An Extempore

by


    When they were come into Faery's Court
    They rang, no one at home, all gone to sport
    And dance and kiss and love as faerys do
    For Faries be as human lovers true,
    Amid the woods they were so lone and wild
    Where even the Robin feels himself exil'd
    And where the very books as if affraid
    Hurry along to some less magic shade.
    'No one at home'! the fretful princess cry'd
    'And all for nothing such a dre[a]ry ride
    And all for nothing my new diamond cross
    No one to see my persian feathers toss
    No one to see my Ape, my Dwarf, my Fool
    Or how I pace my Otaheitan mule.
    Ape, Dwarf and Fool why stand you gaping there
    Burst the door open, quick, or I declare
    I'll switch you soundly and in pieces tear.'
    The Dwarf began to tremble and the Ape
    Star'd at the Fool, the Fool was all agape
    The Princess grasp'd her switch but just in time
    The Dwarf with piteous face began to rhyme.
    "O mighty Princess did you ne'er hear tell
    What your poor servants know but too too well
    Know you the three great crimes in faery land
    The first alas! poor Dwarf I understand
    I made a whipstock of a faery's wand
    The next is snoring in their company
    The next the last the direst of the three
    Is making free when they are not at home.
    I was a Prince, a baby prince, my doom
    You see, I made a whipstock of a wand
    My top has henceforth slept in faery land.
    He was a Prince the Fool, a grown up Prince
    But he has never been a King's son since
    He fell a snoring at a faery Ball
    Your poor Ape was a Prince and he poor thing
    But ape, so pray your highness stay awhile
    'Tis sooth indeed we know it to our sorrow,
    Persist and you may be an ape tomorrow,
    While the Dwarf spake the Princess all for spite
    Peal'd the brown hazel twig to lilly white
    Clench'd her small teeth, and held her lips apart
    Try'd to look unconcerned with beating heart.
    They saw her highness had made up her mind
    And quaver'd like the reeds before the wind
    And they had had it, but O happy chance
    The Ape for very fear began to dance
    And grin'd as all his uglyness did ache,
    She staid her vixen fingers for his sake
    He was so very ugly: then she took
    Her pocket mirror and began to look
    First at herself and [then] at him and then
    She smil'd at her own beauteous face again.
    Yet for all this, for all her pretty face
    She took it in her head to see the place.
    Women gain little from experience
    Either in Lovers, husbands or expense.
    The more their beauty the more fortune too
    Beauty before the wide world never knew.
    So each fair reasons, tho' it oft miscarries.
    She thought her pretty face would please the fa[e]ries.
    "My darling Ape I wont whip you today
    Give me the Picklock sirrah and go play."
    They all three wept but counsel was as vain
    As crying cup biddy to drops of rain.
    Yet lingeringly did the sad Ape forth draw
    The Picklock from the Pocket in his Jaw.
    The Princess took it and dismounting straight
    Trip'd in blue silver'd slippers to the gate
    And touch'd the wards, the Door full courteously
    Opened, she enter'd with her servants three.
    Again it clos'd and there was nothing seen
    But the Mule grasing on the herbage green.

End of Canto xii.

Canto the xiii.

    The Mule no sooner saw himself alone
    Than he prick'd up his Ears, and said 'well done!
    At least unhappy Prince I may be free,
    No more a Princess shall side saddle me
    O King of Othaiete, tho' a Mule
    'Aye every inch a King', tho' 'Fortune's fool.'
    Well done, for by what Mr. Dwarfy said
    I would not give a sixpence for her head.'
    Even as he spake he trotted in high glee
    To the knotty side of an old Pollard tree
    And rub'd his sides against the mossed bark
    Till his Girths burst and left him naked stark
    Except his Bridle, how get rid of that
    Buckled and tied with many a twist and plait.
    At last it struck him to pretend to sleep
    And then the thievish Monkies down would creep
    And filch the unpleasant trammels quite away.
    No sooner thought of than adown he lay
    Sham'd a good snore, the Monkey-men descended
    And whom they thought to injure they befriended.
    They hung his Bridle on a topmost bough
    And of[f] he went run, trot, or anyhow,

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