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Thick were its walls, and dark and cold

The swift Rhine ran below them.
Full handy to Rupert the Red was the Rhine:
Rich travellers passing were asked to dine,
And when he'd sufficiently hocussed their wine,

Why-into its waters he'd throw them!

But stories will spread, howe'er you may try
To stifle Dame Rumour-and so, by-and-bye,
He found himself shunned by all far and nigh;
And when asked to dinner, each neighbour "fought

shy."
The bell ne'er was rung, and no stranger implored
The porter to run up, and question his lord
If he kindly would grant a night's shelter and board ?
No priest on Sir Rupert's head called down a benison,
No acquaintance sent presents of black-cock and veni-

son.

While his former bad temper began to grow worse,
He would mutter and fidget-nay, stamp, foam, and

curse ; But his feelings I'll try to describe in the verse Most used by our Alfred—not Bunn, though, but

Tennyson.

Very early in the morning would he, tumbling out of

bed, Mow his chin with wretched razor, mow and hack it

till it bled ; Then he'd curse the harmless cutler, heap upon him

curses deepCurse him in his hour of waking, doubly curse him in

his sleepSaying " Mechi! O my Mechi! O my Mechi, mine no

more, Whither's fled that brilliant sharpness which thy razors

66

had of yore,

Ere thou quittedst Leadenhall-street, quittedst it with

many a qualmEre thou soughtest rustic Tiptree, Tiptree and its inodel

farm? Many a morning, by the mirror, did I pass thee o'cr my

beard, And

my
chin
grew

smooth beneath thee, of its hairy harvest cleared ; Many an evening have I drawn thee 'cross the throats of

wretched Jews, When they, trembling, showed their purses, stuffed for

safety in their shoes. But, like mine, thy day is over-thou art blunt and

I'm disgraced ! Curses on thy maker's projects, curses on his 'magic

paste. Thus he grurnbled all day, from morning till nightNo person could please him, no conduct was right Till his very retainers grew furious quite,

And determined to quit his service. For much afflicted was Seneschal Hans; While the groom from York told the cook from France “He warn't going to be led such a precious dance

In a house turned topsy-turvies.

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Oh, “the castled crag of Drachenfels,"
With its slippery sides and flowery dells,
Is a very romantic sight for “swells”

Who leave the squares of Belgravia,
And during the autumn visit the Rhine,
With courier hirsute and footman fine,
Who are both eternally drinking wine,

Though the last “ don't like the flavour."

But Drachenfels was a different sight,
On a dark, tempestuous winter's night;
Then below it the river was foaming white,

And above it the storm-fiend strode :

On such a night, from his own red room,
Sir Rupert looked out athwart the gloom
To see what might "in the future loom,"

Or be coming up the road.
He strained his weary eyeballs, but well was he repaid
To see a troop of travellers-advancing up the glade.
Flanked round with equerries and guards, a wealthy

host they seemed, And Sir Rupert's heart grew lighter, and his eye more

brightly beamed; For many a day had passed away since he a prize had

llon, And no hand had touched his bell save that of

poursuivant or dun.

“Now haste ye,” he cried," throw open the gate,

And let the drawbridge fall;"
Then three little pages, with hair combed straight,
Who ever upon Sir Rupert wait,

Ran off to the warden tall.

The drawbridge falls, and the company cross,
In number, say fifty, i. e., man and horse.
First comes a gay herald, all silver and blue,
And then men in armour, who ride two and two;
Not such Guys as are seen on the ninth of November,
But your regular middle-age troopers, remember.

By the way, this last rhyme

Appertains to a time
Much thought of in childhood, by schoolboys called

"prime,"
When young Hopeful's small pockets

Are emptied for rockets,
And eyebrows are burnt, and arms torn out of soc-

ketsWhen you're begged (and the tyrants take care you do

not) Ne'er to cease to remember the Gunpowder-plot.

The herald stept forth, and he made a low bow

If you've seen Mr. Payne

At Old Drury Lane, In the opening part of a grand Christmas Pantomime, Do tricks, to describe which my Muse fails for want o'

rhyme Please to fancy my herald does just the same now; And his trumpet he blows, and his throat well he

clears,
And he twists his mustachios right up to his ears,
Looks, as usual with speakers, in dreadful distress,
And thus to Sir Rupert begins his address.

“Sir Rupert the Red,

To you I have sped From a dame with whose brother you've conquered and

bled, Who, benighted by chance in this dismal locality, Has ventured to ask for a night's hospitality.

No refusal I fear

When her name you once hear; Therefore learn that the dame for whom shelter I

crave, Is Margaret, the sister of Blutworst the Brave !"

Thus spake the gay herald. Sir Rupert replied,
“ 'Tis well known that my castle is never denied
To pilgrims of all countries, nations, and hues,
From swaggering English to gold-lending Jews;
How great, then, my joy 'neath my roof to receive

The sister of one

Whom I loved as a son, For whose tragical end I have ne'er ceased to grieve.”

Thus much to the herald. Then, turning, he said, “Off, Wilhelm, at once, let the banquet be spread ; Bring up some Moselles and some red Assmanshau

sers, Fritz, lay out my doublet and new Paris trousers,

Tell Gretchen to hasten and clear out the bedroom
The lady will sleep in—let's see—not the red room.

To put her in there

Is more than I dare;
So where shall she go, in the purple or blue ?
Oh, give her the next room to mine, number two.
Tell Eugéne to serve his best sauces and stews,

And take care nat, as soon as the cloth is removed,

Old Max, of whose singing I oft have approved, Comes up with his harp, he will serve to amuse."

The banquet is spread;

At his table's head,
Decked, out in gay garments, sits Rupert the Red;

And close on his right

Is the queen of the night,
Fair Margʻret, whose beauty's completely a sight
For a father, aye, even for “Pater-familias,”
Who of all slow papas is the veriest silly ass ;
Blue are her eyes as the clear vault of heaven,
Pale her smooth brow, though some rose-bud has given
Its loveliest tint to that soft cheek and lip,
Which 'twere worth a king's ransom once only to sip;
While the net-work of curls in her bonny brown hair
Has entangled a sun-beam, and prisoned it there.
And Sir Rupert admired her, and flattered, and laughed,
And his ardour grew warmer the deeper he quaffed ;
He touched her fair fingers whene'er he was able,
And in error pressed warmly the leg of the table;
Till Rudolf von Gansen, a merry young spark
(Who was given to hoaxing and having a lark,"

Addicted to laughing,
And humour called “chaffing,”
And dining, and wine-ing, and e'en half-and-

half-ing, And gambling, and vices called “having your fling"),

Exclaimed to Hans König (in English, Jack King), “By Jove, Hans, the gov'nor's hit under the wing!"

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