網頁圖片
PDF

He pressed my hand and kissed my cheek;

Then, warmer growing, kissed the other,

While I exclaimed, and strove to sh rit*k

"Be quiet, do! I'll call my mother!"

He saw my anger was sincere,

And lovingly began to chide me; Then wiping from my cheek the tear.

He sat him on the grass beside

me,

He feigned such pretty amorous

woe,

Breathed such sweet vows one after other,

I could but smile, while whispering low,

"Be quiet, do! I'll call my mother!"

He talked so long, and talked so well,

And swore he meant not to deceive me;

I felt more grief than I can tell. When with a sigh he rose to leave me.

"O John!" said I; "and must thou go?

I love thee better than all other; There is no need to hurry so,— I never meant to call my mother."

THE LITTLE MAN.

There was a little, very little,

Quiet little man.
He wore a little overcoat

The color of the tan;
And when his weekly wage was earned

On Saturday, at night,
He had but half-a-crown to spare

To keep his spirits light;

"But that," quoth he, and twirled his thumb,

So blithe he was, and free, "Is quite enough for happiness

For a little man like me."

And oft this little, very little,
Happy little man,

Would talk a little to himself
About the great world's plan:
Though people think me very
poor,

I feel I'm very glad. And this I'm sure could scarcely be

If I were very bad. Rich knaves who cannot rest o' n ights,

At every turn I see.
While cosy sleep unbidden comes

To a quiet man like me.

"For though I'm little, very little,

Do whate'er I can.
Yet every morning when I shave,

I shave an honest man;
And every night when I go home.

My winsome little wife,
Receives me smiling at the door,

And loves Die more than life: — And this is joy that kings themselves,

If thoughts were spoken free, might give their sceptres to exchange With a little man like me.

"And I've a little, quite a little,

Bonnie little child.
A little maid with golden hair.

And blue eyes bright and mild;
She sits and prattles on my knee,

She's merry as a song,
she's pleasant as a ray of light,

She keeps my heart from wrong.
And so, let kingdoms rise or fall,

I'll earn my daily fee, And think the world is good enough

For a little man like me."

James Merrick.

THE CHAMELEON.

Two travellers of conceited cast,
As o'er Arabia's wilds they passed,
And, on their way, in friendly chat,
Now talked of this, and then of that,
Discoursed a while, 'mongst other
matter.

Of the chameleon's form and nature.

"A stranger animal," cries one,
"Sure never lived beneath the sun;
A lizard's body, lean and long;
A fish's head; a serpent's tongue;
Its foot with triple claw disjoined;
And what a length of tall behind!
How slow its pace! and then its hue —
Who ever saw so fine a blue?"

"Hold there," the other quick repl ies;

"'Tis green — I saw it with these eyes.

As late with open mouth it lay,
And warmed it in the sunny ray;
Stretched at its ease, the beast I
viewed.

And saw it eat the air for food."

"I've seen it, sir, as well as you,
And must again attirm it blue;
At leisure I the beast surveyed
Extended in the cooling shade."

"'Tis green, 'tis green, sir, I assure ye."

"Green! " cries the other, in a fury: "Why, sir. d'ye think I've lost my

eyes?"

"'Twere no great loss," the friend replies;

"For if they always serve you thus, You'll find them but of little use."

So high at last the contest rose, From words they almost came to blows;

When luckily came by a third —
To him the question they referred;
And begged he'd tell them, if he
knew,

Whether the thing was green, or blue?

"Sirs," cried the umpire, "cease

your pother. The creature's neither one nor

t'other; I caught the animal last night, And viewed it o'er by candle-light; I marked it well — 'twas black as jet; You stare! but. sirs, I've got it yet. And can produce it." "Pray, sir,

do;

I'll lay my life the thing is blue."

"And I'll engage that, when you've seen

The reptile, you'll pronounce him green."

"Well, then, at once, to ease the doubt,"

Replies the man, "I'll turn him out; And, when before your eyes I've set him.

If you don't find him black, I'll eat him."

He said; then full before their sight Produced the beast, and lo — 'twas white!

Both stared; the man looks wondrous

wise!

"My children," the chameleon cries (Then first the creature found a tongue),

"You all are right, and all are wrong;

When next you talk of what you

view,

Think others see as well as you;
Nor wonder if you find that none
Prefers your eyesight to his own."

Thomas Moore.

[From an FpMIe to Samuel Rogers.] THE MODERN PUFFING SYSTEM.

Unlike those feeble gales of praise
Which critics blew in former days,
Our meder n puffs are of a kind
That truly, really " raise the wind;"
And since they've fairly set Id blow-
ing.

We find them the best trade-%eindu going.

What storm is on the deep — and more

Is the great power of Puff on shore, Which jumps to glory's future tenses Before the present even commences. And makes "immortal " and "divine" of us. Before the world has read one line of us.

In old times when the god of song Drew his own two-horse team along, Carrying inside a bard or two Booked for posterity "all through," Their luggage, a few close-packed rhymes

(Like yours, my friend, for aftertimes)

So slow the pull to Fame's abode That folks oft slumbered on the road: And Homer's self sometimes, they say,

Took to his nightcap on the way. But now, how different is the story With our new galloping sons of glory, Who, scorning all such slack and

slow time. Dash to posterity in no time! Raise but one general blast of puff To start youranthor— that's enough: In vain the critics sit to watch him Try at the starting-post to catch him; He's off — the pullers carry it hollow—

The critics, if they please, may follow;

Ere they've laid down their first positions,

He's fairly blown through six editions!

