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May I govern my passions with absolute sway,
With Horace and Petrarch, and two or three more
With a pudding on Sundays, with stout humming liquor,
grow wiser and better as strength wears away,
With a courage undaunted may I face my last day;
It seems odd to modern notions, that so sensible a gentleman, who governed his passions with absolute sway, should have ever “got mellow" at all. Drunkenness, however, was considered a venial vice in those days by the few who did not consider it a positive virtae “in the evening.”
Some versions substitute for this line the following:
“With a hidden reserve of good Burgundy wine."
A parody, attributed to Dean SWIFT, on a popular song by A. Bradley, beginning
Gently strike the warbling lyre," by Geminiani,
GENTLY stir and blow the fire,
Lay the mutton down to roast;
In the dripping put a toast,
On the dresser see it lie,
Oh, the charming white and red !
On the sweetest grass it fed :
On the table spread the cloth,
Let the knives be sharp and clean :
Let them each be fresh and green:
Several attempts have been made to raise eating into the dignity, which drinking has 80 long enjoyed, of being a theme for song, but all in vain. “The Roast Beef of Old England” is the only exception, amid a mass of failures.
DIRGE IN CYMBELINE.
WILLIAM COLLINS. Set as a glee for four voices by Mrs. PARK.
To fair Fidele's
And rifle all the breathing spring.
To vex with shrieks this quiet grove;
And melting virgins own their love.
No wither'd witch shall here be seen,
No goblins lead their nightly crew; But female fays shall haunt the green,
And dress thy grave with pearly dew.
The redbreast oft at evening hours
Shall kindly lend his little aid,
To deck the ground where thou art laid.
When howling winds and beating rain
In tempests shake the sylvan cell, Or 'midst the chase upon the plain,
The tender thought on thee shall dwell.
Each lonely scene shall thee restore,
For thee the tear be duly shed; Belor'd till life can charm no more,
And mourn’d till Pity's self be dead.
ERASMUS DARWIN, born 1721, died 1802. BORN in
blaze of orient sky, Sweet May ! thy radiant form unfold, Unclose thy blue voluptuous eye
And wave thy shadowy locks of gold.
For thee the fragrant zephyrs blow,
For the descends the sunny shower, The rills in softer murmurs flow,
And brighter blossoms gem the bower,
Light Graces, drest in flowery wreaths,
And tiptoe Joys their hands combine, And Love his sweet contagion breathes,
And laughing dances round thy shrine,
Warm with new life, the glittering throngs,
On quivering fin and rustling wing, Delighted join their votive songs,
And hail thee Goddess of the Spring,
“Now Christ thee save, thou reverend friar,
I pray thee tell to me, If ever at yon holy shrine
My true-love thou didst see.”
" And how should I know
But chiefly by his face and mien,
That were so fair to view;
And eyes of lovely blue.”
“O lady, he is dead and gone!
Lady, he's dead and gone!
And at his heels a stone
Within these holy cloisters long
He languish'd, and he died
And 'plaining of her pride.
Six proper youths and tallii,
Within yon: kirk-yard wall!! “And art thou dead, thou gentle youth?
And art thou dead and gone; And didst thou die for love of me?
Break, cruel heart of stone !"
“ Weep no more, lady, weep no more,
Thy sorrow is in vain; For violets pluck’d, the sweetest shower
Will ne'er make grow again.
Our joys as winged dreams do fly,
Why then should sorrow last; Since grief but aggravates thy loss,
Grieve not for what is past."