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With the how, and the who, and the where, and the when.



There's Howard, and Coley, and H rth, and Hiff,

I think they love venison I know they love beef;

There's my countryman Higgins Oh ! let him alone,

For making a blunder, or picking a bone. 30

But hang it to poets who seldom can eat,

Your very good mutton's a very good treat ;

Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt,

It's like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt.

While this I debated, in reverie centred,

An acquaintance, a friend as he calFd himself, enter'd;

An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he,

And he smil'd as he look'd at the venison and me.

" What have we got here? Why this is good eating!

Your own, I suppose or is it in waiting ? " 40

" Why, whose should it be? " cried I with a flounce,

" I get these things often; " but that was a bounce:

" Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation,

Are pleas'd to be kind but I hate ostentation."

" If that be the case, then," cried he, very gay,
" I'm glad I have taken this house in my way.
To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me ;
No words I insist on't precisely at three :

24. Monroe. Dorothy Monroe, a celebrated beauty.
27. Hiff. Paul Hiffermac, M.D., a Grub Street writer.



166 STORY POEMS

We'll have Johnson, and Burke; all the wits will be there;

My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my Lord Clare. 50

And now that I think on't, as I am a sinner !

We wanted this venison to make out the dinner.

What say you a pasty ? it shall, and it must,

And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust.

Here, porter ! this venison with me to Mile-end ;

No stirring I beg my dear friend my dear friend ! "

Thus snatching his hat, he brush' d off like the wind,

And the porter and eatables followed behind.

Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf,

" And nobody with me at sea but myself " ; 60

Though I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty,

Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good venison pasty,

Were things that I never dislik'd in my life,

Though clogged with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife.

So next day, in due splendour to make my approach,

I drove to his door in my own hackney-coach.

When come to the place where we all were to dine,

(A chair-lumber 'd closet just twelve feet by nine:)

My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb,

With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not come ; 70

" For I knew it," he cried, " both eternally fail,

The one with his speeches, and t'other with Thrale;

But no matter, I warrant we'll make up the party

With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty.

72. Thrale. Mrs. Thrale, wife of the Southwark brewer, Johnson's
close friend from 1765.



OLIVER GOLDSMITH 167

The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew,

They're both of them merry and authors like you ;

The one writes the Snarler, the other the Scourge ;

Some think he writes Cinna he owns to Panurge."

While thus he describ'd them by trade and by name,

They enter'd, and dinner was serv'd as they came. 80

At the top a fried liver and bacon were seen,
At the bottom was tripe in a swinging tureen ;
At the sides there was spinach and pudding made hot ;
In the middle a place where the pasty was not.
Now, my Lord, as for tripe, it's my utter aversion,
And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian ;
So there I sat stuck, like a horse in a pound,
While the bacon and liver went merrily round.

But what vex'd me most was that d 'd Scottish rogue,

With his long-winded speeches, his smiles and his brogue; 90

And, " Madam," quoth he, " may this bit be my poison,

A prettier dinner I never set eyes on ;

Pray a slice of your liver, though may I be curs' d,

But I've eat of your tripe till I'm ready to burst."

" The tripe," quoth the Jew, with his chocolate cheek,

" I could dine on this tripe seven days in the week:

I like these here dinners so pretty and small;

But your friend there, the Doctor, eats nothing at all."

" Oh! " quoth my friend, " he'll come on in a trice,

He's keeping a corner for something that's nice : 100

79. Cinna . . . Panurge. These were noms de guerre of Dr. W. Scott,
Lord Sandwich's chaplain, an active supporter of the Government.



168 STORY POEMS

There's a pasty " " A pasty! " repeated the Jew,

" I don't care if I keep a corner for't too."

" What the de'il, mon, a pasty! " re-echoed the Scot,

" Though splitting, I'll still keep a corner for thot. ;>

" We'll all keep a corner," the lady cried out;

" We'll all keep a corner," was echoed about.

While thus we resolv'd, and the pasty delay'd,

With looks that quite petrified, entered the maid;

A visage so sad, and so pale with affright,

Wak'd Priam in drawing his curtains by night. no

But we quickly found out, for who could mistake her?

That she came with some terrible news from the baker :

And so it fell out, for that negligent sloven

Had shut out the pasty on shutting his oven,

Sad Philomel thus but let similes drop

And now that I think on't, the story may stop.

To be plain, my good Lord, it's but labour misplaced

To send such good verses to one of your taste;

You've got an odd something a kind of discerning

A relish a taste sicken'd over by learning; 120

At least it's your temper, as very well known,

That you think very slightly of all that's your own :

So, perhaps, in your habits of thinking amiss,

You may make a mistake, and think slightly of this.

