Page images

The moment the Emperor's bell had rung,

The attendants into his chamber hied,
There were Hi-ski-hi, No-go, Tung-lung,
Long-chin, Tay-tin, and a lot beside,

Who, with many more,
Fell flat on the floor,

When they entered the door
Of the room where the moon's own son,

When the toils of the day are o'er,
And his daily course of dignity's run,

Condescends to sleep, and perchance, to snore.
Then Tao-Kwang started up in his bed,
And dashing his night-cap off his head,
With a flashing eye, and a countenance pale,

With a sorrowful look,

His head he shook,
And shaking his head he wagged his tail.


Then thus, with a beautiful nasal twang,
Which through the chamber loudly rang,
The super-celestial Tao-Kwang,
His humble attendants began to harangue :-
“I've had a horrid dream!”
(The courtiers gave a sympathetic scream :)
You know those vile barbarians come,

And, in disguise,
They tempt the children of the skies,

With deadly 0—PI-UM.
The thing has got beyond a joke,

My subjects all,

Both great and small,
Do nothing else but smoke.
This opium sends them all to sleep,

Last night, after a hearty meal of tripe,

Stewed well in rice,

Which makes it nice, The father of his people smoked a pipe. But oh! I'll cut five hundred heads in twain,

If I am tempted, by high or low,

Or even whether I'm tempted or no, I'll do it — if I ever smoke again ;

For such a splitting headache I've got, That if I've such another fit, To keep mine company, more heads shall split,

Whether they fancy it or not.

And even my

Celestial eye

That opium brought across my brain, Such visions as I dare not see again.

Wide open cannot keep!

[ocr errors][merged small]

“I thought I saw the sun that warms my life, I mean La-zi, my six-and-twentieth wife, Walking with footsteps slow and calm,

Surprising all beholders,
Without a head


her shoulders : For, ah! she carried it beneath her arm.

[merged small][graphic][merged small][merged small][graphic][graphic][graphic][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
[merged small][graphic][ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small][merged small]

"But as there is none within call to bring At a moment's notice the fatal string, I'll shew you my goodness as well as my power.

Your mind I'll relieve,

By a full reprieve
For a quarter of an hour,
On this condition — That you will make
In their shoes the vile barbarians shake."


So the merchant agreed, and oh, such a din
Was raised from Canton to Pekin!
They sent for the valiant Commissioner Lin,
With full instructions the war to begin.
The troops were supplied with plenty of tin,
A stock of gunpowder (tea) was laid in ;
The muskets were made as clean as a pin,
To soil them for nothing seemed quite a sin;
Then how his Highness began to vapour,
Ne'er was commander so brave upon-paper,


[ocr errors]

But at length the navy in pasteboard ships,

About the neighbourhood of Canton,

In order to see how things went on, Began to take some cautious trips, And some of them having ventured too far, Got a sight of an awful British tar,

Which made them run

Like fun;



At length on a merchant he chanced to come

Who his living made

By a roaring trade
In this very identical o-pi-um.
The Emperor's heart began to beat
Beneath the embroidered dragon's feet,

Which he wears on his vest

Just over his chest,

To show that his heart is as fierce and stout

As a dragon's—and so it is no doubt.

“Detestable dog!” he loudly exclaimed,

Then with his bamboo,

For a minute or two,
Some blows at the merchant the Emperor aimed,

“You ought to hang !”
Exclaimed Tao-Kwang,

Reports were spread in every quarter,
That the barbarians, bent on slaughter,
Had made up their minds and their mouths to devour
Every Chinese that came in their power.

But this intelligence terrific,
To make it better understood,
Was quickly drawn, and cut on wood

Into an awful hieroglyphic.

« PreviousContinue »