Abbildungen der Seite

Well: imagine you've printed your volume of verses; Your forehead is wreathed with the garland of fame, Your poem the eloquent school-boy rehearses. Her album the school-girl presents for your name;

Each morning the post brings you autograph letters; You'll answer them promptly, — an hour isn't much For the honor of sharing a page w ith your betters, With magistrates, members of Congress, and such.

Of course you're delighted to serve the committees That come with requests from the country a round; You would grace the occasion with poems and ditties When they've got a new schoolhouse, or poorhouse or pound.

With a hymn for the saints and a song for the sinners. You go and are welcome wherever you please; You're a privileged guest at all manner of dinners, You've a seat on the platform among the grandees.

At length your mere presence becomes the sensation. Your cup of enjoyment is filled to its brim

With the pleasure Horatian of digitmonstration, As the whisper runs round of "That's he!" or " That's him!"

But remember, O dealer in phrases sonorous, So daintily chosen, so tunefully matched.

Though you soar with the wings of the cherubim o'er us, The otum was human from which you were hatched.

No will of your own with its puny compulsion Can summon the spirit that quickens the lyre; It comes, if at all, like the sibyl's convulsion And touches the brain with a finger of fire.

So perhaps, after all, it's as well to be quiet,

If you've nothing you think is worth saying in prose, As to furnish a meal of their cannibal diet

To the critics, by publishing, as you propose.

But it's all of no use, and I'm sorry

I've written, — I shall see your thin volume some

day on my shelf; For the rhyming tarantula surely has


And music must cure you, so pipe it yourself.


I'm not a chicken: I have seen
Full many a chill September,
And though I was a youngster then.

That gale I well remember; The day before my kite-string snapped. And [, my kite pursuing. The wind whisked off my palm-leaf hat, —

For me two storms were brewing!

It came as quarrels sometimes do.

When married folks get clashing; There was a heavy sigh or two.

Before the fire was flashing, — A little stir among the clouds,

Before they rent asunder, — A little rocking of the trees,

And then came on the thunder.

Lord! how the ponds and rivers boiled!

They seemed like bursting craters! And oaks lay scattered on the ground As if they were p'taters;

And all above was in a howl,
And all below a clatter, —

The earth was like R frying-pan,
Or some such hissing matter.

It chanced to be our washing-*iay,
And all our things were drying;
The storm came roaring through the

And set them all a flying;
I saw the shirts and petticoats

00 riding off like witches: I lost, ah! bitterly I wept, —

I lost my Sunday breeches!

I saw them straddling through the air,

Alas! loo late to win them;
I saw them chase the clouds, as if

The devil had been in them;
They were my darlings and my pride,

My boyhood's only riches, — "Farewell, farewell," I faintly cried:

"My Breeches' O my breeches!"

That night I saw them in my dreams, How changed from what I knew them!

The dews had steeped their faded threads,

The winds had whistled through them!

I saw the wide and ghastly rents Where demon claws had torn them;

A hole was in their simplest part,
As if an imp had worn them.

I have had many happy years,
And tailors kind and clever,
But those young pantaloons have

Forever and forever!
And not till fate has cut the last

Of all my earthly stitches, this aching heart shall cease to mourn

My loved, my long-lost breeches!

Thomas Hood.


Thou happy, happy elf! short stop; first let me kiss away that tear.)

Thou tiny image of myself! (My love, he's poking peas into his ear.)

Thou merry, laughing sprite,
With spirits, feather light,
untouched by sorrow, and unsoiled
by sin.

(My dear, the child is swallowing a pin!)

Thou little tricksy Puck:

With antic toys so funnily hestuck.

Light as the singing bird that wings

the air,— (The door! the door! he'll tumble

down the stair!) Thou darling of thy sire! (Why, Jane, he'll" set his pinafore


Thou imp of mirth and joy!

In love's dear chain so bright a link,
Thou idol of thy parents; — (Drat
the boy!
There goes my ink.)

Thou cherub, but of earth; Fit playfellow for fairies, by moonlight pale, In harmless sport and mirth, (That dog will bite him, if he pulls his tail!)

Thou human humming-bee, extracting honey From every blossom in the world that blows.

Singing in youth's Elysium ever sunny,—

(Another tumble! That's his precious


Thy father's pride and hope!

(He'll break the mirror with that

skipping-rope!) With pure heart newly stamped from

Nature's mint,
(Where did he learn that squint ?)

Thou young domestic dove! (He'll have that ring off with another shove,)

Dear nursling of the hymeneal nest! (Are these torn clothes his best ?) Little epitome of man! (He'll climb upon the table, that's his plan.)

Touched with the beauteous tints of

dawning life, (He's got a knife!) Thou enviable being! No storms, no clouds, in thy blue sky

foreseeing. Play on, play on, My elfin John! Toss the light ball, bestride the

stick, —

(I knew so many cakes would make him sick!) With fancies buoyant as the thistledown,

Prompting the feat grotesque, and

antic brisk. With many a lamb-like frisk! (He's got the scissors, snipping at

your gown!) Thou pretty opening rose! (Go to your mother, child, and wipe

your nose!) Balmy and breathing music like the


(He really brings my heart into my
mouth!) [dove;
Bold as the hawk, yet gentle as the
(I'll tell you what, my love,
I cannot write unless he's sent above.)


John Day he was the biggest man Of all the coachman kind,

With back too broad to be conceived By any narrow mind.

The very horses knew his weight

When he was in the rear. And wished his box a Christmas-box

To come but once a year.

Alas! against the shafts of love

What armor can avail?
Soon Cupid sent an arrow through

His scarlet coat of mail.

The bar-maid of the Crown he loved,

From whom he never ranged; For though he changed his horses there,

His love he never changed.

He thought her fairest of all fares,

So fondly love prefers;
And often, among twelve outsides,

Deemed no outside like hers.

One day, as she was sitting down

Beside the porter-pump, He came, and knelt with all his fat,

And made an offer plump.

Said she, "My taste will never learn

To like so huge a man.
So I must beg you will come here

As little as you can."

But still he stoutly urged his suit.

With vows, and sighs, and tears. It could not pierce her heart, although

He drove the " Dart" for years.

In vain he wooed, in vain he sued;

The maid was cold and proud, And sent him off to Coventry,

While on his way to Stroud.

He fretted all the way to Stroud,
And thence all back to town;

The course of love was never smooth,
So his went up and down.

At last her coldness made him pine To merely bones and skin,

But still he loved like one resolved To love through thick and thin.

"O Mary! view my wasted back,
And see my dwindled calf;

Though I have never had a wife,
I've lost my better half."

Alas! in vain he still assailed,
Her heart withstood the dint;

Though he had carried sixteen stone,
He could not move a flint.

Worn out, at last he made a vow
To break his being's link;

For he was so reduced in size
At nothing he could shrink.

Now some will talk in water's praise,

And waste a deal of breath, But John, though he drank nothing


He drank himself to death.

The cruel maid that caused his love,
^ Found out the fatal close.
For looking in the butt, she saw
the butt-en.I of his woes.

Some say his spirit haunts the Crown,

But that is only talk — For after riding all his life,

His ghost objects to walk.


It's very hard! — and so it is,

To live in such a row, —

And witness this, that every Miss

But me has got a beau.

For Love goes calling up and down.

But here he seems to shun;

I am sure he has been asked enough

To call at Number One!

I'm sick of all the double knocks

That come to Number Four!

At Number Three I often see

A lover at the door;

And one in blue, at Number Two.

Calls daily, like a dun.—

It's very hard they come so near,

And not to Number One!

Miss Bell. I hear, has got a dear

Exactly to her mind.—

By sitting at the window-pane

Without a hit of blind:

But I go in the balcony.

Which she has never done;

Yet arts that thrive at Number Five

Don't take at Number One.

'Tis hard, with plenty in the street.
And plenty passing by.—
There's nice young men at Number

But only rather shy:

And Mrs. Smith across the way

Has got a grown-up son.

But, la! he hardly seems to know

There is a Number One!

There's Mr. Wick at Number Nine,
But he's intent on pelf;
And though he's pious, will not love
His neighbor as himself.
At Number Seven there was a sale-
The goods had quite a run!
And here I've got my single lot
On hand at Number One

My mother often sits at work,
And talks of props and stays,
And what a comfort I shall be
In her declining days:
The very maids about the house
Have set me down a nun.
The sweethearts all belong to them
That call at Number One!

Once only, when the flue took fire,

One Friday afternoon,

Young Mr. Long caipe kindly in

And told me not to swoon:

Why can't he come again, without

The Phoenix and the Sun?

We cannot always have a flue

On fire at Number One!

I am not old: I am not plain;
Nor awkward in my gait —
I am not crooked like the bride
That went from Number Eight:
I'm sure white satin made her look
As brown as any bun —
But even beauty has no chance,
I think, at Number One!

At Number Six they say Miss Rose

Has slain a score of hearts, [ And Cupid, for her sake, has been ! Quite prodigal of darts.

The Imp they show with bended bow,

I wish he had a gun!

But if he had he'd never deign

To shoot with Number One!

It's very hard, and so it is,

To live in such a row!

And here's a ballad-singer come

To aggravate my woe:

Oh, take away your foolish song,

And tones enough to stun —

There is " Nae luck about the house,"

I know, at Number One!


Well, I confess, I did not guess

A simple marriage vow
Would make me find all women-kind

Such unkind women now!
They need not, sure, as distant be

As Java or Japan.—
Yet every Miss reminds me this —

I'm not a single man!

Once they made choice of my bass voice

To share in each duct;
So well I danced, I somehow chanced

To stand in every set:
They now declare I cannot sing.

And dance on Bruin's plan; Me draw! — me paint! — me anything!—

I'm not a single man!

Once I was asked advice, and tasked

What works to buy or not, And " would I read that passage out

I so admired in Scott? They then could bear to hear one read;

But if I now began. How they would snub, "My pretty page,"—

I'm not a single man!

One used to stitch a collar then,

Another hemmed a frill;
I had more purses netted then

Than I could hope to fill.
I once could get a button on,

But now I never can —
My buttons then were Bachelor's —

I'm not a single man!

Oh, how they hated politics

Thrust on me by papa:
But now my chat — they all leave that

To entertain mamma:
Mamma, who praises her own self,

Instead of Jane or Ann,
And lays " her girls" upon the shelf—

I'm not a single man!

Ah me, how strange it is, the change,

In parlor and in hall.
They treat me so, if I but go

To make a morning call.

If they had hair in papers once,
Bolt up the stairs they ran;

They now sit still in dishabille —
I'm not a single man!

Miss Mary Bond was once so fond

Of Uomans and of Greeks; She daily sought my cabinet

To study my antiques.
Well, now she doesn't care a dump

For ancient pot or pan.
Her taste at once is modernized —

I'm not a single man!

My spouse is fond of homely life,

And all that sort of thing;
I go to balls without my wife,

And never wear a ring:
And yet each Miss to w hom I come.

As strange as Genghis Khan, Knows by some sign I can't divine —

I'm not a single man!

Go where I will, I but intrude,

I'm left in crowded rooms, Like Zimmerman on Solitude,

Or Hervey at his Tombs. From head to heel they make me feel

Of quite another clan; Compelled to own, though left alone,

I'm not a single man!

Miss Towne the toast, though she can boast

A nose of Roman line.
Will turn up even that in scorn

At compliments of mine:
She should have seen that I have been

Her sex's partisan.
And really married all I could —

I'm not a single man!

'Tis hard to see how others fare.

Whilst I rejected stand.—
Will no one take my arm because

They cannot have my hand? Miss Parry, that for some would go

A trip to Hindostan, With me don't care to mount a stair—

I'm not a single man!

Some change, of course, should be in force.

But, surely, not so much—

« ZurückWeiter »