Page images
PDF
EPUB

The building rings—the building rocks—
The elephant the pit, the elephant each box,
The elephant, the galleries resound !

The elephant walk’d down,
Before the lamps, to fascinate the town.

Daw, with his ugly face inclined
Just over his tall rival’s skirts,

Bore, horizontally in mind -
His self-love's bruises, and ambition's hurts.

Hating the man by whom he was disgraced,
Who from his cap had pluck'd the choicest feather,
He bit him in the part where honour's placed,
Till his teeth met together.

On this attack from the ferocious Daw,
Upon his Pais Bas,
The man, unable to conceal his pain,
Roar'd and writhed,
Roar'd and writhed,
Roar'd and writhed, and roar'd again'!

That beasts should roar is neither new nor queer,
But, on a repetition of the spite,

How was the house electrified to hear
The elephant say, “Curse you, Daw, don't bite l’”

Daw persever'd :-unable to get out,
The tall man faced about,

And with great force the mighty Daw assail'd;—
Both, in the dark, were now at random fighting,
Huffing and cuffing, kicking, scratching, biting-

Though neither of the combatants prevail’d.

It was the strongest precedent, by far,
In ancient, or in modern story,

Of such a desperate intestine war,
Waged in so small a territory !

And, in this civil brawl, like any other,
Where every man in arms his country shatters,
The two inhabitants thump'd one another,
Till they had torn the elephant to tatters;-
And, thus uncased, the rival actors
Stood bowing to their generous benefactors.

Uproar ensued —from every side,
Scene-shifters ran to gather up the hide;

While the two bowels in dismay,
Hiss'd, hooted, damn'd, and pelted—walk'd away.

Reader, if you would further know,
The history of Mr. Daw, 'tis brief;-
He died, not many months ago,
Of mortified Ambition, and of grief:
For when live duadrupeds usurp'd the stage,
And which are now, (but may’nt be long) the rage,
He went to bed,
And never, afterwards, held up his head.
Awhile he languish'd, looking pale and wan;
Then, dying, said, “Daw's occupation 's gone l’”

If any one can read this extract without giving to its author his full tribute of laughter, we can only say we do not envy him his powers of forbearance.

The next poem is The Lady of the Wreck, or Castle Blarneygig, an exquisite and happy satire upon the tuneful, but unmeaning couplets of Mr. Walter Scott. It is, in fact, a rich and humourous parody upon his ‘Lady of the Lake.” It is impossible, by any description, to convey an adequate idea of the manner in which this parody is carried on. They who would know it, must read the work; we can only attempt partially to gratify curiosity by the following admirable extract:

“The egg is daintiest when 'tis swallow’d new,"
And love is sweetest in the honey-moon;

The egg grows musty kept a whole month through,
And marriage bliss will turn to strife as soon.

[ocr errors]

* The tournure of thought, in this stanza, is, confessedly, indebted to that sweet commencement of the fourth canto in the Lady of the Luke, where a bridegroom “stands a wakeful sentinel,”—and then plucks a rose. What a happiness! what an elegant novelty in that idea!—to make the bridegroom perform the usual business of the bride!—to convert the expression of “plucking a rose,” which has hitherto been figuratively applied to the mystic garden irrigations of a lady, into a much more proper matter-of-fact operation of a gen.

tleman. “The rose is fairest when 'tis budding new,” &c. &c. See Lady of the Lake, -4th Canto. t Young Norman says to the Rose, (how pretty to talk to a rose!)

“I bid your blossoms in my bonnet wave.”

If the weather were quite calm, he probably shook his head, with his bonnet on ; otherwise it may be supposed he had much less chance of being obeyed by the rose, than Sir Tooleywhagg by the egg, who was popping it down his throat with a spoon.

Thus spoke at breakfast the O’Shaughnashane, What time his bride, in bed, napping full late was lain.

Conceits more fond than this he pour'd,"
Conceits with which false taste is stored;
Such as, of late, alas! are broach'd
By those who have the spot approach'd
Where Poesy once cradled lay,
And stolen her baby-clothes away:-
Conceits, in song's primeval dress,
Of, oh! such pretty prettiness!
That the inveigling beldame muse
Seems a sham virgin from the stews;
Or, in her second childhood wild,
The doting nurse that apes the child.
With such conceits, such feathery lead,t
Which either may be sung or said,
Mock fancy fill'd the bridegroom's head;
While the first egg-shell he scoop'd clean,
Since he a married man had been.
'Twas only on the night before
That Father Murtoch, of Killmore,
Had join’d him to his all in all,
Judy Fitz Gallyhogmagawl.

Revered by all was Murtoch's worth
Though mystery involved his birth:
For when his mother, on a mat,
Watching a corpse, at midnight, sat,
The body rose and strain'd her charms,
Almost two minutes, in its arms.
From which embrace too soon she found

* “Such fond conceit, half said, half sung.” -
Lady of the Lake, 4th Canto.

f “O heavy lightness / serious vanity/ JMis-shapen chaos of well-seeming forms FEATHER or LEAD, bright smoke.” &c. Thus says Shakspeare of Love ; but far be it from the author of this idle poem to speak thus, generally, of the Lady of the Lake.”

