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Here's to Nelson's memory! 'Tis the second time that I, at sea, Right off Cape Trafalgar here, Have drunk it deep in British beer: Nelson for ever-any time Am I his to command in prose or rhyme! Give me of Nelson only a touch, And I guard it, be it little or much; Here's one the Captain gives, and so Down at the word, by George, shall it go! He says that at Greenwich they show the beholder Nelson's coat, “still with tar on the shoulder, “For he used to lean with one shoulder digging, “Jigging, as it were, and zig-zag-zigging, "Up against the mizen rigging!
HOME-THOUGHTS, FROM THE SEA NOBLY, nobly Cape Saint Vincent to the north-west TV died away; Sunset ran, one glorious blood-red, reeking into Cadiz
Bay; Bluish mid the burning water, full in face Trafalgar
lay; In the dimmest north-east distance, dawned Gibraltar
grand and gray; “Here and here did England help me,–how can I Whoso turns as I, this evening, turn to God to praise
and pray, While Jove's planet rises yonder, silent over Africa.
NATIONALITY IN DRINKS
M Y heart sunk with our Claret-flask,
MI Just now, beneath the heavy sedges
That serve this pond's black face for mask;
And still at yonder broken edges
Of the hole, where up the bubbles glisten,
After my heart I look and listen.
Our laughing little flask, compellid
Thro' depth to depth more bleak and shady; As when, both arms beside her held,
Feet straightened out, some gay French lady Is caught up from Life's light and motion,
And dropped into Death's silent ocean!
Up jumped Tokay on our table,
Like a pygmy castle-warder,
Dwarfish to see, but stout and able,
Arms and accoutrements all in order;
And fierce he looked north, then, wheeling south,
Blew with his bugle a challenge to Drouth,
Cocked his flap-hat with the tosspot-feather,
Twisted his thumb in his red moustache,
Jingled his huge brass spurs together,
Tightened his waist with its Buda sash,
And then with an impudence nought could abash,
Shrugged his hump-shoulder,
To tell the beholder,
For twenty such knaves he should laugh but the
And so with his sword-hilt gallantly jutting,
And dexter-hand on his haunch abutting,
Went the little man from Ausbruch, strutting!
V ANITY, saith the preacher, vanity!
V Draw round my bed: is Anselm keeping back? Nephews-sons mine ... ah God, I know not !
WellShe, men would have to be your mother once, Old Gandolf envied me, so fair she was! What's done is done, and she is dead beside, Dead long ago, and I am Bishop since, And as she died so must we die ourselves, And thence ye may perceive the world's a dream. Life, how and what is it? As here I lie In this state-chamber, dying by degrees, Hours and long hours in the dead night, I ask “Do I live, am I dead?” Peace, peace seems all. Saint Praxed's ever was the church for peace; And so, about this tomb of mine. I fought With tooth and nail to save my niche, ye know: -Old Gandolf cozened me, despite my care; Shrewd was that snatch from out the corner South He graced his carrion with, God curse the same! Yet still my niche is not so cramped but thence One sees the pulpit o' the epistle-side, And somewhat of the choir, those silent seats, And up into the aery dome where live The angels, and a sunbeam 's sure to lurk: And I shall fill my slab of basalt there, And 'neath my tabernacle take my rest, With those nine columns round me, two and two The odd one at my feet where Anselm stands: Peach-blossom marble all, the rare, the ripe As fresh-poured red wine of a mighty pulse. -Old Gandolf with his paltry onion-stone,
Put me where I may look at him! True peach,
Rosy and flawless: how I earned the prize!
Draw close: that conflagration of my church
- What then? So much was saved if aught were
My sons, ye would not be my death ? Go dig
The white-grape vineyard where the oil-press stood,
Drop water gently till the surface sink,
And if ye find ... Ah God, I know not, I!...
Bedded in store of rotten fig-leaves soft,
And corded up in a tight olive-frail,
Some lump, ah God, of lapis lazuli,
Big as a Jew's head cut off at the nape,
Blue as a vein o'er the Madonna's breast ...
Sons, all I have bequeathed you, villas, all,
That brave Frascati villa with its bath,
So, let the blue lump poise between my knees,
Like God the Father's globe on both his hands
Ye worship in the Jesu Church so gay,
For Gandolf shall not choose but see and burst!
Swift as a weaver's shuttle fleet our years :
Man goeth to the grave, and where is he?
Did I say basalt for my slab, sons ? Black-
'Twas ever antique-black I meant ! How else
Shall ye contrast my frieze to come beneath ?
The bas-relief in bronze ye promised me,
Those Pans and Nymphs ye wot of, and perchance
Some tripod, thyrsus, with a vase or so,
The Saviour at his sermon on the mount,
Saint Praxed in a glory, and one Pan
Ready to twitch the Nymph's last garment off,
And Moses with the tables ... but I know
Ye mark me not! What do they whisper thee,
Child of my bowels, Anselm ? Ah, ye hope
To revel down my villas while I gasp
Bricked o'er with beggar's mouldy travertine
Which Gandolf from his tomb-top chuckles at !
Nay, boys, ye love me—all of jasper, then!
'Tis jasper ye stand pledged to, lest I grieve
My bath must needs be left behind, alas!
One block, pure green as a pistachio-nut,
There's plenty jasper somewhere in the world-
And have I not Saint Praxed's ear to pray
Horses for ye, and brown Greek manuscripts,
And mistresses with great smooth marbly limbs?
- That's if ye carve my epitaph aright,
Choice Latin, picked phrase, Tully's every word,
No gaudy ware like Gandolf's second line-
Tully, my masters? Ulpian serves his need!
And then how I shall lie through centuries,
And hear the blessed mutter of the mass,
And see God made and eaten all day long,
And feel the steady candle-flame, and taste
Good strong thick stupefying incense-smoke!
For as I lie here, hours of the dead night,
Dying in state and by such slow degrees,
I fold my arms as if they clasped a crook,
And stretch my feet forth straight as stone can point,
And let the bedclothes, for a mortcloth, drop
Into great laps and folds of sculptor's-work:
And as yon tapers dwindle, and strange thoughts
Grow, with a certain humming in my ears,
About the life before I lived this life,
And this life too, popes, cardinals and priests,
Saint Praxed at his sermon on the mount,
Your tall pale mother with her talking eyes,
And new-found agate urns as fresh as day,
And marble's language, Latin pure, discreet,
-Aha, ELUCESCEBAT quoth our friend?
No Tully, said I, Ulpian at the best!
Evil and brief hath been my pilgrimage.
All lapis, all, sons! Else I give the Pope
My villas! Will ye ever eat my heart?
Ever your eyes were as a lizard's quick,
They glitter like your mother's for my soul,
Or ye would heighten my impoverished frieze,