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Title: A Vers de Société Anthology
Author: Various
Language: English
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A VERS DE SOCIÉTÉ ANTHOLOGY



    “_I’M a florist in verse, and what would people say
        If I came to a banquet without my bouquet?_”
                                       OLIVER WENDELL HOLMES.



A Vers de Société Anthology

    Collected by
    Carolyn Wells

    New York
    Charles Scribner’s Sons
    1907



    COPYRIGHT 1907 BY
    CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS

    Published November, 1907

[Illustration]



NOTE


ACKNOWLEDGMENT is hereby gratefully made to the publishers for
permission to use poems by the following authors:

To Messrs. Houghton, Mifflin and Company for poems by Thomas Bailey
Aldrich, Oliver Wendell Holmes, James Russell Lowell, John Greenleaf
Whittier, Bret Harte, John G. Saxe, Norah Perry, Henry Wadsworth
Longfellow, James T. Field, Edith Thomas, Edmund Clarence Stedman and
Charles Henry Webb.

To Messrs. Dodd, Mead and Company for poems by Austin Dobson.

To the Macmillan Company for poems by Lewis Carroll.

To Messrs. D. Appleton and Company for “Song,” by William Cullen Bryant.

To The Century Company for poems by Robert Underwood Johnson and Mary
Mapes Dodge.

To Messrs. Little, Brown and Company for “A Valentine,” by Mrs. Laura
E. Richards, and “Shadows” and “Les Papillottes,” by Gertrude Hall.

To Messrs. G. P. Putnam’s Sons for “The Debutante,” by Guy Wetmore
Carryl.

To The Frederick A. Stokes Company for poems by Frank Dempster Sherman
and Samuel Minturn Peck.

To The Lothrop, Lee and Shepard Company for poems by Sam Walter Foss.

To Messrs. E. H. Bacon and Company for poems by James Jeffrey Roche.



CONTENTS


                                                                    PAGE
  Introduction                                                       xix
  To Celia                              _Ben Jonson_                   3
  Cupid                                 _Ben Jonson_                   4
  Rosalind’s Madrigal                   _Thomas Lodge_                 5
  All Things Except Myself I Know       _François Villon_              6
  Cupid and Campaspe                    _John Lilly_                   8
  A Ditty                               _Sir Philip Sydney_            8
  Song from “Twelfth Night”             _William Shakespeare_          9
  Sigh No More (from “Much Ado About
      Nothing”)                         _William Shakespeare_          9
  Phillida and Corydon                  _Nicholas Breton_             10
  Cherry-Ripe                           _Richard Allison_             11
  Send Back My Long-Stray’d Eyes to Me  _John Donne_                  12
  Pack Clouds Away                      _Thomas Heywood_              13
  Shall I, Wasting in Despair           _George Wither_               14
  To the Virgins to Make Much of Time   _Robert Herrick_              15
  The Bracelet                          _Robert Herrick_              16
  An Old Rhyme                          _Anonymous_                   17
  Love Me Not for Comely Grace          _Anonymous_                   17
  On a Girdle                           _Edmund Waller_               18
  To My Love                            _Sir John Suckling_           18
  To Althea (From Prison)               _Richard Lovelace_            19
  Song                                  _Sir Charles Sedley_          21
  The Despairing Lover                  _William Walsh_               22
  Cupid Mistaken                        _Matthew Prior_               23
  The Contrast                          _Charles Morris_              24
  Oh, Tell Me How to Woo Thee           _Robert Graham_               27
  Song from “The Duenna”                _Richard Brinsley Sheridan_   28
  The Races                             _George Ellis_                29
  To Lady Anne Hamilton                 _Hon. William R. Spencer_     32
  To Mrs. Leigh Upon Her Wedding Day    _George Canning_              33
  Names                                 _Samuel T. Coleridge_         34
  The Exchange                          _Samuel T. Coleridge_         34
  Defiance                              _Walter Savage Landor_        35
  Her Lips                              _Walter Savage Landor_        35
  Commination                           _Walter Savage Landor_        36
  Margaret and Dora                     _Thomas Campbell_             36
  A Certain Young Lady                  _Washington Irving_           37
  Song                                  _John Shaw_                   38
  The Time I’ve Lost in Wooing          _Thomas Moore_                39
  When I Loved You                      _Thomas Moore_                40
  Reason, Folly and Beauty              _Thomas Moore_                41
  Tiresome Spring!                      _Béranger_                    42
  Rosette                               _Béranger_                    43
  She Is So Pretty                      _Béranger_                    44
  Rondeau                               _Leigh Hunt_                  45
  Stolen Fruit                          _Leigh Hunt_                  45
  Love and Age                          _Thomas L. Peacock_           46
  Clubs                                 _Theodore Hook_               48
  To Anne                               _William Maxwell_             51
  Song                                  _William Cullen Bryant_       51
  What Is London’s Last New Lion?       _Thomas Haynes Bayly_         53
  I’d Be a Butterfly                    _Thomas Haynes Bayly_         54
  I Must Come Out Next Spring           _Thomas Haynes Bayly_         55
  Why Don’t the Men Propose?            _Thomas Haynes Bayly_         57
  Ask and Have                          _Samuel Lover_                59
  Lines in a Young Lady’s Album         _Thomas Hood_                 60
  The Time of Roses                     _Thomas Hood_                 62
  Love                                  _Thomas Hood_                 63
  To Helen                              _Winthrop Mackworth Praed_    64
  The Belle of the Ball-Room            _Winthrop Mackworth Praed_    64
  Amy’s Cruelty                         _Elizabeth Barrett Browning_  68
  Beware!                               _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_  70
  Love in a Cottage                     _Nathaniel Parker Willis_     71
  Because                               _Edward Fitzgerald_           73
  Lilian                                _Alfred Tennyson_             75
  The Henchman                          _John Greenleaf Whittier_     76
  Dorothy Q. A Family Portrait          _Oliver Wendell Holmes_       78
  A Reminiscence                        _James Freeman Clarke_        81
  The Age of Wisdom                     _William Makepeace Thackeray_ 82
  The Ballad of Bouillabaisse           _William Makepeace Thackeray_ 83
  An Invitation                         _Théophile Gautier_           86
  Fanny; or, The Beauty and the Bee     _Charles Mackay_              88
  Garden Fancies    The Flower’s Name   _Robert Browning_             89
  A Poem of Every Day Life              _Albert Riddle_               91
  Love Disposed Of                      _Robert Traill Spence Lowell_ 93
  Mabel, in New Hampshire               _James Thomas Fields_         94
  The Coquette      A Portrait          _John Godfrey Saxe_           96
  Justine, You Love Me Not!             _John Godfrey Saxe_           98
  Sing Heigh-Ho!                        _Charles Kingsley_            99
  Snowdrop                              _William Wetmore Story_      100
  The Protest.                          _James Russell Lowell_       101
  Scherzo                               _James Russell Lowell_       101
  The Handsomest Man in the Room        _William Macquorn Rankine_   102
  The Lawyer’s Invocation to Spring     _Henry Howard Brownell_      104
  A Terrible Infant                     _Frederick Locker-Lampson_   105
  Loulou and Her Cat                    _Frederick Locker-Lampson_   106
  Piccadilly                            _Frederick Locker-Lampson_   107
  A Word that Makes Us Linger           _Frederick Locker-Lampson_   109
  My Mistress’s Boots                   _Frederick Locker-Lampson_   110
  A Nice Correspondent!                 _Frederick Locker-Lampson_   112
  There’s a Time to Be Jolly            _Charles Godfrey Leland_     114
  I Remember, I Remember                _Phoebe Cary_                115
  The Flower of Love Lies Bleeding      _Richard Henry Stoddard_     116
  The Gold Room. An Idyl                _Bayard Taylor_              118
  Comfort                               _Mortimer Collins_           119
  A Summer Song                         _Mortimer Collins_           120
  My Aunt’s Spectre                     _Mortimer Collins_           121
  A Conceit                             _Mortimer Collins_           122
  Martial in London                     _Mortimer Collins_           123
  The Best of the Ball                  _William Sawyer_             123
  The Ballad of Dead Ladies
      (Translation from François
      Villon, 1450)                     _Dante Gabriel Rossetti_     125
  Feminine Arithmetic                   _Charles Graham Halpine_     127
  A Trifle                              _Henry Timrod_               128
  Flight                                _Charles S. Calverley_       129
  Love                                  _Charles S. Calverley_       132
  Since We Parted                       _Owen Meredith_              134
  A Kiss—By Mistake                     _Joel Benton_                134
  A Game of Fives                       _Lewis Carroll_              135
  A Valentine                           _Lewis Carroll_              137
  The Wedding Day                       _Edmund Clarence Stedman_    139
  Edged Tools                           _Edmund Clarence Stedman_    140
  Witchcraft                            _Edmund Clarence Stedman_    142
  Toujours Amour                        _Edmund Clarence Stedman_    143
  Dictum Sapienti                       _Charles Henry Webb_         144
  Undowered                             _Harriet McEwen Kimball_     145
  The Love-Knot                         _Nora Perry_                 146
  Vers de Société                       _H. D. Traill_               147
  A Letter of Advice                    _Thomas Hood, Jr._           149
  At the Lattice                        _Alfred Austin_              151
  French with a Master                  _Theodore Tilton_            152
  On an Intaglio Head of Minerva        _Thomas Bailey Aldrich_      154
  The Lunch                             _Thomas Bailey Aldrich_      155
  The Witch in the Glass                _Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt_   156
  To Phoebe                             _William Schwenck Gilbert_   156
  My Love and My Heart                  _Henry S. Leigh_             157
  To a Country Cousin                   _Henry S. Leigh_             158
  The Family Fool                       _William Schwenck Gilbert_   160
  An Interlude                          _Algernon Charles Swinburne_ 162
  A Match                               _Algernon Charles Swinburne_ 165
  Caprice                               _William Dean Howells_       167
  The Minuet                            _Mary Mapes Dodge_           168
  A Street Sketch                       _J. Ashby-Sterry_            170
  Saint May: A City Lyric               _J. Ashby-Sterry_            171
  Pet’s Punishment                      _J. Ashby-Sterry_            173
  Her Letter                            _Francis Bret Harte_         174
  Avice                                 _Austin Dobson_              177
  A Song of the Four Seasons            _Austin Dobson_              179
  In Town                               _Austin Dobson_              181
  When I Saw You Last, Rose             _Austin Dobson_              183
  To “Lydia Languish”                   _Austin Dobson_              184
  The Old Sedan Chair                   _Austin Dobson_              186
  “Le Roman de la Rose”                 _Austin Dobson_              188
  Ninety-nine in the Shade              _Rossiter Johnson_           190
  Brighton Pier                         _Clement Scott_              191
  A Contradiction                       _Clement Scott_              192
  Rondel                                _John Payne_                 194
  White, Pillared Neck                  _Richard Watson Gilder_      194
  Janet                                 _Richard Watson Gilder_      195
  For a Fan                             _Richard Watson Gilder_      196
  Ballade of Summer                     _Andrew Lang_                196
  Colinette                             _Andrew Lang_                198
  Ballade of Dead Ladies (After
      Villon)                           _Andrew Lang_                199
  Il Bacio                             _Paul Verlaine_               200
  Sur l’Herbe                          _Paul Verlaine_               201
  The Romance of a Glove               _H. Savile Clarke_            202
  If                                   _James Jeffrey Roche_         203
  “Don’t”                              _James Jeffrey Roche_         204
  On Rereading Télémaque               _James Jeffrey Roche_         205
  Valentine                            _James Jeffrey Roche_         206
  Biftek aux Champignons               _Henry Augustin Beers_        206
  An Explanation                       _Walter Learned_              209
  Marjorie’s Kisses                    _Walter Learned_              209
  Miss Nancy’s Gown                    _Zitella Cocke_               210
  “Le Dernier Jour d’un Condamné”      _George A. Baker_             212
  My Wooing                            _Edwin Hamilton_              213
  Wintry Paris                         _Anonymous_                   215
  The Rose                             _Anonymous_                   216
  Indecision                           _Anonymous_                   217
  Logic                                _Anonymous_                   218
  Conversational                       _Anonymous_                   219
  If You Want a Kiss, Why, Take It     _Anonymous_                   220
  Educational Courtship                _Anonymous_                   221
  Kissing’s No Sin                     _Anonymous_                   223
  The Best Thing in the World          _Anonymous_                   223
  Her Neighbours                       _Anonymous_                   224
  To Celia                             _E. H. Lacon Watson_          225
  In For It                            _Somerville Gibney_           225
  Kirtle Red                           _W. H. Bellamy_               227
  A Bagatelle                          _James G. Burnett_            228
  A Love Test                          _Carl Herlozssohn_            229
  The Mistaken Moth                    _Translated from Wegener_     229
  My Pretty Neighbor                   _Translated from Wegener_     230
  If                                   _H. C. Dodge_                 231
  To Mistress Pyrrha                   _Eugene Field_                232
  The Tea-Gown                         _Eugene Field_                232
  A Paraphrase                         _Eugene Field_                234
  A Leap-Year Episode                  _Eugene Field_                236
  Ballade of Ladies’ Names             _W. E. Henley_                236
  Ballade of June                      _W. E. Henley_                237
  Ballade Made in the Hot Weather      _W. E. Henley_                238
  A Rose                               _Arlo Bates_                  240
  To Minnie (With a Hand Glass)        _Robert Louis Stevenson_      241
  An American Girl                     _Brander Matthews_            241
  Larks and Nightingales               _Nathan Haskell Dole_         242
  Caeli                                _Francis William Bourdillon_  244
  Lady Mine                            _Herbert Edwin Clarke_        244
  The Ripest Peach                     _James Whitcomb Riley_        245
  “I Journeyed South to Meet the
      Spring”                          _Robert Underwood Johnson_    246
  Before the Blossom                   _Robert Underwood Johnson_    246
  Love in the Calendar                 _Robert Underwood Johnson_    247
  My Grandmother’s Turkey-Tail Fan     _Samuel Minturn Peck_         249
  Valentine                            _Edith Matilda Thomas_        250
  A Valentine                          _Laura Elizabeth Richards_    251
  On a Hymn Book                       _W. J. Henderson_             252
  The Ballade of the Summer-Boarder    _H. C. Bunner_                254
  Interesting                          _H. C. Bunner_                256
  The Way to Arcady                    _H. C. Bunner_                257
  Da Capo                              _H. C. Bunner_                260
  The Maid of Murray Hill              _H. C. Bunner_                262
  Kitty’s Summering                    _H. C. Bunner_                264
  Forfeits                             _H. C. Bunner_                265
  When Will Love Come?                 _Pakenham Beatty_             266
  Heliotrope                           _Harry Thurston Peck_         266
  Borderland                           _Herman Knickerbocker Vielé_  269
  Epithalamium                         _E. S. Martin_                270
  Infirm                               _E. S. Martin_                273
  Words, Words, Words                  _Margaret Deland_             273
  The Bluebell                         _Margaret Deland_             274
  A Modern Martyrdom                   _Sam Walter Foss_             275
  A Corsage Bouquet                    _Charles Henry Lüders_        277
  The Ballad of Cassandra Brown        _Helen Gray Cone_             278
  From Three Fly Leaves                _J. K. Stephen_               280
  Question and Answer                  _J. K. Stephen_               281
  A Rhyme for Priscilla                _Frank Dempster Sherman_      283
  The Old Collector                    _Beatrice Hanscom_            285
  The Last Ditch                       _E. Nesbit_                   288
  Be Ye in Love with April-Tide        _Clinton Scollard_            289
  Strawberries                         _Clinton Scollard_            290
  Applied Astronomy                    _Esther B. Tiffany_           291
  Courtship                            _Frederick Langbridge_        292
  Eyes of Black and Eyes of Blue
      (from the Viceroy)               _Harry B. Smith_              293
  Her Faults (from The Mandarin)       _Harry B. Smith_              295
  A Modern Dialogue                    _Oliver Herford_              296
  The Poet’s Proposal                  _Oliver Herford_              299
  Truth                                _Oliver Herford_              299
  The Bachelor Girl                    _Oliver Herford_              300
  The Sea                              _Eva L. Ogden_                301
  In Philistia                         _Bliss Carman_                302
  Between the Showers                  _Amy Levy_                    304
  Grace’s Choice                       _Charles Battell Loomis_      305
  To Violet. With a Bunch of
      Namesakes                        _Robert Cameron Rogers_       306
  Her Bonnet                           _Mary E. Wilkins_             307
  A Song                               _Norman R. Gale_              308
  Les Papillottes                      _Gertrude Hall_               309
  Upon Graciosa, Walking and Talking   _A. T. Quiller-Couch_         311
  Her Valentine                        _Richard Hovey_               311
  Story of the Gate                    _Harrison Robertson_          314
  Two Triolets                         _Harrison Robertson_          316
  A Ballade of Old Sweethearts         _Richard Le Gallienne_        317
  Amour de Voyage                      _Rudyard Kipling_             318
  The Lover’s Litany                   _Rudyard Kipling_             319
  A Lenten Call                        _Hilda Johnson Wise_          321
  Helen’s Face a Book                  _Gelett Burgess_              322
  The Butterfly’s Madrigal             _Gelett Burgess_              323
  Ballade of the Devil-May-Care        _Gelett Burgess_              323
  Ballade of Dreams Transposed         _Gelett Burgess_              325
  Villanelle of His Lady’s Treasures   _Ernest Dowson_               326
  L’Envoi                              _E. B. Reed_                  327
  A Merry, Blue-Eyed Laddie            _Juliet Wilbur Tompkins_      328
  Dance Time                           _Josephine Preston Peabody
                                            Marks_                   329
  How Like a Woman                     _Caroline and Alice Duer_     330
  A Vignette                           _Caroline Duer_               331

  INDEX OF TITLES                                                    335

  INDEX OF AUTHORS                                                   347



INTRODUCTION


ALL collectors of _Vers de Société_ agree that there is no possibility
of an English equivalent for the French term. None exists; and the
attempts to coin one have invariably resulted in failure.