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.



OLIVER GOLDSMITH 169



XXXVI. ELEGY ON THE DEATH OF
A MAD DOG

GOOD people all, of every sort,

Give ear unto my song;
And if you find it wond'rous short,

It cannot hold you long.

In Islington there was a man,

Of whom the world might say,
That still a godly race he ran,

Whene'er he went to pray.

A kind and gentle heart he had,

To comfort friends and foes; 10

The naked every day he clad,

When he put on his clothes.

And in that town a dog was found,

As many dogs there be,
Both mongrel, puppy, whelp, and hound,

And curs of low degree.

This dog and man at first were friends;

But when a pique began,
The dog, to gain some private ends,

Went mad and bit the man. 20



170 STORY POEMS

Around from all the neighbouring streets
The wond'ring neighbours ran,

And swore the dog had lost his wits,
To bite so good a man.

The wound it seem'd both sore and sad

To every Christian eye;
And while they swore the dog was mad,

They swore the man would die.

But soon a wonder came to light,

That show'd the rogues they lied: 30

The man recovered of the bite,
The dog it was that died.

OLIVER GOLDSMITH.



ij



THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 171

XXXVII. LLYN-Y-DREIDDIAD-VRAWD
THE POOL OF THE DIVING FRIAR

GWENWYNWYN withdrew from the feasts of his hall ;
He slept very little, he prayed not at all ;
He pondered, and wandered, and studied alone ;
And sought, night and day, the philosopher's stone.

\

He found it at length, and he made its first proof
By turning to gold all the lead of his roof :
Then he bought some magnanimous heroes, all fire,
Who lived but to smite and be smitten for hire.

With these, on the plains like a torrent he broke;
He filled the whole country with flame and with smoke; 10
He killed all the swine, and he broached all the wine ;
He drove off the sheep, and the beeves, and the kine;

He took castles and towns ; he cut short limbs and lives ;
He made orphans and widows of children and wives :
This course many years he triumphantly ran,
And did mischief enough to be called a great man.

When, at last, he had gained all for which he had striven,
He bethought him of buying a passport to heaven ;
Good and great as he was, yet he did not well know
How soon, or which way, his great spirit might go. 20



172 STORY POEMS

He sought the grey friars, who, beside a wild stream,
Refected their frames on a primitive scheme ;
The gravest and wisest Gwenwynwyn found out,
All lonely and ghostly, and angling for trout.

Below the white dash of a mighty cascade,
Where a pool of the stream a deep resting-place made,
And rock-rooted oaks stretched their branches on high,
The friar stood musing, and throwing his fly.

To him said Gwenwynwyn, " Hold, father, here's store,
For the good of the church, and the good of the poor " ; 30
Then he gave him the stone; but, ere more he could speak,
Wrath came on the friar, so holy and meek.

He had stretched forth his hand to receive the red gold,
And he thought himself mocked by Gwenwynwyn the Bold ;
And in scorn of the gift, and in rage at the giver,
He jerked it immediately into the river.

Gwenwynwyn, aghast, not a syllable spake;

The philosopher's stone made a duck and a drake :

Two systems of circles a moment were seen,

And the stream smoothed them off, as they never had been. 40

Gwenwynwyn regained, and uplifted, his voice :

" Oh friar, grey friar, full rash was thy choice;

The stone, the good stone, which away thou hast thrown,

Was the stone of all stones, the philosopher's stone ! "



THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK 173

The friar looked pale, when his error he knew;
The friar looked red, and the friar looked blue ;
And heels over head, from the point of a rock,
He plunged, without stopping to pull off his frock.

He dived very deep, but he dived all in vain ;

The prize he had slighted he found not again : 50

Many times did the friar his diving renew,

And deeper and deeper the river still grew.

Gwenwynwyn gazed long, of his senses in doubt,
To see the grey friar a diver so stout:
Then sadly and slowly his castle he sought,
And left the friar diving, like dabchick distraught.

Gwenwynwyn fell sick with alarm and despite,

Died, and went to the devil, the very same night :

The magnanimous heroes he held in his pay

Sacked his castle, and marched with the plunder away. 60

No knell on the silence of midnight was rolled,
,For the flight of the soul of Gwenwynwyn the Bold:
The brethren, unfee'd, let the mighty ghost pass
Without praying a prayer, or intoning a mass.

The friar haunted ever beside the dark stream:

The philosopher's stone was his thought and his dream ;

And day after day, ever head under heels,

He dived all the time he could spare from his meals.



I 7 4 STORY POEMS

He dived, and he dived, to the end of his days,
As the peasants oft witnessed with fear and amaze : 70
The mad friar's diving-place long was their theme,
And no plummet can fathom that pool of the stream.

