Edwin And Angela, A Ballad

'Turn, gentle hermit of the dale,
And guide my lonely way,
To where yon taper cheers the vale
With hospitable ray.

'For here, forlorn and lost I tread,
With fainting steps and slow;
Where wilds immeasurably spread,
Seem length'ning as I go.'

'Forbear, my son,' the hermit cries,
'To tempt the dangerous gloom;
For yonder faithless phantom flies
To lure thee to thy doom.

'Here to the houseless child of want
My door is open still;
And though my portion is but scant,
I give it with good will.

'Then turn to-night, and freely share
Whate'er my cell bestows;
My rushy couch, and frugal fare,
My blessing and repose.

'No flocks that range the valley free
To slaughter I condemn:
Taught by that power that pities me,
I learn to pity them.

'But from the mountain's grassy side
A guiltless feast I bring;
A scrip with herbs and fruits supplied,
And water from the spring.

'Then, pilgrim, turn, thy cares forgo;
All earth-born cares are wrong:
Man wants but little here below,
Nor wants that little long.'

Soft as the dew from heav'n descends,
His gentle accents fell:
The modest stranger lowly bends,
And follows to the cell.

Far in a wilderness obscure
The lonely mansion lay;
A refuge to the neighbouring poor
And strangers led astray.

No stores beneath its humble thatch
Requir'd a master's care;
The wicket, opening with a latch,
Receiv'd the harmless pair.

And now, when busy crowds retire
To take their evening rest,
The hermit trimm'd his little fire,
And cheer'd his pensive guest:

And spread his vegetable store,
And gaily press'd, and smil'd;
And, skill'd in legendary lore,
The lingering hours beguil'd.

Around in sympathetic mirth
Its tricks the kitten tries;
The cricket chirrups in the hearth;
The crackling fag got flies.

But nothing could a charm impart
To soothe the stranger's woe;
For grief was heavy at his heart,
And tears began to flow.

His rising cares the hermit spied,
With answ'ring care oppress'd;
'And whence, unhappy youth,' he cried,
'The sorrows of thy breast?

'From better habitations spurn'd,
Reluctant dost thou rove;
Or grieve for friendship unreturn'd,
Or unregarded love?

'Alas! the joys that fortune brings
Are trifling, and decay;
And those who prize the paltry things,
More trifling still than they.

'And what is friendship but a name,
A charm that lulls to sleep;
A shade that follows wealth or fame,
But leaves the wretch to weep?

'And love is still an emptier sound,
The modern fair one's jest:
On earth unseen, or only found
To warm the turtle's nest.

'For shame, fond youth, thy sorrows hush,
And spurn the sex,' he said:
But, while he spoke, a rising blush
His love-lorn guest betray'd.

Surpris'd, he sees new beauties rise,
Swift mantling to the view;
Like colours o'er the morning skies,
As bright, as transient too.

The bashful look, the rising breast,
Alternate spread alarms:
The lovely stranger stands confess'd
A maid in all her charms.

'And, ah! forgive a stranger rude,
A wretch forlorn,' she cried;
'Whose feet unhallow'd thus intrude
Where heaven and you reside.

'But let a maid thy pity share,
Whom love has taught to stray;
Who seeks for rest, but finds despair
Companion of her way.

'My father liv'd beside the Tyne,
A wealthy lord was he;
And all his wealth was mark'd as mine,
He had but only me.

'To win me from his tender arms
Unnumber'd suitors came;
Who prais'd me for imputed charms,
And felt or feign'd a flame.

Each hour a mercenary crowd
With richest proffers strove:
Amongst the rest young Edwin bow'd,
But never talk'd of love.

'In humble, simplest habit clad,
No wealth nor power had he;
Wisdom and worth were all he had,
But these were all to me.

'And when beside me in the dale
He caroll'd lays of love;
His breath lent fragrance to the gale,
And music to the grove.

'The blossom opening to the day,
The dews of heaven refin'd,
Could nought of purity display,
To emulate his mind.

'The dew, the blossom on the tree,
With charms inconstant shine;
Their charms were his, but woe to me!
Their constancy was mine.

'For still I tried each fickle art,
Importunate and vain:
And while his passion touch'd my heart,
I triumph'd in his pain.

'Till quite dejected with my scorn,
He left me to my pride;
And sought a solitude forlorn,
In secret, where he died.

'But mine the sorrow, mine the fault,
And well my life shall pay;
I'll seek the solitude he sought,
And stretch me where he lay.

'And there forlorn, despairing, hid,
I'll lay me down and die;
'Twas so for me that Edwin did,
And so for him will I.'

'Forbid it, heaven!' the hermit cried,
And clasp'd her to his breast:
The wondering fair one turn'd to chide,
'Twas Edwin's self that prest.

'Turn, Angelina, ever dear,
My charmer, turn to see
Thy own, thy long-lost Edwin here,
Restor'd to love and thee.

'Thus let me hold thee to my heart,
And ev'ry care resign;
And shall we never, never part,
My life - my all that's mine?

'No, never from this hour to part,
We'll live and love so true;
The sigh that rends thy constant heart
Shall break thy Edwin's too.'

