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Her earthly guide, he then would plight his troth
To serve her with most strict fidelity,
For he possess'd Apollo's master-key,
And reverence such as none but poets pay,
And deem her his sole treasure, night and day; And when Death's slumber should her eyelids seal,
And her soul flit to Paradise, away,
Whether the Genius still was doom'd to grieve, Or some kind fortune eased him of his pain,—
Is matter which, in verse, I yet may weave:— But months must first roll by,—for such a strain
Is fitter far for some calm summer eve Than for these merry winter nights, when we Begin to dream of Christmas revelry.
In youth's wild fervour, ere my heart had yet
King Arthur, in the tenth year of his reign,
So many brace of dragons had been slain,—
So many wrongs avenged, and castles ta'en,
That there began to be a lack of sport, The realm, in fact, from Cornwall to the border, Was in a shocking state of peace and order.
For six whole weeks, the Knights of the Round Table,
From morn to night, had nothing else to do Than saunter from the palace to the stable,
Play with their falcons, or their ladies woo, Polish their arms, and laugh (when they were able,)
At their own languid jests; no mortal knew, Till dinner was announced, what he'd be at; And King and courtiers all were growing fat.
in. The game laws were enforced in all their rigour,
And several peasants were convicted fully
At giants with two heads, who chose to bully Their frighten'd children; but with all the vigour
Of the police, the court went on but dully; It seem'd the British fair were past affronting,— And then a frost set in, which spoil'd the hunting.
As for the ladies, they, poor souls, declared
That " they certayne for dullnesse shulden dye;"
The formal knights so prosed, andbow'd, andstared, With their demure, old-fashion'd courtesy;
And poor Sir Tristram, who could ill be spared, With his gay jests, and harp, and poetry,
In a late fray had got a broken head,
v. In short, Miss Edgeworth's demon, pale Ennui,
Had seized on the whole court with dire aggression; And made it stupid as a calm at sea,
Or wedlock, after half a year's possession, Or poor Lord Byron's last new tragedy,
Or octave rhyme when stripp'd of its digression; Or any pitch that human dulness reaches— Save that of Mr. Hume's financial speeches.
I said the King fell sick (he kept his bed,)
Worse than all fevers, yellow, green, or red,
On the pale cheeks of hopeless lovers fed;
With which it should be treated, go and look
In Doctor Burton's valuable book.
'Tis a complaint that's chiefly incidental
To lovers, drunkards, scholars, kings, and bards;
To country squires with an encumber'd rental,
Bards bear it best;—to them it's instrumental
His groaning stanzas (just to eke his strains out,)
With gloom enough to blow ten Frenchmen's brains out.
The symptoms vary with the sex, condition,
And fortune of the patient;—if a rich one,
With wife, friends, children, servants, and physi-
With a sore throat;—it makes the lover sad,
The gamester gloomy, and the poet mad.
Old ladies call it " fever on the nerves,"—
A name of universal application,
And gains, for some cross people, toleration
(To say the least,) a handsome flagellation;
A better poet is just now preparing A work upon the subject, to appear
In Mr. Knight's best types and paper, bearing The title of" Blue Devils," and I fear
'Twould seem absurd, in one so often wearing Their livery as myself, to act physician To others haply in no worse condition.