And still, when light clouds on the midnight winds ride,
If by moonlight you stray on the lone river-side,
The ghost of the friar may be seen diving there,
With head in the water and heels in the air.

THOMAS LOVE PEACOCK.



XXXVIII. THE BATTLE OF LIMERICK

YE Genii of the nation,

Who look with veneration,
And Ireland's desolation onsaysingly deplore ;

Ye sons of General Jackson,

Who thrample on the Saxon,
Attend to the thransaction upon Shannon shore.

When William, Duke of Schumbug,

A tyrant and a humbug,
With cannon and with thunder on our city bore,

Our fortitude and valliance, 10

Insthructed his battalions
To rispict the gallant Irish upon Shannon shore.

Since that capitulation,
No city in this nation
So grand a reputation could boast before,



W. M. THACKERAY 175

As Limerick prodigious,
That stands with quays and bridges,
And the ships up to the windies of the Shannon shore.

A chief of ancient line,

'Tis William Smith O'Brine, 20

Reprisints this darling Limerick, this ten years or more :

O the Saxons can't endure

To see him on the flure,
And thrimble at the Cicero from Shannon shore.

This valliant son of Mars

Had been to visit Par's,
That land of Revolution, that grows the tricolor;

And to welcome his return

From pilgrimages furren,
We invited him to tay on the Shannon shore. 30

Then we summoned to our board

Young Meagher of the Sword ;
'Tis he will sheathe that battle-axe in Saxon gore :

And Mitchil of Belfast

We bade to our repast,
To dthrink a dish of coffee on the Shannon shore.

Convaniently to hould

These patriots so bould,
We tuck the opportunity of Tim Doolan's store;

And with ornamints and banners 40

(As becomes gintale good manners)
We made the loveliest tay-room upon Shannon shore.



176 STORY POEMS

'Twould binifit your sowls,

To see the butthered rowls,
The sugar-tongs and sangwidges and craim galyore,

And the muffins and the crumpets,

And the band of harps and thrumpets,
To celebrate the s worry upon Shannon shore.

Sure the Imperor of Bohay

Would be proud to dthrink the tay 50

That Misthress Biddy Rooney for O'Brine did pour;

And, since the days of Strongbow,

There never was such Congo
Mitchil dthrank six quarts of it by Shannon shore.

But Clarndon and Corry

Connellan beheld this sworry
With rage and imulation in their black hearts' core;

They hired a gang of ruffins

To interrupt the muffins
And the fragrance of the Congo on the Shannon shore. 60

When full of tay and cake,

0' Brine began to spake ;
But juice a one could hear him, for a sudden roar

Of a ragamuffin rout

Began to yell and shout,
And frighten the propriety of Shannon shore.

As Smith 0' Brine harangued,
They batthered and they banged :
Tim Doolan's doors and windies down they tore ;



W. M. THACKERAY 177

They smashed the lovely windies 70

(Hung with muslin from the Indies),
Purshuing of their shindies upon Shannon shore.

With throwing of brickbats,

Drowned puppies and dead rats,
These ruffin democrats themselves did lower;

Tin kettles, rotten eggs,

Cabbage-stalks, and wooden legs,
They flung among the patriots of Shannon shore.

Oh the girls began to scrame

And upset the milk and crame; 80

And the honourable gintlemin, they cursed and swore:

And Mitchil of Belfast,

Twas he that looked aghast,
When they roasted him in effigy by Shannon shore.

Oh the lovely tay was spilt

On that day of Ireland's guilt;
Says Jack Mitchil, " I am kilt ! Boys, where's the back door?

Tis a national disgrace ;

Let me go and veil me face ";
And he boulted with quick pace from the Shannon shore. 90

" Cut down the bloody horde ! "

Says Meagher of the Sword,
" This conduct would disgrace any blackamore ";

But the best use Tommy made

Of his famous battle blade
Was to cut his own stick from the Shannon shore.



178 STORY POEMS

Immortal Smith 0' Brine

Was raging like a line ;
Twould have done your sowl good to have heard him roar;

In his glory he arose, 100

And he rush'd upon his foes,
But they hit him on the nose by the Shannon shore.

Then the Futt and the Dthragoons

In squadthrons and platoons,
With their music playing chunes, down upon us bore :

And they beat the rattatoo,

But the Peelers came in view,
And ended the shaloo on the Shannon shore.

W. M. THACKERAY.



djb






THOMAS HOOD 179

XXXIX. FAITHLESS SALLY BROWN

AN OLD BALLAD

YOUNG Ben he was a nice young man,

A carpenter by trade;
And he fell in love with Sally Brown,

That was a lady's maid.

But as they fetched a walk one day,

They met a press-gang crew;
And Sally she did faint away,

Whilst Ben he was brought to.

The Boatswain swore with wicked words,

Enough to shock a saint, 10

That though she did seem in a fit,
'Twas nothing but a feint.

" Come, girl," said he, " hold up your head,

He'll be as good as me ;
For when your swain is in our boat,

A boatswain he will be/'

So when they'd made their game of her,

And taken off -her elf,
She roused, and found she only was

A coming to herself.



i8o STORY POEMS

" And is he gone, and is he gone? "

She cried, and wept outright :
" Then I will to the water side,

And see him out of sight."

A waterman came up to her,

" Now, young woman/' said he,
" If you weep on so, you will make

Eye- water in the sea."

" Alas! they've taken my beau Ben
To sail with old Benbow "; 30

And her woe began to run afresh,
As if she'd said Gee woe !



Says he, " They've only taken him

To the Tender ship, you see ";
" The Tender ship/' cried Sally Brown,

" What a hard-ship that must be!

"Oh! would I were a mermaid now,

For then I'd follow him;
But oh! I'm not a fish-woman,

And so I cannot swim. 40

" Alas! I was not born beneath

The Virgin and the Scales,
So I must curse my cruel stars,

And walk about in Wales."



THOMAS HOOD 181

Now Ben had sailed to many a place

That's underneath the world;
But in two years the ship came home,

And all her sails were furled.



But when he called on Sally Brown,

To see how she went on, 50

He found she'd got another Ben,

Whose Christian name was John.

" O Sally Brown, O Sally Brown!

How could you serve me so ?
I've met with many a breeze before,

But never such a blow."

Then reading on his 'bacco box,

He heaved a bitter sigh,
And then began to eye his pipe,

And then to pipe his eye. 60

And then he tried to sing " All's Well,"

But could not though he tried:
His head was turned, and so he chewed

His pigtail till he died.

His death, which happened in his berth,

At forty-odd befell:
They went and told the sexton, and

The sexton toll'd the bell.

THOMAS HOOD.



1 82 STORY POEMS



XL. THAT HEATHEN CHINEE
TABLE MOUNTAIN, 1870

These humorous verses come to us from California, where
there are a great many Chinese emigrants. The Americans
on the Pacific slope are not remarkable for any particular
dullness or want of smartness, but occasionally the Oriental
is more than a match for them. His ancient tricks are a
novelty to the New World.

Euchre, the favourite American gambling game of cards
here mentioned, is a variation of the old French game icarte.

The Bill Nye spoken of is a slanting allusion to James Nye,
a United States official of eminence, whose private taste for
card pastimes is well known in his own country. (Author's
Note.)

WHICH I wish to remark

And my language is plain
That for ways which are dark

And for tricks that are vain,
The heathen Chinee is peculiar,

Which the same I would rise to explain.

Ah Sin was his name;

And I shall not deny
In regard to the same

What that name might imply, 10

But his smile it was pensive and childlike,

As I frequent remarked to Bill Nye.

It was August the third;
And quite soft was the skies;



BRET HARTE 183

Which it might be inferred

That Ah Sin was likewise ;
Yet he played it that day upon William

And me in a way I despise.

Which we had a small game,

And Ah Sin took a hand: 20

It was euchre. The same

He did not understand;
But he smiled as he sat by the table;

With the smile that was childlike and bland.

Yet the cards they were stocked

In a way that I grieve,
And my feelings were shocked

At the state of Nye's sleeve;
Which was stuffed full of aces and bowers,

And the same with intent to deceive. 30

But the hands that were played

By that heathen Chinee,
And the points that he made

Were quite frightful to see
Till at last he put down a right bower,

Which the same Nye had dealt unto me.

Then I looked up at Nye,

And he gazed upon me;
And he rose with a sigh

And said, " Can this be? 40

We are ruined by Chinese cheap labour "

And he went for that heathen Chinee.



STORY POEMS

In the scene that ensued

I did not take a hand,
But the floor it was strewed

Like the leaves on the strand
With the cards that Ah Sin had been hiding,

In the game " he did not understand."

In his sleeves, which were long,

He had twenty-four jacks 50

Which was coming it strong,

Yet I state but the facts;
And we found on his nails, which were taper,

What is frequent in tapers that's wax.

Which is why I remark,

And my language is plain,
That for ways that are dark,

And for tricks that are vain,
The heathen Chinee is peculiar

Which the same I arn free to maintain. 60

BRET HARTE.




