Sidebilder
PDF
ePub

Till John, the serving-man, came to the upper Regions, with “ Please your Honour, come to

supper.”

Supper ! good John, to-night I shall not sup Except on that phenomenon - look up !” “Not sup ! ” cried John, thinking with consterna

tion That supping on a star must be starvation,

Or ev'n to batten On Ignes Fatui would never fatten. His visage seemed to say,—that very odd is,But still his master the same tune ran on, “I can't come down,— go to the parlour, John, And say I'm supping with the heavenly bodies."

“ The heavenly bodies !” echoed John, “ Ahem!” His mind still full of famishing alarms, “ 'Zooks, if your Honour sups with them, In helping, somebody must make long arms!” He thought his master's stomach was in danger, But still in the same tone replied the Knight,

“ Go down, John, go, I have no appetite, Say I'm engaged with a celestial stranger.”— Quoth John, not much au fait in such affairs, “Wouldn't the stranger take a bit down stairs ?

"No," said the master, smiling, and no wonder,

At such a blunder, “The stranger is not quite the thing you think, He wants no meat or drink,

And one may doubt quite reasonably whether

He has a mouth, Seeing his head and tail are joined together, Behold him,- there he is, John, in the South.”

John looked up with his portentous eyes,
Each rolling like a marble in its socket.
At last the fiery tadpole spies,
And, full of Vauxhall reminiscence, cries,

“A rare good rocket !”

“A what! A rocket, John! Far from it!

What you behold, John, is a comet;
One of those most eccentric things

That in all ages
Have puzzled sages

And frightened kings;
With fear of change that flaming meteor, John,
Perplexes sovereigns, throughout its range”-

“ Do he ?” cried John ;

Well, let him flare on,
I haven't got no sovereigns to change !”

[blocks in formation]

POMPEY'S GHOST.

A PATHETIC BALLAD.

“ Skins may differ, but affection
Dwells in white and black the same."

COWPER.

’T was twelve o'clock, not twelve at night,

But twelve o'clock at noon ; Because the sun was shining bright

And not the silver moon. A proper

time for friends to call, Or Pots, or Penny Post; When, lo! as Phoebe sat at work,

She saw her Pompey's Ghost !

[ocr errors]

Now, when a female has a call

From people that are dead;
Like Paris ladies, she receives

Her visitors in bed.
But Pompey's spirit would not come

Like spirits that are white,
Because he was a Blackamoor,

And would n't show at night!

[ocr errors]

But of all unexpected things

That happen to us here,
The most unpleasant is a rise

In what is very dear.
So Phoebe screamed an awful scream

To prove the seaman's text ;
That after black appearances,

White squalls will follow next.

“Oh, Phoebe, dear! oh, Phoebe, dear!

Don't go to scream or faint ;
You think because I'm black I am

The Devil, but I ain't !
Behind the heels of Lady Lambe

I walked while I had breath ;
But that is past, and I am now

A-walking after Death!

“No murder, though, I come to tell,

By base and bloody crime;
So Phoebe, dear, put off your fits

To some more fitting time.
No Coroner, like a boatswain's mate,

My body need attack,
With his round dozen to find out

Why I have died so black.

“One Sunday, shortly after tea,

My skin began to burn As if I had in

my

inside

A heater, like the urn.
Delirious in the night I grew,

And as I lay in bed,
They say I gathered all the wool

You see upon my head.

“ His Lordship for his doctor sent,

My treatment to begin ;-
I wish that he had called him out,

Before he called him in !
For though to physic he was bred,

And passed at Surgeon's Hall,
To make his post a sinecure

He never cured at all !

“ The doctor looked about my breast,

And then about my back, And then he shook his head and said

• Your case looks very black.' And first he sent me hot cayenne

And then gamboge to swallow, But still my fever would not turn

To Scarlet or to Yellow !

“ With madder and with turmeric,

He made his next attack; But neither he nor all his drugs

Could stop my dying black. At last I got so sick of life,

And sick of being dosed,

« ForrigeFortsett »