Open main menu

Page:Carroll - Notes by an Oxford Chiel.djvu/78

This page has been validated.
28
THE DESERTED PARKS.

Prevailed on him, Jack-Horner-like, to try
Some method to evaluate his pie,
And win from those dark depths, with skilful thumb,
Five times a hundredweight of luscious plum—
Yet for no thirst of wealth, no love of praise,
In learned labour he consumed his days!
O luxury! thou cursed by Heaven's decree.
How ill exchanged are things like these for thee!
How do thy potions, with insidious joy,
Diffuse their pleasures only to destroy;
Iced cobbler, Badminton, and shandy-gaff.
Rouse the loud jest and idiotic laugh;
Inspired by them, to tipsy greatness grown,
Men boast a florid vigour not their own;
At every draught more wild and wild they grow;
While pitying friends observe 'I told you so!'
Till, summoned to their post, at the first ball,
A feeble under-hand, their wickets fall.
Even now the devastation is begun,
And half the business of destruction done;
Even now, methinks while pondering here in pity,
I see the rural Virtues leave the city.