Punch and Judy.

For where the rule is mildest, it is still an
Uncomfortable thing to serve a master,
Whose arms, dress, features, habits, language, stand
In haughty contrast to our own lov'd land.

Yet though the Boulevard, or Piazza white,
In Florence, or gay Paris, suits him more;
Still London, as I said, his whims delight;
And many a classic place unknown of yore,
Crescent, or Pentagon, or Circus hight,
Or Esplanade, or Terrace, by the score
Send forth the toddling child, or tott'ring Goody,
To gaze upon the pranks of Punch and Judy.

For few—what'er their life is, or has been,
Whether with placid flow it gently slides,
Smooth as the stream its lovely banks between,
Beneath the moon in summer twilight glides,
Or struggles, a dark torrent, through a scene
Of horrors;— few there are, whate'er betides,
Who may not thank poor Punch and Judy's play,
For joy bestowed, or sorrow chased away.

Therefore, were I to send up a petition,
Ye Commons, and ye Lords, to "both your Houses,"
It should not be to pray the recognition
Of states where freedom her young spirit rouses;
It should not be to alter the condition
Of laws on corn — for that all 'Change espouses;
Nor should it be concerning tvthes and church,
For them I leave to my Lord King's research;

It should not stray to some far Cape or Highland
On Afric's sand, or Asia's distant ends,
Nor say one word about the Sister-Island,
Though for the past we owe her large amends.—
Poor Sister-Isle! the name still makes me smile, and
Suggests how seldom relatives are friends! —
But on a subject of another nature
Were my petition to the Legislature,

'Twould pray you, Peel, and Eldon,and the rest,
Whom, though my space forbids to name, I love;
And Martin, who in Smithfield taps unblest,
Shouldst with these bloodless sports be hand and glove:—
'Twould pray that Punch may never be supprest,
Discouraged, mocked; — but that you would remove
Whate'er to hurt or shame him has a tendency,
As you would guard the Protestant ascendancy!


Thus Cyrus, if the history no romance is,
To keep his Lydian foes effeminate,
And therefore slaves unmurmuring to the Persian,
Gave them a flowing dress and much diversion.

Great Ferdinand, had he been wise as Plato,
Would thus the South Americans have treated;
The Greek had done it with Mavrocordato,
And other Greeks, not crush'd, though now defeated.
And to that strange wild land of the potatoe,
Should present remedies in vain be meted,
Why then, upon reflection and deep study,
I find none better than a Punch and Judy!

Bougersdickius.

 

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