Page images

This Popkin is the eldest hope---
The second brother deals in soap)-
And Popkin took--O dira Fata !
Freedoms with Ching's inamorata.
Sudden Ching turn'd, his eyes on fire,
(Such things in Siam wrath inspire,)
And spluttering out some new-learnt oath,
Smote the bold Popkin on the mouth.

A ring! a battle !” Popkin cries,

And quite mistaking one for t'other, Returns the blow on Chang's raised eyes-

Raised-all superior to this “pother ;" Then Chang's wrath rose, he looked much troubled, And instantly four fists were doubled : So fond we English are for dangers,

And for abusive words preparing, That the twin arts we teach to strangers,

Are always fistycuffs and swearing.

St. George ! most dreadful and most furious,
Would sure have been this combat curious,
Had not, just as our brothers finely
Backing each other, squared divinely,
Doubting whom first their strength should level,

A shout, “ The watch ! the watch !” arose,
And in an instant, where the Devil ?--

Yes where the Devil were their foes ?

The girls were fled, the men were flying,
Popkin alone still stood defying;
But Popkin was a man long-headed,
And blows his pulse had greatly steadied--
The young Ulysses of his country,
He mingled cunning with effrontery--
So when he saw the invidious watchmen,
Like human spiders made to catch men,
Towards them he walked, and bade them note
Blood on his mouth, and muslin'd throat,
Show'd the aggressors in the Pair,
And gave them to the Charley's care-
Smoothing away the watchman's qualms
With three drops from the oil of Palms,
Bid him then keep the brothers chary,
For justice, and Sir Peter Laurie ;
Swearing he'd come, and, to their sorrow,
Prove the assault in court to-morrow;
And quite, the watchmen to engage,
Rouse them to sympathetic rage,
And make them for his injuries feel,
He gave his name as-- .“ Robert Peel !”
This done, he stalk'd away--the fiat

Of the stern watchmen did not find
The Twins agreed to go in quiet

To “ills they knew not of” resigned : They struggled long, they struggled hard, Nor need'st thou now learn from the bard--

It was the brothers whom the brave,
But ill-starr'd Hodges failed to save.

Behold them now within the keeping

Of that—Night's rudest—ward of sorrow; Around them Vice lies drouthly sleeping,

And Misery, shivering, dreads the morrow! Ah, this wrong world! where'er we turn,

Life finds the same too faithful mirror ; One penance everywhere we learn,

Misfortune still confounds with Error. Let him whom Want hath proven sit,

Alone, in judgment on his fellows-Ev’n Blame, by true Experience lit,

Grows warm, and to Compassion mellows. Mirth's well a graver Truth may boast

Than aught which lurks in Melancholy; And they who laugh at Folly most,

Most often daunt the World from Folly !



« PreviousContinue »