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Lived in his mild and magnificent eye,
Learned his great language, caught his clear accents,
Made him our pattern to live and to die!
Shakespeare was of us, Milton was for us,
Burns, Shelley, were with us, - they watch from their graves!
He alone breaks from the van and the freemen,
- He alone sinks to the rear and the slaves!
We shall march prospering, - not through his presence;
Songs may inspirit us, - not from his lyre;
Deeds will be done, - while he boasts his quiescence,
Still bidding crouch whom the rest bade aspire:
Blot out his name, then, record one lost soul more,
One task more declined, one more footpath untrod,
One more devil's-triumph and sorrow for angels,
One wrong more to man, one more insult to God!
Life's night begins: let him never come back to us!
There would be doubt, hesitation and pain,
Forced praise on our part - the glimmer of twilight,
Never glad confident morning again!
Best fight on well, for we taught him - strike gallantly,
Menace our heart ere we master his own;
Then let him receive the new knowledge and wait us,
Pardoned in heaven, the first by the throne!

Robert Browning [1812-1889]

[Daniel Webster]

So fallen! so lost! the light withdrawn
Which once he wore!
The glory from his gray hairs gone

Revile him not, the Tempter hath
A snare for all;
And pitying tears, not scorn and wrath,
Befit his fall!

Oh, dumb be passion's stormy rage,
When he who might
Have lighted up and led his age,
Falls back in night.

Scorn! would the angels laugh, to mark
A bright soul driven,
Fiend-goaded, down the endless dark,
From hope and heaven!

Let not the land once proud of him
Insult him now,
Nor brand with deeper shame his dim,
Dishonored brow.

But let its humbled sons, instead,
From sea to lake,
A long lament, as for the dead,
In sadness make.

Of all we loved and honored, naught
Save power remains;
A fallen angel's pride of thought,
Still strong in chains.

All else is gone; from those great eyes
The soul has fled:
When faith is lost, when honor dies,
The man is dead!

Then, pay the reverence of old days
To his dead fame;
Walk backward, with averted gaze,
And hide the shame!

John Greenleaf Whittier [1807-1892]


Guvener B. is a sensible man;
He stays to his home an' looks arter his folks;
He draws his furrer ez straight ez he can,
An' into nobody's tater-patch pokes;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez he wunt vote fer Guvener B.

My! aint it terrible? Wut shall we du?
We can't never choose him o' course, - thet's flat;
Guess we shall hev to come round, (don't you?)
An' go in fer thunder an' guns, an' all that;
Fer John P.
Robinson he
Sez he wunt vote fer Guvener B.

Gineral C. is a dreffle smart man:
He's ben on all sides that give places or pelf;
But consistency still wuz a part of his plan, -
He's ben true to one party, - an' thet is himself; -
So John P.
Robinson he
Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C.

Gineral C. he goes in fer the war;
He don't vally princerple more'n an old cud;
Wut did God make us raytional creeturs fer,
But glory an' gunpowder, plunder an' blood?
So John P.
Robinson he
Sez he shall vote fer Gineral C.

We were gittin' on nicely up here to our village,
With good old idees o' wut's right an' wut aint,
We kind o' thought Christ went agin war an' pillage,
An' thet eppyletts worn't the best mark of a saint;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez this kind o' thing's an exploded idee.

The side of our country must ollers be took,
An' Presidunt Polk, you know, he is our country,
An' the angel thet writes all our sins in a book
Puts the debit to him, an' to us the per contry;
An' John P.
Robinson he
Sez this is his view o' the thing to a T.

Parson Wilbur he calls all these argimunts lies;
Sez they're nothin' on airth but jest fee, faw, fum;
An' thet all this big talk of our destinies
Is half on it ign'ance, an' t'other half rum;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez it aint no sech thing; an', of course, so must we.

Parson Wilbur sez he never heerd in his life
That th' Apostles rigged out in their swaller-tail coats,
An' marched round in front of a drum an' a fife,
To git some on 'em office, an' some on 'em votes;
But John P.
Robinson he
Sez they didn't know everythin' down in Judee.

