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This feast is named the Carnival, which being
But why they usher Lent with so much glee in,
Is more than I can tell, although I guess
'Tis as we take a glass with friends at parting,
In the stage-coach or packet, just at starting.
And thus they bid farewell to carnal dishes,
Because they have no sauces to their stews,
From travellers accustom'd from a boy
And therefore humbly I would recommend ,,The curious in fish-sauce," before they cross The sea, to bid their cook, or wife, or friend, Walk or ride to the Strand, and buy in gross (Or if set out beforehand, these may send By any means least liable to loss), Ketchup, Soy, Chili-vinegar, and Harvey, Or, by the Lord! a Lent will well nigh starve ye;
That is to say, if your religion's Roman,
And you at Rome would do as Romans do, According to the proverb, although no man,
If foreign, is obliged to fast; and you, If protestant, or sickly, or a woman,
Would rather dine in sin on a ragout
Dine, and be d-d! I don't mean to be coarse, But that's the penalty, to say no worse.
Of all the places where the Carnival
Was most facetious in the days of yore;
And masque, and mime, and mystery, and more Than I have time to tell now, or at all,
Venice the bell from every city bore, And at the moment when I fix my story, That sea-born city was in all her glory.
They've pretty faces yet, those same Venetians, Black eyes, arch'd brows, and sweet expres
sions still, Such as of old were copied from the Grecians,
In ancient arts by moderns mimick'd ill; And like so many Venuses of Titian's
(The best's at Florence-see it, if ye will,) They look when leaning over the baleony, Or stepp'd from out a picture by Giorgions,
Whose tints are truth and beauty at their best;
Is loveliest to my mind of all the show;
And that's the cause I rhyme upon it so, "Tis but a portrait of his son, and wife, And self; but such a woman! love in life!
Love in full life and length, not love ideal,
That the sweet model must have been the
A thing that you would purchase, beg, or steal, Wer't not impossible, besides a shame:
The face recals some face, as 'twere with pain, You once have seen, but ne'er will see again;
One of those forms which flit by us, when we
Are young, and fis our eyes on every face; And, oh! the loveliness at times we see
In momentary gliding, the soft grace, The youth, the bloom, the beauty which agree,
In many a nameless being we retrace, Whose course and home we knew not, nor shall
know, Like the lost Pleiad I seen no more below.
I said that like a picture by Giorgione
Venetian women were, and so they are; Particularly seen from a balcony,
(For beauty's sometimes best set off afar) And there, just like a heroine of Goldoni,
They peep from out the blind, or o'er the bar; And, truth to say, they're mostly very pretty, And rather like to show it, more's the pity!