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The seventh day this; the jubilee of man. London! right well thou know'st the day of prayer: Then thy spruce citizen, washed artizan, And smug apprentice gulp their weekly air: Thy coach of hackney, -whiskey, one-horse chair, And humblest gig through sundry suburbs -whirl, To Hampstead, Brentford, Harrow make repair; Till the tired jade the wheel forgets to hurl, Provoking envious gibe from each pedestrian churl.
Some o'er thy Thamis row the ribboned fair, Others along the safer Turnpike fly; Some Richmond-hill ascend, some scud to Ware, And many to the steep of Highgate hie. Ask ye, Boeotian shades! the reason why? 'Tis to the worship of the solemn Horn, Grasped in the holy hand of Mystery, In whose dread name both men and maids are sworn, And consecrate the oath with draught, and dance ti'l morn.
All have their fooleries:—not alike arc thine, Fair .Cadiz, rising o'er the dark blue sea! Soon as the matin bell proclaimeth nine, Thy saint adorers count the rosary: Much is the Virgin teazed to shrive them free (Well do I ween the only virgin there) From crimes as numerous as her beadsmen be; Then to the crowded circus forth they fare, Young, old, high, low, at once the same diversion share.
The lists are op'd, the spacious area cleared, Thousands on thousands piled are seated round; Long ere the first loud trumpet's note is heard, Ne vacant space for lated wight is found: Here dons, grandees, but chiefly dames abound, Skilled in the ogle of a roguish eye, Yet ever well inclined to heal the wound; None through their cold disdain are doomed to die, As moon-struck bards complain, by Love's sad archsry.
Hushed is the din of tongues—on gallant steeds, With milk-white crest, gold spur, and light-poised lance, Four cavaliers prepare for venturous deeds, And lowly bending to the lists advance; Rich are their scarfs, their chargers featly prance: If in the dangerous game they shine to-day, The crowds loud shout and ladies lovely glance, Best prize of better acts, they bear away, And all that kings or chiefs e'er gain their toils repay.
In costly sheen and gaudy cloak arrayed,
Thrice sounds the clarion; lo! the signal falls,
Sudden he stops; his eye is fixed : away, Away, thou heedless boy ; prepare the spear: Now is thy time, to perish, or display The skill that yet may check his mad career. With well-timed croupe the nimble coursers veer; On foams the bull, but not unscathed he goes; Streams from his flank the crimson torrent clear: He flies, he wheels, distracted with his throes; Dart follows dart; lance, lance; loud bellowings speak his woes.
Again he comes; nor dart nor lance avail,
Foiled, bleeding., breathless, furious to the last, Full in the centre stands the bull at bay, Mid wounds, and clinging darts, and lances brast, And foes disabled in the brutal fray: And now the matadores around him play, Shake the red cloak, and. poise the ready brand.: Once more through all he bursts his thundering way— Vain rage! the mantle quits the conynge hand, Wraps his fierce eye—'tis past—he sinks upon the sand!
Where,his vast neck, just mingles with the spine,
Such the ungentle sport that oft invites The Spanish maid, and cheers the Spanish swain. Nurtured in blood betimes, his heart delights In vengeance, gloating on another's pain. What private feuds the troubled village stain! Though now one phalanxed host should meet the foe, Enough, alas! in humble homes remain, To meditate 'gainst friends the secret blow, For some slight cause of wrath, whence life's warm stream must flow.
But Jealousy has fled : his bars, his His withered centinel, duenna sage! And all whereat the generous soul revolts, Which the stern dotard.deemed he could encage, Have passed to darkness with the vanished age. "Who late so free as Spanish girls were seen,, ( Ere War uprose in his volcanic rage), With braided tresses bounding o'er the greeny While on the gay dance shone Night's lover-loving Queen?
Oh! many a time, and oft, had Harold loved,
Love has no gift so grateful as his wings:
Yet to the beauteous form he was not blind,