Wal, it's a marcy we've gut folks to tell us
The rights an' the wrongs o' these matters, I vow, -
God sends country lawyers, an' other wise fellers,
To start the world's team wen it gits in a slough;
Fer John P.
Robinson he
Sez the world'll go right, ef he hollers out Gee!

James Russell Lowell [1819-1891]

Sot To A Nursery Rhyme

"Here we stan' on the Constitution, by thunder!
It's a fact o' wich ther's bushils o' proofs;
Fer how could we trample on 't so, I wonder,
Ef't worn't thet it's ollers under our hoofs?"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he;
"Human rights haint no more
Right to come on this floor,
No more'n the man in the moon," sez he.

"The North haint no kind o' bisness with nothin',
An' you've no idee how much bother it saves;
We aint none riled by their frettin' an' frothin',
We're used to layin' the string on our slaves,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
Sez Mister Foote,
"I should like to shoot
The holl gang, by the gret horn spoon!" sez he.

"Freedom's Keystone is Slavery, thet ther's no doubt on,
It's sutthin' thet's - wha'd'ye call it? - divine, -
An' the slaves thet we ollers make the most out on
Air them north o' Mason an' Dixon's line,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Fer all thet," sez Mangum,
"'T would be better to hang 'em
An' so git red on 'em soon," sez he.

"The mass ough' to labor an' we lay on soffies,
Thet's the reason I want to spread Freedom's aree;
It puts all the cunninest on us in office,
An' reelises our Maker's orig'nal idee,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Thet's ez plain," sez Cass,
"Ez thet some one's an ass,
It's ez clear ez the sun is at noon," sez he.

"Now don't go to say I'm the friend of oppression,
But keep all your spare breath fer coolin' your broth,
Fer I ollers hev strove (at least thet's my impression)
To make cussed free with the rights o' the North,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Yes," sez Davis o' Miss.,
"The perfection o' bliss
Is in skinnin' that same old coon," sez he.

"Slavery's a thing thet depends on complexion,
It's God's law thet fetters on black skins don't chafe;
Ef brains wuz to settle it (horrid reflection!)
Wich of our onnable body'd be safe?"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
Sez Mister Hannegan,
Afore he began agin,
"Thet exception is quite oppertoon," sez he.

"Gen'nle Cass, Sir, you needn't be twitchin' your collar,
Your merit's quite clear by the dut on your knees;
At the North we don't make no distinctions o' color:
You can all take a lick at our shoes wen you please,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
Sez Mister Jarnagin,
"They wun't hev to larn agin,
They all on 'em know the old toon," sez he.

"The slavery question aint no ways bewilderin',
North an' South hev one int'rest, it's plain to a glance,
No'thern men, like us patriarchs, don't sell their childrin,
But they du sell themselves, ef they git a good chance,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
Sez Atherton here,
"This is gittin' severe,
I wish I could dive like a loon," sez he.

"It'll break up the Union, this talk about freedom,
An' your fact'ry gals (soon ex we split) 'll make head,
An' gittin' some Miss chief or other to lead 'em,
'll go to work raisin' permiscoous Ned,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Yes, the North," sez Colquitt,
"Ef we Southeners all quit,
Would go down like a busted balloon," sez he.

"Jest look wut is doin', wut annyky's brewin'
In the beautiful clime o' the olive an' vine,
All the wise aristoxy's atumblin' to ruin,
An' the sankylot's drorin' an' drinkin' their wine,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Yes," sez Johnson, "in France
They're beginnin' to dance
Beelzebub's own rigadoon," sez he.

"The South's safe enough, it don't feel a mite skeery,
Our slaves in their darkness an' dut air tu blest
Not to welcome with proud hallylugers the ery
Wen our eagle kicks yourn from the naytional nest,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Oh," sez Westcott o' Florida,
"Wut treason is horrider
Than our priv'leges tryin' to proon?" sez he.

