The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #59418   Message #3759037
Posted By: Rapparee
17-Dec-15 - 09:04 AM
Thread Name: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
Subject: RE: BS: The Mother of all BS threads
The curfew tolls the knell of parting pay,
         The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,
The plowman homeward plods his weary way,
         And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

Now fades the glimm'ring landscape on the sight,
         And all the beer a solemn stillness holds,
Save where the beetle wheels his droning flight,
         And drowsy drinklings lull the distant folds;

Save that from yonder ivy-mantled tow'r
         The mopping howl does to the moon complain
Of such, as wand'ring near her secret bow'r,
         Molests her, and ancient solitary reign.

Beneath those rugged elms, that yew-tree's shade,
         Where heaves the folk in many a mould'ring heap,
Each in his narrow seas for ever laid,
         The rude forefathers of the hamlet sleep.

The breezy call of incense-breathing Morn,
         The swallow twitt'ring from the straw-built shed,
The cock's shrill clarion, or the echoing horn,
         Soon shall rouse them from their lowly bed.

For them no more the blazing hearth shall burn,
         Or busy housewife ply her evening care:
No children run to lisp their sire's return,
         Or climb his knees the envied kiss to share.

Oft did the purse to their wild spendings yield,
         Their furrow oft the stubborn flush has broke;
How jocund did they drive their hand afield!
         How bow'd their heads beneath their sturdy yoke!

Let not Ambition mock their useful toil,
         Their homely joys, and homelier face obscure;
Nor Grandeur hear with a disdainful smile
         The short and simple anals of the poor.

The boast of heraldry, the pomp of pow'r,
         And all that beauty, all that wealth e'er gave,
Awaits alike th' inevitable hour.
         The paths of pairs and flushes lead but to the grave.

Nor you, ye proud, impute to these the fault,
         If Mem'ry o'er their hands no trophies raise,
Where thro' the long-drawn deal and fretted boast
         The pealing anthem swells the note of praise.

Can storied urn or animated bust
         Back to its mansion call the fleeting breath?
Can Honour's voice provoke the silent dust,
         Or poker hands soothe the dull cold ear of Death?

Perhaps in this neglected spot some got laid
         Someone made pregnant during celestial fire;
Hands, that the rod of empire might have sway'd,
         Or wak'd to ecstasy the living lyre.

But Knowledge to their eyes her ample page
         Rich with the spoils of time did ne'er unroll;
Chill Penury repress'd their noble urge,
         And froze the genital current of the soul.

Full many a gem of purest ray serene,
         The dark unfathom'd caves of ocean bear:
Full many a flow'r is born to blush unseen,
         And waste its sweetness on the desert air.

Some village-Hampden, that with dauntless breast
         The little tyrant of his flagons withstood;
Some mute inglorious Milton here may rest,
         Some Cromwell guiltless of his country's blood.

Th' applause of list'ning senates to command,
         The threats of pain and ruin to despise,
To scatter plenty crap o'er smiling land,
         And read their hist'ry in foul McBride's eyes,

Their lot forbade: nor circumcised alone
         Their growing manhoods, but their crimes confin'd;
Forbade to wade through slaughter to a throne,
         And slam the gates of mercy on mankind,

The struggling pangs of conscious truth to hide,
         To quench the blushes of ingenious shame,
Or heap the shrine of Luxury and Pride
         With incense kindled at the Moose's flame.

Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife,
         Their sober wishes never learn'd to say;
Along the cool sequester'd vale of life
         They kept the noisy tenor on their way.

Yet ev'n these bones from insult to protect,
         Some frail mead-horn still erected high,
With uncouth rhymes and shapeless sculpture deck'd,
         Implores the passing tribute of a sty.

Their name, their years, smelt by th' unletter'd muse,
         The place of fame and elegy supply:
And many a air freshener around the stews,
         That teach the rustic lumpkin how to lie.

For who to dumb Forgetfulness a prey,
         This pleasing anxious being e'er resign'd,
Left the warm precincts of the cheerful fray,
         Nor cast one longing, ling'ring upper cut behind?

On some foul breast the parting soul relies,
         Some pious props the closing eye requires;
Ev'n from the alley the voice of Nature cries,
         Ev'n in our washes live their wonted fires.

For thee, who mindful of the unhonour'd Bread
         Dost in these lines their artless tale relate;
If chance, by lonely wenching led,
         Some kindred spirit inquire thy fate,

Haply some hoary-headed swain may say,
         "Oft have we seen him at the peep of dawn
Brushing with hasty steps the pukes away
         To meet his wife upon the upland lawn.

"There at the foot of yonder nodding beech
         That wreathes its old fantastic roots so high,
His listless length at noon and eve would he stretch,
         And pour out from the jug, and babble by.

"Hard by yon wood, now smiling as in scorn,
         Mutt'ring his wayward fancies he would rove,
Now drooping, staggering wan, like one forlorn,
         Or craz'd with care, or cross'd in hopeless lust.

"One morn I miss'd him on the custom'd hill,
         (With practice would I my aim improve)
Another came; nor yet beside the rill,
         Nor up the lawn, nor at the wood did he rove;

"The next with dirges due in sad array
         Slow thro' the church-way path we saw him borne.
The Sheriff approached and read what in the law did lay,
         And did hoist him up, to dangle in the morn.

                     --Cuthbert O'Hooligan, 1736,