Dear piece of fascinating clay!

'Tis thine to smooth life's rugged way,

To give a happiness unknown

To those--who let a pipe alone;

Thy tube can best the vapors chase,

By raising--others in their place;

Can give the face staid Wisdom's air,

And teach the lips--to ope with care;

'Tis hence thou art the truest friend

(Where least is said there's least to mend),
And he who ventures many a joke

Had better oft be still and smoke.

Whatever giddy foplings think,

Thou giv'st the highest zest to drink.

When fragrant clouds thy fumes exhale,

And hover round the nut-brown ale,

Who thinks of claret or champagne?

E'en burgundy were pour'd in vain.

'Tis not in city smoke alone,

Midst fogs and glooms thy charms are known.

With thee, at morn, the rustic swain

Tracks o'er the snow-besprinkled plain,

To seek some neighb'ring copse's side,

And rob the woodlands of their pride:

With thee, companion of his toil,

His active spirits ne'er recoil;

Though hard his daily task assign'd,

He bears it with an equal mind.

The fisher 'board some little bark,

When all around is drear and dark,

With shortened pipe beguiles the hour,

Though bleak the wind and cold the show'r,

Nor thinks the morn's approach too slow,

Regardless of what tempests blow.

Midst hills of sand, midst ditches, dikes,

Midst cannons, muskets, halberts, pikes;

With thee, as still, Mynheer can stay,

As Neddy 'twixt two wisps of hay;

Heedless of Britain and of France,

Smokes on--and looks to the main chance.

And sure the solace thou canst give

Must make thy fame unrivalled live,

So long as men can temper clay

(For as thou art, e'en so are they),

The sun mature the Indian weed,

And rolling years fresh sorrows breed.

From _The Meteors_, London.