תמונות בעמוד
PDF

Meantime, if you have tumult, noise, and strife, (Things not abhorrent to a married lifel) They'll quickly end, you'll see; what signify A few odd years to you that never die? And, after all, you’re half your time away, You know your business takes you up all day; And, coming late to bed, you need not fear, Whatever noise I make, you'll sleep, my dear! Or, if a winter-evening should be long, E’en read your physic-book, or make a song. Your steeds, your wife, diachalom, and rhyme, May take up any honest godhead's time. Thus, as you like it, you may love again, And let another Daphne have her reign. Now love, or leave, my dear; retreat, or follow: I Daphne (this premis'd) take thee Apollo. And may I split into ten thousand trees, If I give up on other terms than these ! | She said; but what the amorous god replied (So fate ordain'd) is to our search denied ; By rats, alas ! the manuscript is eat, |

O cruel banquet ! which we all regret.
Bavius, thy labours must this work restore;
May thy good-will be equal to thy power

[graphic]

THE MICE.

TO MR. ADRIAN DRIFT. MDCCVIII.

Two mice, dear boy, of genteel fashion,
And (what is more) good education,
Frolic and gay, in infant years,
Equally shar'd their parents' cares.
The sire of these two babes (poor creature 1)
Paid his last debt to human nature ;
A wealthy widow left behind,
Four babes, three males, one female kind.
The sire being under ground and buried,
'Twas thought his spouse would soon have
married;
Matches propos'd, and numerous suitors,
Most tender husbands, careful tutors,
She modestly refus'd, and shew’d
She’d be a mother to her brood.

Mother dear mother that endearing thought Has thousand and ten thousand fancies brought. Tell me, oh! tell me, (thou art now above) How to describe thy true maternal love, Thy early pangs, thy growing anxious cares, Thy flattering hopes, thy fervent pious prayers, Thy doleful days and melancholy nights, Cloister'd from common joys and just delights:

How thou didst constantly in private mourn,
And wash with daily tears thy spouse's urn ;
How it employ'd your thoughts and lucid time,
That your young offspring might to honour climb :
How your first care, by numerous griefs opprest,
|Under the burden sunk, and went to rest;
IIow your dear darling, by consumption's waste,
Breath’d her last piety into your breast;
How you, alas ! tir’d with your pilgrimage,
Bow’d down your head, and died in good old age.
Though not inspir’d, oh! may I never be
Forgetful of my pedigree, or thee!
Ungrateful howsoe'er, mayn't I forget
To pay this small, yet tributary debt
And when we meet at God’s tribunal throne,
Own me, I pray thee, for a pious son.
But why all this? is this your fable?
Believe me, Mat, it seems a babble :
If you will let me know th’ intent on’t.
Go to your Mice, and make an end on’t.
Well then, dear brother 2
As sure as Hudi’s' sword could swaddle,
Two Mice were brought up in one cradle
Well bred, I think, of equal port,
One for the gown, one for the court:
They parted (did they so, an’t please you ?)
Yes, that they did (dear sir) to ease you.
One went to Holland, where they huff folk,
T'other to vend his wares in Suffolk.

1 Hudibras.

[graphic]

That Mice have travell'd in old times,
Horace and Prior tell in rhymes,
Those two great wonders of their ages,
Superior far to all the sages!
Many days past, and many a night,
Ere they could gain each other's sight;
At last, in weather cold, nor sultry,
They met at the Three Cranes in Poultry.
After much buss and great grimace
(Usual you know in such a case),
Much chat arose, what had been done,
What might before next summer's sun ;
Much said of France, of Suffolk's goodness.
The gentry's loyalty, mob's rudeness.
That ended, o'er a charming bottle,
They enter'd on this tittle-tattle.
Quoth Suffolk, by prečminence
In years, though (God knows) not in sense,
All's gone, dear brother, only we
Remain to raise posterity;
Marry you, brother; I'll go down,
Sell nouns and verbs, and lić alone;
May you ne'er meet with feuds or babble,
May olive-branches crown your table !
Somewhat I’ll save, and for this end,
To prove a brother and a friend.
What I propose is just, I swear it;
Or may I perish, by this claret !
The dice are thrown, choose this or that
('Tis all alike to honest Mat);

I'll take then the contrary part,
And propagate with all my heart.
After some thought, some Portuguese,”
Some wine, the younger thus replies;
Fair are your words, as fair your carriage,
Let me be free, drudge you in marriage;
Get me a boy call’d Adrian,
Trust me, I’ll do for’t what I can.
Home went well pleas'd the Suffolk tony,
Heart free from care, as purse from money;
He got a lusty squalling boy
(Doubtless the dad's and mamma's joy).
In short, to make things square and even,
Adrian he nam'd was by Dick Stephen.
Mat's debt thus paid, he now enlarges,
And sends you in a bill of charges,
A cradle, brother, and a basket
(Granted as soon as e'er I ask it);
A coat not of the smallest scantling,
Frocks, stockings, shoes, to grace the bantling :
These too were sent (or I’m no drubber)
Nay, add to these the fine gum-rubber;
Yet these won’t do, send toother coat,
For, faith, the first's not worth a groat,
Dismally shrunk, as herrings shotten,
Suppos'd originally rotten.
Pray let the next be each way longer,
Of stuff more durable, and stronger;

1 Snuff.

« הקודםהמשך »