Page images
PDF
EPUB

You sit in speechless agony,

Until your ear is numb.
Poor “Home, sweet home," should seem to be

A very dismal place :
Your “auld acquaintance,” all at once,

Is altered in the face;
Their discords sting through Burns and Moore,

Like hedgehogs dressed in lace.

You think they are crusaders, sent

From some infernal clime,
To pluck the eyes of Sentiment,

And dock the tail of Rhyme,
To crack the voice of Melody,

And break the legs of Time.
But hark! the air again is still,

The music all is ground,
And silence, like a poultice, comes,

To heal the blows of sound;
It cannot be it is—it is

A hat is going round !
No! Pay the dentist when he leaves

A fracture in your jaw;
And

pay the owner of the bear,
That stunned

you
with his

paw, And buy the lobster, that has had

Your knuckles in his claw :

But if you are a portly man

Put on your fiercest frown,
And talk about a constable

To turn them out of town;
Then close your sentence with an ouin,

And shut the window down !

And if you are a slender man,

Not big enough for that,

Or, if you cannot make a speech,

Because you are a flat,
Go very quietly and drop

A button in the hat.

A HUMAN SKULL.

FREDERICK LOCKER.

[Messrs. Moxon and Co., the poet's publishers par excellence, are bringing out a series of selections from the modern poets, in a neat, cheap, and very attractive form. Of the three volumes already published the names of Alfred Tennyson and Robert Browning introduce themselves, while, for that of Frederick Locker, the good name of “Moxon and Co." on the title-page at least ensures it respectful attention ; nor will the reader be disposed to cavil with the publishers, when he has once opened the Iittle tome and dipped into the contents. Messrs. Moxon, like other publishers, know that the public like variety and will have novelty; they will find both in Mr. Locker’s volume, and not the less so because, as a poet, he differs from Tennyson and Brown ing altogether, while, as his critic in “The Times

says,

“ he has a genuine poetic gift, but he belongs to a peculiar class." Of the poets of the class to which he belongs, we may mention the Hon. W. Spencer, Bayly, and Praed. We think him superior to the two former, but not quite up to the latter. He has this merit also, that he is not slangy, as Thackeray is in his

“ Ballads of Policeman X." Like the late Captain Charles Morris, he loves “the sweet shady side of Pall Mall," and he only jokes with respectable people. Not that he is above “A Sketch from Seven Dials,” nor that he withholds a friendly word from “The Housemaid,” consoling her that it is “not her Sunday out”-two subjects that he has handled kindly, lovingly, as Thomas Hood would have done, and of whose genius both poems are worthy; thouglı in Locker's comic vein there is nothing akin to Hood.' Hood's comic poems are, for the most part, fun per se; Frederick Locker blends pathos with his jests, making a sort of poetical punch, which is all the more palatable for the admixture of the sweet and sharp of which it is compounded.

Mr. Locker was born in 1821. He is of a Kentish family; his father, Edward Hawke Locker, was a Civil Comissioner of Greenwich Hospital, a warm patron of literature and art, and the founder of the naval gallery of Greenwich Hospital; he also published the lives of some of the most distinguished naval worthies, as well as a tour that he made in Spain with Earl Russell ; his own sketches illustrating the volume. The grandfather of the poet was Captain W. Locker, R.N., under whom both Lord Nelson and Lord Collingwood served. The former was especially his old and attached friend. In one of the numerous letters from Lord Nelson to his grandfather, in the possession of Mr. Locker, Lord Nelson says, “ You were the first person to teach me how to board a Frenchman, by your conduct when in the 'Experiment' you said, 'Lay a Frenchman close, and you will beat him.'' Captain Locker died as Lieutenant-Governor of Greenwich Hospital.

Mr. Frederick Locker married a sister of the late Earl of Elgin and Kincardine, by whom he has one daughter.

The volume of which the “ Selections " form a part is entitled “London Lyrics," and was published about eight years ago.]