Society Verse, Familiar Verse and Occasional Verse are all wide of the
mark in one direction or another; and perhaps, after all, the simple
term Light Verse strikes nearest home.

One might suggest Gentle Verse, but it would be with the restricted
meaning of the adjective that is applied to the courteous and
well-bred; the innately fine, polished by the experience and
sophistication of truly good society.

Gentlefolk are never excessive. Their enthusiasms are modified, their
emotions are restrained, their humor is delicate. As a result of wise
and intelligent culture, their tastes are refined, their fashions
correct. They breathe the air of polite worldly wisdom, which endows
them with a gracious ease, and removes all trace of self-consciousness.

D’Israeli says, “Genius is not always sufficient to impart that grace
of amenity which seems peculiar to those who are accustomed to elegant
society.”

Gentle Verse then, would imply lines written of the gentlefolk, for the
gentlefolk, and by gentlefolk.

Society Verse is an inadequate term, because Society has come to
include both the gentle folk and the others.

Familiar Verse, though staunchly defended by one of our foremost men
of letters, allows a latitude of informality that is too liberal for
a precise equivalent. Occasional Verse is ambiguous, and Easy Verse,
absurd.

_Lyra Elegantiarum_ is an adequate translation, but not into English.
And none of the graceful titles yet chosen by our modern poets from
“Brightsome Balladry” to “_Lingerie de Poesie_” has as yet fulfilled
all requirements.

       *       *       *       *       *

Granting then that there is no perfect English translation of the
French phrase, and accepting _Vers de Société_ as our field, we are
again confronted by great difficulties and embarrassments in defining
its boundaries.

One of the greatest masters of the art, Mr. Austin Dobson, gives us
twelve definite rules for our guidance; but of these, only three refer
to the matter of the poems, the others being advice as to manner.

Though manner is equally important, yet the choice of matter for _Vers
de Société_ depends upon certain definite characteristics.

But to limit these characteristics is to ask the question, “who shall
decide when doctors disagree?” The scholarly gentlemen who have devoted
special attention to the matter, advance conflicting opinions.

Frederick Locker-Lampson, doubtless the greatest master of the
art, both in a critical and creative way, allows wide latitude of
discretion. But so infallible is his individual judgment and so
unerring his taste, that it is with him, a case of “Know the Rules, and
when to break them.”

He asserts that “_Vers de Société_ by no means need be confined to
topics of conventional life.”

Contradicting this, is the word of W. Davenport Adams, whose collection
of “Songs of Society; from ANNE to VICTORIA,” admirably supplements Mr.
Locker-Lampson’s earlier collection.

Mr. Adams tells us that “_Vers de Société_ should be applied to the
poetry of fashionable life alone; should be limited to the doings and
sayings of the world of fashion, and should deal exclusively with such
things as routs and balls, and dinners and receptions.”

       *       *       *       *       *

Our own American collector, Mr. Brander Matthews, inclines to Mr.
Locker-Lampson’s views, and therefore prefers the term Familiar Verse,
as allowing excursions outside of Vanity Fair; while Mr. Edmund
Clarence Stedman again narrows the field by declaring in favor of “the
more select order of society verse,” which he designates “Patrician
Rhymes.”

Indeed, authorities on the subject of _Vers de Société_ seem somewhat
in the position of the charming philosopher of _Wonderland_ fame:

“‘When _I_ use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said, in rather a scornful tone,
‘it means just what I choose it to mean—neither more nor less.’

“‘The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you _can_ make words mean so
many different things.’

“‘The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘Which is to be the
master—that’s all.’”

       *       *       *       *       *

But though there is variance of opinion concerning the limits of the
field, there is harmony of conviction regarding the intrinsic qualities
of _Vers de Société_.

Mr. Locker-Lampson directs us that it should be “short, graceful,
refined, and fanciful, not seldom distinguished by chastened sentiment,
and often playful. The tone should not be pitched high; it should be
terse and idiomatic, and rather in the conversational key; the rhythm
should be crisp and sparkling, and the rhyme frequent and never forced.
The entire poem should be marked by tasteful moderation, high finish
and completeness; for subordination to the rules of composition, and
perfection of execution are of the utmost importance.

“The qualities of brevity and buoyancy are absolutely essential.
The poem may be tinctured with a well-bred philosophy, it may be
whimsically sad, it may be gay and gallant, it may be playfully
malicious or tenderly ironical, it may display lively banter, and it
may be satirically facetious; it may even, considering it merely as a
work of art, be pagan in its philosophy or trifling in its tone, but it
must never be flat, or ponderous, or commonplace.”

The remarks of Mr. W. Davenport Adams are much in the same line.
He says, “There should be little or no enthusiasm: the Muse should
not be over-earnest, nor need it by any means be over-flippant. It
is essential to ‘Society verse’ that it should have the tincture of
good-breeding;—that if it is lively, it should be so without being
vulgar; and that if it is tender it should be so without being
maudlin. Its great distinction should be ease—the entire absence
of apparent effort—the presence of that playful spontaneity which
proclaims the master.”

Professor Brander Matthews, in his able essay on the subject, agrees
in general to all these stipulations, and observes: “No doubt, Social
verse should have polish, and finish, and the well-bred ease of the
man of the world; but it ought also to carry, at least a suggestion
of the more serious aspects of life. It should not be frothily
frivolous or coldly cynical, any more than it should be broadly comic
or boisterously funny. It is at liberty to hint at hidden tears, even
when it seems to be wreathed in smiles. It has no right to parade
mere cleverness; and it must shun all affectation as it must avoid
all self-consciousness. It should appear to possess a colloquial
carelessness which is ever shrinking from the commonplace and which
has succeeded in concealing every trace of that labor of the literary
artist by which alone it has attained their seemingly spontaneous
perfection.... It must eschew not merely coarseness or vulgarity, but
even free and hearty laughter; and it must refrain from dealing not
only with the soul-plumbing abysses of the tragic, but even with the
ground-swell of any sweeping emotion. It must keep on the crest of the
wave, mid-way between the utter triviality of the murmuring shadows and
the silent profundity of the depths that are dumb.”

Mr. Edmund Clarence Stedman’s views coincide with those above quoted,
and are thus briefly summed up: “In fine, the true kind is marked by
humor, by spontaneity, joined with extreme elegance of finish, by the
quality we call breeding,—above all, by lightness of touch.”

       *       *       *       *       *

These same authorities agree that not every poet may write _Vers de
Société_. To quote Mr. Locker-Lampson: “The writer of Occasional verse,
in order to be genuinely successful, must not only be something of a
poet, but he must also be a man of the world, in the liberal sense of
the expression; he must have associated throughout his life with the
refined and cultivated members of his species, not merely as an idle
bystander, but as a busy actor in the throng.”

Mr. Adams corroborates this by saying: “Although a clever literary
artist may so far throw himself into the position of a man of society
as to be able to write very agreeable Society verse, yet few can hope
to write the best and most genuine _Vers de Société_ who are not, or
have not at one time been, in some measure at any rate, inhabitants of
‘Society.’”

       *       *       *       *       *

As an instance, however, of the disagreement among the doctors, the
following may be noted:

Mortimer Collins, himself a writer of _Vers de Société_, declared that
the lines by Ben Jonson, beginning,

    “Follow a shadow, it still flies you;”

is the most perfect bit of society verse written in our language. And
speaking of the same poem, Mr. W. Davenport Adams says, “I cannot bring
myself to look upon Ben Jonson as a ‘society poet,’ or upon the verses
in question as a ‘society poem’ in the proper sense of the term—in the
sense at least, in which I understand them.”

So we see, that in a degree, at least, _Vers de Société_ is, like
Beauty, in the eye of the beholder.

But a consensus of opinion seems to prove that the keynote of _Vers de
Société_ is lightness, both of theme and treatment. Yet though light,
it must not be trashy. It is the lightness of beaten gold-leaf, not the
lightness of chaff. It is valuable, not worthless.

The spirit of the work depends on an instant perception and a fine
appreciation of values, seen through the medium of a whimsical
kindliness.

Let this be expressed with perfect taste and skill, and with a courtly
sense of humor, and the result may be classed among those immortal
ephemeræ which we call _Vers de Société_.



A VERS DE SOCIÉTÉ ANTHOLOGY



_A Vers de Société Anthology_



TO CELIA


    DRINK to me only with thine eyes,
      And I will pledge with mine;
    Or leave a kiss but in the cup,
      And I’ll not ask for wine.

    The thirst, that from the soul doth rise,
      Doth ask a drink divine;
    But might I of Jove’s nectar sip,
      I would not change for thine.

    I sent thee, late, a rosy wreath,
      Not so much honoring thee,
    As giving it a hope that there
      It could not withered be.

    But thou thereon didst only breathe
      And sent’st it back to me;
    Since when it grows, and smells, I swear,
      Not of itself, but thee.
                      _Ben Jonson._



CUPID


    BEAUTIES, have you seen this toy,
    Called love, a little boy,
    Almost naked, wanton, blind,
    Cruel now, and then as kind?
    If he be amongst ye, say!
    He is Venus’ runaway.

    He hath of marks about him plenty;
    Ye shall know him among twenty;
    All his body is a fire,
    And his breath a flame entire,
    That, being shot like lightning in,
    Wounds the heart, but not the skin.

    He doth bear a golden bow,
    And a quiver, hanging low,
    Full of arrows, that outbrave
    Dian’s shafts, where, if he have
    Any head more sharp than other,
    With that first he strikes his mother.

    Trust him not: his words, though sweet,
    Seldom with his heart do meet;
    All his practice is deceit,
    Every gift is but a bait;
    Not a kiss but poison bears,
    And most treason in his tears.

    If by these ye please to know him,
    Beauties, be not nice, but show him,
    Though ye had a will to hide him.
    Now, we hope, ye’ll not abide him,
    Since ye hear his falser play,
    And that he’s Venus’ runaway.
                    _Ben Jonson._



ROSALIND’S MADRIGAL


    LOVE in my bosom like a bee
      Doth suck his sweet:
    Now with his wings he plays with me,
      Now with his feet.
    Within mine eyes he makes his nest,
    His bed amidst my tender breast:
    My kisses are his daily feast,
    And yet he robs me of my rest.
      Ah, wanton, will ye?

    And if I sleep, then percheth he
      With pretty flight,
    And makes his pillow of my knee
      The live-long night.
    Strike I my lute, he tunes the string,
    He music plays if so I sing,
    He lends me every lovely thing:
    Yet cruel he my heart doth sting:
      Whist, wanton, still ye!

    Else I with roses every day
      Will whip you hence:
    And bind you, when you long to play,
      For your offence.
    I’ll shut mine eyes to keep you in,
    I’ll make you fast it for your sin,
    I’ll count your power not worth a pin;
    Alas, what hereby shall I win,
      If he gainsay me?

    What if I beat the wanton boy
      With many a rod?
    He will repay me with annoy,
      Because a god.
    Then sit thou safely on my knee,
    And let thy bower my bosom be;
    Lurk in my eyes I like of thee:
    O, Cupid so thou pity me,
      Spare not, but play thee.
                     _Thomas Lodge._



ALL THINGS EXCEPT MYSELF I KNOW


    I KNOW when milk does flies contain;
      I know men by their bravery;
    I know fair days from storm and rain;
      And what fruit apple-trees supply;
      And from their gums the trees descry;
    I know when all things smoothly flow;
      I know who toil or idle lie;
    All things except myself I know.

    I know the doublet by the grain;
      The monk beneath the hood can spy;
    Master from man can ascertain;
      I know the nun’s veiled modesty;
      I know when sportsmen fables ply;
    Know fools who scream and dainties stow;
      Wine from the butt I certify;
    All things except myself I know.

    Know horse from mule by tail and mane;
      I know their worth or high or low;
    Bell, Beatrice, I know the twain;
      I know each chance of cards and die;
      I know what visions prophesy,
    Bohemian heresies, I trow;
      I know men of each quality;
    All things except myself I know.


ENVOY

    Prince, I know all things ’neath the sky,
      Pale cheeks from those of rosy glow;
    I know death whence can no man fly;
      All things except myself I know.
                      _François Villon._



CUPID AND CAMPASPE


    CUPID and my Campaspe played
    At cards for kisses; Cupid paid.
    He stakes his quiver, bow, and arrows,
    His mother’s doves and team of sparrows;
    Loses them too; then down he throws
    The coral of his lip, the rose
    Growing on his cheek, but none knows how;
    With these the crystal of his brow,
    And then the dimple of his chin:—
    All these did my Campaspe win.
    At last he set her both his eyes;
    She won, and Cupid blind did rise.
    O Love! has she done this to thee?
    What shall, alas, become of me!
                      _John Lilly._



A DITTY


    MY true love hath my heart, and I have his,
      By just exchange one to the other given:
    I hold his dear, and mine he cannot miss,
      There never was a better bargain driven:
        My true love hath my heart, and I have his.

    His heart in me keeps him and me in one,
      My heart in him his thoughts and senses guides:
    He loves my heart, for once it was his own,
      I cherish his because in me it bides:
        My true love hath my heart, and I have his.
                                    _Sir Philip Sidney._



SONG FROM “TWELFTH NIGHT”


    O MISTRESS mine! where are you roaming?
    O! stay and hear; your true love’s coming,
      That can sing both high and low:
    Trip no further, pretty sweeting;
    Journeys end in lovers’ meeting,
      Every wise man’s son doth know.

    What is love? ’tis not hereafter:
    Present mirth hath present laughter;
      What’s to come is still unsure:
    In delay there lies no plenty;
    Then come kiss me, sweet and twenty,
      Youth’s a stuff will not endure.
                      _William Shakespeare._



SIGH NO MORE

(From “_Much Ado About Nothing_”)


    SIGH no more, ladies, sigh no more,
      Men were deceivers ever;
    One foot in sea, and one on shore,
      To one thing constant never;
        Then sigh not so,
        But let them go,
      And be you blithe and bonny;
    Converting all your sounds of woe
      Into hey nonny, nonny.

    Sing no more ditties, sing no more,
      Of dumps so dull and heavy;
    The fraud of men was ever so,
      Since summer first was leavy:
        Then sigh not so,
        But let them go,
      And be you blithe and bonny;
    Converting all your sounds of woe
      Into hey nonny, nonny.
                    _William Shakespeare._



PHILLIDA AND CORYDON


    IN the merry month of May,
    In a morn by break of day,
    With a troop of damsels playing
    Forth I rode, forsooth, a-maying,
    When anon by a woodside,
    Where as May was in his pride,
    I espied, all alone,
    Phillida and Corydon.

    Much ado there was, God wot!
    He would love, and she would not:
    She said, never man was true:
    He says, none was false to you.
    He said, he had loved her long:
    She says, Love should have no wrong.

    Corydon would kiss her then,
    She says, maids must kiss no men,
    Till they do for good and all.
    Then she made the shepherd call
    All the heavens to witness, truth
    Never loved a truer youth.

