Page images
PDF
EPUB

At school I knew him - a sharp-witted youth, Grave, thoughtful, and reserved amongst his

mates, Turning the hours of sport and food to labor, Starving his body to inform his mind.

Old Play.

NAY, hear me, brother - I am elder, wiser,
And holier than thou; and age and wisdom
And holiness have peremptory claims,
And will be listened to.

Old Play.

Now on my faith this gear is all entangled, Like to the yarn-clew of the drowsy knitter, Dragged by the frolic kitten through the cabin While the good dame sits nodding o'er the fireMasters, attend; 't will crave some skill to clear it.

Old Play.

It is not texts will do it - Church artillery
Are silenced soon by real ordnance,
And canons are but vain opposed to cannon.
Go, coin your crosier, melt your church plate

down, Bid the starved soldier banquet in your halls, And quaff your long-saved hogsheads. - Turn

them out Thus primed with your good cheer, to guard

your wall, And they will venture for 't.

Old Play.

Not the wild billow, when it breaks its bar

rier Not the wild wind, escaping from its cavern Not the wild fiend, that mingles both together And pours their rage upon the ripening harvest, Can match the wild freaks of this mirthful

meeting Comic, yet fearful — droll, and yet destructive.

The Conspiracy. YOUTH! thou wear'st to manhood now; Darker lip and darker brow, Statelier step, more pensive mien, In thy face and gait are seen: Thou must now brook midnight watches, Take thy food and sport by snatches ! For the gambol and the jest Thou wert wont to love the best, Graver follies must thou follow, But as senseless, false, and hollow.

Life, a Poem. It is and is not 'tis the thing I sought for, Have kneeled for, prayed for, risked my fame

and life for, And yet it is not - no more than the shadow Upon the hard, cold, flat, and polished mirror, Is the warm, graceful, rounded, living substance Which it presents in form and lineament.

Old Play.

From The Abbot

In the wild storm The seaman hews his mast down, and the mer

chant Heaves to the billows wares he once deemed

precious: So prince and peer, mid popular contentions, Cast off their favorites.

Old Play.

Thou hast each secret of the household, Francis. I dare be sworn thou hast been in the but

tery, Steeping thy curious humor in fat ale, And in the butler's tattle — ay, or chatting With the glib waiting-woman o'er her comfits These bear the key to each domestic mystery.

Give me a morsel on the greensward rather, Coarse as you will the cooking - let the fresh

spring Bubble beside my napkin - and the free birds, Twittering and chirping, hop from bough to

bough, To claim the crumbs I leave for perquisites – Your prison-feasts I like not.

The Woodman, a Drama.

T is a weary life this — Vaults overhead, and grates and bars around

me, And my sad hours spent with as sad compan

ions, Whose thoughts are brooding o'er their own

mischances, Far, far too deeply to take part in mine.

The Woodman.

Old Play.

THE sacred tapers' lights are gone,
Gray moss has clad the altar stone,
The holy image is o’erthrown,

The bell has ceased to toll.
The long ribbed aisles are burst and shrunk,
The holy shrines to ruin sunk,
Departed is the pious monk,
God's blessing on his soul!

Rediviva,

LIFE hath its May, and all is mirthful then: The woods are vocal and the flowers all odor; Its very blast has mirth in't, and the maidens, The while they don their cloaks to skreen their

kirtles, Laugh at the rain that wets them.

Old Play.

AND when Love's torch hath set the heart in

flame, Comes Seignior Reason, with his saws and cau

tions, Giving such aid as the old gray-beard Sexton, Who from the church-vault drags his crazy

engine, To ply its dribbling ineffectual streamlet Against a conflagration.

Old Play.

with age,

Knows all their secret shoals and fatal eddies; Whose frown abases and whose smile exalts. He shines like any rainbow and, perchance, His colors are as transient.

Old Play. This is rare news thou tell'st me, my good fel

low; There are two bulls fierce battling on the green For one fair heifer -- if the one goes down, The dale will be more peaceful, and the herd, Which have small interest in their brulziement, May pasture there in peace.

Old Play.

Yes, it is she whose eyes looked on thy child

hood, And watched with trembling hope thy dawn of

youth, That now, with these same eyeballs, dimmed And dimmer yet with tears, sees thy

dishonor.

Old Play. In some breasts passion lies concealed and silent, Like war's swart powder in a castle vault, Until occasion, like the linstock, lights it; Then come at once the lightning and the thun

der, And distant echoes tell that all is rent asunder.