"It's 'coz they're so happy, thet, wen crazy sarpints
Stick their nose in our bizness, we git so darned riled;
We think it's our dooty to give pooty sharp hints,
Thet the last crumb of Edin on airth sha'n't be spiled,"
Sez John C. Calhoun, sez he; -
"Ah," sez Dixon H. Lewis,
"It perfectly true is
Thet slavery's airth's grettest boon," sez he.

James Russell Lowell [1819-1891]

A Song With A Stolen Burden

Off with your hat! along the street
His Lordship's carriage rolls;
Respect to greatness - when it shines
To cheer our darkened souls.
Get off the step, you ragged boys!
Policeman, where's your staff?
This is a sight to check with awe
The most irreverent laugh.
Chapeau bas!
Chapeau bas!
Gloire au Marquis de Carabas!

Stand further back! we'll see him well;
Wait till they lift him out:
It takes some time; his Lordship's old,
And suffers from the gout.
Now look! he owns a castled park
For every finger thin;
He has more sterling pounds a day
Than wrinkles in his skin.

The founder of his race was son
To a king's cousin, rich;
(The mother was an oyster wench -
She perished in a ditch).
His patriot worth embalmed has been
In poets' loud applause:
He made twelve thousand pounds a year
By aiding France's cause.

The second marquis, of the stole
Was groom to the second James;
He all but caught that recreant king
When flying o'er the Thames.
Devotion rare! by Orange Will
With a Scotch county paid;
He gained one more - in Ireland - when
Charles Edward he betrayed.

He lived to see his son grow up
A general famed and bold,
Who fought his country's fights - and one,
For half a million, sold.
His son (alas! the house's shame)
Frittered the name away:
Diced, wenched and drank - at last got shot,
Through cheating in his play!

Now, see, where, focused on one head,
The race's glories shine:
The head gets narrow at the top,
But mark the jaw - how fine!
Don't call it satyr-like; you'd wound
Some scores, whose honest pates
The self-same type present, upon
The Carabas estates!

Look at his skin - at four-score years
How fresh it gleams and fair:
He never tasted ill-dressed food,
Or breathed in tainted air.
The noble blood glows through his veins
Still, with a healthful pink;
His brow scarce wrinkled! - Brows keep so
That have not got to think.

His hand 's ungloved! - it shakes, 'tis true,
But mark its tiny size,
(High birth's true sign) and shape, as on
The lackey's arm it lies.
That hand ne'er penned a useful line,
Ne'er worked a deed of fame,
Save slaying one, whose sister he -
Its owner - brought to shame.

They ye got him in - he's gone to vote
Your rights and mine away;
Perchance our lives, should men be scarce,
To fight his cause for pay.
We are his slaves! he owns our lands,
Our woods, our seas, and skies;
He'd have us shot like vicious dogs,
Should we in murmuring rise!
Chapeau bas!
Chapeau bas!
Gloire au Marquis de Carabas!

Robert Brough [1828-1860]


A supercilious nabob of the East -
Haughty, being great - purse-proud, being rich -
A governor, or general, at the least,
I have forgotten which -

Had in his family a humble youth,
Who went from England in his patron's suit,
An unassuming boy, in truth
A lad of decent parts, and good repute.

This youth had sense and spirit;
But yet with all his sense,
Excessive diffidence
Obscured his merit.

One day, at table, flushed with pride and wine,
His Honor, proudly free, severely merry,
Conceived it would be vastly fine
To crack a joke upon his secretary.

"Young man," he said, "by what art, craft, or trade,
Did your good father gain a livelihood?" -
"He was a saddler, sir," Modestus said,
"And in his time was reckoned good."

"A saddler, eh! and taught you Greek,
Instead of teaching you to sew!
Pray, why did not your father make
A saddler, sir, of you?"

Each parasite, then, as in duty bound,
The joke applauded, and the laugh went round.
At length Modestus, bowing low,
Said (craving pardon, if too free he made),
"Sir, by your leave, I fain would know
Your father's trade!"

