Ode To A Hat.

A poem by Thomas Moore

--altum aedificat caput."
JUVENAL

1826.


Hail, reverent Hat!--sublime mid all
The minor felts that round thee grovel;--
Thou that the Gods "a Delta" call
While meaner mortals call the "shovel."
When on thy shape (like pyramid,
Cut horizontally in two)[1]
I raptured gaze, what dreams unbid
Of stalls and mitres bless my view!

That brim of brims so sleekly good--
Not flapt, like dull Wesleyans', down,
But looking (as all churchmen's should)
Devoutly upward--towards the crown.

Gods! when I gaze upon that brim,
So redolent of Church all over,
What swarms of Tithes in vision dim,--
Some-pig-tailed, some like cherubim,
With ducklings' wings--around it hover!
Tenths of all dead and living things,
That Nature into being brings,
From calves and corn to chitterlings.

Say, holy Hat, that hast, of cocks,
The very cock most orthodox.
To which of all the well-fed throng
Of Zion,[2] joy'st thou to belong?
Thou'rt not Sir Harcourt Lees's--no-
For hats grow like the heads that wear 'em:
And hats, on heads like his, would grow
Particularly harum-scarum.

Who knows but thou mayst deck the pate
Of that famed Doctor Ad-mth-te,
(The reverend rat, whom we saw stand
On his hind-legs in Westmoreland,)
Who changed so quick from blue to yellow,
And would from yellow back to blue,
And back again, convenient fellow,
If 'twere his interest so to do.

Or haply smartest of triangles,
Thou art the hat of Doctor Owen;
The hat that, to his vestry wrangles,
That venerable priest doth go in,--
And then and there amid the stare
Of all St. Olave's, takes the chair
And quotes with phiz right orthodox
The example of his reverend brothers,
To prove that priests all fleece their flocks
And he must fleece as well as others.

Blest Hat! (whoe'er thy lord may be)
Thus low I take off mine to thee,
The homage of a layman's castor,
To the spruce delta of his pastor.
Oh mayst thou be, as thou proceedest,
Still smarter cockt, still brusht the brighter,
Till, bowing all the way, thou leadest
Thy sleek possessor to a mitre!

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