Memoir of a Brother. T. HUGHES.
* * * * *
it been my lot to mark
A proud, conceited, talking spark,
With eyes that hardly served at most
To guard their master ’gainst a post:
Yet round the world the blade has been
To see whatever can be seen.
Returning from his finished tour,
Grown ten times perter than before.
Whatever word you chance to drop,
The travelled fool your mouth will stop:
“Sir, if my judgment you’ll allow—
I’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,
As o’er Arabia’s wilds they passed,
And on their way in friendly chat,
Now talked of this, and now of that:
Discoursed a while, ’mongst other matter,
Of the chameleon’s form and nature.
“A stranger animal,” cries one,
“Sure never lived beneath the sun;
A lizard’s body, lean and long,
A fish’s head, a serpent’s tongue,
Its foot with triple claw disjoined;
And what a length of tail behind!
How slow its pace! And then its hue—
Who ever saw so fine a blue?”—
“Hold there,” the other quick replies,
“’Tis green; I saw it with these eyes
As late with open mouth it lay,
And warmed it in the sunny ray;
Stretched at its ease the beast I viewed,
And saw it eat the air for food.”
“I’ve seen it, sir, as well as you,
And must again affirm it blue:
At leisure I the beast surveyed
Extended in the cooling shade.”
“’Tis green, ’tis green, sir, I assure you.”
“Green!” cried the other in a fury:
“Why, do you think I’ve lost my eyes?”
“’Twere no great loss,” the friend replies,
“For if they always serve you thus,
You’ll find them of but little use.”
So high at last the contest rose,
From words they almost came to blows,
When luckily came by a third:
To him the question they referred,
And begged he’d tell them if he knew,
Whether the thing was green or blue?
“Sirs,” cries the umpire, “cease your pother,