And beau and etiquette shall soon exist no more 1
In their stead, behold advancing,
Modem men and women dancing !
Step and dress alike express.
Above, below, from head to toe,
Male and female awkwardness.
Without a hoop, without a ruffle.
One eternal jig and shuffle ;
Where's the air, and where's the gait ?
Where's the feather in the hat ?
Where's the frizz'd toupee ? and where.
Oh, where's the powder for their hair ?
Where are all their former graces ?
And where three quarters of their faces ?
With half the forehead lost and half the chin ?
We know not where they end, or where begin.
30 FANSH AWE'S POEMS.
Mark the pair, whom favouring fortune
At the envy'd top shall place,
Humbly they the rest importune
To vouchsafe a little space.
Not the graceful arm to wave in,
Or the silken robe expand ;
All superfluous action saving,
Idly drops the lifeless hand.
Her downcast eye the modest beauty
Sends, as doubtful of their skill.
To see if feet perform their duty.
And their endless task fulfil ;
Footing, footing, footing, footing.
Footing, footing, footing, still.
\\'hile the rest in hedge-row state.
All insensible to sound,
With more than human patience wait,
Like trees fast rooted in the ground.
FANSH AWE'S POEMS. 31
Not such as once, with sprightly motion,
To distant music stirr'd their stumps,
And tript from PeUon to the Ocean,
Performing avenues and clumps ;
What time old Jason's ship, the Argo,
Oqjheus fiddling at the helm.
From Colchis bore her golden cargo,
Dancing o'er the azure main.
But why recur to ancient story,
Or balls of modern date ?
Be mine to trace the Minuet's fate,
And weep its fallen glory :
To ask, Who rang the parting knell ?
If Vestris came the solemn dirge to hear ?
Genius of Valoiiy, didst thou hover near ?
Shade of Lepicq I and spirit of Gondcl 1
I saw their angry forms arise
Where wreaths of smoke involve the skies
Above St. James's steeple :
32 FANSH AWE'S POEMS
I heard them curse our heavy heel,
The Irish step, the Highland reel,
And all the United People.
To the dense air the curse adhesive clung,
Repeated since by many a modish tongue,
In words that may be said, but never shall be sung.*
What cause untimely urged the Minuet's fate ?
Did war subvert the manners of the State ?
Did savage nations give the barbarous law,
The Gaul Cisalpine, or the Gonoquaw ?
Its fall was destined to a peaceful land,
A sportive pencil, and a courtly hand ;
They left a name, that time itself might spare.
To grinding organs and the dancing bear.
On Avon's banks, where sport and laugh
Careless Pleasure's sons and daughters.
Where health the sick, and aged quaff.
From good King Bladud's healing waters ;
AMiile genius sketched, and humour grouped,
Then it sickened, then it drooped ;
* "Go to tlie D — 1 and Shake Yourself." The name of a
favourite country dance.
FANSH AWE'S POEMS. 33
Sadden'd with laughter, wasted with a sneer,
And the long Minuet shortened its career.*
With cadence slow, and solemn pace,
Th' indignant mourner quits the place —
For ever quits — no more to roam
From proud Augusta's regal dome.
Ah ! not unhappy who securely rest
Within the sacred precints of a court ;
Who, then, their timid steps shall dare arrest ?
White wands shall guide them and gold sticks support.
In vain — these eyes, with tears of horror wet,
Read its death warrant in the Court Gazette.
" No ball to-night ! " Lord Chamberlain proclaims ;
" No ball to-night shall grace thy roof, St. James !
" No ball ? " the Globe, the Sun, the Star repeat.
The morning paper and the evening sheet ;
Through all the land the tragic news has spread,
And all the land has mourn'd the Minuet dead.
So power completes ; but satire sketched the plan,
And Cecil t ends what Bunbury began.
* " The Long Minuet," was a once celebrated caricature
by Bunbur)'. — W. H.
t Lord Salisbury, the then Lord Chamberlain.
