Why ask me, Gastrogogue, to dine
(Unless to praise your rascal wine)
Yet never ask some luckless sinner
Who needs, as I do not, a dinner?
Dom Pedro, Emperor of far Brazil
(Whence coffee comes and the three-cornered nut),
They say that you're imperially ill,
And threatened with paralysis. Tut-tut!
Though Emperors are mortal, nothing but
A nimble thunderbolt could catch and kill
A man predestined to depart this life
By the assassin's bullet, bomb or knife.
Strolling at sunset in my native land,
With fruits and flowers thick on either hand,
I crossed a Shadow flung athwart my way,
Emerging on a waste of rock and sand.
'Tis the census enumerator
A-singing all forlorn:
It's ho! for the tall potater,
And ho! for the clustered corn.
The whiffle-tree bends in the breeze and the fine
Large eggs are a-ripening on the vine.
When men at candidacy don't connive,
From that suspicion if their friends would free 'em,
The teeth and nails with which they did not strive
Should be exhibited in a museum.
I Slept, and, waking in the years to be,
Heard voices, and approaching whence they came,
Listened indifferently where a key
Had lately been removed. An ancient dame
Said to her daughter: 'Go to yonder caddy
And get some emery to scour your daddy.'
The polecat, sovereign of its native wood,
Dashes damnation upon bad and good;
The health of all the upas trees impairs
By exhalations deadlier than theirs;
Poisons the rattlesnake and warts the toad
The creeks go rotten and the rocks corrode!
To flatter your way to the goad of your hope,
O plausible Mr. Perkins,
You'll need ten tons of the softest soap
And butter a thousand firkins.
The soap you could put to a better use
In washing your hands of ambition
Ere the butter's used for cooking your goose
To a beautiful brown condition.
Dear man! although a stranger and a foe
To soft affection's humanizing glow;
Although untaught how manly hearts may throb
With more desires than the desire to rob;
Although as void of tenderness as wit,
And owning nothing soft but Maurice Schmitt;
Unhappy State! with horrors still to strive:
Thy Hugo dead, thy Boulanger alive;
A Prince who'd govern where he dares not dwell,
And who for power would his birthright sell
Who, anxious o'er his enemies to reign,
Grabs at the scepter and conceals the chain;