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And smoke and blaze, their work pursuing,
Threaten'd the Maltster's quick undoing.
Off runs the boy, with hasty strides,
To tell his daddy what betides
At distance-ere he reach'd the door,
His pipes set up a hideous roar :
For Vocal Organs all could play,
Tho' stammering Tongue lethargic lay.
His father, when he heard the voice,
Stept out, an' cried—“What's all this noise ?"
“D’-d—d-d-d—” strives the Boy ;
But tongue and teeth all pass deny.
He g'-g- gapes and glowers about,
But not a word can tumble out,
An', be it fire, or be it murder,
The stranded news can sail no further.
The father, knowing his defect,
Yet for the tidings all afret,
The imprison'd freight from's throat to bring,
Roar'd—“Sing, ye booby ! can't ye sing !"
The charm was broke ;—the spells retire ;
“Daddy! your kiln is all on fire !"
Chaunted the boy; and aid was brought
To damp the flames and save the malt
Now-ye'll allow there's wit in that-
To tell a tale so very pat.
But Wit appears in many a shape ; Which some inyent, and Some shew their wit in flashy clothes, An' some in quaint new-fangled oaths : There's crambo wit, in making rhyme; An' dancing wit, in keeping time; There's merry wit, in story-telling ; Learn’d wit, in grammar an' right spelling ; There's martial wit—(when did we lack it ?)— In trimming well a Frenchman's jacket. There's lawyer's wit, and wit politic : But what's the wit that makes the Critic ? Unless't be wit one's spleen to vend, And censure what we cannot mend.
But surely ye'll admit conclusionThere's sterling wit in Elocution,
If, borrowing a grace from song,
We set at large the imprisoned tongue ;
Bid all impediments defiance,
That give to pregnant thought annoyance ;
And, by piano's tuneful string,
Teach folks to speak, as well as sing.
THE SONG OF SEVENTY. From the “ Bath Herald” of January, 1845.
I am not old—I cannot be old,
Though threescore years and ten
Have wasted away, like a tale that is told,
The lives of other men.
I am not old; though friends and foes
Alike have gone to their graves,
And left me alone to my joys or my woes,
As a rock in the midst of the waves :
I am not old, I cannot be old,
Though tottering, wrinkled, and gray ;
Though my eyes are dim, and my marrow is cold,
Call me not old to-day.
For, early memories round me throng,
Old times, and manners, and men,
As I look behind on my journey so long
Of threescore years and ten;
I look behind, and am once more young,
Buoyant, and brave, and bold,
my heart can sing, as of yore
it Before they call’d me old. I do not see her—the old wife there-
Shrivell’d, and haggard, and gray,
But I look on her blooming, and soft, and fair,
As she was on her wedding-day :
I do not see you, daughters and sons,
In the likeness of women and men,
But I kiss you now, as I kissed you once,
My fond little children then :
And, as my grandson rides on my knee,
Or plays with his hoop or kite,
I can well recollect I was merry as he
The bright-eyed little wight:
'Tis not long since—it cannot be long-
My years so soon were spent,
Since I was a boy, both straight and strong,
Yet now am I feeble and bent.
A dream, a dream it is all a dream !
A strange, sad dream, good sooth;
For old as I am, and old as I seem,
My heart is full of youth :
Eye hath not seen, tongue hath not told,
And ear hath not heard it sung,
How buoyant and bold, though it seem to grow old,
Is the heart for ever young:
For ever young—though life's old age
every nerve unstrung ;
The heart, the heart is a heritage
That keeps the old man young!
ENGLISH LIBERTY.-JUST APPRECIATION OF
The king who loves the law, respects his bounds,
And reigns content within them ; him we serve
Freely and with delight, who leaves us free:
But, recollecting still that he is man,
We trust him not too far. King though he be,
And King in England, too, he may be weak,
And vain enough to be ambitious still ;
May exercise amiss his proper powers,
Or covet more than freemen choose to grant:
Beyond that mark is treason! He is ours
To administer, to guard, to ado'rn the State,
But not to war'p, or chanoge it. We are his
To serve him nobly in the common cause,
True to the dea'th, but not to be his slay es !
Mark now the difference, ye that boast your
Of kings, between your lo'yalty and ou'rs.
We love the ma‘n, the paltry page’ant you !
W^e/ the chief patron of the commonwealth,
Yoʻu/ the regardless author of its wo'es ;
We for the
sake of liberty, a king,
Yoou/ chains and bondage for a tyrant's sa'ke !
Our love is principle, and has its root
In reason; is judicious, manly, free;
Yours, a blind instinct, crouches to the rod,
And licks the foot that treads it in the dust.
Were kingship as true treasure as it SEEMS,
Sterling, and worthy of a wise man's wi'sh,
I would not be a king to be beloved
Causeless, and daubed with undiscerning praise ;
Where love is mere attachment to the throne,
Not to the man who fills it as he ought !*
'Tis liberty alone that gives the flower
Of fleeting life its lustre and perfume ;
And we are weeds without it! All constraint,
Except what wisdom lays on evil men,
Is evil; hurts the faculties, impedes
Their progress in the road of science, blinds
The eyesight of discovery, and begets * The suffering author of "The Task,” himself a descendant of royalty, seems peculiarly fitted to sit in judgment on the legitimate power of kings. Well might Mr. Robert Chambers say of the most popular poet of his generation, that “he belonged emphatically to the aristocracy of England ;" for his father was the son of Spencer Cowper, one of the Judges of the Court of Common Pleas, and brother to Lord Chancellor Cowper. His mother was allied to some of the noblest families in England, being descended, by four different lines, from Henry III. “This lofty lineage,” continues Mr. Chambers, “cannot add to the lustre of the poet's fame, but it sheds additional grace on his piety and humility ;' and, in the foll lines, the truly noble poet most beautifully alludes to the aristocracy of his origin:
“My boast is not that I deduce my birth
From loins enthroned and rulers of the earth ;
But higher far my proud pretensions rise-
The son of parents passed into the skies !”
In those that suffer it a sordid mind,
Bestial, a meagre intellect, unfit
To be the tenant of man's noble form.
Thee therefore still, blameworthy as thou art,
With all thy loss of empire, and though squeezed
By public exigence, till annual food
Fails for the craving hunger of the State,
Thee I account still happy, and the chief
Among the nati'ons, seeing thou art free!
My native nook of earth ! thy clime is rude,
Replete with vapours, and disposes much
All hearts to sadness, and none more than mine!
Thine unadulterate manners are less soft
And plausible than social life requires,
And thou hast need of discipline and art
To give thee what politer France receives
From Nature's bou'nty—that humane address
And sweetness, without which no pleasure is
In converse ; either starved by cold reserve,
Or flushed with fierce dispute, a senseless brawl.
Yet, being fr'ee, I lo've thee : for the sake
Of that one feature, can be well content,
Disgraced as thou hast been, poor as thou art,
To seek no sublunary rest beside.
But once ensla'ved, fare'well! I could endure
Chains nowhere patiently; and chains at home,
Where I am free by birthright, not at all!
MOLOCH, THE FALLEN ANGEL, TO THE IN
FERNAL POWERS, INCITING THEM TO RENEW
My sentence is for open war.
More unexpert, I boast not; them, let those
Contrive who need; or when they need, not now,