The Summer Fête.

A poem by Thomas Moore


For the groundwork of the following Poem I am indebted to a memorable Fête, given some years since, at Boyle Farm, the seat of the late Lord Henry Fitzgerald. In commemoration of that evening--of which the lady to whom these pages are inscribed was, I well recollect, one of the most distinguished ornaments--I was induced at the time to write some verses, which were afterwards, however, thrown aside unfinished, on my discovering that the same task had been undertaken by a noble poet,[1] whose playful and happy jeu d'esprit on the subject has since been published. It was but lately, that, on finding the fragments of my own sketch among my papers, I thought of founding on them such a description of an imaginary Fête as might furnish me with situations for the introduction of music.

Such is the origin and object of the following Poem, and to MRS. NORTON it is, with every feeling of admiration and regard, inscribed by her father's warmly attached friend,


Sloperton Cottage,

November 1881

[1] Lord Francis Egerton.

The Summer Fête

"Where are ye now, ye summer days,
"That once inspired the poet's lays?
"Blest time! ere England's nymphs and swains,
"For lack of sunbeams, took to coals--
"Summers of light, undimmed by rains,
"Whose only mocking trace remains
"In watering-pots and parasols."

Thus spoke a young Patrician maid,
As, on the morning of that Fête
Which bards unborn shall celebrate,
She backward drew her curtain's shade,
And, closing one half-dazzled eye,
Peeped with the other at the sky--
The important sky, whose light or gloom
Was to decide, this day, the doom
Of some few hundred beauties, wits,
Blues, Dandies, Swains, and Exquisites.

Faint were her hopes; for June had now
Set in with all his usual rigor!
Young Zephyr yet scarce knowing how
To nurse a bud, or fan a bough,
But Eurus in perpetual vigor;
And, such the biting summer air,
That she, the nymph now nestling there--
Snug as her own bright gems recline
At night within their cotton shrine--
Had more than once been caught of late
Kneeling before her blazing grate,
Like a young worshipper of fire,
With hands uplifted to the flame,
Whose glow as if to woo them nigher.
Thro' the white fingers flushing came.

But oh! the light, the unhoped-for light,
That now illumed this morning's heaven!
Up sprung Iänthe at the sight,
Tho'--hark!--the clocks but strike eleven,
And rarely did the nymph surprise
Mankind so early with her eyes.
Who now will say that England's sun
(Like England's self, these spendthrift days)
His stock of wealth hath near outrun,
And must retrench his golden rays--
Pay for the pride of sunbeams past,
And to mere moonshine come at last?

"Calumnious thought!" Iänthe cries,
While coming mirth lit up each glance,
And, prescient of the ball, her eyes
Already had begun to dance:
For brighter sun than that which now
Sparkled o'er London's spires and towers,
Had never bent from heaven his brow
To kiss Firenze's City of Flowers.

What must it be--if thus so fair.
Mid the smoked groves of Grosvenor Square--
What must it be where Thames is seen
Gliding between his banks of green,
While rival villas, on each side,
Peep from their bowers to woo his tide,
And, like a Turk between two rows
Of Harem beauties, on he goes--
A lover, loved for even the grace
With which he slides from their embrace.

In one of those enchanted domes,
One, the most flowery, cool, and bright
Of all by which that river roams,
The Fête is to be held to-night--
That Fête already linked to fame,
Whose cards, in many a fair one's sight
(When looked for long, at last they came,)
Seemed circled with a fairy light;--
That Fête to which the cull, the flower
Of England's beauty, rank and power,
From the young spinster, just come out,
To the old Premier, too long in--
From legs of far descended gout,
To the last new-mustachioed chin--
All were convoked by Fashion's spells
To the small circle where she dwells,
Collecting nightly, to allure us,
Live atoms, which, together hurled,
She, like another Epicurus,
Sets dancing thus, and calls "the World."

Behold how busy in those bowers
(Like May-flies in and out of flowers.)
The countless menials, swarming run,
To furnish forth ere set of sun
The banquet-table richly laid
Beneath yon awning's lengthened shade,
Where fruits shall tempt and wines entice,
And Luxury's self, at Gunter's call,
Breathe from her summer-throne of ice
A spirit of coolness over all.

