The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4 eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 324 pages of information about The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb Volume 4.

XXIV

Fat bulls of Basan are roasted whole,
Of the breed that ran at David;
With the flesh of goats, on the sinister side,
That shall stand apart, when the world is tried;
Fit meat for souls unsaved!

XXV

The fowl from the spit were the Harpies’ brood,
Which the bard sang near Cremona,
With a garnish of bats in their leathern wings imp’t;
And the fish was—­two delicate slices crimp’t,
Of the whale that swallow’d Jonah.

XXVI

Then the goblets were crown’d, and a health went round
To the Bride, in a wine like scarlet;
No earthly vintage so deeply paints,
For ’twas dash’d with a tinge from the blood of the Saints
By the Babylonian Harlot.

XXVII

        No Hebe fair stood Cup Bearer there,
          The guests were their own skinkers;
        But Bishop Judas first blest the can,
        Who is of all Hell Metropolitan,
          And kiss’d it to all the drinkers.

XXVIII

The feast being ended, to dancing they went,
To a music that did produce a
Most dissonant sound, while a hellish glee
Was sung in parts by the Furies Three;
And the Devil took out Medusa.

XXIX

But the best of the sport was to hear his old Dam,
Set up her shrill forlorn pipe—­
How the wither’d Beldam hobbled about,
And put the rest of the company out—­
For she needs must try a horn-pipe.

XXX

But the heat, and the press, and the noise, and the din,
Were so great, that, howe’er unwilling,
Our Reporter no longer was able to stay,
But came in his own defence away,
And left the Bride quadrilling.

PROLOGUES AND EPILOGUES

EPILOGUE TO GODWIN’S TRAGEDY OF “ANTONIO”

(1800)

Ladies, ye’ve seen how Guzman’s consort died,
Poor victim of a Spaniard brother’s pride,
When Spanish honour through the world was blown,
And Spanish beauty for the best was known[19]. 
In that romantic, unenlighten’d time,
A breach of promise[20] was a sort of crime—­
Which of you handsome English ladies here,
But deem the penance bloody and severe? 
A whimsical old Saragossa[21] fashion,
That a dead father’s dying inclination,
Should live to thwart a living daughter’s passion[22],
Unjustly on the sex we[23] men exclaim,
Rail at your[24] vices,—­and commit the same;—­
Man is a promise-breaker from the womb,
And goes a promise-breaker to the tomb—­
What need we instance here the lover’s vow,
The sick man’s purpose, or the great man’s bow[25]? 
The truth by few examples best is shown—­
Instead of many which are better known,
Take poor Jack Incident, that’s dead and gone. 
Jack, of dramatic genius justly vain,
Purchased a renter’s share at Drury-lane;
Copyrights
Project Gutenberg
The Works of Charles and Mary Lamb — Volume 4 from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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