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Then found I did not fit his foot,
So let me out to any one; And thus at last in the first comer's hands He leaves me, and for boot-hook only stands.
A German braggart with the priest
Played pikes to put his heel in me;
Full many a time I've seen him flee.
Unworn for one whole age or more,
Then pulled on by a merchant plain, He greased me fresh, and made me trot
To the Levant and back again. Unpolished, true; but not one jot I failed, With rare good hobs and sparables well nailed.
The merchant throve; then thought it right
To polish up and smarten me;
But lost my old consistency.
I had nor rip nor wrinkle then;
When from the west a pilfering oaf
Tried even to insert his hoof.
'Mongst ultramontane amateurs
A certain King of Spades essayed,
But like Berlicche there he stayed,
My ruin to complete just then,
Or maybe later, an M. D.,
Upon my upper-leathers he
He polished, gimcracked me all o'er,
And with emollients, glosses rare, He rubbed me till I lost my skin;
And he who had me next in care
I every harpy's mark became.
Who played the “ Devil and Baker's” game. Don Quixote proved at length the lucky wight; But rent and ridiculed he held me tight.
Who saw me on the Spaniard's foot
Say that I sat “ malissimo," Though greased and varnish-daubed, and styled,
But on the sly he used the file so sore,
Using the pincers and the awl
Rogues, bullies, barons, great and small, To torture me had each a new idea, “Et diviserunt vestimenta mea.”
Thus shuffled on from hoof to hoof
Of each untutored clownish brute, I've come to lose the olden print
Of that upright, well-planted foot, On which, without one single crooked tread, The circuit of the Universe I made.
O wretched boot! I must confess
One foolish plan has me undone ; Of walking with another's legs
When it was time to use my own;
Myself all shattered and awry;
If but one single step I try.
Unconscionable grasping race !
I'd have at certain poets too
Who count their bead-roll nowadays, Christ goes for nothing; the Decretal puts A veto 'gainst the priesthood wearing “ boots.” Torn and neglected now I lie,
And pawed by every dirty hand,
To fill my wrinkles, make me stand;
A certain great man's once I tried,
Who, had he not goue strolling forth, Might well have boasted he possessed
In me the strongest boot on earth. But snow-storms, on his crooked course one day, Froze both his legs just as he got half-way.
Refitted on the ancient last
And subject to the knife again,
My under-leathers scarce remain ;
The cost is dear, the labor long;
You must patch over piece by piece; Brush off the dirt in ancient mode,
Drive nails and brads; then by degrees The calf and upper-leathers all remake : But to the cobbler go, for Heaven's sake!
Find me but out some man; he'll do,
If only not a coward: when I find myself upon his foot,
Should some kind sir, like former men, Presunie with me in the old way to treat, We'll give him a sound kick on honor's seat.
Giuseppe Giusti. Tr. Anon.
TO LORD HALIFAX.
you, my Lord, the rural shades admire, And from Britannia's public posts retire, Nor longer, her ungrateful sons to please, For their advantage sacrifice your ease, Me into foreign realms my fate conveys, Through nations fruitful of immortal lays, Where the soft season and inviting clime Conspire to trouble your repose with rhyme. For wheresoe'er I turn my ravished eyes, Gay gilded scenes and shining prospects rise, Poetic fields encompass me around, And still I seem to tread on classic ground; For here the Muse so oft her larp has strung, That not a mountain rears its head unsung, Renowned in verse eachi shady thicket grows, And every stream in heavenly numbers flows.
How am I pleased to search the hills and woods For rising springs and celebrated floods ! To view the Nar, tumultuous in his course,