A little of Horace, a little of Prior,
A sketch of a Milkmaid, a lay of the Squire—
These, these are ‘on draught’ ‘At the Sign of the Lyre!’
A child in Blue Ribbons that sings to herself,
A talk of the Books on the Sheraton shelf,
A sword of the Stuarts, a wig of the Guelph,
A lai, a pantoum, a ballade, a rondeau,
A pastel by Greuze, and a sketch by Moreau,
And the chimes of the rhymes that sing sweet as they go,
A fan, and a folio, a ringlet, a glove,
’Neath a dance by Laguerre on the ceiling above,
And a dream of the days when the bard was in love,
A scent of dead roses, a glance at a pun,
A toss of old powder, a glint of the sun,
They meet in the volume that Dobson has done!
If there’s more that the heart of a man can
He may search, in his Swinburne, for fury and fire;
If he’s wise—he’ll alight ‘At the Sign of the Lyre!’
For a sketch by Mr. G. Leslie, R.A.
France your country, as we know;
Room enough for guessing yet,
What lips now or long ago,
Kissed and named you—Colinette.
In what fields from sea to sea,
By what stream your home was set,
Loire or Seine was glad of thee,
Marne or Rhone, O Colinette?
Did you stand with maidens ten,
Fairer maids were never seen,
When the young king and his men
Passed among the orchards green?
Nay, old ballads have a note
Mournful, we would fain forget;
No such sad old air should float
Round your young brows, Colinette.
Say, did Ronsard sing to you,
Shepherdess, to lull his pain,
When the court went wandering through
Rose pleasances of Touraine?
Ronsard and his famous Rose
Long are dust the breezes fret;
You, within the garden close,
You are blooming, Colinette.
Have I seen you proud and gay,
With a patched and perfumed beau,
Dancing through the summer day,
Misty summer of Watteau?
Nay, so sweet a maid as you
Never walked a minuet
With the splendid courtly crew;
Nay, forgive me, Colinette.
Not from Greuze’s canvases
Do you cast a glance, a smile;
You are not as one of these,
Yours is beauty without guile.
Round your maiden brows and hair
Maidenhood and Childhood met
Crown and kiss you, sweet and fair,
New art’s blossom, Colinette.
The silk sail fills, the soft winds wake,
Arise and tempt the seas;
Our ocean is the Palace lake,
Our waves the ripples that we make
Among the mirrored trees.
Nay, sweet the shore, and sweet the song,
And dear the languid dream;
The music mingled all day long
With paces of the dancing throng,
And murmur of the stream.