Зображення сторінки

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 sinn'd, and still he would sin on,
They dreamt of sin, and he sinn'd while they slept;

In vain the pulpit thunder'd at the throne, Caricature was vain, and vain the tart lampoon.

III. 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 promised 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 sapphired canvas bear,
So, thro' a real heaven, on they swim
With the sweet princess on her plumaged 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.

vi. “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 footman too, Dear mistress, let him have no handle against you !

VII. “ 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. Vol. III.


VIII. “Ah, beauteous mortal!” “Hush !" quoth

Coralline, “Really you must not talk of him, indeed.” “You hush !" replied the mistress, with a shine 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.

Ix. So she was silenced, and fair Bellanaine, ..

Continued to lament and to complain,

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 stanch true-born Imaian ought.

Sorely she grieved, 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 famed memoirs of a thousand years,

By Parpaglion and Co. (those sly compeers

Who raked up ev'ry fact against the dead), In Scarab Street, Panthea, at the Jubal's Head.

by Pan by Cramemoire Orrow, a. she hairy team

XI. 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 ev'ry 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.

XII. 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.

XIII. There he says plainly that she loved 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 cursed 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, empierced 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.

XVI. “ I'll trounce some of the members,” cried 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!

« НазадПродовжити »