“Up with me!–up with me into the sky!”
WORDSWORTH–on a Lark.
[Note: In Hood's day Mr. Graham was one of a group of distinguished aeronauts which included Monck Mason, Hollond, Green, and others. Mr. Graham had made a memorable ascent in his Balloon in 1823.]
Dear Graham, whilst the busy crowd,
The vain, the wealthy, and the proud,
Their meaner flights pursue,
Let us cast off the foolish ties
That bind us to the earth, and rise
And take a bird’s-eye view!–
A few more whiffs of my segar
And then, in Fancy’s airy car,
Have with thee for the skies:–
How oft this fragrant smoke upcurl’d
Hath borne me from this little world,
And all that in it lies!–
Away!–away!–the bubble fills–
Farewell to earth and all its hills!–
We seem to cut the wind!–
So high we mount, so swift we go,
The chimney tops are far below,
The Eagle’s left behind!–
Ah me! my brain begins to swim!–
The world is growing rather dim;
The steeples and the trees–
My wife is getting very small!
I cannot see my babe at all!–
The Dollond, if you please!–
Do, Graham, let me have a quiz;
Lord! what a Lilliput it is.
That little world of Mogg’s!–
Are those the London Docks?–that channel,
The mighty Thames?–a proper kennel
For that small Isle of Dogs!–
What is that seeming tea-urn there?
That fairy dome, St. Paul’s!–I swear,
Wren must have been a Wren!–
And that small stripe?–it cannot be
The City Road!–Good lack! to see
The little ways of men!
Little, indeed!–my eyeballs ache
To find a turnpike.–I must take
Their tolls upon my trust!–
And where is mortal labor gone?
Look, Graham, for a little stone
Mac Adamiz’d to dust!
Look at the horses!–less than flies!–
Oh, what a waste it was of sighs
To wish to be a Mayor!
What is the honor?–none at all,
One’s honor must be very small
For such a civic chair!–
And there’s Guildhall!–’tis far aloof–
Methinks, I fancy through the roof
Its little guardian Gogs,
Like penny dolls–a tiny show!–
Well,–I must say they’re rul’d below
By very little logs!–
Oh, Graham! how the upper air
Alters the standards of compare;
One of our silken flags
Would cover London all about–
Nay, then–let’s even empty out
Another brace of bags!
Now for a glass of bright champagne
Above the clouds!–Come, let us drain
A bumper as we go!–
But hold!–for God’s sake do not cant
The cork away–unless you want
To brain your friends below.
Think! what a mob of little men
Are crawling just within our ken,
Like mites upon a cheese!–
Pshaw!–how the foolish sight rebukes
Ambitious thoughts!–can there be Dukes
Of Gloster such as these!–
Oh! what is glory?–what is fame?
Hark to the little mob’s acclaim,
‘Tis nothing but a hum!–
A few near gnats would trump as loud
As all the shouting of a crowd
That has so far to come!–
Well–they are wise that choose the near,
A few small buzzards in the ear,
To organs ages hence!–
Ah me! how distance touches all;
It makes the true look rather small,
But murders poor pretence
“The world recedes!–it disappears!
Heav’n opens on my eyes–my ears
With buzzing noises ring!”–
A fig for Southey’s Laureat lore!”–
What’s Rogers here?–Who cares for Moore
That hears the Angels sing!–”