I ASKED for a copy of the following verses, because Sir
Thomas Lawrence had told me that they were in his
mind when making his sketch for the picture of Mr.
Calmady's Children. In the note which inclosed the
verses. Miss Fanshawe writes : —
- " I am e.x-tremely obliged to you for explaining the
connection between these verses and the President's
beautiful picture : it is now quite comprehensible, and of
course not a little flattering. To tell you the honest truth
they were struck off at once, under the impression of a
strong feeling ; and while it was fresh, the lines had some
merit in my own eyes, as may be seen from my venturing
to show them to Sir Thomas Lawrence ; but now the
bloom had so completely flown as the dust from the
butterfly's gorgeous wings ; and reading them again,
when you asked for a copy, it seemed as if the faults re-
mained, and the spirit had evaporated. I would rather
you would read, than give them, to your friend, Mrs.
Calmady, who can desire no other worldly goods than
such a picture. The misfortune is, the children will grow
into men and women ; but then she will be able to say —
' See what they were ! ! ' "
Fragment of a letter to the Hon. Caroline Lyttelton, on
her leafing London.
36 FANS HA WE' S POEMS.
THEN welcome lawns, and welcome shades,
And round-frock'd swains, and rosy maids;
Welcome die little merry train,
That loiter in our grassy lane ;
There, ere they cross the stile that leads
Do\\Ti a slant path, through dewy meads,
To yonder vale, where humble knowledge
Founded long since a rural college,*
They chat, they play, they pick up flowers,
And spend deliciously the hours
Of morn or eve, when fresh and cool.
'Tis ever}\vhere — except at school —
" Oh, Caroline ! that you and I
Could draw the archness of their eye.
* There is a small endowed school at the foot of our hill, and
the present schoolmaster being almost as much in repute as Mr.
Lancaster, numbers of little children are sent thither from Chip-
stead and the adjoining villages. Most of them pass through a
broad lane that parts the grounds of Shabden. They are much
addicted to play, are very pretty, and sometimes have their
pictures drawn at a shilling ahead.
FANSH AWE'S POEMS. 37
Paint to the life the nameless graces,
That character their various faces ;
Pourtray the happiness that speaks
In the sleek dimple of their cheeks ;
And as it deeper grows, catch half
The joyous beauty of their laugh !
Oh ! could we trace with rapid lines,
A few of Nature's sweet designs,
When she has bid the little troop
Disperse in many a scattered group !
Some sitting in a sunny place.
With winking eyes and glowing face,
To count the blue bells in their lap.
Or hang them in each other's cap ;
Half blinded, but without the wit.
Poor imps ! the other way to sit."
Some, clustered on a rising bank.
Where the long grass is green and rank.
And spreading elms stand close behind,
With fragrant honeysuckle 'twined.
In shade luxuriously repose ;
While, now a foot, and now a nose,
The sun just peeps at, as the trees
38 FANSH AWE'S POEMS.
Wave their long branches in the breeze.
Then up they start, away they hie
To chase a flecker'd butterfly ;
And should they catch him, straight one sees
Their little heads, like swarming bees,
Close huddled to survey the prize ;
Nor come alone the prying eyes.
But each a busy finger brings
To help disrobe the gorgeous wings.
Alas ! our labours but burlesque,
Great mistress of the picturesque,
Nature ! thy matchless power to please,
Bom of inimitable ease.
Thy brilliant tints, thy fine expression,
Thy youthful forms in soft succession.
But chief, thy fav'rite playmate wild —
The little happy village child —
Sweet subject still, however rude.
Graceful in every attitude !
Then, Caroline, let you and I
Despairing throw our pencils by.
I've wonder'd oft, and wonder'd much,
That man's presumption should be such,
FANSH AWE'S POEMS. 39
As e'er to form the bold design
Of imitating works Divine.
But more I mar\'el, marvel most,
He proudly of success should boast,
And still the worthless copies prize,
While living models round him rise.
