Moral Emblems

Page 02

Poem: II

Reader, your soul upraise to see, In yon fair cut designed by me, The pauper by the highwayside Vainly soliciting from pride. Mark how the Beau with easy air Contemns the anxious rustic's prayer, And, casting a disdainful eye, Goes gaily gallivanting by. He from the poor averts his head . . . He will regret it when he's dead.


Broad-gazing on untrodden lands, See where adventurous Cortez stands; While in the heavens above his head The Eagle seeks its daily bread. How aptly fact to fact replies: Heroes and eagles, hills and skies. Ye who contemn the fatted slave Look on this emblem, and be brave.

Poem: IV

See in the print how, moved by whim, Trumpeting Jumbo, great and grim, Adjusts his trunk, like a cravat, To noose that individual's hat. The sacred Ibis in the distance Joys to observe his bold resistance.

Poem: V

Mark, printed on the opposing page, The unfortunate effects of rage. A man (who might be you or me) Hurls another into the sea. Poor soul, his unreflecting act His future joys will much contract, And he will spoil his evening toddy By dwelling on that mangled body.


Poem: I

With storms a-weather, rocks a-lee, The dancing skiff puts forth to sea. The lone dissenter in the blast Recoils before the sight aghast. But she, although the heavens be black, Holds on upon the starboard tack, For why? although to-day she sink, Still safe she sails in printer's ink, And though to-day the seamen drown, My cut shall hand their memory down.

Poem: II

The careful angler chose his nook At morning by the lilied brook, And all the noon his rod he plied By that romantic riverside. Soon as the evening hours decline Tranquilly he'll return to dine, And, breathing forth a pious wish, Will cram his belly full of fish.

Poem: III

The Abbot for a walk went out, A wealthy cleric, very stout, And Robin has that Abbot stuck As the red hunter spears the buck. The djavel or the javelin Has, you observe, gone bravely in, And you may hear that weapon whack Bang through the middle of his back. HENCE WE MAY LEARN THAT ABBOTS SHOULD NEVER GO WALKING IN A WOOD.

Poem: IV

The frozen peaks he once explored, But now he's dead and by the board. How better far at home to have stayed Attended by the parlour maid, And warmed his knees before the fire Until the hour when folks retire! SO, IF YOU WOULD BE SPARED TO FRIENDS, DO NOTHING BUT FOR BUSINESS ENDS.

Poem: V

Industrious pirate! see him sweep The lonely bosom of the deep, And daily the horizon scan From Hatteras or Matapan. Be sure, before that pirate's old, He will have made a pot of gold, And will retire from all his labours And be respected by his neighbours. YOU ALSO SCAN YOUR LIFE'S HORIZON FOR ALL THAT YOU CAN CLAP YOUR EYES ON.


For certain soldiers lately dead Our reverent dirge shall here be said. Them, when their martial leader called, No dread preparative appalled; But leaden-hearted, leaden-heeled, I marked them steadfast in the field. Death grimly sided with the foe, And smote each leaden hero low. Proudly they perished one by one: The dread Pea-cannon's work was done! O not for them the tears we shed, Consigned to their congenial lead; But while unmoved their sleep they take, We mourn for their dear Captain's sake, For their dear Captain, who shall smart Both in his pocket and his heart, Who saw his heroes shed their gore, And lacked a shilling to buy more!


Poem: I--PROEM

Unlike the common run of men, I wield a double power to please, And use the GRAVER and the PEN With equal aptitude and ease.

I move with that illustrious crew, The ambidextrous Kings of Art; And every mortal thing I do Brings ringing money in the mart.

Hence, in the morning hour, the mead, The forest and the stream perceive Me wandering as the muses lead - Or back returning in the eve.

Robert Louis Stevenson
Classic Literature Library

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