Εικόνες σελίδας
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση
[ocr errors]

• " Hark! heard you not that op'ning door ?'

The Mouse of London cried, and started
They staid not for one warning more,

But with the lightning's speed departed.
€“ All, said the host, “ again at rest,

“ We'll finish our repast, however."
“ Alas !" replied the rustic guest,

“ My appetite seems gone for ever.
"" But ere to-morrow's moon shall cease,

“ Come and partake my frugal diet ;
“ I boast not luxuries like these,

“ Ambitious most of ease and quiet.
€“ My scrap of cheese, my barley-meal,

“ I eat in peace, enjoy at leisure,
" And taste delight we cannot feel
“ When terror mingles with the pleasure !"

pp. 165–166. • The Rats in Council' is a very free translation ; but our readers will not be the less pleased with it.

• A certain Cat, one Kouli Khan by name,

Dealt to the Rats so many a mortal blow,
It seem'd his namesake, once of murd'rous fame,

Did on his teeth and claws some charm bestow ;

He sent such thousands to the shades below.
The poor surviving remnant dared not stray,
Dared not forsake their holes by night or day.
Such skeletons they were, that could you see 'em,
You'd think them subjects meet for a museum.
Now Superstition is the child of Fear,

In Rats perhaps as man ;

For this redoubted Kouli Khan
They thought a demon from the nether sphere.

At length it did arrive

That he was gone to wive,
Or to a rabbit-warren rambled forth,
As gentlemen go shooting to the North.
O! these were halcyon days!

But that Destruction's sword,

Suspended by a cobweb cord,
Darted on ev'ry fur-clad head its glancing rays.
A Parliament was called the case to treat on,
And all the worthy members not yet eaten,
Soon fill'd their station,

Happy again to meet,

To take their oaths and seat,
And quarrel o'er the miseries of the Nation.
Vol. XXII. N.S.

2 X

A Rat of eloquence-one who could measure ye

Six hours upon his legs,

Descanting on the Weasel sucking eggs,
Arose, and begg’d the Barn would give attention
To something he had come prepared to mention.
He was, as any member there,
Free to declare,
That, spite of all that Ministers could plan,
The Nation suffered from this Kouli Khan.
But he had now a measure to disclose
That Opposition's self dared not oppose.
(“ Hear! hear !" not quite unmix'd with laughter,
Came from the opposition rafter,)
And then he pledg'd bimself in words pathetic,
And tone and manner truly energetic,
Did they but act as he should urge,
To free his Country, his dear Country, from the scourge.
He did propose to hang a Bell
Around the neck of this strange Imp of Hell ;
And by that simple toy's assistance,
They should descry him at a distance:
Then who so cowardly to fear him,
When ev'ry Rat alive might hear him ?
The counsel met with loud applause;

And such the universal joy,
The rafters rattled with their claws.

How will not Hope the spirits buoy!
They seem'd a tribe of children loos'd from school,
Or auncient England's Nobles at misrule.
Silence at length restored-they ask
What friend will undertake the task,
Who his dear Country loved so well,
Just simply to tie on the Bell !
Alas! tho' each a patriot hearty,
They found no Curtius of the party.
One wanted strength, another skill;
This Rat was nervous, that was ill.
And thus this admirable scheme,

So well imagin'd, so profound,
Prov'd nothing better than a dream,

And fell (hard fortune :) to the ground.
The Bill, to use the words they said.
Was this day six months to be read.
But let us nurse and keep it warm,
'Tis so like Radical Reform :
Something, that who attempts shall rue it-
Fine-but impossible to do it.
Now, laying Politics aside,
A simpler Morai we'll provide.

Experience has confirm'd the fact :

'Tis easier to advise than act.' pp. 197-202. We must make room for one more, and the following presents itself.

· Iron Kettle said one day,

“ Earthen Jug, we'll take a ramble.”
6 No," said he, “ excuse me, pray ;
“ I was never formed to amble:
“ On my shelf, beside the fire,
« I have all my heart's desire.
“ If my friend abroad should take me,
“ Know, the slightest blow would break me,
“ For yourself, indeed, proceed
“ Where gay Fancy chance to lead.
« Go to France and see the Louvre,

“ Cross the Alps, ascend Mont Blanc;
“ You will never want Vancouver,

“ Be the Journey short or long.
“Go where Gaiety invites you,
« And the merry dance delights you :
“ Strength you have, if you have skill,
“ Both for Waltzing and Quadrille.
“ Chimney Corner, still and snug,
“ Better suits an Earthen Jug."

