And wanders lonely through the desert plains;
With fearless heart the savage heath explores,
Where the wolf prowls, and where the tiger roars,
Nor wolf, nor tiger, dare his way oppose;
The wildest creatures see, and shun, his NOSE.
Ev’n lions fear! the elephant alone
Surveys with pride a trunk so like his own.
At length he to a shady forest came,
Where in a cavern lived an aged dame;
A reverend Fairy, on whose silver head
A hundred years their downy snows had shed.
Here ent’ring in, the Mistress of the place
Bespoke him welcome with a cheerful grace,
Fetch’d forth her dainties, spread her social board
With all the Store her dwelling could afford.
The Prince with toil and hunger sore opprest,
Gladly accepts, and deigns to be her guest.
But when the first civilities were paid,
The dishes rang’d, and Grace in order said;
The Fairy, who had leisure now to view
Her guest more closely, from her pocket drew
Her spectacles, and wip’d them from the dust,
Then on her nose endeavour’d to adjust;
With difficulty she could find a place
To hang them on in her unshapely face;
For if the Princess’s was somewhat small,
This Fairy scarce had any nose at all.
But when by help of spectacles the Crone
Discern’d a Nose so different from her own,
What peals of laughter shook her aged sides!
While with sharp jests the Prince she thus derides.
“Welcome, great Prince of Noses,
to my cell;
’Tis a poor place,—but thus we Fairies dwell.
Pray, let me ask you, if from far you come—
And don’t you sometimes find it cumbersome?”
“My Nose, Ma’am!”
The King your Father was a man of sense,
A handsome man (but lived not to be old)
And had a Nose cast in the common mould.
Ev’n I myself, that now with age am grey,
Was thought to have some beauty in my day,
And am the Daughter of a King. Your sire
In this poor face saw something to admire—
And I to shew my gratitude made shift—
Have stood his friend—and help’d him at a lift—
’Twas I that, when his hopes began to fail,
Shew’d him the spell that lurk’d in Minon’s tail—
Perhaps you have heard—but come, Sir, you don’t eat—
That Nose of yours requires both wine and meat—
Fall to, and welcome, without more ado—
You see your fare—what shall I help you to?
This dish the tongues of nightingales contains;
This, eyes of peacocks; and that, linnets’ brains;
That next you is a Bird of Paradise—
We fairies in our food are somewhat nice.—
And pray, Sir, while your hunger is supplied,
Do lean your Nose a little on one side;
The shadow, which it casts upon the meat,
Darkens my plate, I see not what I eat “—