Thus far a gentleman address’d
Then to his friend: “An old procrastinator,
Sir, I am: do you wonder that I hate her?
Though she but seven words can say,
Twenty and twenty times a day
She interferes with all my dreams,
My projects, plans, and airy schemes,
Mocking my foible to my sorrow:
I’ll advertise this bird to-morrow.”
To this the bird seven words
“Why not do it, Sir, to-day?”
To operas and balls my cousins take me,
And fond of plays my new-made friend would make me.
In summer season, when the days are fair,
In my godmother’s coach I take the air.
My uncle has a stately pleasure barge,
Gilded and gay, adorn’d with wondrous charge;
The mast is polish’d, and the sails are fine,
The awnings of white silk like silver shine;
The seats of crimson sattin, where the rowers
Keep time to music with their painted oars;
In this on holydays we oft resort
To Richmond, Twickenham, or to Hampton Court.
By turns we play, we sing—one baits the hook,
Another angles—some more idle look
At the small fry that sport beneath the tides,
Or at the swan that on the surface glides.
My married sister says there is no feast
Equal to sight of foreign bird or beast.
With her in search of these I often roam:
My kinder parents make me blest at home.
Tir’d of excursions, visitings, and sights,
No joys are pleasing to these home delights.
THE COFFEE SLIPS
Whene’er I fragrant coffee drink,
I on the generous Frenchman think,
Whose noble perseverance bore
The tree to Martinico’s shore.
While yet her colony was new,
Her island products but a few,
Two shoots from off a coffee-tree
He carried with him o’er the sea.
Each little tender coffee slip
He waters daily in the ship,
And as he tends his embryo trees,
Feels he is raising midst the seas
Coffee groves, whose ample shade
Shall screen the dark Creolian maid.
But soon, alas! his darling pleasure
In watching this his precious treasure
Is like to fade,—for water fails
On board the ship in which he sails.
Now all the reservoirs are shut,
The crew on short allowance put;
So small a drop is each man’s share,
Few leavings you may think there are
To water these poor coffee plants;—
But he supplies their gasping wants,
Ev’n from his own dry parched lips
He spares it for his coffee slips.
Water he gives his nurslings first,
Ere he allays his own deep thirst;
Lest, if he first the water sip,
He bear too far his eager lip.
He sees them droop for want of more;—
Yet when they reached the destin’d shore,
With pride th’ heroic gardener sees
A living sap still in his trees.
The islanders his praise resound;
Coffee plantations rise around;
And Martinico loads her ships
With produce from those dear-sav’d slips.