Read MISCELLANEOUS BALLADS of The Bon Gaultier Ballads , free online book, by William Edmonstoune Aytoun Theodore Martin, on ReadCentral.com.

The Student of Jena.

Once ’twas when I lived at Jena
At a Wirthshaus’ door I sat;
And in pensive contemplation
Ate the sausage thick and fat;
Ate the kraut that never sourer
Tasted to my lips than here;
Smoked my pipe of strong canaster,
Sipped my fifteenth jug of beer;
Gazed upon the glancing river,
Gazed upon the tranquil pool,
Whence the silver-voiced Undine,
When the nights were calm and cool,
As the Baron Fouque tells us,
Rose from out her shelly grot,
Casting glamour o’er the waters,
Witching that enchanted spot.
From the shadow which the coppice
Flings across the rippling stream,
Did I hear a sound of music
Was it thought or was it dream?
There, beside a pile of linen,
Stretched along the daisied sward,
Stood a young and blooming maiden
’Twas her thrush-like song I heard.
Evermore within the eddy
Did she plunge the white chemise;
And her robes were loosely gathered
Rather far above her knees;
Then my breath at once forsook me,
For too surely did I deem
That I saw the fair Undine
Standing in the glancing stream
And I felt the charm of knighthood;
And from that remembered day,
Every evening to the Wirthshaus
Took I my enchanted way.

Shortly to relate my story,
Many a week of summer long
Came I there, when beer-o’ertaken,
With my lute and with my song;
Sang in mellow-toned soprano
All my love and all my woe,
Till the river-maiden answered,
Lilting in the stream below:
“Fair Undine! sweet Undine!
Dost thou love as I love thee?”
“Love is free as running water,”
Was the answer made to me.

Thus, in interchange seraphic,
Did I woo my phantom fay,
Till the nights grew long and chilly,
Short and shorter grew the day;
Till at last ’twas dark and gloomy,
Dull and starless was the sky,
And my steps were all unsteady
For a little flushed was I,
To the well-accustomed signal
No response the maiden gave;
But I heard the waters washing
And the moaning of the wave.
Vanished was my own Undine,
All her linen, too, was gone;
And I walked about lamenting
On the river bank alone.
Idiot that I was, for never
Had I asked the maiden’s name.
Was it Lieschen was it Gretchen?
Had she tin, or whence she came?
So I took my trusty meerschaum,
And I took my lute likewise;
Wandered forth in minstrel fashion,
Underneath the louring skies:
Sang before each comely Wirthshaus,
Sang beside each purling stream,
That same ditty which I chanted
When Undine was my theme,
Singing, as I sang at Jena,
When the shifts were hung to dry,
“Fair Undine! young Undine!
Dost thou love as well as I?”

But, alas! in field or village,
Or beside the pebbly shore,
Did I see those glancing ankles,
And the white robe never more;
And no answer came to greet me,
No sweet voice to mine replied;
But I heard the waters rippling,
And the moaning of the tide.

The Lay of the Levite.

There is a sound that’s dear to me,
It haunts me in my sleep;
I wake, and, if I hear it not,
I cannot choose but weep.
Above the roaring of the wind,
Above the river’s flow,
Methinks I hear the mystic cry
Of “Clo! Old Clo!”

The exile’s song, it thrills among
The dwellings of the free,
Its sound is strange to English ears,
But ’tis not strange to me;
For it hath shook the tented field
In ages long ago,
And hosts have quailed before the cry
Of “Clo! Old Clo!”

Oh, lose it not! forsake it not!
And let no time efface
The memory of that solemn sound,
The watchword of our race;
For not by dark and eagle eye
The Hebrew shall you know,
So well as by the plaintive cry
Of “Clo! Old Clo!”

Even now, perchance, by Jordan’s banks,
Or Sidon’s sunny walls,
Where, dial-like, to portion time,
The palm-tree’s shadow falls,
The pilgrims, wending on their way,
Will linger as they go,
And listen to the distant cry
Of “Clo! Old Clo!”

Bursch Groggenburg.

[AFTER THE MANNER OF SCHILLER.]

“Bursch! if foaming beer content ye,
Come and drink your fill;
In our cellars there is plenty;
Himmel! how you swill!
That the liquor hath allurance,
Well I understand:
But ’tis really past endurance,
When you squeeze my hand!”

And he heard her as if dreaming,
Heard her half in awe;
And the meerschaum’s smoke came streaming
From his open jaw:
And his pulse beat somewhat quicker
Than it did before,
And he finished off his liquor,
Staggered through the door;

Bolted off direct to Munich,
And within the year
Underneath his German tunic
Stowed whole butts of beer.
And he drank like fifty fishes,
Drank till all was blue;
For he felt extremely vicious
Somewhat thirsty too.

