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ODE, WRITTEN ON WHIT-MONDAY
Anon they thunder loud
Full on the musing ear.
A day of jubilee,
An ancient holiday.
On the smooth-shaven green
Resounds the voice of Mirth-
Who now are in their graves,
Kept up the Whitsun dance;
Beneath the silent sod,
A cold and cheerless sleep.
To smile upon us here,
A transient visitor ?
In time the bell will toll
That warns ye to your graves.
Shall not intrude to break
The meditatire hour;
This day of jubilee
To sad Reflection's shrine;
Shall rock above the sod,
H. K. White.
Whitsuntide at Greenwich.
the neighbourhood," she is always doing I have had another holiday—a Whit as much good as she can, and more, persuntide holiday at Greenwich : it is true haps, than she ought; her heart is larger that I did not take a run down the hill, than her purse." I found myself in this but I saw many do it who appeared to retreat I scarcely know how, and imame happier and healthier for the exercise, gined that a place like this might make and the fragrant breezes from the fine good dispositions better, and intelligent May trees of the park.
minds wiser. Some of its scenes seemed, I began Whit-Monday by breakfasting to my imagination, lovely as were the on Blackheath hill. It was my good spots in “ the blissful seats of Eden." fortune to gain a sight of the beautiful Delightful green swards with majestic grounds belonging to the noblest man trees lead on to private walks; and gladsion on the heath, the residence of the dening shrubberies terminate in broad princess Sophia of Gloucester. It is borders of fine Aowers, or in sloping not a (show house," nor is her royal paths, whereon fairies might dance in highness a woman of show. “She is a silence by the sleeping moonlight, or lo noble lady,” said a worthy inhabitant of the chant of nightingales that
hither, to an' amphitheatre of copses sur said Jack, “see them first; it's the best rounding a rose mount," as to their sight." No; not she : all Jack's arguproper choir, and pour their melody, un ments were unavailing. “Well! what heard by earthly beings,
is it you'd like better, you fool you?" save by the ear
Why I wants to see our house in the Of her alone who wanders here, or sits court, with the flower-pots, and if I don't Intrelissed and enchanted as the Fair see that, I wont see nothing-what's the Fabled by him of yore in Comus' song,
men in chains to that? Give us an apple." Or rather like a saint in a fair shrine She took one out of the bundle, and beCarved by Cellini's hand.
ginning to eat it, gave instructions for the It may not be good taste, in declaring direction of the instrument towards Limethe truth, to state " the whole truth," but house church, while Jack drew forth the it is a fact, that I descended from the bottle and refreshed himself. Long she heights of royalty to “ Sot's hole.” There, looked, and squabbled, and almost gave for corporal refection,” and from desire up the hope of finding “ our house;" but to see a place which derives its name
on a sudden she screamed out, “Here from the great lord Chesterfield, I took Jack ! here it is, pots and all! and there's a biscuit and a glass of ginger-beer. His our bed-post; I left the window lordship resided in the mansion I had pose as I might see it!" Jack® himself just left, and his servants were accustomed
took an observation. “D'ye see it, Jack ?" to “use" this alehouse too frequently.
“D'ye see the pots ?”