And now the important hour drew nigh,
When, 'neath the flush of evening's sky,
The west-end "world" for mirth let loose,
And moved, as he of Syracuse[1]
Ne'er dreamt of moving worlds, by force
Of four horse power, had all combined
Thro' Grosvenor Gate to speed their course,
Leaving that portion of mankind,
Whom they call "Nobody," behind;
No star for London's feasts to-day,
No moon of beauty, new this May,
To lend the night her crescent ray;--
Nothing, in short, for ear or eye,
But veteran belles and wits gone by,
The relics of a past beau-monde,
A world like Cuvier's, long dethroned!
Even Parliament this evening nods
Beneath the harangues of minor Gods,
On half its usual opiate's share;
The great dispensers of repose,
The first-rate furnishers of prose
Being all called to--prose elsewhere.

Soon as thro' Grosvenor's lordly square--
That last impregnable redoubt,
Where, guarded with Patrician care,
Primeval Error still holds out--
Where never gleam of gas must dare
'Gainst ancient Darkness to revolt,
Nor smooth Macadam hope to spare
The dowagers one single jolt;--
Where, far too stately and sublime
To profit by the lights of time,
Let Intellect march how it will,
They stick to oil and watchman still:--
Soon as thro' that illustrious square
The first epistolary bell.
Sounding by fits upon the air,
Of parting pennies rung the knell;
Warned by that tell-tale of the hours,
And by the day-light's westering beam,
The young Iänthe, who, with flowers
Half crowned, had sat in idle dream
Before her glass, scarce knowing where
Her fingers roved thro' that bright hair,
While, all capriciously, she now
Dislodged some curl from her white brow,
And now again replaced it there:--
As tho' her task was meant to be
One endless change of ministry--
A routing-up of Loves and Graces,
But to plant others in their places.

Meanwhile--what strain is that which floats
Thro' the small boudoir near--like notes
Of some young bird, its task repeating
For the next linnet music-meeting?
A voice it was, whose gentle sounds
Still kept a modest octave's bounds,
Nor yet had ventured to exalt
Its rash ambition to B alt,
That point towards which when ladies rise,
The wise man takes his hat and--flies.
Tones of a harp, too, gently played,
Came with this youthful voice communing;
Tones true, for once, without the aid
Of that inflictive process, tuning--
A process which must oft have given
Poor Milton's ears a deadly wound;
So pleased, among the joys of Heaven,
He specifies "harps ever tuned."
She who now sung this gentle strain
Was our young nymph's still younger sister--
Scarce ready yet for Fashion's train
In their light legions to enlist her,
But counted on, as sure to bring
Her force into the field next spring.

The song she thus, like Jubal's shell,
Gave forth "so sweetly and so well,"
Was one in Morning Post much famed,
From a divine collection, named,
"Songs of the Toilet"--every Lay
Taking for subject of its Muse,
Some branch of feminine array,
Some item, with full scope, to choose,
From diamonds down to dancing shoes;
From the last hat that Herbault's hands
Bequeathed to an admiring world,
Down to the latest flounce that stands
Like Jacob's Ladder--or expands
Far forth, tempestuously unfurled.

Speaking of one of these new Lays,
The Morning Post thus sweetly says:--
"Not all that breathes from Bishop's lyre,
"That Barnett dreams, or Cooke conceives,
"Can match for sweetness, strength, or fire,
"This fine Cantata upon Sleeves.
"The very notes themselves reveal
"The cut of each new sleeve so well;
"A flat betrays the Imbécilles,[2]
"Light fugues the flying lappets tell;
"While rich cathedral chords awake
'Our homage for the Manches d'Évêque."

'Twas the first opening song the Lay
Of all least deep in toilet-lore,
That the young nymph, to while away
The tiring-hour, thus warbled o'er:--


Array thee, love, array thee, love,
In all thy best array thee;
The sun's below--the moon's above--
And Night and Bliss obey thee.
Put on thee all that's bright and rare,
The zone, the wreath, the gem,
Not so much gracing charms so fair,
As borrowing grace from them.
Array thee, love, array thee, love,
In all that's bright array thee;
The sun's below--the moon's above--
And Night and Bliss obey thee.

