網頁圖片
PDF
[ocr errors]

VII.

[ocr errors]

May he eat dirt, and may the dog and Which broods ronnd Brahma, and Giaour

our earth, 't is known, Defile the graves of him and all his Rests on a tortoise, moveless as this race;

stone.” Allah loves faithful souls and gives

them power To spin till they are purple in the face ;

So they kept up their banning ame

baan, Some folks get you know what, but w

When suddenly came floating down the he that pure is

stream Earns Paradise aud ninety thousand houries."

A youth whose face like an incarnate

pæan

Glowed, 't was so full of grandeur and "Upon the silver mountain, South of gleam ; by East,

“If there be gods, then, doubtless, Sits Brahma fed upon the sacred bean; this must be one, He loves those inen whose nails are Thought both at once, and then began still increased,

to scream, Who all their lives keep ugly, foul, and

“Surely, whate'er immortals know, lean;

thou knowest, 'Tis of his grace that not a bird or Decide between us twain before thou beast

goest!" Adorned with claws like mine was ever seen ;

The youth was drifting in a slim caThe suns and stars are Brahma's

noe thoughts divine

Most like a huge white waterlily's petal, Even as these trees I seem to see are

But neither of our theologiays knew mine.”

Whereof 't was made; whether of heav

enly metal “Thou seem'st to see, indeed!” | Seldseen, or of a vast pearl split in roared Ahmed back ;

two “ Were I but once across this plaguy

plamy And hollowed, was a point they could stream,

not settle ; With a stout sapling in my hand, one

'T was good debate-seed, though, and whack

bore large fruit On those lank ribs would rid thee of In after years of many a tart dispute.

that dream! Thy Brahma-blasphemy is ipecac

XII. To my soul's stomach ; couldst thou There were no wings upon the strangrasp the scheme

ger's shoulders of true redemption, thou wouldst And yet he seemed so capable of rising know that Deity

That, had he soared like thistledown, Whirls by a kind of blessed sponta beholders neity.

Had thought the circumstance noways

surprising; And this it is which keeps our earth

Enough that he remained, and, when

the scolders here going With all the stars." — “0, vile! but

Hailed him as umpire in their vocal there's a place

prize-ring,

The painter of his boat he lightly Prepared for such ; to think of Brah

threw ma throwing Worlds like a juggler's balls up into

Around a lotos-stem, and brought her

to. Space! Why, not so much as a smooth lotos

XUI. blowing

The strange youth had a look as if Is e'er allowed that silence to efface

he might

VIII.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Have trod far planets where the atmos- | And blow the pinch of premise-primphere

ing off (of nobler temper) steeps the face. Long syllogistic batteries, with a with light,

cough. Just as our skins are tanned and freckled here;

XVII. His air was that of a cosmopolite Each had a theory that the human In the wide universe from sphere to

ear sphere;

A providential tunnel was, which led Perhaps he was (hisiace nad such To a huge vacuum (and surely here grave beauty)

They showed some knowledge of the An officer of Saturn's guards off duty."

general head), For cant to be decanted through, a

mere . Both saints began to unfold their tales Auricular canal or mill-race fed at once,

All day and night, in sunshine and in Both wished their tales, like simial

shower, ones, prehensile,

From their vast heads of milk-andThat they might seize his ear; fool! water-power. knavel and dunce !

XVIII. Flew zigzag back and forth, like strokes of pencil

The present being a peculiar case, In a child's fingers ; voluble as duns, Each with unwonted zeal the other They jabberéd like the stones on that scouted, immense hill

Put his spurred hobby through its Ju the Arabian Nights ; until the every pace, stranger

Pished, pshawed, poohed, horribled, Began to think his ear-drums in some bahed, jeered, sneered, flouted, danger.