Old Play. DEATH distant ? — No, alas ! he's ever with us, And shakes the dart at us in all our actings : He lurks within our cup while we 're in health: Sits by our sick-bed, mocks our medicines ; We cannot walk, or sit, or ride, or travel, But Death is by seize us when he lists.

The Spanish Father. Ay, Pedro, - come you here with mask and

lantern, Ladder of ropes, and other moonshine tools Why, youngster, thou mayst cheat the old

Duenna, Flatter the waiting-woman, bribe the valet; But know, that I her father play the Gryphon, Tameless and sleepless, proof to fraud or bribe, And guard the hidden treasure of her beauty.

The Spanish Father. It is a time of danger, not of revel, When churchmen turn to masquers.,

The Spanish Father.

WELL, then, our course is chosen ; spread the

sail, Heave oft the lead and mark the soundings well; Look to the helm, good master; many a shoal Marks this stern coast, and rocks where sits the

siren Who, like ambition, lures men to their ruin.

The Shipwreck. Now God be good to me in this wild pilgrimage! All hope in human aid I cast behind me. O, who would be a woman ? who that fool, A weeping, pining, faithful, loving woman? She hath hard measure still where she hopes

kindest, And all her bounties only make ingrates.

Love's Pilgrimage. HARK! the bells summon and the bugle calls, But she the fairest answers not; the tide Of nobles and of ladies throngs the halls, But she the loveliest must in secret hide. What eyes were thine, proud prince, which in

the gleam Of yon gay meteors lost that better sense That o'er the glow-worm doth the star esteem, And merit's modest blush o'er courtly insolence ?

The Glass Slipper. WHAT, man, ne'er lack a draught when the full Stands at thine elbow and craves emptying! Nay, fear not me, for I have no delight To watch men's vices, since I have myself Of virtue naught to boast of, -I'm a striker, Would have the world strike with me, pellmell, all.

Pandemonium.

Ay, sir our ancient crown, in these wild times, Oft stood upon a cast - the gamester's ducat, So often staked and lost and then regained, Scarce knew so many hazards.

The Spanish Father.

can

[blocks in formation]

Now fare thee well, my master! if true service Be guerdoned with hard looks, e'en cut the

tow-line, And let our barks across the pathless flood Hold different courses.

Shipwreck. Now bid the steeple rock - she comes, she

comes ! Speak for us, bells ! speak for us, shrill-tongued

tuckets,

This is he Who rides on the court-gale ; controls its tides ;

Stand to the lipstock, gunner; let thy cannon
Play such a peal as if a Paynim foe
Came stretched in turbaned ranks to storm the

raniparts. We will have pageants too; but that craves wit, And I'm a rough-hewn soldier.

The Virgin-Queen, a Tragi-Comedy. THE wisest sovereigns err like private men, And royal hand has sometimes laid the sword Of chivalry upon a worthless shoulder, Which better had been branded by the hangWhat then? Kings do their best, - and they Must answer for the intent, and not the event.

Old Play.

WE'LL keep our customs - what is law it

self But old established custom? What religionI mean, with one half of the men that use it Save the good use and wont that carries them To worship how and where their fathers wor

shipped ? All things resolve in custom we'll keep ours.

Old Play.

man.

and we

HERE stands the victim there the proud be

trayer, E'en as the hind pulled down by strangling dogs Lies at the hunter's feet, who courteous proffers To some high dame, the Dian of the chase, To whom he looks for guerdon, his sharp blade To gash the sobbing throat.

The Woodman.

I do love these ancient ruins ! We never tread upon them but we set Our foot upon some reverend history, And questionless, here in this open court Which now lies naked to the injuries Of stormy weather - some men lie interred, Loved the Church so well and gave so largely

to it, They thought it should have canopied their

bones Till doomsday ;- but all things have their

end Churches and cities, which have diseases like

to men, Must have like death which we have.

Duchess of Malfy.

High o'er the eastern steep the sun is beaming, And darkness flies with her deceitful shadows; So truth prevails o'er falsehood.

Old Play.

From The Pirate

'Tis not alone the scene - the man, Anselmo. The man finds sympathies in these wild wastes And roughly tumbling seas, which fairer views And smoother waves deny him.

Ancient Drama.

SEE yonder woman, whom our swains revere And dread in secret, while they take her coun

sel When sweetheart shall be kind, or when cross

dame shall die; Where lurks the thief who stole the silver

tankard, And how the pestilent murrain may be cured; This sage adviser 's mad, stark mad, my friend; Yet in her madness hath the art and cunning To wring fools' secrets from their inmost

bosoms, And pay inquirers with the coin they gave her.

old Play. WHAT ho, my jovial mates ! come on! we'll

frolic it Like fairies frisking in the merry mo

moonshine, Seen by the curtal friar, who, from some chris

tening Or some blithe bridal, hies belated cell-ward He starts, and changes his

bold bottle swagger To churchman's pace professional, — and, ran

sacking His treacherous memory for some holy hymn, Finds but the roundel of the midnight catch.

