« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »
Receive base money at the current worth,
But with a just suspicion try their sound,
And in the even balance weigh them well.
See now to what this obstinacy comes :
A poor, mistreated, democratic beast,
He knows that his unmerciful drivers seek
Their profit, and not his. He hath not learned
That pigs were made for man, . . born to be brawn'd
And baconized : that he must please to give
Just what his gracious masters please to take;
Perhaps his tusks, the weapons Nature gave
For self-defense, the general privilege;
Perhaps, . . hark, Jacob! dost thou hear that horn ?
Woe to the young posterity of Pork!
Their enemy is at hand.
Again. Thou say'st
The pig is ugly. Jacob, look at him!
Those eyes have taught the lover flattery.
His face, . . nay, Jacob! Jacob! were it fair
To judge a lady in her dishabille ?
Fancy it dressed, and with saltpeter rouged.
Behold his tail, my friend; with curls like that
The wanton hop marries her stately spouse :
So crisp in beauty Amoretta's hair
Rings round her lover's soul the chains of love.
And what is beauty, but the aptitude
Of parts harmonious ? Give thy fancy scope,
And thou wilt find that no imagined change
Can beautify this beast. Place at his end
The starry glories of the peacock's pride,
Give him the swan's white breast; for his horn-hoofs
Shape such a foot and ankle as the waves
Crowded in eager rivalry to kiss
When Venus from the enamor'd sea arose; .
Jacob, thou canst but make a monster of him!
All alteration man could think, would mar
The last charge, .. he lives
A dirty life. Here I could shelter him
With noble and right-reverend precedents,
And show by sanction of authority
That 'tis a very honorable thing
To thrive by dirty ways. But let me rest
On better ground the unanswerable defense.
The pig is a philosopher, who knows
No prejudice. Dirt?.. Jacob, what is dirt ?
If matter, .. why the delicate dish that tempts
An o'ergorged epicure to the last morsel
That stuffs him to the throat-gates, is no more.
If matter be not, but as sages say,
Spirit is all, and all things visible
Are one, the infinitely modified,
Think, Jacob, what that pig is, and the mire
Wherein he stands knee-deep!
And there! the breeze
Pleads with me, and has won thee to a smile
That speaks conviction. O'er yon blossom'd field
Of beans it came, and thoughts of bacon rise.
A DELICATE pinch! oh how it tingles up
The titillated nose, and fills the eyes
And breast, till in one comfortable sneeze
The full-collected pleasure bursts at last !
Most rare Columbus! thou shalt be for this
The only Christopher in my calendar.
Why, but for thee the uses of the nose
Were half unknown, and its capacity
Of joy. The summer gale that from the heath,
At midnoon glowing with the golden gorse,
Bears its balsamic odor, but provokes
Not satisfies the sense; and all the flowers,
That with their unsubstantial fragrance tempt
And disappoint, bloom for so short a space,
That half the year the nostrils would keep Lent,
But that the kind tobacconist admits
No winter in his work; when Nature sleeps
His wheels roll on, and still administer
A plenitude of joy, a tangible smell.
What are Peru and those Golcondan mines
To thee, Virginia ? miserable realms,
The produce of inhuman toil, they send
Gold for the greedy, jewels for the vain.
But thine are common comforts! .. To omit
Pipe-panegyric and tobacco-praise,
Think what a general joy the snuff-box gives,
Europe, and far above Pizarro's name
Write Raleigh in thy records of renown!
Him let the school-boy bless if he behold
His master's box produced, for when he sees
The thumb and finger of authority
Stuffed up the nostrils: when hat, head, and wig
Shake all; when on the waistcoat black, brown dust,
From the oft-reiterated pinch profuse
Profusely scattered, lodges in its folds,
And part on the magistral table lights,
Part on the open book, soon blown away,
Full surely soon shall then the brow severe
Relax; and from vituperative lips
Words that of birch remind not, sounds of praise,
And jokes that must be laughed at shall proceed.
May the Babylonish curse
Straight confound my stammering verse,
If I can a passage see
In this word-perplexity,
Or a fit expression find,
Or a language to my mind,
(Still the phrase is wide or scant)
To take leave of thee, GREAT PLANT!
Or in any terms relate
Half my love, or half my hate:
For I hate, yet love thee, so,
That, whichever thing I show,
The plain truth will seem to be
A constrain'd hyperbole,
And the passion to proceed
More from a mistress than a weed.
Sooty retainer to the vine,
Bacchus' black servant, negro fine;
Sorcerer, that mak'st us dote upon
Thy begrimed complexion,
And, for thy pernicious sake,
More and greater oaths to break
Than reclaimed lovers take
'Gainst women: thou thy siege dost lay
Much too in the female
While thou suck'st the lab'ring breath
Faster than kisses or than death,
Thou in such a cloud dost bind us, That our worst foes can not find us, And ill fortune, that would thwart us Shoots at rovers, shooting at us; While each man, through thy height'ning steam, Does like a smoking Etna seem, And all about us does express (Fancy and wit in richest dress) A Sicilian fruitfulness.
Thou through such a mist dost show us,
That our best friends do not know us,
And, for those allowed features,
Due to reasonable creatures,
Liken'st us to fell Chimeras,
Monsters that, who see us, fear us;
Worse than Cerberus or Geryon,
Or, who first loved a cloud, Ixion.
Bacchus we know, and we allow
His tipsy rites. But what art thou,
That but by reflex canst show
What his deity can do,
As the false Egyptian spell
Aped the true Hebrew miracle?
Some few vapors thou may'st raise,
The weak brain may serve to amaze,
But to the reins and nobler heart
Canst nor life nor heat impart.
Brother of Bacchus, later born,
The old world was sure forlorn
Wanting thee, that aidest more
The god's victories than before
All his panthers, and the brawls
Of his piping Bacchanals.
These, as stale, we disallow,
Or judge of thee meant: only thou
His true Indian conquest art;
And, for ivy round his dart,
The reformed god now weaves
A finer thyrsus of thy leaves.
Scent to match thy rich perfume
Chemic art did ne'er presume
Through her quaint alembic strain,
None so sov'reign to the brain ;
Nature, that did in thee excel,
Framed again no second smell.
Roses, violets, but toys
For the smaller sort of boys,
Or for greener damsels meant;
Thou art the only manly scent.
Stinking'st of the stinking kind,
Filth of the mouth and fog of the mind,
Africa, that brags her foison,
Breeds no such prodigious poison
Henbane, nightshade, both together,
Nay, rather, Plant divine, of rarest virtue; Blisters on the tongue would hurt you. 'Twas but in a sort I blamed thee; None e'er prosper'd who defamed thee; Irony all, and feign'd abuse, Such as perplex'd lovers use, At a need, when, in despair To paint forth their fairest fair, Or in part but to express That exceeding comeliness Which their fancies doth so strike, They borrow language of dislike;