Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, ODE TO MESSRS. GREEN, HOLLOND, AND MONCK MASON, by THOMAS HOOD



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Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ODE TO MESSRS. GREEN, HOLLOND, AND MONCK MASON, by             Poet's Biography
First Line: O lofty-minded men!
Last Line: And all be von'd, because of your descent!
Subject(s): Balloons; Flight; Flying


ON THEIR LATE BALLOON EXPEDITION.

O LOFTY-MINDED men!
Almost beyond the pitch of my goose pen!
And most inflated words!
Delicate Ariels! ethereals! -- birds
Of passage! fliers! angels without wings!
Fortunate rivals of Icarian darings!
Male-witches, without broomsticks, -- taking airings!
Kites -- without strings!
Volatile spirits! light mercurial humours!
O give us soon your sky adventures truly,
With full particulars, correcting duly
All flying rumours!

Two-legg'd high-fliers!
What upper-stories you must have to tell!
And nobody can contradict you well,
Or call you liars!
Your Region of Romance will many covet;
Besides that, you may scribble what you will,
And this great luck will wait upon you, still
All criticism, you will be above it!
Write, then, Messrs. Monck Mason, Hollond, Green!
And tell us all you have, or havn't seen! --
['Twas kind, when the balloon went out of town,
To take Monck Mason up and set him down,
For when a gentleman is at a shift
For carriage -- talk of carts and gigs, and coaches!
Nothing to a balloon approaches,
For giving one a lift!]
O say, when Mr. Frederick Gye
Seem'd but a speck -- a mote -- in friendship's eye,
Did any tongue confess a sort of dryness
Seeming the soaring rashness to rebuke;
Or did each feel himself, like Brunswick's Duke,
A most serene Highness!

Say, as you cross'd the Channel,
Well clothed in well air'd linen and warm flannel,
How did your company, perceived afar,
Affect the tar?
Methinks I see him cock his weather eye
Against the sky,
Turning his ruminating quid full oft,
With wonder sudden taken all aback --
"My eyes," says he,
"I'm blow'd if there arn't three!
Three little Cherubs smiling up aloft,
A-watching for poor Jack!"

Of course, at such a height, the ocean
Affected no one by its motion --
But did internal comfort dwell with each,
Quiet and ease each comfortable skin in?
Or did brown Hollond of a sudden bleach
As white as Irish linen?
Changing his native hue,
Did Green look blue? --
In short was any air-sick? P'rhaps Monck Mason
Was forc'd to have an air-pump in a bason?

Say, with what sport, or pleasure,
Might you fill up your lofty leisure?
Like Scotchman, at High jinks?
(High-spy was an appropriate game methinks)
Or cards -- but playing very high; --
Or skying coppers, almost to the sky; --
Or did you listen, the first mortal ears
That ever drank the music of the spheres? --
Or might you into vocal music get,
A trio -- highly set?
Or, as the altitude so well allow'd,
Perchance, you "blew a cloud."
Say, did you find the air
Give you an appetite up there?
Your cold provisions -- were you glad to meet 'em?
Or did you find your victuals all so high, --
Or blown so by your fly --
You couldn't eat 'em?

Of course, you took some wine to sup,
Although the circumstance has not been stated;
I envy you the effervescing cup!
Warn't your champagne well up?
Nay, you, yourselves, a little elevated?

Then, for your tea and breakfast, say,
Was it not something delicately new,
To get sky-blue
Right genuine from the real milky way?

Of course, you all agreed,
Whate'er your conversation was about,
Like friends indeed, --
And faith! not without need,
'Twas such an awkward place for falling-out!

Say, after your gastronomy,
Kept you a watch all night,
Marking the planets bright,
Like three more Airys, studying astronomy;
Or near the midnight chime,
Did some one haul his nightcap on his head,
Hold out his mounted watch, and say "high time
To go to bed?"

Didn't your coming scare
The sober Germans, until every cap
Rose lifted by a frighten'd fell of hair;
Meanwhile the very pipe, mayhap,
Extinguish'd, like the vital spark in death,
From wonder locking up the smoker's breath!
Didn't they crouch like chickens, when the kite
Hovers in sight,
To see your vehicle of huge dimension
Aloft, like Gulliver's Laputa -- nay,
I'd better say,
The Island of Ascension?

Well was it plann'd
To come down thus into the German land,
Where Honours you may score by such event, --
For, if I read the prophecy aright,
You'll have the Eagle-Order for your flight,
And all be Von'd, because of your descent!





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