Poetry Explorer- Classic Contemporary Poetry, REJECTED ADDRESSES: FIRE AND ALE, BY M. G. L., by HORACE SMITH



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REJECTED ADDRESSES: FIRE AND ALE, BY M. G. L., by             Poet's Biography
First Line: My palate is parched with pierian thirst
Last Line: "I'll have you indicted for bigamy!"
Alternate Author Name(s): Smith, Horatio
Subject(s): Lewis, Matthew Gregory (1775-1818)


MY palate is parched with Pierian thirst,
Away to Parnassus I'm beckoned;
List, warriors and dames, while my lay is rehearsed,
I sing of the singe of Miss Drury the first,
And the birth of Miss Drury the second.

The Fire King, one day, rather amorous felt;
He mounted his hot copper filly;
His breeches and boots were of tin, and the belt
Was made of cast iron, for fear it should melt
With the heat of the copper colt's belly.

Sure never was skin half so scalding as his!
When an infant 'twas equally horrid;
For the water, when he was baptized, gave a fizz,
And bubbled and simmer'd and started off, whizz!
As soon as it sprinkled its forehead.

O! then there was glitter and fire in each eye,
For two living coals were the symbols;
His teeth were calcined, and his tongue was so dry,
It rattled against them, as though you should try
To play the piano in thimbles.

From his nostrils a lava sulphureous flows,
Which scorches wherever it lingers;
A snivelling fellow he's call'd by his foes,
For he can't raise his paw up to blow his red nose,
For fear it should blister his fingers.

His wig is of flames curling over his head,
Well powder'd with white smoking ashes;
He drinks gunpowder tea, melted sugar of lead,
Cream of tartar, and dines on hot spice gingerbread,
Which black from the oven he gnashes.

Each fire-nymph his kiss from her countenance shields,
'Twould soon set her cheek bone a frying;
He spit in the Tenter-Ground near Spital-fields,
And the hole that it burnt, and the chalk that it yields,
Make a capital lime-kiln for drying.

When he open'd his mouth, out there issued a blast,
(Nota bene, I do not mean swearing,)
But the noise that it made, and the heat that it cast,
I've heard it from those who have seen it, surpass'd
A shot manufactory flaring.

He blazed, and he blazed, as he gallop'd to snatch
His bride, little dreaming of danger;
His whip was a torch, and his spur was a match,
And over the horse's left eye was a patch,
To keep it from burning the manger.

And who is the housemaid he means to enthral
In his cinder-producing alliance?
'Tis Drury-Lane Playhouse, so wide, and so tall,
Who, like other combustible ladies, must fall,
If she cannot set sparks at defiance.

On his warming-pan kneepan he clattering roll'd,
And the housemaid his hand would have taken,
But his hand, like his passion, was too hot to hold,
And she soon let it go, but her new ring of gold
All melted, like butter or bacon!

Oh! then she look'd sour, and indeed well she might,
For Vinegar Yard was before her;
But, spite of her shrieks, the ignipotent knight,
Enrobing the maid in a flame of gas light,
To the skies in a sky-rocket bore her.

Look! look! 'tis the Ale King, so stately and starch,
Whose votaries scorn to be sober;
He pops from his vat, like a cedar or larch;
Brown-stout is his doublet, he hops in his march,
And froths at the mouth in October.

His spear is a spigot, his shield is a bung;
He taps where the housemaid no more is,
When lo! at his magical bidding, upsprung
A second Miss Drury, tall, tidy and young,
And sported in loco sororis.

Back, lurid in air, for a second regale,
The Cinder King, hot with desire,
To Bridges Street hied; but the Monarch of Ale,
With uplifted spigot and faucet, and pail,
Thus chided the Monarch of Fire:

"Vile tyrant, beware of the ferment I brew;
I rule the roast here, dash the wig o' me!
If, spite of your marriage with Old Drury, you
Come here with your tinderbox, courting the New,
I'll have you indicted for bigamy!"





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