University of Virginia Library



With all the ease of a Prince of the Blood gallantly testifying in behalf of an indiscreet lady the Marquis incontinently fibs, laying the cornerstone of a Munchausen fable—

But you, ye pleasant faces wise
Saluted late, your candid eyes
Methinks ye rub them in surprise:
“What's this? Jan Steen and Lippi? Claude?
Long since they embarked for Far Abroad!
Have met them, you?”
“Indeed, have I!
Ma foi! The immortals never die;
They are not so weak, they are not so craven;
They keep time's sea and skip the haven.—
Well, letting minor memories go:
With other illustrious ones in row
I met them once at that brave tavern
Founded by the first Delmonico,
Forefather of a flourishing line!


'Twas all in off-hand easy way—
Pour passer le temps, as loungers say.
In upper chamber did we sit
The dolts below never dreaming it.
The cloth was drawn—we left alone,
No solemn lackeys looking on.
In wine's meridian, halcyon noon,
Beatitude excludes elation.
Thus for a while. Anon ensues
All round their horizon, ruddying it,
Such Lights Auroral, mirth and wit—
Thy flashes, O Falernian Muse!