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Wears on its bosom, as a bride might do,
The iron breast-pin which the “Rebels” threw.* A steam-boat is likened to a wild nymph, now veiling her shadowy form, while through the storm sounds the beating of her restless heart --now answering,
- like a courtly dame,
The reddening surges o'er,
The Pharos of the shore.t
Ten thousand angels spread their wings
Within those little azure rings. I The Spirit of Beauty he bids
Come from the bowers where summer's life-blood flows
Through the red lips of June's half-open rose. S
The glittering lyric bounds elastic by,
Gleams like a diamond on a dancing girl.)
Health flows in the rills,
Stream whose silver-braided rills! Fling their unclasping bracelets from the hills.** In such guise moves the Ariel fancy of the poet. In its more Pucklike, tricksy, mirthful mood, it is correspondingly sportive. A comet wanders
Where darkness might be bottled up and sold for “ Tyrian dye.”+t Of itinerant musicians—the Discords sting through Burns and Moore, like hedgehogs dressed in lace.fi A post-prandial orator of a prononcé facetious turn, is warned that,
All the Jack Horners of metrical buns,
Are prying and fingering to pick out the puns.gg A strayed rustic stares through the wedged crowd,
Where in one cake a throng of faces runs,
All stuck together like a sheet of buns. IIII But we are getting Jack-Hornerish, and must forbear; not for lack of plums, though.
The wit and humour, the vers de société and the jeux-d'esprit of Dr. Holmes, bespeak the gentleman. Not that he is prim or particular, by
* Urania. † The Steam-boat. I Stanzas. § Pittsfield Cemetery. | Poetry.
Song for a Temperance Dinner. ** Pittsfield Cemetery. tt The Comet. If The Music-grinders. SS Verses for After Dinner. Ill Terpsichore.
any means; on the contrary, he loves a bit of racy diction, and has no objection to a sally of slang. Thus, in a lecture on the toilet, he is strict about the article of gloves :
Shave like the goat, if so your fancy bids,
But be a parent,- don't neglect your kids. * A superlative Mr. Jolly Green is shown up,
Whom schoolboys question if his walk transcends
The last advices of maternal friendst which polite periphrasis is discarded where Achilles' death is mourned,
Accursed heel that killed a hero stout !
With corns and bunions. I
Hard is the job to launch the desperate pun,
A pun-job dangerous as the Indian one"in unskilful hands turned back on one's self “by the current of some stronger wit," so that,
Like the strange missile which the Australian throws,
Your verbal boomerang slaps you on the nose. A punster, however, Dr. Holmes will be—and already we have had a taste of his quality in the kid-glove case ; so again, the “bunions" annexed to the Achilles catastrophe reminds him to explain, that he refers not to
The glorious John
To “Pilgrim's Progress" unrelenting foes !
Milton to Stilton must give in, and Solomon to Salmon,
And Roger Bacon be a bore, and Francis Bacon gammon.|| And the irresistible influence of collegiate convivial associations is thus illustrated :
We're all alike ;-Vesuvius Alings the scoriæ from his fountain,
But will keep dropping in again to see the dear old crater. I As a satirist, to shoot Folly as it dies, Dr. Holmes bends a bow of strength. His arrows are polished, neatly pointed, gaily feathered, and whirr through the air with cutting emphasis. And he hath his quiver full of them. But, to his honour be it recorded, he knows how and when to stay his hand, and checks himself if about to use a shaft of undue size and weight, or dipped in gall of bitterness. Then he pauses, and says :
Come, let us breathe ; a something not divine
* Urania. † Astræa. I A Modest Request. | Nux Postcenatica.
for if he might lash and lacerate with Swift, he prefers to tickle and titillate with Addison, and therefore adds, in such a case,
If the last target took a round of grape
A schoolboy's blowpipe and a gill of pease.* Genial and good-natured, accordingly, he appears throughout-using his victims as old Izaak did his bait, as though he loved them-yet taking care that the hook shall do its work. Among the irksome shams of the day, he is “smart” upon those cant-mongers who
With uncouth phrases tire their tender lungs,
Who rides a beetle, which he calls a “Sphinx.”+
The pseudo-critic-editorial race
Of Quincy granite lined with Wenham ice.
