Our hero, as a hero, young and handsome,
Noble, rich, celebrated, and a stranger,
Like other slaves of course must pay his ransom,
Before he can escape from so much danger
As will environ a conspicuous man. Some
Talk about poetry, and 'rack and manger,'
And ugliness, disease, as toil and trouble; —
I wish they knew the life of a young noble.
They are young, but know not youth — it is anticipated;
Handsome but wasted, rich without a sou;
Their vigour in a thousand arms is dissipated;
Their cash comes from, their wealth goes to a Jew;
Both senates see their nightly votes participated
Between the tyrant's and the tribunes' crew;
And having voted, dined, drunk, gamed, and whored,
The family vault receives another lord.
'Where is the world?' cries Young, at eighty — 'Where
The world in which a man was born? 'Alas!
Where is the world of eight years past? 'T was there —
I look for it — 't is gone, a globe of glass!
Crack'd, shiver'd, vanish'd, scarcely gazed on, ere
A silent change dissolves the glittering mass.
Statesmen, chiefs, orators, queens, patriots, kings,
And dandies, all are gone on the wind's wings.
Where is Napoleon the Grand? God knows.
Where little Castlereagh? The devil can tell:
Where Grattan, Curran, Sheridan, all those
Who bound the bar or senate in their spell?
Where is the unhappy Queen, with all her woes?
And where the Daughter, whom the Isles loved well?
Where are those martyr'd saints the Five per Cents?
And where — oh, where the devil are the rents?
Where 's Brummel? Dish'd. Where 's Long Pole Wellesley? Diddled.
Where 's Whitbread? Romilly? Where 's George the Third?
Where is his will? (That 's not so soon unriddled.)
And where is 'Fum' the Fourth, our 'royal bird?'
Gone down, it seems, to Scotland to be fiddled
Unto by Sawney's violin, we have heard:
'Caw me, caw thee' — for six months hath been hatching
This scene of royal itch and loyal scratching.
Where is Lord This? And where my Lady That?
The Honourable Mistresses and Misses?
Some laid aside like an old Opera hat,
Married, unmarried, and remarried (this is
An evolution oft performed of late).
Where are the Dublin shouts — and London hisses?
Where are the Grenvilles? Turn'd as usual. Where
My friends the Whigs? Exactly where they were.
Where are the Lady Carolines and Franceses?
Divorced or doing thereanent. Ye annals
So brilliant, where the list of routs and dances is, —
Thou Morning Post, sole record of the panels
Broken in carriages, and all the phantasies
Of fashion, — say what streams now fill those channels?
Some die, some fly, some languish on the Continent,
Because the times have hardly left them one tenant.
Some who once set their caps at cautious dukes,
Have taken up at length with younger brothers:
Some heiresses have bit at sharpers' hooks:
Some maids have been made wives, some merely mothers;
Others have lost their fresh and fairy looks:
In short, the list of alterations bothers.
There 's little strange in this, but something strange is
The unusual quickness of these common changes.
Talk not of seventy years as age; in seven
I have seen more changes, down from monarchs to
The humblest individual under heaven,
Than might suffice a moderate century through.
I knew that nought was lasting, but now even
Change grows too changeable, without being new:
Nought 's permanent among the human race,
Except the Whigs not getting into place.
I have seen Napoleon, who seem'd quite a Jupiter,
Shrink to a Saturn. I have seen a Duke
(No matter which) turn politician stupider,
If that can well be, than his wooden look.
But it is time that I should hoist my 'blue Peter,'
And sail for a new theme: — I have seen — and shook
To see it — the king hiss'd, and then caress'd;
But don't pretend to settle which was best.
I have seen the Landholders without a rap —
I have seen Joanna Southcote — I have seen —
The House of Commons turn'd to a tax-trap —
I have seen that sad affair of the late Queen —
I have seen crowns worn instead of a fool's cap —
I have seen a Congress doing all that 's mean —
I have seen some nations like o'erloaded asses
Kick off their burthens, meaning the high classes.