But at length this dire deboshing
Drew towards an end;
Few of all his silver groschen
Had he left to spend.
And he knew it was not prudent
Longer to remain;
So, with weary feet, the student
Wended home again.

At the tavern’s well-known portal
Knocks he as before,
And a waiter, rather mortal,
Hiccups through the door
“Master’s sleeping in the kitchen;
You’ll alarm the house;
Yesterday the Jungfrau Fritchen
Married baker Kraus!”

Like a fiery comet bristling,
Rose the young man’s hair,
And, poor soul! he fell a-whistling
Out of sheer despair.
Down the gloomy street in silence,
Savage-calm he goes;
But he did no deed of vi’lence
Only blew his nose.

Then he hired an airy garret
Near her dwelling-place;
Grew a beard of fiercest carrot,
Never washed his face;
Sate all day beside the casement,
Sate a dreary man;
Found in smoking such an easement
As the wretched can;

Stared for hours and hours together,
Stared yet more and more;
Till in fine and sunny weather,
At the baker’s door,
Stood, in apron white and mealy,
That beloved dame,
Counting out the loaves so freely,
Selling of the same.

Then like a volcano puffing,
Smoked he out his pipe;
Sighed and supped on ducks and stuffing,
Ham and kraut and tripe;
Went to bed, and, in the morning,
Waited as before,
Still his eyes in anguish turning
To the baker’s door;

Till, with apron white and mealy,
Came the lovely dame,
Counting out the loaves so freely,
Selling of the same.
So one day the fact’s amazing!
On his post he died!
And they found the body gazing
At the baker’s bride.

Night and Morning.

[NOT BY SIR E. BULWER LYTTON.]

“Thy coffee, Tom, ’s untasted,
And thy egg is very cold;
Thy cheeks are wan and wasted,
Not rosy as of old.
My boy, what has come o’er ye?
You surely are not well!
Try some of that ham before ye,
And then, Tom, ring the bell!”

“I cannot eat, my mother,
My tongue is parched and bound,
And my head, somehow or other,
Is swimming round and round.
In my eyes there is a fulness,
And my pulse is beating quick;
On my brain is a weight of dulness:
Oh, mother, I am sick!”

“These long, long nights of watching
Are killing you outright;
The evening dews are catching,
And you’re out every night.
Why does that horrid grumbler,
Old Inkpen, work you so?”

(TOM lene susurrans)

“My head! Oh, that tenth tumbler!
’Twas that which wrought my woe!”

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 blossoms 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; but 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 do a kindness to your poor desponding child,
Draw me a pot of beer, mother and, mother, draw it mild!

The Convict and the Australian Lady.

Thy skin is dark as jet, ladye,
Thy cheek is sharp and high,
And there’s a cruel leer, love,
Within thy rolling eye:
These tangled ebon tresses
No comb hath e’er gone through;
And thy forehead, it is furrowed by
The elegant tattoo!

I love thee, oh, I love thee,
Thou strangely-feeding maid!
Nay, lift not thus thy boomerang,
I meant not to upbraid!
Come, let me taste those yellow lips
That ne’er were tasted yet,
Save when the shipwrecked mariner
Passed through them for a whet.

Nay, squeeze me not so tightly!
For I am gaunt and thin;
There’s little flesh to tempt thee
Beneath a convict’s skin.
I came not to be eaten;
I sought thee, love, to woo;
Besides, bethink thee, dearest,
Thou’st dined on cockatoo.

Thy father is a chieftain!
Why, that’s the very thing!
Within my native country
I too have been a king.
Behold this branded letter,
Which nothing can efface!
It is the royal emblem,
The token of my race!

But rebels rose against me,
And dared my power disown
You’ve heard, love, of the judges?
They drove me from my throne.
And I have wandered hither,
Across the stormy sea,
In search of glorious freedom,
In search, my sweet, of thee!

The bush is now my empire,
The knife my sceptre keen;
Come with me to the desert wild,
And be my dusky queen.
I cannot give thee jewels,
I have nor sheep nor cow,
Yet there are kangaroos, love,
And colonists enow.

We’ll meet the unwary settler,
As whistling home he goes,
And I’ll take tribute from him,
His money and his clothes.
Then on his bleeding carcass
Thou’lt lay thy pretty paw,
And lunch upon him roasted,
Or, if you like it, raw!

Then come with me, my princess,
My own Australian dear,
Within this grove of gum-trees
We’ll hold our bridal cheer!
Thy heart with love is beating,
I feel it through my side:
Hurrah, then, for the noble pair,
The Convict and his Bride!

The Doleful Lay of the Honourable I. O. Uwins.

Come and listen, lords and ladies,
To a woeful lay of mine;
He whose tailor’s bill unpaid is,
Let him now his ear incline!
Let him hearken to my story,
How the noblest of the land
Pined in piteous purgatory,
’Neath a sponging Bailiff’s hand.

I. O. Uwins! I. O. Uwins!
Baron’s son although thou be,
Thou must pay for thy misdoings
In the country of the free!
None of all thy sire’s retainers
To thy rescue now may come;
And there lie some score detainers
With Abednego, the bum.

Little recked he of his prison
Whilst the sun was in the sky:
Only when the moon was risen
Did you hear the captive’s cry.
For till then, cigars and claret
Lulled him in oblivion sweet;
And he much preferred a garret,
For his drinking, to the street.

But the moonlight, pale and broken,
Pained at soul the baron’s son;
For he knew, by that soft token,
That the larking had begun;
That the stout and valiant Marquis
Then was leading forth his swells,
Milling some policeman’s carcass,
Or purloining private bells.

So he sat in grief and sorrow,
Rather drunk than otherwise,
Till the golden gush of morrow
Dawned once more upon his eyes:
Till the sponging Bailiff’s daughter,
Lightly tapping at the door,
Brought his draught of soda-water,
Brandy-bottomed as before.

“Sweet Rebecca! has your father,
Think you, made a deal of brass?”
And she answered “Sir, I rather
Should imagine that he has.”
Uwins then, his whiskers scratching,
Leered upon the maiden’s face,
And, her hand with ardour catching,
Folded her in close embrace.

“La, Sir! let alone you fright me!”
Said the daughter of the Jew:
“Dearest, how those eyes delight me!
Let me love thee, darling, do!”
“Vat is dish?” the Bailiff muttered,
Rushing in with fury wild;
“Ish your muffins so vell buttered,
Dat you darsh insult ma shild?”

“Honourable my intentions,
Good Abednego, I swear!
And I have some small pretensions,
For I am a Baron’s heir.
If you’ll only clear my credit,
And advance a thou or so,
She’s a peeress I have said it:
Don’t you twig, Abednego?”

“Datsh a very different matter,”
Said the Bailiff, with a leer;
“But you musht not cut it fatter
Than ta slish will shtand, ma tear!
If you seeksh ma approbation,
You musht quite give up your rigsh,
Alsho you musht join our nashun,
And renounsh ta flesh of pigsh.”

Fast as one of Fagin’s pupils,
I. O. Uwins did agree!
Little plagued with holy scruples
From the starting-post was he.
But at times a baleful vision
Rose before his shuddering view,
For he knew that circumcision
Was expected from a Jew.

At a meeting of the Rabbis,
Held about the Whitsuntide,
Was this thorough-paced Barabbas
Wedded to his Hebrew bride:
All his previous debts compounded,
From the sponging-house he came,
And his father’s feelings wounded
With reflections on the same.

But the sire his son accosted
“Split my wig! if any more
Such a double-dyed apostate
Shall presume to cross my door!
Not a penny-piece to save ye
From the kennel or the spout;
Dinner, John! the pig and gravy!
Kick this dirty scoundrel out!”

Forth rushed I. O. Uwins, faster
Than all winking much afraid
That the orders of the master
Would be punctually obeyed:
Sought his club, and then the sentence
Of expulsion first he saw;
No one dared to own acquaintance
With a Bailiff’s son-in-law.

Uselessly, down Bond Street strutting,
Did he greet his friends of yore:
Such a universal cutting
Never man received before:
Till at last his pride revolted
Pale, and lean, and stern he grew;
And his wife Rebecca bolted
With a missionary Jew.

Ye who read this doleful ditty,
Ask ye where is Uwins now?
Wend your way through London city,
Climb to Holborn’s lofty brow;
Near the sign-post of the “Nigger,”
Near the baked-potato shed,
You may see a ghastly figure
With three hats upon his head.

When the evening shades are dusky,
Then the phantom form draws near,
And, with accents low and husky,
Pours effluvium in your ear;
Craving an immediate barter
Of your trousers or surtout;
And you know the Hebrew martyr,
Once the peerless I. O. U.

The Knyghte and the Taylzeour’s Daughter.

Did you ever hear the story
Old the legend is, and true
How a knyghte of fame and glory
All aside his armour threw;
Spouted spear and pawned habergeon,
Pledged his sword and surcoat gay,
Sate down cross-legged on the shop-board,
Sate and stitched the livelong day?

