--in Metii decenaat Judicis aures.
As snug in his bed Lord Henley lay,
Revolving much his own renown,
And hoping to add thereto a ray
By putting duets and anthems down,
Sudden a strain of choral sounds
Mellifluous o'er his senses stole;
Whereat the Reformer muttered "Zounds!"
For he loathed sweet music with all his soul.
Then starting up he saw a sight
That well might shock so learned a snorer--
Saint Cecilia robed in light
With a portable organ slung before her.
And round were Cherubs on rainbow wings,
Who, his Lordship feared, might tire of flitting,
So begged they'd sit--but ah! poor things,
They'd, none of them, got the means of sitting.
"Having heard," said the Saint, "you're fond of hymns,
"And indeed that musical snore betrayed you,
"Myself and my choir of cherubims
"Are come for a while to serenade you."
In vain did the horrified Henley say
"'Twas all a mistake--she was misdirected;"
And point to a concert over the way
Where fiddlers and angels were expected.
In vain--the Saint could see in his looks
(She civilly said) much tuneful lore;
So at once all opened their music-books,
And herself and her Cherubs set off at score.
All night duets, terzets, quartets,
Nay, long quintets most dire to hear;
Ay, and old motets and canzonets
And glees in sets kept boring his ear.
He tried to sleep--but it wouldn't do;
So loud they squalled, he must attend to 'em.
Tho' Cherubs' songs to his cost he knew
Were like themselves and had no end to 'em.
Oh judgment dire on judges bold,
Who meddle with music's sacred strains!
Judge Midas tried the same of old
And was punisht like Henley for his pains.
But worse on the modern judge, alas!
Is the sentence launched from Apollo's throne;
For Midas was given the ears of an ass,
While Henley is doomed to keep his own!