Attind to me, mother, while loud I'm complaining,
And bend your swate eyes more complately to hear; For weakness of voice is just all I am gaining,
Locked up in a jail, with no comrade to cheer. Ye'll say it's from jail that I'm always a-writing,
Ah, true is the story -pieta di me ! And now, as before, what has caused my indicting.
Is just my insisting, that Man must be free !
But twinty years old was my age as I reckon, When one of my friends had his landlord to pay;
And quick we agreed, o'er a bottle of whiskey, To settle the rint with shillalies in play.
It's somebody's head that I cracked in a jiffy, - My own sunny France, I was striking for thee ! -
And straight to a prison lea tyrant conveyed me, Despite my protesting that Man must be free!
I served like a baste through my period penal,
Wi' a' the oomposure auld Reekie inspires ; And spake to the judge in his altitude venal,
As one in whose bosom were liberty's fires. Then home I repaired; but, before I got thither,
A bit of a mob made me join in their glee ; It's government houses we burned, and some people.
To prove we were drunk, and that Man must be free!
Myself did they take, with some dozens of others,
And gave us a trial for trayson indade; And sintinced us all, right in sight of our mothers,
To cross the wide ocean with fetters and spade. Not ein hokes wort was in all of their charges :
But stern was the Justice, and," Pris'ner," says he, " How came you to join in this burning and stealing ? "
" To show," says I, boldly, " that Man must be free !"
When safely arrived at the scene of our labors,
I found the Commandant quite gintly inclined; He singled me out from the midst of my neighbors,
And softly I gave him a piece of my mind: " I'm sickly," says I, " and have nade of indulgence,
Nor will I abuse it if given to me." He trusted my word and indulged me, per Baccho,
And soon I escaped, because Man must be free !
Then straight to this country I fled for protection, And wasn't I hailed as a patriot born ?
They asked me to stand for a local election, - Bat such a small offer I treated with scorn.
And soon did I join, with an energy aygur, Some gintlemen proud as it's aisy to be,
Who went into fighting for keeping the naygur, And showing, per Dio, that Man must be free !
Bad luck to it all! 'twas a bating they gave us,
And Allah il Allah ! was all I could say ; From starring down South there was nothing to save,
And I was not slow about coming away: It's not for a pardon I'd ask of the rulers,
Nor yet would I seek from the country to flee; For what could they do in a real republic,
To one who said only that Man must be free!
Not troubled at all in me mind for the morrow,
I turned my attintion to matters of State; And so, having failed, to my infinite sorrow,
In fighting the nation, took comfort of fate. 'Twas right in the midst of advising the rulers,
Just how they should act to the South, and to me, When " Credat Judaeus!" they say; and I'm taken,
To jail, though explaining that Man must be free!
Sure, mother, but Liberty's all a delusion,
And Italy, Hungary, Poland, and I, Can only be kept in eternal confusion,
By hoping for landlords and despots to die. So, here let me say, in the musical tongue of,
My own native Venice- Venite per me! It's most of me time that I'm spending in prison,
And all from insisting that Man must be free!
After we had all applauded the touching verses as well as our tears of sympathy would permit, and expressed our sincere regret that we could not all be Irishmen, the next toast was offered, -
"The Last General of the Mackerel Brigade - Our next President".
As I had been selected to honor this sentiment, and really knew no presidential qualification that the General possessed, save his well-known fondness for horse-flesh (and consequent supposable understanding of the common wheel), I merely paid a passing tribute to his skill with the accordion, and related a story of that horse-y State:
Possibly you have never happened to hear of such a town as Twinkleton before; and so I am careful to state that it is within sound of the whistle of the train that " breaks-up " at Bellows Falls, Vermont, and that its principal hotel for man and beast is somewhat afflictive to the digestions of those travellers whose stomachs look upon apple-pie three times a day as something in the nature of a persecution. You say to the stage-driver, at the railway station, that you wish to go to Twinkleton; and, if you happen to wear a scarf-pin with the head of a coral horse upon it, he will induce you, by a series of the most ingenious devices, to distrust the comfort of the "insides," and ride upon the box with him.
" You're going to buy a horse up there," says he, turning the reins in his hand, and glancing from your scarf-pin to your city hat.
" No, sir! " you say, rather sharply; for you have an idea that you look vastly above anything horsey, and wish your general get-up to be considered impressive.
" Well, then," says the driver, " of course you must be going to 'Squire Maple's; so there's no use of my talking to you abaout that ere nigh-pacing mare, I s'pose".
He can't conceive the possibility, can't the driver, of any other destination for you in Twinkleton than 'Squire Maple's ; and you instinctively feel that a request on your part to be put down at any other mansion, or at the hotel, would at once entail upon you the suspicion of coming to buy a horse secretly, and subject you to some pretty heavy boring in regard to the nigh-pacing mare.
Such a state of things will seem to indicate that no masculine visitor to Twinkleton is safe from buying a horse, unless he stops at 'Squire Maple's. This is true; and I defy any unarmed single gentleman of my acquaintance to pass a night in Twinkleton without having a steed forcibly sold to him by somebody before morning. In a wider sense, it will seem to indicate that 'Squire Maple's is the mansion of Twinkleton. This also is true, and makes me quite anxious to lead my friends thither without further preface.