A snowman –
with glasses and pipe
just like grandpa
Over and over, like a Tune
Over and over, like a Tune—
The Recollection plays—
Drums off the Phantom Battlements
Cornets of Paradise—
Snatches, from Baptized Generations—
Cadences too grand
But for the Justified Processions
At the Lord's Right hand.
You walk, and look like me
You walk, and look like me,
Your eyes directed down.
I also used to lower mine!
Hey you, passer by, stop!
Read-when you've gathered
A bouquet of buttercups and poppies,
That I was called Marina
And how old I was.
Don't think that this is a grave,
That I will appear,scary...
I myself loved too much
To laugh, when I shouldn't have!
And the blood would come to my face
And my hair was curly...
You passer by, I also was!
You passer by, stop!
Break yourself off a wild stem
And after it a berry,-
No wild strawberry is larger or sweeter
Than one from a graveyard.
Only don't stand gloomily,
Dropping your head on your chest,
Think about me easily,
As easily then forget!
How the sun's ray shines upon you!
You're all covered in golden dust...
-Don't let it disturb you,
My voice from underground.
Chap Stick, Chapped Lips, And Things Like Chemistry
Ok, so, who doesn't own a cell phone
Who brought back their permission slip
Because I know nobody wants to stay home
While the rest of us go out and make a day of it
Cause theme parks are so much more fun when the sun's outside
And I lost my phone to the lake beneath the Batman ride
They're starting something, and I don't want to begin it
(I don't want to begin it)
They're looking for trouble, but with me it won't be found
(With me, won't be found)
And I regret that I'm completely out of daytime minutes
(I don't want to begin it)
And, so, I guess I'll have to wait a lot til 8 o'clock comes around
Ok, so, who doesn't have a cell phone
Well, I don't need to ask my friends
Because, I know mine was fastened to my jawbone
Thanks to all those nights and weekends
When it comes to relationships (I'm the dumbest one)
And I don't mean just with girls (I mean with everyone)
Your illustrations always point out just what's wrong with me
It's Chap Stick, and Chapped Lips, and things like Chemistry
It's Chap Stick, and Chapped Lips, and things like...
It's Chap Stick, and Chapped Lips, and things like...
It's Chap Stick, and Chapped Lips, and things like Chemistry
Can I relate to you the way you relate to me
Can you help me out with my chemistry
I don't want to be perceived the way I am
I just want to be perceived the way I am
- quotes about chemistry
- quotes about cellphone
- quotes about Batman
- quotes about telephone
- quotes about parks
- quotes about Thanksgiving
- quotes about hours
- quotes about friendship
- quotes about home
Steel Flowers and A Whetstone-Like Hornet?
The red tears
look like sparks
When the whetstone-like Hornet
dances on the petals
and the skeletal gardener
throws sweat with his shivering fingers
O the petals get harden
and sharpen like swords?
Like the Sun, Moon and Stars
There always seems to be something relevent,
About the re-occurrence of facts.
They remain consistent.
No matter how many versions are told,
To manipulate them.
And each time they are used,
A beating around the bush...
Accompanies someone's lapse in memory.
But the facts have no lapses at all.
They are there and dependable.
Like the Sun, Moon and Stars.
Tears come and go like waves
Tears stream down your face.
Upon something you
Cannot really face.
Like a lake flows.
Within something you
Cannot really face.
I cant face
Alot of things.
Stream down my face
i cannot really face.
For im trying to
Block it all out.
But tears stream down
I just really cannot face.
Try and fix
Still stream down my face
Beautiful and Fragile Like John Lennon
Is always waiting
I sat with a sad girl
With a nervous laugh;
She was delighted
To have company,
And nearly wept.
Everything touches us
To our inner core
And changes us forever
Like John Lennon
Identifying his mother
In a lonely morgue as a teen
After she was mown down by a car.
Everyone is beautiful and fragile,
I wish I knew where you were
When I feel the most vulnerable
In this often tragic world.
No regrets Sailor; And yet to go?
He pushes the boat into the sea.
He jumps and holds the rickety oars,
And he rows.
Waves welcome him in a friendly manner
And he sings his soliloquy!
'The trip won't be rough and calm like a lass.'
Then the vast sky responds; 'There won't be rough at all
But you know where you go?
Wherever you go do not come to a conclusion
That the voyage is over and yet to go? '
[Take care my seafarer son! And please convey my loving regards to old friends perhaps with their wreckage, if you meet them on your way! Let them know that your grandpa still breathes hardly! ]
* To Oskar! one of my poet friends.
Be Not Like The Frogs And The Clouds
be not like the frogs that copulate in the rain
on those nights where others cannot sleep
be not like those that croak without meaning
on the murky ponds, on those rivited rivers
be not like the clouds that drift east to west,
and have not known what is fidelity to permanence
or what colors to choose as they change shapes
for the seasons that come and go like the wind
be not like me, for i know not what is there to be
a perfection not attained in any form of my poetry
do not follow me for my ways are not theirs
those who pave the easy & wide paths to destiny
just be yourself my dear, use the light inside your soul
stare at the flicker of your own wisdom your own goal
scroll your own choices, take the path of your loneliness
speak the language of your heart then feel your wholeness.
Broken Glasses (2)
It's all broken glasses falling on the floor
Piece by piece breaking even more
One becoming two with each and every blow
A tree of glasses will never grow
Broken glasses on the floor
A million pieces becoming more
Each piece alone starts to shine
As though each one were becoming alive
A million pieces lie on the floor
Broken glasses broken to the core
They make me cry with their silence alone
As though they believe that all hope is gone
And the light that shines on the edge of a piece
Is like an un-witnessed tear of the pain unseen
As though when the pieces stop falling
All the glasses stop fighting
And chose to shine no more
Broken glasses falling on the floor
What can I say what have I more
Broken glasses I adore
Like a silent heart beat being ignored
Broken glasses are alive
Broken glasses are the life
Of a character broken deep inside
A Poem About Excitement To Something Huge And Spread Like Space
i am tiny, like a nit
wit, and i look at you
spread like wall paper on the wall
something is beautiful there
like a face
something in there excites me
like a pulse on my wrist
i am tiny and i feel so tiny
like a wall paper on the wall, you
i am excited like a chick hatching from
i am growing feathers
like a chicken
something in you is so huge like a world
that i have never been
i am excited like a puppy to my master
getting out of his car
i love this feeling, this tiny feeling
this world that is expanding
you are my world now, and i fall into
when tiny becomes lost
and when the hands melt while groping for the
about beauty that is lost
about existence that is deleted
simply because you are too huge
and i, this atom, unseen,
invincible, and now unknown.
Not Like Everybody Else
But you don’t like that
Would you like me if I was like them?
If I laughed at stupid jokes
If I gossiped and insulted
If I think of myself as “popular”
If I had blond hair and blue eyes
If I was like everybody else
Would you like me if I was like them?
If I walked the hallways like I owned them
If I wore braces or glasses
If I wore enough make up to hide my identity
If I smiled all the time and acted like a queen
If I was like everybody else
Would you like me if I was like them?
If I listened but never heard
If I looked but never saw
If I acknowledged but never knew
If I was like everybody else
But unlike them
I am ME!
You don’t have to like me
I don’t really care
You’re one of them too
You’ve lost yourself and your identity
The Fish Pound and Violin
My grandpa stay in the house
Near the river
Where its water flow end in the South Ocean
His garden hedged with Bamboo trees
In front of the garden planted three tuft trees
The children like to climb the tuft tree
Pick up the fruits and eat on the tree
Glad and laughing
My grandpa was silent and said nothing
He just smile subtly, and gaze at far away
There is a fish pond in the backyard,
In its edge planted pineapple and banana trees
My grandma always give brand and papaya leaf to the pound
Giving food for the fish like Gurame, Sepat dan Nila,
While my grandpa make a biola, gitar and bass
In the litlle studio, near the kitchen
I passionatedly gaze the fish jump around
While they don’t know their destiny
Decided by mothers in the cities
On the frying pan, roastibng, caserate,
With imagine to ecpanced their plan on the rice filed
Near the road forgeted how farmer produce,
Fish, rice and vegetable,
Their Self conscience.
Sarsparilla and Janice and You.