FURTHER NOTES, INCLUDING
BIOGRAPHIES

I. SIR PATRICK SPENS. Date, author and occasion
of this fine old ballad are quite unknown; but there
was much intercourse between Scotland and Norway
in old times, and the incident described may be
historical.

II. LORD ULLIN'S DAUGHTER. Lines 27 and 28
have been described as " the central jewel " of this
fine ballad.

III. HOHENLINDEN. Moreau beat the Austrians
at Hohenlinden six months after Campbell had left
Bavaria, but he had seen a battle near Ratisbon.

" Subject and spirit, words and music, make an
indivisible quaternity, and, except in two or three
passages of Homer and ^schylus, there is nothing
anywhere that surpasses the last and culminating
stanza in poignant simplicity/* PROFESSOR SAINTS-
BURY.

32. Old forms of " sepulchre " are " sepulchree "
and "sepulchrie."

THOMAS CAMPBELL (1777-1844) was the son of a
Glasgow trader. He won high distinction both at the

185



186 COMMENTARY

local Grammar School and University, turned to
private tuition for support, and won fame at twenty-
two with a long poem, The Pleasures of Hope. After
nearly a year's residence in Germany, and literary
hack-work in Scotland, he moved to London and
married. Gertrude of Wyoming with shorter poems
including Lord Ullin's Daughter was published in
1809. Literary work of all sorts, editorship of the
New Monthly Magazine for ten years, lectures on
poetry, money troubles, ill-health, occasional trips to
the continent such is the record of his remaining
years. But in 1825 by a letter to The Times he origin-
ated the scheme which led to the establishment of
London University, " the only important event/' he
said, " in my life's little history." His last few months
were spent in failing health at Boulogne. He was
buried in Westminster Abbey, with a guard of Polish
nobles, one of whom sprinkled on the coffin a handful
of earth from the grave of Kosciusko. His longer
poems are now little read, but such things as Hohen-
linden and the two naval odes are among the chief
treasures of English poetry. His Specimens of the
British Poets is a valuable collection with some inter-
esting criticism.

IV. ROSABELLE. From The Lay of the Last Minstrel,
canto vi.

13. The gift of second sight, or mental vision, was
believed to be widely prevalent in Scotland.

39. Roslin Chapel is famous for its delicate stone-
carving, especially the " Prentice Pillar."



NOTES AND BIOGRAPHIES 187

V. ALICE BRAND. From The Lady of the Lake,
canto iv.

46. The fairies wore green, and were offended when
mortals wore it.

VI. LOCHINVAR. From Marmion, canto v. .
43. Cf. Archie of Caw field:

O, there was horsing, horsing in haste,
And cracking of whips out owre the lea;

and Byron's " there was mounting in hot haste." This
idiom presents an action without specifying the actors.

SIR WALTER SCOTT (1771-1832) was the son of an
Edinburgh lawyer. From very early years Scottish
legends and Scottish scenery were his delight. At
school in Edinburgh his merry pugnacity made him
many friends, his omnivorous reading and extra-
ordinary memory stored his mind and so it was all
through his life. Neither at school nor at Edinburgh
University, which he entered at twelve, did scholastic
subjects make much impression on him, but he was
versed in four modern languages and learnt some law
in his father's office. Called to the Bar in 1792, he soon
published translations from the German, collected and
annotated three volumes of Border Minstrelsy (which
supplied much material for his later original works),
and leaped to fame with The Lay of the Last Minstrel
in 1805. He triumphed again with Marmion (1808)
and The Lady of the Lake (1810), but later poems
suffered from their own inferiority and the rising
genius of Byron. The canny poet turned to prose,



i88 COMMENTARY

and irf 1814 appeared anonymously Waverley, the first
of the famous series which ended in 1831. Meanwhile
Scott had begun to realise his great ambition to be
a landed proprietor. He had married at the age of
twenty-six. Now his fam.e, his wealth, his estate and
his hospitality grew and flourished. He was made a
baronet in 1820. Six years later came the crash. The
publishing house in which he was secretly a partner
failed for 117,000; but Scott refused the protection
of bankruptcy, worked harder than ever, paid off
40,000 in four years, and soon after his death the
remaining debt was paid off by his executors. The
effort killed him. Paralysis and other illnesses wore
him down. He was taken to Naples in a warship, but
hurried home to die at Abbotsford. He was buried in
the beautiful ruins of Dryburgh Abbey.

VII. THE HIGH TIDE ON THE COAST OF LINCOLN-
SHIRE. " For earnestness and technical excellence one
of the finest of modern ballads." Dictionary of
National Biography.

101. The tidal wave on the Trent is still called the
eygre. Other forms of the word are eagre, higre.


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