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He saw two duellists going to fight,
In fear they could not smother ; And he shot one through at once—for he knew
They never would shoot each other.
He saw a watchman fast in his box,
And he gave a snore infernal; Said Death, “ He may keep his breath, for his sleep
Can never be more eternal.”
He met a coachman driving his coach
So slow, that his fare grew sick ;
For Death only wars on the quick.
Death saw a tollman taking a toll,
In the spirit of his fraternity;
Though summon’d to all eternity.
He found an author writing his life,
But he let him write no further:
Is jealous of all self-murther!
Death saw a patient that pulld out his purse,
And a doctor that took the sum; But he let them be—for he knew that the “fee”
Was a prelude to “faw” and “fum.”
He met a dustman ringing a bell,
And he gave him a mortal thrust; For himself, by law, since Adam's flaw,
Iş contractor for all our dust.
He saw a sailor mixing his grog,
And he mark’d' him out for slaughter; For on water he scarcely had cared for Death,
And never on rum-and-water.
Death saw two players playing at cards,
But the game wasn't worth a dump,
To wait for the final trump!
THE PROGRESS OF ART.
O HAPPY time! Art's early days !
Narcissus-like I hung!
As nothing to the young!
Some scratchy strokes—abrupt and few,
Sufficed for my design;
A surface with a line.
Not long my eye was thus content,
Essay'd a higher walk ;
And gouty feet—in chalk.
Anon my studious art for days
For faces such as mine! Accomplish'd in the details then, I left the minor parts of men,
And drew the form divine.
Old Gods and Heroes—Trojan-Greek, Figures—long after the antique,
Great Ajax justly fear’d ; Hectors, of whom at night I dreamt, And Nestor, fringed enough to tempt
Bird-nesters to his beard.
A Bacchus, leering on a bowl,
A Vulcan—very lame;
(One Williams did the same.)
But tired of this dry work at last,
And gave my brush a drink ?
That is—in Indian ink.
Oh then, what black Mont Blancs arose,
What clouds of dingy hue!
I fear the distance did not “ lend
Enchantment to the view."
Not Radclyffe's brush did e'er design
Or lakes so like a pall; .
And Martin over all. .
Yet urchin pride sustain'd me still,
And spread the dingy tint;
Had any finger in 't !”
But colours came !—like morning light,
Or Spring's enliven’d scene:
My trees extremely green.
And wash'd by my cosmetic brush,
With lock of auburn stain(Not Goldsmith's Auburn)—nut-brown hair, That made her loveliest of the fair;
Not “ loveliest of the plain!”