Sivut kuvina
PDF
ePub

And felt already every thwack
Of cat-o'pine-tails on his back.
Each word, each action, was a blunder;
But O how great his joy and wonder,
The stirrups held, the horses cross’d,
When forth the hostess and the host,
With smiles, instead of lashes smarting,
Came out to take a cup at parting;
Bestowing a thousand welcomes on 'em,
Unfeign'd, for all the honours done 'em!
Of thanks, what language could afford;
Of cat-o'nive-tails not a word !

Mutual civilities repaid,
The 'squire had turn'd his horse's head,
To gallop off; yet his desire
Grew every moment higher and higher;
While bidding thus his last adieu,
To ask if what he'd heard was true:
For not alone the clown bad said
The reck’ning must in stripes be paid;
But one o'th' footmen, whom he slily
O'er night interrogated, drily
Coufirm'd th' aforesaid peasant's tale;
And said his master would not fail,
Next morn, to bid, in farious passion,
Strong Jobu lay twenty times the lash on,
Determind, then, to ease his doubt,
E'en though it bred a fogging bout;
(Of that, howe'er, to be sincere,
He was not very much in fear:)
Once more he turn’d his horse's head,
And to his host thus smiling, said-

'Last night a peasant told me, here, As I have found, was noble cheer;

But added, ere this morn I went,
You'd drub me to my heart's content;
Yet this you have not put in act;
Is it a fiction, or a fact,
After the kindness you've expressid,
You take yonr leave thus of each guest?
And how, if still a rule you've kept it,
Have I deserv'd to be excepted?'

“Sir,' answer'd he, 'tis very true;
No stranger e'er went hence, but you,
Who bore not, on his well-carv'd bark,
Of cat-o’nine-tails many a mark.
None yet deserv'd, or I'm mistaken,
That I should pity, and spare their bacon:
A set of tiresome, troublesome knaves ;
Of bowing, fawning, lying slaves !
If a man ask'd what they'd prefer,
“Oh, I love any thing, good sir !"
Would you choose coffee, sir, or tea?
“Dear ma'am, it's all the same to me!”
For beef or mutton give your voice:
“Upon my honour, I've no choice !”
There's Cheshire, sir, and Gloster cheese;
Which shall I send you? “ Which you please.”
Curse on their cringing complaisance !
I've tutor'd some of them to dance
Such steps as they ne'er learn'd in France.
But you, good sir, or I misdeem,
Deserve an honest man's esteem.
Your frankness, sir, I call polite;
I never spent a happier night;
And whensoe'er this road you come,
I hope you'll make my house your home:

Nay, more; I likewise hope, henceforth
To rank a man of so much worth
Among my friends.—Sir,' said the 'sqnire,
' 'Tis what I ardently desire:
Not twenty miles from hence my house,
At which your sons, yourself, and spouse,
Shall find such hospitality,
As kindly here you've shown to me.'

The bargain struck, the 'squire and Jerry,
Again proceed for town of Bury.

And now the reader may, with ease, Extract this moral if he please : Politeness cannot e'er become Impertinent and troublesome; His breeding good he soonest proves, Who soonest tells you what he loves ; And who in rapid eloquence Their wordy compliments dispense, Have more civility than sevse. Anonymous.

6

THE BRAMBLE.
WHILE wits through fiction's regions ramble,-
While bards for fame or profit scamble:
While Pegasus can trot, or amble;
Come, what may come,- I'll sing the bramble.
"How now!'-methinks I hear you say :

Why? what is rhyme ron mad to-day?"
- No, sirs, mine's but a sudden gambol;
My Muse hung hamper'd in a bramble.
But soft! no more of this wild stuff!
Once for a frolic is enough;
So help us, Rhyme, at future need,
As we in soberer style proceed.

All subjects of nice disquisition,
Admit two modes of definition :
For every thing two sides has got,-
What is it?-and what is it not?

Both methods for exactness' sake,
We with our bramble mean to take:
And by your leave, will first discuss
Its negative good parts,-as thus.

A bramble will not, like a rose,
To prick your fingers, tempt your nose,
Whene'er it wounds, the fault's your own,
Let that, and that lets you, alone.

You shut your myrtles for a time up;
Your jasmine wants a wall to climb up;
But bramble, in its humbler station,
Nor weather heeds, nor sitnation;
No season is too wet, or dry for’t,
No ditch too low, no hedge too high for't.

Some praise, and that with reason too,
The honeysuckle's scent and hue;
But sudden storms, or sure decay,
Sweep, with its bloom, its charms away:
The sturdy bramble's coarser flower
Maintains its post, come blast, come shower;
And when time crops it, time subdues
No charms;—for it has done to lose.

Spite of your skill, and care, and cost,
Your pobler shrubs are often lost;
But brambles, where they once get footing,
From age to age continue shooting;

Ask no attention, nor forecasting ;
Not ever-green; but ever-lasting.
Some shrubs intestine hatred cherish,
And, plac'd too near each other, perish;
Bramble indulges no such whim;
All neighbours are alike to him;
No stump so scrubby but he'll grace it;
No crab so sour but he'll embrace it.

Such, and so various negative merits,
The bramble from its birth inherits :
Take we its positive virtues next!
For so at first we split our text.
The more resentment togs and kicks,
The closer still the bramble sticks;
Yet gently handled, quits its hold;
Like heroes of true British mould :
Nothing so touchy, when they're teased, -
No touchiness so soon appeased.

Full in your view, and next your hand,
The bramble's homely berries stand :
Eat as you list,-none calls you glutton;
Forbear, it matters not a button.
And is not, pray, this very qnality
The essence of true hospitality?
When frank simplicity and sense
Make no parade, take no offence;
Such as it is, set forth their best,
And let the welcome-add the rest.

The bramble's shoot, though fortune lay
Point-blank obstructions in its way,

[blocks in formation]
« EdellinenJatka »