Boats were curtseying, rising, bowing,
(Boats in that climate are so polite),
And sands were a ribbon of green endowing,
And O the sundazzle on bark and bight!
Thro’ the rare red heather we danced together,
(O love my Willie!) and smelt for flowers:
I must mention again it was gorgeous weather,
Rhymes are so scarce in this world of ours:-
By rises that flush’d with their purple favours,
Thro’ becks that brattled o’er grasses sheen,
We walked and waded, we two young shavers,
Thanking our stars we were both so green.
We journeyed in parallels, I and Willie,
In fortunate parallels! Butterflies,
Hid in weltering shadows of daffodilly
Or marjoram, kept making peacock eyes:
Songbirds darted about, some inky
As coal, some snowy (I ween) as curds;
Or rosy as pinks, or as roses pinky —
They reck of no eerie To-come, those birds!
But they skim over bents which the midstream washes,
Or hang in the lift ’neath a white cloud’s hem;
They need no parasols, no goloshes;
And good Mrs. Trimmer she feedeth them.
Then we thrid God’s cowslips (as erst His heather)
That endowed the wan grass with their golden blooms;
And snapt—(it was perfectly charming weather) —
Our fingers at Fate and her goddess-glooms:
And Willie ’gan sing (O, his notes were fluty;
Wafts fluttered them out to the white-wing’d sea) —
Something made up of rhymes that have done much duty,
Rhymes (better to put it) of “ancientry:”
Bowers of flowers encounter’d showers
In William’s carol—(O love my Willie!)
Then he bade sorrow borrow from blithe to-morrow
I quite forget what—say a daffodilly:
A nest in a hollow, “with buds to follow,”
I think occurred next in his nimble strain;
And clay that was “kneaden” of course in Eden —
A rhyme most novel, I do maintain:
Mists, bones, the singer himself, love-stories,
And all least furlable things got “furled;”
Not with any design to conceal their “glories,”
But simply and solely to rhyme with “world.”
* * *
O if billows and pillows and hours and flowers,
And all the brave rhymes of an elder day,
Could be furled together, this genial weather,
And carted, or carried on “wafts” away,
Nor ever again trotted out—ah me!
How much fewer volumes of verse there’d be!
THE COCK AND THE BULL.
You see this pebble-stone? It’s a thing
Of a bit of a chit of a boy i’ the mid o’ the day —
I like to dock the smaller parts-o’-speech,
As we curtail the already cur-tail’d cur
(You catch the paronomasia, play ‘po’ words?)
Did, rather, i’ the pre-Landseerian days.
Well, to my muttons. I purchased the concern,