The Newspaper

by Penina Moise

To a Venetian coin, the first Gazetta For its generic title became debtor

Whither excursive Fancy tends thy Flight?

Like Eastern Caliph masking thee at night,

By Vezier memory attended still,

Thou pertly pryest in each domicil.

Woe! to the Caitiff then who in his cups,

Unconscious with sublimity he sups,

Shall vow in Bacchanalian truth or fun

Thou art not kindred to the glorious sun!

I fear thee not, clandestine ambulator!

Thou most sophistical and specious traitor

To Truth and Reason, those imperial twins

Whose Empire with thy Martyrdom begins.

What is thy drift in brandishing a flag,

Whose motto is a metamorphosed rag!

As by those motley streaks of white and jet,

I trace that aboriginal Gazette,

The British prototype of ’65

From which all modern journals we derive.

At first confined to faction’s revelations,

Mere politics, or plodding speculations.

Now to a semi-cyclopedia risen

Which the assembled arts, delight to dizen.

Its grand mosaic ground work ever graced

With polished gems of miscellaneous taste.

Philosophy his portico regains

In columns where profoundest science reigns.

While in relief a neighbouring sphere discloses

Clio’s with Nature’s kind exotic roses.

A curious melange of mental food

In fragments thus promiscuously strewed;

Rising Aeronauts,and sinking funds,

Fearful phenomena of stars or suns.

Men in the stocks, uneasy as old Kent,

Others appalled by fluctuating rent.

New ministers to preach, and spirit lamps,

Foreign intelligences from Court and Camps

Don-Pedro and a fresh supply of leeches

A ball that blackens, and a wash that bleaches,

Here, Hymen’s herald to the world declares

When love Triumphant at his shrine appears.

There, tenderness bereaved, its tribute brings

And Hope’s crushed odours on Death’s altar flings.

Advertisements of various commodities,

And anecdotes of Irish whims and oddities.

Bills of mortality, and Board of Health,

A fine green turtle – and a miser’s wealth.

The prices current – a cheap hasty pudding,

Detected fallacies – and falcon-hooding,

Arrivals and departures – births and deaths,

A dreadful Storm – and artificial wreaths,

One fugitive escapes the Cotton pod,

In terror of the Supervisor’s rod.

Another dreading critic castigation,

Flies from the fields of rich imagination.

Thus from discordant interests Genius hurled

The elements that form this typic world.

Published by Robin

I'm a retired journalist who still has stories to tell. This seems to be a good place to tell them.

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