"My father's trade! by heaven, that's too bad!
My father's trade? Why, blockhead, are you mad?
My father, sir, did never stoop so low -
He was a gentleman, I'd have you know."

"Excuse the liberty I take,"
Modestus said, with archness on his brow,
"Pray, why did not your father make
A gentleman of you?"

Selleck Osborn [1783-1826]


When fierce political debate
Throughout the isle was storming,
And Rads attacked the throne and state,
And Tories the reforming,
To calm the furious rage of each,
And right the land demented,
Heaven sent us Jolly Jack, to teach
The way to be contented.

Jack's bed was straw, 'twas warm and soft,
His chair, a three-legged stool;
His broken jug was emptied oft,
Yet, somehow, always full.
His mistress' portrait decked the wall,
His mirror had a crack,
Yet, gay and glad, though this was all
His wealth, lived Jolly Jack.

To give advice to avarice,
Teach pride its mean condition,
And preach good sense to dull pretence,
Was honest Jack's high mission.
Our simple statesman found his rule
Of moral in the flagon,
And held his philosophic school
Beneath the "George and Dragon"

When village Solons cursed the Lords,
And called the malt-tax sinful,
Jack heeded not their angry words,
But smiled and drank his skinful.
And when men wasted health and life,
In search of rank and riches,
Jack marched aloof the paltry strife,
And wore his threadbare breeches.

"I enter not the Church," he said,
"But I'll not seek to rob it;"
So worthy Jack Joe Miller read,
While others studied Cobbett.
His talk it was of feast and fun;
His guide the Almanack;
From youth to age thus gaily run
The life of Jolly Jack.

And when Jack prayed, as oft he would,
He humbly thanked his Maker;
"I am," said he, "O Father good!
Nor Catholic nor Quaker:
Give each his creed, let each proclaim
His catalogue of curses;
I trust in Thee, and not in them,
In Thee, and in Thy mercies!

"Forgive me if, midst all Thy works,
No hint I see of damning;
And think there's faith among the Turks,
And hope for e'en the Brahmin.
Harmless my mind is, and my mirth,
And kindly is my laughter;
I cannot see the smiling earth,
And think there's hell hereafter."

Jack died; he left no legacy,
Save that his story teaches: -
Content to peevish poverty;
Humility to riches.
Ye scornful great, ye envious small,
Come fellow in his track;
We all were happier, if we all
Would copy Jolly Jack.

William Makepeace Thackeray [1811-1863]

After Beranger

There was a King in Brentford, - of whom no legends tell,
But who, without his glory, - could eat and sleep right well.
His Polly's cotton nightcap - it was his crown of state,
He slept of evenings early, - and rose of mornings late.

All in a fine mud palace, - each day he took four meals,
And for a guard of honor, - a dog ran at his heels.
Sometimes to view his kingdoms, - rode forth this monarch good,
And then a prancing jackass - he royally bestrode.

There were no costly habits - with which this King was cursed,
Except (and where's the harm on't) - a somewhat lively thirst;
But people must pay taxes, - and Kings must have their sport;
So out of every gallon - His Grace he took a quart.

He pleased the ladies round him, - with manners soft and bland;
With reason good, they named him, - the father of his land.
Each year his mighty armies - marched forth in gallant show;
Their enemies were targets, - their bullets they were tow.

He vexed no quiet neighbor, - no useless conquest made,
But by the laws of pleasure, - his peaceful realm he swayed.
And in the years he reigned, - through all this country wide,
There was no cause for weeping, - save when the good man died.

The faithful men of Brentford, - do still their King deplore,
His portrait yet is swinging, - beside an alehouse door.
And topers, tender-hearted, - regard his honest phiz,
And envy times departed, - that knew a reign like his.

William Makepeace Thackeray [1811-1863]


Der Kaiser auf der Vaterland
Und Gott on high, all dings gommand;
Ve two, ach don'd you understandt?
Meinself - und Gott.