Nor springs from self-applause the joy
Alone, that crowns his fond employ ;
People, who never cast an eye
On the rich colouring of the sky,
The vesture of departing day, \
And know not how each splendid ray >
In the blue conclave melts away, )
Will prate of Rubens by the hour
And seem to feel the magic power
Of tones harmonious, such as rule
The Flemish and Venetian school.
Mere jargon all ! Soon learnt by rote !
Cease we the Pedant then to quote.
And ask the man whom nature warms,
Genuine admirer of her charms,
Whence spring the unbidden joys that rise
From pencill'd groves, and lakes, and skies ?
40 FANSH AWE'S POEMS.
How should the mockery of art
Touch the fine fibres of his heart ?
E'en though she reach not forth her hand
To seize on fonns sublimely grand,
Such as on wildest beauty wait,
And yielding fancy captivate ;
But fragments, that we hourly see,
Of rustic, common scenery,
And pass them by, as little worth,
Till memory fondly calls them forth ;
These simple truths, as simply told,
Pleas'd, we remember, pleas'd, behold.
Gives memory, then, the secret charm ?
Or does simplicity disarm
The critic of his chastening brow ?
Or, rather. Nature ! art not thou
Still the bright form to which we bow ?
In every path which thou hast trod
Are seen the footsteps of a God ;
For, eldest born of Him who spake,
And bade the dust His image take —
Ere man became a living soul
To lord it o'er this goodly whole —
FANSHAWE'S POEMS. 41
Thou vvert — and earliest, latest, best,
Thy love is cherished in his breast ;
Therefore the meanest things that bear
Impression of a form so fair,
Or of the race that dwell with thee,
Children of sweet simplicity,
Wake in the heart some hidden spring.
And find the charm they cannot bring.
Then why, my friend, should you and I,
Despairing, throw our pencils by ?
We'll carry them to Nature's school.
And learn of her some golden rule,
Which haply to the work shall give
One glowing touch to bid it live.
Unless that stamp of life be there,
Ah ! what avails the artist's care ?
Vain is the poet's tuneful strain,
The patient sculptor toils in vain.
Truth gives the charm, and trutli alone ;
Else all is paper, paint, and stone.
The lines in the above Poem between inverted commas,
are those which Lawrence said he had in his mind when
painting the " Calmady Children." Miss Fanshawe had
42 FANSH AWE'S POEMS.
herself made a most exquisite drawing of some village
children sitting in the sun, to which the passage is also
applicable. — W. H.
SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY MISS BERRY,
- SENT TO HER WITH THE FOLLOWING NOTE : —
I RETURN you your Ode, my dear Miss Berry, with
many thanks, and with all due apologies for having de-
tained it so long. Believe me I no longer marvel at your
enthusiastic admiration of Gray, whose spirit you have
most happily infused into your admirable Poem. Indeed,
his own works never charmed me so much ; for you have
had the art to compress into a small compass some of his
most valuable passages, and to give them an interest, a
decision, and a dignity of subject, which was wanting.
But it is when you venture to depart from your illustrious
model, that you rise to the highest excellence, and acquire
an elevation and originality, that in my humble opinion
place your Muse on a far higher form in Parnassus than
even his could claim.
The price of the hat is a figure absolutely new in
poetry ; and as to individual character, he could not
have rendered it with that truth and delicacy which we
acknowledge in the portraits of yourself and Mrs. Clinton.
44 FANSH AWE'S POEMS.
If in so splendid a work I could search for blemishes,
perhaps one might be found in the parody of a passage,
which, after all, must ever remain inimitable. I allude to
these lines —
" And they that creep, and they that fly,
Shall end where they began.''
When first suggesting to you the idea of composing an
Ode on the model of your favourite Gray, or when you
lamented at the Institution the delay occasioned by your
choice of a bonnet, I little thought that you were going to
immortalize your name at my instigation. This glorious
circumstance gives me a sort of property in the work, by
which I feel entitled to request that you would shew it
sparingly, and on no account distribute any copies with-
out license and authority from her, who has the honour to
be, with sentiments of the most profound admiration,
Yours faithful and obliged.
May iph, 1805. C. M. F.
Excuse my sending my own copy instead of the original.
FANSHAWE'S POEMS. 45
O D E.
LO ! where the gaily vestur'd throng,
Fair learning's train, are seen,
Wedg'd in close ranks her walls along,
And up her benches green.*
Unfolded to their mental eye
Thy awful form, Sublimity !
The moral teacher shows —
Sublimity of Silence born,
And Solitude 'mid caves forlorn
And dimly vision'd woes ;
Or Stedfast Worth, that inly great
Mocks the malignity of fate.
While whisper'd pleasure's dulcet sound
Murmurs the crowded room around,
And Wisdom, borne on Fashion's pinions,
Exulting hails her new dominions.
* The Royal Institution where the Rev. Sydney Smith was
reading lectures on moral philosophy. The paiticular lecture al-
luded to in the above ode was " The Sublime." — W. H.
46 FANSHAWE'S POEMS.
Oh ! both on me your influence shed,
Dwell in my heart and deck my head !
Where'er a broader, browner shade
The shaggy beaver throws,
And with the ample feather's aid
O'er canopies the nose ;
Where'er ^vith smooth and silken pile,
Ling'ring in solemn pause awhile.
The crimson velvet glows ;
From some high benches giddy brink,
Clinton with me begins to think
(As bolt upright we sit)
That dress, like dogs, should have its day,
That beavers are too hot for May,
And velvets quite unfit.
Then taste, in maxims sweet, I draw
From her unerring lip ;
How light, how simple are the straw,
How deUcate the chip !
Hush'd is the speaker's powerful voice,
The audience melt away,
FANSHAWE'S POEMS. 47
I fly to fix my final choice
And bless th' instructive day.
The milliner officious pours
Of hats and caps her ready stores,
The unbought elegance of spring ;
Some wide, disclose the full round face,
Some shadowy, lend a modest grace
And stretch their sheltering wing.
Here clustering grapes appear to shed
Their luscious juices on the head,
And cheat the longing eye ;
So round the Phrygian monarch hung
Fair fruits, that from his parched tongue
For ever seem'd to fly.
Here early blooms the summer rose ;
Here ribbons wreathe fantastic bows ;
Here plays gay plumage of a thousand dyes — •
Visions of beauty, spare my aching eyes !
Ye cumbrous fashions, crowd not on my head !
Mine be the chip of purest white,
Swan-like, and as her feathers light
48 FANSHAWE'S POEMS.
When on the still wave spread ;
And let it wear the graceful dress
Of unadorned simpleness
Ah ! frugal wish ; ah ! pleasing thought
Ah ! hope indulged in vain ;
Of modest fancy cheaply bought,
A stranger yet to Payne.*
With undissembled grief I tell, —
For sorrow never comes too late, —
The simplest bonnet in Pall Mall
Is sold for ;£i 8j\
To Calculation's sober view.
That searches ev'ry plan,
\\\\o keep the old, or buy the new,
Shall end where they began.
Alike the shabby and the gay
Must meet the sun's meridian ray ;
The air, the dust, the damp.
* A fashionable milliner.
FANSH AWE'S POEMS. 49
This, shall the sudden shower despoil ;
That, slow decay by gradual soil ;
Those, envious boxes cramp.
Who will, their squander'd gold may pay ;
Who will, our taste deride ;
We'll scorn the fashion of the day
With philosophic pride.
Methinks we thus, in accents low,
Might Sydney Smith address,
" Poor moralist ! and what art thou,
" Who never spoke of dress ! "
" Thy mental hero never hung
" Suspended on a tailor's tongue,
" In agonizing doubt ;
" Thy tale no fllutt'ring female show'd,
" Who languish'd for the newest mode,
"Yet dar'd to Hve without."
