Last night, as lonely o'er my fire I sat,
Thinking of cues, starts, exits, and — all that,
And wondering much what little knavish sprite
Had put it first in women's heads to write: —
Sudden I saw — as in some witching dream —
A bright-blue glory round my book-case beam.
From whose quick-opening folds of azure light
Out flew a tiny form, as small and bright
As Puck the Fairy, when he pops his head,
Some sunny morning from a violet bed.
" Bless me! " I starting cried, " what imp are you? " —
" A small he-devil, Ma'am — my name B AS B LEU —
" A bookish sprite, much given to routs and reading;
" 'T is I who teach your spinsters of good breeding,
" The reigning taste in chemistry and caps,
" The last new bounds of tuckers and of maps,
" And when the waltz has twirled her giddy brain
" With metaphysics twirl it back again! "
I viewed him, as he spoke — his hose were blue,
His wings — the covers of the last Review —
Cerulean, bordered with a jaundice hue,
And tinselled gayly o'er, for evening wear,
Till the next quarter brings a new-fledged pair.
" Inspired by me — (pursued this waggish Fairy) —
" That best of wives and Sapphos, Lady Mary,
" Votary alike of Crispin and the Muse,
" Makes her own splay-foot epigrams and shoes.
" For me the eyes of young Camilla shine,
" And mingle Love's blue brilliances with mine;
" For me she sits apart, from cox-combs shrinking,
" Looks wise — the pretty soul! — and thinks she 's thinking.
" By my advice Miss Indigo attends
" Lectures on Memory, and assures her friends,
" 'Pon honor! — ( mimics ) — nothing can surpass the plan
" " Of that professor — ( trying to recollect ) — psha! that memory-man —
" " That — what 's his name? — him I attended lately —
" " 'Pon honor, he improved my memory greatly." "
Here curtsying low, I asked the blue-legged sprite,
What share he had in this our play to-night.
" Nay there — (he cried) — there I am guiltless quite —
" What! choose a heroine from that Gothic time
" When no one waltzed and none but monks could rhyme;
" When lovely woman, all unschooled and wild,
" Blushed without art, and without culture smiled —
" Simple as flowers, while yet unclassed they shone.
" Ere Science called their brilliant world her own,
" Ranged the wild, rosy things in learned orders,
" And filled with Greek the garden's blushing borders! —
" No, no — your gentle Inas will not do —
" To-morrow evening, when the lights burn blue,
" I'll come — ( pointing downwards ) — you understand — till then adieu! "

And has the sprite been here! No — jests apart —
Howe'er man rules in science and in art,
The sphere of woman's glories is the heart.
And, if our Muse have sketched with pencil true
The wife — the mother — firm, yet gentle too —
Whose soul, wrapt up in ties itself hath spun,
Trembles, if touched in the remotest one;
Who loves — yet dares even Love himself disown,
When Honor's broken shaft supports his throne:
If such our Ina, she may scorn the evils,
Dire as they are, of Critics and — Blue Devils.
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