Page images

A million sleepless lids, they say,

Will be at least a warning;
And so the flowers would watch by day,

The stars from eve to morning.

On hill and prairie, field and lawn,

Their dewy eyes upturning,
The flowers still watch from reddening dawn

Till western skies are burning.

Alas! each hour of daylight tells

A tale of shame so crushing,
That some turn white as sea-bleached shells,

And some are always blushing.

But when the patient stars look down

On all their light discovers,
The traitor's smile, the murderer's frown,

The lips of lying lovers,

They try to shut theiré saddening eyes,

And in the vain endeavour
We see them twinkling in the skies,

And so they wink forever.

What do

think of these verses my

friends? Is that piece an impromptu ? said my landlady's daughter. (Aet. 19+. Tender-eyed blonde. Long ringlets. Cameo pin. Gold pencil-case on a chain. Locket. Bracelet. Album. Autograph book. Aco cordeon. Reads Byron, Tupper, and Sylvanus Cobb junior, while her mother makes the puddings. Says " Yes ?” when you tell her anything.)— Oui et non




ma petite,-Yes and no, my child. Five of the seven verses were written off-hand; the other two took a week,—that is, were hanging round the desk in a ragged, forlorn, unrhymed condition as long as that. All poets will tell you just such stories. C'est le DERNIER pas qui coute. Don't you know how hard it is for some people to get out of a room after their visit is really over? They want to be off, and you want to have them off, but they don't know how to manage it. One would think they had been built in your parlour or study, and were waiting to be launched. I have contrived a sort of ceremonial inclined plane for such visitors, which being lubricated with certain smooth phrases, I back them down, metaphori ally speaking, stern-foremost, into their “native element,” the great ocean of out-doors. Well, now, there are poems as hard to get rid of as these rural visitors. They come in glibly, use up all the serviceable rhymes, day ray, beauty, duty, skies, eyes, other, brother, mountain, fountain, and the like; and so they go on until you think it is time for the wind-up, and the wind-up won't come on any terms. So they lie about until you get sick of the sight of them, and end by thrusting some cold scrap of a final couplet upon them, and turning them out of doors. I sus. pect a good many “impromptus” could tell just such a story as the above.-Here turning to our land. lady, I used an illustration which pleased the company much at the time, and has since been highly commended. “Madam," I said, “ you can pour threu gills and three quarters of honey from that pint jug, if it is full, in less than one minute ; but, Madam, you could not empty that last quarter of a gill, though you were turned into a marble Hebe, and held the vessel upside down for a thousand years.

One gets tired to death of the old, old rhymes such as you see in that copy of verses,—which don't mean to abuse, or to praise either. I always feel as if I were a cobbler, putting new top-leathers to an old pair of boot-soles and bodies, when I am fitting sentiments to these venerable jingles.

youth morning

truth warning.

Nine tenths of the “ Juvenile Poems” written spring out of the above musical and suggestive coincidences.

“ Yes?” said our landlady's daughter.

I did not address the following remark to her, and 1 trust, from her limited range of reading, she will never see it; I said it softly to my next neighbour.

When a young female wears a flat circular sidecurl, gummed on each temple,—when she walks with a male, not arm in arm, but his arm against the back of hers,—and when she says “ Yes ?” with the note of interrogation, you are generally safe in

« PreviousContinue »