An Ex-Member’s Lamentation

Miss Vardill

May 11th 1813

Mr Editor and Miss Editress,

I enclose a copy of the Lamentation and Remonstrance which I composed for one of your members (lately expelled) and hope you will have the kindness to present him with my bill, as he seems to have forgotten payment, and the rent of my attic is in arrears. I have only charged this “Lamentation” according to the rate of “Verses of Condolence” as expressed in my Card; and beg leave to annex a receipt in due form, as the money will be very acceptable to

Your Humble Servant

Atticus Scriblerus

P.S. If you can do me the favor to obtain prompt payment of the enclosed bill, you may depend on an abatement of 20 per cent in any compositions for yourselves. Original similes bring half a crown each. I did not introduce any in the Lamentation, as I was ordered to make one as cheap as possible.


An Ex-Members Lamentation & Remonstrance

Farewell the hour to panting poets dear
When guests assembled grace the lighted room,
While Wit and Mirth and fragrant tea appear,
And the broad sofa yields the Muses room!

Farewell the burnished grate’s reviving blaze,
And softer radiance lent by tapers high
To eyes whose lustre suns th’ enquirer’s gaze,
To cheeks whose blushes give a kind reply!

Ah! who can tell the raptures of the hour
When licens’d fingers touch the sacred lock,
And dumb attention claims her silent pow’r
Till night’s hoarse guardian croaks “Past ten o’clock!”

Then the soft whisper of suppress’d applause
The outspread fan, the retrovert’d chair,
The conscious smile, the still and solemn pause — 
O! who can feel like those whose Odes are there!

But when the magic lid majestic drops,
When the hush’d hammer gives no warning sound,
Swift as the torrent which no bulwark stops
How brightly rolls the stream of chit-chat round!

How sweet, how balmy to the fainting Bard
The drop of comfort from that stream to sip;
Or from his fair one’s hand to claim reward,
While praise and custard mingle on her lip!

Alas! for me that hour returns no more!
On me no nymph shall cast a fav’ring glance,
When the light Graces tempt th’ elastic floor
And Phoebus quits his lyre to — call a dance!

Dire was the luckless night when o’er my head
Malignant Morpheus waved his poppy-rod,
Till from my brain Wit, Hope, and Fancy fled,
And — shame to Manhood! — Ellen saw me nod!

Yet, best-lov’d Ellen! hear a culprit plead!
Not unrelenting seal the stern decree;
E’en Truth and Justice may excuse the deed
For if I slept, I only dreamt of thee!

One long, long day and half one tedious night
In vain for rhymes my toil-worn fancy sought;
I dipp’d my silver pen, but could not write — 
Still nought was all, and everything was nought.

Then is it wondrous if when Beauty smil’d
And the soft murmurs of delight arouse,
That Sleep, sweet Sleep! my weary eyes beguil’d
Or steep’d my senses in a  — gentle doze?

Ah! blame me not — by fairer suitors won,
The partial muses scorn to lend me aid:
They mock cold Wisdom’s marble-breasted son
And show’r their roses on a soft-eyed maid.

Yet let me still in transient dreams enjoy
The bliss, the triumph by a Bard possess’d;
Poetic visions must the soul employ
Of him who slumbers near the Attic Chest!


London. May 11th 1813

Dn. to Atticus Scriblerus

For one Lamentation and Remonstrance containing 13 stanzas of Elegaic verse at 1½ per line:£0 6s 6d
For one new Epithet (line 14th): £0 0s 6d
Total:£0 7s 0d

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