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Their shoulders chafed by hames of naked wood,
Till downward streams regardlessly the blood;
Urged on incessantly by thundering whips,
Of shouting negroes, with their haws and geeps ;
No well-fed bullocks-no, but stubborn mules,
Well matched in villainy with him who rules ;
For as their sides resound, just heaven! with sticks,
They oft let fly the most tremendous kicks :
Tho' Pompey punch them, and tho' Cæsar curse,
It serves no purpose but to make them worse.
Some Frenchman* said—“would you convince a fool?
As soon go kick in stable with your mule.”
Sententious wit!-how forcible!-how true!
I daub the picture which at once he drew.
No well-fed bullocks—but the bare-boned ox,
That suffering martyr to inhuman knocks !
Condemned, tho' pining with the hollow horn,
To exist on fodder, but to eat no corn:
Repast too scanty!—in the furrow flat
The sufferer sinks—"the creature was too fat.”'
No smiling pastures spread inviting here,
But dry hot fields on every side appear ;
A sultry scene, a dismal waste, alas!
Where'man's great object is to kill the grass.
This, tho' attack'd with never ending blows
From harrows, skimmers, and from clattering hoes,
Will rise abhorrent on the farmer's view,
Like the fam'd monster which Alcides slew;
grass deracinate, and turn your backs,
It starts like Hydra from repeated whacks.
No shepherds tune their reeds to idle rhyme,
For none have leisure for such waste of time;
In truth the sheep by no one here are watch'd,
Save rogues, who suffer if they can be catched :
Hound_wolf-or runawar he only deals
In closely dogging at their nimble heels.
Alas! poor flocks! Arcadia's pastoral ground,
Nor “thyme” nor "cytisus” can here be found;
Montaigne, I believe. + The common excuse of the buckskin for the death of an ox, occasioned by starvation.
“Dislended udders'* ne'er approach the pail, But only udders which are sure to fail. Cows, bagless-poor-protuberant in jointsYield milk in spoonfuls, or, at most, in pints, What Melibeus, or what Tityrus too, Could make rich cheesef from milk of azure hue, Drawn by Miss Blackamoor at early morn, From things so famish'd that they've turned to horn? No “sallowsť blossom on the neighboring hedge”We use but fence rails which are split by wedge, Or watlings dry, unsought by “Hybla's bees," Which can't suck honey from dead limbs of trees. Oh Muse!-but, pshaw!-that's stale!-a joke What Muse, I prithee, should I here invoke? Those maids of Pindus, in this Christian land, Should not be called on for a helping hand; Ah! sooner call to aid the rustic lay, Chiefs grown conspicuous in this farming dayWho rule in clubs, and stately there preside, And mount their hobbies for a tedious ride; Who write long essays in a style confused, Themselves more culpable than those abused; Those sage Triptolemi who wield the pen, To show our fathers were misguided men, Far, far inferior to their wiser sons ; Mere Goths and Vandals! or like barb'rous Huns, Whose sway brought ruin on the fairest plains These lacking mercy, and those lacking brains. Come, then, Arators of the modern school, And be benignant to a rhyming fool; Himself a farmer of that set, i'fegs, Who rip the goose to get the golden eggs, The stupid, blind, short-sighted band, Who skim the surface and undo the land; Who rear no clover on a thirsty soil, For why?-it grows not to reward their toil
* Bis venit ad mulctram, binos alit ubere fætus
† Pinguis et ingratæ premeretur caseus urbi.
Vicino ab limite sepes,
Hyblæis apibus florem depasti salicti.
Who strew no gypsum, but absurdly rail,
And swear 'tis nothing to the old cowtail.
These are their follies—these their crying sins,
Despite the pamphlet of enthusiast Binns;
I own the charge, and cry myself, peccavi,
I read but follow not Sir Humphrey Davy.
Arise Clodhoppers! now begins the year,
Attend the business which demands your care.
Overseers all! whom Taylor dubs the “Priests*
Of sad destruction,” mount your bob-tail'd beasts,
Kept always fat, when other nags are poor,
Tho' fed on nothing from the corn-house floor.f
'Tis hiring day—and to each county court,
Those who have negroes will this morn resort.
