Puslapio vaizdai

A placid face, in which surprise
Is seldom seen, but yet there lies
Some vestige of the laughing eyes
Of arch Piozzi.

For her e'en Time grew debonair.
He, finding cheeks unclaimed of care,
With late-delayed faint roses there,
And lingering dimples,

Had spared to touch the fair old face,
And only kissed with Vauxhall grace

The soft white hand that stroked her lace,
Or smoothed her wimples.

So left her beautiful. Her age

Was comely as her youth was sage,

And yet she once had been the rage;—
It hath been hinted,

Indeed, affirmed by one or two,

Some spark at Bath (as sparks will do)
Inscribed a song to "Lovely Prue,"
Which Urban printed.

I know she thought; I know she felt; Perchance could sum, I doubt she spelt, She knew as little of the Celt

As of the Saxon;

I know she played and sang, for yet
We keep the tumble-down spinet
To which she quavered ballads set
By Arne or Jackson.

Her tastes were not refined as ours;
She liked plain food and homely flowers,
Refused to paint, kept early hours,
Went clad demurely;

Her art was sampler-work design,
Fireworks for her were "vastly fine,"

Her luxury was elder-wine,—

She loved that "purely."

She was renowned, traditions say,

For June conserves, for curds and whey,
For finest tea (she called it "tay"),

And ratafia;

She knew, for sprains, what bands to choose,
Could tell the sovereign wash to use
For freckles, and was learned in brews
As erst Medea.

Yet studied little. She would read,
On Sundays, "Pearson on the Creed,"
Though, as I think, she could not heed
His text profoundly;

Seeing she chose for her retreat

The warm west-looking window-seat,
Where, if you chanced to raise your feet.
You slumbered soundly.

This, 'twixt ourselves. The dear old dame,
In truth, was not so much to blame;
The excellent divine I name

Is scarcely stirring;

Her plain-song piety preferred

Pure life to precept. If she erred,

She knew her faults. Her softest word
Was for the erring.

If she had loved, or if she kept

Some ancient memory green, or wept

Over the shoulder-knot that slept

I know not.

Within her cuff-box,

Only this I know,

At sixty-five she'd still her beau,

A lean French exile, lame and slow,
With monstrous snuff-box.

Younger than she, well-born and bred.
She'd found him in St. Giles', half dead
Of teaching French for nightly bed

And daily dinners;


Starving, in fact, 'twixt want and pride;
And so, henceforth, you always spied
His rusty "pigeon-wings" beside
Her Mechlin pinners.

He worshipped her, you may suppose. She gained him pupils, gave him clothes, Delighted in his dry bon-mots

And cackling laughter;

And when, at last, the long duet

Of conversation and picquet

Ceased with her death, of sheer regret
He died soon after.

Dear Madam Placid! Others knew
Your worth as well as he, and threw
Their flowers upon your coffin too,
I take for granted.

Their loves are lost; but still we see
Your kind and gracious memory

Bloom yearly with the almond tree

The Frenchman planted.



"Hark! I hear the sound of coaches!"


EVENTEEN hundred and thirty-nine :--
That was the date of this tale of mine.

First great GEORGE was buried and gone;
GEORGE the Second was plodding on.

LONDON then, as the "Guides" aver,
Shared its glories with Westminster;

And people of rank, to correct their "tone,"
Went out of town to Marybone.

Those were the days of the War with Spain,
PORTO-BELLO would soon be ta'en;

WHITEFIELD preached to the colliers grim,
Bishops in lawn sleeves preached at him ;

WALPOLE talked of "a man and his price ";
Nobody's virtue was over-nice :-

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