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Long be thine import from all duty free,
And hock itself be less esteem'd than thee;
In some few qualities alike-for hock
Improves our cellar-thou our living stock.
The head to hock belongs-thy subtler art
Intoxicates alone the heedless heart:
Through the full veins thy gentler poison swims,
And wakes to wantonness the willing limbs.
Oh, Germany! how much to thee we owe,
As heaven-born Pitt can testify below,
Ere cursed confederation made thee France's,
And only left us thy d-d debts and dances!
Of subsidies and Hanover bereft,
We bless thee still-for George the Third is left!
Of kings the best-and last, not least in worth,
For graciously begetting George the Fourth.
To Germany, and highnesses serene,
Who owe us millions-don't we owe the queen?
To Germany, what owe we not besides?
So oft bestowing Brunswickers and brides;
Who paid for vulgar, with her royal blood,
Drawn from the stem of each Teutonic stud:
Who sent us--so be pardon'd all her faults--
A dozen dukes, some kings, a queen—and Waltz.
But peace to her-her emperor and diet, Though now transferr'd to Buonaparte's "fiat !" Back to my theme-O Muse of motion! say, How first to Albion found thy Waltz her way?
Borne on the breath of hyperborean gales,
From Hamburg's port (while Hamburg yet had mails),
Ere yet unlucky Fame-compell'd to creep
To snowy Gottenburg-was chill'd to sleep;
Or, starting from her slumbers, deign'd arise,
Heligoland! to stock thy mart with lies;
While unburnt Moscow 4 yet had news to send,
Nor owed her fiery exit to a friend,
She came-Waltz came-and with her certain sets
Of true despatches, and as true gazettes;
Then flamed of Austerlitz the blest despatch,
Which "Moniteur" nor "Morning Post" can match;
And-almost crush'd beneath the glorious news-
Ten plays, and forty tales of Kotzebue's;
One envoy's letters, six composers' airs,
And loads from Frankfort and from Leipsic fairs;
Meiner's four volumes upon womankind,
Like Lapland witches to ensure a wind;
Brunck's heaviest tome for ballast, and, to back it,
Of Heyné, such as should not sink the packet.
Fraught with this cargo-and her fairest freight,
Delightful Waltz, on tiptoe for a mate,
The welcome vessel reach'd the genial strand,
And round her flock'd the daughters of the land.
Not decent David, when, before the ark,
His grand pas-seul excited some remark;
Not love-lorn Quixote, when his Sancho thought
The knight's fandango friskier than it ought;
Not soft Herodias, when, with winning tread,
Her nimble feet danced off another's head;
Not Cleopatra on her galley's deck,
Display'd so much of leg, or more of neck,
Than thou, ambrosial Waltz, when first the moon
Beheld thee twirling to a Saxon tune!
To you, ye husbands of ten years! whose brows Ache with the annual tributes of a spouse; To you of nine years less, who only bear The budding sprouts of those that you shall wear, With added ornaments around them roll'd Of native brass, or law-awarded gold; To you, ye matrons, ever on the watch To mar a son's, or make a daughter's match; To you, ye children of-whom chance accordsAlways the ladies, and sometimes their lords; To you, ye single gentlemen, who seek Torments for life, or pleasures for a week; As Love or Hymen your endeavours guide, To gain your own, or snatch another's bride;-To one and all the lovely stranger came, And every ball-room echoes with her name.
Endearing Waltz!-to thy more melting tune Bow Irish jig, and ancient rigadoon.
Scotch reels, avaunt! and country-dance forego
Your future claims to each fantastic toe!
Waltz-Waltz alone-both legs and arms demands,
Liberal of feet, and lavish of her hands;
Hands which may freely range in public sight
Where ne'er before-but-pray "put out the light."
Methinks the glare of yonder chandelier
Shines much too far-or I am much too near;
And true, though strange-Waltz whispers this remark,
"My slippery steps are safest in the dark!"
But here the Muse with due decorum halts,
And lends her longest petticoat to Waltz,
Observant travellers of every time!
Ye quarto's publish'd upon every clime!
O say, shall dull Romaika's heavy round,
Fandango's wriggle, or Bolero's bound;
Can Egypt's Almas-tantalising group-
Columbia's caperers to the warlike whoop-
Can aught from cold Kamschatka to Cape Horn
With Waltz compare, or after Waltz be born?
Ah, no! from Morier's pages down to Galt's,
Each tourist pens a paragraph for "Waltz.”