“No, my friend, I cannot settle,”
Said the kind, warm-hearted Kettle,
“ Thus to roam and take my pleasure,
“ While you mope at home at leisure ;
“ Come with me, and I'll protect you,
" To the smoothest path direct you,
66 And ere mischief can ensue,
“ Take the blow design'd for you."

• Earthen Jug no more, I wist,
Could the flatt'ring call resist.
Side by side they jog together,
Nothing heeding hours or weather ;
Thro’ square, and street, and lane, and row,
Clitter clatter on they go.
Sometimes this thing, sometimes t'other,
Strikes the friends against each other.
Ev'ry loosen'd stone's attack
Causes Earthen Jug a crack;
Till ere long, his doom unravels,
Smash he goes, and ends his travels.
Learn the Moral from the Sequel ;
Still associate with an Equal :



Wolferstan's Poems.
If you mingle with the Great,

Like the Jug's will be your fate. pp. 323–325. With regard to the original poems, they display the same easy flow of versification, they abound with excellent sentiments, and they sometimes reach the spirit and playfulness of the translations; but the Author reminds us of a fine penman who cannot write well unless his paper is ruled, or has lines under it. The Enchanted Flute' professes to be a poem in seven cantos: it consists in fact of two poems, one inserted in the middle of the other, occasioning the interruption, without answering the purpose of a parenthesis. The transition from 'gay to grave, from lively to severe,' is by far too violent; and the poem is not only without unity, but without harmony. Cantos 2, 3, 4, detail an affecting story, possibly not an imaginary one, such as Crabbe delights to tell, but Mrs. Wolferstan's graver style is deficient in nerve, and point, and pathos. Catherine's adventure by itself, were the four cantos which it occupies, retrenched of about a third of the number of lines, would make a very pleasing poem. But our Author must positively resist the temptation to write long poems. • Urania and • Ellen' seemed to us an instructive tale, but we could not get through it. By far the best long poem in the volume is entitled Three Weeks after Marriage,' which we commend to the perusal of all whom it may concern: it does equal credit to the sterling qualities of the Writer's mind, and her command of easy verse. The sonnets only serve to confirm our opinion that the Author should not attempt the graver measures, especially so long as she can gratify her readers with poems of a lighter kind so spirited and pleasing as the following.


• Ladies who own an income clear
Of full twelve hundred pounds a year,
Though time has dimm'd the sparkling eye,
And ting'd the skin with darker dye,
Nor giv'n those better charms instead,
Which live when loveliness is fled,
May still find courtesies as plenty
As in the smiling bloom of twenty.
This did Olinda, matron sage,
Though passing forty years of age.
But ancient Poets, to attain
More Bardlike and imposing strain,
Were wont to seek those valleys green
Where flows th' inspiring Hyppocrene,

Then call from their Aonian glades
The Nine well-educated Maids :
(Like families of modern days,
One draws, one sings, another plays.)
Her I invoke, if such there be
In thy fair flock, Mnemosyne !
Who simple Truth and Nature prizes,
And all who woo them patronizes.

< 'Twas in that season when the rose Through her green kerchief crimson shews, When gales delicious odours bring, And new-fledg'd thrushes try the wing, Olinda, as our legends say, Had slept four balmy hours away Since the proud Sun, in crimson state Had canopied his Eastern gate; Now, far diffus'd, and mounting high, His golden glories fill'd the sky, And heard was Bennet's gentle knock, Preceding “Ma'am, 'tis eight o'clock." The drop-bolt rattled, and the maid Not one of all the duties paid That daily ask her powerful aid, (The flowry chiptz is scarce withdrawn, The shutters yet defy the dawn) Began, in accents might awake The fishes of the Stygian lake, Or make the seven sleepers start, Or chill Tydides’ val’rous heart, “ 0, Ma'am! poor Martha's pretty hen, “ You've prais?d it o'er and o'er again ! “ Spotted and speckled, like a pheasant ! “ (It was her dear young Lady's present) “ The sweetest, tamest, gentlest thing, “ She did not even cut its wing“ Where'er she sat, it nestled to her, « One could have almost sworn it knew her« Well, Ma'am! this very, blessed night, • That barbarous fox, as if for spite, “ Has taken the good old creature's pet. “ The poor soul cried, is crying yet. “ For my part, I should straight determine “ To kill at once these odious vermin; “ And were you, Ma'am, to say the same, “ I wonder who would dare to blame ! “ Constant vexation! endless losses ! “ Merely to please men, dogs, and horses."

« Olinda waited for the tide, And then in calmer tones replied:

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »