Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

« TO ALL YOU LADIES NOW AT LAND."

BY CHARLES SACKVILLE.

[CHARLES SACKVILLE, EARL OF DORSET AND MIDDLESEX, was born in 1637. He spent much of the earlier portion of his life in travelling, and, in the Dutch war, served on board the fleet, as a volunteer, under the Duke of York. He was made Gentleman of the Bedchamber to Charles II., and was sent on several embassies.

He obtained the title of Earl of Middlesex on the death of his uncle, and that of Dorset on the death of his father. At the Revolution, he became Chamberlain to William III. He died in 1706.

Though Sackville came into the possession of two fine estates while very young, he devoted himself to books and conversation. His poetical works are few, but they are elegant, and sometimes exhibit great powers ; and he was not without talent as a satirist. The night previous to the engagement in which Opdam, the Dutch admiral, was blown up with all his crew, he wrote the following piece.)

To all you ladies now at land,

We men at sea indite;
But first would have you understand

How hard it is to write ;
The Muses now, and Neptune too,
We must implore to write to you.

With a fa la, la, la, la.

[ocr errors]

For though the Muses should prove kind,

And fill our empty brain ;
Yet if rough Neptune rouse the wind,

To wave the azure main,

[graphic]

Our paper, pen, and ink, and we, Roll up and down our ships at sea.

With a fa, &c.

Then, if we write not by each post,

Think not we are unkind;
Nor yet conclude our ships are lost

By Dutchmen or by wind :
Our tears we'll send a speedier way;
The tide shall bring them twice a-day.

With a fa, &c.

The king, with wonder and surprise,

Will swear the seas grow bold;
Because the tides will higher rise

Than e'er they did of old :
But let him know it is our tears
Bring floods of grief to Whitehall-stairs.

With a fa, &c.

Should foggy Opdam chance to know

Our sad and dismal story,
The Dutch would scorn so weak a foe,

And quit their fort at Goree;
For what resistance can they find
From men who've left their hearts behind ?

With a fa, &c.

Let wind and weather do its worst,

Be you to us but kind ;
Let Dutchmen vapour, Spaniards curse,

No sorrow we shall find :

'Tis then no matter how things go,
Or who's our friend, or who's our foe.

With a fa, &c.

To pass our tedious hours away,

We throw a merry main ;
Or else at serious ombre play ;

But why should we in vain
Each other's ruin thus pursue ?
We were undone when we left you.

With a fa, &c.

But now our fears tempestuous grow,

And cast our hopes away ;
Whilst you, regardless of our wo,
Sit careless at a play:
Perhaps permit some happier man
To kiss your hand, or flirt your fan.

With a fa, &c.

When any mournful tune you hear,

That dies in every note,
As if it sigh’d with each man's care

For being so remote :
Think then how often love we've made
To you, when all those tunes were play'd.

With a fa, &c.

In justice you cannot refuse

To think of our distress,
When we for hopes of honour lose

Our certain happiness;
All those designs are but to prove
Ourselves more worthy of your love.

With a fa, &c.

And now we've told you all our loves,

And likewise all our fears,
In hopes this declaration moves

Some pity for our tears ;
Let's hear of no inconstancy,

We have too much of that at sea.

With a fa la, la, la, la.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »