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I never saw thee, lovely one,

Perchance I never may; It is not often that we cross

Such people in our way;

But if we meet in distant years,

Or on some foreign shore, Sure I can take my Bible oath

I've seen that face before.



My aunt! my dear unmarried aunt!

Long years have o'er her flown;
Yet still she strains the aching clasp

That binds her virgin zone;
I know it hurts her—though she looks

As cheerful as she can;
Her waist is ampler than her life,

For life is but a span.

My aunt! my poor deluded aunt!

Her hair is almost gray;
Why will she train that winter curl

In such a spring-like way?
How can she lay her glasses down,

And say she reads as well,
When, through a double convex lens,

She just makes out to spell?

Her father-grandpapa! forgive

This erring lip its smiles — Vowed she should make the finest girl

Within a hundred miles; He sent her to a stylish school;

’T was in her thirteenth June; And with her, as the rules required,

"Two towels and a spoon."

They braced my aunt against a board,

To make her straight and tall;
They laced her up, they starved her down,

To make her light and small.
They pinched her feet, they singed her hair,

They screwed it up with pins ;-
O never mortal suffered more

In penance for her sins.

So, when my precious aunt was done,

My grandsire brought her back; (By daylight, lest some rabid youth

Might follow on the track;) “Ah!” said my grandsire, as he shook

Some powder in his pan, "What could this lovely creature do

Against a desperate man!"

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Alas! nor chariot, nor barouche,

Nor bandit cavalcade,
Tore from the trembling father's arms

His all-accomplished maid.
For her how happy had it been!

And heaven had spared
To see one sad, ungathered rose

On my ancestral tree.





My dear young friend, whose shining wit

Sets all the room a-blaze,
Don't think yourself a “happy dog,"

For all your merry ways;
But learn to wear a sober phiz,

Be stupid, if you can,
It's such a very serious thing

To be a funny man!

You 're at an evening party, with

A group of pleasant folks,-
You venture quietly to crack

The least of little jokes, -
A lady does n't catch the point,

And begs you to explain-
Alas for one that drops a jest

And takes it up again!

You're talking deep philosophy

With very special force, To edify a clergyman

With suitable discourse, -
You think you've got him—when he calls

A friend across the way,
And begs you 'll say that funny thing

You said the other day!

You drop a pretty jeu-de-mot

Into a neighbor's ears,
Who likes to give you credit for

The clever thing he hears,
And so he hawks your jest about,

The old authentic one,
Just breaking off the point of it,

And leaving out the pun!

By sudden change in politics,

Or sadder change in Polly,
You, lose your love, or loaves, and fall

A prey to melancholy,
While every body marvels why

Your mirth is under ban, -
They think your very grief“ a joke,"

You're such a funny man!

You follow up a stylish card

That bids you come and dine, And bring along your freshest wit

(To pay for musty wine),

You 're looking very dismal, when

My lady bounces in,
And wonders what you 're thinking of,

And why you don't begin!

You're telling to a knot of friends

A fancy-tale of woes
That cloud your matrimonial sky,

And banish all repose-
A solemn lady overhears

The story of your strife,
And tells the town the pleasant news:

You quarrel with your wife !

My dear young friend, whose shining wit

Sets all the room a-blaze,
Don't think yourself " a happy dog,"

For all your merry ways;
But learn to wear a sober phiz,

Be stupid, if you can,
It's such a very serious thing

To be a funny man!


WILLIAM AYTOUN. The impossibility of translating this now well-known expression (imperfectly rendered in a companion-work, “ Ideas of Napoleonism"), will excuse the title and burden of the present ballad being left in the original French.-TRANB


Come, listen all who wish to learn

How nations should be ruled,
From one who from his youth has been

In such-like matters schoold;
From one who knows the art to please,

Improve and govern men-
Eh bien! Ecoutez, aux Idées,

Napoléoniennes /

To keep the mind intently fixed
On number One alone

To look to no one's interest,

But push along your own, Without the slightest reference

To how, or what, or whenEh bien ! c'est la première Idée


To make a friend, and use him well,

By which, of course, I mean
To use him up-until he's drain'd

Completely dry and clean
Of all that makes him useful, and

To kick him over then
Without remorse--c'est une Idée


To sneak into a good man's house

With sham credentials penn'dTo sneak into his heart and trust,

And seem his children's friend To learn his secrets, find out where

He keeps his keys—and then To bone his spoons--c'est une Idée


To gain your point in view—to wade

Through dirt, and slime, and bloodTo stoop to pick up what you want

Through any depth of mud. But always in the fire to thrust

Some helpless cat's-paw, when Your chestnuts burn-c'est une Idée


To clutch and keep the lion's share

To kill or drive away
The wolves, that you upon the lambs

May, unmolested, prey-
To keep a gang of jackals fierce

To guard and stock your den,
While you lie down~c'est une Idée


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