SUPPOSED TO HAVE BEEN WRITTEN BY ROBINSON
CRUSOE ON THE ACQUISITION OF FRIDAY.
I HAVE stood on the brink of the grave :
Savage feet have imprinted the sand ;
But an arm that was mighty to save,
Has saved in this terrible land.
How awful the silence appear'd
Of this once uninhabited plain !
When the shrieks of the dying were heard,
How I wish'd for that silence again !
But the tempest which gather'd around
Was fraught with a blessing for me ;
One victim a refuge has found,
I, Friday, a treasure in thee.
Some affection the bosom requires.
It seeks to be cherish'd again ;
FANSH AWE'S POEMS.
This sentiment never expires,
'Tis wove in the tecture of man.
Where no human attachment can dwell,
Some favourite brute has a place ;
Ye meaner associates, farewell,
I have one of a different race.
I command, and he flies at my nod ;
I weep, and he tries to console ;
He is a man, in the image of God,
And endued with a reasoning soul.
O ye, to whom Providence sends
The domestic endearments of life,
Who, encircled by kindred and friends.
Still have room for dissension and strife ;
Could ye see the transporting delight
With which I contemplate ray guest,
Those endearments ye never would slight ;
While yet of such comforts possest.
What ye now with indifference see.
Ye Nature's best gift had esteem'd ;
FANSHAWE'S POEMS. 53
Had ye learnt in a desert, like me,
How lovely society seem'd ;
How ready myself I have been
Some offence to suppose from a friend !
And yet, with resentments so keen.
How unfeelingly I could offend.
But here I have learnt to repress
Ev'ry sally of passion or whim ;
For I would not my savage distress,
Or for worlds be offended with him.
Shall the horrors of solitude teach
More than civil society can ?
Must a voice in the wilderness preach,
" That man should be tender to man ? ''
From this gloomy and desolate waste,
No way to escape could I find ;
And I thought that a gulph had been plac'd
To separate me from mankind.
Though I sat in the shadow of death
I was seen by the Father of Light ;
He who kindled my life with his breath.
Now illumines my wearisome night.
54 FANSHAWE'S POEMS.
Dear beams that revisit these eyes,
Are ye sent to prepare them for day ?
As the dawn first approaches the skies
With a doubtful and tremulous ray ?
O, Hope, can thy visions be true ?
No, Reason, the picture disowns ;
Fair England arose to my view
With the hum of her populous towns.
But Hope is a dangerous guest,
For the heart will grow sick with delay ;
Disappointment imbitters the breast,
And drives resignation away.
The comforts that Heaven denies
Are withheld but from motives of love ;
And all tears shall be wped from my eyes
In the blessed assembly above.
FANSH AWE'S POEMS.
' '' I ^ WAS in heaven pronounced, and 'twas muttered
1 in hell,
-And echo caught faintly the sound as it fell ;
On the confines of earth 'twas permitted to rest.
And the depths of the ocean its presence confest.
'Twill be found in the sphere, when 'tis riven asunder,
Be seen in the lightning, and heard in the thunder.
'Twas allotted to man with his earliest breath,
Attends at his birth, and awaits him in death,
Presides o'er his happiness, honour, and health,
Is the prop of his house, and the end of his wealth.
In the heaps of the miser 'tis hoarded with care,
But is sure to be lost on his prodigal heir.
It begins every hope, every wish it must bound.
With the husbandman toils, and with monarchs is
W'ithout it the soldier, the seaman may roam,
But woe to the wretch who exj^els it from home !
56 FANSH AWE'S POEMS.
In the whispers of conscience its voice will be found,
Nor e'en in the whirlpool of passion be drown'd.
'Twill not soften the heart ; but though deaf be the ear,
It will make it acutely and instantly hear.
Yet in shade let it rest like a delicate flower,
Ah, breathe on it softly — it dies in an hour.
