Abbildungen der Seite



A STREET there is in Paris famous,

For which no rhyme our language yields, Rue Neuve des Petits Champs its name is

The New Street of the Little Fields ;
And here's an inn, not rich and splendid,

But still in comfortable case ;
The which in youth I oft attended,

To eat a bowl of Bouillabaisse.

This Bouillabaisse a noble dish is

A sort of soup, or broth, or brew, Or hotchpotch of all sorts of fishes,

That Greenwich never could outdo; Green herbs, red peppers, muscles, saffern,

Soles, onions, garlic, roach, and dace ; All these you eat at TERRé's tavern,

In that one dish of Bouillabaisse.

Indeed, a rich and savoury stew 'tis ;

And true philosophers, methinks, Who love all sorts of natural beauties,

Should love good victuals and good drinks. And Cordelier or Benedictine

Might gladly, sure, his lot embrace,
Nor find a fast-day too afflicting,
Which served him up a Bouillabaisse.

I wonder if the house still there is ?

Yes, here the lamp is, as before ; The smiling, red-cheeked écaillère is

Still opening oysters at the door.
Is TERRÉ still alive and able ?

I recollect his droll grimace ;
He'd come and smile before your table,

And hoped you liked your Bouillabaisse.

We enter; nothing's changed or older.

“ How's Monsieur TERRÉ, waiter, pray?" The waiter stares and shrugs his shoulder ;

“ Monsieur is dead this many a day.” “ It is the lot of saint and sinner.

So honest TERRÉ's run his race ?" “ What will Monsieur require for dinner ?”

“ Say, do you still cook Bouillabaisse ?”

“Oh, oui, Monsieur,” 's the waiter's answer ;

“Quel vin Monsieur desire-t-il ?” “ Tell me a good one.” “ That I can, sir ;

The Chambertin with yellow seal.” “ So TERRE's gone,” I say, and sink in

My old accustomed corner-place ; “ He's done with feasting and with drinking,

With Burgundy and Bouillabaisse.”

My old accustomed corner here is,

The table still is in the nook ;
Ah! vanished many a busy year is,

This well-known chair since last I took. When first I saw ye, Cari luoghi,

I'd scarce a beard upon my face, And now a grizzled, grim old fogy, I sit and wait for Bouillabaisse.

Where are you, old companions trusty

Of early days, here met to dine ? Come, waiter! quick, a flagon crusty

I'll pledge them in the good old wine.
The kind old voices and old faces

My memory can quick retrace ;
Around the board they take their places,

And share the wine and Bouillabaisse.

There's Jack has made a wondrous marriage ;

There's laughing Tom is laughing yet ; There's brave Augustus drives his carriage ;

There's poor old FRED in the Gazette ; On James's head the grass is growing:

Good Lord! The world has wagged apace Since here we set the Claret flowing,

And drank, and ate the Bouillabaisse.

Ah me! how quick the days are fitting !

I mind me of a time that's gone,
When here I'd sit, as now I'm sitting,

In this same place—but not alone.
A fair young form was nestled near me,

A dear, dear face looked fondly up,
And sweetly spoke and smiled to cheer me

_There's no one now to share my cup.

I drink it as the Fates ordain it.

Come, fill it, and have done with rhymes ; Fill up the lonely glass, and drain it

In memory of dear old times. Welcome the wine, whate'er the seal is ;

And sit you down and say your grace With thankful heart, whate'er the meal is.

- Here comes the smoking Bouillabaisse.


The play is done; the curtain drops,

Slow falling to the prompter's bell: A moment yet the actor stops,

And looks around to say farewell. It is an irksome word and task;

And, when he's laughed and said his say, He shows, as he removes the mask,

A face that's any thing but gay.

One word, ere yet the evening ends,

Let's close it with a parting rhyme,
And pledge a hand to all young friends,

As fits the merry Christmas time.
On life's wide scene you, too, have parts,

That Fate ere long shall bid you play ;
Good-night! with honest gentle hearts

A kindly greeting go alway!

Good-night!—I'd say, the griefs, the joys,

Just hinted in this mimic page,
The triumphs and defeats of boys,

Are but repeated in our age.
I'd say, your woes were not less keen,

Your hopes more vain than those of men ; Your pangs or pleasures of fifteen

At forty-five played o'er again.

I'd say we suffer and we strive,

Not less nor more as men than boys ;
With grizzled beards at forty-five,
As erst at twelve in corduroys,

And if in time of sacred youth,

We learned at home to love and pray, Pray Heaven that early Love and Truth

May never wholly pass away.

And in the world, as in the school,

I'd say, how fate may change and shift;
The prize be sometimes with the fool,

The race not always to the swift.
The strong may yield, the good may fall,

The great man be a vulgar clown,
The knave be lifted over all,

The kind cast pitilessly down.

Who knows the inscrutable design ?

Blessed be He who took and gave ! Why should your mother, Charles, not mine,

Be weeping at her darling's grave? We bow to Heaven that willed it so,

That darkly rules the fate of all, That sends the respite or the blow,

That's free to give or to recall.

This crowns his feast with wine and wit:

Who brought him to that mirth and state ? His betters, see, below him sit,

Or hunger hopeless at the gate.
Who bade the mud from Dives' wheel

To spurn the rags of Lazarus ?
Come, brother, in that dust we'll kneel,

Confessing Heaven that ruled it thus.

So each shall mourn, in life's advance,

Dear hopes, dear friends, untimely killed; Shall grieve for many a forfeit chance, And longing passion unfulfilled.

« ZurückWeiter »