« PreviousContinue »
E’en from the tomb the voice of Nature cries,
up the lawn, nor at the wood was he; “ The next, with dirges due, in sad array, Slow through the church-way path we saw him borneApproach and read (for thou canst read) the lay Graved on the stone beneath yon agèd thorn.”
40 chance, perchance. 41 Accustomed.
39 The poet here introduces himself,
and fancies what will be said of him after his death, by “some hoary-headed swain."
There, scattered oft, the earliest of the year,
42 This verse was printed in the first
editions. 43 The epitaph which the poet ima
gines may be written on his own
tombstone. It is, of course, conceived in reference to an imaginary personage.
McCorquodale & Co., Printers, “ The Armoury," Southwark.
James Merrick was a Fellow of Trinity College, Oxford; a fine scholar, and “one of the best of men.” He entered Holy Orders, but could not take a charge, from pains in the head, to which he was subject. A poetical version of the Psalms was his chief poetical work
Oft has it been my lot to mark
I This clever fable turns
popular belief, which is, perhaps, in some measure correct, that it changes colour from time to time, and on the wild fancy that, because it inflates itself with air,
it feeds on it. The chameleon is a lizard, most plentiful in northern
Africa and Arabia. 2 spark, a brisk, showy, gay man. 3 blade, a brisk, forward, bold man.
4 more assuming, or forward.
chance to drop, The travelld fool your mouth will stop; “Sir, if my judgment you'll allowI've seen—and sure I ought to know”. So begs you'd pay a due submission, And acquiesce in his decision.
Two travellers of such a cast,
"A stranger animal," cries one,
“ Hold there!” the other quick replies, 56 'Tis green-I saw it with these eyes, As late, with open mouth, it lay And warm'd it, in the sunny ray; Stretch'd at its ease the beast I view'd, And saw it eat the air for food.”
" I've seen it, Sir, as well as you, And must again affirm it blue ;
5 acquiesce, silently accept.
6 It has three toes.
? it, for itself.
At leisure I the beast survey'd,
6 'Tis green ! 'tis green! Sir, I assure ye"
“Green !” cries the other, in a fury6 Why, Sir, d'ye think I've lost my eyes ? ”
6 'Twere no great loss,” the friend replies ; “For if they always serve you thus, You'll find them but of little use.”
So high, at last, the contest rose,
“Sirs," cries the umpire, 8 " cease your pother
“ And I'll be sworn, that when you've seen The reptile, you'll pronounce him green."
“Well, then, at once to ease the doubt," Replies the
66 I'll turn him out; And when before your eyes I've set him, If
you don't find him black, I'll eat him.” He said; then full before their sight,
8 umpire, a third person called in
to decide a dispute.
9 pother, lit., powder-or dust.
Hence, confusion, noisy disputing.