    Thus, with many a pretty oath,
    Yea, and nay, and faith and troth!—
    Such as silly shepherds use
    When they will not love abuse;
    Love, which had been long deluded,
    Was with kisses sweet concluded:
    And Phillida, with garlands gay,
    Was made the lady of the May.
                      _Nicholas Breton._



CHERRY-RIPE


    THERE is a garden in her face
      Where roses and white lilies blow;
    A heavenly paradise is that place,
      Wherein all pleasant fruits do grow;
    There cherries grow that none may buy,
    Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

    Those cherries fairly do enclose
      Of Orient pearl a double row,
    Which when her lovely laughter shows,
      They look like rose-buds fill’d with snow;
    Yet them no peer or prince may buy,
    Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry.

    Her eyes like angels watch them still;
      Her brows like bended bows do stand,
    Threat’ning with piercing frowns to kill
      All that approach with eye or hand
    These sacred cherries to come nigh,—
    Till cherry-ripe themselves do cry!
                     _Richard Allison._



SEND BACK MY LONG-STRAY’D EYES TO ME


    SEND back my long-stray’d eyes to me,
    Which, O! too long have dwelt on thee:
    But if from you they’ve learnt such ill,
      To sweetly smile,
      And then beguile,
    Keep the deceivers, keep them still.

    Send home my harmless heart again,
    Which no unworthy thought could stain;
    But if it has been taught by thine
      To forfeit both
      Its word and oath,
    Keep it, for then ’tis none of mine.

    Yet send me back my heart and eyes,
    For I’ll know all thy falsities;
    That I one day may laugh, when thou
      Shalt grieve and mourn—
      Of one the scorn,
    Who proves as false as thou art now.
                      _John Donne._



PACK CLOUDS AWAY


    PACK clouds away, and welcome day,
      With night we banish sorrow:
    Sweet air, blow soft, mount, lark, aloft,
      To give my love good-morrow.
    Wings from the wind to please her mind,
      Notes from the lark I’ll borrow;
    Bird, prune thy wing! nightingale sing!
      To give my love good-morrow,
        To give my love good-morrow,
        Notes from them all I’ll borrow.

    Wake from thy nest, robin-redbreast!
      Sing, birds, in every furrow,
    And from each bill let music shrill
      Give my fair love good-morrow!
    Blackbird and thrush, in every bush,
      Stare, linnet, and cock-sparrow,
    You pretty elves, amongst yourselves,
      Sing my fair love good-morrow.
        To give my love good-morrow,
        Sing, birds, in every furrow.
                    _Thomas Heywood._



SHALL I, WASTING IN DESPAIR


    SHALL I, wasting in despair,
    Die because a woman’s fair?
    Or make pale my cheek with care,
    ’Cause another’s rosy are?
    Be she fairer than the day,
    Or the flowery meads in May,
      If she be not so to me,
      What care I how fair she be!

    Should my foolish heart be pined
    ’Cause I see a woman kind?
    Or a well disposèd nature
    Joinèd with a lovely feature?
    Be she meeker, kinder, than
    Turtle-dove or pelican,
      If she be not so to me,
      What care I how kind she be!

    Shall a woman’s virtues move
    Me to perish for her love?
    Or, her merit’s value known,
    Make me quite forget my own?
    Be sure with that goodness blest
    Which may gain her name of best,
      If she seem not such to me,
      What care I how good she be!

    ’Cause her fortune seems too high,
    Shall I play the fool and die?
    Those that bear a noble mind,
    Where they want of richness find,
    Think what with them they would do
    Who, without them, dare to woo—
      And, unless that mind I see,
      What care I how great she be!

    Great, or good, or kind, or fair,
    I will ne’er the more despair:
    If she love me, this believe,
    I will die ere she shall grieve:
    If she slight me when I woo,
    I can scorn and let her go:
      For, if she be not for me,
      What care I for whom she be!
                    _George Wither._



TO THE VIRGINS TO MAKE MUCH OF TIME


    GATHER ye rose-buds while ye may,
      Old Time is still a-flying;
    And this same flower that smiles to-day,
      To-morrow will be dying.

    The glorious lamp of heaven, the Sun,
      The higher he’s a getting,
    The sooner will his race be run,
      And nearer he’s to setting.

    That age is best, which is the first,
      When youth and blood are warmer;
    But being spent, the worse, and worst
      Times still succeed the former.

    Then be not coy, but use your time,
      And while you may, go marry:
    For having lost but once your prime,
      You may forever tarry.
                      _Robert Herrick._



THE BRACELET


    WHEN I tie about thy wrist,
    Julia, this my silken twist,
    For what other reason is’t

    But to show thee how, in part,
    Thou my pretty captive art?
    —But thy bond-slave is my heart.

    ’Tis but silk that bindeth thee,
    Snap the thread, and thou art free;
    But ’tis otherwise with me:

    I am bound, and fast bound, so
    That from thee I cannot go:
    If I could I would not so!
                    _Robert Herrick._



AN OLD RHYME


    I DARE not ask a kisse,
      I dare not beg a smile,
    Lest having that or this,
      I might grow proud the while.
    No, no, the utmost share
      Of my desire shall be
    Only to kisse the aire
      That lately kissed thee.
                      _Anonymous._



LOVE ME NOT FOR COMELY GRACE


    LOVE me not for comely grace,
      For my pleasing eye or face,
        Nor for any outward part,
    No, nor for my constant heart;
      For those may fail or turn to ill,
        So thou and I shall sever:
    Keep therefore a true woman’s eye,
    And love me still, but know not why.
      So hast thou the same reason still
        To dote upon me ever.
                      _Anonymous._



ON A GIRDLE


    THAT which her slender waist confined,
    Shall now my joyful temples bind;
    No monarch but would give his crown
    His arms might do what this has done.

    It was my Heaven’s extremest sphere,
    The pale which held that lovely dear.
    My joy, my grief, my hope, my love
    Did all within this circle move!

    A narrow compass! and yet there
    Dwelt all that’s good, and all that’s fair;
    Give me but what this riband bound,
    Take all the rest the sun goes round.
                      _Edmund Waller._



TO MY LOVE


    I PR’YTHEE send me back my heart,
      Since I can not have thine;
    For if from yours you will not part,
      Why then should’st thou have mine?

    Yet now I think on’t, let it lie;
      To find it, were in vain:
    For thou’st a thief in either eye
      Would steal it back again.

    Why should two hearts in one breast lie,
      And yet not lodge together?
    O love! where is thy sympathy,
      If thus our breasts you sever?

    But love is such a mystery
      I can not find it out;
    For when I think I’m best resolved,
      I then am in most doubt.

    Then farewell care, and farewell woe,
      I will no longer pine;
    For I’ll believe I have her heart,
      As much as she has mine.
                    _Sir John Suckling._



TO ALTHEA (FROM PRISON)


    WHEN Love with unconfined wings
      Hovers within my gates,
    And my divine Althea brings
      To whisper at the grates;
    When I lie tangled in her hair,
      And fettered to her eye,
    The birds that wanton in the air
      Know no such liberty.

    When flowing cups run swiftly round
      With no allaying Thames,
    Our careless heads with roses bound,
      Our hearts with loyal flames;
    When thirsty grief in wine we steep,
      When healths and draughts go free,
    Fishes that tipple in the deep
      Know no such liberty.

    When, like committed linnets, I
      With shriller throat shall sing
    The sweetness, mercy, majesty,
      And glories of my King;
    When I shall voice aloud how good
      He is, how great should be,
    Enlargèd winds that curl the flood
      Know no such liberty.

    Stone walls do not a prison make,
      Nor iron bars a cage;
    Minds innocent and quiet take
      That for an hermitage:
    If I have freedom in my love,
      And in my soul am free,
    Angels alone that soar above
      Enjoy such liberty.
               _Richard Lovelace._



SONG


    HEARS not my Phyllis how the birds
      Their feathered mates salute?
    They tell their passion in their words;
      Must I alone be mute?
    Phyllis, without frown or smile,
    Sat and knotted all the while.

    The god of love in thy bright eyes
      Does like a tyrant reign;
    But in thy heart a child he lies,
      Without his dart or flame.
    Phyllis without frown or smile,
    Sat and knotted all the while.

    So many months in silence past,
      And yet in raging love,
    Might well deserve one word at last
      My passion should approve.
    Phyllis, without frown or smile,
    Sat and knotted all the while.

    Must then your faithful swain expire,
      And not one look obtain,
    Which he, to soothe his fond desire,
      Might pleasantly explain?
    Phyllis, without frown or smile,
    Sat and knotted all the while.
                     _Sir Charles Sedley._



THE DESPAIRING LOVER


    DISTRACTED with care,
      For Phyllis the fair,
    Since nothing can move her,
      Poor Damon, her lover,
    Resolves in despair
    No longer to languish,
    Nor bear so much anguish;
    But, mad with his love,
      To a precipice goes,
    Where a leap from above
      Will soon finish his woes.

    When, in rage, he came there,
      Beholding how steep
    The sides did appear,
      And the bottom how deep;
    His torments projecting,
    And sadly reflecting
    That a lover forsaken
      A new lover may get;
    But a neck, when once broken,
      Can never be set:

    And that he could die
      Whenever he would;
    But that he could live
      But as long as he could;
    How grievous soever
      The torment might grow,
    He scorned to endeavour
      To finish it so.
    But hold, unconcern’d,
      At the thoughts of the pain,
    He calmly return’d
      To his cottage again.
                    _William Walsh._



CUPID MISTAKEN


    AS after noon, one summer’s day,
      Venus stood bathing in a river;
    Cupid a-shooting went that way,
      New strung his bow, new fill’d his quiver.

    With skill he chose his sharpest dart:
      With all his might his bow he drew:
    Swift to his beauteous parent’s heart
      The too-well-guided arrow flew.

    “I faint! I die!” the goddess cried:
      “O cruel, could’st thou find none other
    To wreak thy spleen on: Parricide!
      Like Nero, thou hast slain thy mother.”

    Poor Cupid, sobbing, scarce could speak;
      “Indeed, mama, I did not know ye:
    Alas! how easy my mistake?
      I took you for your likeness, Chloe.”
                      _Matthew Prior._



THE CONTRAST


    IN London I never know what I’d be at,
    Enraptured with this, and enchanted with that;
    I’m wild with the sweets of variety’s plan,
    And Life seems a blessing too happy for man.

    But the Country, Lord help me! sets all matters right;
    So calm and composing from morning to night;
    Oh! it settles the spirits when nothing is seen
    But an ass on a common, a goose on a green.

    In town if it rain, why it damps not our hope,
    The eye has her choice, and the fancy her scope
    What harm though it pour whole nights or whole days?
    It spoils not our prospects, or stops not our ways.

    In the country what bliss, when it rains in the fields,
    To live on the transports that shuttlecock yields;
    Or go crawling from window to window, to see
    A pig on a dung-hill, or crow on a tree.

    In London if folks ill together are put,
    A bow may be dropt, and a quiz may be cut;
    We change without end; and if lazy or ill,
    All wants are at hand, and all wishes at will.

    In the country you’re nail’d, like a pale in the park,
    To some stick of a neighbour that’s cramm’d in the ark;
    And ’tis odds, if you’re hurt, or in fits tumble down,
    You reach death ere the doctor can reach you from town.

    In London how easy we visit and meet,
    Gay pleasure’s the theme, and sweet smiles are our treat;
    Our morning’s a round of good-humoured delight,
    And we rattle, in comfort, to pleasure at night.

    In the country, how sprightly! our visits we make
    Through ten miles of mud, for Formality’s sake;
    With the coachman in drink, and the moon in a fog,
    And no thought in our head but a ditch or a bog.

    In London the spirits are cheerful and light,
    All places are gay and all faces are bright;
    We’ve ever new joys, and revived by each whim,
    Each day on a fresh tide of pleasure we swim.

    But how gay in the country! what summer delight
    To be waiting for winter from morning to night!
    Then the fret of impatience gives exquisite glee
    To relish the sweet rural subjects we see.

    In town we’ve no use for the skies overhead,
    For when the sun rises then we go to bed;
    And as to that old-fashion’d virgin the moon;
    She shines out of season, like satin in June.

    In the country these planets delightfully glare
    Just to show us the object we want isn’t there;
    O, how cheering and gay, when their beauties arise,
    To sit and gaze round with the tears in one’s eyes!

    But ’tis in the country alone we can find
    That happy resource, that relief of the mind,
    When, drove to despair, our last efforts we make,
    And drag the old fish-pond, for novelty’s sake:

    Indeed, I must own, tis a pleasure complete
    To see ladies well draggled and wet in their feet;
    But what is all that to the transport we feel
    When we capture, in triumph, two toads and an eel?

    I have heard tho’, that love in a cottage is sweet,
    When two hearts in one link of soft sympathy meet:
    That’s to come—for as yet I, alas! am a swain
    Who require, I own it, more links to my chain.

    Your magpies and stock-doves may flirt among trees,
    And chatter their transports in groves, if they please:
    But a house is much more to my taste than a tree,
    And for groves, O! a good grove of chimneys for me.

    In the country, if Cupid should find a man out,
    The poor tortured victim mopes hopeless about;
    But in London, thank Heaven! our peace is secure,
    Where for one eye to kill, there’s a thousand to cure.

    I know love’s a devil, too subtle to spy,
    That shoots through the soul, from the beam of an eye;
    But in London these devils so quick fly about,
    That a new devil still drives an old devil out.

    In town let me live then, in town let me die,
    For in truth I can’t relish the country, not I.
    If one must have a villa in summer to dwell,
    O, give me the sweet shady side of Pall Mall!
                                  _Charles Morris._



OH, TELL ME HOW TO WOO THEE


    IF doughty deeds my lady please,
      Right soon I’ll mount my steed;
    And strong his arm, and fast his seat,
      That bears frae me the meed.
    I’ll wear thy colors in my cap,
      Thy picture in my heart;
    And he that bends not to thine eye
      Shall rue it to his smart.
        Then tell me how to woo thee, love;
          Oh, tell me how to woo thee!
        For thy dear sake, nae care I’ll take,
          Though ne’er another trow me.

    If gay attire delight thine eye,
      I’ll dight me in array;
    I’ll tend thy chamber door all night,
      And squire thee all the day.
    If sweetest sounds can win thine ear,
      These sounds I’ll strive to catch;
    Thy voice I’ll steal to woo thysel’—
      That voice that none can match.
        _Then tell me how to woo thee, love_, etc.

    But if fond love thy heart can gain,
      I never broke a vow;
    Nae maiden lays her skaith to me;
      I never loved but you.
    For you alone I ride the ring,
      For you I wear the blue;
    For you alone I strive to sing—
      Oh, tell me how to woo!
        _Then tell me how to woo thee, love, etc._
                                   _Robert Graham._



SONG FROM “THE DUENNA”


    I NE’ER could any lustre see
    In eyes that would not look on me;
    I ne’er saw nectar on a lip,
    But where my own did hope to sip.
    Has the maid who seeks my heart
    Cheeks of rose, untouched by art?
    I will own thy color true,
    When yielding blushes aid their hue.
    Is her hand so soft and pure?
    I must press it, to be sure;
    Nor can I be certain then,
    Till it, grateful, press again.
    Must I, with attentive eye,
    Watch her heaving bosom sigh?
    I will do so when I see
    That heaving bosom sigh for me.
                   _Richard Brinsley Sheridan._



THE RACES

A BALLAD


    O GEORGE! I’ve been, I’ll tell you where,
      But first prepare yourself for raptures;
    To paint this charming heavenly fair,
      And paint her well, would ask whole chapters.

    Fine creatures I’ve viewed many a one,
      With lovely shapes and angel faces,
    But I have seen them all outdone
      By this sweet maid, at —— Races.

    Lords, Commoners, alike she rules,
      Takes all who view her by surprise,
    Makes e’en the wisest look like fools,
      Nay more, makes fox-hunters look wise.

    Her shape—’tis elegance and ease,
      Unspoiled by art or modern dress,
    But gently tapering by degrees,
      And finely, “beautifully less.”

    Her foot—it was so wondrous small,
      So thin, so round, so slim, so neat,
    The buckle fairly hid it all,
      And seemed to sink it with the weight.

    And just above the spangled shoe,
      Where many an eye did often glance,
    Sweetly retiring from the view,
      And seen by stealth, and seen by chance;

    Two slender ankles peeping out,
      Stood like Love’s heralds, to declare,
    That all within the petticoat
      Was firm and full, and “round, and fair.”

    And then she dances—better far
      Than heart can think, or tongue can tell,
    Not Heinel, Banti, or Guimar,
      E’er moved so graceful and so well.

    So easy glide her beauteous limbs,
      True as the echo to the sound,
    She seems, as through the dance she skims,
      To tread on air, and scorn the ground.

    And there is lightning in her eye,
      One glance alone might well inspire
    The clay-cold breast of Apathy,
      Or bid the frozen heart catch fire.