You walked with Janice
to Baldwin's the Herbalist
at the corner of Elephant
and Walworth Road
she wore her blue patterned dress
and red beret
and white socks
and red sandals
and in her small purse
she had money
her gran gave her
to buy sarsaparilla
in a half pint glass
in your cowboy shirt
and jeans and plimsolls
with your holster
and six shooter
in the belt
around your waist
and clutching money
your mother'd given you
for doing a few chores
Gran would never let me
go on my own
but when I said
you were going
Gran said all right
but no sweets
they rot your teeth
I like the liquorice sticks
you can buy there
they make your teeth white
or so my mum said
Janice looked at your gun
in the holster
you can protect me
from outlaws with your gun
she smelt of lavender
and toothpaste from tins
and she moved nearer to you
and her arm touched yours
as you walked along
here we are
and opened the door of Baldwin's
and you both went in
and went to the counter
and asked the man
for two half pints
and when he poured them
and you each paid him
you stood by the window
with your glasses
at the passing traffic
you feeling like Wyatt Earp
in the saloon
and Janice looking out
as if she feared
outlaws would be coming
Esther and Seymour
Some 50 years ago they met Alone and scared, their eyes still wet Viictims of a life so tossed survivors of the Holocaust. As a fairy says... Once a upon a time Esther and Seymour married in Heidenhein. Germany was just a temporary arena For their first lovely child they named Helena. They finally had happiness some people would say. Asvthey boarded a ship for the U. S. of A. America gave them a new start on their life Seymour now had a child, a new home and a new life! From Boston they journeyed to a place called New York Their second addition was delivered by stork. From life they were getting a real high...quite woozie They now had 2 girls, called the second one Susie! As Seymour to sing... He'll sing you a note. But his real talent was to sew you a coat. And if you were bored with your life's and it's glory Just ask Seymour to tell you a good old war story! He'll whistle like birds and He'll sing like the flowers. But his word stories will keep you enraptured for hours. As for dear Esther she'll cook you dish. Her real specially is a Gefilte fish! , , If her feet are not hurting she'll go for some walks And some people might say that she sings when she talks. In the summer they needed to have some real thrills So they trekked to the heaven called the Catskills. The packed up their car and off they would go And they set up their camp in their own bungalow.! Their happiness increased like the miracle of Hannukah As their first grandchild their fabulous Moncia. Their smiles grew quite bigger and happiness thrived. As their second beautiful grandchild Joannna arrived! When Seymour retired they moved to hot Boca As ' Esther won fame as a card shark in poker. To stayed married for 50 is a feat really swell But once in a while you might hear them yell! Seymour is always a man on the go Sometimes he! ll tell Esther 'What the hell do you know? ' Butb seriouslybfolksbthese 2 are not meek Two wonderful people..? Both somewhat unique so lift up your glasses and show these our love We wish them a hearty, healthy, a sincere Mazel Tov! ! ! This poem written by Howard Hopenwasser
The Ambulance that Got Away
When Grandpa suffered a turn, we
Called the ambulance, right away,
They strapped him onto a gurney
So he couldn't sit up, or sway,
‘We'll see you up at the hospital, '
We cried, as we waved him well,
The ambulance went with bells and lights
Like a demon bound for hell!
Grandma wasn't at home, we
Had to phone her on the cell,
She couldn't come back just then, she said
She was having a fainting spell,
So we waited until he was settled in
Then drove in a convoy down,
To the hospital at Ullarook,
Just fifty miles from town.
The nurse at the desk said: ‘No-one here
By the name of Alfred Groom,
We only have private patients here,
We bed them, one to a room,
If he hasn't got private cover, then
You'll have to look elsewhere,
Maybe the ambulance took him off
To the hospital at Bulnare.'
We phoned the hospital at Bulnare:
‘He hasn't been seen round here,
There was an ambulance, come to think,
But he left with a flea in his ear!
We don't take patients from out of town
There's few enough beds for us,
He's probably over at Gundacoot,
They run their own private bus.'
We drove ten miles to Gundacoot,
An ambulance sat in the drive,
We thought, ‘Thank God, he must be here!
Let's hope that he's still alive! '
We all raced in through the sliding doors
And crowded around the Nurse:
‘Who? Alfred Groom, in a private room?
Not here! ' We left with a curse!
We split up the convoy into two,
I drove to the nearest town,
A middling place called Jerribee
With a hospital, quite run down,
‘The government cut our funding, '
Said the Nurse in the parking bay,
‘We shut down twenty beds last week,
Your Dad isn't here today.'
My son had travelled the other way
To Inkermine on the coast,
The hospital there had a hundred beds
The locals were wont to boast,
‘He's isn't here, but the ambulance
Was spotted on leaving town, '
My son had sighed on his endless ride
When he called on the mobile phone.
That night when Grandma got her breath
She went to the ambulance place,
She battered him with her umbrella
Knocking his glasses clean off his face:
‘Where did you take him, tell me now
Or I'll have to call the police!
What? Are your ears painted on! '
‘We took him to Bungaleese! '
The only place that would take him was
The Medical Clinic there,
It isn't even a hospital
And you sit on a leather chair,
When we finally got to Bungaleese
Grandpa could barely talk,
We said, ‘We'll get you an ambulance! '
‘No thanks, ' he growled, ‘I'll walk! '
29 August 2012
A Few Remarks on Goats, Asses and the Dead Hand
I don't mind kings and dukes and things;
I don't mind wigs or maces;
I don't mind crowns or robes or gowns
Or ruffles, swords or laces
But what I do object to, and some others more than I,
Are the mad old, bad old practices these baubles signify.
Good friends, brother Australians and fellow voters;
I think that you will agree with me that few of us are doters
Upon the customs, practices, fooleries and tommyrotics of the mouldy past;
Nor are we apt to cast
A reverent eye behindward upon ancient precedent:
Nor do we consent
To let the cold, clammy and unusually muddling Dead Hand
Control the destinies of this our native land.
Nay, rather do we stand
Tiptoe upon the summit of the Present, peering out,
With faces eager and expectant eyes, into the mystic Future. Have you a doubt
That in Progress, Business-like Procedure, Common-sense Habit, and Up-to-Date
Method we are all earnest believers?
Is it not so?....
Well, I don't know
So much about it. 'Twere easy to prove, good friends, that we are, in the
lump, followers of Make-Believe, triflers with Humbug and inance self-deceivers.
'Twere easy to prove that our ass-like attribute indeed surpasses
That of innumerable and intensely asinine asses.
And here, good friends, I extend to all of you my blessin',
And conclude, amidst great applause, the first lesson.
Secondly, my brothers
Right-thinking persons, men-in-the-street, common-sense individuals, and people who call a spade a spade, and others
There are full many of us who deeply deplore
The use or display of these gauds, decorations, baubles and trappings that belong to the unpractical, superstitious and quite unfashionable days of yore.
We deride, for instance, the ntion that the caudal appendage of a deceased horse
Perched upon the cranium of an erudite justice can add to his dignity or give to his remarks more force.
In short, we class as mere bunkum, bosh, flapdoodle and other sludge
The contention that the hind end of a horse can in any way assist the fore end of a judge.
The wig, the gown, the staff, the rod, the mace,
We regard as obsolete, and entirely out of place.
If there is one thing more than another upon which we pride ourselves it is, I suppose,
The fact that we scorn to wear grandpa's old-fashioned clothes.
The poor old gentleman's pantaloons, his shirts, his cravat, his fob-chain, his frill-whiskers are all anathema to us.
Good friends, why all this fuss?
Why waste all this precious energy in denouncing the wig, the gown, the mace?
They may be, in a sense, out of place;
Yet, why should these things shock you?
Believe me, they are perfectly innocu
Ous, and furthermore, dear friends,
They serve their ends;
Fo why deny these toys
To that large, mentally-bogged, and much musinderstood class of elderly girls and boys
Whose state demands some sign or symbol
To push an idea or a principle into their heads, even as the thimble
Thrusts the needle into the cloth?
Then why so wrath?
Heed ye, good friends, the parable of the beam and the mote.
Nay, I crave your pardon, but I have known a not particularly intelligent goat
To view materially essential matters with a more discerning eye; to possess, so to speak, more inate perspicacity
Than you - that is to say, us. Nay, grasp not at the seeming audacity
Of these few remarks; for perfect perspicuity
Attends them, and I like not ambiguity.
As thinking machines the ass, the goat, good people are preferable; at least, so it appears.
And here, the ending of my second lesson is attended by your deafening and appreciative cheers.
My worthy friends, ye who scorn to wear my poor grandpa's clothes
Get down from your pedestals, O ye modern intellectual giants; let each decline his scornful and uptilted nose.
Deride, would ye, grandpa's ancient mace?
Abolish it, would ye, and hunt it off the place?
What's the matter with it? It's not eating anythng, is it?
And it might prove handy if a masked burglar, or a Trust or a mad dog paid the
House a visit.
Gird, would ye, at grandpa's wig, at his gown trimmed with the overcoats of late lamented rabbits?
But, Oh! my up-to-date brothers, what have ye to say about grandpa's and great grandpa's and great-great-grandpa's ridiculous customs, absurd precedents,inance systems and obsolete habits?
What about that musty, dusty, mouldy, mildewed, hoary, Tory, injurious, time wasting, insane, inane, self-ridiculed, unwieldy and utterly unprofitable system of Party Govrnment? Great-great-great-great-grandpa's cherished
System, good friends?
Does it serve our modern ends?
Or is it, think you, obsolete and absurd?
I pause for a reply....What! Not a word?
Do I hear you raving to have it abolished?
Yearn ye to see this thing demolished?
Go to the ass, ye dullards! He doesn't eat mouldy sawdust when there's good hay about.
And here, kind friends, I pass to 'fourthly,' flattered by your encouraging shout.
Friends, countrymen and fellow-voters of this fair land,
All ye smart, up-to-date people who scorn dear grandpa's raiment, are you feeling his dead hand?
