Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

My little “Suckling" in the grave

Is sunk to swell the ravage,
And what was Crusoe's fate to save,

'Twas mine to losea“ Savage."

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

E'en “Glover's ” works I cannot put

My frozen hands upon,
Though ever since I lost my "Foote"

My“ Bunyan ” has been gone.
My “Hoyle" with “Cotton ” went oppressed,

“ My“ Taylor,” too must fail,

“Goldsmith” from arrest, In vain I offered "Bayle."

To save my

I“ Prior” sought, but could not see

The “Hood” so late in front,
And when I turned to hunt for “ Lee,

O, where was my“ Leigh Hunt"?
I tried to laugh, old Care to tickle,

Yet could not “ Tickell” touch,
And then, alack! I missed my “Mickle."

And surely mickle's much.

'Tis quite enough my griefs to feed,

My sorrows to excuse,
To think I cannot read my “Reid,"

Nor even use my “Hughes."
My classics would not quiet lien

A thing so fondly hoped ; Like Dr. Primrose, I may cry,

My “Livy" has eloped.

[ocr errors]

My life is ebbing fast away;

I suffer from these shocks;
And though I fixed a lock on “Gray,"

There's gray upon my locks.
I'm far from “Young," am growing pale,

Butler fly,
And when they asked about my ail,

'Tis “ Burton " I reply.

I see my

[ocr errors]

They still have made me slight returns,

And thus my griefs divide;
For O, they cured me of my “Burns,"

And eased my “Akenside."
But all I think I shall not say,

Nor let my anger burn,
For, as they never found me “ Gay,"
They have not left me Sterne.”

THOMAS HOOD.

[ocr errors]

THE BALLAD OF BEAU BROCADE.

SEVA

YEVENTEEN hundred and thirty-nine :

That was the date of this tale of mine.

First great George was buried and gone;
George the Second was plodding on.

Those were the days of the war with Spain Porto-Bello would soon be ta’en;

Whitfield preached to the colliers grim,
Bishops in lawn sleeves preached at him;

Walpole talked of “a man and his price;"
Nobody's virtue was over-nice :-

Those, in fine, were the brave days when Coaches were stopped by . . . Highwaymen!

And of all the knights of the gentle trade
Nobody bolder than “Beau Brocade."

This they knew on the whole way down
Best, maybe, at the “Oak and Crown.”

(For timorous cits on their pilgrimage Would“ club" for a “Guard” to ride the stage;

a

And the Guard that rode on more than one
Was the Host of the hostel's sister's son.)

Down the road on a March-day fine,
Under the oak with the hanging sign.

Straining and creaking, with wheels awry,
Lumbering came the “Plymouth Fly;"

[ocr errors]

Lumbering up from the Bagshot Heath,
Guard in the basket armed to the teeth;

Passengers heavily armed inside ;
Not the less surely the coach had been tried !

Tried !—but a couple of miles away,
By a well-dressed man in the open day!

Tried successfully, never a doubt,
Pockets of passengers all turned out!

Cloak-bags rifled, and cushions ripped,
Even an Ensign's wallet stripped !

Even a Methodist hosier's wife
Offered the choice of her money or life!

Highwayman's manners no less polite
Hoped that their coppers (returned) were right;

Sorry to find the company poor,
Hoped next time they'd travel with more;

Plucked them all at his ease, in short:
Such was the “Plymouth Fly's" report.

[ocr errors]

Sympathy! horror! and wonderment!
“ Catch the villain !" (But nobody went.)

Hosier's wife led into the bar;
(That's where the best strong waters are !)

Followed the tale of the hundred-and-one
Things that somebody ought to have done.

a

Ensign (of Bragg's) made a terrible clangor;
But for the ladies had drawn his hanger !

[ocr errors]

Robber, of course, was Beau Brocade”
Out spoke Dolly, the chambermaid.

Devonshire Dolly, plumb and red
Spoke from the gallery overhead;

Spoke it out boldly, staring hard:-. “Why didn't you shoot then, George, the Guard?"

Spoke it out bolder, seeing him mute:-
George, the Guard, why didn't you shoot ?"

Portly John grew pale and red,
(John was afraid of her, people said ;)

Gasped that “Dolly was surely cracked” (John was afraid of her—that's a fact !)

George the Guard grew red and pale,
Slowly finished his quart of ale:

“Shoot? Why-Rabbit him!-didn't he shoot ?" Muttered—“The Baggage was far too cute!!"

“Shoot? Why, he'd flashed the pan in his eye!" Muttered—"she'd pay for it by and by!"

_ Further than this made no reply.

Nor could a further reply be made
For George was in league with “Beau Brocade!”

And John the Host, in his wakefullest state,
Was not, on the whole, immaculate.

But nobody's virtue was over-nice
When Walpole talked of “a man and his price;"

« PreviousContinue »