The giant slept, and pigmies at his feet,
Like children moulding monuments of snow,
Piled stone on stone, mapped market-place and street,
And saw their temples column-girdled grow:
And, slowly as the gradual glaciers grope
Their way resistless, so Pompeii crept,
Year by long year, across the shelving slope
Toward the sea:-and still the giant slept.
Belted with gardens, where the shivered glass
Of falling fountains broke the pools' repose,
As they had been asleep upon the grass,
A myriad villas stretched themselves and rose:
And down her streets, grown long and longer still,
Grooving the new-laid stones, the chariots swept,
And of a sudden burst upon the hill
Vast amphitheatres. Still the giant slept.
With liquid comment of the wooing doves,
With wanton flowers, sun-conjured from the loam,
Grew the white city of illicit loves,
Hostess of all the infamy of Rome!
A marble harlot, scornful, pale, and proud,
Her Circean court on ruin's brink she kept,
Lulled by the adoration of the crowd
To lethal stupor. Still the giant slept.
Incense-encircled, pacing day by day
Through temple-courts reëchoant with song,
Sin-stunned and impercipient, on her way
She dragged her languid loveliness along.
With lips whereon a dear damnation hung,
With dark, dream-clouded eyes that never wept,
Flawlessly fair, the faulty fair among,
She kissed and cursed:-and still the giant slept.
Here, for a mute reminder of her shame,
Her ruins gape out baldly from their tomb;
A city naked, shorn of all but name,
Blinking and blind from all her years of gloom:
A beldam who was beauty, crying alms
With leprous lips that mouths their prayers in vain;
Her deaf destroyer to her outstretched palms
Respondeth not. The giant sleeps again!
How Beauty Contrived To Get Square With The Beast
Miss Guinevere Platt
Was so beautiful that
She couldn't remember the day
When one of her swains
Hadn't taken the pains
To send her a mammoth bouquet.
And the postman had found,
On the whole of his round,
That no one received such a lot
Of bulky epistles
As, waiting his whistles,
The beautiful Guinevere got!
A significant sign
That her charm was divine
Was seen in society, when
The chaperons sniffed
With their eyebrows alift:
'Whatever's got into the men?'
There was always a man
Who was holding her fan,
And twenty that danced in details,
And a couple of mourners,
Who brooded in corners,
And gnawed their mustaches and nails.
John Jeremy Platt
Wouldn't stay in the flat,
For his beautiful daughter he missed:
When he'd taken his tub,
He would hie to his club,
And dally with poker or whist.
At the end of a year
It was perfectly clear
That he'd never computed the cost,
For he hadn't a penny
To settle the many
Ten thousands of dollars he'd lost!
F. Ferdinand Fife
Was a student of life:
He was coarse, and excessively fat,
With a beard like a goat's,
But he held all the notes
Of ruined John Jeremy Platt!
With an adamant smile
That was brimming with guile,
He said: 'I am took with the face
Of your beautiful daughter,
And wed me she ought ter,
To save you from utter disgrace!'
Miss Guinevere Platt
Didn't hesitate at
Her duty's imperative call.
When they looked at the bride
All the chaperons cried:
'She isn't so bad, after all!'
Of the desolate men
There were something like ten
Who took up political lives,
And the flower of the flock
Went and fell off a dock,
And the rest married hideous wives!
But the beautiful wife
Of F. Ferdinand Fife
Was the wildest that ever was known:
She'd grumble and glare,
Till the man didn't dare
To say that his soul was his own.
She sneered at his ills,
And quadrupled his bills,
And spent nearly twice what he earned;
Her husband deserted,
And frivoled, and flirted,
Till Ferdinand's reason was turned.
He repented too late,
And his terrible fate
Upon him so heavily sat,
That he swore at the day
When he sat down to play
At cards with John Jeremy Platt.
He was dead in a year,
And the fair Guinevere
In society sparkled again,
While the chaperons fluttered
Their fans, as they muttered:
'She's getting exceedingly plain!'
The Moral: Predicaments often are found
That beautiful duty is apt to get round:
But greedy extortioners better beware
For dutiful beauty is apt to get square!
How A Beauty Was Waked And Her Suitor Was Suited
Albeit wholly penniless,
Prince Charming wasn't any less
Conceited than a Croesus
or a modern millionaire:
Though often in necessity,
No one would ever guess it. He
Was candidly insolvent,
and he frankly didn't care!
Of the many debts he made
Not a one was ever paid,
But no one ever pressed him
to refund the borrowed gold:
While he recklessly kept spending,
People gladly kept on lending,
For the fact they knew a title
(He lived in sixteen sixty-three,
This smooth unblushing article,
Since when, as far as I can see,
Men haven't changed a particle!)
In Charming's principality
There was a wild locality,
Composed of sombre forest,
and of steep and frowning crags,
Of pheasant and of rabbit, too;
And here it was his habit to
Go hunting with his courtiers
in the keen pursuit of stags.
But the charger that he rode
So mercurially strode
That the prince on one occasion
left the others in the lurch,
And the falling darkness found him,
With no vassals left around him,
Near a building like an abbey,
Or a shabby
His Highness said: 'I'll ring the bell
And stay till morning in it!' (He
Took Hobson's choice, for no hotel
There was in the vicinity.)
His ringing was so vehement
That any one could see he meant
To suffer no refusal, but,
in spite of all the din,
There was no answer audible,
And so, with courage laudable,
His Royal Highness turned the knob,
and stoutly entered in.
Then he strode across the court,
But he suddenly stopped short
When he passed within the castle
by a massive oaken door:
There were courtiers without number,
But they all were plunged in slumber,
The prince's ear delighting
In a snore.
The prince remarked: 'This must be Phil-
(And so was born the jest that's still
The comic journal's mania!)
With torpor reprehensible,
Numb, comatose, insensible,
The flunkeys and the chamberlains
all slumbered like the dead,
And snored so loud and mournfully,
That Charming passed them scornfully
And came to where a princess
lay asleep upon a bed.
She was so extremely fair
That His Highness didn't care
For the risk, and so he kissed her
ere a single word he spoke:-
In a jiffy maids and pages,
Ushers, lackeys, squires, and sages,
As fresh as if they'd been at least
A week awake,
And hastened, bustled, dashed and ran
Up stairways and through galleries:
In brief, they one and all began
Again to earn their salaries!
Aroused from her paralysis,
As if in deep analysis
Of him who had awakened her,
the princess met his eye:
Her glance at first was critical,
And sternly analytical.
And then she dropped her lashes
and she gave a little sigh.
As he watched her, wholly dumb,
She observed: 'You doubtless come
For one of two good reasons,
and I'm going to ask you which.
Do you mean my house to harry,
Or do you propose to marry?'
He answered: 'I may rue it,
But I'll do it,
If you're rich!
The princess murmured with a smile:
'I've millions, at the least, to come!'
The prince cried: 'Please excuse me, while
I go and get the priest to come!'
The Moral: When affairs go ill
The sleeping partner foots the bill.