Last night, as lonely o'er my fire I sat,
Thinking of cues, starts, exits, and--all that,
And wondering much what little knavish sprite
Had put it first in women's heads to write:--
Sudden I saw--as in some witching dream--
A bright-blue glory round my book-case beam,
From whose quick-opening folds of azure light
Out flew a tiny form, as small and bright
As Puck the Fairy, when he pops his head,
Some sunny morning from a violet bed.
"Bless me!" I starting cried "what imp are you?"--
"A small he-devil, Ma'am--my name BAS BLEU--
"A bookish sprite, much given to routs and reading;
"'Tis I who teach your spinsters of good breeding,
"The reigning taste in chemistry and caps,
"The last new bounds of tuckers and of maps,
"And when the waltz has twirled her giddy brain
"With metaphysics twirl it back again!"
I viewed him, as he spoke--his hose were blue,
His wings--the covers of the last Review--
Cerulean, bordered with a jaundice hue,
And tinselled gayly o'er, for evening wear,
Till the next quarter brings a new-fledged pair.
"Inspired by me--(pursued this waggish Fairy)--
"That best of wives and Sapphos, Lady Mary,
"Votary alike of Crispin and the Muse,
"Makes her own splay-foot epigrams and shoes.
"For me the eyes of young Camilla shine,
"And mingle Love's blue brilliances with mine;
"For me she sits apart, from coxcombs shrinking,
"Looks wise--the pretty soul!--and thinks she's thinking.
"By my advice Miss Indigo attends
"Lectures on Memory, and assures her friends,
"''Pon honor!--(mimics)--nothing can surpass the plan
"'Of that professor--(trying to recollect)--psha! that memory-man--
"'That--what's his name?--him I attended lately--
"''Pon honor, he improved my memory greatly.'"
Here curtsying low, I asked the blue-legged sprite,
What share he had in this our play to-night.
'Nay, there--(he cried)--there I am guiltless quite--
"What! choose a heroine from that Gothic time
"When no one waltzed and none but monks could rhyme;
"When lovely woman, all unschooled and wild,
"Blushed without art, and without culture smiled--
"Simple as flowers, while yet unclassed they shone,
"Ere Science called their brilliant world her own,
"Ranged the wild, rosy things in learned orders,
"And filled with Greek the garden's blushing borders!--
"No, no--your gentle Inas will not do--
"To-morrow evening, when the lights burn blue,
"I'll come--(pointing downwards)--you understand--till then adieu!"
And has the sprite been here! No--jests apart--
Howe'er man rules in science and in art,
The sphere of woman's glories is the heart.
And, if our Muse have sketched with pencil true
The wife--the mother--firm, yet gentle too--
Whose soul, wrapt up in ties itself hath spun,
Trembles, if touched in the remotest one;
Who loves--yet dares even Love himself disown,
When Honor's broken shaft supports his throne:
If such our Ina, she may scorn the evils,
Dire as they are, of Critics and--Blue Devils.