A Tale————

‘TWAS where the birch and the sounding thong are plyed,
The noisy domicile of Pedan-pride;
Where Ignorance her darkening vapour throws,
And Cruelty directs the thickening blows;
Upon a time, Sir Abec the great,
In all his pedagogic powers elate,
His awful Chair of state resolves to mount,
And call the trembling Vowels to account.----

First enter’d A; a grave, broad, solemn Wight,
But ah! Deform’d, dishonest to the sight!
His twisted head look’d backward on his way,
And flagrant from the scourge he grunted, AI!

Reluctant, E stalk’d in; with piteous race
The jostling tears ran down his honest face!
That name, that well-worn name, and all his own,
Pale he surrenders at the tyrant’s throne!
The Pedant stifles keen the Roman sound
Not all his mongrel diphthongs can compound;
And next the title following close behind,
He to the nameless, ghastly wretch assign’d.

The cob-webb’d, Gothic dome resounded, Y!
In sullen vengeance, I, disdain’d reply:
The Pedant swung his felon cudgel round,
And knock’d the groaning Vowel to the ground!

In rueful apprehension enter’d O,
The wailing minstrel of despairing woe;
Th’ Inqisitor of Spain the most expert
Might there have learnt new mysteries of his art:
So grim, deform’d, with horrors, entering U,
His dearest friend and brother scarcely knew!

As trembling U stood staring all aghast,
The Pedant in his left hand clutch’d him fast;
In helpless infant’s tears he dipp’d his right,
Baptiz’d him EU, and kick’d him from his sight.