Palinurus himself—that is Almer—
No longer could make out the track;
’Twas folly, no doubt, to go onward;
’Twas madness, of course, to go back.
The snow slope grew steeper and steeper;
The lightning more vividly flared;
The thunder rolled deeper and deeper;
And the wind more offensively blared.
But at last a strong gust for a moment
Dispersed the thick cloud from our sight,
And revealed an astonishing prospect,
Which filled not our hearts with delight:
On our right was a precipice awful;
On the left chasms yawning and deep;
Glazed rocks and snow-slopes were before us,
At an angle alarmingly steep.
We all turned and looked back at Almer.
Who then was the last on the rope;
His face for a moment was clouded,
Then beamed with the dawn of a hope;
He came to the front, and thence forward
In wonderful fashion he led,
Over rocks, over snow-slopes glissading,
While he stood, bolt upright on his head!
We followed, in similar fashion;
Hurrah, what a moment is this!
What a moment of exquisite transport!
A realization of bliss!
To glissade is a pleasant sensation,
Of which all have written, or read;
But to taste it, in perfect perfection,
You should learn to glissade on your head.
Hurrah! with a wild scream of triumph,
Over snow, over boulders we fly,
Our heads firmly pressed to the surface,
Our heels pointing up to the sky!
We bound o’er the bergschrund uninjured,
We shoot o’er a precipice sheer;
Hurrah, for the modern glissader!
Hurrah, for the wild mountaineer!
* * * * *
But, alas! what is this? what a shaking!
What a jar! what a bump! what a thump!
Out of bed, in intense consternation,
I bound with a hop, skip, and jump.
For I hear the sweet voice of a “person”
Of whom I with justice am proud,
“My dear, when you dream about mountains,
I wish you’d not jodel so loud!”
THE BEACONSFIELD ALPHABET.
A’s my new policy called Annexation;
B is the Bother it causes the nation.
C is Lord Chelmsford, engaged with Zulus;
D the Disasters which give me ‘the blues.’
E is the Effort I make to look merry;
F is my Failure—deplorable very!
G is Sir Garnett, alas, not ubiquitous!
H stands for H——t, an M.P. iniquitous.
I stands for India, a source of vexation:
J are the Jews, a most excellent nation.
K is the Khedive, whose plan is to borrow
L L. s. d.—I’ll annex him to-morrow!
M’s the Majority, which I much prize;
N are the Non-contents whom I despise.
O’s the Opposition, so often defeated;
P is P——ll, that Home-ruler