A HUMAN skull! I bought it passing cheap

A slight reflection on its first employer;
I thought mortality did well to keep

Some mute memento of the Old Destroyer.
Time was, some may have prized its blooming skin,

Here lips were wooed, perhaps, in transport tender; Some may

have chuck'd what was a dimpled chin, And never had my doubt about its gender! Did she live yesterday, or ages back ?

What colour were the eyes when bright and waking ? And were your ringlets fair, or brown, or black,

Poor little head! that long has done with aching? It may

have held (to shoot some random shots) Thy brains, Eliza Fry—or Baron Byron's, The wits of Nelly Gwynn or Doctor Watts

Two quoted bards ! two philanthropic sirens But this, I trust, is clearly understood,

If man or woman and if loved or hated, Whoever owned this skull was not so good

Nor quite so bad as many may have stated. Who love, can need no special type of Death;

He bares his awful face too soon, too often;

"Immortelles" bloom in Beauty's bridal wreath,

And does not yon green elm contain a coffin ? O, cara mine, what lines of care are these?

The heart still lingers with its golden hours, But fading tints are on the chestnut trees,

And where is all that lavish wreath of flowers ?
The end is near- -Life yields not what it gave,

But Death hath promises that call for praises ;
As here a worthless rogue may dig the grave,
But hands unseen will dress the turf with daisies.

(By permission of Messrs. Moxon and Co.)

THE FRENCHMAN IN A FIX ;

a

OR, A NEW MAP OF LONDON.

DOUGLAS JERROLD. I WELL remember sitting in a tavern, when a horrible . noise arose in the house, and Monsieur Top-it-droit, a French dancing-master, not much higher than venerable savoy cabbage, rushed into the coffee-room, foaming like ginger-beer in July :

“Ma foi-mi eye !—des bêtes anglais—here is a place. Dere is no street-dere is no leetle street-dere is no rue!” “Rue!” said the waiter, “what do you mean by

asked me for Bishopsgate Without." “Certainement, oui ! oui ! And you make a me de map comme je vous ordonne, as I did tell you; and it was no map for de puppy dog, much less for de gentilhomme Français !"

Why how is this, Tom?" said the landlord. “Why you must know this man with the peaked nose and the sanguinary eyebrows."

“ Pig nose, sare! Diable! vat you mean by pig

rue? you

66

nose?"

“He asks me if I could direct him to the beauties of the me-tro-po—lis ; so I says, yes—and so I sends him down to Tower-hill."

“But dat is not all, diable !-de map—de map! ”

“Ah, what is that about the map?” asked the master.

“Why, master, you see, as I know'd he was but a strange foreigner-only an alien, as they calls 'em in parliament-I makes him out a map of the streets. Here it is, you see-I marked 'em all down: Strand, Fleet-street; and these four little dots are for the postes at the end on it—the big one for the obelisk, and the hair-stroke for the sweeper at the side of it. Here's what we called at school a carrot.”

“A caret! and what's the caret for, Tom ? ”

“Why for the wegetable market; and here's a dagger for the butchers' shops—the stocking warehouse is the letter K, and the Compter is L; but that you know he leaves and goes up Ludgate Hill; then here's the letter 0, with the dropsy, for St. Paul's church, and here's the figures of interrogation.”

Why, what are the interrogations for at St. Paul's church?

“Why, they are the fellows asking you for money afore you go into it, and here's signs of admiration for the whips of the omnibus drivers in the church-yardhere an X for the cross roads—a dash for Cheapside, and here's an amm-per-sant, like an eel lying upon its tail, for the Mansion House ; then here's

Well, I see the map is all right, and

No, no, it is not all right, it is ver wrong-I take de papier-eh bien-I go up de Strand- de street of de Fleet—de Hill of de Ludgate—come to de St. Paul's church, and

button up my pockets at de notes of interrogation. Den I cross de X, and ven I look up for Cheapside, at de corner dere, I see-Stick-no-bill Street-dere is no Stick-no-bill Street in de map, so I stick dere myself—dat it is vat I sall complain of, and will for ever! so vat for you no put him down ? "

« PreviousContinue »