Put on the plumes thy lover gave.
The plumes, that, proudly dancing,
Proclaim to all, where'er they wave,
Victorious eyes advancing.
Bring forth the robe whose hue of heaven
From thee derives such light,
That Iris would give all her seven
To boast but one so bright.
Array thee, love, array thee, love, etc.

Now hie thee, love, now hie thee, love,
Thro' Pleasure's circles hie thee.
And hearts, where'er thy footsteps move,
Will beat when they come nigh thee.
Thy every word shall be a spell,
Thy every look a ray,
And tracks of wondering eyes shall tell
The glory of thy way!
Now hie thee, love, now hie thee, love,
Thro' Pleasure's circles hie thee,
And hearts, where'er thy footsteps move,
Shall beat when they come nigh thee.

* * * * *

Now in his Palace of the West,
Sinking to slumber, the bright Day,
Like a tired monarch fanned to rest,
Mid the cool airs of Evening lay;
While round his couch's golden rim
The gaudy clouds, like courtiers, crept--
Struggling each other's light to dim,
And catch his last smile e'er he slept.
How gay, as o'er the gliding Thames
The golden eve its lustre poured,
Shone out the high-born knights and dames
Now grouped around that festal board;
A living mass of plumes and flowers.
As tho' they'd robbed both birds and bowers--
A peopled rainbow, swarming thro'
With habitants of every hue;
While, as the sparkling juice of France
High in the crystal brimmers flowed,
Each sunset ray that mixt by chance
With the wine's sparkles, showed
How sunbeams may be taught to dance.
If not in written form exprest,
'Twas known at least to every guest,
That, tho' not bidden to parade
Their scenic powers in masquerade,
(A pastime little found to thrive
In the bleak fog of England's skies,
Where wit's the thing we best contrive,
As masqueraders, to disguise,)
It yet was hoped-and well that hope
Was answered by the young and gay--
That in the toilet's task to-day
Fancy should take her wildest scope;--
That the rapt milliner should be
Let loose thro fields of poesy,
The tailor, in inventive trance,
Up to the heights of Epic clamber,
And all the regions of Romance
Be ransackt by the femme de chambre.

Accordingly, with gay Sultanas,
Rebeccas, Sapphos, Roxalanas--
Circassian slaves whom Love would pay
Half his maternal realms to ransom;--
Young nuns, whose chief religion lay
In looking most profanely handsome;--
Muses in muslin-pastoral maids
With hats from the Arcade-ian shades,
And fortune-tellers, rich, 'twas plain,
As fortune-hunters formed their train.

With these and more such female groups,
Were mixt no less fantastic troops
Of male exhibitors--all willing
To look even more than usual killing;--
Beau tyrants, smock-faced braggadocios,
And brigands, charmingly ferocious:--
M.P.'s turned Turks, good Moslems then,
Who, last night, voted for the Greeks;
And Friars, stanch No-Popery men,
In close confab with Whig Caciques.

But where is she--the nymph whom late
We left before her glass delaying
Like Eve, when by the lake she sate,
In the clear wave her charms surveying,
And saw in that first glassy mirror
The first fair face that lured to error.
"Where is she," ask'st thou?--watch all looks
As centring to one point they bear,
Like sun-flowers by the sides of brooks,
Turned to the sun--and she is there.
Even in disguise, oh never doubt
By her own light you'd track her out:
As when the moon, close shawled in fog,
Steals as she thinks, thro' heaven incog.,
Tho' hid herself, some sidelong ray
At every step, detects her way.

But not in dark disguise to-night
Hath our young heroine veiled her light;--
For see, she walks the earth, Love's own.
His wedded bride, by holiest vow
Pledged in Olympus, and made known
To mortals by the type which now
Hangs glittering on her snowy brow,
That butterfly, mysterious trinket,
Which means the Soul (tho' few would think it),
And sparkling thus on brow so white,
Tells us we've Psyche here tonight!
But hark! some song hath caught her ears--
And, lo, how pleased, as tho' she'd ne'er
Heard the Grand Opera of the Spheres,
Her goddess-ship approves the air;
And to a mere terrestrial strain,
Inspired by naught but pink champagne,
Her butterfly as gayly nods
As tho' she sate with all her train
At some great Concert of the Gods,
With Phoebus, leader--Jove, director,
And half the audience drunk with nectar.

From the male group the carol came--
A few gay youths whom round the board
The last-tried flask's superior fame
Had lured to taste the tide it poured;
And one who from his youth and lyre
Seemed grandson to the Teian-sire,
Thus gayly sung, while, to his song,
Replied in chorus the gay throng:--


Some mortals there may be, so wise, or so fine,
As in evenings like this no enjoyment to see;
But, as I'm not particular--wit, love, and wine,
Are for one night's amusement sufficient for me.
Nay--humble and strange as my tastes may appear--
If driven to the worst, I could manage, thank Heaven,
To put up with eyes such as beam round me here,
And such wine as we're sipping, six days out of seven.
So pledge me a bumper--your sages profound
May be blest, if they will, on their own patent plan:
But as we are not sages, why--send the cup round--
We must only be happy the best way we can.

A reward by some king was once offered, we're told,
To whoe'er could invent a new bliss for mankind;
But talk of new pleasures!--give me but the old,
And I'll leave your inventors all new ones they find.
Or should I, in quest of fresh realms of bliss,
Set sail in the pinnace of Fancy some day,
Let the rich rosy sea I embark on be this,
And such eyes as we've here be the stars of my way!
In the mean time, a bumper--your Angels, on high,
May have pleasures unknown to life's limited span;
But, as we are not Angels, why--let the flask fly--
We must be happy all ways that we can.

* * * * *

Now nearly fled was sunset's light,
Leaving but so much of its beam
As gave to objects, late so blight,
The coloring of a shadowy dream;
And there was still where Day had set
A flush that spoke him loath to die--
A last link of his glory yet,
Binding together earth and sky.
Say, why is it that twilight best
Becomes even brows the loveliest?
That dimness with its softening Touch
Can bring out grace unfelt before,
And charms we ne'er can see too much,
When seen but half enchant the more?
Alas, it is that every joy
In fulness finds its worst alloy,
And half a bliss, but hoped or guessed,
Is sweeter than the whole possest;--
That Beauty, when least shone upon,
A creature most ideal grows;
And there's no light from moon or sun
Like that Imagination throws;--
It is, alas, that Fancy shrinks
Even from a bright reality,
And turning inly, feels and thinks
For heavenlier things than e'er will be.

Such was the effect of twilight's hour
On the fair groups that, round and round,
From glade to grot, from bank to bower,
Now wandered thro' this fairy ground;
And thus did Fancy--and champagne--
Work on the sight their dazzling spells,
Till nymphs that looked at noonday plain,
Now brightened in the gloom to belles;
And the brief interval of time,
'Twixt after dinner and before,
To dowagers brought back their prime,
And shed a halo round two-score.

Meanwhile, new pastimes for the eye,
The ear, the fancy, quick succeed;
And now along the waters fly
Light gondoles, of Venetian breed,
With knights and dames who, calm reclined,
Lisp out love-sonnets as they glide--
Astonishing old Thames to find
Such doings on his moral tide.

So bright was still that tranquil river,
With the last shaft from Daylight's quiver,
That many a group in turn were seen
Embarking on its wave serene;
And 'mong the rest, in chorus gay,
A band of mariners, from the isles
Of sunny Greece, all song and smiles,
As smooth they floated, to the play
Of their oar's cadence, sung this lay:--


Our home is on the sea, boy,
Our home is on the sea;
When Nature gave
The ocean-wave,
She markt it for the Free.
Whatever storms befall, boy,
Whatever storms befall,
The island bark
Is Freedom's ark,
And floats her safe thro' all.

Behold yon sea of isles, boy,
Behold yon sea of isles,
Where every shore
Is sparkling o'er
With Beauty's richest smiles.
For us hath Freedom claimed, boy,
For us hath Freedom claimed
Those ocean-nests
Where Valor rests
His eagle wing untamed.

And shall the Moslem dare, boy,
And shall the Moslem dare,
While Grecian hand
Can wield a brand,
To plant his Crescent there?
No--by our fathers, no, boy,
No, by the Cross, we show--
From Maina's rills
To Thracia's hills
All Greece re-echoes "No!"

* * * * *

Like pleasant thoughts that o'er the mind
A minute come and go again,
Even so by snatches in the wind,
Was caught and lost that choral strain,
Now full, now faint upon the ear,
As the bark floated far or near.
At length when, lost, the closing note
Had down the waters died along,
Forth from another fairy boat,
Freighted with music, came this song--


Smoothly flowing thro' verdant vales,
Gentle river, thy current runs,
Sheltered safe from winter gales,
Shaded cool from summer suns.
Thus our Youth's sweet moments glide.
Fenced with flowery shelter round;
No rude tempest wakes the tide,
All its path is fairy ground.

But, fair river, the day will come,
When, wooed by whispering groves in vain,
Thou'lt leave those banks, thy shaded home,
To mingle with the stormy main.
And thou, sweet Youth, too soon wilt pass
Into the world's unsheltered sea,
Where, once thy wave hath mixt, alas,
All hope of peace is lost for thee.

Next turn we to the gay saloon,
Resplendent as a summer noon,
Where, 'neath a pendent wreath of lights,
A Zodiac of flowers and tapers--
(Such as in Russian ball-rooms sheds
Its glory o'er young dancers' heads)--
Quadrille performs her mazy rites,
And reigns supreme o'er slides and capers;--

Working to death each opera strain,
As, with a foot that ne'er reposes,
She jigs thro' sacred and profane,
From "Maid and Magpie" up to "Moses;"--[3]
Wearing out tunes as fast as shoes,
Till fagged Rossini scarce respires;
Till Meyerbeer for mercy sues,
And Weber at her feet expires.

And now the set hath ceased--the bows
Of fiddlers taste a brief repose,
While light along the painted floor,
Arm within arm, the couples stray,
Talking their stock of nothings o'er,
Till--nothing's left at last to say.
When lo!--most opportunely sent--
Two Exquisites, a he and she,
Just brought from Dandyland, and meant
For Fashion's grand Menagerie,
Entered the room--and scarce were there
When all flocked round them, glad to stare
At any monsters, any where.
Some thought them perfect, to their tastes;
While others hinted that the waists
(That in particular of the he thing)
Left far too ample room for breathing:
Whereas, to meet these critics' wishes,
The isthmus there should be so small,
That Exquisites, at last, like fishes,
Must manage not to breathe at all.
The female (these same critics said),
Tho' orthodox from toe to chin,
Yet lacked that spacious width of head
To hat of toadstool much akin--
That build of bonnet, whose extent
Should, like a doctrine of dissent,
Puzzle church-doors to let it in.

However--sad as 'twas, no doubt,
That nymph so smart should go about,
With head unconscious of the place
It ought to fill in Infinite Space--
Yet all allowed that, of her kind,
A prettier show 'twas hard to find;
While of that doubtful genus, "dressy men,"
The male was thought a first-rate specimen.
Such Savans, too, as wisht to trace
The manners, habits, of this race--
To know what rank (if rank at all)
'Mong reasoning things to them should fall--
What sort of notions heaven imparts
To high-built heads and tight-laced hearts
And how far Soul, which, Plato says,
Abhors restraint, can act in stays--
Might now, if gifted with discerning,
Find opportunities of learning:
As these two creatures--from their pout
And frown, 'twas plain--had just fallen out;
And all their little thoughts, of course.
Were stirring in full fret and force;--
Like mites, through microscope espied,
A world of nothings magnified.

But mild the vent such beings seek,
The tempest of their souls to speak:
As Opera swains to fiddles sigh,
To fiddles fight, to fiddles die,
Even so this tender couple set
Their well-bred woes to a Duet.


Long as I waltzed with only thee,
Each blissful Wednesday that went by,
Nor stylish Stultz, nor neat Nugee
Adorned a youth so blest as I.
Oh! ah! ah! oh!
Those happy days are gone--heigho!

Long as with thee I skimmed the ground,
Nor yet was scorned for Lady Jane,
No blither nymph tetotumed round
To Collinet's immortal strain.
Oh! ah! etc.
Those happy days are gone--heigho!

With Lady Jane now whirled about,
I know no bounds of time or breath;
And, should the charmer's head hold out,
My heart and heels are hers till death.
Oh! ah! etc.
Still round and round thro' life we'll go.

To Lord Fitznoodle's eldest son,
A youth renowned for waistcoats smart,
I now have given (excuse the pun)
A vested interest in my heart.
Oh! ah! etc.
Still round and round with him I'll go.

What if by fond remembrance led
Again to wear our mutual chain.
For me thou cut'st Fitznoodle
And I levant from Lady Jane.
Oh! ah! etc.
Still round and round again we'll go.

Tho' he the Noodle honors give,
And thine, dear youth, are not so high,
With thee in endless waltz I'd live,
With thee, to Weber's Stop--
Waltz, die!
Oh! ah! etc.
Thus round and round thro' life we'll go.

[Exeunt waltzing.

* * * * *

While thus, like motes that dance away
Existence in a summer ray,
These gay things, born but to quadrille,
The circle of their doom fulfil--
(That dancing doom whose law decrees
That they should live on the alert toe
A life of ups-and-downs, like keys
Of Broadwood's in a long concerto:--)
While thus the fiddle's spell, within,
Calls up its realm of restless sprites.
Without, as if some Mandarin
Were holding there his Feast of Lights,
Lamps of all hues, from walks and bowers,
Broke on the eye, like kindling flowers,
Till, budding into light, each tree
Bore its full fruit of brilliancy.

Here shone a garden-lamps all o'er,
As tho' the Spirits of the Air
Had taken it in their heads to pour
A shower of summer meteors there;--
While here a lighted shrubbery led
To a small lake that sleeping lay,
Cradled in foliage but, o'er-head,
Open to heaven's sweet breath and ray;
While round its rim there burning stood
Lamps, with young flowers beside them bedded,
That shrunk from such warm neighborhood,
And, looking bashful in the flood,
Blushed to behold themselves so wedded.

Hither, to this embowered retreat,
Fit but for nights so still and sweet;
Nights, such as Eden's calm recall
In its first lonely hour, when all
So silent is, below, on high,
That is a star falls down the sky,
You almost think you hear it fall--
Hither, to this recess, a few,
To shun the dancers' wildering noise,
And give an hour, ere night-time flew,
To music's more ethereal joys,
Came with their voices-ready all
As Echo waiting for a call--
In hymn or ballad, dirge or glee,
To weave their mingling ministrelsy,
And first a dark-eyed nymph, arrayed--
Like her whom Art hath deathless made,
Bright Mona Lisa[4]--with that braid
Of hair across the brow, and one
Small gem that in the centre shone--
With face, too, in its form resembling
Da Vinci's Beauties-the dark eyes,
Now lucid as thro' crystal trembling,
Now soft as if suffused with sighs--
Her lute that hung beside her took,
And, bending o'er it with shy look,
More beautiful, in shadow thus,
Than when with life most luminous,
Past her light finger o'er the chords,
And sung to them these mournful words:--


Bring hither, bring thy lute, while day is dying--
Here will I lay me and list to thy song;
Should tones of other days mix with its sighing,
Tones of a light heart, now banisht so long,
Chase them away-they bring but pain,
And let thy theme be woe again.

Sing on thou mournful lute--day is fast going,
Soon will its light from thy chords die away;
One little gleam in the west is still glowing,
When that hath vanisht, farewell to thy lay.
Mark, how it fades!-see, it is fled!
Now, sweet lute, be thou, too, dead.

The group that late in garb of Greeks
Sung their light chorus o'er the tide--
Forms, such as up the wooded creeks
Of Helle's shore at noon-day glide,
Or nightly on her glistening sea,
Woo the bright waves with melody--
Now linked their triple league again
Of voices sweet, and sung a strain,
Such as, had Sappho's tuneful ear
But caught it, on the fatal steep,
She would have paused, entranced, to hear,
And for that day deferred her leap.


On one of those sweet nights that oft
Their lustre o'er the AEgean fling,
Beneath my casement, low and soft,
I heard a Lesbian lover sing;
And, listening both with ear and thought,
These sounds upon the night breeze caught--
"Oh, happy as the gods is he,
"Who gazes at this hour on thee!"

The song was one by Sappho sung,
In the first love-dreams of her lyre,
When words of passion from her tongue
Fell like a shower of living fire.
And still, at close of every strain,
I heard these burning words again--
"Oh, happy as the gods is he,
"Who listens at this hour to thee!"

Once more to Mona Lisa turned
Each asking eye--nor turned in vain
Tho' the quick, transient blush that burned
Bright o'er her cheek and died again,
Showed with what inly shame and fear
Was uttered what all loved to hear.
Yet not to sorrow's languid lay
Did she her lute-song now devote;
But thus, with voice that like a ray
Of southern sunshine seemed to float--
So rich with climate was each note--
Called up in every heart a dream
Of Italy with this soft theme:--


Oh, where art thou dreaming,
On land, or on sea?
In my lattice is gleaming
The watch-light for thee;

And this fond heart is glowing
To welcome thee home,
And the night is fast going,
But thou art not come:
No, thou com'st not!

'Tis the time when night-flowers
Should wake from their rest;
'Tis the hour of all hours,
When the lute singeth best,
But the flowers are half sleeping
Till thy glance they see;
And the husht lute is keeping
Its music for thee.
Yet, thou com'st not!

* * * * *

Scarce had the last word left her lip,
When a light, boyish form, with trip
Fantastic, up the green walk came,
Prankt in gay vest to which the flame
Of every lamp he past, or blue
Or green or crimson, lent its hue;
As tho' a live chameleon's skin
He had despoiled, to robe him in.
A zone he wore of clattering shells,
And from his lofty cap, where shone
A peacock's plume, there dangled bells
That rung as he came dancing on.
Close after him, a page--in dress
And shape, his miniature express--
An ample basket, filled with store
Of toys and trinkets, laughing bore;
Till, having reached this verdant seat,
He laid it at his master's feet,
Who, half in speech and half in song,
Chanted this invoice to the throng:--


Who'll buy?--'tis Folly's shop, who'll buy?--
We've toys to suit all ranks and ages;
Besides our usual fools' supply,
We've lots of playthings, too, for sages.
For reasoners here's a juggler's cup
That fullest seems when nothing's in it;
And nine-pins set, like systems, up,
To be knocked down the following minute.
Who'll buy?--'tis Folly's shop, who'll buy?

Gay caps we here of foolscap make.
For bards to wear in dog-day weather;
Or bards the bells alone may take,
And leave to wits the cap and feather,
Tetotums we've for patriots got,
Who court the mob with antics humble;
Like theirs the patriot's dizzy lot,
A glorious spin, and then--a tumble,
Who'll buy, etc.

Here, wealthy misers to inter,
We've shrouds of neat post-obit paper;
While, for their heirs, we've quicksilver,
That, fast as they can wish, will caper.
For aldermen we've dials true,
That tell no hour but that of dinner;
For courtly parsons sermons new,
That suit alike both saint and sinner.
Who'll buy, etc.

No time we've now to name our terms,
But, whatsoe'er the whims that seize you,
This oldest of all mortal firms,
Folly and Co., will try to please you.
Or, should you wish a darker hue
Of goods than we can recommend you,
Why then (as we with lawyers do)
To Knavery's shop next door we'll send you.
Who'll buy, etc.

While thus the blissful moments rolled,
Moments of rare and fleeting light,
That show themselves, like grains of gold
In the mine's refuse, few and bright;
Behold where, opening far away,
The long Conservatory's range,
Stript of the flowers it wore all day,
But gaining lovelier in exchange,
Presents, on Dresden's costliest ware,
A supper such as Gods might share.

Ah much-loved Supper!--blithe repast
Of other times, now dwindling fast,
Since Dinner far into the night
Advanced the march of appetite;
Deployed his never-ending forces
Of various vintage and three courses,
And, like those Goths who played the dickens
With Rome and all her sacred chickens,
Put Supper and her fowls so white,
Legs, wings, and drumsticks, all to flight.
Now waked once more by wine--whose tide
Is the true Hippocrene, where glide
The Muse's swans with happiest wing,
Dipping their bills before they sing--
The minstrels of the table greet
The listening ear with descant sweet:--



Call the Loves around,
Let the whispering sound
Of their wings be heard alone.
Till soft to rest
My Lady blest
At this bright hour hath gone,
Let Fancy's beams
Play o'er her dreams,
Till, touched with light all through.
Her spirit be
Like a summer sea,
Shining and slumbering too.
And, while thus husht she lies,
Let the whispered chorus rise--
"Good evening, good evening, to our
Lady's bright eyes."

But the day-beam breaks,
See, our Lady wakes!
Call the Loves around once more,
Like stars that wait
At Morning's gate,
Her first steps to adore.
Let the veil of night
From her dawning sight
All gently pass away,
Like mists that flee
From a summer sea,
Leaving it full of day.
And, while her last dream flies,
Let the whispered chorus rise--
"Good morning, good morning, to our
Lady's bright eyes."


If to see thee be to love thee,
If to love thee be to prize
Naught of earth or heaven above thee,
Nor to live but for those eyes:
If such love to mortal given,
Be wrong to earth, be wrong to heaven,
'Tis not for thee the fault to blame,
For from those eyes the madness came.
Forgive but thou the crime of loving
In this heart more pride 'twill raise
To be thus wrong with thee approving,
Than right with all a world to praise!

* * * * *

But say, while light these songs resound,
What means that buzz of whispering round,
From lip to lip--as if the Power
Of Mystery, in this gay hour,
Had thrown some secret (as we fling
Nuts among children) to that ring
Of rosy, restless lips, to be
Thus scrambled for so wantonly?
And, mark ye, still as each reveals
The mystic news, her hearer steals
A look towards yon enchanted chair,
Where, like the Lady of the Masque,
A nymph, as exquisitely fair
As Love himself for bride could ask,
Sits blushing deep, as if aware
Of the winged secret circling there.
Who is this nymph? and what, oh Muse,
What, in the name of all odd things
That woman's restless brain pursues,
What mean these mystic whisperings?

Thus runs the tale:--yon blushing maid,
Who sits in beauty's light arrayed,
While o'er her leans a tall young Dervise,
(Who from her eyes, as all observe, is
Learning by heart the Marriage Service,)
Is the bright heroine of our song,--
The Love-wed Psyche, whom so long
We've missed among this mortal train,
We thought her winged to heaven again.

But no--earth still demands her smile;
Her friends, the Gods, must wait awhile.
And if, for maid of heavenly birth,
A young Duke's proffered heart and hand
Be things worth waiting for on earth,
Both are, this hour, at her command.
To-night, in yonder half-lit shade,
For love concerns expressly meant,
The fond proposal first was made,
And love and silence blusht consent
Parents and friends (all here, as Jews,
Enchanters, house-maids, Turks, Hindoos,)
Have heard, approved, and blest the tie;
And now, hadst thou a poet's eye,
Thou might'st behold, in the air, above
That brilliant brow, triumphant Love,
Holding, as if to drop it down
Gently upon her curls, a crown
Of Ducal shape--but, oh, such gems!
Pilfered from Peri diadems,
And set in gold like that which shines
To deck the Fairy of the Mines:
In short, a crown all glorious--such as
Love orders when he makes a Duchess.

But see, 'tis morn in heaven; the Sun
Up in the bright orient hath begun
To canter his immortal beam;
And, tho' not yet arrived in sight,
His leaders' nostrils send a steam
Of radiance forth, so rosy bright
As makes their onward path all light.
What's to be done? if Sol will be
So deuced early, so must we:
And when the day thus shines outright,
Even dearest friends must bid good night.
So, farewell, scene of mirth and masking,
Now almost a by-gone tale;
Beauties, late in lamp-light basking,
Now, by daylight, dim and pale;
Harpers, yawning o'er your harps,
Scarcely knowing flats from sharps;
Mothers who, while bored you keep
Time by nodding, nod to sleep;
Heads of hair, that stood last night
Crépé, crispy, and upright,
But have now, alas, one sees, a
Leaning like the tower of Pisa;
Fare ye will--thus sinks away
All that's mighty, all that's bright:
Tyre and Sidon had their day,
And even a Ball--has but its night!

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