Think ye that ancient fist should interfere so in the vital affairs of to-day?
Or are ye so apathetic that you don't care a tuppenny curse either way?
'Tis cheap and easy to scoff at granpa's gauds and trappings and to the Devil send 'em;
But have ye ever seriously considered such things as elected Mnistries or theInitiative and Referendum?
Not you! You shirk, good friend, you shirk.
That means Work!
Friends, I am done....I know not what ye intend to do about it, and I haven't much hope; but, for my part,
I say unto ye, in a spirit of true brotherly love, and with my hand upon my heart,
That I have enjoyed the acquaintance of asses who were never fooled by musty precedent. Aye, and intelligent goats
Who scorned the jam-tin diet of their forebears when there was good grass about but they had no votes.
And what is a goat without a vote?
Kaddish, Part I
Strange now to think of you, gone without corsets & eyes, while I walk on
the sunny pavement of Greenwich Village.
downtown Manhattan, clear winter noon, and I've been up all night, talking,
talking, reading the Kaddish aloud, listening to Ray Charles blues
shout blind on the phonograph
the rhythm the rhythm--and your memory in my head three years after--
And read Adonais' last triumphant stanzas aloud--wept, realizing
how we suffer--
And how Death is that remedy all singers dream of, sing, remember,
prophesy as in the Hebrew Anthem, or the Buddhist Book of An-
swers--and my own imagination of a withered leaf--at dawn--
Dreaming back thru life, Your time--and mine accelerating toward Apoca-
the final moment--the flower burning in the Day--and what comes after,
looking back on the mind itself that saw an American city
a flash away, and the great dream of Me or China, or you and a phantom
Russia, or a crumpled bed that never existed--
like a poem in the dark--escaped back to Oblivion--
No more to say, and nothing to weep for but the Beings in the Dream,
trapped in its disappearance,
sighing, screaming with it, buying and selling pieces of phantom, worship-
ping each other,
worshipping the God included in it all--longing or inevitability?--while it
lasts, a Vision--anything more?
It leaps about me, as I go out and walk the street, look back over my shoulder,
Seventh Avenue, the battlements of window office buildings shoul-
dering each other high, under a cloud, tall as the sky an instant--and
the sky above--an old blue place.
or down the Avenue to the south, to--as I walk toward the Lower East Side
--where you walked 50 years ago, little girl--from Russia, eating the
first poisonous tomatoes of America frightened on the dock
then struggling in the crowds of Orchard Street toward what?--toward
toward candy store, first home-made sodas of the century, hand-churned ice
cream in backroom on musty brownfloor boards--
Toward education marriage nervous breakdown, operation, teaching school,
and learning to be mad, in a dream--what is this life?
Toward the Key in the window--and the great Key lays its head of light
on top of Manhattan, and over the floor, and lays down on the
sidewalk--in a single vast beam, moving, as I walk down First toward
the Yiddish Theater--and the place of poverty
you knew, and I know, but without caring now--Strange to have moved
thru Paterson, and the West, and Europe and here again,
with the cries of Spaniards now in the doorstops doors and dark boys on
the street, firs escapes old as you
--Tho you're not old now, that's left here with me--
Myself, anyhow, maybe as old as the universe--and I guess that dies with
us--enough to cancel all that comes--What came is gone forever
That's good!That leaves it open for no regret--no fear radiators, lacklove,
torture even toothache in the end--
Though while it comes it is a lion that eats the soul--and the lamb, the soul,
in us, alas, offering itself in sacrifice to change's fierce hunger--hair
and teeth--and the roar of bonepain, skull bare, break rib, rot-skin,
Ai! ai!we do worse! We are in a fix!And you're out, Death let you out,
Death had the Mercy, you're done with your century, done with
God, done with the path thru it--Done with yourself at last--Pure
--Back to the Babe dark before your Father, before us all--before the
There, rest.No more suffering for you.I know where you've gone, it's good.
No more flowers in the summer fields of New York, no joy now, no more
fear of Louis,
and no more of his sweetness and glasses, his high school decades, debts,
loves, frightened telephone calls, conception beds, relatives, hands--
No more of sister Elanor,--she gone before you--we kept it secret you
killed her--or she killed herself to bear with you--an arthritic heart
--But Death's killed you both--No matter--
Nor your memory of your mother, 1915 tears in silent movies weeks and
weeks--forgetting, agrieve watching Marie Dressler address human-
ity, Chaplin dance in youth,
or Boris Godunov, Chaliapin's at the Met, halling his voice of a weeping Czar
--by standing room with Elanor & Max--watching also the Capital
ists take seats in Orchestra, white furs, diamonds,
with the YPSL's hitch-hiking thru Pennsylvania, in black baggy gym skirts
pants, photograph of 4 girls holding each other round the waste, and
laughing eye, too coy, virginal solitude of 1920
all girls grown old, or dead now, and that long hair in the grave--lucky to
have husbands later--
You made it--I came too--Eugene my brother before (still grieving now and
will gream on to his last stiff hand, as he goes thru his cancer--or kill
--later perhaps--soon he will think--)
And it's the last moment I remember, which I see them all, thru myself, now
--tho not you
I didn't foresee what you felt--what more hideous gape of bad mouth came
first--to you--and were you prepared?
To go where?In that Dark--that--in that God? a radiance? A Lord in the
Void?Like an eye in the black cloud in a dream?Adonoi at last, with
Beyond my remembrance! Incapable to guess! Not merely the yellow skull
in the grave, or a box of worm dust, and a stained ribbon--Deaths-
head with Halo?can you believe it?
Is it only the sun that shines once for the mind, only the flash of existence,
than none ever was?
Nothing beyond what we have--what you had--that so pitiful--yet Tri-
to have been here, and changed, like a tree, broken, or flower--fed to the
ground--but made, with its petals, colored, thinking Great Universe,
shaken, cut in the head, leaf stript, hid in an egg crate hospital, cloth
wrapped, sore--freaked in the moon brain, Naughtless.
No flower like that flower, which knew itself in the garden, and fought the
Cut down by an idiot Snowman's icy--even in the Spring--strange ghost
thought some--Death--Sharp icicle in his hand--crowned with old
roses--a dog for his eyes--cock of a sweatshop--heart of electric
All the accumulations of life, that wear us out--clocks, bodies, consciousness,
shoes, breasts--begotten sons--your Communism--'Paranoia' into
You once kicked Elanor in the leg, she died of heart failure later.You of
stroke.Asleep?within a year, the two of you, sisters in death.Is
Max grieves alive in an office on Lower Broadway, lone large mustache over
midnight Accountings, not sure.His life passes--as he sees--and
what does he doubt now?Still dream of making money, or that might
have made money, hired nurse, had children, found even your Im-
I'll see him soon.Now I've got to cut through to talk to you as I didn't
when you had a mouth.
Forever.And we're bound for that, Forever like Emily Dickinson's horses
--headed to the End.
They know the way--These Steeds--run faster than we think--it's our own
life they cross--and take with them.
Magnificent, mourned no more, marred of heart, mind behind, mar-
ried dreamed, mortal changed--Ass and face done with murder.
In the world, given, flower maddened, made no Utopia, shut under
pine, almed in Earth, blamed in Lone, Jehovah, accept.
Nameless, One Faced, Forever beyond me, beginningless, endless,
Father in death.Tho I am not there for this Prophecy, I am unmarried, I'm
hymnless, I'm Heavenless, headless in blisshood I would still adore
Thee, Heaven, after Death, only One blessed in Nothingness, not
light or darkness, Dayless Eternity--
Take this, this Psalm, from me, burst from my hand in a day, some
of my Time, now given to Nothing--to praise Thee--But Death
This is the end, the redemption from Wilderness, way for the Won-
derer, House sought for All, black handkerchief washed clean by weeping
--page beyond Psalm--Last change of mine and Naomi--to God's perfect
Darkness--Death, stay thy phantoms!
Over and over--refrain--of the Hospitals--still haven't written your
history--leave it abstract--a few images
run thru the mind--like the saxophone chorus of houses and years--
remembrance of electrical shocks.
By long nites as a child in Paterson apartment, watching over your
nervousness--you were fat--your next move--
By that afternoon I stayed home from school to take care of you--
once and for all--when I vowed forever that once man disagreed with my
opinion of the cosmos, I was lost--
By my later burden--vow to illuminate mankind--this is release of
particulars--(mad as you)--(sanity a trick of agreement)--
But you stared out the window on the Broadway Church corner, and
spied a mystical assassin from Newark,
So phoned the Doctor--'OK go way for a rest'--so I put on my coat
and walked you downstreet--On the way a grammarschool boy screamed,
unaccountably--'Where you goin Lady to Death'? I shuddered--
and you covered your nose with motheaten fur collar, gas mask
against poison sneaked into downtown atmosphere, sprayed by Grandma--
And was the driver of the cheesebox Public Service bus a member of
the gang?You shuddered at his face, I could hardly get you on--to New
York, very Times Square, to grab another Greyhound--
The Life And Death Of Tom Thumb
In Arthur's court Tom Thumb did live,
A man of mickle might ;
The best of all the table round,
And eke a doughty knight.
