Puslapio vaizdai
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A BALLAD TO QUEEN ELIZABETH of the Spanish Armada.

K

(BALLADE.)

ING PHILIP had vaunted his claims;

He had sworn for a year he would sack us;

With an army of heathenish names

He was coming to fagot and stack us;

Like the thieves of the sea he would track us, And shatter our ships on the main ;

But we had bold Neptune to back us,— And where are the galleons of Spain?

His carackes were christened of dames

To the kirtles whereof he would tack us;
With his saints and his gilded stern-frames,
He had thought like an egg-shell to crack us;
Now Howard may get to his Flaccus,
And Drake to his Devon again,

And Hawkins bowl rubbers to Bacchus,

For where are the galleons of Spain?

Let his Majesty hang to St. James

The axe that he whetted to hack us;

He must play at some lustier games

Or at sea he can hope to out-thwack us; To his mines of Peru he would pack us To tug at his bullet and chain;

Alas! that his Greatness should lack us!— But where are the galleons of Spain?

ENVOY.

GLORIANA !-the Don may attack us Whenever his stomach be fain;

He must reach us before he can rack us, . And where are the galleons of Spain?

1877.

...

THE BALLAD OF IMITATION.

(BALLADE.)

"C'est imiter quelqu'un que de planter des choux."

ALFRED DE MUSSET.

IF they hint, O Musician, the piece that you played

Is nought but a copy of Chopin or Spohr;

That the ballad you sing is but merely "conveyed "

From the stock of the Arnes and the Purcells of yore; That there's nothing, in short, in the words or the score That is not as out-worn as the "Wandering Jew"; Make answer-Beethoven could scarcely do more— That the man who plants cabbages imitates, too!

If they tell you, Sir Artist, your light and your shade
Are simply adapted" from other men's lore;

66

That-plainly to speak of a "spade " as a "spade”You've "stolen" your grouping from three or from

four;

That (however the writer the truth may deplore), 'Twas Gainsborough painted your "Little Boy Blue"; Smile only serenely-though cut to the coreFor the man who plants cabbages imitates, too!

And you too, my Poet, be never dismayed

If they whisper your Epic-" Sir Eperon d'Or "— Is nothing but Tennyson thinly arrayed

In a tissue that's taken from Morris's store;

That no one, in fact, but a child could ignore That you "lift" or "accommodate " all that you do ; Take heart-though your Pegasus' withers be sore— For the man who plants cabbages imitates, too!

POSTSCRIPTUM.-And you, whom we all so adore, Dear Critics, whose verdicts are always so new !— One word in your ear. There were Critics before. And the man who plants cabbages imitates, too!

1873.

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THE BALLAD OF PROSE AND RHYME.

(BALLADE À DOUBLE refrain.)

WHEN the ways are heavy with mire and rut,

WH

In November fogs, in December snows,

When the North Wind howls, and the doors are shut,-
There is place and enough for the pains of prose ;
But whenever a scent from the whitethorn blows,
And the jasmine-stars at the casement climb,
And a Rosalind-face at the lattice shows,
Then hey!--for the ripple of laughing rhyme !

When the brain gets dry as an empty nut,

--

When the reason stands on its squarest toes,
When the mind (like a beard) has a "formal cut,"
There is place and enough for the pains of prose;
But whenever the May-blood stirs and glows,
And the young year draws to the "golden prime,"
And Sir Romeo sticks in his ear a rose,-
Then hey!-for the ripple of laughing rhyme !

In a theme where the thoughts have a pedant-strut,
In a changing quarrel of "Ayes" and "Noes,"
In a starched procession of "If" and "But,”-
There is place and enough for the pains of prose ;

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