“Taylzeour! not one single shilling
Does my breeches-pocket hold:
I to pay am really willing,
If I only had the gold.
Farmers none can I encounter,
Graziers there are none to kill;
Therefore, prithee, gentle taylzeour,
Bother not about thy bill.”

“Good Sir Knyghte, just once too often
Have you tried that slippery trick;
Hearts like mine you cannot soften,
Vainly do you ask for tick.
Christmas and its bills are coming,
Soon will they be showering in;
Therefore, once for all, my rum un,
I expect you’ll post the tin.

“Mark, Sir Knyghte, that gloomy bayliffe
In the palmer’s amice brown;
He shall lead you unto jail, if
Instantly you stump not down.”
Deeply swore the young crusader,
But the taylzeour would not hear;
And the gloomy, bearded bayliffe
Evermore kept sneaking near.

“Neither groat nor maravedi
Have I got my soul to bless;
And I’d feel extremely seedy,
Languishing in vile duresse.
Therefore listen, ruthless taylzeour,
Take my steed and armour free,
Pawn them at thy Hebrew uncle’s,
And I’ll work the rest for thee.”

Lightly leaped he on the shop-board,
Lightly crooked his manly limb,
Lightly drove the glancing needle
Through the growing doublet’s rim
Gaberdines in countless number
Did the taylzeour knyghte repair,
And entirely on cucumber
And on cabbage lived he there.

Once his weary task beguiling
With a low and plaintive song,
That good knyghte o’er miles of broadcloth
Drove the hissing goose along;
From her lofty latticed window
Looked the taylzeour’s daughter down,
And she instantly discovered
That her heart was not her own.

“Canst thou love me, gentle stranger?”
Picking at a pink she stood
And the knyghte at once admitted
That he rather thought he could.
“He who weds me shall have riches,
Gold, and lands, and houses free.”
“For a single pair of small-clothes,
I would roam the world with thee!”

Then she flung him down the tickets
Well the knyghte their import knew
“Take this gold, and win thy armour
From the unbelieving Jew.
Though in garments mean and lowly
Thou wouldst roam the world with me,
Only as a belted warrior,
Stranger, will I wed with thee!”

At the feast of good Saint Stitchem,
In the middle of the spring,
There was some superior jousting,
By the order of the King.
“Valiant knyghtes!” proclaimed the monarch,
“You will please to understand,
He who bears himself most bravely
Shall obtain my daughter’s hand.”

Well and bravely did they bear them,
Bravely battled, one and all;
But the bravest in the tourney
Was a warrior stout and tall.
None could tell his name or lineage,
None could meet him in the field,
And a goose regardant proper
Hissed along his azure shield.

“Warrior, thou hast won my daughter!”
But the champion bowed his knee,
“Royal blood may not be wasted
On a simple knyghte like me.
She I love is meek and lowly;
But her heart is kind and free;
Also, there is tin forthcoming,
Though she is of low degree.”

Slowly rose that nameless warrior,
Slowly turned his steps aside,
Passed the lattice where the princess
Sate in beauty, sate in pride.
Passed the row of noble ladies,
Hied him to an humbler seat,
And in silence laid the chaplet
At the taylzeour’s daughter’s feet.

The Midnight Visit.

It was the Lord of Castlereagh, he sat within his room,
His arms were crossed upon his breast, his face was marked with gloom;
They said that St Helena’s Isle had rendered up its charge,
That France was bristling high in arms the Emperor at large.

’Twas midnight! all the lamps were dim, and dull as death the street,
It might be that the watchman slept that night upon his beat,
When lo! a heavy foot was heard to creak upon the stair,
The door revolved upon its hinge Great Heaven! What enters there?

A little man, of stately mien, with slow and solemn stride;
His hands are crossed upon his back, his coat is opened wide;
And on his vest of green he wears an eagle and a star,
Saint George! protect us! ’tis THE MAN, the thunder-bolt of war!

Is that the famous hat that waved along Marengo’s ridge?
Are these the spurs of Austerlitz the boots of Lodi’s bridge?
Leads he the conscript swarm again from France’s hornet hive?
What seeks the fell usurper here, in Britain, and alive?

Pale grew the Lord of Castlereagh, his tongue was parched and dry,
As in his brain he felt the glare of that tremendous eye;
What wonder if he shrank in fear, for who could meet the glance
Of him who rear’d, ’mid Russian snows, the gonfalon of France?

