As choirs of summer birds,
    “I cannot sing the old songs”—
      I do not know the words.

    I start on “Hail Columbia,”
      And get to “heav’n-born band,”
    And there I strike an up-grade
      With neither steam nor sand;
    “Star-Spangled Banner” downs me
      Right in my wildest screaming,
    I start all right, but dumbly come
      To voiceless wreck at “streaming.”

    So when I sing the old songs,
      Don’t murmur or complain
    If “Ti, diddy ah da, tum dum”
      Should fill the sweetest strain.
    I love “Tolly um dum di do,”
      And the “Trilla-la yeep da” birds,
    But “I cannot sing the old songs”—
      I do not know the words.
                            _Robert J. Burdette._


THE ELDERLY GENTLEMAN

    BY the side of a murmuring stream, an elderly gentleman sat,
    On the top of his head was his wig, and a-top of his wig was his hat.

    The wind it blew high and blew strong, as the elderly gentleman sat;
    And bore from his head in a trice, and plunged in the river his hat.

    The gentleman then took his cane, which lay by his side as he sat;
    And he dropped in the river his wig, in attempting to get out his hat.

    His breast it grew cold with despair, and full in his eye madness sat;
    So he flung in the river his cane to swim with his wig and his hat.

    Cool reflection at last came across, while this elderly gentleman sat;
    So he thought he would follow the stream, and look for his cane, wig,
              and hat.

    His head, being thicker than common, o’erbalanced the rest of his fat,
    And in plumpt this son of a woman, to follow his wig, cane, and hat.
                                                      _George Canning._


TURTLE SOUP

    BEAUTIFUL soup, so rich and green,
    Waiting in a hot tureen!
    Who for such dainties would not stoop?
    Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup?
    Soup of the evening, beautiful Soup?
        Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!
        Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!
      Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,
        Beautiful, beautiful Soup!

    “Beautiful Soup! Who cares for fish,
    Game, or any other dish?
    Who would not give all else for two p
    Ennyworth only of beautiful Soup?
    Pennyworth only of beautiful soup?
        Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!
        Beau—ootiful Soo—oop!
      Soo—oop of the e—e—evening,
        Beautiful, beauti—FUL SOUP!”
                            _Lewis Carroll._


SOME DAY

(_To an Extortionate Tailor_)

    I KNOW not when your bill I’ll see,
      I know not when that bill fell due,
    What interest you will charge to me,
      Or will you take my I. O. U.?
    It may not be till years are passed,
      Till chubby children’s locks are gray;
    The tailor trusts us, but at last
      His reckoning we must meet some day.
    Some day—some day—some day I must meet it,
            Snip, I know not when or how,
            Snip, I know not when or how;
    Only this—only this—this that once you did me—
    Only this—I’ll do you now—I’ll do you now now—
                                I’ll do you now!

    I know not are you far or near—
      Are you at rest, or cutting still?
    I know not who is held so dear!
      Or who’s to pay your “little bill”!
    But when it comes,—some day—some day—
      These eyes an awful tote may see;
    And don’t you wish, my tailor gay,
      That you may get your £. s. d.?
    Some day—some day—some day I must meet it,
            Snip, I know not when or how,
            Snip, I know not when or how;
    Only this—only this—this that once you did me—
    Only this—I’ll do you now—I’ll do you now now—
                                I’ll do you now!
                            _F. P. Doveton._


IF I SHOULD DIE TO-NIGHT

        IF I should die to-night
    And you should come to my cold corpse and say,
    Weeping and heartsick o’er my lifeless clay—
        If I should die to-night,
    And you should come in deepest grief and woe—
    And say: “Here’s that ten dollars that I owe,”
        I might arise in my large white cravat
        And say, “What’s that?”

        If I should die to-night
    And you should come to my cold corpse and kneel,
    Clasping my bier to show the grief you feel,
        I say, if I should die to-night
    And you should come to me, and there and then
    Just even hint ’bout paying me that ten,
        I might arise the while,
        But I’d drop dead again.
                            _Ben King._


A LOVE SONG

(_In the modern taste, 1733_)

    FLUTTERING spread thy purple pinions,
      Gentle Cupid, o’er my heart;
    I, a slave in thy dominions;
      Nature must give way to art.

    Mild Arcadians, ever blooming,
      Nightly nodding o’er your flocks,
    See my weary days consuming
      All beneath yon flowery rocks.

    Thus the Cyprian goddess weeping
      Mourn’d Adonis, darling youth;
    Him the boar, in silence creeping,
      Gored with unrelenting tooth.

    Cynthia, tune harmonious numbers,
      Fair Discretion, string the lyre;
    Soothe my ever-waking slumbers;
      Bright Apollo, lend thy choir.

    Gloomy Pluto, king of terrors,
      Arm’d in adamantine chains,
    Lead me to the crystal mirrors
      Watering soft Elysian plains.

    Mourning cypress, verdant willow,
      Gilding my Aurelia’s brows,
    Morpheus hovering o’er my pillow,
      Hear me pay my dying vows.

    Melancholy smooth Meander,
      Swiftly purling in a round,
    On thy margin lovers wander,
      With thy flowery chaplets crowned.

    Thus when Philomela drooping
      Softly seeks her silent mate,
    See the bird of Juno stooping;
      Melody resigns to fate.
                            _Dean Swift._


OLD FASHIONED FUN

    WHEN that old joke was new,
      It was not hard to joke,
    And puns we now pooh-pooh,
      Great laughter would provoke.

    True wit was seldom heard,
      And humor shown by few,
    When reign’d King George the Third,
      And that old joke was new.

    It passed indeed for wit,
      Did this achievement rare,
    When down your friend would sit,
      To steal away his chair.

    You brought him to the floor,
      You bruised him black and blue,
    And this would cause a roar,
      When your old joke was new.
                      _W. M. Thackeray._



THEMES WITH VARIATIONS


HOME SWEET HOME WITH VARIATIONS

    (_Being suggestions of the various styles in which an
    old theme might have been treated by certain metrical
    composers_)


FANTASIA

I

_The original theme as John Howard Payne wrote it_:

    MID pleasures and palaces though we may roam,
    Be it ever so humble, there’s no place like home!
    A charm from the skies seems to hallow it there,
    Which, seek through the world, is not met with elsewhere.

        Home, home! Sweet, Sweet Home!
        There’s no place like Home!

    An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain!
    Oh, give me my lowly thatched cottage again!
    The birds singing gaily that came at my call!
    Give me them! and the peace of mind, dearer than all.

        Home, home! Sweet, Sweet Home!
        There’s no place like Home!

II

(_As Algernon Charles Swinburne might have wrapped it up in variations_)

    (’Mid pleasures and palaces—)

    As sea-foam blown of the winds, as blossom of brine that is drifted
      Hither and yon on the barren breast of the breeze,
    Though we wander on gusts of a god’s breath, shaken and shifted,
      The salt of us stings and is sore for the sobbing seas.
    For home’s sake hungry at heart, we sicken in pillared porches
      Of bliss made sick for a life that is barren of bliss,
    For the place whereon is a light out of heaven that sears not nor
              scorches,
      Nor elsewhere than this.

    (An exile from home, splendor dazzles in vain—)

    For here we know shall no gold thing glisten,
      No bright thing burn, and no sweet thing shine;
    Nor love lower never an ear to listen
      To words that work in the heart like wine.
        What time we are set from our land apart,
        For pain of passion and hunger of heart,
    Though we walk with exiles fame faints to christen,
      Or sing at the Cytherean’s shrine.

    (Variation: An exile from home—)

    Whether with him whose head
    Of gods is honored,
    With song made splendent in the sight of men—
      Whose heart most sweetly stout,
      From ravishing France cast out,
    Being firstly hers, was hers most wholly then—
      Or where on shining seas like wine
      The dove’s wings draw the drooping Erycine.

    (Give me my lowly thatched cottage—)

    For Joy finds Love grow bitter,
    And spreads his wings to quit her,
    At thought of birds that twitter
      Beneath the roof-tree’s straw—
      Of birds that come for calling,
      No fear or fright appalling,
      When dews of dusk are falling,
    Or daylight’s draperies draw.

    (Give me them, and the peace of mind—)

    Give me these things then back, though the giving
      Be at cost of earth’s garner of gold;
    There is no life without these worth living,
      No treasure where these are not told.
    For the heart give the hope that it knows not,
      Give the balm for the burn of the breast—
    For the soul and the mind that repose not,
      Oh, give us a rest!

III

(_As Mr. Francis Bret Harte might have woven it into a touching tale of
a western gentleman in a red shirt_)

      BROWN o’ San Juan,
        Stranger, I’m Brown.
      Come up this mornin’ from ’Frisco—
        Be’n a-saltin’ my specie-stacks down.

      Be’n a-knockin’ around,
        Fer a man from San Juan,
      Putty consid’able frequent—
        Jes’ catch onter that streak o’ the dawn!

      Right thar lies my home—
        Right thar in the red—
      I could slop over, stranger, in po’try—
        Would spread out old Shakspoke cold dead.

    Stranger, you freeze to this: there ain’t no kinder gin-palace,
    Nor no variety-show lays over a man’s own rancho.
    Maybe it hain’t no style, but the Queen in the Tower o’ London,
    Ain’t got naathin’ I’d swop for that house over thar on the hill-side.

    Thar is my ole gal, ’n’ the kids, ’n’ the rest o’ my live-stock;
    Thar my Remington hangs, and thar there’s a griddle-cake br’ilin’—
    For the two of us, pard—and thar, I allow, the heavens
    Smile more friendly-like than on any other locality.

    Stranger, nowhere else I don’t take no satisfaction.
    Gimme my ranch, ’n’ them friendly old Shanghai chickens—
    I brung the original pair f’m the States in eighteen-’n’-fifty—
    Gimme me them and the feelin’ of solid domestic comfort.

      Yer parding, young man—
        But this landscape a kind
      Er flickers—I ’low ’twuz the po’try—
        I thought that my eyes hed gone blind.

      Take that pop from my belt!
        Hi, thar!—gimme yer han’—
      Or I’ll kill myself—Lizzie—she’s left me—
        Gone off with a purtier man!

      Thar, I’ll quit—the ole gal
        An’ the kids—run away!
      I be derned! Howsomever, come in, pard—
        The griddle-cake’s thar, anyway.

IV

    (_As Austin Dobson might have translated it from
    Horace, if it had ever occurred to Horace to write it_)

RONDEAU

    At home alone, O Nomades,
    Although Mæcenas’ marble frieze
      Stand not between you and the sky,
      Nor Persian luxury supply
    Its rosy surfeit, find ye ease.

    Tempt not the far Ægean breeze;
    With home-made wine and books that please,
      To duns and bores the door deny,
                At home, alone.

    Strange joys may lure. Your deities
    Smile here alone. Oh, give me these:
      Low eaves, where birds familiar fly,
      And peace of mind, and, fluttering by,
    My Lydia’s graceful draperies,
                At home, alone.

V

    (_As it might have been constructed in 1744, Oliver
    Goldsmith, at 19, writing the first stanza, and
    Alexander Pope, at 52, the second_)

    Home! at the word, what blissful visions rise,
    Lift us from earth, and draw toward the skies;
    ’Mid mirag’d towers, or meretricious joys,
    Although we roam, one thought the mind employs:
    Or lowly hut, good friend, or loftiest dome,
    Earth knows no spot so holy as our Home.
    There, where affection warms the father’s breast,
    There is the spot of heav’n most surely blest.
    Howe’er we search, though wandering with the wind
    Through frigid Zembla, or the heats of Ind,
    Not elsewhere may we seek, nor elsewhere know,
    The light of heaven upon our dark below.

    When from our dearest hope and haven reft,
    Delight nor dazzles, nor is luxury left,
    We long, obedient to our nature’s law,
    To see again our hovel thatched with straw:
    See birds that know our avenaceous store
    Stoop to our hand, and thence repleted soar:
    But, of all hopes the wanderer’s soul that share,
    His pristine peace of mind’s his final prayer.

VI

    (_As Walt Whitman might have written all around it_)


I

    You over there, young man with the guide-book,
    red-bound, covered flexibly with red linen,

    Come here, I want to talk with you; I, Walt, the
    Manhattanese, citizen of these States, call you.

    Yes, and the courier, too, smirking, smug-mouthed, with
    oil’d hair; a garlicky look about him generally; him,
    too, I take in, just as I would a coyote or a king,
    or a toad-stool, or a ham-sandwich, or anything, or
    anybody else in the world.

    Where are you going?

    You want to see Paris, to eat truffles, to have a good
    time; in Vienna, London, Florence, Monaco, to have a
    good time; you want to see Venice.

    Come with me. I will give you a good time; I will give
    you all the Venice you want, and most of the Paris.

    I, Walt, I call to you. I am all on deck! Come and
    loafe with me! Let me tote you around by your elbow and
    show you things.

    You listen to my ophicleide!

    Home!

    Home, I celebrate. I elevate my fog-whistle, inspir’d
    by the thought of home.

    Come in!—take a front seat; the jostle of the crowd
    not minding; there is room enough for all of you.

    This is my exhibition—it is the greatest show on
    earth—there is no charge for admission.

    All you have to pay me is to take in my romanza.

II

    1. The brown-stone house; the father coming home
    worried from a bad day’s business; the wife meets him
    in the marble pav’d vestibule; she throws her arms
    about him; she presses him close to her; she looks him
    full in the face with affectionate eyes; the frown from
    his brow disappearing.

    Darling, she says, Johnny has fallen down and cut his
    head; the cook is going away, and the boiler leaks.

    2. The mechanic’s dark little third-story room, seen
    in a flash from the Elevated Railway train; the
    sewing-machine in a corner; the small cook-stove; the
    whole family eating cabbage around a kerosene lamp;
    of the clatter and roar and groaning wail of the
    Elevated train unconscious; of the smell of the cabbage
    unconscious.

    Me, passant, in the train, of the cabbage not quite so
    unconscious.

    3. The French Flat; the small rooms, all right-angles,
    unindividual; the narrow halls; the gaudy, cheap
    decorations everywhere.

    The janitor and the cook exchanging compliments up and
    down the elevator-shaft; the refusal to send up more
    coal, the solid splash of the water upon his head, the
    language he sends up the shaft, the triumphant laughter
    of the cook, to her kitchen retiring.

    4. The widow’s small house in the suburbs of the city;
    the widow’s boy coming home from his first day down
    town; he is flushed with happiness and pride; he is no
    longer a school-boy, he is earning money; he takes on
    the airs of a man and talks learnedly of business.

    5. The room in the third-class boarding-house; the
    mean little hard-coal fire, the slovenly Irish
    servant-girl making it, the ashes on the hearth, the
    faded furniture, the private provender hid away in the
    closet, the dreary backyard out the window; the young
    girl at the glass, with her mouth full of hairpins,
    doing up her hair to go downstairs and flirt with the
    young fellows in the parlor.

    6. The kitchen of the old farm-house; the young convict
    just returned from prison—it was his first offense,
    and the judges were lenient on him.

    He is taking his first meal out of prison; he has been
    received back, kiss’d, encourag’d to start again; his
    lungs, his nostrils expand with the big breaths of free
    air; with shame, with wonderment, with a trembling
    joy, his heart too, expanding.

    The old mother busies herself about the table; she has
    ready for him the dishes he us’d to like; the father
    sits with his back to them, reading the newspaper,
    the newspaper shaking and rustling much; the children
    hang wondering around the prodigal—they have been
    caution’d: Do not ask where our Jim has been; only say
    you are glad to see him.

    The elder daughter is there, palefac’d, quiet; her
    young man went back on her four years ago; his folks
    would not let him marry a convict’s sister. She sits
    by the window, sewing on the children’s clothes, the
    clothes not only patching up; her hunger for children
    of her own invisibly patching up.

    The brother looks up; he catches her eye, he fearful,
    apologetic; she smiles back at him, not reproachfully
    smiling, with loving pretence of hope smiling—it is
    too much for him; he buries his face in the folds of
    the mother’s black gown.

    7. The best room of the house, on the Sabbath only
    open’d; the smell of horse-hair furniture and
    mahogany varnish; the ornaments on the what-not in
    the corner; the wax fruit, dusty, sunken, sagged
    in, consumptive-looking, under a glass globe, the
    sealing-wax imitation of coral; the cigar boxes with
    shells plastered over, the perforated card-board motto.

