Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 104, January 7, 1893

#Periodicals #Games/Humor
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Excerpt The Elysian Fields, a flower-gemmed bank, by a flowing stream, beneath the sylvan shade of unfading foliage.Mr. Punch—who is free of all places, from Fleet Street to Parnassus—discovered, in Arcadian attire, attempting "numerous verse" on a subject of National importance—to wit, the approaching Royal Marriage. Mr. Punch. Propt on this "bank of amaranth and moly,"Beneath the shade of boughs unmelancholy,I meditate on Æstas and on Hymen!Pheugh! What a Summer! Torrid drought doth try men,—And fields and farms; yet when our Royal MayWeds—in July—'tis fit that Phoebus stayHis fiery car to welcome her! By Jove,That sounds Spenserian! Illustrious LoveEpithalamion demands, and lo!We've no official Laureate, to let flow,With Tennysonian dignity and sweetness,Courtly congratulation. Dryden's neatness,Even the gush of Nahum Tate or PyeAre not available, so Punch must tryHis unofficial pen. My tablets, Toby!This heat's enough to give you hydrophoby!Talk about Dog-days! Is that nectar iced?Then just one gulp! It beats the highest pricedAnd creamiest champagne. Now, silence, Dog,And let me give my lagging Muse a jog! [Writes, with one eye on the portraits of the Duke of York and the Princess May, the other on the iced nectar-cup. Humph! I do hope the happy Royal Pair(Whose counterfeit presentments front me there,Inspiring, in young manhood and frank beauty)Will think their Laureate hath fulfilled his duty,His labour of most loyal love, discreetly.Compliments delicate, piled not sickly-sweetly,Like washy Warton's, nor so loud thrasonical—Like Glorious John's—that they sound half ironical!'Tis hard indeed for loyal love to hitThe medium just 'twixt sentiment and wit—— [Toby barks, and a mellifluous voice soundeth, courteously intervenient, as two splendid Shades steal silently through the verdurous shadows. First Voice. But you have hit it, never-missing-One!Second Voice. For fulsome twaddle finds best check in Fun!Mr. Punch (with respectful heartiness). What! Sweet-voiced Chivalrous-souled Sidney!! This is a joy! For heroes of your kidney Punch hath a heartier homage, as he hopes, Than the most thundering Swinburnian tropes Could all express! Spenser (smiling mildly). Algernon's one of Us! In fierce superlatives, and foam and fuss, He deals o'ermuch, but proof lies in his page. He 's of the true Parnassian lineage, And should be Laureate—if he care to be so. Sidney. Would he but heed what Horace wrote to Piso! "The singing-skill of god Apollo's giving" Is his, however, and no lyrist living Hath such a stretch of finger, or such tone. Mr. Punch. Faith, but he sings immortal Fames—your own, My Philip, latest and not least—in strains That thrill our nerves and mount into our brains. If he would study less in Gosson's "School" (That of "Abuse," o'er which you laid the rule In your "Defence of Poesy"), and stay Less in dim Orcus than Arcadia, Then—well, I might have well been spared this task. Spenser, you penned your own; now may I ask Epithalamion-recipes from you? Spenser (smiling). Yes—when you need them!...
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