Bid, boldly bid, and stretch your eager throats,
O’erbid your rivals, and then give your notes ;
Fear not the consequence when months roll o’er,
You've pass’d your bonds-so think of them no more;
When that is done, Virginians' debts are paid,
Till courts of justice lend their tedious aid.
High minded men disdain these petty rubs,
They leave such settlements to legal scrubs;
Skinflints alone are ever punctual found,
And take their bonds in at the time they're bound.
This done-return to your respective homes,
Prepare your corn-fields ere the spring time comes ;
Review your several troops of sooty blacks,
Make wenches grub and fellows wield the axe;
Watch well the former, for they often leave
The stump, insidious, in the soil they cleave,
And when the plough, at some more distant day,
Incautious strikes, lo! every thing gives way;
Share-beam—and chains, and eke the back-bands too,
And Sambo staggers as he utters whew!
Wield well the axe, and fell the groaning trees,
Ope wide the corn-fields to the cooling breeze ;
Naught more contributes than the air, I ween,
To keep your cornstalks of a healthful green:
* Taylor's Arator.
+ An assertion always made, but somewhat apocryphal.
Go round your fences and adjust the rails,
Insert new pieces where the old one fails;
Stop all the hog-holes, lest the treacherous snout
Should find these pass-ways to your corn-field out.
Too many hope by aid of yelping dogs,
To guard the corn field from “infernal hogs;"
They leave their fences in a state unsound,
Then comes the hog and grunts them to the ground;
They plant—rest from their labors—sleep-
These curst marauders through the hog-holes creep;
Led on, perhaps, by some gigantic boar,
What havoc spread they while the laborers snore.
The morning breaks-what work for them that morn!
The hogs !—the hogs!—the hogs are in the corn!!*
Ah! then and there are hurrying one and all,
Like Byron's picture of the Brussels ball.
Men, dogs, and hogs, in one confused pell mell,
And many a dismal squeal, and many a deafening yell;
Some dog soon fastens on some luckless ear,
Awhile hangs growling, then lets go with fear;
Anon he seizes on his mangled prey;
The Parthian wheels, and fights, and flies away.
Hold him! and hold him! makes the welkin ring,
While round his head the rocks and brickbats sing.
At length the battle ends—the routed swine
Have reach'd the Rubicon-the neighb’ring line-
Away they go with many a joyous snort,
The master curses, but 'tis Sambo's sport.
Oh! dreadful scenes! renewed perhaps next day,
“Quorum pars fui,” as every one may say.
Hiatus maxime deflendus.
* The hogs are in the corn-field! tus em boy, tus em boy,
The hogs are in the corn-field! tus em boy, ho!
Here we find the origin of the above popular song in Virginia.
t Ah! then and there was hurrying to and fro,
And gath’ring tears and tremblings of distress. —Byron.
PINKNEY'S ELOQUENCE. Hear you this triton of the minnows? - Coriolanus. "YET Mr. Pinkney is not an eloquent man; he is convincing to be sure—and that is to be eloquent in one way; but he would be more, and fails.” “Nothing can be further from eloquence, if by eloquence be understood any thing that is persuasive, beautiful, dignified or natural, than the declamation or reasoning of William Pinkney.
“His best speeches are a compound of strength, feeble ornament, affected earnestness, and boisterous turbulent declamation.” “But God never meant him for an orator; he has no property of mind or body-no not one, calculated to give dominion in eloquence."
As old Doiley says in the farce, when told that “gold in the balance of philosophy was light as phlogisticated air,” this must be deep, for I don't understand a word of it. The above are extracts from a work, in which the author undertakes to deny to Mr. Pinkney, the praise of eloquence. No kind of composition confounds me more than criticism, and especially that sort which pretends to develope the characteristics of some distinguished orator. If one
Should So get the start of the majestic world as to bear the palm alone,” we feel a very natural curiosity to know what was his appearance, his manner, and peculiar style of eloquence; but alas ! in the hands of the critic, he assumes so many shapes, that the imagination is absolutely bewildered, and we turn away in despair of finding out what the man was like.
The critic, like the newspaper, contradicts himself at every step. One sentence tells us what another denies ; and we rise from the perusal of his sketch jaded and worn out with the variety of contrariant ideas which have passed through our brains. I am no critic, and heaven forbid I should ever belong to that cold hearted fraternity ; who more often pervert taste than improve