    The kitchen; the housewife sprinkling the clothes
    for the fine ironing to-morrow—it is the Third-day
    night, and the plain things are ready iron’d, now in
    cupboards, in drawers stowed away.

    The wife waiting for the husband—he is at the tavern,
    jovial, carousing; she, alone in the kitchen sprinkling
    clothes—the little red wood clock with peaked top,
    with pendulum wagging behind a pane of gayly painted
    glass, strikes twelve.

    The sound of the husband’s voice on the still
    night air—he is singing: “We won’t go home until
    morning!”—the wife arising, toward the wood-shed
    hastily going, stealthily entering, the voice all the
    time coming nearer, inebriate, chantant.

    The husband passing the door of the wood-shed; the club
    over his head, now with his head in contact; the sudden
    cessation of the song; the benediction of peace over
    the domestic foyer temporarily resting.

    I sing the soothing influences of home.
    You, young man, thoughtlessly wandering, with courier, with
              guide-book wandering,
    You hearken to the melody of my steam-calliope
    Yawp!
                            _Henry Cuyler Bunner._



MODERN VERSIFICATION ON ANCIENT THEMES


GOOSE À LA MODE

    —Mary, Mary, quite contrary,
    How does your garden grow?

    WITHIN the garden’s deepness filled of light
    Stood Mary, and upon her fair green gown
        Fell glory of gold hair, a stern sweet frown
    Was on her forehead, slim cold hands and white
    Made ending of her long pale arms’ delight.
        And questioning, I—“How does your garden grow?”
    Then she—“With bells that ring, and shells that sing
    Of strange gray seas, with fair, strong hands that cling
        Together, stand tall damozels a-row.”
                            _Elizabeth Cavazza._


THREE CHILDREN SLIDING

    —Three children sliding on the ice
    All on a summer’s day.

    FOUR are the names of the seasons—spring, summer, autumn, and winter.
    Summer is hot and winter is cold, while the others partake in
    Greater or less degree of cold and caloric commingled.
    Surely, I think, it is well to be good, and my mind is astonished
    At the exceeding sin of sinfulness, whereof the perils
    Shown in my verse are apparent. Three rosy children were sliding
    Over the ice in summer and—fate so decreeing, it happened—
    Fell through the ice and were drowned. Had these children in winter
              been sliding
    On the bare earth, or had they, by the peaceful fireside sitting,
    Studied their catechism, it were strange—so the novel thought
              strikes me—
    Even in summer’s heat had the ice broken suddenly under
    Avoirdupois of these babes, and diluted the well-springs of
              pleasure.


JACK AND JILL

    —Jack and Jill went up a hill
    To draw a pail of water.

    WHAT moan is made of the mountain, what sob of the hillside,
      Why a lament of the south wind, and rainfall as tears?
    Brother and sister, once bodies and spirits together,
      Fell as fair ghosts down the sad swift slope of the years.

    Where is the fount on the mount where the thrill of water
      Sang as a siren its song to the steep beneath?
    Where are the feet of the son and the fair-eyed daughter,
      Feet drawn aside of Fate, and set in the pathway of Death!

    Ah cruel earth and hard, ah, pitiless laughter
      Made of the waters, when, shattered his golden crown,
    Fell the fair boy as a star, and his sister after,
      To the field of the dead, to its cold and the darkness unknown!
                            _Elizabeth Cavazza._


JACK AND JILL

(_As Austin Dobson might have written it_)

    THEIR pail they must fill
      In a crystalline springlet,
    Brave Jack and fair Jill.
    Their pail they must fill
    At the top of the hill,
      Then she gives him a ringlet.
    Their pail they must fill
      In a crystalline springlet.

    They stumbled and fell,
      And poor Jack broke his forehead,
    Oh, how he did yell!
    They stumbled and fell,
    And went down pell-mell—
      By Jove! it was horrid.
    They stumbled and fell,
      And poor Jack broke his forehead.

(_As Swinburne might have written it_)

    The shudd’ring sheet of rain athwart the trees!
    The crashing kiss of lightning on the seas!
      The moaning of the night wind on the wold,
    That erstwhile was a gentle, murm’ring breeze!

    On such a night as this went Jill and Jack
    With strong and sturdy strides through dampness black
      To find the hill’s high top and water cold,
    Then toiling through the town to bear it back.

    The water drawn, they rest awhile. Sweet sips
    Of nectar then for Jack from Jill’s red lips,
      And then with arms entwined they homeward go;
    Till mid the mad mud’s moistened mush Jack slips.

    Sweet Heaven, draw a veil on this sad plight,
    His crazéd cries and cranium cracked; the fright
      Of gentle Jill, her wretchedness and wo!
    Kind Phœbus, drive thy steeds and end this night!

(_As Walt Whitman might have written it_)

    I celebrate the personality of Jack!
    I love his dirty hands, his tangled hair, his locomotion blundering.
    Each wart upon his hands I sing,
    Pæans I chant to his hulking shoulder blades.
    Also Jill!
    Her I celebrate.
    I, Walt, of unbridled thought and tongue,
    Whoop her up!
    What’s the matter with Jill?
    Oh, she’s all right!
    Who’s all right?
    Jill.
    Her golden hair, her sun-struck face, her hard and reddened hands;
    So, too, her feet, hefty, shambling.
    I see them in the evening, when the sun empurples the horizon, and
              through the darkening forest aisles are heard the sounds
              of myriad creatures of the night.
    I see them climb the steep ascent in quest of water for their mother.
    Oh, speaking of her, I could celebrate the old lady if I had time.
    She is simply immense!

    But Jack and Jill are walking up the hill.
    (I didn’t mean that rhyme.)
    I must watch them.
    I love to watch their walk,
    And wonder as I watch;
    He, stoop-shouldered, clumsy, hide-bound,
    Yet lusty,
    Bearing his share of the 1-lb bucket as though it were a paperweight.
    She, erect, standing, her head uplifting,
    Holding, but bearing not the bucket.
    They have reached the spring.
    They have filled the bucket.
    Have you heard the “Old Oaken Bucket”?
    I will sing it:—

    Of what countless patches is the bed-quilt of life composed!
    Here is a piece of lace. A babe is born.
    The father is happy, the mother is happy.
    Next black crêpe. A beldame “shuffles off this mortal coil.”
    Now brocaded satin with orange blossoms,
    Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March,” an old shoe missile,
    A broken carriage window, the bride in the Bellevue sleeping.
    Here’s a large piece of black cloth!
    “Have you any last words to say?”
    “No.”
    “Sheriff, do your work!”
    Thus it is: from “grave to gay, from lively to severe.”

    I mourn the downfall of my Jack and Jill.
    I see them descending, obstacles not heeding.
    I see them pitching headlong, the water from the pail outpouring,
              a noise from leathern lungs out-belching.
    The shadows of the night descend on Jack, recumbent, bellowing, his
              pate with gore besmeared.
    I love his cowardice, because it is an attribute, just like
    Job’s patience or Solomon’s wisdom, and I love attributes.
    Whoop!!!
                                             _Charles Battell Loomis._


THE REJECTED “NATIONAL HYMNS”

I

BY H—Y W. L—NGF—W

    BACK in the years when Phlagstaff, the Dane, was monarch
      Over the sea-ribb’d land of the fleet-footed Norsemen,
    Once there went forth young Ursa to gaze at the heavens—
      Ursa—the noblest of all the kings and horsemen.

    Musing, he sat in his stirrups and viewed the horizon,
      Where the Aurora lapt stars in a North-polar manner,
    Wildly he stared,—for there in the heavens before him
      Fluttered and flam’d the original Star Spangled Banner.

II

BY J-HN GR—N—F WH—T—R

    My Native Land, thy Puritanic stock
    Still finds its roots firm-bound in Plymouth Rock,
    And all thy sons unite in one grand wish—
    To keep the virtues of Preservéd Fish.

    Preservéd Fish, the Deacon stern and true
    Told our New England what her sons should do,
    And if they swerve from loyalty and right,
    Then the whole land is lost indeed in night.

III

BY DR. OL—V—R W—ND——L H—LMES

    A diagnosis of our history proves
    Our native land a land its native loves;
    Its birth a deed obstetric without peer,
    Its growth a source of wonder far and near.

