"vox clamantis in deserto."
Said Malthus one day to a clown
Lying stretched on the beach in the sun,--
"What's the number of souls in this town?"--
"The number! Lord bless you, there's none.
"We have nothing but dabs in this place,
"Of them a great plenty there are;--
But the soles, please your reverence and grace,
"Are all t'other side of the bar."
And so 'tis in London just now,
Not a soul to be seen up or down;--
Of dabs? a great glut, I allow,
But your soles, every one, out of town.
East or west nothing wondrous or new,
No courtship or scandal worth knowing;
Mrs. B---, and a Mermaid or two,
Are the only loose fish that are going.
Ah, where is that dear house of Peers
That some weeks ago kept us merry?
Where, Eldon, art thou with thy tears?
And thou with thy sense, Londonderry?
Wise Marquis, how much the Lord Mayor,
In the dog-days, with thee must be puzzled!--
It being his task to take care
That such animals shan't go unmuzzled.
Thou too whose political toils
Are so worthy a captain of horse--
Whose amendments (like honest Sir Boyle's)
Are "amendments, that make matters worse;"
Great Chieftain, who takest such pains
To prove--what is granted, nem. con.--
With how moderate a portion of brains
Some heroes contrive to get on.
And thou too my Redesdale, ah! where
Is the peer with a star at his button,
Whose quarters could ever compare
With Redesdale's five quarters of mutton?
Why, why have ye taken your flight,
Ye diverting and dignified crew?
How ill do three farces a night,
At the Haymarket, pay us for you!
For what is Bombastes to thee,
My Ellenbro', when thou look'st big
Or where's the burletta can be
Like Lauderdale's wit and his wig?
I doubt if even Griffinhoof could
(Tho' Griffin's a comical lad)
Invent any joke half so good
As that precious one, "This is too bad!"
Then come again, come again Spring!
Oh haste thee, with Fun in thy train;
And--of all things the funniest--bring
These exalted Grimaldis again!