He reigns in heafen, und always shall,
Und mein own embire don'd vas shmall;
Ein noble bair, I dink you call
Meinself - und Gott.

Vile some mens sing der power divine,
Mein soldiers sing der "Wacht am Rhein,"
Und drink der healt in Rhenish wein
Auf me - und Gott.

Dere's France dot swaggers all aroundt,
She's ausgespieldt - she's no aggoundt;
To mooch ve dinks she don'd amoundt,
Meinself - und Gott.

She vill not dare to fight again,
But if she shouldt, I'll show her blain
Dot Elsass und (in French) Lorraine
Are mein - und Gott's.

Dere's grandma dinks she's nicht shmall beer,
Mit Boers und dings she interfere;
She'll learn none runs dis hemisphere
But me - und Gott.

She dinks, goot frau, some ships she's got,
Und soldiers mit der sgarlet goat;
Ach! ve could knock dem - pouf! like dot,
Meinself - und Gott.

In dimes auf peace, brebared for wars,
I bear der helm und sbear auf Mars,
Und care nicht for den dousant czars,
Meinself - und Gott.

In short, I humor efery whim,
Mit aspect dark und visage grim,
Gott pulls mit me und I mit Him -
Meinself - und Gott.

Alexander Macgregor Rose [1846-1898]


John Bull for pastime took a prance,
Some time ago, to peep at France;
To talk of sciences and arts,
And knowledge gained in foreign parts.
Monsieur, obsequious, heard him speak,
And answered John in heathen Greek;
To all he asked, 'bout all he saw,
'Twas, "Monsieur, je vous n'entends pas."

John, to the Palais-Royal come,
Its splendor almost struck him dumb.
"I say, whose house is that there here?"
"House! Je vous n'entends pas, Monsieur."
"What, Nongtongpaw again!" cries John;
"This fellow is some mighty Don:
No doubt he's plenty for the maw, -
I'll breakfast with this Nongtongpaw."

John saw Versailles from Marli's height,
And cried, astonished at the sight,
"Whose fine estate is that there here?"
"State! Je vous n'entends pas, Monsieur."
"His? what, the land and houses too?
The fellow's richer than a Jew:
On everything he lays his claw!
I should like to dine with Nongtongpaw."

Next tripping came a courtly fair,
John cried, enchanted with her air,
"What lovely wench is that there here?"
"Ventch! Je vous n'entends pas, Monsieur."
"What, he again? Upon my life!
A palace, lands, and then a wife
Sir Joshua might delight to draw:
I should like to sup with Nongtongpaw.

"But hold! whose funeral's that?" cries John.
"Je vous n'entends pas." - "What, is he gone?
Wealth, fame, and beauty could not save
Poor Nongtongpaw, then, from the grave!
His race is run, his game is up, -
I'd with him breakfast, dine, and sup;
But since he chooses to withdraw,
Good night t' ye, Mounseer Nongtongpaw!"

Charles Dibdin [1745-1814]


How fond are men of rule and place,
Who court it from the mean and base!
These cannot bear an equal nigh,
But from superior merit fly.
They love the cellar's vulgar joke,
And lose their hours in ale and smoke.
There o'er some petty club preside;
So poor, so paltry, is their pride!
Nay, even with fools whole nights will sit,
In hopes to be supreme in wit.
If these can read, to these I write,
To set their worth in truest light.

A Lion-cub of sordid mind,
Avoided all the lion kind;
Fond of applause, he sought the feasts
Of vulgar and ignoble beasts;
With asses all his time he spent,
Their club's perpetual president.
He caught their manners, looks, and airs;
An ass in everything but ears!
If e'er his Highness meant a joke,
They grinned applause before he spoke;
But at each word what shouts of praise!
"Good gods! how natural he brays!"
Elate with flattery and conceit,
He seeks his royal sire's retreat;
Forward, and fond to show his parts,
His Highness brays; the Lion starts.
"Puppy! that cursed vociferation
Betrays thy life and conversation:
Coxcombs, an ever-noisy race,
Are trumpets of their own disgrace."
"Why so severe?" the Cub replies;
"Our senate always held me wise!"
"How weak is pride," returns the sire:
"All fools are vain when fools admire!
But know, what stupid asses prize,
Lions and noble beasts despise."