    And zephyr on her lovely lips
      Has spread his choicest, sweetest roses,
    And there his heavenly nectar sips,
      And there in breathing sweet reposes.

    And there’s such music when she speaks,
      You may believe me when I tell ye,
    I’d rather hear her than the squeaks
      Or far famed squalls of Gabrielli.

    And sparkling wit and steady sense,
      In that fair form with beauty vie,
    But tinged with virgin diffidence,
      And the soft blush of modesty.

    Had I the treasures of the world,
      All the sun views or the seas borrow
    (Else may I to the devil be hurled),
      I’d lay them at her feet to-morrow.

    But as we Bards reap only Bays,
      Nor much of that, though nought grows on it,
    I’ll beat my brains to sound her praise,
      And hammer them into a sonnet.

    And if she deign one charming smile
      The blest reward of all my labours,
    I’ll never grudge my pains or toil,
      But pity the dull squires, my neighbours.
                                     _George Ellis._



TO LADY ANNE HAMILTON


    TOO late I stayed, forgive the crime,—
      Unheeded flew the hours;
    How noiseless falls the foot of Time
      That only treads on flowers!

    What eye with clear account remarks
      The ebbing of his glass,
    When all its sands are diamond sparks,
      That dazzle as they pass?

    Ah! who to sober measurement
      Time’s happy swiftness brings,
    When birds of paradise have lent
      Their plumage for his wings?
                     _Hon. William R. Spencer._



TO MRS. LEIGH UPON HER WEDDING-DAY


    WHILE all to this auspicious day
    Well pleased their heartfelt homage pay
    And sweetly smile and softly say
      A hundred civic speeches;
    My Muse shall strike her tuneful strings,
    Nor scorn the gift her duty brings,
    Tho’ humble be the theme she sings,—
      A pair of shooting breeches.

    Soon shall the tailor’s subtle art
    Have made them tight, and spruce, and smart,
    And fastened well in every part
      With twenty thousand stitches;
    Mark then the moral of my song,
    Oh, may your lives but prove as strong,
    And wear as well, and last as long,
      As these, my shooting breeches.

    And when, to ease the load of life,
    Of private care, and public strife,
    My lot shall give to me a wife,
      I ask not rank or riches;
    For worth like thine alone I pray,
    Temper like thine serene and gay,
    And formed like thee to give away,
      Not wear herself, the breeches.
                        _George Canning._



NAMES


    I ASKED my fair, one happy day,
    What I should call her in my lay;
      By what sweet name from Rome or Greece
    Lalage, Neæra, Chloris,
    Sappho, Lesbia, or Doris,
      Arethusa or Lucrece.

    “Ah!” replied my gentle fair,
    “Beloved, what are names but air?
      Choose you whatever suits the line;
    Call me Daphne, call me Chloris,
    Call me Lalage or Doris,
      Only, only call me thine.”
                      _Samuel T. Coleridge._



THE EXCHANGE


    WE pledged our hearts, my love and I,—
      I in my arms the maiden clasping:
    I could not tell the reason why,
      But oh! I trembled like an aspen.

    Her father’s love she bade me gain;
      I went, and shook like any reed!
    I strove to act the man in vain!
      We had exchanged our hearts indeed.
                      _Samuel T. Coleridge._



DEFIANCE


    CATCH her and hold her if you can ...
    Shuts, opens, and then holds it spread
    In threatening guise above your head.
    Ah! why did you not start before
    She reached the porch and closed the door?
    Simpleton! will you never learn
    That girls and time will not return;
    Of each you should have made the most;
    Once gone, they are forever lost.
    In vain your knuckles knock your brow,
    In vain will you remember how
    Like a slim brook the gamesome maid
    Sparkled, and ran into the shade.
                      _Walter Savage Landor._



HER LIPS


    OFTEN I have heard it said
    That her lips are ruby-red.
    Little heed I what they say,
    I have seen as red as they.
    Ere she smiled on other men,
    Real rubies were they then.

    When she kiss’d me once in play,
    Rubies were less bright than they,
    And less bright were those that shone
    In the palace of the Sun.
    Will they be as bright again?
    Not if kiss’d by other men.
                    _Walter Savage Landor._



COMMINATION


    TAKING my walk the other day,
    I saw a little girl at play,
    So pretty, ’twould not be amiss,
    Thought I, to venture on a kiss.
    Fiercely the little girl began—
    “I wonder at you, nasty man!”
    And all four fingers were applied,
    And crimson pinafore beside,
    To wipe what venom might remain,—
    “Do if you dare the like again;
    I have a mind to teach you better,”
    And I too had a mind to let her.
                      _Walter Savage Landor._



MARGARET AND DORA


    MARGARET’S beauteous—Grecian arts
      Ne’er drew form completer,
    Yet why, in my heart of hearts,
      Hold I Dora’s sweeter?

    Dora’s eyes of heavenly blue
      Pass all paintings’ reach,
    Ringdove’s notes are discord to
      The music of her speech.

    Artists Margaret’s smile receive,
      And on canvas show it;
    But for perfect worship leave
      Dora to her poet.
                    _Thomas Campbell._



A CERTAIN YOUNG LADY


    THERE’S a certain young lady,
    Who’s just in her heyday,
      And full of all mischief, I ween;
        So teasing! so pleasing!
        Capricious! delicious!
      And you know very well whom I mean.

    With an eye dark as night,
    Yet than noonday more bright,
      Was ever a black eye so keen?
        It can thrill with a glance,
        With a beam can entrance,
      And you know very well whom I mean.

    With a stately step—such as
    You’d expect in a duchess—
      And a brow might distinguish a queen,
        With a mighty proud air,
        That says “touch me who dare,”
      And you know very well whom I mean.

    With a toss of the head
    That strikes one quite dead,
      But a smile to revive one again;
        That toss so appalling!
        That smile so enthralling!
      And you know very well whom I mean.

    Confound her! devil take her!—
    A cruel heart-breaker—
      But hold! see that smile so serene.
        God love her! God bless her!
        May nothing distress her!
      You know very well whom I mean.

    Heaven help the adorer
    Who happens to bore her,
      The lover who wakens her spleen;
        But too blest for a sinner
        Is he who shall win her,
      And you know very well whom I mean.
                      _Washington Irving._



SONG


    WHO has robbed the ocean cave,
      To tinge thy lips with coral hue?
    Who from India’s distant wave
      For thee those pearly treasures drew?
    Who from yonder orient sky
    Stole the morning of thine eye?

    Thousand charms, thy form to deck,
      From sea, and earth, and air are torn;
    Roses bloom upon thy cheek,
      On thy breath their fragrance borne.
    Guard thy bosom from the day,
    Lest thy snows should melt away.

    But one charm remains behind,
      Which mute earth can ne’er impart;
    Nor in ocean wilt thou find,
      Nor in the circling air, a heart.
    Fairest! wouldst thou perfect be,
    Take, oh, take that heart from me.
                    _John Shaw._



THE TIME I’VE LOST IN WOOING


    THE time I’ve lost in wooing,
    In watching and pursuing
      The light that lies
      In woman’s eyes,
    Has been my heart’s undoing.
    Tho’ wisdom oft has sought me,
    I scorn’d the lore she brought me,
      My only books
      Were woman’s looks,
    And folly’s all they taught me.

    Her smile when Beauty granted,
    I hung with gaze enchanted,
      Like him the sprite
      Whom maids by night
    Oft meet in glen that’s haunted.
    Like him, too, Beauty won me;
    But when the spell was on me,
      If once their ray
      Was turn’d away,
    O! winds could not outrun me.

    And are those follies going?
    And is my proud heart growing
      Too cold or wise
      For brilliant eyes
    Again to set it glowing?
    No—vain, alas! th’ endeavor
    From bonds so sweet to sever;—
      Poor Wisdom’s chance
      Against a glance
    Is now as weak as ever.
                     _Thomas Moore._



WHEN I LOVED YOU


    WHEN I loved you, I can’t but allow
      I had many an exquisite minute;
    But the scorn that I feel for you now
      Hath even more luxury in it!

    Thus, whether we’re on or we’re off,
      Some witchery seems to await you;
    To love you is pleasant enough,
      And oh! ’tis delicious to hate you!
                           _Thomas Moore._



REASON, FOLLY, AND BEAUTY


    REASON, and Folly, and Beauty, they say
    Went on a party of pleasure one day:
                  Folly play’d
                  Around the maid,
    The bells of his cap rang merrily out;
                  While Reason took
                  To his sermon-book—
    O! which was the pleasanter no one need doubt,
    Which was the pleasanter no one need doubt.

    Beauty, who likes to be thought very sage,
    Turn’d for a moment to Reason’s dull page,
                  Till Folly said,
                  “Look here, sweet maid!”—
    The sight of his cap brought her back to herself,
                  While Reason read
                  His leaves of lead,
    With no one to mind him, poor sensible elf!
    No,—no one to mind him, poor sensible elf!

    Then Reason grew jealous of Folly’s gay cap;
    Had he that on, he her heart might entrap—
                  “There it is,”
                  Quoth Folly, “old quiz!”
    (Folly was always good-natured, ’tis said.)
                  “Under the sun
                  There’s no such fun,
    As Reason with my cap and bells on his head,
    Reason with my cap and bells on his head!”

    But Reason the head-dress so awkwardly wore,
    That Beauty now liked him still less than before:
                  While Folly took
                  Old Reason’s book,
    And twisted the leaves in a cap of such _ton_,
                  That Beauty vow’d
                  (Tho’ not aloud)
    She liked him still better in that than his own,
    Yes,—liked him still better in that than his own.
                             _Thomas Moore._



TIRESOME SPRING!


    I HAVE watched her at the window
      Through long days of snow and wind,
    Till I learnt to love the shadow
      That would flit across her blind.
    ’Twixt the lime-tree’s leafless branches
      In the dusk my eyes I’d strain:
    Now the boughs are thick with foliage,—
      Tiresome Spring! you’ve come again!

    Now, behind that screen of verdure
      Is my angel lost to view;
    And no longer for the robins
      Will her white hands bread-crumbs strew.
    Never in the frosts of winter,
      Did those robins beg in vain;
    Now, alas! the snow has melted,—
      Tiresome Spring! you’ve come again!

    ’Tis kind winter that I wish for;—
      How I long to hear the hail
    Rattling on deserted pavements,
      Dancing in the stormy gale!
    For I then could see her windows,
      Watch my darling through each pane
    Now the lime-trees are in blossom,—
      Tiresome Spring! you’ve come again!
                               _Béranger._



ROSETTE


    YES! I know you’re very fair;
      And the rose-bloom of your cheek,
    And the gold-crown of your hair,
      Seem of tender love to speak.
    But to me they speak in vain,
      I am growing old, my pet—
    Ah, if I could love you now
      As I used to love Rosette!

    In your carriage every day
      I can see you bow and smile;
    Lovers your least word obey,
      Mistress you of every wile.
    She was poor, and went on foot,
      Badly drest, you know,—and yet,—
    Ah! if I could love you now
      As I used to love Rosette!

    You are clever, and well known
      For your wit so quick and free;—
    Now, Rosette, I blush to own,
      Scarcely knew her A B C;
    But she had a potent charm
      In my youth:—ah, vain regret!
    If I could but love you now
      As I used to love Rosette!
                        _Béranger._



SHE IS SO PRETTY


    SHE is so pretty, the girl I love,
      Her eyes are tender and deep and blue
    As the summer night in the skies above,
      As violets seen through a mist of dew.
    How can I hope, then, her heart to gain?
    She is so pretty, and I am so plain!

    She is so pretty, so fair to see!
      Scarcely she’s counted her nineteenth spring,
    Fresh, and blooming, and young,—ah me!
      Why do I thus her praises sing?
    Surely from me ’tis a senseless strain,
    She is so pretty, and I am so plain!

    She is so pretty, so sweet and dear,
      There’s many a lover who loves her well;
    I may not hope, I can only fear,
      Yet shall I venture my love to tell?...
    Ah! I have pleaded, and not in vain—
    Though she’s so pretty, and I am so plain.
                                      _Béranger._



RONDEAU


    JENNY kissed me when we met,
      Jumping from the chair she sat in;
    Time, you thief, who love to get
      Sweets into your list, put that in:
    Say I’m weary, say I’m sad,
      Say that health and wealth have missed me,
    Say I’m growing old, but add,
      Jenny kissed me!
                               _Leigh Hunt._



STOLEN FRUIT


    WE the fairies, blithe and antic,
    Of dimensions not gigantic,
    Though the moonshine mostly keep us,
    Oft in orchards frisk and peep us.

    Stolen sweets are always sweeter,
    Stolen kisses much completer,
    Stolen looks are nice in chapels,
    Stolen, stolen be your apples.

    When to bed the world is bobbing,
    Then’s the time for orchard-robbing;
    Yet the fruit were scarce worth peeling
    Were it not for stealing, stealing.
                _Leigh Hunt_ (_from the Italian_).



LOVE AND AGE


    I PLAY’D with you ’mid cowslips blowing
      When I was six and you were four:
    When garlands weaving, flower balls throwing,
      Were pleasures soon to please no more.
    Thro’ groves and meads, o’er grass and heather,
      With little playmates, to and fro,
    We wander’d hand in hand together;
      But that was sixty years ago.

    You grew a lovely roseate maiden,
      And still our early love was strong;
    Still with no care our days were laden,
      They glided joyously along;
    And I did love you very dearly—
      How dearly, words want power to show;
    I thought your heart was touched as nearly;
      But that was fifty years ago.

    Then other lovers came around you,
      Your beauty grew from year to year,
    And many a splendid circle found you
      The centre of its glittering sphere.
    I saw you then, first vows forsaking,
      On rank and wealth your hand bestow;
    O, then, I thought my heart was breaking,—
      But that was forty years ago.

    And I lived on to wed another:
      No cause she gave me to repine;
    And when I heard you were a mother,
      I did not wish the children mine.
    My own young flock, in fair progression,
      Made up a pleasant Christmas row:
    My joy in them was past expression;—
      But that was thirty years ago.

    You grew a matron plump and comely,
      You dwelt in fashion’s brightest blaze;
    My earthly lot was far more homely;
      But I too had my festal days.
    No merrier eyes have ever glistened
      Around the hearth-stone’s wintry glow,
    Than when my youngest child was christen’d:—
      But that was twenty years ago.

    Time passed. My eldest girl was married
      And I now am a grandsire grey;
    One pet of four years old I’ve carried
      Among the wild-flower’d meads to play.
    In our old fields of childish pleasure,
      Where now, as then, the cowslips blow,
    She fills her basket’s ample measure,—
      And that is not ten years ago.

    But tho’ first love’s impassion’d blindness
      Has pass’d away in colder light,
    I still have thought of you with kindness,
      And shall do, till our last good-night.
    The ever rolling silent hours
      Will bring a time we shall not know,
    When our young days of gathering flowers
      Will be an hundred years ago.
                            _Thomas L. Peacock._



CLUBS


    IF any man loves comfort and has little cash to buy it, he
    Should get into a crowded club—a most select society,—
    While solitude and mutton-cutlets serve _infelix uxor_, he
    May have his club, like Hercules, and revel there in luxury.

    Yes, clubs knock taverns on the head. E’en Hatchett’s can’t
          demolish ’em;
    Joy grieves to see their magnitude, and Long longs to abolish ’em.
    The Inns are out. Hotels for single men scarce keep alive on it,
    While none but houses that are in the family way thrive on it.

    There’s first the Athenæum Club; so wise, there’s not a man of it
    That has not sense enough for six—in fact, that is the plan of it.
    The very waiters answer you with eloquence Socratical,
    And always place the knives and forks in order mathematical.

    Then opposite the mental club you’ll find the regimental one—
    A meeting made of men of war, and yet a very gentle one.
    If uniform good living please your palate, here’s excess of it.
    Especially at private dinners, when they make a mess of it.

    E’en Isis has a house in town and Cam abandons her city;
    The master now hangs out at the United University.
    In common room she gave a rout (a novel freak to hit upon),
    Where Masters gave the Mistresses of Arts no chairs to sit upon.

    The Union Club is quite superb; its best apartment daily is
    The lounge of lawyers, doctors, merchants, beaux, _cum multis
          aliis_.
    At half-past six the joint concern for eighteen pence is given you,
    Half-pints of port are sent in ketchup-bottles to enliven you.

    The Travellers are in Pall Mall, and smoke cigars so cosily,
    And dream they climb the highest Alps or rove the plains of Moselai.
    The world for them has nothing new, they have explored all parts
          of it,
    And now they are club-footed, and they sit and look at charts of it.