« Yes." On one occasion he said to his butler,
“And the bed-post ?” “Ay; and here “Fetch the fellows from that sot's hote :" Sal, here, here's the cat looking out o'the from that time, though the house has window.” “Come away, let's look another name and sign, it is better known again;" and then she looked, and squalled by the name or sign of “Sot's hole.” " Lord! what a sweet place it is !” and Ascending the rise to the nearest park- then she assented to seeing the “ men in gate, I soon got to the observatory in the chains," giving Jack the first look, and park. It was barely noon. The holiday they looked all down the river, and folks had not yet arrived ; the old
saw “ Tom's ship,” and wished Tom was sioners, who ply there to ferry the eye up
with them. The breakings forth of and down and across the river with their
nature and kind-heartedness, and espetelescopes, were ready with their craft. cially the love of “home, sweet home,” Yielding to the importunity of one,
in Jack's “good lady," drew forth Jack's to be freed from the invitations of the delight, and he kissed her till the apples rest, I took my stand, and in less than rolled out of the bundle, and then be ten minutes was conveyed to Barking pulled her down the hill. From the church, Epping Forest, the men in chains, moinent they came up they looked at the London Docks, St. Paul's Cathedral, nobody, nor saw any thing but themselves, and Westminster Abbey. From the seat
and what they paid for looking at through around the tree I watched the early comers ;
the telescope. They were themselves a as each party arrived the pensioners sight: and though the woman was far hailed them with good success. In every
from instance, save one, the sight first de
whatever fair manded was the “men in chains :" these High fancy forms or lavish hearts could wish, are the bodies of pirates, suspended on yet she was all that to Jack; and all gibbets by the river side, to warn sailors that she seemed to love or care for, were against crimes on the high seas. An able our house," and the “flower-pots," and bodied sailor, with a new hat on his the “bed-post,” and “ Jack.” Saracen-looking head, carrying a hand At the entrances in all the streets of kerchief full of apples in his left hand, Greenwich, notices from the magistrates with a bottle neck sticking out of the were posted, that they were determined to neck of his jacket for a nosegay, dragged put down the fair; and accordingly not a his female companion up the hill with all show was to be seen in the place wherein the might of his right arm and shoulder;' the fair had of late been held. Booths and the moment he was at the top, assent were fitting up for dancing and refreshed to the proposal of a telescope-keeper for ment at night, but neither Richardson's, his “good lady” to have a view of the nor any other itinerant company of per"men in chains." She wanted to “ see formers, was there. There were ginsomething else tirst." “Don't be a fool," gerbread stalls, but no learned pig, no
dwarf, no giant, no fire-eater, no exhibi- your seat—this is a flight of stairs to tion of any kind. There was a large your chamber-here is a flower-stand for round-about of wooden horses for boys, your mantle-piece;" and so he went on; and a few swings, none of them half presenting, in rapid succession, the wellfilled. The landlord of “the Struggler” shaped representation of more than thirty could not struggle his stand into notice. forms of different utensils or conveniIn vain he chalked up. “ Hagger's entire, ences : at the conclusion, he was well two-pence a bottle :” this was ginger- rewarded for his ingenuity. Further on beer; if it was not brisker than the de- was a larger group; from the centre mand for it, it was made “poor indeed;" whereof came forth sounds unlike those he had little aid, but unsold “ Lemmun heard by him who wroteaid, one penny a glass." Yet the publichouses in Greenwich were filling fast,
Orpheus play'd so well, he moved old
Nick, and the fiddles squeaked from several
But thou mov'st nothing but thy fiddlefirst-floor windows. It was now nearly
stick." two o'clock, and the stage-coaches from London, thoroughly filled inside and out, This player so “ imitated Orpheus," that drove rapidly in: these, and the flocking be moved the very bowels, uneasiness down of foot passengers, gave sign of seemed to seize on all who heard his great visitation. One object I cannot discords. He was seated on the grass, in pass by, for it forcibly contrasted in me the garb of a sailor. At his right hand mind with the joyous disposition of the lay a square board, whereon was painted day. It was a poor blackbird in a cage, a tale of woe," in letters that disdained from the first-floor window of a house in the printer's art; at the top, a little box, Melville-place. The cage was high and with a glass cover, discovered that it was square; its bars were of a dark brown
“plus” of what himself was minus ;" bamboo; the top and bottom were of the its inscription described its contentssame dolorous colour; between the bars “ These bones was taken out of my leg." were strong iron wires; the bird himself I could not withstand his claim to supsat dull and mute; I passed the house port. He was effecting the destruction several times; not a single note did he of “ Sweet Poll of Plymouth,” for which give forth. A few hours before I had I gave him a trifle more than his “fair” heard his fellows in the thickets whistling audience usually bestowed, perhaps. He in full throat; and here was be, in endless instantly begged I would name my thrall, without a bit of green to cheer“ favourite;" 1 desired to be acquainted him, or even the decent jailery of a with his; he said he could not deny light wicker cage. I looked at him, and nothing to so noble a benefactor," and thought of the Lollards at Lambeth, of he immediately began to murder “BlackThomas Delaune in Newgate, of Prynne eyed Susan.” If the man at the wall of in the Gatehouse, and Laud in the Tower: the Fishmongers’ almshouses were dead, - all these were offenders; yet wherein he would be the worst player in England. had this poor bird offended that he should There were several parties playing at be like them, and be forced to keep “ Kiss in the ring," an innocent merriWhitsuntide in prison? I wished him à ment in the country; here it was cerholiday, and would have given him one tainly not merriment. On the hill the to the end of his life, had I known how.
