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Dress, and steer a boat, and sport with
Amaryllis in the shade : Struck, at Brown's, the dashing hazard ;
Or (more curious sport than that) Dropped, at Callaby's, the terrier
Down upon the prisoned rat.
I have stood serene on Fenner's
Ground, indifferent to blisters,
While the Buttress of the period
Bowled me his peculiar twisters :
Sung "We won't go home till morning';
Striven to part my backhair straight; Drunk (not lavishly) of Miller's
Old dry wines at 781:
When within my veins the blood ran,
And the curls were on my brow, I did, oh ye undergraduates,
Much as ye are doing now.
Wherefore bless ye, O. beloved ones :
Now unto mine inn must I,
Your poor moralist,'* betake me,
In my “solitary fly.'
. “Poor moralist, and what art thou?
TN those old days which poets say were golden
(Perhaps they laid the gilding on themselves : And, if they did, I'm all the more beholden
To those brown dwellers in my dusty shelves, Who talk to me "in language quaint and olden”
Of gods and demigods and fauns and elves, Pan with his pipes, and Bacchus with his leopards,
And staid young goddesses who flirt with shepherds :)
In those old days, the Nymph called Etiquette
(Appalling thought to dwell on) was not born. They had their May, but no Mayfair as yet,
No fashions varying as the hues of morn.
Just as they pleased they dressed and drank and ate,
Sang hymns to Ceres (their John Barleycorn) And danced unchaperoned, and laughed unchecked, And were no doubt extremely incorrect.
Yet do I think their theory was pleasant :
And oft, I own, my 'wayward fancy roams' Back to those times, so different from the present;
When no one smoked cigars, nor gave At-homes, Nor smote a billiard-ball, nor winged a pheasant,
Nor did their hair by means of long-tailed combs, Nor migrated to Brighton once a-year, Nor-most astonishing of all— drank Beer.
No, they did not drink Beer, “which brings me to”
(As Gilpin said) “the middle of my song." Not that “the middle” is precisely true,
Or else I should not tax your patience long : If I had said beginning, it might do;
But I have a dislike to quoting wrong:
I was unlucky-sinned against, not sinning-
So to proceed. That abstinence from Malt
Has always struck me as extremely curious. The Greek mind must have had some vital fault,
That they should stick to liquors so injurious(Wine, water, tempered p'raps with Attic salt)—
And not at once invent that mild, luxurious, And artful beverage, Beer. How the digestion Got on without it, is a startling question.
Had they digestions? and an actual body
Such as dyspepsia might make attacks on ? Were they abstract ideas—(like Tom Noddy
And Mr. Briggs)—or men, like Jones and Jackson ? Then Nectar-was that beer, or whisky-toddy?
Some say the Gaelic mixture, I the Saxon : I think a strict adherence to the latter Might make some Scots less pigheaded, and fatter.