Old Play.

SHE does no work by halves, yon raving ocean; Engulfing those she strangles, her wild womb Affords the mariners whom she hath dealt on Their death at once and sepulchre.

Old Play.

This is a gentle trader and a prudent-
He's no Autolycus, to blear your eye
With quips of worldly gauds and gamesome-

ness,
But seasons all his glittering merchandise
With wholesome doctrine suited to the use,
As men sauce goose with sage and rosemary.

Old Play.

- Even so,

ALL your ancient customs And long-descended usages I'll change. Ye shall not eat, nor drink, nor speak, nor move, Think, look, or walk, as ye were wont to do; Even your marriage-beds shall know mutation; The bride shall have the stock, the groom the

wall; For all old practice will I turn and change, And call it reformation marry,

will I! 'Tis Even that we're at Odds.

I STRIVE like to the vessel in the tide-way, Which, lacking favoring breeze, hath not the

power To stem the powerful current. Resolving daily to forsake my vices, Habit, strong circumstance, renewed tempta

tion, Sweep me to sea again. -O heavenly breath, Fill thou my sails, and aid the feeble vessel, Which ne'er can reach the blessed port without thee!

'Tis Odds when Evens meet.

Prattling fools and wise men listening,
Bullies among brave men justling,
Beggars amongst nobles bustling;
Low-breathed talkers, minion lispers,
Cutting honest throats by whispers ;
Wherefore come ye not to court ?
Skelton swears 't is glorious sport.

Skelton Skeltonizeth.

PARENTAL love, my friend, has power o'er

wisdom, And is the charm, which like the falconer's

lure, Can bring from heaven the highest soaring

spirits. So, when famed Prosper doffed his magic

robe It was Miranda plucked it from his shoulders.

Old Play. HARK to the insult loud, the bitter sneer,. The fierce threat answering to the brutal jeer; Oaths fly like pistol-shots, and vengeful words Clash with each other like conflicting swords. The robber's quarrel by such sounds is shown, And true men have some chance to gain their

Captivity, a Poem. OVER the mountains and under the waves, Over the fountains and under the graves,

Over floods that are deepest,

Which Neptune obey,
Over rocks that are steepest,
Love will find out the way.

Old Song.

0, I do know him - 't is the mouldy lemon Which our court wits will wet their lips withal, When they would sauce their honied conversa

tion With somewhat sharper flavor. — Marry, sir, That virtue 's welluigh left him - all the juice That was so sharp and poignant is squeezed

out; While the poor rind, although as sour as ever, Must season soon the draff we give our grunters, For two-legged things are weary on't.

The Chamberlain, a Comedy.

Own

THINGS needful we have thought on; but the

thing Of all most needful — that which Scripture

terms, As if alone it merited regard, The ONE thing needful that's yet unconsid. ered.

The Chamberlain.

From The Fortunes of Nigel Now Scot and English are agreed, And Saunders hastes to cross the Tweed, Where, such the splendors that attend him, His very mother scarce had kenned him. His metamorphosis behold From Glasgow frieze to cloth of gold; His back-sword with the iron-hilt, To rapier fairly hatched and gilt; Was ever seen a gallant braver ! His very bonnet 's grown a beaver.

The Reformation.

This, sir, is one among the Seigniory,
Has wealth at will, and will to use his wealth,
And wit to increase it. Marry, his worst folly
Lies in a thriftless sort of charity,
That goes a-gadding sometimes after objects
Which wise men will not see when thrust upon
them.

The Old Couple. Ay, sir, the clouted shoe hath ofttimes craft

in 't, As says the rustic proverb; and your citizen, In 's grogram suit, gold chain, and well-blacked

shoes, Bears under his flat cap ofttimes a brain Wiser than burns beneath the cap and feather, Or seethes within the statesman's velvet nightсар. .

Read me my Riddle.