    To love it more, behold how foreign shores
    Sink into nothingness beside its stores;
    Hyde Park at best—though counted ultra-grand—
    The “Boston Common” of Victoria’s land.

IV

BY RALPH W—LDO EM—R——N

    Source immaterial of material naught,
      Focus of light infinitesimal,
    Sum of all things by sleepless Nature wrought,
      Of which the normal man is decimal.

    Refract, in Prism immortal, from thy stars
      To the stars bent incipient on our flag,
    The beam translucent, neutrifying death,
      And raise to immortality the rag.

V

BY W—LL——M C—LL—N B—Y—NT

    The sun sinks softly to his Ev’ning Post,
      The sun swells grandly to his morning crown;
    Yet not a star our Flag of Heav’n has lost,
      And not a sunset stripe with him goes down.

    So thrones may fall, and from the dust of those,
      New thrones may rise, to totter like the last;
    But still our Country’s nobler planet glows
      While the eternal stars of Heaven are fast.

VI

BY N. P. W—LLIS

    One hue of our Flag is taken
      From the cheeks of my blushing Pet,
    And its stars beat time, and sparkle
      Like the studs on her chemisette.

    Its blue is the ocean shadow
      That hides in her dreamy eyes,
    It conquers all men, like her,
      And still for a Union flies.

VII

BY TH—M—S B—IL—Y ALD——CH

    The little brown squirrel hops in the corn,
      The cricket quaintly sings,
    The emerald pigeon nods his head,
      And the shad in the river springs,
    The dainty sunflower hangs its head
      On the shore of the summer sea;
    And better far that I were dead,
      If Maud did not love me.

    I love the squirrel that hops in the corn,
      And the cricket that quaintly sings;
    And the emerald pigeon that nods his head,
      And the shad that gaily springs.
    I love the dainty sunflower too,
      And Maud with her snowy breast;
    I love them all; but I love—I love—
      I love my country best.
                            _Robert Henry Newell._
                                 (“_Orpheus C. Kerr._”)


A THEME WITH VARIATIONS

THEME

    RIDE a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
      To see a fine lady ride on a white horse;
    With rings on her fingers, and bells on her toes,
      She shall have music wherever she goes.

(_Variation I.—Edmund Spenser_)

    So on he pricked, and loe, he gan espy,
      A market and a crosse of glist’ning stone,
    And eke a merrie rablement thereby,
      That with the musik of the strong trombone,
      And shaumes, and trompets made most dyvillish mone.
    And in their midst he saw a lady sweet,
      That rode upon a milk white steed alone,
    In scarlet robe ycladd and wimple meet,
    Bedight with rings of gold, and bells about her feet.

    Whereat the knight empassioned was so deepe,
      His heart was perst with very agony.
    Certes (said he) I will not eat, ne sleepe,
      Till I have seen the royall maid more ny;
      Then will I holde her in fast fealtie,
    Whom then a carle adviséd, louting low,
      That little neede there was for him to die,
    Sithens in yon pavilion was the show,
    Where she did ride, and he for two-and-six mote go.

(_Variation II.—Dr. Jonathan Swift_)

    Our Chloe, fresh from London town,
    To country B——y comes down.
    Furnished with half-a-thousand graces
    Of silks, brocades, and hoops, and laces;
    And tired of winning coxcombs’ hearts,
    On simple bumpkins tries her arts.
    Behold her ambling down the street
    On her white palfrey, sleek and neat.
    (Though rumor talks of gaming-tables,
    And says ’twas won from C——’s stables.
    And that, when duns demand their bill,
    She satisfies them at quadrille.)
    Her fingers are encased with rings,
    Although she vows she hates the things.
    (“Oh, la! Why ever did you buy it?
    Well—it’s a pretty gem—I’ll try it.”)
    The fine French fashions all combine
    To make folk stare, and Chloe shine,
    From ribbon’d hat with monstrous feather,
    To bells upon her under-leather.
    Now Chloe, why, do you suppose,
    You wear those bells about your toes?
    Is it, your feet with bells you deck
    For want of bows about your neck?

(_Variation III—Sir Walter Scott_

_From “The Lady of the Cake”_)

    “Who is this maid in wild array,
    And riding in that curious way?
    What mean the bells that jingle free
    About her as in revelry?”
    “’Tis Madge of Banbury,” Roderick said.
    “And she’s a trifle off her head,
    ’Twas on her bridal morn, I ween,
    When she to Graeme had wedded been,
    The man who undertook to bake
    Never sent home the wedding cake!
    Since then she wears those bells and rings,
    Since then she rides—but, hush, she sings.”
    She sung! The voice in other days
    It had been difficult to praise,
    And now it every sweetness lacked,
    And voice and singer both were cracked.

SONG

    They bid me ride the other way,
      They say my brain is warp’d and wrung,
    But, oh! the bridal bells are gay
      That I about my feet have strung!
    And when I face the horse’s tail
    I see once more in Banbury’s vale
    My Graeme’s white plume before me wave,
    So thus I’ll ride until the grave.
    They say that this is not my home,
      ’Mid Scotland’s moors and Scotland’s brakes.
    But, oh! ’tis love that makes me roam
      Forever in the land of cakes!
    And woe betide the baker’s guile,
    Whose blight destroyed the maiden’s smile!
    O woe the day, and woe the deed,
    And woa—gee woa—my bonnie steed!
                            _Barry Pain._


THE POETS AT TEA

1.—(_Macaulay, who made it_)

    POUR, varlet, pour the water,
      The water steaming hot!
    A spoonful for each man of us,
      Another for the pot!
    We shall not drink from amber,
      Nor Capuan slave shall mix
    For us the snows of Athos
      With port at thirty-six;
    Whiter than snow the crystals,
      Grown sweet ’neath tropic fires,
    More rich the herbs of China’s field,
      The pasture-lands more fragrance yield;
    For ever let Britannia wield
      The tea-pot of her sires!

2.—(_Tennyson, who took it hot_)

    I think that I am drawing to an end:
    For on a sudden came a gasp for breath,
    And stretching of the hands, and blinded eyes,
    And a great darkness falling on my soul.
    O Hallelujah!... Kindly pass the milk.

3.—(_Swinburne, who let it get cold_)

    As the sin that was sweet in the sinning
      Is foul in the ending thereof,
    As the heat of the summer’s beginning
      Is past in the winter of love:
    O purity, painful and pleading!
      O coldness, ineffably gray!
    Oh, hear us, our handmaid unheeding,
      And take it away!

4.—(_Cowper, who thoroughly enjoyed it_)

    The cosy fire is bright and gay,
    The merry kettle boils away
          And hums a cheerful song.
    I sing the saucer and the cup;
    Pray, Mary, fill the tea-pot up,
          And do not make it strong.

5.—(_Browning, who treated it allegorically_)

    Tut! Bah! We take as another case—
      Pass the bills on the pills on the window-sill; notice the capsule
    (A sick man’s fancy, no doubt, but I place
      Reliance on trade-marks, Sir)—so perhaps you’ll
    Excuse the digression—this cup which I hold
      Light-poised—Bah, it’s spilt in the bed!—well, let’s on go—
    Hold Bohea and sugar, Sir; if you were told
      The sugar was salt, would the Bohea be Congo?

6.—(_Wordsworth, who gave it away_)

    “Come, little cottage girl, you seem
      To want my cup of tea;
    And will you take a little cream?
      Now tell the truth to me.”

    She had a rustic, woodland grin,
      Her cheek was soft as silk,
    And she replied, “Sir, please put in
      A little drop of milk.”

    “Why, what put milk into your head?
      ’Tis cream my cows supply;”
    And five times to the child I said,
      “Why, pig-head, tell me, why?”

    “You call me pig-head,” she replied;
      “My proper name is Ruth.
    I called that milk”—she blushed with pride—
      “You bade me speak the truth.”

7.—(_Poe, who got excited over it_)

    Here’s a mellow cup of tea, golden tea!
    What a world of rapturous thought its fragrance brings to me!
      Oh, from out the silver cells
      How it wells!
      How it smells!
    Keeping tune, tune, tune
    To the tintinnabulation of the spoon.
    And the kettle on the fire
    Boils its spout off with desire,
    With a desperate desire
    And a crystalline endeavour
    Now, now to sit, or never,
    On the top of the pale-faced moon,
    But he always came home to tea, tea, tea, tea, tea,
          Tea to the n—th.

