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For his commercial customers. God Bacchus
Hath not a thirstier votary. Many a pipe
Of Porto's vintage hath contributed
To give his cheeks that deep carmine engrained;
And many a runlet of right Santes, I ween,
Hath suffered percolation through that trunk,
Leaving behind it in the boozy eyes :
A swoln and red suffusion, glazed and dim.
Our next is in the evangelical line,—
A leaden-visaged specimen, -denure,
Because he hath put on his Sunday's face;
Dull by formation, by complexion sad,
By bile, opinions, and dyspepsy sour.
One of the sons of Jack,--I know not which,
For Jack hath a most numerous progeny,
Made up for Mr Colburn's magazine
This pleasant composite. A bust supplied
The features; look, expression, character,
Are of the artist's fancy, and free grace.
Such was that fellow's birth and parentage!
The rascal proved prolific one of his breed
By Docteur Pichot introduced in France,
Passes for Monsieur Sooté, and another,
An uglier miscreant too, the brothers Schumann,
And their most cruel copper-scratcher, Zschoch,
From Zwickau sent abroad through Germany.
I wish the Schumenn and the copper-scratcher
No worse misfortune for their recompense
Than to fall in with such a cut-throat face
In the Black Forest, or the Odenwald.
The Bust, which was the innocent grandfather,
I blame not, Allan. T was the work of Smith–
A modest, mild, ingenious man; and errs,
Where erring, only because over true,
Too close a likeness for similitude;
Fixing to every part and lineament
Its separate character, and missing thus
That which results from all.
Sir Smug comes next;
Allan, I own Sir Smug! I recognise
That visage with its dull sobriety:
I see it duly as the day returns,
When at the looking-glass, with lathered chin
And razor-weaponed hand, I sit, the face
Composed, and apprehensively intent
Upon the necessary operation
About to be performed, with touch, alas,
Not always confident of hair-breadth skill.
Even in such sober sadness and constrained
Composure cold, the faithful painter's eye
Had sixed me like a spell, and I could feel
My features stiffen as he glanced upon them.
And yet he was a man whom I loved dearly,
My fellow traveller, my familiar friend,
My household guest. But when he looked upon me,
Anxious to exercise his excellent art,
The countenance he knew so thoroughly
Was gone, and in its stead there sate—Sir Smug.
Under the graver's hand, Sir Smug became
Sir Smouch,-a son of Abraham. Now albeit
I would far rather trace my lineage thence
Than with the proudest line of peers or kings
Clain consanguinity, that cast of features
Would ill accord with me, who in all forms
Of pork,+baked, roasted, toasted, boiled or broiled,
Fresh, salted, pickled, seasoned, moist, or dry,
Whether ham, bacon, sausage, souse, or brawn,
Leg, blade-bone, bald-rib, griskin, chine, or chop,
Profess myself a genuine philopig.
It was, however, as a Jew whose portion
Had fallen unto him in a goodly land
Of loans, of omnium, and of three per cents, :
That Messrs. Percy, of the Anecdote-firm,
Presented me unto their customers. o
Poor Smouch endured a worse judaization
Under another hand: in this next stage
He is on trial at the Old tailey, charged
With dealing in base coin. That he is guilty,
No judge or jury could have half a doubt,
When they saw the culprit's face; and he himself,
As you may plainly see, is comforted
By thinking he has just contrived to keep
Out of rope's reach, and will come off this time
Stand thou forth for trial
Now William Darton, of the society
Of friends called Quakers; thou who in the fourthumonth
Of the year twenty-four, on Holborn Hill,
At No 58, didst wilfully,
Falsely, and knowing it was falsely done,
Publish upon a card, as Robert Soutley's,
A face which might be just as like Tom Fool's,
Or John, or Richard. Any body else's!
What had I done to thee, thou William Darton,
That thou shouldst for the lucre of base gain,
Yea, for the sake of filthy fourpences,
Palm on my countrymen that face for mine?
O William Darton, let the yearly meeting
Deal with thee for that falseness!—All the rest
Are traceable: Smug's Hebrew family:
The German who night properly adorn
A gibbet or a wheel, and Monsieur Sooté,
Sons of Fitzbust the evangelical;
I recognise all these unlikenesses,
Spurious abominations though they be,
Each filiated on some original,
But thou, Friend Darton, and observe me, man, -
Only in courtesy and quasi Quaker,
I call thee Friend!—hasist no original,
No likeness, or unlikeness, silhouette,
Outline, or plaister, representing me,
Whereon to form this misrepresentation :
If I guess rightly at the pedigree
Of thy bad groat's-worth, thou didst get a barber i
To personate my injured Laureateship:
An advertising barber, one who keeps
A bear, and when he puts to death poor Bruin,
Sells his trease fresh as from the carcase cut,
Pro bono publico, the price per pound
Twelve shillings and no more. From such a barber,
O Unfriend Darton' was that portrait made,
I think, or peradventure, from his block.
