« PreviousContinue »
LA BELLE TRYAMOUR,
A Metrical Romance:
BY GERARD MONTGOMERY.
T'hus I entertain
KING Arthur, in the tenth year of his reign,
Fell sick of the blue devils :—by his court So many brace of dragons had been slain,- *
So many giants, with their crimes, cut short,
That there began to be a lack of sport.
For six whole weeks, the Knights of the Round Table,
From morn to night, had nothing else to do Than saunter from the palace to the stable,
Play with their falcons, or their ladies woo, Polish their arms, and laugh (when they were able)
At their own languid jests; no mortal knew, Till dinner was announced, what he'd be at; And King and courtiers all were growing fat.
The game laws were enforced in all their rigour,
And several peasants were convicted fully Of breaking dragons' eggs, and pulling trigger
At giants with two heads, who chose to bully
Of the police, the court went on but dully;
As for the ladies, they, poor souls, declared
That “they certayne for wearynesse should dye;" The formal knights so prosed, and bowed, and stared,
With their demure, old-fashion'd courtesy;
With his gay jests, and harp, and poetry,
In short, Miss Edgeworth's demon, pale Ennui,
Had seiz’d on the whole court with dire aggression ; And made it stupid as a calm at sea,
Or wedlock, after half a year's possession,
Or this same metre, stripp'd of its digression;
I said the King fell sick (he kept his bed,)
With the blue devils ;-'tis a sore disease, Worse than all fevers, yellow, green, or red,
The jaundice, or “ that worm i’th’ bud” one sees On the pale cheeks of hopeless lovers fed;
And if you wish to know the remedies With which it should be treated, go and look In Doctor Burton's valuable book.
'Tis a complaint that's chiefly incidental
To lovers, drunkards, scholars, kings, and bards ; To country squires with an encumber'd rental,
And gamesters apt to hold unlucky cards; Bards bear it best;_to them it's instrumental
In spinning rhymes: there's Chauncey Townshend lards His groaning stanzas (just to eke his strains out,) With gloom enough to blow six Frenchmen's brains out.
The symptoms vary with the sex, condition,
Taste, temper, habits, constitution, age, And fortune of the patient;-if a rich one,
It makes him fretful, puts him in a rage With wife, friends, children, servants, and physician;If
poor, he's apt to quit the world's dull stage With a sore throat;—it makes the lover sad, The gamester gloomy, and the poet mad.
Old ladies call it “ fever on the nerves,”
A name of universal application,
And gains, for some cross people, toleration
(To say the least,) a handsome flagellation; A mode of treatment which I own that I, In “ nervous” cases, often long to try.
A better poet is just now preparing
In Mr. Knight's best types and paper, bearing The title of “ Blue Devils,” and I fear
'Twould seem absurd, in one so often wearing Their livery as myself, to act physician To others haply in no worse condition.
I wonder whether Mr. Wordsworth’s yacht,
That fine sky-cruiser call’d the “ Crescent Moon,” Might, upon reasonable terms, be got
To bear my Muse and me, some afternoon, “ Above the smoke and stir of this dim spot,
Which men call earth;” for I'm quite out of tuneBlue-devil'd by eternal common-places-And business-and uninteresting faces.
To make us poets happy;-I detest
And Mathematics are a bore at best;
Of a fair face in woman, I protest
"Tis a vile world--a world of dung and draymen,
And filthy streets, and noises beyond bearing; Knife-grinders, fish-wives, ballad-singers, gay men
(Though last not least,) carousing, shouting, swearing, With oaths enough to shock both priests and laymen,
Haunt me o' nights; and I can't take the air in The morning, but I'm bored with butcher's shops, And markets-and prize odes-and hay-and hops.
In me these things breed legions of blue devils;
These, and some thoughts which will not pass away, Of powers decay’d, and time mis-spent in revels ;
Of many a wasted hour and useless lay;
Muster'd in grim and terrible array,
Through a long boyhood, saying I might earn
And write my name on an enduring urn, Hath now departed; while ambition's fever,
Unquench'd, though aimless, hath not ceas'd to burn With self-exciting fire, and thirst supplied By longings which can ne'er be satisfied.
Dull verses in a style which I despise,
With nobler weapons for a brighter prize;
My soul, to rush at famous destinies;
“ Time's pasť”—I should have nurs’d the seed, and cherish'd
The weak spring blossoms which shall bud no more,
From the rich founts of old poetic lore;
Their growing ripeness, and laid up a store
I should have been more cautious in my diet,
Eaten less butcher's meat, and drunk no wine; Abstain'd from evening punch, and midnight riot;
Lov’d but one maid, instead of eight or nine;
And then my poems would have been divine.
Affections, tastes, and impulses, which should,
Under the care of Study and of Nature,
And made it reach the true poetic stature.
In short, a very different sort of creature;