were abundant, and the far After dining and taking tea at the greater number were, in appearance and “ Yorkshire Grey," I returned to the manners, devoid of that vulgarity and park, through the Greenwich gate, near grossness from whence it might be inferred the hospital. The scene here was very that the sport was any way improper; lively. Great numbers were seated on nor did I observe, during a stay of several the grass, some refreshing themselves, hours, the least indication of its being others were lookers at the large company otherwise than a cheerful amusement. of walkers. Surrounded by a goodly One of the prettiest sights was a game at number was a man who stood to exhibit “ Thread my needle," played by about a the wonders of a single-folded sheet of dozen lasses, with a grace and glee that writing paper to the sight of all except reminded me of Angelica's nymphs. I himself; he was blind. By a motion of indulged a hope that the hilarity of rural his hand he changed it into various forms. pastimes might yet be preserved. There “ Here," said he, “ is a garden-chair for was no drinking in the park. It lost ita
visitants fast while the sun was going tent, consisting of two harps, three violins, down. Many were arrested in their pro a bass viol, two clarionets, and a flute, gress to the gate by the sight of the boys played airs from “ Der Freischütz,” and belonging to the college, who were at other popular tunes. Save the crowd, their evening play within their own there was no confusion; save in the quality grounds, and who, before they retired for of the dancers and dancing, there was no the night, sung
“God save the King," observable difference between this and and “Rule Britannia," in full chorus, with other large assemblies; except, indeed, fine effect.
that there was no master of the ceremoThe fair, or at least such part of it as nies, nor any difficulty in obtaining or was suffered to be continued, was held declining partners. It was neither a in the open space on the right hand of dancing school, nor a school of morals; the street leading from Greenwich to the but the moralist might draw conclusions Creek bridge. “The Crown and Anchor” which would here, and at this time, he out booth was the great attraction, as indeed of place. There were at least 2,000 perwell it might. It was a tent, three hun sons in this booth at one time. In the dred and twenty-three feet long, and fair were about twenty other dancing sixty feet wide. Seventy feet of this, booths; yet none of them comparable in at the entrance, was occupied by seats for extent to the “ Crown and Anchor." In persons who chose to take refreshment, one only was a price demanded for adand by a large space from whence the mission; the tickets to the “ Albion Asviands were delivered. The remaining sembly", were sixpence. Most of these two hundred and fifty feet formed booths had names; for instance, “ The the “ Assembly room,” wherein were Royal Standard ;” “ The Lads of the Vilboarded floors for four rows of dancers lage,”. “ The Black Boy and Cat Tavern,” throughout this extensive length; on each “The Moon-rakers,
&c. At eleven side were seats and tables. The price of o'clock, stages from Greenwich to London admission to the assembly was one shil were in full request. One of them obling. The check ticket was a card, tained 48. each for inside, and 2s. 6d. for whereon was printed,
outside passengers; the average price was
38. inside, and 28. outside; and though VAUXHALL.
the footpaths were crowded with passenCROWN AND ANCHOR, WHIT MONDAY.
gers, yet all the inns in Greenwich and
on the road were thoroughly filled. CerThis room was thoroughly lighted up tainly, the greater part of the visitors were by depending branches from the roofs
mere spectators of the scene. handsomely formed; and by stars and festoons, and the letters G. Ř. and other devices, bearing illumination lamps. It The late Henry Kirke White, in a frag was more completely filled with dancers ment of a poem on “Time," beautifully and spectators, than were convenient to imagines the slumbers of the sorrowfui. either. Neither the company nor the Reader, bear with its melancholy tone. scene can be well described.
A summer's day is not less vely for a chestra, elevated across the middle of the passing cloud.
Behold the world
And with ye bring large stock of baits and patience.