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TWELVE years ago I made a mock

Of filthy trades and traffics:
I wondered what they meant by stock;

I wrote delightful sapphics :
I knew the streets of Rome and Troy,

I supped with fates and furies;
Twelve years ago I was a boy,

A happy boy at Drury's.

Twelve years ago |-how many a thought

Of faded pains and pleasures,
Those whispered syllables have brought

From memory's hoarded treasures !
The fields, the forms, the beasts, the books,

The glories and disgraces,
The voices of dear friends, the looks

Of old familiar faces.

Where are my friends ?-I am alone,

No playmate shares my beaker-
Some lie beneath the church-yard stone,

And some before the Speaker;
An l some compose a tragedy,

And some compose a rondo;
And some draw sword for liberty,

And some draw pleas for John Doe.
Tom Mill was used to blacken eyes,

Without the fear of sessions;
Charles Medler loathed false quantities,

As much as false professions ;
Now Mill keeps order in the land,

A magistrate pedantic;
And Medler's feet repose unscanned

Beneath the wide Atlantic.

Wild Nick, whose oaths made such a din,

Does Dr. Martext's duty;
And Mullion, with that monstrous chin,

Is married to a beauty;

And Darrel studies, week by week,

His Mant and not his Manton; And Ball, who was but poor at Greek, Is very

rich at Canton.

And I am eight-and-twenty now

The world's cold chain has bound me; And darker shades are on my brow,

And sadder scenes around me:
In Parliament I fill my seat,

With many other noodles;
And lay my head in Germyn-street,

And sip my hock at Doodle's.

But often when the cares of life,

Have set my temples aching, When visions haunt me of a wife,

When duns await my waking,
When Lady Jane is in a pet,

Or Hobby in a hurry,
When Captain Hazard wins a bet,

Or Beaulieu spoils a curry:

For hours and hours, I think and talk

Of each remembered hobby :
I long to lounge in Poet's Walk-

Or shiver in the lobby ;
I wish that I could run away

From House, and court, and levee,
Where bearded men appear to-day,

Just Eton boys, grown heavy;

That I could bask in childhood's sun,

And dance o'er childhood's roses;
And find huge wealth in one pound one,

Vast wit and broken noses;
And pray Sir Giles at Datchet Lane,

And call the milk-maids Houris;
That I could be a boy again-

A happy boy at Drury's !



Some years ago, ere Time and Taste

Had turned our parish topsy-turvy, When Darnel Park was Darnel Waste,

And roads as little known as scurvy, The man who lost his way between

St. Marys' Hill and Sandy Thicket, Was always shown across the Green,

And guided to the Parson's Wicket.

Back flew the bolt of lisson lath ;

Fair Margaret in her tidy kirtle, Led the lorn traveler up the path,

Through clean-clipped rows of box and myrtle : And Don and Sancho, Tramp and Tray,

Upon the parlor steps collected, Wagged all their tails, and seemed to say,

“Our master knows you; you ’re expected!”

Up rose the Reverend Doctor Brown,

Up rose the Doctor's "winsome marrow;" The lady lay her knitting down,

Her husband clasped his ponderous Barrow; Whate'er the stranger's caste or creed,

Pundit or papist, saint or sinner, He found a stable for his steed,

And welcome for himself, and dinner.

If, when he reached his journey's end,

And warmed himself in court or college, He had not gained an honest friend,

And twenty curious scraps of knowledge:If he departed as he came,

With no new light on love or liquor,Good sooth the traveler was to blame,

And not the Vicarage, or the Vicar.

His talk was like a stream which runs

With rapid change from rocks to roses; It slipped from politics to puns:

It passed from Mohammed to Moses:

Beginning with the laws which keep

The planets in their radiant courses, And ending with some precept deep

For dressing eels or shoeing horses.

He was a shrewd and sound divine,

Of loud Dissent the mortal terror; And when, by dint of page and line,

He 'stablished Truth, or started Error, The Baptist found him far too deep;

The Deist sighed with saving sorrow; And the lean Levite went to sleep,

And dreamed of tasting pork to-morrow.

His sermons never said or showed

That Earth is foul, that Heaven is gracious, Without refreshment on the road

From Jerome, or from Athanasius; And sure a righteous zeal inspired

The hand and head that penned and planned them, For all who understood, admired,

And some who did not understand them.

He wrote, too, in a quiet way,

Small treatises and smaller verses; And

sage remarks on chalk and clay, And hints to noble lords and nurses; True histories of last year's ghost,

Lines to a ringlet or a turban; And trifles for the Morning Post,

And nothing for Sylvanus Urban.

He did not think all mischief fair,

Although he had a knack of joking; He did not make himself a bear,

Although he had a taste for smoking: And when religious sects ran mad,

He held, in spite of all his learning, That if a man's belief is bad,

It will not be improved by burning.

And he was kind, and loved to sit

In the low hut or garnished cottage,

And praise the farmer's homely wit,

And share the widow's homelier pottage:
At his approach complaint grew mild,

And when his hand unbarred the shutter,
The clammy lips of Fever smiled

The welcome which they could not utter.

He always had a tale for me

Of Julius Cæsar or of Venus :
From him I learned the rule of three,

Cat's cradle, leap-frog, and Quæ genus ;
I used to singe his powdered wig,

To steal the staff he put such trust in;
And make the puppy dance a jig

When he began to quote Augustin.

Alack the change! in vain I look

For haunts in which my boyhood trifled;
The level lawn, the trickling brook,

The trees I climbed, the beds I rifled:
The church is larger than before:

You reach it by a carriage entry:
It holds three hundred people more:

And pews are fitted up for gentry.

Sit in the Vicar's seat: you 'll hear

The doctrine of a gentle Johnian,
Whose hand is white, whose tone is clear,

Whose tone is very Ciceronian.
Where is the old man laid ?-look down,

And construe on the slab before you,




In tattered old slippers that toast at the bars,
And a ragged old jacket perfumed with cigars,
Away from the world and its toils and its cares,
I've a snug little kingdom up four pair of stairs.

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