Next comes a minion, worthy to be set
In a wooden fraine; and here I might invoke
Avenging Nemesis, if I did not feel
Just now, God Cynthius pluck me by the ear.
But, Allan, in what shape God Cynthius connes,
And wherefore he admonishell me thus,
Thou and I will not tell the world; hereafter
The commentators, my Malones and Reeds,
Through wilds impervious else, an easy path,
Along the shore of rivers and of lakes,
In line continuous, whence the waters flow
Dividing, east and west. Thus had they held
For untold centuries their perpetual course
Unprofited, till in the Georgian age
This mighty work was plann'd, which should unite
The lakes, control the innavigable streams,
And through the bowels of the land deduce
A way, where vessels which must else have braved
The formidable cape, and have essay'd
The perils of the Ilyperborean sea,
Might from the Baltic to the Atlantic deep
Pass and repass at will. So when the storm
Careers abroad, may they securely here,
Through birchen groves, green fields, and pastoral hills,
Pursue their voyage home. Humanity
May boast this proud expenditure, begun
By Britain in a time of arduous war;
Through all the efforts and emergencies
Of that long strife continued; and achieved
After her triumph, even at the time
When national burdens bearing on the State
Were felt with heaviest pressure. Such expense
Is best economy. In growing wealth,
Comfort, and spreading industry, behold
The fruits immediate! And in days to come,
| Fitly shall this great British work be named
With whatsoe'er of most magnificence For public use, Rome in her plenitude Of power effected, or all-glorious Greece, Or Egypt, mother-land of all the arts.
2. At Font AUGUSTUS. Thou who hast reach'd this level, where the glede, Wheeling between the mountains in mid-air, Eastward or westward as his gyre inclines, Descries the German or the Atlantic Sea, Pause here; and as thou seest the ship pursue Her easy way serene, call thou to mind By what exertions of victorious art The way was opened. Fourteen times upheaved, The vessel hath ascended since she changed The salt sea-water for the Highland lymph : As oft, in imperceptible descent Must, step by step, be lower'd, before she woo The ocean breeze again. Thou hast beheld
What basins most capacious of their kind
Enclose her, while the obedient element
Lifts or depones its burthen. Thou hast seen
The torrent, hurrying from its native hills,
Pass underneath the broad canal inhumed,
Then issue harmless thence; the rivulet,
Admitted by its intake peaceably,
Forthwith by gentle overfall discharged;
And haply too thou hast observed the herds
Frequent their vaulted path, unconscious they
That the wide waters on the long low arch
Above them, lie sustain'd. What other works
Science, audacious in emprize, hath wrought,
Meet not the eye, but well may fill the mind.
Not from the bowels of the land alone,
From lake and stream hath their diluvial wreck
Been scoop'd to form this navigable way;
IIuge rivers were controll'd, or from their course
Shoulder'd aside; and, at the eastern mouth,
Where the salt ooze denied a resting-place,
There were the deep foundations laid, by weight
On weight immersed, and pile on pile down-driven,
Till stedfast as the everlasting rocks
The massive outwork stands. Contemplate now
What days and nights of thought, what years of toil,
What inexhaustive springs of public wealth
The vast design required; the immediate good,
The future benefit progressive still,
And thou wilt pay thy tribute of due praise
To those whose counsels, whose decrees, whose care
For after ages, formed the generous work.
3. At ban Avir. Where these capacious basins, by the laws Of the subjacent element receive The ship, descending or upraised, eight times, From stage to stage with unfelt agency Translated, fitliest may the marble here Record the architect's immortal name. Telford it was by whose presiding mind The whole great work was plann'd and perfected; Telford, who o'er the vale of Cambrian Dee, Aloft in air, at giddy height upborne, Carried his navigable road, and hung IIigh o'er Menai's straits the bending bridge; Structures of more ambitious enterprise Than Minstrels in the age of old romance To their own Merlin's magic lore ascribed. Nor hath he for his native land performed Less, in this proud design; and where his piers Around her coast from many a fisher's creek, Unsheltered else, and many an ample port, Repel the assailing storm; and where his roads In beautiful and sinuous line far seen, Wind with the vale, and win the long ascent, Now o'er the deep morass sustained, and now Across ravine, or glen, or estuary, Opening a passage through the wilds subdued.