His stature but an inch in height,
Or quarter of a span :
Then think you not this little knight
Was proved a valiant man ?
His father was a ploughman plain,
His mother milk'd the cow,
Yet how that they might have a son
They knew not what to do :
Until such time this good old man
To learned Merlin goes,
And there to him his deep desires
In secret manner shows.
How in his heart he wish'd to have
A child, in time to come,
To be his heir, though it might be
No bigger than his thumb.
Of which old Merlin thus foretold,
That he his wish should have,
And so this son of statue small
The charmer to him gave.
No blood nor bones in him should be,
In shape, and being such
That men should hear him speak, but not
His wandering shadow touch.
But so unseen to go or come,—
Whereas it pleas'd him still ;
Begot and born in half and hour,
To fit his father's will.
And in four minutes grew so fast
That he became so tall
As was the ploughman's thumb in height,
And so they did him call—
TOM THUMB, the which the fairy queen
There gave him to his name,
Who, with her train of goblins grim,
Unto his christening came.
Whereas she cloth'd him richly brave,
In garments fine and fair,
Which lasted him for many years
In seemly sort to wear.
His hat made of an oaken leaf,
His shirt a spider's web,
Both light and soft for those his limbs
That were so smally bred.
His hose and doublet thistle-down,
Together weaved full fine ;
His stockings of an apple green,
Made of the outward rind ;
His garters were two little hairs
Pull'd from his mother's eye,
His boots and shoes, a mouse's skin,
Were tann'd most curiously.
Thus like a lusty gallant, he
Adventured forth to go,
With other children in the streets,
His pretty tricks to show.
Where he for counters, pins, and points,
And cherry-stones did play,
Till he amongst those gamesters young
Had lost his stock away.
Yet could he soon renew the same,
Whereas most nimbly he
Would dive into their cherry-bags,
And their partaker be,
Unseen or felt by any one,
Until this scholar shut
This nimble youth into a box,
Wherein his pins he put.
Of whom to be reveng'd he took,
In mirth and pleasant game,
Black pots and glasses, which he hung
Upon a bright sun-beam.
The other boys to do the like
In pieces broke them quite ;
For which they were most soundly whipt ;
Whereat he laughed outright.
And so Tom Thumb restrained was,
From these his sports and play ;
And by his mother after that,
Compell'd at home to stay.
Whereas about a Christmas time,
His father a hog had kill'd ;
And Tom would see the puddings made,
For fear they should be spill'd.
He sate upon the pudding-bole,
The candle for to hold ;
Of which there is unto this day,
A pretty pastime told :
For Tom fell in, and could not be
For ever after found,
For in the blood and batter he
Was strangely lost and drown'd.
Where searching long, but all in vain,
His mother after that,
Into a pudding thrust her son,
Instead of minced-meat.
Which pudding of the largest size,
Into the kettle thrown,
Made all the rest to fly thereout,
As with a whirlwind blown :
For so it tumbled up and down,
Within the liquor there,
As if the devil had been boil'd,—
Such was his mother's fear,
That up she took the pudding straight,
And gave it at the door
Unto a tinker, which from thence
In his black budget bore ;
But as the tinker climb'd a stile,
He nearly tumbled back :
Now gip, old knave ! out cried Tom Thumb,
A-hanging on his pack.
At which the tinker 'gan to run,
And would no longer stay ;
And cast both bag and pudding down,
And thence hied fast away.
From which Tom Thumb got loose at last,
And home return'd again ;
Where he from following dangers long,
In safety did remain :
Until such time his mother went
A-milking of her kine ;
Where Tom unto a thistle fast
She linked with a twine.
A thread that held him to the same,
For fear the blustering wind
Should blow him hence,—that so she might
Her son in safety find.
But mark the hap ! a cow came by,
And up the thistle eat ;
Poor Tom withal, that, as a dock,
Was made the red cow's meat.
Who, being miss'd, his mother went
Him calling everywhere ;
Where art thou, Tom ? Where art thou, Tom ?
Quoth he, here, mother, here !
Within the red cow's stomach here,
Your son is swallowed up :
The which into her fearful heart,
Most careful dolours put.
Meanwhile the cow was troubled much,
And soon releas'd Tom Thumb ;
No rest she had till out her mouth,
In bad plight he did come.
Now after this, in sowing time,
His father would him have
Into the field to drive his plough,
And thereupon him gave—
A whip made of a barley-straw,
To drive the cattle on ;
Where, in a furrow'd land new sown,
Poor Tom was lost and gone.
Now by a raven of great strength,
Away he thence was borne,
And carried in the carrion's beak,
Even like a grain of corn,
Unto a giant's castle top,
In which he let him fall ;
Where soon the giant swallowed up
His body, clothes, and all.
But soon the giant spat him out,
Three miles into the sea ;
Whereas a fish soon took him up,
And bore him thence away.
Which lusty fish was after caught,
And to king Arthur sent ;
Where Tom was found, and made his dwarf,
Whereas his days he spent
Long time in lively jollity,
Belov'd of all the court ;
And none like Tom was then esteem'd,
Among the noble sort.
Amongst his deeds of courtship done,
His highness did command,
That he should dance a galliard brave
Upon his queen's left hand.
The which he did, and for the same
The king his signet gave,
Which Tom about his middle wore,
Long time a girdle brave.
How, after this, the king would not
Abroad for pleasure go
But still Tom Thumb must ride with him,
Placed on his saddle-bow.
Whereon a time when, as it rain'd,
Tom Thumb most nimbly crept
In at a button-hole, where he
Within his bosom slept.
And being near his highness' heart,
He crav'd a wealthy boon,
A liberal gift, the which the king
Commanded to be done.
For to relieve his father's wants,
And mother's, being old ;
Which was, so much of silver coin
As well his arms could hold.
And so away goes lusty Tom,
With threepence on his back,
A heavy burthen, which might make
His wearied limbs to crack.
So travelling two days and nights,
With labour and great pain,
He came into the house whereat
His parents did remain ;
Which was but half a mile in space
From good king Arthur's court,
The which, in eight and forty hours,
He went in weary sort.
But coming to his father's door,
He there such entrance had
As made his parents both rejoice,
And he thereat was glad.
His mother in her apron took
Her gentle son in haste,
And by the fire-side, within
A walnut-shell him placed ;
Whereas they feasted him three days
Upon a hazel-nut,
Whereon he rioted so long,
He them to charges put ;
And thereupon grew wond'rous sick,
Through eating too much meat,
Which was sufficient for a month
For this great man to eat.
But now his business call'd him forth
King Arthur's court to see,
Whereas no longer from the same
He could a stranger be.
But yet a few small April drops
Which settled in the way,
His long and weary journey forth
Did hinder and so stay.
Until his careful father took
A birding trunk in sport,
And with one blast, blew this his son
Into king Arthur's court.
Now he with tilts and tournaments
Was entertained so,
That all the best of Arthur's knights
Did him much pleasure show :
As good Sir Lancelot du Lake,
Sir Tristam, and Sir Guy ;
Yet none compar'd with brave Tom Thumb
For knightly chivalry.
In honour of which noble day,
And for his lady's sake,
A challenge in king Arthur's court
Tom Thumb did bravely make.
'Gainst whom these noble knights did run,
Sir Chinon and the rest,
Yet still Tom Thumb, with matchless might,
Did bear away the best.
At last Sir Lancelot du Lake
In manly sort came in,
And with this stout and hardy knight
A battle did begin.
Which made the courtiers all aghast,
For there that valiant man,
Through Lancelot's steed, before them all,
In nimble manner ran.
Yea, horse and all, with spear and shield,
As hardy he was seen,
But only by king Arthur's self
And his admired queen ;
Who from her finger took a ring,
Through which Tom Thumb made way,
Not touching it, in nimble sort,
As it was done in play.
He likewise cleft the smallest hair
From his fair lady's head
Not hurting her whose even hand
Him lasting honours bred.
Such were his deeds and noble acts
In Arthur's court there shone,
As like in all the world beside
Was hardly seen or known.
Now at these sports he toil'd himself,
That he a sickness took,
Through which all manly exercise
He carelessly forsook.
When lying on his bed sore sick,
King Arthur's doctor came,
With cunning skill, by physic's art,
To ease and cure the same.
His body being so slender small,
This cunning doctor took
A fine perspective glass, with which
He did in secret look—
Into his sickened body down,
And therein saw that Death
Stood ready in his wasted frame
To cease his vital breath.
His arms and legs consum'd as small
As was a spider's web,
Through which his dying hour grew on,
For all his limbs grew dead.
His face no bigger than an ant's,
Which hardly could be seen ;
The loss of which renowned knight
Much grieved the king and queen.
And so with peace and quietness
He left this earth below ;
And up into the fairy-land
His ghost did fading go.
Whereas the fairy-queen receiv'd,
With heavy mourning cheer,
The body of this valiant knight,
Whom she esteem'd so dear.