    The Orientals, homeward-bound, now seek their club much sallower,
    And while they eat green fat they find their own fat growing
          yellower.
    Their soup is made more savoury, till bile to shadows dwindles ’em,
    And neither Moore nor Savory with seidlitz draughts rekindles ’em.

    Then there are clubs where persons parliamentary preponderate,
    And clubs for men upon the turf (I wonder they ar’n’t under it);
    Clubs where the winning ways of sharper folks pervert the use of
          clubs,
    Where knaves will make subscribers cry, “Egad! this is the deuce
          of clubs!”

    For country squires the only club in London now is Boodle’s, sirs,
    The Crockford Club for playful men, the Alfred Club for noodles,
          sirs:
    These are the stages which all men propose to play their parts upon,
    For Clubs are what the Londoners have clearly set their hearts upon.
                                                 _Theodore Hook._



TO ANNE


    HOW many kisses do I ask?
    Now you set me to my task.
    First, sweet Anne, will you tell me
    How many waves are in the sea?
    How many stars are in the sky?
    How many lovers you make sigh?
    How many sands are on the shore?
    I shall want just one kiss more.
                      _William Maxwell._



SONG


    DOST thou idly ask to hear
      At what gentle seasons
    Nymphs relent, when lovers near
      Press the tenderest reasons?
    Ah, they give their faith too oft
      To the careless wooer;
    Maidens’ hearts are always soft—
      Would that men’s were truer!

    Woo the fair one, when around
      Early birds are singing;
    When, o’er all the fragrant ground,
      Early herbs are springing:
    When the brookside, bank, and grove,
      All with blossoms laden,
    Shine with beauty, breathe of love,—
      Woo the timid maiden.

    Woo her when, with rosy blush,
      Summer eve is sinking;
    When, on rills that softly gush,
      Stars are softly winking;
    When, through boughs that knit the bower,
      Moonlight gleams are stealing;
    Woo her, till the gentle hour
      Wakes a gentler feeling.

    Woo her, when autumnal dyes
      Tinge the woody mountain;
    When the dropping foliage lies
      In the weedy fountain;
    Let the scene that tells how fast
      Youth is passing over,
    Warn her, ere her bloom is past,
      To secure her lover.

    Woo her when the north winds call
      At the lattice nightly;
    When within the cheerful hall
      Blaze the fagots brightly;
    While the wintry tempest round
      Sweeps the landscape hoary,
    Sweeter in her ears shall sound
      Love’s delightful story.
                      _William Cullen Bryant._



WHAT IS LONDON’S LAST NEW LION?


    WHAT is London’s last new lion? Pray, inform me if you can;
    Is’t a woman of Kamschatka or an Otaheite man?
    For my _conversazione_ you must send me something new,
    Don’t forget me! Oh I sigh for the _eclat_ of a _debut_!

    I am sick of all the “minstrels,” all the “brothers” this and that,
    Who sing sweetly at the parties, while the ladies laugh and chat;
    And the man who play’d upon his chin is _passé_, I suppose
    So try and find a gentleman who plays upon his nose.

    Send half-a-dozen authors, for they help to fill a rout,
    I fear I’ve worn the literary lionesses out!
    Send something biographical, I think that fashion spreads,
    But do not send a poet, till you find one with two heads.

    The town has grown fastidious, we do not care a straw
    For the whiskers of a bandit, or the tail of a bashaw!
    And travellers are out of date, I mean to cut them soon,
    Unless you send me some one who has travelled to the moon.

    Oh, if you send a singer, he must sing without a throat!
    Oh, if you send a player, he must harp upon one note!
    I must have something marvellous, the marvel makes the man;
    What is London’s last new lion? Pray, inform me if you can.
                                            _Thomas Haynes Bayly._



I’D BE A BUTTERFLY


    I’D be a Butterfly born in a bower,
      Where roses and lilies and violets meet;
    Roving for ever from flower to flower,
      And kissing all buds that are pretty and sweet!
    I’d never languish for wealth, or for power,
      I’d never sigh to see slaves at my feet;
    I’d be a Butterfly born in a bower,
      Kissing all buds that are pretty and sweet.

    O could I pilfer the wand of a fairy,
      I’d have a pair of those beautiful wings;
    Their summer days’ ramble is sportive and airy,
      They sleep in a rose when the nightingale sings.
    Those who have wealth must be watchful and wary;
      Power, alas! nought but misery brings!
    I’d be a Butterfly, sportive and airy,
      Rock’d in a rose when the nightingale sings!

    What, though you tell me each gay little rover
      Shrinks from the breath of the first autumn day:
    Surely ’tis better when summer is over
      To die when all fair things are fading away.
    Some in life’s winter may toil to discover
      Means of procuring a weary delay—
    I’d be a Butterfly; living, a rover,
      Dying when fair things are fading away!
                      _Thomas Haynes Bayly._



“I MUST COME OUT NEXT SPRING”


    I MUST come out next Spring, Mamma,
      I must come out next Spring;
    To keep me with my Governess
      Would be a cruel thing:
    Whene’er I see my sisters dress’d
      In leno and in lace,—
    Miss Twig’s apartment seems to be
      A miserable place.
        I must come out next Spring, Mamma,
          I must come out next Spring;
        To keep me with my Governess
          Would be a cruel thing.

    I’m very sick of Grosv’nor Square,
      The path within the rails;
    I’m weary of Telemachus,
      And such outlandish tales:
    I hate my French, my vile Chambaud;
      In tears I’ve turn’d his leaves;
    Oh! let me Frenchify my hair,
      And take to Gigot sleeves.
        I must come out next Spring, Mamma,
          I must come out next Spring;
        To keep me with my Governess
          Would be a cruel thing.

    I know quite well what I should say
      To partners at a ball;
    I’ve got a pretty speech or two,
      And they would serve for all.
    If an Hussar, I’d praise his horse,
      And win a smile from him;
    And if a Naval man, I’d lisp,
      “Pray, Captain, do you swim?”
        I must come out next Spring, Mamma,
          I must come out next Spring;
        To keep me with my Governess
          Would be a cruel thing.
                      _Thomas Haynes Bayly._



“WHY DON’T THE MEN PROPOSE?”


    WHY don’t the men propose, mamma?
      Why don’t the men propose?
    Each seems just coming to the point,
      And then away he goes!
    It is no fault of yours, mamma,
      That everybody knows;
    You fête the finest men in town,
      Yet, oh, they won’t propose!

    I’m sure I’ve done my best, mamma,
      To make a proper match;
    For coronets and eldest sons
      I’m ever on the watch:
    I’ve hopes when some _distingué_ beau
      A glance upon me throws;
    But though he’ll dance, and smile, and flirt,
      Alas, he won’t propose!

    I’ve tried to win by languishing,
      And dressing like a blue;
    I’ve bought big books, and talk’d of them,
      As if I read them through!
    With hair cropp’d like a man, I’ve felt
      The heads of all the beaux;
    But Spurzheim could not touch their hearts,
      And oh, they won’t propose!

    I threw aside the books, and thought
      That ignorance was bliss;
    I felt convinced that men preferr’d
      A simple sort of Miss;
    And so I lisp’d out naught beyond
      Plain “yeses” or plain “noes,”
    And wore a sweet unmeaning smile;
      Yet, oh, they won’t propose!

    Last night, at Lady Ramble’s rout,
      I heard Sir Harry Gale
    Exclaim, “Now, I propose again——”
      I started, turning pale;
    I really thought my time was come,
      I blush’d like any rose;
    But, oh! I found ’twas only at
      _Ecarté_ he’d propose!

    And what is to be done, mamma?
      Oh, what is to be done?
    I really have no time to lose,
      For I am thirty-one.
    At balls, I am too often left
      Where spinsters sit in rows;
    Why won’t the men propose, mamma?
      Why won’t the men propose?
                _Thomas Haynes Bayly._



ASK AND HAVE


    “OH, ’tis time I should talk to your mother,
      Sweet Mary,” says I;
    “Oh, don’t talk to my mother,” says Mary,
      Beginning to cry:
    “For my mother says men are deceivers,
      And never, I know, will consent;
    She says girls in a hurry who marry,
      At leisure repent.”

    “Then, suppose I would talk to your father,
      Sweet Mary,” says I;
    “Oh, don’t talk to my father,” says Mary,
      Beginning to cry:
    “For my father he loves me so dearly,
      He’ll never consent I should go—
    If you talk to my father,” says Mary,
      “He’ll surely say, ‘No.’”

    “Then how shall I get you, my jewel?
      Sweet Mary,” says I;
    “If your father and mother’s so cruel,
      Most surely I’ll die!”
    “Oh, never say die, dear,” says Mary;
      “A way now to save you I see;
    Since my parents are both so contrary—
      You’d better ask me!”
                           _Samuel Lover._



LINES IN A YOUNG LADY’S ALBUM


    A PRETTY task, Miss S——, to ask
      A Benedictine pen,
    That cannot quite at freedom write
      Like those of other men.
    No lover’s plaint my Muse must paint
      To fill this page’s span,
    But be correct and recollect
      I’m not a single man.

    Pray only think for pen and ink
      How hard to get along,
    That may not turn on words that burn,
      Or Love, the life of song!
    Nine Muses, if I chooses, I
      May woo all in a clan,
    But one Miss S—— I daren’t address—
      I’m not a single man.

    Scribblers unwed, with little head
      May eke it out with heart,
    And in their lays it often plays
      A rare first-fiddle part:
    They make a kiss to rhyme with bliss,
      But if I so began,
    I have my fears about my ears—
      I’m not a single man.

    Upon your cheek I may not speak,
      Nor on your lip be warm,
    I must be wise about your eyes,
      And formal with your form;
    Of all that sort of thing, in short,
      On T. H. Bayly’s plan,
    I must not twine a single line—
      I’m not a single man.

    A watchman’s part compels my heart
      To keep you off its beat,
    And I might dare as soon to swear
      At you as at your feet.
    I can’t expire in passion’s fire,
      As other poets can—
    My wife (she’s by) won’t let me die—
      I’m not a single man.

    Shut out from love, denied a dove,
      Forbidden bow and dart,
    Without a groan to call my own,
      With neither hand nor heart,
    To Hymen vowed, and not allowed
      To flirt e’en with your fan,
    Here end, as just a friend, I must—
      I’m not a single man.
                        _Thomas Hood._



THE TIME OF ROSES


    IT was not in the winter
      Our loving lot was cast;
    It was the time of roses,—
      We plucked them as we passed.

    That churlish season never frowned
      On earthly lovers yet:
    Oh, no! the world was newly crowned
      With flowers when first we met!

    ’Twas twilight, and I bade you go,
      But still you held me fast;
    It was the time of roses,—
      We plucked them as we passed.

    What else could peer thy glowing cheek,
      That tears began to stud?
    And when I asked the like of Love,
      You snatched a damask bud;

    And oped it to the dainty core,
      Still glowing to the last.
    It was the time of roses,—
      We plucked them as we passed.
                            _Thomas Hood._



LOVE


    O LOVE! What art thou, Love? the ace of hearts,
      Trumping Earth’s kings and Queens, and all its suits;
    A player masquerading many parts
      In life’s odd carnival;—A boy that shoots,
    From ladies’ eyes, such mortal woundy darts;
      A gardener, pulling heart’s-ease up by the roots;
    The Puck of Passion—partly false—part real—
    A marriageable maiden’s “beau-ideal.”

    O Love, what art thou, Love? a wicked thing,
      Making green misses spoil their work at school;
    A melancholy man, cross-gartering?
      Grave ripe-faced wisdom made an April fool?
    A youngster tilting at a wedding-ring?
      A sinner, sitting on a cuttie stool?
    A Ferdinand de Something in a hovel,
    Helping Matilda Rose to make a novel?

    O Love! what art thou, Love? one that is bad
      With palpitations of the heart—like mine—
    A poor bewildered maid, making so sad
      A necklace of her garters—fell design!
    A poet gone unreasonably mad,
      Ending his sonnets with a hempen line?
    O Love!—but whither now? forgive me, pray;
    I’m not the first that Love hath led astray.
                                     _Thomas Hood._



TO HELEN


    IF wandering in a wizard’s car
      Through yon blue ether, I were able
    To fashion of a little star
      A taper for my Helen’s table;—

    “What then?” she asks me with a laugh—
      Why, then, with all heaven’s lustre glowing,
    It would not gild her path with half
      The light her love o’er mine is throwing.
                     _Winthrop Mackworth Praed._



THE BELLE OF THE BALL-ROOM


    YEARS—years ago,—ere yet my dreams
      Had been of being wise or witty,—
    Ere I had done with writing themes,
      Or yawn’d o’er this infernal Chitty;—
    Years—years ago,—while all my joy
      Was in my fowling-piece and filly,—
    In short, while I was yet a boy,
      I fell in love with Laura Lilly.

    I saw her at the County Ball:
      There, where the sounds of flute and fiddle,
    Gave signal sweet, in that old hall,
      Of hands across and down the middle,
    Hers was the subtlest spell by far
      Of all that set young hearts romancing,
    She was our queen, our rose, our star;
      And then she danced—O Heaven, her dancing!

    Dark was her hair, her hand was white;
      Her voice was exquisitely tender;
    Her eyes were full of liquid light;
      I never saw a waist so slender!
    Her every look, her every smile
      Shot right and left a score of arrows;
    I thought ’twas Venus from her Isle,
      And wonder’d where she’d left her sparrows.

    She talk’d,—of politics or prayers,—
      Or Southey’s prose, or Wordsworth’s sonnets,—
    Of danglers—or of dancing bears,
      Of battles—or the last new bonnets,
    By candlelight, at twelve o’clock,
      To me it matter’d not a tittle;
    If those bright lips had quoted Locke,
      I might have thought they murmur’d Little.
    Through sunny May, through sultry June,
      I loved her with a love eternal;
    I spoke her praises to the moon,
      I wrote them to the Sunday Journal:
    My mother laugh’d; I soon found out
      That ancient ladies have no feeling:
    My father frown’d; but how should gout
      See any happiness in kneeling?

    She was the daughter of a Dean,
      Rich, fat, and rather apoplectic;
    She had one brother, just thirteen,
      Whose color was extremely hectic;
    Her grandmother for many a year
      Had fed the parish with her bounty;
    Her second cousin was a peer,
      And Lord Lieutenant of the County.

    But titles, and the three per cents,
      And mortgages, and great relations,
    And India bonds, and tithes, and rents,
      Oh what are they to love’s sensations?
    Black eyes, fair forehead, clustering locks—
      Such wealth, such honors, Cupid chooses,
    He cares as little for the Stocks,
      As Baron Rothschild for the Muses.

    She sketch’d; the vale, the wood, the beach,
      Grew lovelier from her pencil’s shading:
    She botanized; I envied each
      Young blossom in her boudoir fading:
    She warbled Handel; it was grand;
      She made the Catalani jealous:
    She touch’d the organ; I could stand
      For hours and hours to blow the bellows.

    She kept an album, too, at home,
      Well fill’d with all an album’s glories;
    Paintings of butterflies, and Rome,
      Patterns for trimmings, Persian stories;
    Soft songs to Julia’s cockatoo,
      Fierce odes to Famine and to Slaughter,
    And autographs of Prince Leboo,
      And recipes for elder-water.

    And she was flatter’d, worshipp’d, bored;
      Her steps were watched, her dress was noted;
    Her poodle dog was quite adored,
      Her sayings were extremely quoted;
    She laugh’d, and every heart was glad,
      As if the taxes were abolish’d;
    She frown’d, and every look was sad,
      As if the Opera were demolish’d.

    She smiled on many, just for fun,—
      I knew that there was nothing in it;
    I was the first—the only one
      Her heart had thought of for a minute.—
    I knew it, for she told me so,
      In phrase which was divinely moulded;
    She wrote a charming hand,—and oh!
      How sweetly all her notes were folded!

    Our love was like most other loves;—
      A little glow, a little shiver,
    A rose-bud, and a pair of gloves,
      And “Fly not yet”—upon the river;
    Some jealousy of some one’s heir,
      Some hopes of dying broken-hearted,
    A miniature, a lock of hair,
      The usual vows,—and then we parted.

    We parted; months and years roll’d by;
      We met again four summers after:
    Our parting was all sob and sigh;
      Our meeting was all mirth and laughter:
    For in my heart’s most secret cell
      There had been many other lodgers;
    And she was not the ball-room’s Belle,
      But only—Mrs. Something Rogers!
                     _Winthrop Mackworth Praed._



AMY’S CRUELTY


    FAIR Amy of the terraced House!
      Assist me to discover
    Why you, who would not hurt a mouse,
      Can torture so a lover?

    You give your coffee to the cat,
      You stroke the dog for coming,
    And all your face grows kinder at
      The little brown bee’s humming.