Shades of those belles whose reign began of yore,
With George the Third's-and ended long before!--
Though in your daughters' daughters yet you thrive,
Burst from your lead, and be yourselves alive!
Back to the ball-room speed your spectred host,
Fool's Paradise is dull to that you lost.
No treacherous powder bids conjecture quake;
No stiff-starched stays make meddling fingers ache;
(Transferr'd to those ambiguous things that ape
Goats in their visage,6 women in their shape ;)
No damsel faints when rather closely press'd,
But more caressing seems when most caress'd;
Superfluous hartshorn, and reviving salts,
Both banish'd by the sovereign cordial "Waltz."
Seductive Waltz!-though on thy native shore Even Werter's self proclaim'd thee half a whore; Werter-to decent vice though much inclined, Yet warm, not wanton; dazzled, but not blind
Though gentle Genlis, in her strife with Stael,
Would even proscribe thee from a Paris ball;
The fashion hails-from countesses to queens,
And maids and valets waltz behind the scenes;
Wide and more wide thy witching circle spreads,
And turns-if nothing elsc-at least our heads;
With thee even clumsy cits attempt to bounce,
And cockney's practise what they can't pronounce.
Gods! how the glorious theme my strain exalts,
And rhyme finds partner rhyme in praise of "Waltz!'
Blest was the time Waltz chose for her début;
The court, the Regent, like herself were new;7
New face for friends, for foes some new rewards;
New ornaments for black and royal guards;
New laws to hang the rogues that roar'd for bread;
New coins (most new) to follow those that fled;
New victories-nor can we prize them less,
Though Jenky wonders at his own success;
New wars, because the old succeed so well,
That most survivors envy those who fell;
New mistresses-no, old-and yet 'tis true,
Though they be old, the thing is something new;
Each new, quite new-(except some ancient tricks),9
New white-sticks, gold-sticks, broom-sticks, all new sticks!
With vests or ribands-deck'd alike in hue,
New troopers strut, new turncoats blush in blue:
So saith the muse: my ,10 what say you?
Such was the time when Waltz might best maintain
Her new preferments in this novel reign;
Such was the time, nor ever yet was such;
Hoops are no more, and petticoats not much;
Morals and minuets, virtue and her stays,
And tell-tale powder--all have had their days.
The ball begins-the honours of the house
First duly done by daughter or by spouse,
Some potentate or royal or serene-
With Kent's gay grace, or sapient Gloster's mien,
Leads forth the ready dame, whose rising flush
Might once have been mistaken for a blush.
From where the garb just leaves the bosom free,
That spot where hearts were once supposed to be;
Round all the confines of the yielded waist,
The strangest hand may wander undisplaced,
The lady's in return may grasp as much
As princely paunches offer to her touch.
Pleased round the chalky floor how well they trip,
One hand reposing on the royal hip;
The other to the shoulder no less royal
Ascending with affection truly loyal!
Thus front to front the partners move or stand,
The foot may rest, but none withdraw the hand;
And all in turn may follow in their rank,
The Earl of Asterisk-and Lady-Blank;
Sir-Such-a-one--with those of fashion's host,
For whose blest surnames-vide "Morning Post."
(Or if for that impartial print too late,
Search Doctors' Commons six months from my date)—
Thus all and each, in movement swift or slow,
The genial contact gently undergo;
Till some might marvel, with the modest Turk,
If "nothing follows all this palming work?" 12
True, honest Mirza !-you may trust my rhyme-
Something does follow at a fitter time;
The breast thus publicly resign'd to man,
In private may resist him-
O ye who loved our grandmothers of yore, Fitzpatrick, Sheridan, and many more!
And thou, my prince! whose sovereign taste and will
It is to love the lovely beldames still!
Thou ghost of Queensbury ! whose judging sprite
Satan may spare to peep a single night,
Pronounce if ever in your days of bliss
Asmodeus struck so bright a stroke as this;
To teach the young ideas how to rise,
Flush in the cheek, and languish in the eyes;
Rush to the heart, and lighten through the frame,
With half-told wish, and ill-dissembled flame,
For prurient nature still will storm the breast--
Who, tempted thus, can answer for the rest?
But ye-who never felt a single thought For what our morals are to be, or ought; Who wisely wish the charms you view to reap, Say-would you make those beautics quite so cheap? Hot from the hands promiscuously applied,
Round the slight waist, or down the glowing side,