For with her dancing nymphs in green,
She fetch'd him from his bed,
With music and sweet melody,
So soon as life was fled ;
For whom king Arthur and his knights
Full forty days did mourn ;
And, in remembrance of his name,
That was so strangely born—
He built a tomb of marble gray,
And year by year did come
To celebrate ye mournful death
And burial of Tom Thumb.
Whose fame still lives in England here,
Amongst the country sort ;
Of whom our wives and children small
Tell tales of pleasant sport.
The Cap And Bells; Or, The Jealousies: A Faery Tale -- Unfinished
In midmost Ind, beside Hydaspes cool,
There stood, or hover'd, tremulous in the air,
A faery city 'neath the potent rule
Of Emperor Elfinan; fam'd ev'rywhere
For love of mortal women, maidens fair,
Whose lips were solid, whose soft hands were made
Of a fit mould and beauty, ripe and rare,
To tamper his slight wooing, warm yet staid:
He lov'd girls smooth as shades, but hated a mere shade.
This was a crime forbidden by the law;
And all the priesthood of his city wept,
For ruin and dismay they well foresaw,
If impious prince no bound or limit kept,
And faery Zendervester overstept;
They wept, he sin'd, and still he would sin on,
They dreamt of sin, and he sin'd while they slept;
In vain the pulpit thunder'd at the throne,
Caricature was vain, and vain the tart lampoon.
Which seeing, his high court of parliament
Laid a remonstrance at his Highness' feet,
Praying his royal senses to content
Themselves with what in faery land was sweet,
Befitting best that shade with shade should meet:
Whereat, to calm their fears, he promis'd soon
From mortal tempters all to make retreat,--
Aye, even on the first of the new moon,
An immaterial wife to espouse as heaven's boon.
Meantime he sent a fluttering embassy
To Pigmio, of Imaus sovereign,
To half beg, and half demand, respectfully,
The hand of his fair daughter Bellanaine;
An audience had, and speeching done, they gain
Their point, and bring the weeping bride away;
Whom, with but one attendant, safely lain
Upon their wings, they bore in bright array,
While little harps were touch'd by many a lyric fay.
As in old pictures tender cherubim
A child's soul thro' the sapphir'd canvas bear,
So, thro' a real heaven, on they swim
With the sweet princess on her plumag'd lair,
Speed giving to the winds her lustrous hair;
And so she journey'd, sleeping or awake,
Save when, for healthful exercise and air,
She chose to 'promener à l'aile,' or take
A pigeon's somerset, for sport or change's sake.
'Dear Princess, do not whisper me so loud,'
Quoth Corallina, nurse and confidant,
'Do not you see there, lurking in a cloud,
Close at your back, that sly old Crafticant?
He hears a whisper plainer than a rant:
Dry up your tears, and do not look so blue;
He's Elfinan's great state-spy militant,
His running, lying, flying foot-man too,--
Dear mistress, let him have no handle against you!
'Show him a mouse's tail, and he will guess,
With metaphysic swiftness, at the mouse;
Show him a garden, and with speed no less,
He'll surmise sagely of a dwelling house,
And plot, in the same minute, how to chouse
The owner out of it; show him a' --- 'Peace!
Peace! nor contrive thy mistress' ire to rouse!'
Return'd the Princess, 'my tongue shall not cease
Till from this hated match I get a free release.
'Ah, beauteous mortal!' 'Hush!' quoth Coralline,
'Really you must not talk of him, indeed.'
'You hush!' reply'd the mistress, with a shinee
Of anger in her eyes, enough to breed
In stouter hearts than nurse's fear and dread:
'Twas not the glance itself made nursey flinch,
But of its threat she took the utmost heed;
Not liking in her heart an hour-long pinch,
Or a sharp needle run into her back an inch.
So she was silenc'd, and fair Bellanaine,
Writhing her little body with ennui,
Continued to lament and to complain,
That Fate, cross-purposing, should let her be
Ravish'd away far from her dear countree;
That all her feelings should be set at nought,
In trumping up this match so hastily,
With lowland blood; and lowland blood she thought
Poison, as every staunch true-born Imaian ought.
Sorely she griev'd, and wetted three or four
White Provence rose-leaves with her faery tears,
But not for this cause; -- alas! she had more
Bad reasons for her sorrow, as appears
In the fam'd memoirs of a thousand years,
Written by Crafticant, and published
By Parpaglion and Co., (those sly compeers
Who rak'd up ev'ry fact against the dead,)
In Scarab Street, Panthea, at the Jubal's Head.
Where, after a long hypercritic howl
Against the vicious manners of the age,
He goes on to expose, with heart and soul,
What vice in this or that year was the rage,
Backbiting all the world in every page;
With special strictures on the horrid crime,
(Section'd and subsection'd with learning sage,)
Of faeries stooping on their wings sublime
To kiss a mortal's lips, when such were in their prime.
Turn to the copious index, you will find
Somewhere in the column, headed letter B,
The name of Bellanaine, if you're not blind;
Then pray refer to the text, and you will see
An article made up of calumny
Against this highland princess, rating her
For giving way, so over fashionably,
To this new-fangled vice, which seems a burr
Stuck in his moral throat, no coughing e'er could stir.
There he says plainly that she lov'd a man!
That she around him flutter'd, flirted, toy'd,
Before her marriage with great Elfinan;
That after marriage too, she never joy'd
In husband's company, but still employ'd
Her wits to 'scape away to Angle-land;
Where liv'd the youth, who worried and annoy'd
Her tender heart, and its warm ardours fann'd
To such a dreadful blaze, her side would scorch her hand.
But let us leave this idle tittle-tattle
To waiting-maids, and bed-room coteries,
Nor till fit time against her fame wage battle.
Poor Elfinan is very ill at ease,
Let us resume his subject if you please:
For it may comfort and console him much,
To rhyme and syllable his miseries;
Poor Elfinan! whose cruel fate was such,
He sat and curs'd a bride he knew he could not touch.
Soon as (according to his promises)
The bridal embassy had taken wing,
And vanish'd, bird-like, o'er the suburb trees,
The Emperor, empierc'd with the sharp sting
Of love, retired, vex'd and murmuring
Like any drone shut from the fair bee-queen,
Into his cabinet, and there did fling
His limbs upon a sofa, full of spleen,
And damn'd his House of Commons, in complete chagrin.
'I'll trounce some of the members,' cry'd the Prince,
'I'll put a mark against some rebel names,
I'll make the Opposition-benches wince,
I'll show them very soon, to all their shames,
What 'tis to smother up a Prince's flames;
That ministers should join in it, I own,
Surprises me! -- they too at these high games!
Am I an Emperor? Do I wear a crown?
Imperial Elfinan, go hang thyself or drown!
'I'll trounce 'em! -- there's the square-cut chancellor,
His son shall never touch that bishopric;
And for the nephew of old Palfior,
I'll show him that his speeches made me sick,
And give the colonelcy to Phalaric;
The tiptoe marquis, mortal and gallant,
Shall lodge in shabby taverns upon tick;
And for the Speaker's second cousin's aunt,
She sha'n't be maid of honour,-- by heaven that she sha'n't!
'I'll shirk the Duke of A.; I'll cut his brother;
I'll give no garter to his eldest son;
I won't speak to his sister or his mother!
The Viscount B. shall live at cut-and-run;
But how in the world can I contrive to stun
That fellow's voice, which plagues me worse than any,
That stubborn fool, that impudent state-dun,
Who sets down ev'ry sovereign as a zany,--
That vulgar commoner, Esquire Biancopany?
'Monstrous affair! Pshaw! pah! what ugly minx
Will they fetch from Imaus for my bride?
Alas! my wearied heart within me sinks,
To think that I must be so near ally'd
To a cold dullard fay,--ah, woe betide!
Ah, fairest of all human loveliness!
Sweet Bertha! what crime can it be to glide
About the fragrant plaintings of thy dress,
Or kiss thine eyes, or count thy locks, tress after tress?'
So said, one minute's while his eyes remaind'
Half lidded, piteous, languid, innocent;
But, in a wink, their splendour they regain'd,
Sparkling revenge with amorous fury blent.
Love thwarted in bad temper oft has vent:
He rose, he stampt his foot, he rang the bell,
And order'd some death-warrants to be sent
For signature: -- somewhere the tempest fell,
As many a poor fellow does not live to tell.
'At the same time, Eban,' -- (this was his page,
A fay of colour, slave from top to toe,
Sent as a present, while yet under age,
From the Viceroy of Zanguebar, -- wise, slow,
His speech, his only words were 'yes' and 'no,'
But swift of look, and foot, and wing was he,--)
'At the same time, Eban, this instant go
To Hum the soothsayer, whose name I see
Among the fresh arrivals in our empery.
'Bring Hum to me! But stay -- here, take my ring,
The pledge of favour, that he not suspect
Any foul play, or awkward murdering,
Tho' I have bowstrung many of his sect;
Throw in a hint, that if he should neglect
One hour, the next shall see him in my grasp,
And the next after that shall see him neck'd,
Or swallow'd by my hunger-starved asp,--
And mention ('tis as well) the torture of the wasp.'
