THE NEXT HEIR

The Next Heir



What sudden changes do we see,
What wonderful Variety,
In all that passes here below.
From Grief to Joy, from Joy to Woe !
How oft do the transitions seem
The rapid movements of a dream :
But no where does the change appear
So oft within one fleeting year ;
So oft display the motley mien
As in the pantomimic scene
Which Fashion, by her magic power.
Forms to enliven every hour.


Jack Dashall, who was so well known
In every public place in Town,
On whose Barouche and high-bred bays
The Youngsters did with envy, gaze ; —
Should it be ask’d where Jack is fled.
Or if He’s number’d with the dead,
Or wherefore we no longer meet
The gayest lounger of the street ?
Why — He is lounging — in the Fleet.


ASPASIA made three winters gay,
With Dance and Song, and Feast and Play :
To the first Ton she op’d her doors :
Lit up her room, and chalk’d her floors :
Of Figure and Profusion proud,
She welcom’d all the titled crowd.
And thought herself supremely paid
By all the flatt’ring things they said.
But ah — extinct is all her Fame,
And Fashion never speaks her name.
The House is let, the Dame is flown,
And Pleasure’s gay Regalia gone,
While she in distant Village pines,
And on a vulgar chicken dines :
When, to exasperate her Lot,
She hears that she is quite forgot ;
That no one thinks upon the pleasure
In which she wasted all her treasure.
But I ‘ve another change to tell,
Which a despairing Rake befel :
Who, as he welter’d in distress.
Was rais’d to instant happiness.


One morn, as on his restless bed,
LORD JOHN reclin’d his aching head,
While sleep refus’d th’ oblivious power
To add another drowsy hour :
Of Bonds, Post Obits, all the trade
On his resenting Mem’ry play’d ;
While all those missile papers storm
His yielding fears in ev’ry form,
With which the gaunt Attornies threat
Those who are over-charg’d with debt ;
While not another Jew in Town
Would lend his Lordship half-a-crown.
There He remain’d but ill at ease,
Watch’d by Law’s base Satellites,
Smiling Distress, and prompt to seize.
Thus, as he on his pillow lay,
Pondering the Journals of the Day,
Fred’rick, his faithful Valet came.
And, breathless, scarcely could exclaim


‘ Great news, my Lord ! — Your cares are past,
‘ And COUSIN ROLAND’S kind at last.’
‘ How is he kind? ‘ was the reply.
‘ Why — he has been so kind to die. —
‘ Now, now, my Lord you need not fear
‘ Lawyers or Bailiffs : — you ‘re a Peer,
‘ With twice ten thousand pounds a year,
‘ Simon, the Steward, is below,
‘ Who hurries up to Town, to know .
‘ What orders you may please to give ;
‘ And when the Hall is to receive
‘ Your presence, that he may prepare
‘ Each Honour due to Roland’s Heir.’
— Up rose my Lord, and scarce believ’d
The welcome tidings He received.
When Simon came, and bow’d full low
While his old eyes with tears o’erflow.
‘ Ne’er mind, my Boy,’ his Lordship said,
‘ Old Roland then, at length is dead :
‘ But that must be the fate of all,
‘ Of old and young, of great and small.
‘ It is not half an hour ago,
‘ My heart was so brimful of woe,
‘ That as I lay upon my bed
‘ I wish’d a bullet in my head.
‘ But, truce to whimp’ring and crying,
‘ Thank Heaven, I think no more of dying ;
‘ And while I live, be sure I ’11 strive
‘ To keep old Roland Hall alive.
‘ But first I want ten thousand pound ; —
‘ That sum, good Simon, must be found,
‘ Though you should rob the Country
round.
‘ My present wants most loudly crave it.
‘ For let me tell you — I must have it ;
‘ And if you can’t the money find,
‘ You ‘re not a Steward to my mind ;
‘ Though, if you to my wants attend,
‘ You ’11 find me a most gen’rous friend.
‘ So not a word — but hasten down,
‘ As quickly as you came to Town ; —
‘ And let the country neighbours all,
‘ Within a month, expect a Ball,
‘ In a high style, at Roland HalV
— With aching heart, and shaking head,
Lamenting his old Master dead.
Old Simon sought his distant Home,
Foreboding little good to come.
— Nor was it long e’er the young Peer
Set off, to enter on the Sphere
Which now was his, already vain
Of Titles old and rich Domain.
With fury tow’rds the Hall he drove.
The Tandem hurried through the Grove,
Attended by the mingled noise
Of Horns and Hounds, of Men and
Boys ;
But, as his Tenantry await
To see him pass the Mansion Gate,
Death, on the foremost Horse was seen,
With eager look and ‘vengeful mien,
And seem’d to say, ‘The Hatchment view,
‘Vain Boy, for it may serve for you.’
The Chaise was high, the Gate was low,
His Head receiv’d the fatal blow
From the rude arch ; — He loos’d the rein.
And fell, no more to rise again.
— Thus, as Joy brighten’d Sorrow’s gloom,
He sunk, untimely, to the Tomb.
But ah, those Sorrows did not wait
Upon his unexpected Fate,
Which mourn’d Lord Ronald good and
great.