John Gay [1685-1732]


Friendship, like love, is but a name,
Unless to one you stint the flame.
The child, whom many fathers share,
Hath seldom known a father's care.
'Tis thus in friendship; who depend
On many, rarely find a friend.
A Hare, who, in a civil way,
Complied with everything, like Gay,
Was known by all the bestial train,
Who haunt the wood, or graze the plain;
Her care was never to offend,
And every creature was her friend.
As forth she went at early dawn,
To taste the dew-besprinkled lawn,
Behind she hears the hunter's cries,
And from the deep-mouthed thunder flies:
She starts, she stops, she pants for breath;
She hears the near advance of death;
She doubles, to mislead the hound,
And measures back her mazy round:
Till, fainting in the public way,
Half dead with fear she gasping lay.
What transport in her bosom grew,
When first the Horse appeared in view!
"Let me," says she, "your back ascend,
And owe my safety to a friend.
You know my feet betray my flight:
To friendship every burden's light."
The Horse replied: "Poor honest Puss,
It grieves my heart to see thee thus;
Be comforted; relief is near,
For all your friends are in the rear."
She next the stately Bull implored;
And thus replied the mighty lord:
"Since every beast alive can tell
That I sincerely wish you well,
I may, without offence, pretend,
To take the freedom of a friend.
Love calls me hence; a favorite cow
Expects me near yon barley-mow;
And when a lady's in the case,
You know, all other things give place.
To leave you thus might seem unkind;
But see, the Goat is just behind."
The Goat remarked her pulse was high,
Her languid head, her heavy eye;
"My back," says he, "may do you harm;
The Sheep's at hand, and wool is warm."
The Sheep was feeble, and complained
His sides a load of wool sustained:
Said he was slow, confessed his fears,
For hounds eat sheep as well as Hares.
She now the trotting Calf addressed,
To save from death a friend distressed.
"Shall I," says he, "of tender age,
In this important care engage?
Older and abler passed you by;
How strong are those, how weak am I!
Should I presume to bear you hence,
Those friends of mine may take offence.
Excuse me, then. You know my heart;
But dearest friends, alas! must part.
How shall we all lament! Adieu!
For see, the hounds are just in view."

John Gay [1685-1732]


A raven sat upon a tree,
And not a word he spoke, for
His beak contained a piece of Brie,
Or, maybe, it was Roquefort?
We'll make it any kind you please -
At all events, it was a cheese.

Beneath the tree's umbrageous limb
A hungry fox sat smiling;
He saw the raven watching him,
And spoke in words beguiling:
"J'admire," said he, "ton beau plumage,"
(The which was simply persiflage).

Two things there are, no doubt you know,
To which a fox is used, -
A rooster that is bound to crow,
A crow that's bound to roost,
And whichsoever he espies
He tells the most unblushing lies.

"Sweet fowl," he said, "I understand
You're more than merely natty:
I hear you sing to beat the band
And Adelina Patti.
Pray render with your liquid tongue
A bit from 'Gotterdammerung.'"

This subtle speech was aimed to please
The crow, and it succeeded:
He thought no bird in all the trees
Could sing as well as he did.
In flattery completely doused,
He gave the "Jewel Song" from "Faust."

But gravitation's law, of course,
As Isaac Newton showed it,
Exerted on the cheese its force,
And elsewhere soon bestowed it.
In fact, there is no need to tell
What happened when to earth it fell.

I blush to add that when the bird
Took in the situation,
He said one brief, emphatic word,
Unfit for publication.
The fox was greatly startled, but
He only sighed and answered "Tut!"

The moral is: A fox is bound
To be a shameless sinner.
And also: When the cheese comes round
You know it's after dinner.
But (what is only known to few)

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