AH! mark the matron well — and laugh not,

Harry, At her old steeple-hat and velvet guard I've called her like the ear of Dionysius; I mean that ear-formed vault, built o'er the

dungeon To catch the groans and discontented murmurs Of his poor bondsmen. — Even so doth Martha Drink up for her own purpose all that passes, Or is supposed to pass, in this wide city She can retail it too, if that her profit Shall call on her to do so; and retail it For your advantage, so that you can make Your profit jump with hers,

The Conspiracy. Bid not thy fortune troll upon the wheels Of yonder dancing cups of mottled bone; And drown it not, like Egypt's royal harlot, Dissolving her rich pearl in the brimmed wine

cup. These are the arts, Lothario, which shrink acres Into brief yards — bring sterling pounds to

farthings,
Credit to infamy: and the poor gull,
Who might have lived an honored, easy life,
To ruin and an unregarded grave.

The Changes. This is the very barn-yard Where muster daily the prime cocks o' the

game, Ruffle their pinions, crow till they are hoarse, And spar about a barleycorn. Here, toa

chickens, The callow unfledged brood of forward folly,

WHEREFORE come ye not to couirt ?
Certain 't is the rarest sport;.
There are silks and jewels glistening,

Learn first to rear the crest, and aim the spur, And tune their note like full-plumed Chanticleer,

The Bear Garden.

[blocks in formation]

Let the proud salmon gorge the feathered hook, Then strike, and then you have him. — He will

wince ; Spin out your line that it shall whistle from you Some twenty yards or so, yet you shall have

him Marry ! you must have patience — the stout rock Which is his trust hath edges something sharp.; And the deep pool hath ooze and sludge enough To mar your fishing — 'less you are more careful.

Albion, or the Double Kings. give way -I must and will have justice, And tell me not of privilege and place; Where I am injured, there I 'll sue redress. Look to it, every one who bars my access ; I have a heart to feel the injury, A hand to right myself, and, by my honor, That hand shall grasp what gray-beard Law denies me.

The Chamberlain.

[ocr errors]

Rove not from pole to pole — the man lives

here
Whose razor's only equalled by his beer;
And where, in either sense, the cockney-put
May if he pleases, get confounded cut.

On the Sign of an Alehouse kept by a Barber. CHANCE will not do the work — Chance sends

the breeze; But if the pilot slumber at the helm, The very wind that wafts us towards the port May dash us on the shelves. — The steersman's

part is vigilance, Blow it or rough or smooth.

Old Play. This is the time - Heaven's maiden-sentinel Hath quitted her high watch — the lesser

spangles
Are paling one by one ; give me the ladder
And the short lever – bid Anthony
Keep with his carabine the wicket-gate;
And do thou bare thy knife and follow me,
For we will in and do it - darkness like this
Is dawning of our fortunes.

Old Play. DEATH finds us mid our playthings — snatches

us, As a cross nurse might do a wayward child, From all our toys and baubles. His rough call Unlooses all our favorite ties on earth; And well if they are such as may be answered In yonder world, where all is judged of truly.

Old Play.

COME hither, young one - Mark me! Thou art

now 'Mongst men o' the sword, that live by reputa

tion More than by constant income - Single-suited They are, I grant you; yet each single suit Maintains, on the rough guess, a thousand fol

lowers And they be men who, hazarding their all, Needful apparel, necessary income, And human body, and immortal soul, Do in the very deed but hazard nothing So strictly is that ALL bound in reversion; Clothes to the broker, income to the usurer, And body to disease, and soul to the foul fiend; Who laughs to see Soldadoes and fooladoes Play better than himself his game on earth.

The Mohocks.

GIVE us good voyage, gentle stream - we stun

not Thy sober ear with sounds of revelry, Wake not the slumbering echoes of thy banks With voice of flute and horn - we do but seek On the broad pathway of thy swelling bosom To glide in silent safety.

The Double Bridal.

gers —

Mother. What! dazzled by a flash of Cupid's

mirror, With which the boy, as mortal urchins wont, Flings back the sunbeam in the eye of passenThen laughs to see them stumble ! Daughter.

Mother! no — It was a lightning-flash which dazzled me, And never shall these eyes see true again.

Beef and Pudding, an Old English Comedy. By this good light, a wench of matchless mettle ! This were a leaguer-lass to love a soldier, To bind his wounds, and kiss his bloody brow, And sing a roundel as she helped to arm him, Though the rough foeman's drums were beat

so nigh They seemed to bear the burden.

Old Play.

This way lie safety and a sure retreat;
Yonder lie danger, shame, and punishment.
Most welcome danger then — nay, let me say,
Though spoke with swelling heart welcome

e'en shame ;
And welcome punishment – for, call me guilty,
I do but pay the tax that's due to justice ;
And call me guiltless, then that punishment
Is shame to those alone who do inflict it.

The Tribunal. How fares the man on whom good men would

look With eyes where scorn and censure combated,

« PreviousContinue »