Puslapio vaizdai

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.

She knew her faults.

If she erred,

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
Within her cuff-box,

I know not.

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:—

Those, in fine, were the brave days when
Coaches were stopped by Highwaymen !

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And of all the knights of the gentle trade
Nobody bolder than "BEAU BROCADE."

This they knew on the whole way down;
Best, maybe, at the "Oak and Crown."

(For timorous cits on their pilgrimage

Would "club" for a "Guard" to ride the stage;

And the Guard that rode on more than one
Was the Host of this hostel's sister's son.)

Open we here on a March day fine,
Under the oak with the hanging sign.

There was Barber DICK with his basin by;
Cobbler JOE with the patch on his eye;

Portly product of Beef and Beer,
JOHN the host, he was standing near.

Straining and creaking, with wheels awry,
Lumbering came the "Plymouth Fly";-

Lumbering up from Bagshot Heath,
Guard in the basket armed to the teeth;

Passengers heavily armed inside;

Not the less surely the coach had been tried!

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