The Haunch Of Venison

A POETICAL EPISTLE TO LORD CLARE

THANKS, my Lord, for your venison, for finer or fatter
Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter;
The haunch was a picture for painters to study,
The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy.
Though my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help regretting
To spoil such a delicate picture by eating;
I had thoughts, in my chambers, to place it in view,
To be shown to my friends as a piece of 'virtu';
As in some Irish houses, where things are so so,
One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show:
But for eating a rasher of what they take pride in,
They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fried in.
But hold -- let me pause -- Don't I hear you pronounce
This tale of the bacon a damnable bounce?
Well, suppose it a bounce -- sure a poet may try,
By a bounce now and then, to get courage to fly.

But, my Lord, it's no bounce: I protest in my turn,
It's a truth -- and your Lordship may ask Mr. Byrne.
To go on with my tale -- as I gaz'd on the haunch,
I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch;
So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undress'd,
To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best.
Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose;
'Twas a neck and a breast -- that might rival M--r--'s:
But in parting with these I was puzzled again,
With the how, and the who, and the where, and the when.
There's H--d, and C--y, and H--rth, and H--ff,
I think they love venison -- I know they love beef;
There's my countryman H--gg--ns-- Oh! let him alone,
For making a blunder, or picking a bone.
But hang it -- to poets who seldom can eat,
Your very good mutton's a very good treat;
Such dainties to them, their health it might hurt,
It's like sending them ruffles, when wanting a shirt.
While thus I debated, in reverie centred,
An acquaintance, a friend as he call'd himself, enter'd;
An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he,
And he smil'd as he look'd at the venison and me.
'What have we got here? -- Why, this is good eating!
Your own, I suppose -- or is it in waiting?'
'Why, whose should it be?' cried I with a flounce,
'I get these things often;' -- but that was a bounce:
'Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the nation,
Are pleas'd to be kind -- but I hate ostentation.'

'If that be the case, then,' cried he, very gay,
'I'm glad I have taken this house in my way.
To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me;
No words -- I insist on't -- precisely at three:
We'll have Johnson, and Burke; all the wits will be there;
My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my Lord Clare.
And now that I think on't, as I am a sinner!
We wanted this venison to make out the dinner.
What say you -- a pasty? it shall, and it must,
And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust.
Here, porter! -- this venison with me to Mile-end;
No stirring -- I beg -- my dear friend -- my dear friend!
Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind,
And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.

Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf,
'And nobody with me at sea but myself';
Though I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty,
Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good venison pasty,
Were things that I never dislik'd in my life,
Though clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife.
So next day, in due splendour to make my approach,
I drove to his door in my own hackney coach.

When come to the place where we all were to dine,
(A chair-lumber'd closet just twelve feet by nine
My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite dumb,
With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not come;
'For I knew it,' he cried, 'both eternally fail,
The one with his speeches, and t'other with Thrale;
But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up the party
With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty.
The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew,
They're both of them merry and authors like you;
The one writes the 'Snarler', the other the 'Scourge';
Some think he writes 'Cinna' -- he own to 'Panurge'.'
While thus he describ'd them by trade, and by name,
They enter'd and dinner was serv'd as they came.

At the top a fried liver and bacon were seen,
At the bottom was tripe in a swinging tureen;
At the sides there was spinach and pudding made hot;
In the middle a place where the pasty -- was not.
Now, my Lord as for tripe, it's my utter aversion,
And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian;
So there I sat stuck, like a horse in a pound,
While the bacon and liver went merrily round.
But what vex'd me most was that d--'d Scottish rogue,
With his long-winded speeches, his smiles and his brogue;
And, 'Madam,' quoth he, 'may this bit be my poison,
A prettier dinner I never set eyes on;
Pray a slice of your liver, though may I be curs'd,
But I've eat of your tripe till I'm ready to burst.;
'The tripe,' quoth the Jew, with his chocolate cheek,
'I could dine on this tripe seven days in the week:
I like these here dinners so pretty and small;
But your friend there, the Doctor, eats nothing at all.'
'O--Oh!' quoth my friend, 'he'll come on in a trice,
He's keeping a corner for something that's nice:
There's a pasty' -- 'A pasty!' repeated the Jew,
'I don't care if I keep a corner for't too.'
'What the de'il, mon, a pasty!' re-echoed the Scot,
'Though splitting, I'll still keep a corner for thot.'
'We'll all keep a corner,' the lady cried out;
'We'll all keep a corner,' was echoed about.
While thus we resolv'd, and the pasty delay'd,
With look that quite petrified, enter'd the maid;
A visage so sad, and so pale with affright,
Wak'd Priam in drawing his curtains by night.
But we quickly found out, for who could mistake her?
That she came with some terrible news from the baker:
And so it fell out, for that negligent sloven
Had shut out the pasty on shutting his oven
Sad Philomel thus -- but let similes drop --
And now that I think on't, the story may stop.
To be plain, my good Lord, it's but labour misplac'd
To send such good verses to one of your taste;
You've got an odd something -- a kind of discerning --
A relish -- a taste -- sicken'd over by learning;
At least, it's your temper, as very well known,
That you think very slightly of all that's your own:
So, perhaps, in your habits of thinking amiss,
You may make a mistake, and think slightly of this.