Sniffed, nonsensed, infideled, fudged,

with his face

Looked scorn too nicely shaded to be In general those who nothing have to shouted, say

And, with each inch of person and of Contrive to spend the longest time in

vesture, doing it ;

Contrived to hint some most disdain. They turn and vary it in every way,

ful gesture. Hashing it, stewing it, mincing it, ragouting it ;

XIX. Sometimes they keep it purposely at At length, when their breath's end bay,

was come about, Then let it slip to be again pursuing it ; And both could, now and then, just They drone it, groan it, whisper it gasp “impostor !" and shout it,

Holding their heads thrust menaRefute it, flout it, swear to 't, prove cingly out, it, doubt it.

As staggering cocks keep up their fight

ing posture, XVI.

The stranger smiled and said, “BeOur saints had practised for some mi.

yond a doubt thirty years;

| 'T is fortunate, my friends, that you Their talk, beginning with a single stem,

have lost your Spread like a banyan, sending down

United parts of speech, or it had been live piers,

Impossible for me to get between. Colonies of digression, and, in them,

XX. Germs of yet new dispersion ; once by the ears,

“Produce ! says Nature, - what have They could convey damnation in a hem,

you produced ?

[ocr errors]
[merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

A new strait-waistcoat for the human | Creation's plan, out of their own vile mind;

mud Are you not limbed, nerved, jointed, Pat up a god, and burn, drown, hang, arteried, juiced,

or curse As other men ? yet, faithless to your Whoever worships not; each keeps his kind,

stud Rather like noxious insects you are of texts which wait with saddle on used

and bridle To puncture life's fair fruit, beneath the To hunt hown atheists to their ugly rind

idol. Laying your creed-eggs whence in

XXIV.
time there spring
Consumers new to eat and buzz and “This, I perceive, has been your oc-
sting

cupation;
You should have been more usefully

employed ; “Work! you have no conception

on

:
All men are bound to earn their daily

ration,
how 't will sweeten
Your views of Life and Nature, God

ure. God Where States make not that primal con

tract void and Man; Had you been forced to earn what you By cramps and limits; simple devas

tation have eaten, Your heaven had shown a less dyspep

dvenen. Is the worm's task, and what he has

destroyed tic plan; At present your whole function is to His monument; creating is man's

work eat ten And talk ten times as rapidly as you

And that, too, something more than

mist and murk." can; Were your shape true to cosmogonic

laws, You would be nothing but a pair of So having said, the youth was seen no jaws.

more,

And straightway our sage Brahmin, the
XXII.

philosopher,
“Of all the useless beings in creation Cried, “That was aimed at thee, thou
The earth could spare most easily you Idle and useless as the growth of moss

endless bore, bakers Of little clay gods, formed in shape

over and fashion

A rotting tree-trunk!" "I would Precisely in the image of their makers ;

square that score Why, it would almost move a saint

Full soon," replied the Dervise, "could

I cross over to passion, To see these blind and deaf, the hourly

And catch thee by the beard. Thy breakers

nails I'd trim Of God's own image in their brother

And make thee work, as was advised

by him." men, Set themselves up to tell the how,

XXVI. where, when,

“Work? Am I not at work from

morn till night

Sounding the deeps of oracles umbilical “Of God's existence; one's diges. Which for man's guidance never come tion's worse

to light,
So makes a god of vengeance and of With all their various aptitudes, until
blood;

I call ?''
Another, — but no matter, they re- “And I, do I not twirl from left to

right

[ocr errors]

XXIII.

verse

[ocr errors]

grated,

For conscience sake ? Is that no work?

Thou silly gull,
He had thee in his eye ; 't was Ga-

ve : 't was Ga. At first he pledged a miracle quite briel

boldly, Sent to reward my faith. I know him And, for a day or two, they growled and well.”

waited;

But, finding that this kind of manna XXVII. “ 'Twas Vishnu, thou vile whirli-Sat on their stomachs, they erelong be

coldly gig!” and so

rated The good old quarrel was begun anew ; The saint for still persisting in that One would have sworn the sky was old lie, black as sloe,

Till soon the whole machine of saintship Had but the other dared to call it blue; Nor were the followers who fed them