These orders given, the Prince, in half a pet,
Let o'er the silk his propping elbow slide,
Caught up his little legs, and, in a fret,
Fell on the sofa on his royal side.
The slave retreated backwards, humble-ey'd,
And with a slave-like silence clos'd the door,
And to old Hun thro' street and alley hied;
He 'knew the city,' as we say, of yore,
And for short cuts and turns, was nobody knew more.
It was the time when wholesale dealers close
Their shutters with a moody sense of wealth,
But retail dealers, diligent, let loose
The gas (objected to on score of health),
Convey'd in little solder'd pipes by stealth,
And make it flare in many a brilliant form,
That all the powers of darkness it repell'th,
Which to the oil-trade doth great scaith and harm,
And superseded quite the use of the glow-worm.
Eban, untempted by the pastry-cooks,
(Of pastry he got store within the palace,)
With hasty steps, wrapp'd cloak, and solemn looks,
Incognito upon his errand sallies,
His smelling-bottle ready for the allies;
He pass'd the Hurdy-gurdies with disdain,
Vowing he'd have them sent on board the gallies;
Just as he made his vow; it 'gan to rain,
Therefore he call'd a coach, and bade it drive amain.
'I'll pull the string,' said he, and further said,
'Polluted Jarvey! Ah, thou filthy hack!
Whose springs of life are all dry'd up and dead,
Whose linsey-woolsey lining hangs all slack,
Whose rug is straw, whose wholeness is a crack;
And evermore thy steps go clatter-clitter;
Whose glass once up can never be got back,
Who prov'st, with jolting arguments and bitter,
That 'tis of modern use to travel in a litter.
'Thou inconvenience! thou hungry crop
For all corn! thou snail-creeper to and fro,
Who while thou goest ever seem'st to stop,
And fiddle-faddle standest while you go;
I' the morning, freighted with a weight of woe,
Unto some lazar-house thou journeyest,
And in the evening tak'st a double row
Of dowdies, for some dance or party drest,
Besides the goods meanwhile thou movest east and west.
'By thy ungallant bearing and sad mien,
An inch appears the utmost thou couldst budge;
Yet at the slightest nod, or hint, or sign,
Round to the curb-stone patient dost thou trudge,
School'd in a beckon, learned in a nudge,
A dull-ey'd Argus watching for a fare;
Quiet and plodding, thou dost bear no grudge
To whisking Tilburies, or Phaetons rare,
Curricles, or Mail-coaches, swift beyond compare.'
Philosophizing thus, he pull'd the check,
And bade the Coachman wheel to such a street,
Who, turning much his body, more his neck,
Louted full low, and hoarsely did him greet:
'Certes, Monsieur were best take to his feet,
Seeing his servant can no further drive
For press of coaches, that to-night here meet,
Many as bees about a straw-capp'd hive,
When first for April honey into faint flowers they dive.'
Eban then paid his fare, and tiptoe went
To Hum's hotel; and, as he on did pass
With head inclin'd, each dusky lineament
Show'd in the pearl-pav'd street, as in a glass;
His purple vest, that ever peeping was
Rich from the fluttering crimson of his cloak,
His silvery trowsers, and his silken sash
Tied in a burnish'd knot, their semblance took
Upon the mirror'd walls, wherever he might look.
He smil'd at self, and, smiling, show'd his teeth,
And seeing his white teeth, he smil'd the more;
Lifted his eye-brows, spurn'd the path beneath,
Show'd teeth again, and smil'd as heretofore,
Until he knock'd at the magician's door;
Where, till the porter answer'd, might be seen,
In the clear panel more he could adore,--
His turban wreath'd of gold, and white, and green,
Mustachios, ear-ring, nose-ring, and his sabre keen.
'Does not your master give a rout to-night?'
Quoth the dark page. 'Oh, no!' return'd the Swiss,
'Next door but one to us, upon the right,
The Magazin des Modes now open is
Against the Emperor's wedding;--and, sir, this
My master finds a monstrous horrid bore;
As he retir'd, an hour ago I wis,
With his best beard and brimstone, to explore
And cast a quiet figure in his second floor.
'Gad! he's oblig'd to stick to business!
For chalk, I hear, stands at a pretty price;
And as for aqua vitae -- there's a mess!
The dentes sapientiae of mice,
Our barber tells me too, are on the rise,--
Tinder's a lighter article, -- nitre pure
Goes off like lightning, -- grains of Paradise
At an enormous figure! -- stars not sure! --
Zodiac will not move without a slight douceur!
'Venus won't stir a peg without a fee,
And master is too partial, entre nous,
To' -- 'Hush -- hush!' cried Eban, 'sure that is he
Coming down stairs, -- by St. Bartholomew!
As backwards as he can, -- is't something new?
Or is't his custom, in the name of fun?'
'He always comes down backward, with one shoe'--
Return'd the porter -- 'off, and one shoe on,
Like, saving shoe for sock or stocking, my man John!'
It was indeed the great Magician,
Feeling, with careful toe, for every stair,
And retrograding careful as he can,
Backwards and downwards from his own two pair:
'Salpietro!' exclaim'd Hum, 'is the dog there?
He's always in my way upon the mat!'
'He's in the kitchen, or the Lord knows where,'--
Reply'd the Swiss, -- 'the nasty, yelping brat!'
'Don't beat him!' return'd Hum, and on the floor came pat.
Then facing right about, he saw the Page,
And said: 'Don't tell me what you want, Eban;
The Emperor is now in a huge rage,--
'Tis nine to one he'll give you the rattan!
Let us away!' Away together ran
The plain-dress'd sage and spangled blackamoor,
Nor rested till they stood to cool, and fan,
And breathe themselves at th' Emperor's chamber door,
When Eban thought he heard a soft imperial snore.
'I thought you guess'd, foretold, or prophesy'd,
That's Majesty was in a raving fit?'
'He dreams,' said Hum, 'or I have ever lied,
That he is tearing you, sir, bit by bit.'
'He's not asleep, and you have little wit,'
Reply'd the page; 'that little buzzing noise,
Whate'er your palmistry may make of it,
Comes from a play-thing of the Emperor's choice,
From a Man-Tiger-Organ, prettiest of his toys.'
Eban then usher'd in the learned Seer:
Elfinan's back was turn'd, but, ne'ertheless,
Both, prostrate on the carpet, ear by ear,
Crept silently, and waited in distress,
Knowing the Emperor's moody bitterness;
Eban especially, who on the floor 'gan
Tremble and quake to death,-- he feared less
A dose of senna-tea or nightmare Gorgon
Than the Emperor when he play'd on his Man-Tiger-Organ.
They kiss'd nine times the carpet's velvet face
Of glossy silk, soft, smooth, and meadow-green,
Where the close eye in deep rich fur might trace
A silver tissue, scantly to be seen,
As daisies lurk'd in June-grass, buds in green;
Sudden the music ceased, sudden the hand
Of majesty, by dint of passion keen,
Doubled into a common fist, went grand,
And knock'd down three cut glasses, and his best ink-stand.
Then turning round, he saw those trembling two:
'Eban,' said he, 'as slaves should taste the fruits
Of diligence, I shall remember you
To-morrow, or next day, as time suits,
In a finger conversation with my mutes,--
Begone! -- for you, Chaldean! here remain!
Fear not, quake not, and as good wine recruits
A conjurer's spirits, what cup will you drain?
Sherry in silver, hock in gold, or glass'd champagne?'
'Commander of the faithful!' answer'd Hum,
'In preference to these, I'll merely taste
A thimble-full of old Jamaica rum.'
'A simple boon!' said Elfinan; 'thou may'st
Have Nantz, with which my morning-coffee's lac'd.'
'I'll have a glass of Nantz, then,' -- said the Seer,--
'Made racy -- (sure my boldness is misplac'd!)--
With the third part -- (yet that is drinking dear!)--
Of the least drop of crème de citron, crystal clear.'
'I pledge you, Hum! and pledge my dearest love,
My Bertha!' 'Bertha! Bertha!' cry'd the sage,
'I know a many Berthas!' 'Mine's above
All Berthas!' sighed the Emperor. 'I engage,'
Said Hum, 'in duty, and in vassalage,
To mention all the Berthas in the earth;--
There's Bertha Watson, -- and Miss Bertha Page,--
This fam'd for languid eyes, and that for mirth,--
There's Bertha Blount of York, -- and Bertha Knox of Perth.'
'You seem to know' -- 'I do know,' answer'd Hum,
'Your Majesty's in love with some fine girl
Named Bertha; but her surname will not come,
Without a little conjuring.' ''Tis Pearl,
'Tis Bertha Pearl! What makes my brain so whirl?
And she is softer, fairer than her name!'
'Where does she live?' ask'd Hum. 'Her fair locks curl
So brightly, they put all our fays to shame!--
Live? -- O! at Canterbury, with her old grand-dame.'
'Good! good!' cried Hum, 'I've known her from a child!
