Puslapio vaizdai



"A tedious brief scene of young Pyramus,
And his love Thisbe ; very tragical mirth.




I must wait !” The Doctor's room,

Where I used this expression,
Wore the severe official gloom

Attached to that profession;
Rendered severer by a bald

And skinless Gladiator,
Whose raw robustness first appalled

The entering spectator.

No one would call “ The Lancet"

gay, Few could avoid confessing That Jones, “On Muscular Decay,”

Is, as a rule, depressing :

So, leaving both, to change the scene,

I turned toward the shutter, And peered out vacantly between

A water-butt and gutter.

Below, the Doctor's garden lay,

If thus imagination
May dignify a square of clay

Unused to vegetation,
Filled with a dismal-looking swing-

That brought to mind a gallowsAn empty kennel, mouldering,

And two dyspeptic aloes.


No sparrow chirped, no daisy sprung,

About the place deserted ;
Only across the swing-board hung

A battered doll, inverted,
Which sadly seemed to disconcert

The vagrant cat that scanned it, Sniffed doubtfully around the skirt,

But failed to understand it.

A dreary spot! And yet, I own,

Half hoping that, perchance, it Might, in some unknown way, atone

For Jones and for “The Lancet,”

I watched ; and by especial grace,

. Within this stage contracted, Saw presently before my face

A classic story acted.

Ah, World of ours, are you so gray

And weary, World, of spinning,
That you repeat the tales to-day

You told at the beginning ?
For lo ! the same old myths that made

The early “stage successes,
Still “hold the boards,” and still are played,

With new effects and dresses."

Small, lonely “ three-pair-backs” behold,

To-day, Alcestis dying;
To-day, in farthest Polar cold,

Ulysses' bones are lying ;
Still in one's morning “Times one reads

How fell an Indian Hector ;
Still clubs discuss Achilles' steeds,

Briseis' next protector ;

Still Menelaus brings, we see,

His oft-remanded case on; Still somewhere sad Hypsipyle

Bewails a faithless Jason ;


And here, the Doctor's sill beside,

Do I not now discover
A Thisbe, whom the walls divide

From Pyramus, her lover ?

Act I. began. Some noise had scared

The cat, that like an arrow
Shot up the wall and disappeared ;

And then, across the narrow,
Unweeded path, a small dark thing,

Hid by a garden-bonnet,
Passed wearily towards the swing,

Paused, turned, and climbed upon it.

A child of five, with eyes that were

At least a decade older,
A mournful mouth, and tangled hair

Flung careless round her shoulder,
Dressed in a stiff ill-fitting frock,

Whose black, uncomely rigour Seemed to sardonically mock

The plaintive, slender figure.


What was it? Something in the dress

That told the girl unmothered ;

Or was it that the merciless

Black garb of mourning smothered
Life and all light:—but rocking so,

In the dull garden-corner,
The lonely swinger seemed to grow

More piteous and forlorner.

Then, as I looked, across the wall

Of “next-door's” garden, that is-
To speak correctly—through its tall

Surmounting fence of lattice,
Peeped a boy's face, with curling hair,

Ripe lips, half drawn asunder,
And round, bright eyes, that wore a stare

Of frankest childish wonder.

Rounder they grew by slow degrees,

Until the swinger, swerving,
Made, all at once, alive to these

Intentest orbs observing,
Gave just one brief, half-uttered cry,

And,- ,-as with gathered kirtle,
Nymphs fly from Pan's head suddenly

Thrust through the budding myrtle,

Fled in dismay. A moment's space,

The eyes looked almost tragic;

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