8.—(_Rossetti, who took six cups of it_)

    The lilies lie in my lady’s bower
    (O weary mother, drive the cows to roost),
    They faintly droop for a little hour;
    My lady’s head droops like a flower.

    She took the porcelain in her hand
    (O weary mother, drive the cows to roost);
    She poured; I drank at her command;
    Drank deep, and now—you understand!
    (O weary mother, drive the cows to roost.)

9.—(_Burns, who liked it adulterated_)

    Weel, gin ye speir, I’m no inclined,
    Whusky or tay—to state my mind,
          Fore ane or ither;
      For, gin I tak the first, I’m fou,
      And gin the next, I’m dull as you,
          Mix a’ thegither.

10.—(_Walt Whitman, who didn’t stay more than a minute_)

    One cup for my self-hood,
    Many for you. Allons, camerados, we will drink together,
    O hand-in-hand! That tea-spoon, please, when you’ve done with it.
    What butter-colour’d hair you’ve got. I don’t want to be personal.
    All right, then, you needn’t. You’re a stale-cadaver.
    Eighteen-pence if the bottles are returned.
    Allons, from all bat-eyed formula.
                            _Barry Pain._


THE POETS AT A HOUSE-PARTY

(_A modern mortal having inadvertently stumbled in upon a house-party
of poets given on Mount Olympus, being called upon to justify his
presence there by writing a poem, offered a Limerick. Whereupon each
poet scoffed, and the mortal, offended, challenged them to do better
with the same theme_)


_The Limerick_

    A SCHOLARLY person named Finck
    Went mad in the effort to think
    Which were graver misplaced,
      To dip pen in his paste,
    Or dip his paste-brush in the ink.

(_Omar Khayyam’s version_)

    Stay, fellow-traveler, let us stop and think,
    Pause and reflect on the abysmal brink;
      Say, would you rather thrust your pen in paste,
    Or dip your paste-brush carelessly in ink?

(_Rudyard Kipling’s version_)

    Here is a theme that is worthy of our cognizance,
      A theme of great importance and a question for your ken;
    Would you rather—stop and think well—
    Dip your paste-brush in your ink-well,
      Or in your pesky pasting-pot immerse your ink pen?

(_Walt Whitman’s version_)

    Hail, Camerados!
    I salute you,
    Also I salute the sewing-machine, and the flour-barrel, and the
              feather-duster.
    What is an aborigine, anyhow?
    I see a paste-pot.
    Ay, and a well of ink.
    Well, well!
    Which shall I do?
    Ah, the immortal fog.
    What am I myself
    But a meteor
    In the fog?

(_Chaucer’s version_)

    A mayde ther ben, a wordy one and wyse,
    Who wore a paire of gogles on her eyes.
    O’er theemes of depest thogt her braine she werked,
    Nor ever any knoty problemme sherked.
    Yette when they askt her if she’d rather sinke
    Her penne in payste, or eke her brushe in inke,
    “Ah,” quo’ the canny mayde, “now wit ye wel,
    I’m wyse enow to know—too wyse to tel.”

(_Henry James’ version_)

She luminously wavered, and I tentatively inferred that she would
soon perfectly reconsider her not altogether unobvious course.
Furiously, though with a tender, ebbing similitude, across her mental
consciousness stole a re-culmination of all the truths she had ever
known concerning, or even remotely relating to, the not-easily
fathomed qualities of paste and ink. So she stood, focused in an
intensity of soul-quivers, and I, all unrelenting, waited, though of
a dim uncertainty whether, after all, it might not be only a dubitant
problem.

(_Swinburne’s version_)

    Shall I dip, shall I dip it, Dolores,
      This luminous paste-brush of thine?
    Shall I sully its white-breasted glories,
      Its fair, foam-flecked figure divine?
    Or shall I—abstracted, unheeding—
      Swish swirling this pen in my haste,
    And, deaf to thy pitiful pleading,
      Just jab it in paste?

(_Eugene Field’s version_)

See the Ink Bottle on the Desk! It is full of Nice Black Ink. Why, the
Paste-Pot is there, Too! Let us watch Papa as he sits down to write.
Oh, he is going to paste a Second-hand Stamp on a Letter. See, he has
dipped his Brush in the Ink by Mistake. Oh, what a Funny Mistake! Now,
although it is Winter, we may have to Endure the Heated Term.

(_Stephen Crane’s version_)

    I stood upon a church spire,
    A slender, pointed spire,
    And I saw
    Ranged in solemn row before me,
    A paste-pot and an ink-pot.
    I held in my either hand
    A pen and a brush.
    Ay, a pen and a brush.
    Now this is the strange part;
    I stood upon a church spire,
    A slender, pointed spire,
    Glad, exultant,
    Because
    The choice was mine!
    Ay, mine!
    As I stood upon a church spire,
    A slender, pointed spire.

(_Mr. Dooley’s version_)

“I see by th’ pa-apers, Hennessy,” said Mr. Dooley, “that they’se a
question up for dee-bate.”

“What’s a dee-bate?” asked Mr. Hennessy.

“Well, it’s different from a fish-bait,” returned Mr. Dooley, “an’ it’s
like this, if I can bate it into the thick head of ye. A lot of people
argyfies an’ argyfies to decide, as in the prisint instance, whether a
man’d rayther shtick his pastin’-brush in his ink-shtand, or if he’d
like it betther to be afther dippin’ his pen in his pashte-pot.”

“Thot,” said Mr. Hennessy, “is a foolish question, an’ only fools wud
argyfy about such a thing as thot.”

“That’s what makes it a dee-bate,” said Mr. Dooley.

                                                  _Carolyn Wells._


AN OLD SONG BY NEW SINGERS

(_In the original_)

    MARY had a little lamb,
      Its fleece was white as snow,—
    And everywhere that Mary went
      The lamb was sure to go.

(_As Austin Dobson writes it_)

TRIOLET

    A little lamb had Mary, sweet,
      With a fleece that shamed the driven snow.
    Not alone Mary went when she moved her feet
    (For a little lamb had Mary, sweet),
    And it tagged her ’round with a pensive bleat,
      And wherever she went it wanted to go;
    A little lamb had Mary, sweet,
      With a fleece that shamed the driven snow.

(_As Mr. Browning has it_)

    You knew her?—Mary the small,
    How of a summer,—or, no, was it fall?
    You’d never have thought it, never believed,
    But the girl owned a lamb last fall.

    Its wool was subtly, silky white,
    Color of lucent obliteration of night,
    Like the shimmering snow or—our Clothild’s arm!
    You’ve seen her arm—her right, I mean—
    The other she scalded a-washing, I ween—
    How white it is and soft and warm?

    Ah, there was soul’s heart-love, deep, true, and tender,
    Wherever went Mary, the maiden so slender,
    There followed, his all-absorbed passion, inciting,
    That passionate lambkin—her soul’s heart delighting—
    Ay, every place that Mary sought in,
    That lamb was sure to soon be caught in.

(_As Longfellow might have done it_)

    Fair the daughter known as Mary,
    Fair and full of fun and laughter,
    Owned a lamb, a little he-goat,
    Owned him all herself and solely.
    White the lamb’s wool as the Gotchi—
    The great Gotchi, driving snowstorm.
    Hither Mary went and thither,
    But went with her to all places,
    Sure as brook to run to river,
    Her pet lambkin following with her.

(_How Andrew Lang sings it_)

RONDEAU

    A wonderful lass was Marie, petite,
    And she looked full fair and passing sweet—
      And, oh! she owned—but cannot you guess
      What pet can a maiden so love and caress
    As a tiny lamb with a plaintive bleat,
    And mud upon his dainty feet,
    And a gentle veally odour of meat,
      And a fleece to finger and kiss and press—
                      White as snow?

    Wherever she wandered, in lane or street,
    As she sauntered on, there at her feet
      She would find that lambkin—bless
      The dear!—treading on her dainty dress,
    Her dainty dress, fresh and neat—
                      White as snow!