She is a changeling of my management;
She was born at midnight in an Indian wild;
Her mother's screams with the striped tiger's blent,
While the torch-bearing slaves a halloo sent
Into the jungles; and her palanquin,
Rested amid the desert's dreariment,
Shook with her agony, till fair were seen
The little Bertha's eyes ope on the stars serene.'
'I can't say,' said the monarch; 'that may be
Just as it happen'd, true or else a bam!
Drink up your brandy, and sit down by me,
Feel, feel my pulse, how much in love I am;
And if your science is not all a sham.
Tell me some means to get the lady here.'
'Upon my honour!' said the son of Cham,
'She is my dainty changeling, near and dear,
Although her story sounds at first a little queer.'
'Convey her to me, Hum, or by my crown,
My sceptre, and my cross-surmounted globe,
I'll knock you' -- 'Does your majesty mean -- down?
No, no, you never could my feelings probe
To such a depth!' The Emperor took his robe,
And wept upon its purple palatine,
While Hum continued, shamming half a sob,--
'In Canterbury doth your lady shine?
But let me cool your brandy with a little wine.'
Whereat a narrow Flemish glass he took,
That since belong'd to Admiral De Witt,
Admir'd it with a connoisseuring look,
And with the ripest claret crowned it,
And, ere the lively bead could burst and flit,
He turn'd it quickly, nimbly upside down,
His mouth being held conveniently fit
To catch the treasure: 'Best in all the town!'
He said, smack'd his moist lips, and gave a pleasant frown.
'Ah! good my Prince, weep not!' And then again
He filled a bumper. 'Great Sire, do not weep!
Your pulse is shocking, but I'll ease your pain.'
'Fetch me that Ottoman, and prithee keep
Your voice low,' said the Emperor; 'and steep
Some lady's-fingers nice in Candy wine;
And prithee, Hum, behind the screen do peep
For the rose-water vase, magician mine!
And sponge my forehead, -- so my love doth make me pine.
'Ah, cursed Bellanaine!' 'Don't think of her,'
Rejoin'd the Mago, 'but on Bertha muse;
For, by my choicest best barometer,
You shall not throttled be in marriage noose;
I've said it, Sire; you only have to choose
Bertha or Bellanaine.' So saying, he drew
From the left pocket of his threadbare hose,
A sampler hoarded slyly, good as new,
Holding it by his thumb and finger full in view.
'Sire, this is Bertha Pearl's neat handy-work,
Her name, see here, Midsummer, ninety-one.'
Elfinan snatch'd it with a sudden jerk,
And wept as if he never would have done,
Honouring with royal tears the poor homespun;
Whereon were broider'd tigers with black eyes,
And long-tail'd pheasants, and a rising sun,
Plenty of posies, great stags, butterflies
Bigger than stags,-- a moon,-- with other mysteries.
The monarch handled o'er and o'er again
Those day-school hieroglyphics with a sigh;
Somewhat in sadness, but pleas'd in the main,
Till this oracular couplet met his eye
Astounded -- Cupid, I do thee defy!
It was too much. He shrunk back in his chair,
Grew pale as death, and fainted -- very nigh!
'Pho! nonsense!' exclaim'd Hum, 'now don't despair;
She does not mean it really. Cheer up, hearty -- there!
'And listen to my words. You say you won't,
On any terms, marry Miss Bellanaine;
It goes against your conscience -- good! Well, don't.
You say you love a mortal. I would fain
Persuade your honour's highness to refrain
From peccadilloes. But, Sire, as I say,
What good would that do? And, to be more plain,
You would do me a mischief some odd day,
Cut off my ears and limbs, or head too, by my fay!
'Besides, manners forbid that I should pass any
Vile strictures on the conduct of a prince
Who should indulge his genius, if he has any,
Not, like a subject, foolish matters mince.
Now I think on't, perhaps I could convince
Your Majesty there is no crime at all
In loving pretty little Bertha, since
She's very delicate,-- not over tall, --
A fairy's hand, and in the waist why -- very small.'
'Ring the repeater, gentle Hum!' ''Tis five,'
Said the gentle Hum; 'the nights draw in apace;
The little birds I hear are all alive;
I see the dawning touch'd upon your face;
Shall I put out the candles, please your Grace?'
'Do put them out, and, without more ado,
Tell me how I may that sweet girl embrace,--
How you can bring her to me.' 'That's for you,
Great Emperor! to adventure, like a lover true.'
'I fetch her!' -- 'Yes, an't like your Majesty;
And as she would be frighten'd wide awake
To travel such a distance through the sky,
Use of some soft manoeuvre you must make,
For your convenience, and her dear nerves' sake;
Nice way would be to bring her in a swoon,
Anon, I'll tell what course were best to take;
You must away this morning.' 'Hum! so soon?'
'Sire, you must be in Kent by twelve o'clock at noon.'
At this great Caesar started on his feet,
Lifted his wings, and stood attentive-wise.
'Those wings to Canterbury you must beat,
If you hold Bertha as a worthy prize.
Look in the Almanack -- Moore never lies --
April the twenty- fourth, -- this coming day,
Now breathing its new bloom upon the skies,
Will end in St. Mark's Eve; -- you must away,
For on that eve alone can you the maid convey.'
Then the magician solemnly 'gan to frown,
So that his frost-white eyebrows, beetling low,
Shaded his deep green eyes, and wrinkles brown
Plaited upon his furnace-scorched brow:
Forth from his hood that hung his neck below,
He lifted a bright casket of pure gold,
Touch'd a spring-lock, and there in wool or snow,
Charm'd into ever freezing, lay an old
And legend-leaved book, mysterious to behold.
'Take this same book,-- it will not bite you, Sire;
There, put it underneath your royal arm;
Though it's a pretty weight it will not tire,
But rather on your journey keep you warm:
This is the magic, this the potent charm,
That shall drive Bertha to a fainting fit!
When the time comes, don't feel the least alarm,
But lift her from the ground, and swiftly flit
Back to your palace. * * * * * * * * * *
'What shall I do with that same book?' 'Why merely
Lay it on Bertha's table, close beside
Her work-box, and 'twill help your purpose dearly;
I say no more.' 'Or good or ill betide,
Through the wide air to Kent this morn I glide!'
Exclaim'd the Emperor. 'When I return,
Ask what you will, -- I'll give you my new bride!
And take some more wine, Hum; -- O Heavens! I burn
To be upon the wing! Now, now, that minx I spurn!'
'Leave her to me,' rejoin'd the magian:
'But how shall I account, illustrious fay!
For thine imperial absence? Pho! I can
Say you are very sick, and bar the way
To your so loving courtiers for one day;
If either of their two archbishops' graces
Should talk of extreme unction, I shall say
You do not like cold pig with Latin phrases,
Which never should be used but in alarming cases.'
'Open the window, Hum; I'm ready now!'
Zooks!' exclaim'd Hum, as up the sash he drew.
'Behold, your Majesty, upon the brow
Of yonder hill, what crowds of people!' 'Whew!
The monster's always after something new,'
Return'd his Highness, 'they are piping hot
To see my pigsney Bellanaine. Hum! do
Tighten my belt a little, -- so, so, -- not
Too tight, -- the book! -- my wand! -- so, nothing is forgot.'
'Wounds! how they shout!' said Hum, 'and there, -- see, see!
Th' ambassador's return'd from Pigmio!
The morning's very fine, -- uncommonly!
See, past the skirts of yon white cloud they go,
Tinging it with soft crimsons! Now below
The sable-pointed heads of firs and pines
They dip, move on, and with them moves a glow
Along the forest side! Now amber lines
Reach the hill top, and now throughout the valley shines.'
'Why, Hum, you're getting quite poetical!
Those 'nows' you managed in a special style.'
'If ever you have leisure, Sire, you shall
See scraps of mine will make it worth your while,
Tid-bits for Phoebus! -- yes, you well may smile.
Hark! hark! the bells!' 'A little further yet,
Good Hum, and let me view this mighty coil.'
Then the great Emperor full graceful set
His elbow for a prop, and snuff'd his mignonnette.
The morn is full of holiday; loud bells
With rival clamours ring from every spire;
Cunningly-station'd music dies and swells
In echoing places; when the winds respire,
Light flags stream out like gauzy tongues of fire;
A metropolitan murmur, lifeful, warm,
Comes from the northern suburbs; rich attire
Freckles with red and gold the moving swarm;
While here and there clear trumpets blow a keen alarm.
And now the fairy escort was seen clear,
Like the old pageant of Aurora's train,
Above a pearl-built minister, hovering near;
First wily Crafticant, the chamberlain,
Balanc'd upon his grey-grown pinions twain,
His slender wand officially reveal'd;
Then black gnomes scattering sixpences like rain;
Then pages three and three; and next, slave-held,
The Imaian 'scutcheon bright, -- one mouse in argent field.
Gentlemen pensioners next; and after them,
A troop of winged Janizaries flew;
Then slaves, as presents bearing many a gem;
Then twelve physicians fluttering two and two;
And next a chaplain in a cassock new;
Then Lords in waiting; then (what head not reels
For pleasure?) -- the fair Princess in full view,
Borne upon wings, -- and very pleas'd she feels
To have such splendour dance attendance at her heels.
