Dream of Turtle, A. By Sir W. Curtis


'T was evening time, in the twilight sweet
I sailed along, when — whom should I meet
But a Turtle journeying o'er the sea,
" On the service of his Majesty. "
When spying him first thro' twilight dim,
I did n't know what to make of him;
But said to myself, as slow he plied
His fins and rolled from side to side
Conceitedly o'er the watery path —
" 'T is my Lord of Stowell taking a bath,
" And I hear him now, among the fishes,
" Quoting Vatel and Burgersdicius! "
But, no — 't was, indeed, a Turtle wide
And plump as ever these eyes descried;
A turtle juicy as ever yet
Glued up the lips of a Baronet!
And much did it grieve my soul to see
That an animal of such dignity,
Like an absentee abroad should roam,
When he ought to stay and be ate at home.

But now " a change came o'er my dream, "
Like the magic lantern's shifting slider;
I lookt and saw by the evening beam
On the back of that Turtle sat a rider —
A goodly man with an eye so merry,
I knew 't was our Foreign Secretary,
Who there at his ease did sit and smile,
Like Waterton on his crocodile;
Cracking such jokes, at every motion,
As made the Turtle squeak with glee,
And own they gave him a lively notion
Of what his forced -meat balls would be.
So, on the Sec. in his glory went,
Over that briny element,
Waving his hand as he took farewell
With graceful air, and bidding me tell
Inquiring friends that the Turtle and he
Were gone on a foreign embassy —
To soften the heart of a Diplomat ,
Who is known to dote upon verdant fat,
And to let admiring Europe see,
That calipash and calipee
Are the English forms of Diplomacy.
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