Imágenes de página


Pluck the others, but still remember
Their herald out of dim December-
The morning star of all the flowers,
The pledge of daylight's lengthen'd hours;
Nor, midst the roses, e'er forget
The virgin, virgin violet.

Enter CESAR.

Cæs. (singing). The wars are all over,
Our swords are all idle,

The steed bites the bridle.
The casque's on the wall.
There's rest for the rover;

But his armour is rusty,
And the veteran grows crusty,
As he yawns in the hall.

He drinks but what's drinking?
A mere pause from thinking!

No bugle awakes him with life-and-death call.

[blocks in formation]


Cæs. Oh! shadow of glory!
Dim image of war!
But the chase hath no story,
Her hero no star,
Since Nimrod, the founder
Of empire and chase,
Who made the woods wonder
And quake for their race.



When the lion was young,

In the pride of his might,
Then 'twas sport for the strong
To embrace him in fight;
To go forth, with a pine

For a spear, 'gainst the mammoth,
Or strike through the ravine

At the foaming behemoth;
While man was in stature

As towers in our time,
The first-born of Nature,
And, like her, sublime!


But the wars are over,
The spring is come;
The bride and her lover


(From Beppo, xli-xlix)

WITH all its sinful doings, I must say,
That Italy's a pleasant place to me,
Who love to see the Sun shine every day,


Have sought their home;

They are happy, and we rejoice;
Let their hearts have an echo from every voice!
[Exeunt the Peasantry, singing.

And vines (not nail'd to walls) from tree to tree
Festoon'd, much like the back scene of a play,
Or melodrame, which people flock to see,
When the first act is ended by a dance
In vineyards copied from the south of France.


I like on Autumn evenings to ride out,

Without being forced to bid my groom be sure 10 My cloak is round his middle strapp'd about,

Because the skies are not the most secure ;

I know too that, if stopp'd upon my route,

Where the green alleys windingly allure,
Reeling with grapes red waggons choke the way,—
In England 'twould be dung, dust, or a dray.

I also like to dine on becaficas,


To see the Sun set, sure he'll rise to-morrow, Not through a misty morning twinkling weak as A drunken man's dead eye in maudlin sorrow, But with all Heaven t'himself; the day will break as Beauteous as cloudless, nor be forced to borrow That sort of farthing candlelight which glimmers Where reeking London's smoky caldron simmers.

I love the language, that soft bastard Latin,

Which melts like kisses from a female mouth, And sounds as if it should be writ on satin,

With syllables which breathe of the sweet South, And gentle liquids gliding all so pat in,

That not a single accent seems uncouth, Like our harsh northern whistling, grunting guttural, Which we're obliged to hiss, and spit, and sputter all.

I like the women too (forgive my folly),

From the rich peasant cheek of ruddy bronze, And large black eyes that flash on you a volley Of rays that say a thousand things at once, To the high dama's brow, more melancholy,

But clear, and with a wild and liquid glance, Heart on her lips, and soul within her eyes, Soft as her clime, and sunny as her skies.

Eve of the land which still is Paradise!

Italian beauty! didst thou not inspire
Raphael, who died in thy embrace, and vies
With all we know of Heaven, or can desire,
In what he hath bequeath'd us ?—in what guise,
Though flashing from the fervour of the lyre,
Would words describe thy past and present glow,
While yet Canova can create below ?



'England! with all thy faults I love thee still,'
I said at Calais, and have not forgot it;
I like to speak and lucubrate my fill;

I like the government (but that is not it);
I like the freedom of the press and quill;

I like the Habeas Corpus (when we've got it);
I like a parliamentary debate,
Particularly when 'tis not too late;

I like the taxes, when they're not too many;
I like a seacoal fire, when not too dear;
I like a beef-steak, too, as well as any;
Have no objection to a pot of beer;
I like the weather, when it is not rainy,

That is, I like two months of every year.
And so God save the Regent, Church, and King!
Which means that I like all and everything.

Our standing army, and disbanded seamen,

Poor's rate, Reform, my own, the nation's debt, Our little riots just to show we are free men,

Our trifling bankruptcies in the Gazette, Our cloudy climate, and our chilly women,

All these I can forgive, and those forget,
And greatly venerate our recent glories,
And wish they were not owing to the Tories.






(CANTO I, i-v)

I WANT a hero: an uncommon want,

When every year and month sends forth a new one, Till, after cloying the gazettes with cant,

The age discovers he is not the true one :
Of such as these I should not care to vaunt,

I'll therefore take our ancient friend Don Juan-
We all have seen him, in the pantomime,
Sent to the devil somewhat ere his time.

Vernon, the butcher Cumberland, Wolfe, Hawke,

Prince Ferdinand, Granby, Burgoyne, Keppel, Howe, Evil and good, have had their tithe of talk,


And fill'd their sign-posts then, like Wellesley now; Each in their turn like Banquo's monarchs stalk,

Followers of fame, ' nine farrow' of that sow: France, too, had Buonaparté and Dumourier Recorded in the Moniteur and Courier.

Barnave, Brissot, Condorcet, Mirabeau,

Pétion, Clootz, Danton, Marat, La Fayette,
Were French, and famous people, as we know ;
And there were others, scarce forgotten yet,
Joubert, Hoche, Marceau, Lannes, Desaix, Moreau,
With many of the military set,
Exceedingly remarkable at times,
But not at all adapted to my rhymes.

Nelson was once Britannia's god of war,

And still should be so, but the tide is turn'd; There's no more to be said of Trafalgar,

'Tis with our hero quietly inurn'd; Because the army's grown more popular.

At which the naval people are concern'd, Besides, the prince is all for the land-service, Forgetting Duncan, Nelson, Howe, and Jervis.



« AnteriorContinuar »