Sir Hornboook; or, Childe Launcelot's Expidition

I | II | III | IV | V | VI | VII


Sir Syntax dwelt in thick fir-grove, 31
All strown with scraps of flowers, 31
Which he had pluck'd to please his love,
Among the Muses' bowers.

His love was gentle Prosody,
More fair than morning beam;
Who liv'd beneath a flowering tree,
Beside a falling stream.

And these two claim'd, with high pretence
The whole Parnassian ground,
Albeit some little difference
Between their taste was found:
Sir Syntax he was all for sense,
And Prosody for sound.

Yet in them both the Muses fair
Exceedingly delighted;
And thought no earthly thing so rare,
That might with that fond twain compare,
When they were both united.

--"Ho! yield, Sir Syntax!"--Hornbook cried,
"This youth must pass thy grove,
Led on by me, his faithful guide,
In yonder bowers to rove."--

Thereat full much, Sir Syntax said,
But found resistance vain:
And through his grove Childe Launcelot sped,
With all Sir Hornbook's train.

They reach'd the tree where Prosody
Was singing in the shade:
Great joy Childe Launcelot had to see,
And hear that lovely maid.

Now, onward as they press'd along,
Did nought their course oppose;
Till full before the martial throng
The Muses' gates arose.

There Etymology they found,
Who scorn'd surrounding fruits;
And ever dug in deepest ground,
For old and mouldy Roots.

Sir Hornbook took Childe Launcelot's hand,
And tears at parting fell:
--"Sir Childe,"--he said,--"with all my band
I bid you here farewell.

"Then wander through these sacred bowers,
Unfearing and alone:
All shrubs are hear, and fruits, and flowers,
To happiest climates known."--

Once more his horn Sir Hornbook blew,
A parting signal shrill:
His merrymen all, so stout and true,
Went marching down the hill.

Childe Launcelot pressed the sacred ground,
With hope's exulting glow;
Some future song perchance may sound
The wondrous thing which there he found,
If you the same would know.

31 Syntax is that part of grammar, which treats of the agreement and construction of words in a sentence.

32 I allude to the poetical fragments with which syntax is illustrated.

"Sir Hornbook" was first published in 1814

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