FANSHAWE'S POEMS. 57
FRAGMENT OF A LETTER
WRITTEN IN THE SPRING OF 1817, AND GIVING THE
ACCOUNT OF A DINNER AT SIR HUMPHREY DAVY'S,
- WITH MDE. DE STAEL AND LORD BYRON.
" I have just stayed in London long enough to get a
sight of the last-imported lion, Mde. de Stael ; but it was
a sight worth twenty peeps through ordinary show-boxes,
being the longest and the most entertaining dinner at
which I ever in my life was present. The party being
very small, her conversation was for the benefit of all who
had ears to hear, and even my imperfect organ lost but
little of the discourse : — happy if memory had served me
with as much fidelity ; for, had the whole discourse been
written without one syllable of correction, it would be dif-
ficult to name a dialogue so full of eloquence and wit.
Eloquertce is a great word, but not too big for her. She
speaks as she writes ; and, upon this occasion, she was
inspired by indignation, finding herself between two
opposition spirits, who gave full play to all her energies.
She was astonished to hear, that this pure and perfect
constitution was in need of radical reform ; that the only
safety for Ireland was to open wide the doors which had
58 FANSH AWE'S POEMS.
been locked and barred by the glorious revolution ; and
that Great Britain, the bulwark of the World, the Rock
which alone had withstood the sweeping flood, the ebbs
and flows of Democracy and Tyranny, was herself feeble,
disjointed, and almost on the eve of ruin. So, at least,
was it represented by her antagonist in argument, Childe
Harold, whose sentiments, — partly, perhaps, for the sake
of argument, — grew deeper and darker in proportion to
her enthusiasm. The wit was his. He is a mixture of
gloom and sarcasm, chastened, however, by good breeding,
and with a vein of original genius that makes some atone-
ment for the unheroic and ungenial cast of his whole
mind. It is a mind that never conveys the idea of sun-
shine. It is a dark night upon which the lightning
flashes. The conversation between these two and Sir
Humphry Davy, at whose house they met, was so ani-
mated, that Lady Davy proposed the coffee being served
in the eating-room ; so we did not separate till eleven.
Of course, we had assembled rather late. I should not
say ' assembled,' for the party included no guests but
Lord Byron and myself in addition to the Stael quartette.
She has a son, who, as well as herself, speaks English
with facility (when animated, however, she had generally
recourse to her own tongue), and a daughter of 15, who
listened in perfect silence, and an accompanying Baron,
who, being my neighbour, was almost the only interrupter
of my own ; and, as he could not speak English, he did
not say much. The extraordinary beauty of his features.
FANSH AWE'S POEMS. 59
for he might serve as a model for a sculptor, was more
interesting than his conversation. As foreigners have no
idea that any opposition to Government is compatible
with general obedience and loyalty, their astonishment
was unbounded ; for the Baron de Rocca's whispers were
but the echo of her thunder. I, and perhaps I only,
completely relished all her reasonings, and I thought her
perfectly justified in replying to the pathetic mournings
over departed liberty, — ' Et vous comptez pour rien la lib-
erte de dire tout cela, et mcme devant les domestiques !"
She concluded with heartily wishing us a little taste of
real adversity to cure us of our plethora of political
* I had some doubt about printing the above extract ; but it
was so interesting to myself that I could not help thinking it
might interest others. Byron was evidently playing his company
character of " Childe Harold," and not appearing as his own
simple self. — W. H.
FANSHAWE'S POEMS. 6i
INSCRIB'D on many a learned page,
In mystic characters and sage,
Long time my ^rs^ has stood ;
And though its golden age be past.
In wooden walls it yet may last,
'Till clothed with flesh and blood.
My second is a glorious prize,
For all who love their wandering eyes
With curious sights to pamper ;
But 'tis a sight — which, should they meet
All'improviso in the street.
Ye Gods ! how they would scamper !
My wholis a sort of wandering throne,
To woman limited alone,
The Salique law reversing ;
But while th' imaginary queen