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- The Home Book of Verse, Volume 4 - 5/53 -


Or hotchpotch of all sorts of fishes, That Greenwich never could outdo; Green herbs, red peppers, mussels, saffern, Soles, onions, garlic, roach, and dace: All these you eat at Terre's tavern, In that one dish of Bouillabaisse.

Indeed, a rich and savory 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 ecaillere is Still opening oysters at the door. Is Terre still alive and able? I recollect his droll grimace; He'd come and smile before your table And hope you liked your Bouillabaisse.

We enter; nothing's changed or older. "How's Monsieur Terre, 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 Terre'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 flitting! 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!

William Makepeace Thackeray [1811-1863]

TO MY GRANDMOTHER Suggested By A Picture By Mr. Romney

Under the elm a rustic seat Was merriest Susan's pet retreat To merry-make

This Relative of mine Was she seventy-and-nine When she died? By the canvas may be seen How she looked at seventeen, As a Bride.

Beneath a summer tree Her maiden reverie Has a charm; Her ringlets are in taste; What an arm! and what a waist For an arm!

With her bridal-wreath, bouquet, Lace farthingale, and gay Falbala, - If Romney's touch be true, What a lucky dog were you, Grandpapa!

Her lips are sweet as love; They are parting! Do they move? Are they dumb? Her eyes are blue, and beam Beseechingly, and seem To say, "Come!"

What funny fancy slips From atween these cherry lips? Whisper me, Fair Sorceress in paint, What canon says I mayn't Marry thee?

That good-for-nothing Time Has a confidence sublime! When I first Saw this Lady, in my youth, Her winters had, forsooth, Done their worst.

Her locks, as white as snow, Once shamed the swarthy crow; By-and-by That fowl's avenging sprite Set his cruel foot for spite Near her eye.

Her rounded form was lean, And her silk was bombazine: Well I wot With her needles would she sit, And for hours would she knit. - Would she not?

Ah perishable clay! Her charms had dropped away One by one: But if she heaved a sigh With a burden, it was, "Thy Will be done."

In travail, as in tears, With the fardel of her years Overpressed, In mercy she was borne Where the weary and the worn Are at rest.

Oh, if you now are there, And sweet as once you were, Grandmamma, This nether world agrees You'll all the better please Grandpapa.

Frederick Locker-Lampson [1821-1895]

MY MISTRESS'S BOOTS

She has dancing eyes and ruby lips, Delightful boots - and away she skips

They nearly strike me dumb, - I tremble when they come Pit-a-pat: This palpitation means These Boots are Geraldine's - Think of that!

O, where did hunter win So delicate a skin For her feet? You lucky little kid, You perished, so you did, For my Sweet.

The fairy stitching gleams On the sides, and in the seams, And reveals


The Home Book of Verse, Volume 4 - 5/53

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