From the side-pocket of his vest a pinch the despot took,
Yet not a whit did he relax the sternness of his look:
“Thou thoughtst the lion was afar, but he hath burst the chain
The watchword for to-night is France the answer St Helene.

“And didst thou deem the barren isle, or ocean waves, could bind
The master of the universe the monarch of mankind?
I tell thee, fool! the world itself is all too small for me;
I laugh to scorn thy bolts and bars I burst them, and am free.

“Thou thinkst that England hates me! Mark! This very night my name
Was thundered in its capital with tumult and acclaim!
They saw me, knew me, owned my power Proud lord! I say, beware!
There be men within the Surrey side, who know to do and dare!

“To-morrow in thy very teeth my standard will I rear
Ay, well that ashen cheek of thine may blanch and shrink with fear!
To-morrow night another town shall sink in ghastly flames;
And as I crossed the Borodin, so shall I cross the Thames!

“Thou’lt seize me, wilt thou, ere the dawn? Weak lordling, do thy worst!
These hands ere now have broke thy chains, thy fetters they have burst.
Yet, wouldst thou know my resting-place? Behold, ’tis written there!
And let thy coward myrmidons approach me if they dare!”

Another pinch, another stride he passes through the door
“Was it a phantom or a man was standing on the floor?
And could that be the Emperor that moved before my eyes?
Ah, yes! too sure it was himself, for here the paper lies!”

With trembling hands Lord Castlereagh undid the mystic scroll,
With glassy eye essayed to read, for fear was on his soul
“What’s here? ’At Astley’s, every night, the play of MOSCOW’S FALL!
NAPOLEON, for the thousandth time, by Mr GOMERSAL!’”

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 shilling 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 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 colour 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 response, 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 want 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 prigging 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 no more shall 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 Spital fields.

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, O 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 grey 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!

My Wife’s Cousin.

Decked with shoes of blackest polish,
And with shirt as white as snow,
After early morning breakfast
To my daily desk I go;
First a fond salute bestowing
On my Mary’s ruby lips,
Which, perchance, may be rewarded
With a pair of playful nips.

All day long across the ledger
Still my patient pen I drive,
Thinking what a feast awaits me
In my happy home at five;
In my small one-storeyed Eden,
Where my wife awaits my coming,
And our solitary handmaid
Mutton-chops with care is crumbing.

When the clock proclaims my freedom,
Then my hat I seize and vanish;
Every trouble from my bosom,
Every anxious care I banish.
Swiftly brushing o’er the pavement,
At a furious pace I go,
Till I reach my darling dwelling
In the wilds of Pimlico.

“Mary, wife, where art thou, dearest?”
Thus I cry, while yet afar;
Ah! what scent invades my nostrils?
’Tis the smoke of a cigar!
Instantly into the parlour
Like a maniac, I haste,
And I find a young Life-Guardsman,
With his arm round Mary’s waist.

And his other hand is playing
Most familiarly with hers;
And I think my Brussels carpet
Somewhat damaged by his spurs.
“Fire and furies! what the blazes?”
Thus in frenzied wrath I call;
When my spouse her arms upraises,
With a most astounding squall.

“Was there ever such a monster,
Ever such a wretched wife?
Ah! how long must I endure it,
How protract this hateful life?
All day long, quite unprotected,
Does he leave his wife at home;
And she cannot see her cousins,
Even when they kindly come!”

Then the young Life-Guardsman, rising,
Scarce vouchsafes a single word,
But, with look of deadly menace,
Claps his hand upon his sword;
And in fear I faintly falter
“This your cousin, then he’s mine!
Very glad, indeed, to see you,
Won’t you stop with us, and dine?”

Won’t a ferret suck a rabbit?
As a thing of course he stops;
And with most voracious swallow
Walks into my mutton-chops.
In the twinkling of a bed-post
Is each savoury platter clear,
And he shows uncommon science
In his estimate of beer.

Half-and-half goes down before him,
Gurgling from the pewter pot;
And he moves a counter motion
For a glass of something hot.
Neither chops nor beer I grudge him,
Nor a moderate share of goes;
But I know not why he’s always
Treading upon Mary’s toes.

Evermore, when, home returning,
From the counting-house I come,
Do I find the young Life-Guardsman
Smoking pipes and drinking rum.
Evermore he stays to dinner,
Evermore devours my meal;
For I have a wholesome horror
Both of powder and of steel.

Yet I know he’s Mary’s cousin,
For my only son and heir
Much resembles that young Guardsman,
With the self-same curly hair;
But I wish he would not always
Spoil my carpet with his spurs;
And I’d rather see his fingers
In the fire, than touching hers.