For there was more magnificence behind:
She wav'd her handkerchief. 'Ah, very grand!'
Cry'd Elfinan, and clos'd the window-blind;
'And, Hum, we must not shilly-shally stand,--
Adieu! adieu! I'm off for Angle-land!
I say, old Hocus, have you such a thing
About you, -- feel your pockets, I command,--
I want, this instant, an invisible ring,--
Thank you, old mummy! -- now securely I take wing.'
Then Elfinan swift vaulted from the floor,
And lighted graceful on the window-sill;
Under one arm the magic book he bore,
The other he could wave about at will;
Pale was his face, he still look'd very ill;
He bow'd at Bellanaine, and said -- 'Poor Bell!
Farewell! farewell! and if for ever! still
For ever fare thee well!' -- and then he fell
A laughing! -- snapp'd his fingers! -- shame it is to tell!
'By'r Lady! he is gone!' cries Hum, 'and I --
(I own it) -- have made too free with his wine;
Old Crafticant will smoke me. By-the-bye!
This room is full of jewels as a mine,--
Dear valuable creatures, how ye shine!
Sometime to-day I must contrive a minute,
If Mercury propitiously incline,
To examine his scutoire, and see what's in i,
For of superfluous diamonds I as well may thin it.
'The Emperor's horrid bad; yes, that's my cue!'
Some histories say that this was Hum's last speech;
That, being fuddled, he went reeling through
The corridor, and scarce upright could reach
The stair-head; that being glutted as a leech,
And us'd, as we ourselves have just now said,
To manage stairs reversely, like a peach
Too ripe, he fell, being puzzled in his head
With liquor and the staircase: verdict -- found stone dead.
This as a falsehood Crafticanto treats;
And as his style is of strange elegance,
Gentle and tender, full of soft conceits,
(Much like our Boswell's,) we will take a glance
At his sweet prose, and, if we can, make dance
His woven periods into careless rhyme;
O, little faery Pegasus! rear -- prance --
Trot round the quarto -- ordinary time!
March, little Pegasus, with pawing hoof sublime!
Well, let us see, -- tenth book and chapter nine,--
Thus Crafticant pursues his diary:--
''Twas twelve o'clock at night, the weather fine,
Latitude thirty-six; our scouts descry
A flight of starlings making rapidly
Towards Thibet. Mem.: -- birds fly in the night;
From twelve to half-past -- wings not fit to fly
For a thick fog -- the Princess sulky quite;
Call'd for an extra shawl, and gave her nurse a bite.
'Five minutes before one -- brought down a moth
With my new double-barrel -- stew'd the thighs
And made a very tolerable broth --
Princess turn'd dainty, to our great surprise,
Alter'd her mind, and thought it very nice;
Seeing her pleasant, try'd her with a pun,
She frown'd; a monstrous owl across us flies
About this time, -- a sad old figure of fun;
Bad omen -- this new match can't be a happy one.
'From two to half-past, dusky way we made,
Above the plains of Gobi, -- desert, bleak;
Beheld afar off, in the hooded shade
Of darkness, a great mountain (strange to speak),
Spitting, from forth its sulphur-baken peak,
A fan-shap'd burst of blood-red, arrowy fire,
Turban'd with smoke, which still away did reek,
Solid and black from that eternal pyre,
Upon the laden winds that scantly could respire.
'Just upon three o'clock a falling star
Created an alarm among our troop,
Kill'd a man-cook, a page, and broke a jar,
A tureen, and three dishes, at one swoop,
Then passing by the princess, singed her hoop:
Could not conceive what Coralline was at,
She clapp'd her hands three times and cry'd out 'Whoop!'
Some strange Imaian custom. A large bat
Came sudden 'fore my face, and brush'd against my hat.
'Five minutes thirteen seconds after three,
Far in the west a mighty fire broke out,
Conjectur'd, on the instant, it might be,
The city of Balk -- 'twas Balk beyond all doubt:
A griffin, wheeling here and there about,
Kept reconnoitring us -- doubled our guard --
Lighted our torches, and kept up a shout,
Till he sheer'd off -- the Princess very scar'd --
And many on their marrow-bones for death prepar'd.
'At half-past three arose the cheerful moon--
Bivouack'd for four minutes on a cloud --
Where from the earth we heard a lively tune
Of tambourines and pipes, serene and loud,
While on a flowery lawn a brilliant crowd
Cinque-parted danc'd, some half asleep reposed
Beneath the green-fan'd cedars, some did shroud
In silken tents, and 'mid light fragrance dozed,
Or on the opera turf their soothed eyelids closed.
'Dropp'd my gold watch, and kill'd a kettledrum--
It went for apoplexy -- foolish folks! --
Left it to pay the piper -- a good sum --
(I've got a conscience, maugre people's jokes,)
To scrape a little favour; 'gan to coax
Her Highness' pug-dog -- got a sharp rebuff --
She wish'd a game at whist -- made three revokes --
Turn'd from myself, her partner, in a huff;
His majesty will know her temper time enough.
'She cry'd for chess -- I play'd a game with her --
Castled her king with such a vixen look,
It bodes ill to his Majesty -- (refer
To the second chapter of my fortieth book,
And see what hoity-toity airs she took).
At half-past four the morn essay'd to beam --
Saluted, as we pass'd, an early rook --
The Princess fell asleep, and, in her dream,
Talk'd of one Master Hubert, deep in her esteem.
'About this time, -- making delightful way,--
Shed a quill-feather from my larboard wing --
Wish'd, trusted, hop'd 'twas no sign of decay --
Thank heaven, I'm hearty yet! -- 'twas no such thing:--
At five the golden light began to spring,
With fiery shudder through the bloomed east;
At six we heard Panthea's churches ring --
The city wall his unhiv'd swarms had cast,
To watch our grand approach, and hail us as we pass'd.
'As flowers turn their faces to the sun,
So on our flight with hungry eyes they gaze,
And, as we shap'd our course, this, that way run,
With mad-cap pleasure, or hand-clasp'd amaze;
Sweet in the air a mild-ton'd music plays,
And progresses through its own labyrinth;
Buds gather'd from the green spring's middle-days,
They scatter'd, -- daisy, primrose, hyacinth,--
Or round white columns wreath'd from capital to plinth.
'Onward we floated o'er the panting streets,
That seem'd throughout with upheld faces paved;
Look where we will, our bird's-eye vision meets
Legions of holiday; bright standards waved,
And fluttering ensigns emulously craved
Our minute's glance; a busy thunderous roar,
From square to square, among the buildings raved,
As when the sea, at flow, gluts up once more
The craggy hollowness of a wild reefed shore.
'And 'Bellanaine for ever!' shouted they,
While that fair Princess, from her winged chair,
Bow'd low with high demeanour, and, to pay
Their new-blown loyalty with guerdon fair,
Still emptied at meet distance, here and there,
A plenty horn of jewels. And here I
(Who wish to give the devil her due) declare
Against that ugly piece of calumny,
Which calls them Highland pebble-stones not worth a fly.
'Still 'Bellanaine!' they shouted, while we glide
'Slant to a light Ionic portico,
The city's delicacy, and the pride
Of our Imperial Basilic; a row
Of lords and ladies, on each hand, make show
Submissive of knee-bent obeisance,
All down the steps; and, as we enter'd, lo!
The strangest sight -- the most unlook'd for chance --
All things turn'd topsy-turvy in a devil's dance.
''Stead of his anxious Majesty and court
At the open doors, with wide saluting eyes,
Congèes and scrape-graces of every sort,
And all the smooth routine of gallantries,
Was seen, to our immoderate surprise,
A motley crowd thick gather'd in the hall,
Lords, scullions, deputy-scullions, with wild cries
Stunning the vestibule from wall to wall,
Where the Chief Justice on his knees and hands doth crawl.
'Counts of the palace, and the state purveyor
Of moth's-down, to make soft the royal beds,
The Common Council and my fool Lord Mayor
Marching a-row, each other slipshod treads;
Powder'd bag-wigs and ruffy-tuffy heads
Of cinder wenches meet and soil each other;
Toe crush'd with heel ill-natur'd fighting breeds,
Frill-rumpling elbows brew up many a bother,
And fists in the short ribs keep up the yell and pother.
'A Poet, mounted on the Court-Clown's back,
Rode to the Princess swift with spurring heels,
And close into her face, with rhyming clack,
Began a Prothalamion; -- she reels,
She falls, she faints! while laughter peels
Over her woman's weakness. 'Where!' cry'd I,
'Where is his Majesty?' No person feels
Inclin'd to answer; wherefore instantly
I plung'd into the crowd to find him or die.
'Jostling my way I gain'd the stairs, and ran
To the first landing, where, incredible!
I met, far gone in liquor, that old man,
That vile impostor Hum. ----'
So far so well,--
For we have prov'd the Mago never fell
Down stairs on Crafticanto's evidence;
And therefore duly shall proceed to tell,
Plain in our own original mood and tense,
The sequel of this day, though labour 'tis immense!
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *