Twopenny Post-Bag, Intercepted Letters, Etc. Letter VIII.

A poem by Thomas Moore


Come to our Fête and bring with thee
Thy newest, best embroidery.
Come to our Fête and show again
That pea-green coat, thou pink of men,
Which charmed all eyes that last surveyed it;
When Brummel's self inquired "who made it?"--
When Cits came wondering from the East
And thought thee Poet Pye at least!

Oh! come, (if haply 'tis thy week
For looking pale,) with paly cheek;
Tho' more we love thy roseate days,
When the rich rouge-pot pours its blaze
Full o'er thy face and amply spread,
Tips even thy whisker-tops with red--
Like the last tints of dying Day
That o'er some darkling grove delay.

Bring thy best lace, thou gay Philander,
(That lace, like Harry Alexander,
Too precious to be washt,) thy rings,
Thy seals--in short, thy prettiest things!
Put all thy wardrobe's glories on,
And yield in frogs and fringe to none
But the great Regent's self alone;
Who--by particular desire--
For that night only, means to hire
A dress from, Romeo Coates, Esquire.[1]
Hail, first of Actors! best of Regents!
Born for each other's fond allegiance!
Both gay Lotharios--both good dressers--
Of serious Farce both learned Professors--
Both circled round, for use or show,
With cock's combs, wheresoe'er they go![2]

Thou knowest the time, thou man of lore!
It takes to chalk a ball-room floor--
Thou knowest the time, too, well-a-day!
It takes to dance that chalk away.[3]
The Ball-room opens--far and nigh
Comets and suns beneath us lie;
O'er snow-white moons and stars we walk,
And the floor seems one sky of chalk!
But soon shall fade that bright deceit,
When many a maid, with busy feet
That sparkle in the lustre's ray,
O'er the white path shall bound and play
Like Nymphs along the Milky Way:--
With every step a star hath fled,
And suns grow dim beneath their tread,
So passeth life--(thus Scott would write,
And spinsters read him with delight,)--
Hours are not feet, yet hours trip on,
Time is not chalk, yet time's soon gone!

But, hang this long digressive flight!--
I meant to say, thou'lt see that night
What falsehood rankles in their hearts,
Who say the Prince neglects the arts--
Neglects the arts?--no, Strahlweg,[4] no;
Thy Cupids answer "'tis not so;"
And every floor that night shall tell
How quick thou daubest and how well.
Shine as thou mayst in French vermilion,
Thou'rt best beneath a French cotillion;
And still comest off, whate'er thy faults,
With flying colors in a Waltz.
Nor needest thou mourn the transient date
To thy best works assigned by fate.
While some chef-d'oeuvres live to weary one,
Thine boast a short life and a merry one;
Their hour of glory past and gone
With "Molly put the kettle on!"[5]

But, bless my soul! I've scarce a leaf
Of paper left--so must be brief.
This festive Fête, in fact, will be
The former Fête's facsimile;[6]
The same long Masquerade of Rooms,
All trickt up in such odd costumes,
(These, Porter,[7] are thy glorious works!)
You'd swear Egyptians, Moors and Turks,
Bearing Good-Taste some deadly malice,
Had clubbed to raise a Pic-Nic Palace;
And each to make the olio pleasant
Had sent a State-Room as a present.
The same fauteuils and girondoles--
The same gold Asses,[8]pretty souls!
That in this rich and classic dome
Appear so perfectly at home.
The same bright river 'mong the dishes,
But not--ah! not the same dear fishes--
Late hours and claret killed the old ones--
So 'stead of silver and of gold ones,
(It being rather hard to raise
Fish of that specie now-a-days)
Some sprats have been by Yarmouth's wish,
Promoted into Silver Fish,
And Gudgeons (so Vansittart told
The Regent) are as good as Gold!

So, prithee, come--our Fête will be
But half a Fête if wanting thee.

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