# See Brian, the priest, (Lady of the Lake, Canto 3d )—In a note, relative to this personage, proving that the idea of his origin arose from a traditional story, a curious passage is quoted from JMacfarlane, who gives an account of one Gilli-Doir-JMagrevollich. This tooth-breaking name signifies the Black Child, son to the Bones.

The black child's mamma went to a hill, one day, on a party of pleasure, with “both wenches and youthes,” to gather the bones of dead men —and they made a fire on the spot. “At last, they did all remove from the fire, except one maid or wench: she being quietlie her alone, without anie other companie, took up her cloaths above her knees, or thereby, to warm her; a wind did come, and caste the ashes upon her, and she was conceived of ane manchild.” How much more appropriately than Moneas might Gilli-Doir-Mag re

oxx

vollich have invoked the “cineres et ossa parentis

[ocr errors]

Her face grow long, her waist grow round,
*Till, prudes first tattling o'er her fate,
Bid scorn proclaim her in a state
Which women wish to be 'tis said,
Who love their lords before they’re dead.
Exact at midnight, nine months o'er,
A little skeleton she bore.
Soon as produced, amid the gloom,
Two glow-worms crept into the room,
Up to its skull began to rise,
The sockets fill’d, and gave it eyes.
O'er every joint did spiders rove,
Where busily their webs they wove;
The cabin smoke their texture thin
Soon thicken'd, 'till it form'd a skin,
“Now it may pass,” the mother cried,
“May pass for human l’—and she died,
This tale was told by age and youth ;
But who can vouch for rumour's truth :
And yet, though falsehood quick is hatch'd,
'Tis certain, when the corpse she watch'd,
She watch'd alone; or watch'd at least,
With no one save a reverend priest;
Whose duty 'twas to see the clay
Mingled with kindred earth, next day.
True, he was ruddy, tall, and stout,
And young—but then he was devout.
A rigid, stanch, and upright soul,
And excellent upon the whole.
Much could he have divulged, but fled
From questioning, and shook his head.
Yet, once it hapt, when closely task'd,
With much solemnity he ask'd,
“If unbegotten 'tis by me,
Whose but the corpse's can it be?”
This speech, that spread from roof to roos,
To Irishmen was certain proof:
Proof that, when mooted whether shade
Or substance can have forced a maid,
Not he who still life's course must run,
But that a dead man gets a son.”

The reader will judge from this specimen what the sort of irony is employed against the northern minstrel, but we must repeat that only a very inadequate idea can be formed of the ex

cellence of the whole from the perusal of any of its parts. The

volume concludes with the Two Parsons, or The Tale of a Shirt; the incidents of which are unfortunately too trite to please much, though decorated with all the humourous fancies of Geo Colman. * * *

FROM The UNIVERSAL MAGAZINE.

The life and administration of the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval , including a copious narrative of every event of importance, foreign and domestic, from his entrance into public life to the present time; a detail of his assassination, &c. with the probable consequences of the sudden overthrow of the remains of the adminstration, &c.; and a developement of the delicate investigation. Embellished with an accurate likeness, the only one ever taken. By Charles Verulam Williams, esq. 1 vol. 1812.

THE death of this lamented statesman which, to use the words of Marquis Wellesley, threw around him all the lustre of martyrdom, would naturally be followed by some attempt to gratify curiosity as to his public life. The time is evidently too recent for any thing like an impartial estimate of his political character; but a detailed account of his ministerial acts was what would be eagerly sought, and what will be readily found in the present volume. Mr. Williams has collected together from various public documents, a sufficiently interesting mass of materials, well qualified also to meet the first and momentary wishes of the public. The career of Mr. Perceval as a minister, is distinctly marked ; but it were desirable that his early life could have been more minutely exhibited. In addition to what relates specifically to Mr. Perceval, we have an account also of the trial, defence, and execution of Bellingham, some guesses at the delicate investigation, the correspondence between Mr. Canning, Marquis Wellesley, and Lord Liverpool, subsequently to the death of Mr. Perceval, the principal speeches on the first motion of Mr. Wortley in the house of commons, and some reflections upon the probable consequences of Mr. Perceval's death, and the overthrow of his administration. Upon the latter subject it is a pity the author's sagacity should be nugatory, for, mirabile dictu o Mr. Perceval's administation still stands, corpus sine pectore. The aristocratical haughtiness and the lofty pretensions of Lords Grey and Greenville have defeated themselves; in their eagerness to grasp at every thing they have gained nothing; and the country, we suspect, hardly laments to find itself rescued from the hands of an oligarchial faction. Let it never be forgotten, when the future historian shall relate the events of the present day, that two men, who professed to stand up for the dearest rights of their fellow subjects, who sounded from one end of the kingdom to the other the oppressed state of four millions of catholics, who maintained that our efforts in the Peninsula were calculated only to aggravate the evils of war rather than to redress them, who asserted that the whole policy of the government tended only to the ruin of

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »