By Oliver Goldsmith

© St. John, N.B.: John McMillan, 1834


FOR 1827.

BEFORE you, dear Patrons, once more I appear,
And wish you sincerely a happy New-Year.
By your favor encouraged, again, on this day,
My tribute of verses with pleasure I pay,
To your kindness a tribute in gratitude due,


And proud shall I be were it worthy of you.
Then, if not obtrusive my Muse will you deem,
Permit me to tell how “I dreamed a dream.”
    Methought by my labour fatigued and oppressed,
Setting Pica and Brevier, I sunk into rest;


When full in my view appeared a bright dome,
Majestic as erst were the temples of Rome; [Page 101]
On columns of books from “the Poets” obtained,
And wrought by their hands its vast weight was sustained.
While sculptured in order and beauty around,


A cornice of songs the gay capitals crowned.
I gazed on the structure with awe and surprise,
For it seemed in its spledour to bend with the skies,
And in bright golden letters as nearer I came,
I saw on its front “The Proud Temple of Fame.”


Delighted at this, ere a moment’s delay,
I advanced to the gate of this palace of day;
I passed through the portal, and oh! what a sight,
There I saw the nine Muses, all radiant and bright,
In silence I stood, while with awe I surveyed


The beauty and grace of each heaven-born maid.
On the right, in one corner, sat Clio the fair,
Reading Scotland’s Statistics, by Sir John Sinclair,
Euterpe was singing divinely beside her,
The music of Freischutz by Carlos Von Weber, [Page 102]


Miss Thalia was there with her comical eye,
Roaring loudly at Liston in honest Paul Pry;
Farther on I observed the sad Tragedy Queen
Weeping o’er the lost talent of poor Edmund Kean.
“Alas!” she exclaimed, “that such worth should expire,


In ‘the soldiers are out, and the town is on fire.’”
On the left, Miss Terpsichore, sprightly and gay,
Il la Vestris un pas seul was footing away;
Miss Erato stood near her, in each hand a book,
Moore’s ‘Loves of the Angels,’ and famed Lalla Rookh;’


While Byron’s ‘Childe Harold,’ and ‘Juan’s’ Third Part,
Engrossed the whole care of Calliope’s heart.
On the right of the centre Urania was placed,
And the left by sedate Polyhymnia was graced.
The first in deep thought on the course of a star


Predicting to mortals a twenty year’s war [Page 103]
The other selecting a set of new rules,
To alter the logic now taught in the schools.
Thus each one engaged, and with courage possess’d,
Methought the fair Muses at length I addressed.


“Misses Muses,” said I, when, ye gods! what a scream,
I wonder it waked me not out of my dream,
“Oh, the devil! the devil!” exclaimed all the nine,
“Assist us, oh, save us, Apollo divine!”
Thus screaming, they rushed altogether, and then


They scattered like chickens from under a hen.
Ere a moment elapsed, the divine god of song
Appeared in the midst of the poor frightened throng,
“What’s the matter,” he cried, “whence arose that wild cry,
That just now invaded or mansion on high?”


“Look there,” they exclaimed, “is the cause of our fright,
There, there, dear Apollo, see that child of the night.” [Page 104]
“How now,” said his godship, “why here in this place,
Thou demon of darkness, thou imp of disgrace.”
“Your godship,” said I, for I wished to be civil,


“I’m a young simple lad—a printer’s poor devil,
’Tis a custom with us, on a New-Year’s joyous day,
To offer our Patrons some well written lay;
Each apprentice composes in turn and address,
And Ned, being eldest, sent the last from our press.


It was nothing for him, but, alas! I much fear,
I shall never be able to write one this year,
I shall lose every New Year’s gift, credit, and fame,
And be turned off at age, without a good name.
Though my hands are so black, and so inky my face,


Please your godship, I sprung from a white looking race,
The pity my case, I’m at best a poor Poet,
Yet I wish not that every town critic should know it.” [Page 105]
“Poor imp,” cried the Muses, “but you frightened us so,
Well there make your peace with the god of the bow.”


“Then hear,” said the god, as he rose to the sky,
Wafting softly on air to the regions on high,
“And observe my decree—let each goddess impart,
To help the poor devil, some share in her art,
And touched by your spirit, your fancy and fire,


With genius and talent his bosom inspire.”
    “Go then,” said Miss Clio, “and tell all the world
The banner of peace is still proudly unfurled,
That the genius of liberty hovers in vain
O’re the fields of Italia, of Russia, and Spain;


That Greece with here heroes still manfully draws
Her sword for her freedom, her rights, and her laws,
And crowned with success, again Athens will be
The home of the brave, the victorious, and free.
That Britain in grandeur her station sustains,


And “Queen of the Ocean” her empire maintains, [Page 106]
Though the clouds of misfortune have darkened her shore,
They are passed to revisit her children no more,
Again from her anguish rejoicing she’ll rise,
The mistress of nations, and care of the skies.


    “Go tell all the children of Acadia’s dear plain,
There happiness, plenty, and liberty reign.
In climates far distant, that commerce and trade,
The white swelling sails of their ships have displayed;
That riches and honour from industry spring,


And the wealth of the Indies is borne on its wing.”
    “Go say,” from Calliope, last of the nine,
“To the writers and poets who bow at my shrine,
Well pleased with their homage, each talented name
I will trace, with his work, on the records of fame.


The author’s sound pamphlet whose well written page,
The wisdom displays of a judge and a sage. [Page 107]
And for Bliss who has stood for his dear country’s­ rights,
I will weave the same wreath as for those gallant knights,
Who, like Kempt, in each clime waved their swords in the sun,


Till Waterloo crowned all the fields they had won.
When works of such merit on my altars they raise,
The Muse of Heroics will hail them with Praise.
Now begone little devil!” another wild scream
Invaded my ears, and I waked from my dream,


And thus, my dear Patrons, having told it to you,
Till another New-Year I will bid you Adieu! [Page 108]