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Men are only boys grown tall;
Is it strange that Willie said,
“Will you trust me, Katie dear?
Close beside the little brook
In the porch she sits, and lo!
ONCE upon a time, in beautiful Dreamland, Queen
Fancy, from her royal “ Castle in the Air,” issued invitations for a magnificent banquet. At her bidding came Puck, the chief of her corps of fairy messengers, and with his usual promptitude declared himself ready to “put a girdle round the earth in forty minutes ” in her service. Forthwith he bade his gnomes and elfins, fays and brownies, prepare their fairy steeds and kelpies, and hasten to summon all heroes or heroines celebrated by harper or minstrel to Fancy's banquet.
Meantime, within the castle all was preparation. The spicy gales of “ Araby the Blest" perfumed the apartments with delicious fragrance. “The Vale of Cashmere” was robbed of its choicest roses and fountains. Mermaids brought "Shells of Ocean” and “Pearls from Omen's green water.” “A Peri” remarked, “I know a bank whereon the wild thyme blows,” where “Gently, gently, sighs the breezes” of “ Love among the Roses," and she immediately received a commission for a large supply. For the refreshment of the guests, nectar and ambrosia, fresh from Olympus, were brought by swift-winged Mercury. Queen Fancy, out of deference to her guests, who were of the race of mortals, had provided a corps of welltrained servitors of the same origin. Among these were the celebrated “Rosa Lee,” “Nelly Bly,” “Susannah” (chiefly remarkable for her penchant for buckwheat cakes) and “Miss Dinah,” who indulged a fondness for “ A little more cider too.” “Topsy” was also included, but she and “Jim Crow” found the temptation to play tricks on “Poor Uncle Ned” irresistible, and were soon sent away in disgrace. A stalwart Irish couple, the “ Widow Machree” and “Paddy O'Rafferty," offered to assist ; but
Proved himede immediated brought
unfortunately their frequent visits to a “ Little Brown Jug” before long rendered them unfit for service. To supply this vacancy, a “Heathen Chinee” was imported by “ Captain Cuttle,” and brought over on the “Ship of State.” He immediately took the cue (queue), and proved himself invaluable.
“When twilight dews were falling fast " the guests began to arrive. First was a gay party from green Erin, as was shown by their proudly“ Wearing of the Green.” Among thein were bold " Rory O’More" and his sweetheart “ Kathleen” on “A low-backed car.” “ Katy Darling” was accompanied by an “Irish Emigrant;" and “Kate Kearney,” from “The banks of Killarvey,” had a devoted escort in the gallant “ Captain Jinks, of the Horse Marines," until he unluckily happened to spy “ Annie at the Gate” of “ The little Church 'round the Corner,” when, with man's usual fickleness, he immediately forsook his fair companion. Soon after,“ Little BoPeep,” who was close by, practicing gymnastics on a “Flying Trapeze,” heard the Captain sentimentally say. ing: “Sweet Spirit, hear my Prayer!" which she probably did, as they were discovered “Kissing through the Bars” at “ Five o'clock in the Morning." Fair“ Lily Dale” now appeared with her friends, “ Bonnie Eloise" and “Rosalie, the Prairie Flower.” This bevy of young ladies was escorted by two gallant sailors, “ Jamie from the stormy sea ” and “ Willie from the dark blue sea,” who had wearied of being “Rocked in the cradle of the deep,” and concluded to try terra firma.
Now the guests were startled by a “Tramp, tramp, tramp," which preceded the entrance of a party of “ Boys in blue,” who had quit for a time “ Tenting on the old camp ground,” especially as “ All's quiet along the Potomac to-night,” and were “ Marching along, glad as birds on the wing," to the tune of the “Battle cry of Freedom.” Immediately afterward, a trio of wild young fellows drove up at a tearing gallop in the “ Deacon's one-hoss Shay," which they had mischievously purloined for an excursion to see the “Baltimore Belles” of “My Maryland.” “John Gilpin” acted as driver, while “Tam O'Shanter” and “Hans Breitman" made up the party. “Old Dan Tucker” and “Old Zip Coon,” two elderly gentlemen from America, tried in vain to quiet these roystering young blades; the only apology they made was, “It's a way we have at old Yale, sir.”
"Villikens and his Dinah” next greeted the hostess with lugubrious countenances ; and immediately after, in cheerful contrast to this doleful pair, came “Johnny Sands,” who was in high glee at the success of his little invention for getting rid of Mrs. Sands. Just here, a “Solitary horseman” arrived, who proved to be “Lord Lovell” on his “milk-white steed.” He had received his invitation while “traveling far countries for to see.” He solemnly presented the hostess with a bouquet composed of “The last Rose of Summer," the “Ivy Green,” and some “Flowers of the Wildwood ;” and then made way for a "Gipsy Countess," who, attended by the “Old Sex. ton," was acting as chaperone to a pair of fair maidens, “Juanita” and “Lorena.” Just behind this party arrived “ Allen Percy,” limping along on “A cork leg," and merrily playing the “Sleighride Polka” on the “Bells of Shannon.” Much amusement was occasioned by the appearance of “Old Dog Tray," who walked solemnly in and took his place with the other celebrities. He shared the caresses of the ladies with “My little Dog Schneider," "Three Blind Mice," "A Bird of the Wil. derness,” and “The Raven.”
The hostess began to feel considerable uneasiness from
the tardiness of “The Scots wha ha'e wi' Wallace bled;" buta“Reliable contraband”arrived in a“Paris balloon," and announced “The Campbells are comin',” and, with the “Scottish Chiefs” and others, were just “Comin' through the Rye,” “ Within a mile of Edinboro' town;" soon “All the blue bonnets were over the border.” A group of the “Blue Bells of Scotland” entered first, with their cavaliers. Among them “Highland Mary," “Roy's Wife of Aldivalloch,” and “Mary of Argyle," were the observed of all observers. “Annie Laurie" compassionately assisted the footsteps of a “Wayworn Traveler," whom she met while “Walking down Broadway,” carrying “Baby mine." The child was crying dismally, “Put me in my little bed,” and “Rock me to sleep, mother.” Not far behind came a “Pilgrim and a stranger," who repeated so often, “I can tarry, I can tarry but a night,” that “Bill Nye” suggested that their hostess did not desire him to tarry longer; “Which the same I am free to maintain," said he. Thereupon the “Pilgrim” subsided into a quiet chat with “Old Father Grimes, that good old man," who was, as usual, attired in an “Old blue coat, all buttoned down before.”
A lively youth near by introduced himself to “Evangeline" by saying, “Hear me, Norma!" "My name is Norval, on the Grampian Hills ;” but “One summer eve” I chanced to stray, and now " I've left my snowclad hills,” and “I'm afloat, I'm afloat,” in “My gumtree canoe," with “Ten little Injuns ;" therefore “Call me pet names, dearest,” and “Life let us cherish,” before “The last link is broken," and we are laid “Under the daisies." Inquiries were made for "Three Fishers," who had not arrived; it appeared that they were last seen at“ Ten o'clock one moonlight night," sitting on a "Lone Rock by the Sea," singing "Shoo Fly;" while “Kathleen