Page images
PDF
EPUB
[merged small][graphic][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed][subsumed]

A Lord of Land, on his own estate,
He lived at a very lively rate,

But his income would bear carousing ;
Such acres he had of pasture and heath,
With herbage so rich from the ore beneath,
The very ewe's and lambkin's teeth

Were turn’d into gold by browsing.

He
gave, without

any extra thrift, A flock of sheep for a birthday gift

To each son of his loins, or daughter: And his debts-if debts he had-at will He liquidated by giving each bill

A dip in Pactolian water.

'Twas said that even his pigs of lead, By crossing with some by Midas bred,

Made a perfect mine of his piggery. And as for cattle, one yearling bull Was worth all Smithfield-market full

Of the Golden Bulls of Pope Gregory.

The high-bred horses within his stud,
Like human creatures of birth and blood,

Had their Golden Cups and flagons :
And as for the common husbandry nags,
Their noses were tied in money-bags,

When they stopp'd with the carts and wagons.

Moreover, he had a Golden Ass,
Sometimes at stall, and sometimes at grass,

That was worth his own weight in money--
And a golden hive, on a Golden Bank,
Where golden bees, by alchemical prank,
Gather'd gold instead of honey.

Gold! and gold! and gold without end !
He had gold to lay by, and gold to spend,
Gold to give, and gold to lend,

And reversions of gold in futuro. In wealth the family revell’d and rolld, Himself and wife and sons so bold ;And his daughters sang to their harps of gold

6 O bella eta del oro !”

Such was the tale of the Kilmansegg Kin,
In golden text on a vellum skin,
Though certain people would wink and grin,

And declare the whole story a parable-
That the ancestor rich was one Jacob Ghrimes,
Who held a long lease, in prosperous times,
Of acres, pasture and arable.

makes

money, his golden bees Were the five per cents, or which you please,

When his cash was more than plentyThat the golden cups were racing affairs ; And his daughters, who sang Italian airs,

Had their golden harps of Clementi.

That as money

That the Golden Ass, or Golden Bull,
Was English John, with his pockets full,

Then at war by land and water :
While beef, and mutton, and other meat,
Were almost as dear as money to eat,
And Farmers reaped Golden Harvests of wheat

At the Lord knows what per quarter!

HER BIRTH.

rinkle;

What different dooms our birthdays bring !
For instance, one little manikin thing

Survives to wear many a
While Death forbids another to wake,
And a son that it took nine moons to make

Expires without even a twinkle!

Into this world we come like ships,
Launch'd from the docks, and stocks, and slips,

For fortune fair or fatal;
And one little craft is cast away
In its very first trip to Babbicome Bay,

While another rides safe at Port Natal.

What different lots our stars accord!
This babe to be hail'd and woo'd as a Lord !

And that to be shunned like a leper!
One to the world's wine, honey and corn,
Another, like Colchester native, born

To its vinegar, only, and pepper.

One is litter'd under a roof
Neither wind nor water proof,-
That's the

prose

of Love in a Cottage, —
A puny, naked, shivering wretch,
The whole of whose birthright would not fetch,
Though Robins himself drew up the sketch,

The bid of “ a mess of pottage.”

Born of Fortunatus's kin,
Another comes tenderly usher'd in

To a prospect all bright and burnish'd :
No tenant he for life's back slums-
He comes to the world as a gentleman comes

To a lodging ready furnish’d.

And the other sex-the tender-the fair-
What wide reverses of fate are there
Whilst Margaret, charm' by the Bulbul rare,

In a garden of Gul reposes-
Poor Peggy hawks nosegays from street to street,
Till-think of that, who find life so sweet! -

She hates the smell of roses !

Not so with the infant Kilmansegg!
She was not born to steal or beg,

Or gather cresses in ditches ;
To plait the straw, or bind the shoe,

Or sit all day to hem and sew,
As females must, and not a few

To fill their insides with stitches;

She was not doom'd, for bread to eat,
To be put to her hands as well as her feet-

To carry home linen from mangles-
Or heavy-hearted, and weary-limb’d,
To dance on a rope in a jacket trimm'd

With as many blows as spangles.

She was one of those who by Fortune's boon Are born, as they say, with a silver spoon

In her mouth, not a wooden ladle : To speak according to poet's wont, Plutus as sponsor stood at her font,

And Midas rock'd the cradle.

At her first début she found her head
On a pillow of down, in a downy bed,

With a damask canopy over.
For although by the vulgar popular saw
All mothers are said to be “ in the straw,

Some children are born in clover.

Her very first draught of vital air
It was not the common chamelion fare
Of plebeian lungs and noses,

No-her earliest sniff

Of this world was a whiff Of the genuine Otto of Roses!

When she saw the light it was no mere ray Of that light so common--so everyday

That the sun each morning launchesBut six wax tapers dazzled her eyes, From a thing--a gooseberry bush for size

With a golden stem and branches.

« PreviousContinue »