Don't catch the fidgets; you have found your place
Don't strike the iron till it's slightly cool.g
Poems that shuffle with superfluous legs
Where all the syllables that end in ed,
Each fact as slippery as a fresh-caught eel ; &c., &c.* There is pleasant and piquant raillery in the stanzas to “My Aunt," who, mediæval as she is, good soul! still “strains the aching clasp that. binds her virgin zone:”
I know it hurts her,-though she looks as cheerful as she can ;
When, through a double convex lens, she just makes out to spell ?
And so again in “ The Parting Word,” which maliciously predicts, stage by stage, in gradual but rapid succession, the feelings of a shallowhearted damosel after parting with her most devoted—from tearing of jetty locks and waking with inflamed eyes, to complacent audience of a new swain, three weeks after date. We like Dr. Holmes better in this style of graceful banter than when he essays the more broadly comic-as in “ The Spectre Pig,” or “ The Stethoscope Song.” The lines “ On Le nding a Punch-bowl” are already widely-known and highly-esteemed by British readers—and of others which deserve to be so, let us add those entitled “Nux Postcænatica," “ The Music-grinders,” “ The Dorchester Giant,” and “Daily Trials,”—which chronicles the acoustic afflictions of a sensitive man, beginning at daybreak with yelping pug-dog's Memnonian sun-ode, closing at night with the lonely caterwaul,
Tart solo, sour duet, and general squall, of feline miscreants, and including during the day the accumulated eloquence of women's tongues, “like polar needles, ever on the jar," and drum-beating children, and peripatetic hurdy-gurdies, and child-crying bell-men-an ascending series of torments, a sorites of woes!
On the whole, here we have, in the words of a French critic, “un poëte d'élite et qui comte : c'est une nature individuelle très-fine et trèsmarquée"-one to whom we owe “ des vers gracieux et aimables, vifs et légers, d'une gaieté nuancée de sentiment.” And one that we hope to meet again and again.
STORY OP THE CADI AND THE ROBBER.
FROM THE ARABIC. BY A. H. BLEECK, ESQ. It is related that there was in the time of Haroun ar-Raschid, a cadi named Mohammed bin Mokatil, who was celebrated for his learning and good breeding, and well skilled in divinity and jurisprudence.
And on a certain night he was reading on his couch, and he read till he alighted on the surat* in which the Prophett (The blessing and peace of Allah be upon him) saith, “ Most acceptable is prayer in the green places and in the gardens.” And the cadi said in his soul, “ It will not be proper unless in this very night I mount my mule and ride to my garden, and pray in it." And the distance between him and the garden was a league.
And the cadi arose and put on his clothes, and mounted his mule, and set out. And as he was on the road, behold a robber shouted out to him and said, “Halt in thy place.”
And the cadi stopped, and lo! a man who was a thief and a highwayman; and he called to the cadi with a loud voice to terrify him. And the cadi said, “ Art thou not ashamed before me, and I a cadi of the Mussulmans ?”
And the robber replied, “ Are not you afraid of me, and I a robber of the Mussulmans ? Oh, wonderful cadi! wherefore have you come forth alone, clothed in this rich apparel, and mounted on such a beautiful mule, and have set out on the road without a companion? This arises from your small sepse and great ignorance.”
And the cadi said, “ Wullahy! I thought that certainly the dawn approached."
And the robber answered, “ This is wonderful again; how can you be a cadi and not know the hours of the night-watches, nor the constellations, nor the planets, nor the position of the moon, and have no knowledge of the stars?”
And the cadi replied, “ Have you not heard the saying of the Prophet, Whoso believeth in the stars is an infidel?'”
And the robber answered, “ The Prophet hath spoken truly; but as for you, oh cadi, you have taken one saying of the Prophet, and have omitted the words of the most high Allah in his holy book, " Verily we have placed the stars in the heavens, and adorned them before the eyes of the beholders.' And in another verse, 'And signs, and they have believed in the Pleiades.' And again, . We have placed the stars for you to guide you in the darkness both by land and by sea.' In short, there are other well-known passages respecting the knowledge of this science, and you pretend to be a cadi of the Mussulmans, and do not know the hours of prayer! Cease to display your ignorance, nor with your small wit attempt to dispute with me, but dismount from your mule, strip off your garments, and cut short your discourse, for I am in a hurry."
* A verse of the Koran.
† The Mussulmans never mention their Prophet without immediately subjoining the above formula, which occurs so often in the text that I have for the most part omitted it, to avoid endless repetitions.