Anacreontic Invitation By Moore





The following, one of the latest productions of the poet Moore,

addressed to the Marquis of Lansdowne, shows that though by that time

inclining to threescore and ten, he retained all the fire and vivacity

of early youth. It is full of those exquisitely apt allusions and

felicitous turns of expression in which the English Anacreon excels. It

breathes the very spirit of classic festivity. Such an invitation to

dinner is enough to create an appetite in any lover of poetry:--



"Some think we bards have nothing real--

That poets live among the stars, so

Their very dinners are ideal,--

(And heaven knows, too oft they are so:)

For instance, that we have, instead

Of vulgar chops and stews, and hashes,

First course,--a phoenix at the head,

Done in its own celestial ashes:

At foot, a cygnet, which kept singing

All the time its neck was wringing.

Side dishes, thus,--Minerva's owl,

Or any such like learned fowl;

Doves, such as heaven's poulterer gets

When Cupid shoots his mother's pets.

Larks stew'd in morning's roseate breath,

Or roasted by a sunbeam's splendour;

And nightingales, be-rhymed to death--

Like young pigs whipp'd to make them tender

Such fare may suit those bards who're able

To banquet at Duke Humphrey's table;

But as for me, who've long been taught

To eat and drink like other people,

And can put up with mutton, bought

Where Bromham rears its ancient steeple;

If Lansdowne will consent to share

My humble feast, though rude the fare

Yet, seasoned by that salt he brings

From Attica's salinest springs,

'Twill turn to dainties; while the cup,

Beneath his influence brightening up,

Like that of Baucis, touched by Jove,

Will sparkle fit for gods above!"



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