The Constellation 2

Miss Porden

Hermes scarce had alighted from Pegasus back
’Ere the person who held him was called to a hack,
And the post-man delivered him many a line,
That to him was sent from his true Valentine;
But he’d hardly left Peg ere a gentleman gay,
Roberto his name, by chance passed that way,
When he saw the winged steed he exclaimed with surprise,
“This is Pegasus sure, may I credit my eyes?
Oh! how I should like on his saddle to mount,
Seek the realms of bright fancy or Helicon’s fount,
On Parnassus to pay my devoirs to the Muses,
Or soar where the moon her pale light round diffuses
Besides I have heard that the saddle inspires,
The breast of the rider with poetic fires;
And as I’m of the Attic Society now,
To write for the Chest they’ll expect me, I know;
So cost what it may, I’ll th’ experiment try
But caution shall guide me, I’ll not mount too high.”
So saying he got on the saddle with care
And Pegasus flew up at once in the air,
All around him astonish’d the action surveyed
And sketches I’m told by some artists were made.
Roberto well pleased with his steed’s easy motion
In amazement looked down on the Earth and the ocean
And in London alone was surprised to survey
The millions of lines on Saint Valentine’s day.
But in spite of their fabled distresses I ween
Not a tear on the cheek of the youth could be seen
Some letters were writing, some letters were reading
Some depicting on paper their tortured hearts bleeding
Some in Greek or Italian their passion revealed
And some in enigma’s their meaning concealed
But a volume would scarcely suffice to display
The various amusements of Valentine’s day.
And out traveller ere now to the clouds had ascended
So his view of the country of course must be ended
Poor Pegasus passing “the region of rain”
Burst a cloud, which in torrents poured down on each plain
And this was the storm that did Hermes detain.
Meanwhile rising and rising progressively, soon
The horse and the rider arrived at the moon
Twas the hour when the sun in his chariot of light
Descending leaves Earth to the guidance of night
Roberto resolved that he’d stay there awhile
And with viewing the wonders an hour would beguile
“And when spangl’d all o’er I see night’s garment blue
I then to the stars will my journey pursue
Besides, as since morn I’ve had nothing to eat
I’ll see if the moon, can’t afford me some meal.”
And scarcely had his soliloquy ended
Ere upon a plain fertile and fair they descended
It was smooth as our lawns, a more beautiful green
In earth’s most fame valleys could never be seen.
There soon he saw things which will certainly cause one
To doubt the veracity of Baron Munchaussen.
With speed from his saddle our traveller alighted
And he seemed with the prospect around him delighted
The trees and the shrubs were like those of the Earth
And the flowers such as Flora in summer brings forth
On the trees, fruit and flowers were hung
And his song to the evening each bird sweetly sung
Then each male to the nest which himself had constructed
His but just chosen bride with much pleasure conducted
While these their manoeuvres Roberto was viewing
Nor thought or his food or his voyage of pursuing
A form like a man, swift approached, with a bow
He requested his name and his country to know
And said with a smile you a stranger appear
By the wonder you shew at the things you see here
And as I well know tis ordained by each fate
That fatigue upon travel, should ever await
Pray come to my house and while you are resting
An account of your journey will prove interesting
He replied, I your offer so kind will accept
Tis too good for one placed as I am to reject
And so hearty your welcome I’m sure I’ve no need
To request you’ll take care of my wonderful steed
His eyes then on Peg the moon’s habitant case
But seeing his wings and his tail stood aghast
At length he exclaimed, Sir, so strange is your horse
Most surprising you history must be, of course
He shall be well attended, but come Sir, I pray
It is late and my house is yet some little way
Thus saying he shewed to Roberto the road
And they quickly arrived at his rural abode

To be continued