Imágenes de página
PDF
ePub

Or o'er cold coffee trifle with the spoon,
Count the slow clock, and dine exact at noon;
Divert her eyes with pictures in the fire,
Hum half a tune, tell stories to the 'squire;
Up to her godly garret after seven,
There starve and pray, for that 's the way to heaven.

Some 'squire, perhaps, you take delight to rack;
Whose game is whist, whose treat a toast in sack:
Who visits with a gun, presents you birds,
Then gives a smacking buss, and cries,—No words!'
Or with his hounds comes hallooing from the stable,
Makes love with nods, and knees beneath a table;
Whose laughs are hearty, though his jests are

coarse, And loves you best of all things—but his horse.

In some fair evening, on your elbow laid, You dream of triumphs in the rural shade; In pensive thought recall the fancied scene, See coronations rise on every green ; Before you pass the imaginary sigits Of lords, and earls, and dukes, and garter'd knights, While the spread fan o'ershades your closing eyes; Then give one flirt, and all the vision fies. Thus vanish sceptres, coronets, and balls, And leave you in lone woods, or empty walls!

So when your slave, at some dear idle time, Not plagued with headaches, or the want of rhyme, Stands in the streets, abstracted from the crew, And while he seems to study, thinks of you; Just when his fancy paints your sprightly eyes, Or sees the blush of soti Parthenia rise, Gay pats my shoulder, und you vanish quite, Streets, chairs, and coxcombs, rush upon my sight; Vex'd to be still in town I knit my brow, Look sour, and hum a lune, as you may now.

THE BASSET-TABLE,

AN ECLOGUE.

CARDELIA. SMILINDA.

CARDELIA.

The basset-table spread, the tallier come; Why stays Smilinda in the dressing-room ? Rise, pensive nymph; the tallier waits for you,

SMILINDA. Ah, madam, since my Sharper is untrue, I joyless make my once adored alphiew: I saw him stand behind Ombrelia's chair, And whisper with that soft deluding air, And those feign’d sighs which cheat the list'ning fair.

CARDELIA.

Is this the cause of your romantic strains ?
A mightier grief my heavy heart sustains.
As you by love, so I by fortune cross'd;
One, one bad deal, three septlevas have lost.

SMILINDA
Is that the grief which you compare with mine ?
With ease the smiles of fortune I resign :
Would all my gold in one bad deal were gone,
Were lovely Sharper mine, and mine alone.

CARDELIA.
A lover lost, is but a common care;
And prudent nymphs against that change prepare :
The knave of clubs thrice lost; oh! who could guess
This fatal stroke, this unforeseen distress?

SMILINDA.
See Betty Lovet! very a-propos,
She all the cares of love and play does know:
Dear Betty shall the important point decide;
Betty who oft the pain of each has tried :

Impartial, she shall say who suffers most,
By cards, ill-usage, or by lovers lost.

LOVET
Tell, tell your griefs; attentive will I stay,
Though time is precious, and I want some tea.

CARDELIA.
Behold this equipage, by Mathers wrought,
With fifty guineas (a great penn'worth) bought.
See, on the tooth-pick Mars and Cupid strive;
And both the struggling figures seem alive.
Upon the bottom shines the queen's bright face :
A myrtle foliage round the thimble-case.
Jove, Jove himself does on the scissars shine;
The metal, and the workmanship, divine !

SMILINDA.
This snuff-box; once the pledge of Sharper's love,
When rival beauties for the present strove ;
At Corticelli's he the raffle won;
Then first his passion was in public shown :
Hazardia blush’d, and turn'd her head aside,
A rival's envy (all in vain) to hide.
This snuff-box---on the hinge see brilliants shine!
This snuff-box will I stake ; the prize is mine.

CARDELIA.
Alas ! far lesser losses than I bear,
Have made a soldier sigh, a lover swear.
And, oh! what makes the disappointment hard,
'Twas my own lord that drew the fatal card.
In complaisance I took the

gave;
Though my own secret wish was for the knave
The knave won sonica, which I had chose
And the next pull, my septleva I lose.

SMILINDA.
But, ah! what aggravates the killing smart,
The cruel thought, that stabs me to the heart;
This cursed Ombrelia, this undoing fair,
By whose vile arts this heavy grief I bear;

queen he

She, at whose name I shed these spiteful tears,
She owes to me the very charms she wears.
An awkward thing when first she came to town;
Her shape unfashion'd, and her face unknown:
She was my friend; I taught her first to spread
Upon her sallow cheeks enlivening red:
I introduced her to the park and plays;
And by my interest, Cozens made her stays.
Ungrateful wretch, with mimic airs grown pert,
She dares to steal my favourite lover's heart !

CARDELIA.
Wretch that I was! how often have I swore,
When Winnall tallied, I would punt no more!
I know the bite, yet to my ruin run;
And see the folly, which I cannot shun.

SMILINDA.

[ocr errors]

How many maids have Sharper's vows deceived ! How many cursed the moment they believed ! Yet his known falsehoods could no warning prove : Ah! what is warning to a maid in love ?

CARDELIA. But of what marble must that breast be form'd, To gaze on Basset, and remain unwarm'd ? When kings, queens, knaves, are set in decent rank, Exposed in glorious heaps the tempting bank, Guineas, half-guineas, all the shining train; The winner's pleasure, and the loser's pain: In bright confusion open rouleaus lie, They strike the soul, and glitter in the eye. Fired by the sight, all reason I disdain ; My passions rise, and will not bear the rein. Look upon Basset, you who reason boast; And see if reason must not there be lost.

SMILINDA. What more than marble must that heart compose, Can hearken coldly to my Sharper's vows ?

Then, when he trembles ! when his blushes rise !
When awful love seems melting in his eyes !
With eager beats his Mechlin cravat moves :
He loves,-I whisper to myself, “ He loves !'
Such unfeign'd passion in his looks appears,
I lose all memory of my former fears ;
My panting heart confesses all his charms,
1 yield at once, and sink into his arms.
Think of that moment, you who prudence boast;
For such a moment, prudence well were lost.

CARDELIA
At the Groom-porter's batter'd bullies play,
Some dukes at Marybone bowl time away.
But who the bowl, or rattling dice compares
To Basset’s heavenly joys, and pleasing cares ?

SMILINDA.
Soft Simplicetta dotes upon a beau;
Prudina likes a man, and laughs at show.
Their several graces in my Sharper meet ;
Strong as the footman, as the master sweet.

LOVET.
Cease your contention, which has been too long;
I grow impatient, and the tea's too strong.
Attend, and yield to what I now decide ;
The equipage shall grace Smilinda's side :
The snuff-box to Cardelia I decree;
Now leave complaining, and begin your tea.

[ocr errors]

VERBATIM FROM BOILEAU.

Un jour, dil un auteur, &c. ONCE (says an author, where I need not say) Two travellers found an oyster in their way; Both fierce, both hungry, the dispute grew strong, While, scale in hand, dame Justice pass'd along. Before her each with clamour pleads the laws; Explain'd the matter, and would win the cause.

« AnteriorContinuar »