« ZurückWeiter »
squint-eyed, hare-lipped, wapper-jawed, carrothaired, from a pride become an aversion,-my case was yet worse. A club-foot (by way of a change) in a verse, I might have forgiven, an o's being wry, a limp in an e, or a cock in an in--but to have the sweet babe of my brain served in pi! I am not queasy-stomached, but such a Thyestean banquet as that was quite out of the question.
In the edition now issued, no pains are neglected, and my verses, as orators say, 'stand corrected. Yet some blunders remain of the public's own make, which I wish to correct for my personal sake. For instance, a character drawn in
fun and condensing the traits of a dozen in one, has been, as I hear by some persons applied to a good friend of mine, whom to stab in the side, as we walked along chatting and joking together, would not be my way. I can hardly tell whether a question will ever arise in which he and I should by any strange fortune agree, but meanwhile my esteem for him grows as I know him, and, though not the best judge upon earth of a poem, he knows what it is he is saying and why, and is honest and fearless, two good points which I have not found so rife I can easily smother my love for them, whether on my side or ’tother.
For my other anonymi, you may be sure that I know what is meant by a caricature, and what by a portrait. There are those who think it is capital fun to be spattering their ink on quiet unquarrelsome folk, but the minute the game changes sides and the others begin it, they see something savage and horrible in it. As for me I respect neither women or men for their gender, nor own any sex in a pen. I choose just to hint to some causeless unfriends that, as far as I know, there are always two ends (and one of them heaviest, too) to a staff, and two parties also to every good laugh.
A FABLE FOR CRITICS.
PHEBUS, sitting one day in a laurel-tree's shade, Was reminded of Daphne, of whom it was made, , For the god being one day too warm in his wooing, She took to the tree to escape his pursuing ; Be the cause what it might, from his offers she
shrunk, And, Ginevra-like, shut herself up in a trunk; And, though 'twas a step into which he had driven
her, He somehow or other had never forgiven her; Her memory he nursed as a kind of a tonic, Something bitter to chew when he'd play the By
ronic, And I can't count the obstinate nymphs that he
brought over, By a strange kind of smile he put on when he
thought of her. My case is like Dido's,” he sometimes remark'd, " When I last saw my love, she was fairly em
bark’d, In a laurel, as she thought-but (ah how Fate
mocks !) She has found it by this time a very bad box; Let hunters from me take this saw when they
-You're not always sure of your game when
you've treed it. Just conceive such a change taking place in one's
mistress ! What romance would be left?Who can flatter or
kiss trees ? And for mercy's sake, how could one keep up a
dialogue With a dull wooden thing that will live and will
die a log, Not to say that the thought would forever intrude That you've less chance to win her the more she is
wood ? Ah! it went to my heart, and the memory still
grieves, To see those loved graces all taking their leaves ; Those charms beyond speech, so enchanting but
now, As they left me forever, each making its bough! If her tongue had a tang sometimes more than was
right, Her new bark is worse than ten times her old
Now, Daphne,-before she was happily treei
fied, Over all other blossoms the lily had deified, And when she expected the god on a visit, ('Twas before he had made his intentions ex
plicit,) Some buds she arranged with a vast deal of care, To look as if artlessly twined in her hair, Where they seemed, as he said, when he paid his
addresses, Like the day breaking through the long night of
her tresses; So whenever he wished to be quite irresistible,