(_Mr. Algernon C. Swinburne’s idea_)

VILLANELLE

    Dewy-eyed with shimmering hair,
      Maiden and lamb were a sight to see,
    For her pet was white as she was fair.

    And its lovely fleece was beyond compare,
      And dearly it loved its Mistress Marie,
    Dewy-eyed, with shimmering hair.

    Its warpéd wool was an inwove snare,
      To tangle her fingers in, where they could be
    (For her pet was white as she was fair).

    Lost from sight, both so snow-white were,
      And the lambkin adored the maiden wee,
    Dewy-eyed with shimmering hair.

    Th’ impassioned incarnation of rare,
      Of limpid-eyed, luscious-lipped, loved beauty,
    And her pet was white as she was fair.

    Wherever she wandered, hither and there,
      Wildly that lambkin sought with her to be,
    With the dewy-eyed, with shimmering hair,
    And a pet as white as its mistress was fair.
                            _A. C. Wilkie._



INDEX OF TITLES

  AESTHETE TO THE ROSE, THE         _Punch_                      40
  After Browning                                                194
  Amateur Flute, The                                            140
  American, One of the Roughs,
      A Kosmos, An                                              219
  Ancient Mariner, The                                           61
  Angelo Orders His Dinner          _Bayard Taylor_             205
  Annabel Lee                       _Stanley Huntley_           147
  Answer to Master Wither’s
      Song, “Shall I, Wasting
      in Despair?”                  _Ben Jonson_                 25
  Atalanta in Camden-Town           _Lewis Carroll_             270
  At the Sign of the Cock           _Owen Seaman_               248

  BABY’S OMAR, THE                  _Carolyn Wells_              12
  Bachelor’s Soliloquy, The                                      17
  Ballad                            _Charles S. Calverley_      253
  Ballad, A                         _Guy Wetmore Carryl_        307
  Ballade of Ballade-Mongers, A     _Augustus M. Moore_         322
  Bat, The                          _Lewis Carroll_              82
  Bather’s Dirge, The               _Tennyson Minor_            155
  Beautiful Snow                                                324
  Bed During Exams                  _Clara Warren Vail_         298
  Behold the Deeds!                 _H. C. Bunner_              319
  Bells, The                        _Judy_                      148
  Birds and the Pheasant, The       _Punch_                     131
  Biter Bit, The                    _William Aytoun_            161
  Bo-Peep                           _Anthony C. Deane_          294
  Boston Nursery Rhymes             _Rev. Joseph Cook_           32
  Burial of the Bachelor, The                                    88
  By the Sea                        _Bayard Taylor_             203

  CAMERADOS                         _Bayard Taylor_             220
  Cannibal Flea, The                _Tom Hood, Jr._             145
  Cantelope, The                    _Bayard Taylor_             243
  Christmas Wail, A                                             252
  Cimabuella                        _Bayard Taylor_             255
  Cock and the Bull, The            _Charles S. Calverley_      195
  Cockney Enigma on the Letter H    _Horace Mayhew_              49
  Commonplaces                      _Rudyard Kipling_            97
  Crocodile, The                    _Lewis Carroll_              43
  Cult of the Celtic, The           _Anthony C. Deane_          317
  Culture in the Slums              _W. E. Henley_              322

  DESOLATION                        _Tom Masson_                130
  De Tea Fabula                     _A. T. Quiller-Couch_       289
  Disaster                          _Charles S. Calverley_       79
  Domicile of John, The             _A. Pope_                    34
  Dreary Song, A                    _Shirley Brooks_             20

  ELDERLY GENTLEMAN, THE            _George Canning_            328
  Estunt the Griff                  _Rudyard Kipling_           235
  Excelsior                                                     124

  FATHER WILLIAM                    _Lewis Carroll_              67
  Flight of the Bucket, The         _Rudyard Kipling_           206
  Foam and Fangs                    _Walter Parke_              278
  Fragment in Imitation of
      Wordsworth                    _C. M. Fanshawe_             52
  Fuzzy Wuzzy Leaves us             _E. P. C._                  305

  GAELIC SPEECH; or “Auld Lang
      Syne” Done Up in Tartan                                    45
  Gillian                                                       268
  Goblin Goose, The                 _Punch_                     150
  Godiva                            _Oliver Herford_            177
  Golfer’s Rubaiyat, The            _H. W. Boynton_               3
  Grievance, A                      _J. K. Stephen_              85
  Gwendoline                        _Bayard Taylor_             118

  HADRAMAUT                         _Bayard Taylor_             233
  Heathen Pass-ee, The              _A. C. Hilton_              286
  Higher                                                        120
  Higher Pantheism in a Nutshell,
      The                           _Algernon C. Swinburne_     180
  Hiram Hover                       _Bayard Taylor_             133
  Horse and His Master, The         _Philip F. Allen_           136
  Home Sweet Home with Variations   _Henry C. Bunner_           334
  Home Truths from Abroad                                       193
  House that Jack Built, The        _Samuel T. Coleridge_        31
  How Often                         _Ben King_                  129

  IDYLL OF PHATTE AND LEENE, AN                                  29
  If!                               _Mortimer Collins_          274
  If I Should Die To-Night          _Ben King_                  331
  Imitation                         _Henry C. Bunner_            96
  Imitation of Robert Browning      _J. K. Stephen_             210
  Imitation of Walt Whitman         _Judy_                      221
  Imitation of Walt Whitman         _J. K. Stephen_             224
  Imitation                         _Anthony C. Deane_          296
  In Immemoriam                     _Cuthbert Bede_             174
  In the Gloaming                   _Charles S. Calverley_      116
  I Remember, I Remember            _Phœbe Cary_                101

  JACK AND JILL                     _Anthony C. Deane_          309
  Jack and Jill                     _Charles Battell Loomis_    348
  Jacob                             _Phœbe Cary_                 51
  Jam-Pot, The                      _Rudyard Kipling_           210
  Jane Smith                        _Rudyard Kipling_            54
  John Thompson’s Daughter          _Phœbe Cary_                 73

  LADY JANE                         _A. T. Quiller-Couch_        69
  Last Cigar, The                                                76
  Last Ride Together, The           _J. K. Stephen_             212
  Laureate, The                     _William Aytoun_            163
  Laureate’s Log, A                 _Punch_                     178
  Laureate’s Tourney, The           _William Aytoun_            105
  Lay of Macaroni, The              _Bayard Taylor_             284
  Lay of the Lovelorn, The          _William Aytoun_            165
  Legend of Realism, The            _Hilda Johnson_             313
  Lines Written (“By Request”)
      for a Dinner of the Omar
      Khayyam Club                  _Owen Seaman_                10
  Little Jack Horner                _Anthony C. Deane_          315
  Little Miss Muffet                                            156
  Lobster Quadrille, The            _Lewis Carroll_             114
  Lost Ape, The                     _J. W. G. W._               245
  Lost Voice, The                   _A. H. S._                  244
  Lost Word, The                    _C. H. Webb_                246
  Love and Science                                              153
  Lovers, and a Reflection          _Charles S. Calverley_      259
  Love Song, A                      _Dean Swift_                331
  Lucy Lake                         _Newton Mackintosh_          57

  MAID OF THE MEERSCHAUM, THE       _Rudyard Kipling_           275
  Manlet, The                       _Lewis Carroll_             272
  Man’s Place in Nature                                         191
  Marriage of Sir John Smith, The   _Phœbe Cary_                 91
  Mary and the Lamb                 _Frank D. Sherman_           37
  Maudle-in Ballad, A               _Punch_                     300
  Melton Mowbray Pork-Pie, A        _Richard Le Gallienne_      278
  Modern Hiawatha, The                                          120
  Modern Rubaiyat, The              _Kate Masterson_              7
  Modern Versification on
      Ancient Themes                _Elizabeth Cavazza_         346
  More Impressions                  _Oscuro Wildgoose_          299
  Musical Pitch, The                                            158
  Mutton                                                        113
  My Foe                                                         46

  NEPHELIDIA                        _A. C. Swinburne_           282
  Nettle, The                       _Bayard Taylor_             231
  New Arrival, The                  _George W. Cable_            72
  Newest Thing in Christmas
      Carols, The                                               325
  New Version, The                  _W. J. Lampton_             138
  Not a Sou had he Got              _R. Harris Barham_           89
  Nursery Rhymes à la Mode                                      299
  Nursery Song in Pidgin English                                 30

  ODE, AN                           _Anthony C. Deane_          237
  Ode on a Jar of Pickles           _Bayard Taylor_              94
  Ode to a London Fog                                           239
  Of Friendship                     _Charles S. Calverley_      185
  Of Reading                        _Charles S. Calverley_      186
  Old Fashioned Fun                 _W. M. Thackeray_           333
  Old Man’s Cold and How He Got
        It, The                                                  66
  Old Song by New Singers, An       _A. C. Wilkie_              368
  Omar for Ladies, An               _Josephine D. Bacon_          5
  Only Seven                        _Henry S. Leigh_             55
  On Wordsworth                                                  51
  Oyster-Crabs                      _Carolyn Wells_              41

  POET AND THE WOODLOUSE, THE       _A. C. Swinburne_           224
  Poets at a House-Party            _Carolyn Wells_             363
  Poets at Tea, The                 _Barry Pain_                359
  Poker                                                          18
  Portrait, A                       _John Keats_                 15
  Poster Girl, The                  _Carolyn Wells_             257
  President Garfield                                            240
  Prodigals, The                                                292
  Promissory Note, The              _Bayard Taylor_             143
  Propinquity Needed                _Charles B. Loomis_         241
  Psalm of Life, A                  _Phœbe Cary_                127

  QUAERITUR                         _Rudyard Kipling_           277
  Quite the Cheese                  _H. C. Waring_              302

  RECOGNITION, THE                  _William Sawyer_            180
  Rejected “National Hymns,” The    _Robert H. Newell_          352
  Remember                          _Judy_                      263
  Rigid Body Sings                  _J. C. Maxwell_              48
  Rout of Belgravia, The            _Jon Duan_                   84

  SAMUEL BROWN                      _Phœbe Cary_                142
  Sarah’s Halls                     _Judy_                       80
  Self-Evident                      _J. R. Planché_             104
  _Shrimp-Gatherers, The_           _Bayard Taylor_             261
  Sir Eggnogg                       _Bayard Taylor_             175
  Some Day                          _F. P. Doveton_             329
  Song                              _Oliver Herford_             27
  Song                              _James Whitcomb Riley_       22
  Song of a Heart, A                _Oliver Herford_             33
  Song of Renunciation, A           _Owen Seaman_               279
  Song of the Sheet                                              98
  “Songs Without Words”             _Robert J. Burdette_        327
  Staccato to O Le Lupe, A          _Bliss Carman_              200
  Striking                          _Charles S. Calverley_       64

  TALE OF LORD LOVELL, THE                                      326
  Tea, The                          _Tom Hood, Jr._              82
  “The Day is Done”                 _Phœbe Cary_                126
  Theme with Variations, A          _Barry Pain_                356
  “There’s a Bower of Bean-Vines”   _Phœbe Cary_                 78
  Three Blessings                                                41
  Three Little Fishers             _Frank H. Stauffer_          229
  Three Mice, The                  _Anthony C. Deane_           304
  Three Poets, The                 _Lilian Whiting_             230
  Thyroid Gland, The               _R. M._                       93
  Timbuctoo.—Part I.               _W. M. Thackeray_            183
  To an Importunate Host                                        158
  To Julia Under Lock and Key      _Owen Seaman_                 27
  Toothache                                                      19
  Topside Galah!                                                122
  To the Stall-Holders at a
      Fancy Fair                   _W. S. Gilbert_               21
  Turtle Soup                      _Lewis Carroll_              329
  ’T was Ever Thus                 _Henry S. Leigh_              81
  ’T was Ever Thus                                               77

  UP THE SPOUT                     _A. C. Swinburne_            215

  VILLAGE CHOIR, THE                                            159
  Voice of the Lobster, The        _Lewis Carroll_               42
  Vulture and the Husbandman, The  _A. C Hilton_                265

  WAGGAWOCKY                       _Shirley Brooks_             264
  What Troubled Poe’s Raven        _John Bennett_               139
  When Lovely Woman                _Phœbe Cary_                  44
  Whist-Player’s Soliloquy, The    _Carolyn Wells_               23
  Willow-Tree, The                 _W. M. Thackeray_            188

  YE CLERKE OF YE WETHERE                                        14
  Young Lochinvar                                                58
  Yule-Tide Parody, A                                           103



INDEX OF AUTHORS


  ALLEN, PHILIP F.
      The Horse and His Master                                  136

  AYTOUN, WILLIAM
      The Laureate’s Tourney                                    105
      The Biter Bit                                             161
      The Laureate                                              163
      The Lay of the Lovelorn                                   165


  BACON, JOSEPHINE DASKAM
      An Omar for Ladies                                          5

  BARHAM, R. HARRIS
      Not a Sou Had He Got                                       89

  BEDE, CUTHBERT
      In Immemoriam                                             174

  BENNETT, JOHN
      What Troubled Poe’s Raven                                 139

  BOYNTON, H. W.
      The Golfer’s Rubaiyat                                       3

  BROOKS, SHIRLEY
      A Dreary Song                                              20
      Waggawocky                                                264

  BUNNER, HENRY CUYLER
      Imitation                                                  96
      Behold the Deeds!                                         319
      Home Sweet Home with Variations                           334

  BURDETTE, ROBERT J.
      “Songs Without Words”                                     327


  CABLE, GEORGE WASHINGTON
      The New Arrival                                            72

  CALVERLEY, CHARLES S.
      Striking                                                   64
      Disaster                                                   79
      In the Gloaming                                           116
      Of Friendship                                             185
      Of Reading                                                186
      The Cock and the Bull                                     195
      Ballad                                                    253
      Lovers, and a Reflection                                  259

  CANNING, GEORGE
      The Elderly Gentleman                                     328

  CARMAN, BLISS
      A Staccato to O Le Lupe                                   200

  CARROLL, LEWIS
      The Voice of the Lobster                                   42
      The Crocodile                                              43
      Father William                                             67
      The Bat                                                    82
      The Lobster Quadrille                                     114
      Atalanta in Camden-Town                                   270
      The Manlet                                                272
      Turtle Soup                                               329

  CARRYL, GUY WETMORE
      A Ballad                                                  307

  CARY, PHŒBE
      When Lovely Woman                                          44
      Jacob                                                      51
      John Thompson’s Daughter                                   73
      “There’s a Bower of Bean-Vines”                            78
      The Marriage of Sir John Smith                             91
      I Remember, I Remember                                    101
      “The Day is Done”                                         126
      A Psalm of Life                                           127
      Samuel Brown                                              142

  CAVAZZA, ELIZABETH
      Modern Versification on Ancient Themes                    346

  COLERIDGE, SAMUEL TAYLOR
      The House That Jack Built                                  31

  COLLINS, MORTIMER
      If!                                                       274

  COOK, REV. JOSEPH
      Boston Nursery Rhymes                                      32


  DEANE, ANTHONY C.
      An Ode                                                    237
      Bo-Peep                                                   294
      Imitation                                                 296
      The Three Mice                                            304
      Jack and Jill                                             309
      Little Jack Horner                                        315
      The Cult of the Celtic                                    317

  DOVETON, F. P.
      Some Day                                                  329

  DUAN, JON
      The Rout of Belgravia                                      84


  FANSHAWE, CATHERINE M.
      Fragment in Imitation of Wordsworth                        52


  GILBERT, W. S.
      To the Stall-Holders at a Fancy Fair                       21


  HENLEY, W. E.
      Culture in the Slums                                      322

  HERFORD, OLIVER
      Song                                                       27
      A Song of a Heart                                          33
      Godiva                                                    177

  HILTON, A. C.
      The Heathen Pass-ee                                       286
      The Vulture and the Husbandman                            265

  HOOD, TOM, JR.
      The Tea                                                    82
      The Cannibal Flea                                         145

  HUNTLEY, STANLEY
      Annabel Lee                                               147


  JOHNSON, HILDA
      The Legend of Realism                                     313

  JONSON, BEN
      Answer to Master Wither’s Song, “Shall I,
          Wasting in Despair?”                                   25

  JUDY
      Sarah’s Halls                                              80
      The Bells                                                 148
      Imitation of Walt Whitman                                 221
      Remember                                                  263


  KEATS, JOHN
      A Portrait                                                 15

  KING, BEN
      How Often                                                 129
      If I Should Die To-Night                                  331

  KIPLING, RUDYARD
      Jane Smith                                                 54
      Commonplaces                                               97
      The Flight of the Bucket                                  206
      The Jam-Pot                                               210
      Estunt the Griff                                          235
      The Maid of the Meerschaum                                275
      Quaeritur                                                 277


  LAMPTON, W. J.
      The New Version                                           138

  LE GALLIENNE, RICHARD
      A Melton Mowbray Pork-Pie                                 278

  LEIGH, HENRY S.
      Only Seven                                                 55
      ’Twas Ever Thus                                            81

  LOOMIS, CHARLES BATTELL
      Propinquity Needed                                        241
      Jack and Jill                                             348


  MACKINTOSH, NEWTON
      Lucy Lake                                                  57

  MASSON, TOM
      Desolation                                                130

  MASTERSON, KATE
      The Modern Rubaiyat                                         7

  MAXWELL, J. C.
      Rigid Body Sings                                           48

  MAYHEW, HORACE
      Cockney Enigma on the Letter H                             49

  MINOR, TENNYSON
      The Bather’s Dirge                                        155

  MOORE, AUGUSTUS M.
      A Ballade of Ballade-Mongers                              322


  NEWELL, ROBERT HENRY
      The Rejected “National Hymns”                             352


  PAIN, BARRY
      A Theme with Variations                                   356
      The Poets at Tea                                          359

  PARKE, WALTER
      Foam and Fangs                                            278

  PLANCHÉ, J. R.
      Self-Evident                                              104

  POPE, A.
      The Domicile of John                                       34

  PUNCH
      The Aesthete to the Rose                                   40
      The Birds and the Pheasant                                131
      The Goblin Goose                                          150
      A Laureate’s Log                                          178
      A Maudle-in Ballad                                        300


  QUILLER-COUCH, A. T.
      Lady Jane                                                  69
      De Tea Fabula                                             289


  RILEY, JAMES WHITCOMB
      Song                                                       22


  SAWYER, WILLIAM
      The Recognition                                           180

  SEAMAN, OWEN
      Lines Written (“By Request”) for a Dinner
          of the Omar Khayyam Club                               10
      To Julia Under Lock and Key                                27
      At the Sign of the Cock                                   248
      A Song of Renunciation                                    279

  SHERMAN, FRANK DEMPSTER
      Mary and the Lamb                                          37

  STAUFFER, FRANK H.
      Three Little Fishers                                      229

  STEPHEN, J. K.
      A Grievance                                                85
      Imitation of Robert Browning                              210
      The Last Ride Together                                    212
      Imitation of Walt Whitman                                 224

  SWIFT, DEAN
      A Love Song                                               331

  SWINBURNE, ALGERNON CHARLES
      The Higher Pantheism in a Nutshell                        180
      Up the Spout                                              215
      The Poet and the Woodlouse                                224
      Nephelidia                                                282


  TAYLOR, BAYARD
      Ode on a Jar of Pickles                                    94
      Gwendoline                                                118
      Hiram Hover                                               133
      The Promissory Note                                       143
      Sir Eggnogg                                               175
      By the Sea                                                203
      Angelo Orders His Dinner                                  205
      Camerados                                                 220
      The Nettle                                                231
      Hadramaut                                                 233
      The Cantelope                                             243
      Cimabuella                                                255
      The Shrimp-Gatherers                                      261
      The Lay of Macaroni                                       284

  THACKERAY, W. M.
      Timbuctoo.—Part I                                         183
      The Willow-Tree                                           188
      Old Fashioned Fun                                         333


  VAIL, CLARA WARREN
      Bed During Exams                                          298


  WARING, H. C.
      Quite the Cheese                                          302

  WEBB, C. H.
      The Lost Word                                             246

  WELLS, CAROLYN
      The Baby’s Omar                                            12
      The Whist-Player’s Soliloquy                               23
      Oyster-Crabs                                               41
      The Poster Girl                                           257
      The Poets at a House-Party                                363

  WHITING, LILIAN
      The Three Poets                                           230

  WILDGOOSE, OSCURA
      More Impressions                                          299

  WILKIE, A. C.
      An Old Song by New Singers                                368



INDEX OF AUTHORS PARODIED


  ALDRICH, THOMAS BAILEY                                        355
  Austin, Alfred                                                237

  BROWNING, MRS.                                                116
  Browning, Robert                                    193, 360, 368
  Bryant, William Cullen                                        354
  Bunn, Alfred                                                  103
  Burns, Robert                                             45, 363
  Byron                                                          84

  CAMPBELL, THOMAS                                               72
  Carroll, Lewis                                                264
  Chaucer                                                   14, 365
  Coleridge                                                      61
  Cornwall, Barry                                                83
  Cowper                                                        360
  Crane, Stephen                                                366

  DICKENS, CHARLES                                              191
  Dobson, Austin                                 292, 339, 348, 368
  Dooley, Mr.                                                   367
  Dryden                                                         41

  EMERSON                                                  113, 354

  FANSHAWE, CATHERINE                                            49
  Field, Eugene                                                 366

  GILBERT, W. S.                                                239
  Goldsmith, Oliver                                         44, 340

  HARTE, BRET                                              286, 337
  Heine                                                          96
  Hemans, Mrs.                                                   93
  Henley, W. E.                                                 296
  Herrick                                                        27
  Holmes, Dr. Oliver Wendell                                    353
  Hood, Thomas                                                   98
  Horace                                                        339
  Houghton, Lord                                                153
  Howitt, Mary                                                  114

  INGELOW, JEAN                                                 259

  JAMES, HENRY                                                  365

  KEATS                                                          94
  Khayyam, Omar                                              3, 364
  Kingsley, Charles                                             229
  Kipling, Rudyard                                         305, 364

  LANG, ANDREW                                             294, 369
  Longfellow, Henry W.                                120, 352, 369

  MACAULAY, LORD                                           105, 359
  MacLeod, Fiona                                                317
  Meredith, George                                              248
  Moore, Thomas                                                  76
  Morris, William                                               235

  NORTON, MRS.                                                  136
  Nursery Rhymes                                                 29

  OMAR KHAYYAM                                               3, 364

  PHILLIPS, STEPHEN                                             315
  Poe, Edgar Allan                                         139, 362
  Pope, Alexander                                               340
  Popular Songs                                                 324
  Procter, A. A.                                                244

  ROSSETTI, CHRISTINA                                           263
  Rossetti, D. G.                                          252, 362

  SCOTT, SIR WALTER                                         58, 358
  Shakespeare                                                    17
  Southey, Robert                                                66
  Spenser, Edmund                                           15, 356
  Stevenson, R. L.                                              298
  Stoddard, Mrs. R. H.                                          231
  Stoddard, R. H.                                               243
  Swift, Dr. Jonathan                                           357
  Swinburne, Algernon C.               268, 335, 349, 360, 366, 370

  TAYLOR, BAYARD                                                233
  Taylor, Jane                                                   82
  Tennyson                                                 155, 359
  Thackeray                                                     188
  Tupper                                                        185

  VERS DE SOCIÉTÉ                                               319

  WALLER                                                         40
  Watson, William                                               304
  Watts, Doctor                                                  42
  Whitman                                   219, 341, 349, 363, 364
  Whittier                                                 133, 353
  Wilde, Oscar                                                  299
  Willis, N. P.                                                 355
  Wither                                                         25
  Wolfe, Charles                                                 88
  Wordsworth                                                51, 361

  YEATS, W. B.                                                  317

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired.

Page xxviii, “peculiarites” changed to “peculiarities” (peculiarities.
Among the)

Page 114, “lobters” changed to “lobsters” (with the lobsters)

Page 195, “Of” changed to “Off” (Off a bit of)

Page 223, “Oskhosh” changed to “Oshkosh” (stripes of Oshkosh, of
Kalamazoo)

Page 252, “Rosetti” changed to “Rossetti” (Not by Dante Gabriel
Rossetti)

Page 377, “Immemorian” changed to “Immemoriam” (In Immemoriam _Cuthbert
Bede_)





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