« PreviousContinue »
THE HAUNCH OF VENISON;
A poetical Epistle to Lord Clare. THANKS, my lord, for your venison, for finer or
fatter Never rang'd in a forest, or smok'd in a platter; The haunch was a picture for painters to study, The fat was so white, and the lean was so ruddy; Tho' my stomach was sharp, I could scarce help
regretting, To spoil such a delicate picture by eating: I had thoughts, in my chambers to place it in view, To be shown to my friends as a piece of virtu; As in some Irish houses, wliere things are so so, One gammon of bacon hangs up for a show; But for eating a rasher of what they take pride in, They'd as soon think of eating the pan it is fry'd in. But hold-let me pause-don't I hear you pronounce, This tale of the bacon 's a damnable bounce; Well, suppose it a bounce-sure a poet may try, By a bounce now and then to get courage to fly.
But, my lord it's no bounce: I protest in my turn, It's a truth-and your lordship may ask Mr. Burn. To go on with my tale-as I gaz'd on the haunch, I thought of a friend that was trusty and staunch; So I cut it, and sent it to Reynolds undrest, To paint it, or eat it, just as he lik'd best. Of the neck and the breast I had next to dispose; 'Twas a deck and a breast that might rival Monro's; But in parting with these I was puzzled again, With the how, and the who, and the where, and
the when. There's H-d, and C-y, and H-rth, and H-ff, I think they love venison-I know they love beef. There's my countryman Higgins-Oh! let him alone For making a blunder, or picking a bone. But hang it-to poets who seldom can eat, Your very good matton 's a very good treat;
• Lord Clare's nephew.
Such dainties to them their health it might hurt,
ter'd; An under-bred, fine-spoken fellow was he, And he smil'd as he look'd at the venison and me. “ What have we got here?--Why this is good eating? Your own, I suppose-or is it in waiting ?" “ Why whose should it be?” cried I, with a flounce: “I get these things often"-but that was a bounce; “ Some lords, my acquaintance, that settle the na
tion, Are pleas'd to be kind-but I hate ostentation."
“ If that be the case then,” cried he, very gay, “ I'm glad I have taken this house in my way. To-morrow you take a poor dinner with me; No words I insist on't-precisely at three : We'll have Johnson and Burke, all the wits will be
there; My acquaintance is slight, or I'd ask my lord Clare. And, now that I think on't, as I am a sinner! We wanted this venison to make out a dinner. What say you-a pasty; it shall, and it must, And my wife, little Kitty, is famous for crust. Here, porter-this 'venison with me to Mile-end; No stirring-I begamy dear friend-my dear friend !” Thus snatching his hat, he brush'd off like the wind, And the porter and eatables follow'd behind.
Left alone to reflect, having emptied my shelf, And “nobody with me at sea but myself.” Tho' I could not help thinking my gentleman hasty, Yet Johnson, and Burke, and a good venison pasty, Were things that I never dislik'd in my life, Tho' clogg'd with a coxcomb, and Kitty his wife. So next day in due splendor to make my approach, I drove to his door in my own hackney coach.
When come to the place where we were all to dine, (A chair-lumber'd closet, just twelve feet by nipe) Vol. II.
My friend bade me welcome, but struck me quite
dumb, With tidings that Johnson and Burke would not come; “ For I knew it,” he cry'd,“ both eternally fail, The one with his speeches, and t'other with Thrale; But no matter, I'll warrant we'll make up the party, With two full as clever, and ten times as hearty. The one is a Scotchman, the other a Jew, They both of them merry, and authors like you; The one writes the Snarler, the other the Scourge; Some think he writes Cinna-he owns to Panurge." While thus he describ'd them by trade and by name, They enter'd, and dinner was serv'd as they came.
At the top a fry'd liver and bacon were seen, At the bottom was tripe in a swinging tureen; At the sides there were spinage and pudding made
hot; In the middle a place where the pasty-was not. Now, my lord, as for tripe it's my utter aversion, And your bacon I hate like a Turk or a Persian; So there I sat stuck, like a horse in a pound, While the bacon and liver went merrily round: But what yex'd memost, was that d-'d Scottish rogue, With his long-winded speeches, his smiles and his
brogue: And,"madam," quoth he,“may this bit be my poison, A prettier dinner I never set eyes on; Pray a slice of your liver, tho' may I be curst, But I've eat of your tripe, till I'm ready to burst." “The tripe, quoth the Jew, with his chocolate cheek, I could dine on this tripe seven days in a week : I like these here dinners so pretty and small; But your friend there, the doctor, eats nothing at all.” “ 0-ho! quoth my friend, he'll come on in a trice, He's keeping a corner for something that's nice: There's a pasty"-"a pasty!" repeated the Jew; “I don't care if I keep a corner for't too." “ What the de'il, mon, a pasty!" re-echo'd the Scot; “ Tho' splitting, I'll still keep a corner for that.”
“ We'll all keep a corner,” the lady cry'd out;
To the Memory of a young Lady.
ET do I live! O how shall I sustain YE
This vast unutterable weight of woe?
Or all the complicated ills below?
Is gone-for ever Aled
My dearest Emma's dead; These eyes, these tear-swoln eyes beheld her fall. Ah, no-she lives on some far happier shore, She lives—but, cruel thought! she lives for me no
I, who the tedious absence of a day
Remov'd, would languish for my charmer's sight; Would chide the ling’ring moments for delay, And fondly blame the slow return of night;
How, how shall I endure
(O misery past a cure!) Hours, days, and years, successively to roll, Nor ever more behold the comfort of my soul?
Was she not all my fondest wish could frame?
Did ever mind so much of heaven partake? Did she not love me with the purest flame? And give up friends and fortune for my sake ?
Tho' mild as evening skies,
With downcast, streaming eyes, Stood the stern frown of supercilious brows, Deaf to their brutal threats, and faithful to her