IMITATION FROM THE PERSIAN.
Lord! who art merciful as well as just,
Incline thine ear to me, a child of dust!
Not what I would, O Lord! I offer thee, Alas! but what I can.
Father Almighty, who hast made me man,
And bade me look to heaven, for thou art there,
Accept my sacrifice and humble prayer.
Four things which are not in thy treasury,
I lay before thee, Lord, with this petition :-
My nothingness, my wants,
My sins, and my contrition!
-written upon the DEAth of the PRINCEss ce A R Lot TE.
T is not the public loss which hath imprest
This general grief upon the multitude,
And made its way at once to every breast,
The young, the old, the gentle, and the rude;
'T is not that in the hour which might have crown'd
The prayers preferr'd by every honest tongue;
The very hour which should have sent around
Tidings wherewith all steeples would have rung,
And all our cities blazed with festal fire,
And all our echoing streets have peal’d with gladness;
That then we saw the high-raised hope expire,
And England's expectation quench'd in sadness.
It is to think of what thou wert so late,
O thou who now liest cold upon thy bier!
So young, and so beloved so richly blest
Beyond the common lot of royalty;
The object of thy worthy choice possest;
And in thy prime, and in thy wedded bliss,
And in the genial bed,—the cradle drest,
Hope standing by, and Jo", a bidden guest!
'T is this that from the heart of private life
Makes unsophisticated sorrow flow:
We mourn thee as a daughter and a wife,
And in our human nature feel the blow.
Time and the world, whose magnitude and weight
Bear on us in this now, and hold us here
To earth inthralled, what are they in the past?
And in the prospect of the immortal soul
How poor a speck! Not here her resting-place;
Her portion is not here; and happiest they
Who, gathering early all that earth can give,
Shake off its mortal coil, and speed for Heaven.
Such fate had he whose relics here repose.
Few were his days; but yet enough to teach
Love, duty, generous feelings, high desires,
Faith, hope, devotion: and what more could length
of days have brought him! What but vanity?
Joys, frailer even than health or human life;
Temptation; sin and sorrow, both too sure;
Evils that wound, and cares that fret, the heart!
Repine not, therefore, ye who love the dead.
Could I look forward to a distant day
With hope of building some elaborate lay,
Then would I wait till worthier strains of mine
Might bear inscribed thy name, O Caroline!
For I would, while my voice is heard on earth,
Bear witness to thy genius and thy worth.
But we have both been taught to feel with fear
How frail the tenure of existence here,
What unforeseen calamities prevent,
Alas, how oft! the best resolved intent;
And therefore this poor volume I address
To thee, dear friend, and sister Poetess.
ROBERT SOUTHEY. Keswick, 21 Feb. 1829.
The story of the following Poem is taken from a Life of St Basil, ascribed to his contenporary St Amphilochius, Bishop of Iconium; a Latin version of which, made by Cardinal Ursus in the ninth century, is inserted by Rosweyde, among the Lives of the Fathers, in his compilation Historiae Eremitica. The original had not then
been printed, but Rosweyde obtained a copy of it from the Royal Library at Paris. He intimates no suspicion concerning the authenticity of the life, or the truth of this particular legend; observing only, that hoc narratio apud solunt invenitur Amphilochium. It is, indeed, the flower of the work, and as such had been culled by some earlier translator than Ursus. The very learned Dominican, P. Francois Combosis, published the original with a version of his own, and endeavoured to establish its authenticity in opposition to Baronius, who supposed the life to have been written by some other Amphilochius, not by the Bishop of Icenium. Had Combesis possessed powers of mind equal to his erudition, he might even then have been in some degree prejudiced upon this subject, for, according to Baillet, it avoit un attachement tout particulier pear St Basile. His version is inserted in the Acta Sanctorum (Jun. t. ii. pp. 937–957). But the Bollands Baert brands the life there as apocryphal; and in his annotations treats Combesis more rudely, it may be suspected, than he would have done, had he not belonged to a rival and hostile order. Should the reader be desirous of comparing the Poem with the Legend, he may find the story, as transcribed from Rosweyde, among the Notes.