Ran slow, creaked, stopped, and, slow To treat each other with their curses,

wishing him in Tophet,

They gathered strength enough to too, Each hating t other (moves it tears or

stone the prophet. laughter ?) Because he thought him sure of hell

XXXI. hereafter.

Some stronger ones contrived (by xxvIII.

eating leather, At last some genius built a bridge of Their weaker friends, and one thing or boats

another) Over the stream, and Ahmed's zealots The winter months of scarcity to filed

weather ; Across, upon a mission to (cut throats

ssion to (cut throats Among these was the late saint's younger And) spread religion pure and undefiled;

brother, They sowed the propagandist's wild

Who, in the spring, collecting them est oats,

together, Cutting off all, down to the smallest

Persuaded them that Ahmed's holy child,

pother And came back, giving thanks for

Had wrought in their behalf, and that such fat mercies,

the place To find their harvest gone past prayers

Of Saint should be continued to his or curses.

race. xxix.

XXXII. All gone except their saint's religious hops,

Accordingly, 't was settled on the Which he kept up with more than common flourish;

That Allah favored that peculiar breed; But these, however satisfying crops Beside, as all were satisfied, 't would For the inner man, were not enough to not nourish

Be quite respectable to have the need The body politic, which quickly drops of public spiritual food forgot; Reserve in such sad junctures, and turns And so the tribe, with proper forms, decurrish;

creed So Ahmed soon got cursed for all the That he, and, failing him, his next of famine

kin, Where'er the popular voice could edge Forever for the people's good should a damn in.

spin,

FRAGMENTS OF AN UNFINISHED POEM.

I Am a man of forty, sirs, a native of If I with staff and scallop-shell should East Haddam,

try my way to win, And have some reason to surmise that I Would Bonifaces quarrel as to who descend from Adam;

should take me in? But what's my pedigree to you? That Or would my pilgrim's progress end I will soon unravel;

where Bunyan started his on, I've sucked my Haddam. Eden dry, And my grand tour be round and round therefore desire to travel,

the back-yard of a prison ? And, as a natural consequence, presume I give you here a saying deep and thereI need n't say,

fore, haply true; I wish to write some letters home and 'Tis out of Merlin's prophecies, but have those letters p

quite as good as new : [I spare the word suggestive of those che question boach for men and meates grim Next Morns that mount

longe vopages pt beginne Clump, clump, the stairways of the brain Lpes in a notstell, rather sape ipes in a with — “ Sir, my small account,

case of tinne. And, after every good we gain - Love, But, though men may not travel now, as Fame, Wealth, Wisdom - still

in the Middle Ages, As punctual as a cuckoo clock, hold up with self-sustaining retinues of little their little bill,

gilt-edged pages, The garçons in our Café of Life, by Yet one may manage pleasantly, wherdreaming us forgot

e'er he likes to roam, Sitting, like Homer's heroes, full and By sending his small pages (at so much musing God knows what, —

per small page) home; Till they say, bowing, S'il vous plait, And if a staff and scallop-shell won't voila, Messieurs, la nole !]

serve so well as then, I would not hint at this so soon, but in Our outlay is about as small — just paour callous day,

per, ink, and pen. The tollman Debt, who drops his bar Be thankful! Humbugs never die, more across the worlil's highway,

than the wandering Jew : Great Cæsar in mid-march would stop, if Bankrupt, they publish their own deaths, . Cæsar could not pay ;

slink for a while from view, Pilgriming 's dearer than it was: men Then take an alias, change the sign, and cannot travel now

the old trade renew; Scot-free from Dan to Beersheba upon a Indeed, 't is wondrous how each Age, simple vow;

though laughing at the Past, Nay, as long back as Bess's time, when Insists on having its tight shoe made on Walsingham went over

the same old last ; Ambassador to Cousin France, at Can- How it is sure its system would break up terbury and Dover

at once without Ile was so fleeced by innkeepers that, ere The bunion which it will believe heredihe quitted land,

tary gout; He wrote to the Prime Minister to take How it takes all its swans for geese, nay, the kpaves in hand.

stranger yet and sadder,

« 上一頁繼續 »