In vain doth Edinburgh dispense
Her blue-and-yellow pestilence
(That plague so awful in my time
To young and touchy sons of rhyme);
The Quarterly, at three months'
date,

To catch the Unread One comes too late;

And nonsense, littered in a hurry. Becomes ••immortal" spite of Murray.

[From The FuiTga Fami'y in Paris],

EXTRACTS FROM MISS BIDDY'S LETTERS.

What a time since I wrote! — I'm a

sad naughty girl — Though, like a tee-totum, I'm all in

a twirl,

Yet even (as you wittily say) a teetotum

Between all its twirls gives a lettrr to note 'em.

But, Lord, such a place! and then, Dolly, my dresses,

My gowns, so divine! — there's no language expresses,

Except just the two words "superbe," "magnifique,"

The trimmings of that which I had home last week!

It is called—I forget — it In — something which sounded

Like alicampane— but, in truth, I'm confounded

And bothered, my dear, 'twixt that troublesome boy's

(Bob's) cookery language, and Madame Le Roi's :

What with fillets of roses, and fillets of veal,

Things garni with lace, and things garni with eel,

One's hair and one's cutlets both en

papillate, And a thousand more things I shall

ne'er have by rote, I can scarce tell the difference, at

least as to phrase, Between beef it la Psyche and curls

a la braise,— But, in short, dear, I'm tricked out

quite it la J'rancaUe, With my bonnet—so beautiful!—high

up and poking, Like things that are put to keep

chimneys from smoking.

Where shall I begin with the endless delights

Of this Eden of milliners, monkeys,

and sights — This dear busy place, where there's

nothing transacting, But dressing and dlmiering, dancing

and acting' !

Last night, at the Bcaujon, a place

where — I doubt If I well can describe — there are

cars, that set out From a lighted pavilion, high up in

the air,

And rattle you down, Doll — you

hardly know where. These vehicles, mind me, in which

you go through This delightfully dangerous journey,

hold tiro.

Home cavalier asks, with humility, whether

You'll venture down with him — you smile. — 'tis a match;

In an instant you're seated, and down both together Go thundering, as if you went post to old Scratch!

Well, it was but last night, as I stood and remarked

On the looks and odd ways of the girls who embarked,

The impatience of some for the perilous flight.

The forced giggle of others, 'twixt pleasure and fright,

That there came up — imagine, dear Doll, if you can—

A fine, sallow, sublime, sort of Werter-faeed man,

With mustachios that gave (what we we read of so oft)

The dear Corsair expression, half savage, half soft.

As hya.iKis in love may be fancied to look, or

A something between Abelard and old Blucher!

Up he came, Doll, to me, and uncovering his head,

(Rather bald, but so warlike!) in bad English said,

"Ah! my dear—if Ma'mselle vill be so very good —

Just for von little course " — though I scarce understood

What he wished me to do, I said, thank him, I would.

Off we set — and, though 'faith, dear,
I hardly knew whether
My head or my heels were the up-
permost then,

For 'twas like heaven and earth,
Dolly, coming together,—
Yet, spite of the danger, we dared
it again.

And oh! as I gazed on the features and air

Of the man who for me all this peril defied, I could fancy almost he and I were a pair

Of unhappy young lovers,who thus, side by side,

Were taking, instead of rope, pistol, or dagger, a

Desperate dash down the falls of Niagara!

Well, it isn't the king, after all, my

dear creature! But don't you go laugh, now—

there's nothing to qui» in't— For grandeur of air and for grimness

of feature, He might be a king, Doll, though,

hang him, he isn't. At first I felt hurt, for I wished it, I

own.

If for no other cause than to vex Miss Malone,—

(The great heiress, you know, of Shandangan, who's here,

Showing off with such airs and a real Cashmere,

While mine's but a paltry old rabbitskin, dear!)

But says I'a. after deeply considering the thing,

"I am just as well pleased it should not be the king;

As I think for my Biddy so gentille and Jolie, Whose charms may their price in an honest way fetch. That a Brandenburg— (what is a Brandenburg, Dolly ?)— Would be, after all, no such very great catch.

William Pitt Palmer.

THE SMACK IN SCHOOL.

A district school, not far away, Mid Berkshire's hills, one winter's day,

Was humming with its wonted noise Of threescore mingled girls and boys; Some few upon their tasks intent. But more on furtive mischief bent. The while the master's downward look

Was fastened on a copy-book; When suddenly, behind his back, Rose sharp and clear a rousing smack! As't were a battery of bliss Let off in one tremendous kis3! "What's that?" the startled master cries;

"That, thir." a little imp replies, "Wath William YVillith, if you

pleathe, — I thaw him kithThuthannaPeathe!" With frown to make a statue thrill, The master thundered, "Hither,

Will!"

Like wretch o'er taken in his track,

With stolen chattels on his back,
Will hung his head in fear and shame,
And to the awful presence came, —
A great, green, bashful simpleton,
The butt of all good-natured fun.
With smile suppressed, and birch
upraised,

The thunderer faltered, — "I'm amazed

That you, my biggest pupil, should
Be guilty of an act so rude!
Before the whole set school to boot—
What evil genius put you to't?"
"'Twas she herself, sir," sobbed the
lad;

"I did not mean to be so bad;
But when Susannah shook her curls,
And whispered, I was 'fraid of girls
And dursn't kiss a baby's doll,
I couldn't stand it, sir, at all,
But up and kissed her on the spot!
I know — boo-hoo— I ought to not,
But, somehow, from her looks —

boo-hoo — I thought she kird o' wished me to!"

« 上一頁繼續 »