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This feast is named the Carnival, which being Interpreted, implies,, farewell to flesh:"
So call'd, because the name and thing agreeing, Through Lent they live on fish both salt and
But why they usher Lent with so much glee in,
Is more than I can tell, although I guess
"Tis as we take a glass with friends at parting, In the stage-coach or packet, just at starting.
And thus they bid farewell to carnal dishes,
Because they have no sauces to their stews,
From travellers accustom'd from a boy
To eat their salmon, at the least, with soy;
And therefore humbly I would recommend
That is to say, if your religion's Roman,
If foreign, is obliged to fast; and you, If protestant, or sickly, or a woman, Would rather dine in sin on a ragoutDine, and be d-d! I don't mean to be coarse, But that's the penalty, to say no worse.
Of all the places where the Carnival
Venice the bell from every city bore,
They've pretty faces yet, those same Venetians, Black eyes, arch'd brows, and sweet expressions still,
Such as of old were copied from the Grecians,
(The best's at Florence-see it, if ye will,) They look when leaning over the balcony, Or stepp'd from out a picture by Giorgione,
Whose tints are truth and beauty at their best;
And that's the cause I rhyme upon
"Tis but a portrait of his son, and wife, And self; but such a woman! love in life!
Love in full life and length, not love ideal,
But something better still, so very real,
That the sweet model must have been the
A thing that you would purchase, beg, or steal,
One of those forms which flit by us, when we Are young, and fix our eyes on every face; And, oh! the loveliness at times we see
In momentary gliding, the soft grace,
The youth, the bloom, the beauty which agree, In many a nameless being we retrace,
Whose course and home we knew not, nor shall
Like the lost Pleiad I seen no more below.
I said that like a picture by Giorgione
(For beauty's sometimes best set off afar) And there, just like a heroine of Goldoni, They peep from out the blind, or o'er the bar; And, truth to say, they're mostly very pretty, And rather like to show it, more's the pity!