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Nail to the mast her holy flag,
Set every threadbare sail,
The lightning and the gale!
My aunt! my dear unmarried aunt!
Long years have o'er her fown;
That binds her virgin zone;
As cheerful as she can;
For life is but a span.
My aunt! my poor deluded aunt!
Her hair is almost gray;
In such a spring-like way?
And say she reads as well,
She just makes out to spell ?
Her father-grandpapa! forgive
This erring lip its smiles-
Within a hundred miles ;
'Twas in her thirteenth June;
“Two towels and a spoon."
They braced my aunt against a board,
To make her straight and tall; They laced her up, they starved her down,
To make her light and small; They pinched her feet, they singed her hair,
They screwed it up with pins ;O never mortal suffered more
In penance for her sins.
So, when my precious aunt was done,
My grandsire brought her back;
Might follow on the track ;)
Some powder in his pan,
Against a desperate man?”
Alas! nor chariot, nor barouche,
Nor bandit cavalcade,
His all-accomplished maid.
And Heaven had spared to me
On my ancestral tree.
Eleven years later we find Dr. Holmes occupying the distinguished position of Parkman Professor of Anatoniy and Physiology at Harvard. Holmes, more properly perhaps than any other American poet, may be styled the Postprandial Poet, not a few of his verses having been delivered on occasions of medical, literary, alumnal, or social feasts. Of this sort are Terpsichore, The Stethoscope Song, A Modest Request, and many others. We quote
THE STETHOSCOPE SONG.
THERE was a young man in Boston town,
He bought him a Stethoscope nice and new,
With an ivory cap and a stopper too.
It happened a spider within did crawl,
And spun a web of ample size,
A couple of very imprudent flies.
The first was a bottle-fly, big and blue,
So there was a concert between the two,
Like an octave flute and a tavern gong. Now being from Paris recently,
This fine young man would show his skill; And so they gave him, his hand to try,
A hospital patient extremely ill.
Some said that his liver was short of bile,
And some that his heart was over size, While some kept arguing all the while
He was crammed with tubercles up to his eyes. This fine young man then up stepped he,
And all the doctors made a pause; Said he,—The man must die, you see,
By the fifty-seventh of Louis's laws.
To explore his chest it may be well ;
You know the autopsy would not tell.
And on it placed his curious ear;
Why here is a sound that's mighty queer!
Amphoric buzzing, as I'm alive!
Amphoric buzzing, said all the five.
We'll plunge a trocar in his side.The diagnosis was made out,
They tapped the patient; so he died.
Now such as hate new-fashioned toys
Began to look extremely glum;
And vowed that his buzzing was all a hum.
There was an old lady had long been sick,
And what was the matter none did know:
Her pulse was slow, though her tongue was quick;
To her this knowing youth must go.
So there the nice old lady sat,
With phials and boxes all in a row;
To thump her and tumble her ruffles so.
Now, when the stethoscope came out,
The flies began to buz and whiz; Oho! the matter is clear, no doubt;
An aneurism there plainly is.
The bruit de rape and th: bruit de scie
And the bruit de diable art all combined; How happy Bouillaud would be
If he a case like this could find !
Now, when the neighboring doctors found
A case so rare had been descried, They every day her ribs did pound
In squads of twenty; so she died.
Then six young damsels, slight and frail,
Received this kind young doctor's cares ;
They all made rhymes with “sighs" and "skies,"
And loathed their puddings and buttered rolls, And dieted, much to their friends' surprise,
On pickles and pencils and chalk and coals.
So fast their little hearts did bound,
The frightened insects buzzed the more, So over all their chests he found
The rdle sifflant, and rale sonore.
He shook his head;—there's grave disease,
I greatl, fear you all must die; A slight post-mortem, if you please,
Surviving friends would gratify,
The six young damsels wept aloud,
Which so prevailed on six young men,
Whereat they all got well again.
This poor young man was all aghast;
The price of stethoscopes came down;
To practice in a country town.
The doctors being very sore,
A stethoscope they did devise,
With a knob at the end to kill the flies.
Now use your ears, all you that can,
But don't forget to mind your eyes,
By a couple of silly, abnormal fies. Urania: a Rhymed Lesson was delivered before the Bos. ton Mercantile Library Association in 1846. /In 1852, Dr. Holmes appeared before the public in a course of Lectures on the English Poets of the Nineteenth Century, in which he manifested a preference for the bold and sparkling poets, the Scotts and Byrons, as contrasted with the quiet and thoughtful, the Wordsworths.
Our author began writing for the Atlantic Monthly in 1857, the year in which that magazine was started. His articles were entitled The Autocrat of the Breakfast Table. These were begun as opinions and observations, wittily expressed, on conversational topics of the day; but they gradually assumed a dramatic form, and their characters grew into the warm personages of a novel. /
A second series soon followed, called, this time, The Pro tessor of the Breakfast Table, which preserved rather a more sober, pathetic, and theological tone than the first. Next in order of time appeared The Professor's Story, or Elsie Verner: a Romance of Destiny.
In this work Dr Holmes ventured in a new field of