ah quoties dubies Scriptis exarsit amator.
The Ghost of Miltiades came at night,
And he stood by the bed of the Benthamite,
And he said, in a voice that thrilled the frame,
"If ever the sound of Marathon's name
Hath fired thy blood or flusht thy brow,
"Lover of Liberty, rouse thee now!"
The Benthamite yawning left his bed--
Away to the Stock Exchange he sped,
And he found the Scrip of Greece so high,
That it fired his blood, it flusht his eye,
And oh! 'twas a sight for the Ghost to see,
For never was Greek more Greek than he!
And still as the premium higher went,
His ecstasy rose--so much per cent.
(As we see in a glass that tells the weather
The heat and the silver rise together,)
And Liberty sung from the patriot's lip,
While a voice from his pocket whispered "Scrip!"
The Ghost of Miltiades came again;--
He smiled, as the pale moon smiles thro' rain,
For his soul was glad at that patriot strain;
(And poor, dear ghost--how little he knew
The jobs and the tricks of the Philhellene crew!)
"Blessings and thanks!" was all he said,
Then melting away like a night-dream fled!
The Benthamite hears--amazed that ghosts
Could be such fools--and away he posts,
A patriot still? Ah no, ah no--
Goddess of Freedom, thy Scrip is low,
And warm and fond as thy lovers are,
Thou triest their passion, when under par,
The Benthamite's ardor fast decays,
By turns he weeps and swears and prays.
And wishes the devil had Crescent and Cross,
Ere he had been forced to sell at a loss.
They quote him the Stock of various nations,
But, spite of his classic associations,
Lord! how he loathes the Greek quotations!
"Who'll buy my Scrip? Who'll buy my Scrip?"
Is now the theme of the patriot's lip,
As he runs to tell how hard his lot is
To Messrs. Orlando and Luriottis,
And says, "Oh Greece, for Liberty's sake,
"Do buy my Scrip, and I vow to break
"Those dark, unholy bonds of thine--
"If you'll only consent to buy up mine!"
The Ghost of Miltiades came once more;--
His brow like the night was lowering o'er,
And he said, with a look that flasht dismay,
"Of Liberty's foes the worst are they,
"Who turn to a trade her cause divine,
"And gamble for gold on Freedom's shrine!"
Thus saying, the Ghost, as he took his flight,
Gave a Parthian kick to the Benthamite,
Which sent him, whimpering, off to Jerry--
And vanisht away to the Stygian ferry!