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The Answer of the Egyptian Mummy.
CHILD of the latter days, thy words have broken
Three thousand tedious years have roll'd
List, then, oh! list, while I unfold my story.
Thebes was my birth-place-an unrivall❜d city,
Oh! I could read you quite a Theban lecture,
But then you would not have me throw discredit
THE ILIAD-true it is I never read it,
But heard it read when I was very young; An old blind minstrel, for a trifling profit, Recited parts-I think the author of it.
All that I know about the town of HOMER
Is, that they scarce would own him in his day— Were glad, too, when he proudly turn'd a roamer, Because by this they saved their parish-pay. His townsmen would have been ashamed to flout
Had they foreseen the fuss since made about
One blunder I can fairly set at rest,
He says that men were once more big and bony Than now, which is a bouncer at the best;
I'll just refer you to our friend Belzoni, Near seven feet high! in sooth, a lofty figure! Now look at me, and tell me am I bigger?
Not half the size: but then I'm sadly dwindled; Three thousand years with that embalming glue, Have made a serious difference, and have swindled My face of all its beauty-there were few Egyptian youths more gay,-behold the sequel. Nay, smile not, you and I may soon be equal!
For this lean hand did one day hurl the lance
This heart hath throbb'd at tales of love and woe, These shreds of raven hair once set the fashion, This wither'd form inspired the tender passion.
In vain! the skilful hand and feelings warm,
All bow'd at once to death's mysterious will, Who seal'd me up where mummies sound are sleeping,
In cere-cloth, and in tolerable keeping.
Where cows and monkeys squat in rich brocade, And well-dress'd crocodiles in painted cases, Rats, bats, and owls, and cats in masquerade,
With scarlet flounces and with varnish'd faces;
Men, birds, brutes, reptiles, fish—all cramm'd together
With ladies that might pass for well-tann'd leather.
Where Rameses and Sabacon lie down,
And splendid Psammis in his hide of crust; Princes and heroes, men of high renown,
Who in their day kick'd up a mighty dust,
Their swarthy Mummies kick'd up dust in num
When huge Belzoni came to scare their slumbers.
Who'd think these rusty hams of mine were seated
Of" Juno's hatred " was so well repeated?
Ay, gas-lights! mock me not; we men of yore Were versed in all the knowledge you can mention;
Who hath not heard of Egypt's peerless lore? Her patient toil? acuteness of invention ? Survey the proofs-our Pyramids are thriving,Old Memnon still looks young, and I'm surviving.
A land in arts and sciences prolific,
On blocks gigantic building up her fame! Crowded with signs, and letters hieroglyphic, Temples and obelisks her skill proclaim ! Yet though her art and toil unearthly seem, Those blocks were brought on RAIL-ROADS and by
How, when, and why, our people came to rear
I will unfold, if thou wilt stay awhile,
The hist❜ry of the Sphinx, and who began it,
Well, then, in grievous times, when King Cephrenes
But, ah! what's this?—the shades of bards and
Press on my lips their fingers! What they mean is, I am not to reveal these hidden things.
Mortal, farewell! Till Science' self unbind them, Men must e'en take these secrets as they find them.
The Forging of the Anchor.
COME, see the Dolphin's anchor forged; 'tis at a white heat now;
The bellows ceased, the flames decreased; though on the forge's brow
The little flames still fitfully play through the sable mound;
And fitfully you still may see the grim smiths ranking round,
All clad in leathern panoply, their broad hands only bare;
Some rest upon their sledges here, some work the windlass there.
The windlass strains the tackle chains, the black mound heaves below,
And red and deep a hundred veins burst out at every throe
It rises, roars, rends all outright-O Vulcan, what a glow!
'Tis blinding white, 'tis blasting bright, the high sun shines not so!
The high sun sees not, on the earth, such fiery fearful show;
The roof-ribs swarth, the candent hearth, the ruddy lurid row
Of smiths, that stand, an ardent band, like men before the foe;
As, quivering through his fleece of flame, the sailing monster slow'
Sinks on the anvil-all about the faces fiery grow— "Hurrrah," they shout, "leap out-leap out:" bang, bang, the sledges go;
Hurrah; the jetted lightnings are hissing high and low; A hailing fount of fire is struck at every squashing
The leathern mail rebounds the hail; the rattling cinders strow
The ground around; at every bound the sweltering fountains flow:
And thick and loud the sinking crowd, at every stroke, pant "Ho!"
Leap out, leap out, my masters; leap out and lay on load!
Let's forge a goodly Anchor, a bower, thick and broad;