    But when he haunts your door—the town
      Marks coming and marks going—
    You seem to have stitched your eyelids down
      To that long piece of sewing!

    You never give a look, not you,
      Nor drop him a “Good-morning,”
    To keep his long day warm and blue,
      So fretted by your scorning.

    She shook her head—“The mouse and bee
      For crumb or flower will linger;
    The dog is happy at my knee,
      The cat purrs at my finger.

    “But he—to him, the least thing given
      Means great things at a distance:
    He wants my world, my sun, my heaven,
      Soul, body, whole existence.

    “They say love gives as well as takes;
      But I’m a simple maiden,—
    My mother’s first smile when she wakes
      I still have smiled and prayed in.

    “I only know my mother’s love,
      Which gives all and asks nothing;
    And this new loving sets the groove
      Too much the way of loathing.

    “Unless he gives me all in ’change,
      I forfeit all things by him;
    The risk is terrible and strange;
      I tremble, doubt—deny him.

    “His sweetest friend, or hardest foe,
      Best angel or worst devil,
    I either hate—or love him so,
      I can’t be merely civil!

    “Such love’s a cowslip-ball to fling,
      A moment’s pretty pastime;
    I give—all me, if anything,
      The first time, and the last time.

    “Dear neighbour of the trellised house!
      A man should murmur never,
    Though treated worse than dog or mouse,
      Till doted on for ever.”
                    _Elizabeth Barrett Browning._



BEWARE!


    I KNOW a maiden fair to see,
              Take care!
    She can both false and friendly be,
              Beware! Beware!
              Trust her not,
    She is fooling thee!

    She has two eyes, so soft and brown,
              Take care!
    She gives a side-glance and looks down,
              Beware! Beware!
              Trust her not,
    She is fooling thee!

    And she has hair of a golden hue,
              Take care!
    And what she says, it is not true,
              Beware! Beware!
              Trust her not,
    She is fooling thee!

    She has a bosom as white as snow,
              Take care!
    She knows how much it is best to show,
              Beware! Beware!
              Trust her not,
    She is fooling thee!

    She gives thee a garland woven fair,
              Take care!
    It’s a fool’s-cap for thee to wear,
              Beware! Beware!
              Trust her not,
    She is fooling thee!
                   _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow._



LOVE IN A COTTAGE


    THEY may talk of love in a cottage,
      And bowers of trellised vine,—
    Of nature bewitchingly simple,
      And milkmaids half divine;
    They may talk of the pleasure of sleeping
      In the shade of a spreading tree,
    And a walk in the fields at morning
      By the side of a footstep free.

    But give me a sly flirtation
      By the light of a chandelier,
    With music to play in the pauses,
      And nobody very near:
    Or a seat on a silken sofa,
      With a glass of pure old wine,
    And mamma too blind to discover
      The small white hand in mine.

    Your love in a cottage is hungry,
      Your vine is a nest for flies,
    Your milkmaid shocks the Graces,
      And simplicity talks of pies.
    You lie down to your shady slumber
      And wake with a bug in your ear,
    And your damsel that walks in the morning
      Is shod like a mountaineer.

    True love is at home on a carpet,
      And mightily likes his ease,
    And true love has an eye for a dinner,
      And starves beneath shady trees.
    His wing is the fan of a lady,
      His foot’s an invisible thing,
    And his arrow is tipped with a jewel
      And shot from a silver string.
                      _Nathaniel Parker Willis._



BECAUSE


    SWEET Nea! for your lovely sake
      I weave these rambling numbers,
    Because I’ve lain an hour awake,
      And can’t compose my slumbers;
    Because your beauty’s gentle light
      Is round my pillow beaming,
    And flings, I know not why, to-night,
      Some witchery o’er my dreaming.

    Because we’ve pass’d some joyous days,
      And danced some merry dances;
    Because we love old Beaumont’s plays,
      And old Froissart’s romances!
    Because whene’er I hear your words
      Some pleasant feeling lingers;
    Because I think your heart has chords,
      That vibrate to your fingers!

    Because you’ve got those long, soft curls,
      I’ve sworn should deck my goddess;
    Because you’re not like other girls,
      All bustle, blush, and bodice!
    Because your eyes are deep and blue,
      Your fingers long and rosy;
    Because a little child and you
      Would make one’s home so cosy!

    Because your little tiny nose
      Turns up so pert and funny;
    Because I know you choose your beaux
      More for their mirth than money;
    Because I think you’d rather twirl
      A waltz, with me to guide you,
    Than talk small nonsense with an earl
      And a coronet beside you!

    Because you don’t object to walk,
      And are not given to fainting;
    Because you have not learnt to talk
      Of flowers, and Poonah-painting;
    Because I think you’d scarce refuse
      To sew one on a button;
    Because I know you’d sometimes choose
      To dine on simple mutton!

    Because I think I’m just so weak
      As, some of those fine morrows,
    To ask you if you’ll let me speak
      _My_ story—and _my_ sorrows;
    Because the rest’s a simple thing,
      A matter quickly over,
    A church—a priest—a sigh—a ring—
      And a chaise and four to Dover.
                      _Edward Fitzgerald._



LILIAN


    AIRY, fairy Lilian,
      Flitting, fairy Lilian,
    When I ask her if she love me,
    Clasps her tiny hand above me,
      Laughing all she can;
    She’ll not tell me if she love me,
      Cruel little Lilian.

      When my passion seeks
      Pleasance in love-sighs,
    She, looking through and through me,
    Thoroughly to undo me,
      Smiling, never speaks:

    So innocent-arch, so cunning-simple,
    From beneath her gathered wimple
      Glancing with black-beaded eyes,
    Till the lightning laughters dimple
      The baby-roses in her cheeks;
      Then away she flies.

    Prithee weep, May Lilian!
      Gaiety without eclipse
    Wearieth me, May Lilian:
    Through my very heart it thrilleth,
      When from crimson-threaded lips
    Silver-treble laughter trilleth:
    Prithee weep, May Lilian!
      Praying all I can,
    If prayers will not hurt thee,
      Airy Lilian,
    Like a rose-leaf I will crush thee,
      Fairy Lilian.
                    _Alfred Tennyson._



THE HENCHMAN


    MY lady walks her morning round,
    My lady’s page her fleet greyhound,
    My lady’s hair the fond winds stir,
    And all the birds make songs for her.

    Her thrushes sing in Rathburn bowers,
    And Rathburn side is gay with flowers;
    But ne’er like hers, in flower or bird,
    Was beauty seen or music heard.

    The distance of the stars is hers;
    The least of all her worshippers,
    The dust beneath her dainty heel,
    She knows not that I see or feel.

    Oh, proud and calm!—she cannot know
    Where’er she goes with her I go;
    Oh, cold and fair!—she cannot guess
    I kneel to share her hound’s caress!

    Gay knights beside her hunt and hawk,
    I rob their ears of her sweet talk;
    Her suitors come from East and West,
    I steal her smiles from every guest.

    Unheard of her, in loving words,
    I greet her with the song of birds;
    I reach her with the green-armed bowers,
    I kiss her with the lips of flowers.

    The hound and I are on her trail,
    The wind and I uplift her veil;
    As if the calm, cold moon she were,
    And I the tide, I follow her.

    As unrebuked as they, I share
    The license of the sun and air,
    And in a common homage hide
    My worship from her scorn and pride.

    World-wide apart, and yet so near,
    I breathe her charmed atmosphere,
    Wherein to her my service brings
    The reverence due to holy things.

    Her maiden pride, her haughty name,
    My dumb devotion shall not shame;
    The love that no return doth crave
    To knightly levels lifts the slave.

    No lance have I, in joust or fight,
    To splinter in my lady’s sight;
    But, at her feet, how blest were I
    For any need of hers to die!
                 _John Greenleaf Whittier._



DOROTHY Q

A FAMILY PORTRAIT


    GRANDMOTHER’S mother: her age, I guess,
    Thirteen summers, or something less;
    Girlish bust but womanly air;
    Smooth, square forehead with uprolled hair;
    Lips that lover has never kissed;
    Taper fingers and slender wrist;
    Hanging sleeves of stiff brocade;
    So they painted the little maid.

    On her hand a parrot green
    Sits unmoving and broods serene.
    Hold up the canvas full in view,—
    Look! there’s a rent the light shines through,
    Dark with a century’s fringe of dust,—
    That was a Red-Coat’s rapier-thrust!
    Such is the tale the lady old,
    Dorothy’s daughter’s daughter told.

    Who the painter was none may tell,—
    One whose best was not over well;
    Hard and dry, it must be confessed,
    Flat as a rose that has long been pressed;
    Yet in her cheek the hues are bright,
    Dainty colors of red and white,
    And in her slender shape are seen
    Hint and promise of stately mien.

    Look not on her with eyes of scorn,—
    Dorothy Q. was a lady born!
    Ay! Since the galloping Normans came,
    England’s annals have known her name;
    And still to the three-hilled rebel town
    Dear is that ancient name’s renown,
    For many a civic wreath they won,
    The youthful sire and the gray-haired son.

    O Damsel Dorothy! Dorothy Q.!
    Strange is the gift that I owe to you;
    Such a gift as never a king
    Save to daughter or son might bring,—
    All my tenure of heart and hand,
    All my title to house and land;
    Mother and sister and child and wife
    And joy and sorrow and death and life!

    What if a hundred years ago
    Those close-shut lips had answered No,
    When forth the tremulous question came
    That cost the maiden her Norman name,
    And under the folds that look so still
    The bodice swelled with the bosom’s thrill?
    Should I be I, or would it be
    One tenth another, to nine tenths me?

    Soft is the breath of maiden’s Yes:
    Not the light gossamer stirs with less;
    But never a cable that holds so fast
    Through all the battles of wave and blast,
    And never an echo of speech or song
    That lives in the babbling air so long!
    There were tones in the voice that whispered then
    You may hear to-day in a hundred men.

    O lady and lover, how faint and far
    Your images hover,—and here we are,
    Solid and stirring in flesh and bone,—
    Edward’s and Dorothy’s—all their own,—
    A goodly record for Time to show
    Of a syllable spoken so long ago!—
    Shall I bless you, Dorothy, or forgive
    For the tender whisper that bade me live?

    It shall be a blessing, my little maid!
    It will heal the stab of the Red-Coat’s blade,
    And freshen the gold of the tarnished frame,
    And gild with a rhyme your household name;
    So you shall smile on us brave and bright
    As first you greeted the morning’s light,
    And live untroubled by woes and fears
    Through a second youth of a hundred years.
                      _Oliver Wendell Holmes._



A REMINISCENCE

“_C’etait en Avril, le Dimanche._”—_Pailleron_


    ’TWAS April; ’twas Sunday; the day was fair,—
              Yes! sunny and fair.
              And how happy was I!
    You wore the white dress you loved to wear;
    And two little flowers were hid in your hair—
              Yes! in your hair—
              On that day—gone by!

    We sat on the moss; it was shady and dry;
              Yes! shady and dry;
              And we sat in the shadow.
    We looked at the leaves, we looked at the sky;
    We looked at the brook which bubbled near by,—
              Yes! bubbled near by,
              Through the quiet meadow.

    A bird sang on the swinging vine,—
              Yes! on the vine,—
              And then,—sang not;
    I took your little white hand in mine;
    ’Twas April; ’twas Sunday; ’twas warm sunshine,—
              Yes! warm sunshine:
              Have you forgot?
                     _James Freeman Clarke._



THE AGE OF WISDOM


    HO, pretty page, with the dimpled chin,
      That never has known the barber’s shear,
    All you wish is woman to win,
    This is the way that boys begin,—
      Wait till you come to Forty Year.

    Curly gold locks cover foolish brains,
      Billing and cooing is all your cheer;
    Sighing and singing of midnight strains,
    Under Bonnybell’s window panes,—
      Wait till you come to Forty Year.

    Forty times over let Michaelmas pass,
      Grizzling hair the brain doth clear—
    Then you know a boy is an ass,
    Then you know the worth of a lass,
      Once you have come to Forty Year.

    Pledge me round, I bid ye declare,
      All good fellows whose beards are grey,
    Did not the fairest of the fair
    Common grow and wearisome ere
      Ever a month was passed away?

    The reddest lips that ever have kissed,
      The brightest eyes that ever have shone,
    May pray and whisper, and we not list,
    Or look away, and never be missed,
      Ere yet ever a month is gone.

    Gillian’s dead, God rest her bier,
      How I loved her twenty years syne!
    Marian’s married, but I sit here
    Alone and merry at Forty Year,
      Dipping my nose in the Gascon wine.
                    _William Makepeace Thackeray._



THE BALLAD OF BOUILLABAISSE


    A STREET there is in Paris famous,
      For which no rhyme our language yields,
    Rue Neuve des Petits Champs its name is—
      The New Street of the Little Fields.
    And here’s an inn, not rich and splendid
      But still in comfortable case;
    The which in youth I oft attended
      To eat a bowl of Bouillabaisse.

    This Bouillabaisse a noble dish is,
      A sort of soup or broth, or brew,
    Or hotchpotch of all sorts of fishes
      That Greenwich never could outdo;
    Green herbs, red peppers, mussels, saffron,
      Soles, onions, garlic, roach and dace:
    All these you eat at Terrè’s tavern
      In that one dish of Bouillabaisse.

    Indeed a rich and savoury stew ’tis;
      And true philosophers, methinks,
    Who love all sorts of natural beauties
      Should love good victuals and good drinks.
    And Cordelier or Benedictine
      Might gladly, sure, his lot embrace,
    Nor find a fast-day too afflicting
      Which served him up a Bouillabaisse.

    I wonder if the house still there is?
      Yes, here the lamp is, as before;
    The smiling red-cheeked “écaillère” is
      Still opening oysters at the door.
    Is Terrè still alive and able?
      I recollect his droll grimace;
    He’d come and smile before your table
      And hope you liked your Bouillabaisse.

    We enter—nothing’s changed or older.
      “How’s Monsieur Terrè, waiter, pray?”
    The waiter stares and shrugs his shoulder—
      “Monsieur is dead this many a day.”
    “It is the lot of saint and sinner,
      So honest Terrè’s run his race.”
    “What will Monsieur require for dinner?”
      “Say, do you still cook Bouillabaisse?”

    “Oh, oui, Monsieur,” is the waiter’s answer,
      “Quel vin, Monsieur, désire-t-il?”
    “Tell me a good one.” “That I can, sir:
      The Chambertin with yellow seal.”
    “So Terrè’s gone,” I say, and sink in
      My old accustom’d corner place;
    “He’s done with feasting and with drinking,
      With Burgundy and Bouillabaisse.”

    My old accustom’d corner here is,
      The table still is in the nook;
    Ah! vanish’d many a busy year is;
      This well-known chair since last I took,
    When first I saw ye, “_cari luoghi_,”
      I’d scarce a beard upon my face,
    And now a grizzled, grim old fogy,
      I sit and wait for Bouillabaisse.

    Where are you, old companions trusty
      Of early days met here to dine?
    Come, waiter! quick, a flagon crusty,
      I’ll pledge them in the good old wine.
    The kind old voices and old faces
      My memory can quick retrace;
    Around the board they take their places,
      And share the wine and Bouillabaisse.

    There’s Jack has made a wondrous marriage,
      There’s laughing Tom is laughing yet,
    There’s brave Augustus drives his carriage,
      There’s poor old Fred in the “Gazette”;
    On James’s head the grass is growing:
      Good Lord! the world has wagged a-pace,
    Since here we set the claret flowing
      And drank, and ate the Bouillabaisse.

    Ah me! how quick the days are flitting.
      I mind me of the time that’s gone,
    When here I’d sit, as now I’m sitting
      In this same place—but not alone.
    A fair young form was nestled near me,
      A dear, dear face looked fondly up,
    And sweetly spoke, and smiled to cheer me—
      There’s no one now to share my cup.

    I drink it as the Fates ordain it.
      Come, fill it, and have done with rhymes:
    Fill up the lonely glass and drain it
      In memory of dear old times.
    Welcome the wine, whate’er the seal is,
      And sit you down and say your grace
    With thankful heart whate’er the meat is.
    —Here comes the smoking Bouillabaisse!
                    _William Makepeace Thackeray._



AN INVITATION


    TELL me, pretty one, where will you sail?
      How shall our bark be steered, I pray?
      Breezes flutter each silken veil,
    Tell me, where will you go to-day?

    My vessel’s helm is of ivory white,
    Her bulwarks glisten with jewels bright
                  And red gold;
    The sails are made from the wings of a dove,
    And the man at the wheel is the god of love,
                  Blithe and bold.

    Where shall we sail? ’Mid the Baltic’s foam?
    Or over the broad Pacific roam?
                  Don’t refuse.
    Say, shall we gather the sweet snow-flowers,
    Or wander in rose-strewn Eastern bowers?
                  Only choose.

    “Oh, carry me then,” cried the fair coquette,
    “To the land where never I’ve journeyed yet,
                  To that shore
    Where love is lasting, and change unknown,
    And a man is faithful to one alone
                  Evermore.”

    Go, seek that land for a year and a day,
    At the end of the time you’ll be still far away
                  Pretty maid;—
    ’Tis a country unlettered in map or in chart,
    ’Tis a country that does not exist, sweetheart,
                  I’m afraid!
                   _Translated from Théophile Gautier._



FANNY; OR THE BEAUTY AND THE BEE


    FANNY, array’d in the bloom of her beauty,
      Stood at the mirror, and toy’d with her hair,
    Viewing her charms, till she felt it a duty
      To own that like Fanny no woman was fair.
    A Bee from the garden—oh, what could mislead him?—
      Stray’d through the lattice new dainties to seek,
    And lighting on Fanny, too busy to heed him,
      Stung the sweet maid on her delicate cheek.

    Smarting with pain, round the chamber she sought him,
      Tears in her eyes, and revenge in her heart,
    And angrily cried, when at length she had caught him,
      “Die for the deed, little wretch that thou art!”
    Stooping to crush him, the hapless offender
      Pray’d her for mercy,—to hear and forgive;
    “Oh, spare me!” cried he, “by those eyes in their splendour;
      Oh, pity my fault, and allow me to live!

    “Am I to blame that your cheeks are like roses,
      Whose hues all the pride of the garden eclipse?
    Lilies are hid in your mouth when it closes,
      And odours of Araby breathe from your lips.”
    Sweet Fanny relented: “’twere cruel to hurt you;
      Small is the fault, pretty bee, you deplore;
    And e’en were it greater, forgiveness is virtue;
      Go forth and be happy—I blame you no more.”
                                   _Charles Mackay._



GARDEN FANCIES

THE FLOWER’S NAME


I

    HERE’S the garden she walked across,
      Arm in my arm, such a short while since:
    Hark, now I push its wicket, the moss
      Hinders the hinges and makes them wince!
    She must have reached this shrub ere she turned,
      As back with that murmur the wicket swung;
    For she laid the poor snail, my chance foot spurned,
      To feed and forget it the leaves among.


II

    Down this side of the gravel-walk
      She went while her robe’s edge brushed the box:
    And here she paused in her gracious talk
      To point me a moth on the milk-white phlox.
    Roses ranged in a valiant row,
      I will never think that she passed you by!
    She loves you, noble roses, I know;
      But yonder, see, where the rock-plants lie!


III

    This flower she stooped at, finger on lip,
      Stooped over in doubt, as settling its claim;
    Till she gave me, with pride to make no slip,
      Its soft meandering Spanish name:
    What a name! Was it love or praise?
      Speech half-asleep or song half-awake?
    I must learn Spanish, one of these days,
      Only for that slow sweet name’s sake.


IV

    Roses, if I live and do well,
      I may bring her, one of these days,
    To fix you fast with as fine a spell,
      Fit you each with his Spanish phrase;
    But do not detain me now; for she lingers
      There, like sunshine over the ground,
    And ever I see her soft white fingers
      Searching after the bud she found.


V

    Flower, you Spaniard, look that you grow not,
      Stay as you are and be loved for ever!
    Bud, if I kiss you, ’tis that you blow not:
      Mind, the shut pink mouth opens never!
    For while it pouts, her fingers wrestle
      Twinkling the audacious leaves between,
    Till round they turn and down they nestle—
      Is not the dear mark still to be seen?


VI

    Where I find her not, beauties vanish;
      Whither I follow her, beauties flee;
    Is there no method to tell her in Spanish
      June’s twice June since she breathed it with me?
    Come, bud, show me the least of her traces,
      Treasure my lady’s lightest footfall!
    —Ah, you may flout and turn up your faces—
      Roses, you are not so fair after all!
                           _Robert Browning._



A POEM OF EVERY-DAY LIFE


    HE tore him from the merry throng
      Within the billiard hall;
    He was gotten up regardlessly
      To pay his party call.
    His thoughts were dire and dark within,
      Discourteous to fate:
    “Ah, me! these social debts incurred
      Are hard to liquidate.”

    His boots were slender, long and trim;
      His collar tall and swell;
    His hats were made by Dunlap,
      And his coats were cut by Bell;
    A symphony in black and white,
      “Of our set” the pride,
    Yet he lingered on his way—
      He would that he had died.

    His feet caressed the lonely way,
      The pave gave forth no sound;
    They seemed in pitying silence clothed
      West-End-ward he was bound.
    He approached the mansion stealthily,
      The step looked cold and chill;
    He glanced into the vestibule,
       But all was calm and still.

    He fingered nervously the bell,
      His card-case in his hand;
    He saw the mirror in the hall—
      Solemn, stately, grand.
    Suddenly his spirits rose;
      The drawing-room looked dim;
    The menial filled his soul with joy
      With “No, there’s no one in.”

    With fiendish glee he stole away;
      His heart was gay and light,
    Happy that he went and paid
      His party call that night.
    His steps turned to the billiard hall,
      Blissfully he trod;
    He entered: “What, returned so soon?”
      Replied: “She’s out, thank God!”

    Sixteen cues were put to rest
      Within their upright beds,
    And sixteen different tiles were placed
      On sixteen level heads;
    Sixteen men upon the street
      In solid phalanx all,
    And sixteen men on duty bent
      To pay their party call.

    When the fairest of her sex came home
      At early dawn, I ween,
    She slowly looked the cards all out—
      They numbered seventeen.
    With calm relief she raised her eyes,
      Filled with grateful light,
    “Oh, merciful Fate, look down and see
      What I’ve escaped this night!”
                          _Albert Riddle._



LOVE DISPOSED OF


    HERE goes Love! Now cut him clear,
      A weight about his neck:
    If he linger longer here,
      Our ship will be a wreck.
    Overboard! Overboard!
      Down let him go!
    In the deep he may sleep
      Where the corals grow.

    He said he’d woo the gentle breeze,
      A bright tear in her eye;
    But she was false or hard to please,
      Or he has told a lie.
    Overboard! overboard!
      Down in the sea
    He may find a truer mind,
      Where the mermaids be.

    He sang us many a merry song
      While the breeze was kind;
    But he has been lamenting long
      The falseness of the wind.
    Overboard! overboard!
      Under the wave
    Let him sing where smooth shells ring
      In the ocean’s cave.

    He may struggle; he may weep;
      We’ll be stern and cold;
    His grief will find, within the deep,
      More tears than can be told.
    He has gone overboard!
      We will float on;
    We shall find a truer wind,
      Now that he is gone.
                _Robert Traill Spence Lowell._



MABEL, IN NEW HAMPSHIRE


    FAIREST of the fairest, rival of the rose,
    That is Mabel of the Hills, as everybody knows.

    Do you ask me near what stream this sweet floweret grows?
    That’s an ignorant question, sir, as everybody knows.

    Ask you what her age is, reckoned as time goes?
    Just the age of beauty, as everybody knows.

    Is she tall as Rosalind, standing on her toes?
    She is just the perfect height, as everybody knows.

    What’s the color of her eyes, when they ope or close?
    Just the color they should be, as everybody knows.

    Is she lovelier dancing, or resting in repose?
    Both are radiant pictures, as everybody knows.

    Do her ships go sailing on every wind that blows?
    She is richer far than that, as everybody knows.

    Has she scores of lovers, heaps of bleeding beaux?
    That question’s quite superfluous, as everybody knows.

    I could tell you something, if I only chose!—
    But what’s the use of telling what everybody knows?
                                       _James Thomas Fields._



THE COQUETTE

A PORTRAIT


    “YOU’RE clever at drawing, I own,”
      Said my beautiful cousin Lisette,
    As we sat by the window alone,
      “But say, can you paint a Coquette?”

    “She’s painted already,” quoth I;
      “Nay, nay!” said the laughing Lisette,
    “Now none of your joking—but try
      And paint me a thorough Coquette.”

    “Well, Cousin,” at once I began
      In the ear of the eager Lisette,
    “I’ll paint you as well as I can,
      That wonderful thing, a Coquette.

    “She wears a most beautiful face”
      (“Of course,” said the pretty Lisette),
    “And isn’t deficient in grace,
      Or else she were not a Coquette.

    “And then she is daintily made”
      (A smile from the dainty Lisette)
    “By people expert in the trade
      Of forming a proper Coquette.

    “She’s the winningest ways with the beaux”
      (“Go on!” said the winning Lisette),
    “But there isn’t a man of them knows
      The mind of the fickle Coquette!

    “She knows how to weep and to sigh”
      (A sigh from the tender Lisette),
    “But her weeping is all in my eye—
      Not that of the cunning Coquette!

    “In short, she’s a creature of art”
      (“Oh, hush!” said the frowning Lisette),
    “With merely the ghost of a heart—
      Enough for a thorough Coquette.

    “And yet I could easily prove”
      (“Now don’t!” said the angry Lisette),
    “The lady is always in love—
      In love with herself—the Coquette!

    “There—do not be angry—you know,
      My dear little Cousin Lisette,
    You told me a moment ago,
      To paint you—a thorough Coquette!”
                      _John Godfrey Saxe._



JUSTINE, YOU LOVE ME NOT!

    “_Helas! vous ne m’aimez pas._”—_Piron._


    I know, Justine, you speak me fair
        As often as we meet;
    And ’tis a luxury, I swear,
      To hear a voice so sweet;
    And yet it does not please me quite,
      The civil way you’ve got;
    For me you’re something too polite—
      Justine, you love me not!

    I know, Justine, you never scold
        At aught that I may do:
    If I am passionate or cold,
      ’Tis all the same to you.
    “A charming temper,” say the men,
      “To smooth a husband’s lot”:
    I wish ’twere ruffled now and then—
      Justine, you love me not!

    I know, Justine, you wear a smile
      As beaming as the sun;
    But who supposes all the while
      It shines for only one?
    Though azure skies are fair to see,
      A transient cloudy spot
    In yours would promise more to me—
      Justine, you love me not!

    I know, Justine, you make my name
      Your eulogistic theme,
    And say—if any chance to blame—
      You hold me in esteem.
    Such words, for all their kindly scope,
      Delight me not a jot;
    Just as you would have praised the Pope—
      Justine, you love me not!

    I know, Justine—for I have heard
      What friendly voices tell—
    You do not blush to say the word,
      “You like me passing well;”
    And thus the fatal sound I hear
      That seals my lonely lot:
    There’s nothing now to hope or fear—
      Justine, you love me not!
                      _John Godfrey Saxe._



SING HEIGH-HO!


    THERE sits a bird on every tree
      Sing heigh-ho!
    There sits a bird on every tree,
    And courts his love, as I do thee;
      Sing heigh-ho, and heigh-ho!
    Young maids must marry.

    There grows a flower on every bough,
      Sing heigh-ho!
    There grows a flower on every bough,
    Its petals kiss—I’ll show you how:
      Sing heigh-ho and heigh-ho!
    Young maids must marry.

    From sea to stream the salmon roam:
      Sing heigh-ho!
    From sea to stream the salmon roam;
    Each finds a mate, and leads her home;
      Sing heigh-ho, and heigh-ho!
    Young maids must marry.

    The sun’s a bridegroom, earth a bride,
      Sing heigh-ho!
    They court from morn till eventide:
    The earth shall pass, but love abide;
      Sing heigh-ho, and heigh-ho!
    Young maids must marry.
                      _Charles Kingsley._



SNOWDROP


    WHEN, full of warm and eager love,
      I clasp you in my fond embrace,
    You gently push me back and say,
      “Take care, my dear, you’ll spoil my lace.”

    You kiss me just as you would kiss
      Some woman friend you chanced to see;
    You call me “dearest.”—All love’s forms
      Are yours, not its reality.

    Oh, Annie! cry, and storm, and rave!
      Do anything with passion in it!
    Hate me an hour, and then turn round
      And love me truly, just one minute.
                      _William Wetmore Story._



THE PROTEST


    I COULD not bear to see those eyes
    On all with wasteful largess shine,
    And that delight of welcome rise
    Like sunshine strained through amber wine,
    But that a glow from deeper skies,
    From conscious fountains more divine,
    Is (is it?) mine.

    Be beautiful to all mankind,
    As Nature fashioned thee to be;
    ’Twould anger me did all not find
    The sweet perfection that’s in thee;
    Yet keep one charm of charms behind,—
    Nay, thou ’rt so rich, keep two of three
    For (is it?) me!
                      _James Russell Lowell._



SCHERZO


    WHEN the down is on the chin
    And the gold-gleam in the hair,
    When the birds their sweethearts win
    And champagne is in the air
    Love is here, and Love is there,
    Love is welcome everywhere.

    Summer’s cheek too soon turns thin,
    Day grows briefer, sunshine rare;
    Autumn from his cannikin
    Blows the froth to chase Despair:
    Love is met with frosty stare,
    Cannot house ’neath branches bare.

    When new life is in the leaf
    And new red is in the rose,
    Though Love’s Maytime be as brief
    As a dragon-fly’s repose,
    Never moments come like those,
    Be they Heaven or Hell: who knows?

    All too soon comes Winter’s grief,
    Spendthrift Love’s false friends turn foes;
    Softly comes Old Age, the thief,
    Steals the rapture, leaves the throes:
    Love his mantle round him throws,—
    “Time to say good-bye; it snows.”
                      _James Russell Lowell._



THE HANDSOMEST MAN IN THE ROOM


    I’VE always been told that I’m pretty
      (And really I think so myself),
    I’m accomplished, good-tempered, and witty,
      And papa has got plenty of pelf.
    My teeth, eyes, and curls, I won’t mention,
      My shape, nor my delicate bloom;
    But I’m sure I deserve the attention
      Of “the handsomest man in the room.”
    Yes, I know I deserve the attention,
      Of the “handsomest man in the room.”

    When I met that sublimest of fellows,
      The sight really made my heart jump;
    Other men shrank to mere punchinellos,
      As he towered like a pine in a clump.
    So noble and classic each feature,
      With a touching expression of gloom,
    That I said to myself—“The dear creature!
      He’s the handsomest man in the room!”
    “Yes!” I said to myself,—“The dear creature!
      He’s the handsomest man in the room!”

    He asked me if I’d walk a measure,
      (When he came it was nearly midnight)—
    I said—“With a great deal of pleasure,”
      For he danced like a perfect delight.
    So in waltzing and polking we sported,
      Till supper sent forth its perfume,
    And I went down to table, escorted
      By “the handsomest man in the room”—
    Yes, I went down to table, escorted
      By “the handsomest man in the room.”

    I thought ’twas a nice situation,
      So snugly together we sat,
    And in hopes of a pleasant flirtation,
      I tried to engage him in chat.
    But, to talk of himself never backward,
      He strove modest airs to assume,
    For he told me, he felt very awkward
      As “the handsomest man in the room”—
    Really, really, one does feel so awkward,
      As “the handsomest man in the room!”

    Thought I—“This is really too stupid!
      Your good looks are very well known,
    But you ought to know, Grenadier Cupid,
      That I’d much rather hear of my own.”
    Yet should he reform in this one thing
      (Of which there are hopes, I presume),
    We still may contrive to make something
      Of the handsomest man in the room,
    Yes, we still may contrive to make something
      Of the handsomest man in the room.
                     _William Macquorn Rankine._



THE LAWYER’S INVOCATION TO SPRING


    WHEREAS, on certain boughs and sprays
      Now divers birds are heard to sing,
    And sundry flowers their heads upraise,
      Hail to the coming on of Spring!

    The songs of those said birds arouse
      The memory of our youthful hours,
    As green as those said sprays and boughs,
      As fresh and sweet as those said flowers.

    The birds aforesaid—happy pairs—
      Love, ’mid the aforesaid boughs, inshrines
    In freehold nests; themselves their heirs,
      Administrators, and assigns.

    O busiest term of Cupid’s Court,
      Where tender plaintiffs actions bring,—
    Season of frolic and of sport,
      Hail, as aforesaid, coming Spring!
                      _Henry Howard Brownell._



A TERRIBLE INFANT


    I RECOLLECT a nurse call’d Ann
      Who carried me about the grass,
    And one fine day a fine young man
      Came up and kiss’d the pretty lass.
    She did not make the least objection!
      Thinks I, “Aha!
      When I can talk I’ll tell Mamma”—
    And that’s my earliest recollection.
                    _Frederick Locker-Lampson._



LOULOU AND HER CAT


    GOOD pastry is vended
      In Cité Fadette;
    _Maison Pons_ can make splendid
      _Brioche_ and _galette_.

    _M’sieu Pons_ is so fat that
      He’s laid on the shelf;
    _Madame_ had a Cat that
      Was fat as herself.

    Long hair, soft as satin,
      A musical purr,
    ’Gainst the window she’d flatten
      Her delicate fur.

    I drove Lou to see what
      Our neighbours were at,
    In rapture, cried she, “What
      An exquisite cat!

    “What whiskers! She’s purring
      All over. Regale
    Our eyes, _Puss_, by stirring
      Thy feathery tail!

    “_M’sieu Pons_, will you sell her?”
      “_Ma femme est sortie_,
    Your offer I’ll tell her;
      But will she?” says he.

    Yet _Pons_ was persuaded
      To part with the prize:
    (Our bargain was aided,
      My Lou, by your eyes!)

    From his _légitime_ save him,—
      _My_ spouse I prefer,
    For I warrant _his_ gave him
      _Un mauvais quart d’heure_.

    I am giving a pleasant
      Grimalkin to Lou,
    —Ah, _Puss_, what a present
      I’m giving to you!
                  _Frederick Locker-Lampson._



PICCADILLY


    PICCADILLY! Shops, palaces, bustle, and breeze,
    The whirring of wheels, and the murmur of trees;
    By night or by day, whether noisy or stilly,
    Whatever my mood is, I love Piccadilly.

    Wet nights, when the gas on the pavement is streaming,
    And young Love is watching, and old Love is dreaming,
    And Beauty is whirling to conquest, where shrilly
    Cremona makes nimble thy toes, Piccadilly!

    Bright days, when a stroll is my afternoon wont
    And I meet all the people I do know, or don’t:
    Here is jolly old Brown, and his fair daughter Lillie—
    No wonder, young Pilgrim, you like Piccadilly!

    See yonder pair riding, how fondly they saunter,
    She smiles on her poet, whose heart’s in a canter!
    Some envy her spouse, and some covet her filly,
    He envies them both,—he’s an ass, Piccadilly!

    Now were I such a bride, with a slave at my feet,
    I would choose me a house in my favourite street;
    Yes or no—I would carry my point, willy-nilly:
    If “no,”—pick a quarrel; if “yes”—Piccadilly!

    From Primrose balcony, long ages ago,
    “Old Q.” sat at gaze,—who now passes below?
    A frolicsome statesman, the Man of the Day
    A laughing philosopher, gallant and gay;

    Never darling of fortune more manfully trod,
    Full of years, full of fame, and the world at his nod,
    Can the thought reach his heart, and then leave it more chilly—
    Old P. or old Q.,—“I must quit Piccadilly?”

    Life is chequer’d; a patchwork of smiles and of frowns;
    We value its ups, let us muse on its downs;
    There’s a side that is bright, it will then turn us t’other,
    One turn, if a good one, deserves yet another.
    These downs are delightful, these ups are not hilly,—
    Let us try one more turn ere we quit Piccadilly.
                      _Frederick Locker-Lampson._



A WORD THAT MAKES US LINGER

(_Written in the visitor’s book at Gopsall_)


    KIND hostess mine, who raised the latch
    And welcomed me beneath your thatch,
    Who makes me here forget the pain,
    And all the pleasures of Cockaigne,
    Now, pen in hand, and pierced with woe,
    I write one word before I go—
    A word that dies upon my lips
    While thus you kiss your finger-tips.

    When Black-eyed Sue was rowed to land
    That word she cried, and waved her hand—
    Her lily hand!
                      It seems absurd,
    But I can’t write that dreadful word.
                      _Frederick Locker-Lampson._



MY MISTRESS’S BOOTS


    THEY nearly strike me dumb,
    And I tremble when they come
            Pit-a-pat:
    This palpitation means
    That these Boots are Geraldine’s—
            Think of that!

    Oh where did hunter win
    So delectable a skin
            For her feet?
    You lucky little kid,
    You perish’d, so you did,
            For my sweet!

    The faery stitching gleams
    On the sides, and in the seams,
            And it shows
    That the Pixies were the wags
    Who tipt these funny tags,
            And these toes.

    The simpletons who squeeze
    Their extremities to please
            Mandarins,
    Would positively flinch
    From venturing to pinch
            Geraldine’s.

    What soles to charm an elf!
    Had Crusoe, sick of self,
            Chanced to view
    One printed near the tide,
    Oh how hard he would have tried
            For the two!

    For Gerry’s debonair,
    And innocent and fair
            As a rose:
    She’s an angel in a frock,
    With a fascinating cock
            To her nose.

    Cinderella’s lefts and rights
    To Geraldine’s were frights;
            And, I trow,
    The damsel, deftly shod,
    Has dutifully trod
            Until now.

    Come, Gerry, since it suits
    Such a pretty Puss (in Boots)
            These to don,
    Set this dainty hand awhile
    On my shoulder, dear, and I’ll
            Put them on.
                     _Frederick Locker-Lampson._



A NICE CORRESPONDENT!


    THE glow and the glory are plighted
      To darkness, for evening is come;
    The lamp in Glebe Cottage is lighted,
      The birds and the sheep-bells are dumb.
    I’m alone in my casement, for Pappy
      Is summon’d to dinner at Kew:
    I’m alone, dearest Fred, but I’m happy—
              I’m thinking of you!

    I wish you were here! Were I duller
      Than dull, you’d be dearer than dear;
    I’m drest in your favourite colour—
      Dear Fred, how I wish you were here!
    I am wearing my lazuli necklace,
      The necklace you fasten’d askew!
    Was there ever so rude and so reckless
              A darling as you?

    I want you to come and pass sentence
      On two or three books with a plot;
    Of course you know “Janet’s Repentance”?
      I’m reading Sir Waverley Scott,
    The story of Edgar and Lucy,
      How thrilling, romantic, and true!
    The master (his bride was a goosey!)
              Reminds me of you.

    They tell me Cockaigne has been crowning
      A Poet whose garland endures;
    It was you who first spouted me Browning,—
      That stupid old Browning of yours!
    His vogue and his verve are alarming,
      I’m anxious to give him his due,
    But, Fred, he’s not nearly so charming
              A Poet as you!

    I heard how you shot at the Beeches,
      I saw how you rode Chanticleer,
    I have read the report of your speeches,
      And echoed the echoing cheer.
    There’s a whisper of hearts you are breaking,
      Dear Fred, I believe it, I do!
    Small marvel that Fashion is making
              Her idol of you!

    Alas for the world, and its dearly
      Bought triumph, its fugitive bliss;
    Sometimes I half wish I was merely
      A plain or a penniless miss;
    But perhaps one is best with “a measure
      Of pelf,” and I’m not sorry, too,
    That I’m pretty, because ’tis a pleasure,
              My darling, to you!

    Your whim is for frolic and fashion,
      Your taste is for letters and art;—
    This rhyme is the commonplace passion
      That glows in a fond woman’s heart:
    Lay it by in a dainty deposit
      For relics—we all have a few!
    Love, some day they’ll print it, because it
              Was written to you!
                      _Frederick Locker-Lampson._



THERE’S A TIME TO BE JOLLY


    THERE’S a time to be jolly, a time to repent,
    A season for folly, a season for Lent,
    The first as the worst we too often regard;
    The rest as the best, but our judgment is hard.

    There are snows in December and Roses in June,
    There’s darkness at midnight and sunshine at noon;
    But, were there no sorrow, no storm-cloud or rain,
    Who’d care for the morrow with beauty again.

    The world is a picture both gloomy and bright,
    And grief is the shadow and pleasure the light,
    And neither should smother the general tone:
    For where were the other if either were gone?

    The valley is lovely; the mountain is drear,
    Its summit is hidden in mist all the year;
    But gaze from the heaven, high over all weather,
    And mountain and valley are lovely together.

    I have learned to love Lucy, though faded she be;
    If my next love be lovely, the better for me.
    By the end of next summer, I’ll give you my oath,
    It was best, after all, to have flirted with both.
                               _Charles Godfrey Leland._



I REMEMBER, I REMEMBER


    I REMEMBER, I remember,
      The house where I was wed,
    And the little room from which, that night,
      My smiling bride was led;
    She didn’t come a wink too soon,
      Nor make too long a stay;
    But now I often wish her folks
      Had kept the girl away!

    I remember, I remember,
      Her dresses, red and white,
    Her bonnets and her caps and cloaks,—
      They cost an awful sight!
    The “corner lot” on which I built,
      And where my brother met
    At first my wife, one washing-day,—
      That man is single yet!

    I remember, I remember,
      Where I was used to court,
    And thought that all of married life
      Was just such pleasant sport:
    My spirit flew in feathers then,
      No care was on my brow;
    I scarce could wait to shut the gate,—
      I’m not so anxious now!

    I remember, I remember,
      My dear one’s smile and sigh;
    I used to think her tender heart
      Was close against the sky;
    It was a childish ignorance,
      But now it soothes me not
    To know I’m farther off from heaven
      Than when she wasn’t got!
                      _Phœbe Cary._



THE FLOWER OF LOVE LIES BLEEDING


    I MET a little maid one day,
      All in the bright May weather;
    She danced, and brushed the dew away
      As lightly as a feather.
    She had a ballad in her hand
      That she had just been reading,
    But was too young to understand:—
    That ditty of a distant land,
      “The flower of love lies bleeding.”

    She tripped across the meadow grass,
      To where a brook was flowing,
    Across the brook like wind did pass,—
      Wherever flowers were growing
    Like some bewildered child she flew,
      Whom fairies were misleading:
    “Whose butterfly,” I said, “are you?
    And what sweet thing do you pursue?”—
      “The flower of love lies bleeding!”

    “I’ve found the wild rose in the hedge,
      I’ve found the tiger-lily,—
    The blue flag by the water’s edge,—
      The dancing daffodilly,—
    King-cups and pansies,—every flower
      Except the one I’m needing;—
    Perhaps it grows in some dark bower,
    And opens at a later hour,—
      This flower of love lies bleeding.”

    “I wouldn’t look for it,” I said,
      “For you can do without it:
    There’s no such flower.” She shook her head;
      “But I have read about it!”
    I talked to her of bee and bird,
      But she was all unheeding:
    Her tender heart was strangely stirred,
    She harped on that unhappy word,—
      “The flower of love lies bleeding!”

    “My child,” I sighed, and dropped a tear,
      “I would no longer mind it;
    You’ll find it some day, never fear,
      For all of us must find it!
    I found it many a year ago,
      With one of gentle breeding;
    You and the little lad you know,—
    I see why you are weeping so,—
      Your flower of love lies bleeding!”
                      _Richard Henry Stoddard._



THE GOLD ROOM

AN IDYL


    THEY come from mansions far up-town,
      And from their country villas,
    And some, Charybdis’ gulf whirls down,
      And some fall into Scylla’s.
    Lo! here young Paris climbs the stairs
      As if their slope were Ida’s,
    And here his golden touch declares
      The ass’s ears of Midas.

    It seems a Bacchic, brawling rout
      To every business-scorner,
    But such, methinks, must be an “out,”
      Or has not made a “corner.”
    In me the rhythmic gush revives;
      I feel a classic passion:
    We, also, lead Arcadian lives,
      Though in a Broad-Street fashion.

    Old Battos, here, ’s a leading bull,
      And Diomed a bear is,
    And near them, shearing bankers’ wool,
      Strides the Tiltonian Charis;
    And Atys, there, has gone to smash,
      His every bill protested,
    While Cleon’s eyes with comfort flash,—
      I have his funds invested!

    Mehercle! ’tis the same thing yet
      As in the days of Pindar:
    The Isthmian race, the dust and sweat,
      The prize—why, what’s to hinder?
    And if I twang my lyre at times,
      They did so then, I reckon;
    That man’s the best at modern rhymes
      Whom you can draw a check on!
                     _Bayard Taylor._



COMFORT


    WHO would care to pass his life away
      Of the Lotos-land a dreamful denizen,—
    Lotos-islands in a waveless bay,
              Sung by Alfred Tennyson?

    Who would care to be a dull new-comer
      Far across the wild sea’s wide abysses,
    Where, about the earth’s three thousandth summer,
              Passed divine Ulysses?

    Rather give me coffee, art, a book,
      From my windows a delicious sea-view,
    Southdown mutton, somebody to cook,—
              “Music?”—I believe you.

    Strawberry icebergs in the summer time,—
      But of elm-wood many a massive splinter,
    Good ghost stories, and a classic rhyme,
              For the nights of winter.

    Now and then a friend and some Sauterne,
      Now and then a haunch of Highland venison,
    And for Lotos-land I’ll never yearn,
              _Malgré_ Alfred Tennyson.
                           _Mortimer Collins._



A SUMMER SONG


    SUMMER is sweet, ay! summer is sweet,—
      Minna mine with the brown, brown eyes:
    Red are the roses under his feet,
      Clear the blue of his windless skies.
    Pleasant it is in a boat to glide
      On a river whose ripples to ocean haste,
    With indolent fingers fretting the tide,
      And an indolent arm round a darling waist—
    And to see as the Western purple dies,
    Hesper mirrored in brown, brown eyes.

    Summer is fleet, ah! summer is fleet,—
      Minna mine with the brown, brown eyes:
    Onward travel his flying feet,
      And the mystical colours of autumn rise.
    Clouds will gather round evening star—
      Sorrow may silence our first gay rhyme,—
    The river’s swift ripples flow tardier far
      Than the golden minutes of love’s sweet time:
    But to me, whom omnipotent love makes wise,
    There’s endless summer in brown, brown eyes.
                      _Mortimer Collins._



MY AUNT’S SPECTRE


    THEY tell me (but I really can’t
      Imagine such a rum thing),
    It is the phantom of my Aunt,
      Who ran away—or something.

    It is the very worst of bores:
      (My Aunt was most delightful).
    It prowls about the corridors,
      And utters noises frightful.

    At midnight through the rooms It glides,
      Behaving very coolly,
    Our hearts all throb against our sides—
      The lights are burning bluely.

    The lady, in her living hours,
      Was the most charming vixen
    That ever this poor sex of ours
      Delighted to play tricks on.

    Yes, that’s her portrait on the wall,
      In quaint old-fangled bodice:
    Her eyes are blue—her waist is small—
      A ghost! Pooh, pooh,—a goddess!

    A fine patrician shape, to suit
      My dear old father’s sister—
    Lips softly curved, a dainty foot:
      Happy the man that kissed her!

    Light hair of crisp irregular curl
      Over fair shoulders scattered—
    Egad, she was a pretty girl,
      Unless Sir Thomas flattered!

    And who the deuce, in these bright days,
      Could possibly expect her
    To take to dissipated ways
      And plague us as a spectre?
                    _Mortimer Collins._



A CONCEIT


    OH, touch that rose-bud! it will bloom—
              My lady fair!
    A passionate red in dim green gloom,
    A joy, a splendor, a perfume
              That sleeps in air.

    You touched my heart; it gave a thrill
              Just like a rose
    That opens at a lady’s will;
    Its bloom is always yours, until
              You bid it close.
                    _Mortimer Collins._



MARTIAL IN LONDON


    EXQUISITE wines and comestibles,
      From Slater, and Fortnum and Mason;
    Billiard, écarté, and chess tables;
      Water in vast marble basin;
    Luminous books (not voluminous)
    To read under beech-trees cacuminous;
    One friend, who is fond of a distich,
    And doesn’t get too syllogistic;
    A valet, who knows the complete art
    Of service—a maiden, his sweetheart:
    Give me these, in some rural pavilion,
    And I’ll envy no Rothschild his million.
                    _Mortimer Collins._



THE BEST OF THE BALL


    AT last! O, sensation delicious!
      At last, it is here, it is here!
    That moment supremely auspicious
      In the jolliest ball of the year.

    It is all as I dreamt it would happen—
      The rooms grown oppressive with heat,
    And my darling, alarm’d with the crowding,
      Suggesting a timely retreat.

    “Not there; not among the exotics;
      I faint with that fragrance of theirs.
    Let us go—it will be so refreshing—
      And find out a seat on the stairs.”

    How dear are the lips that could utter
      Such exquisite music as this!
    How I listen’d, my heart all a-flutter,
      Assenting, transported with bliss!

    All the house with the dancers is throbbing,
      The music seems born of the air:
    O, joy of all joy the extremest,
      To sit, as I sit, on a stair!

    To sit, and to gaze on my darling,
      Enraptured in thrilling delight,
    As I think, “Never face could be fairer,
      Nor eyes half so tenderly bright.”

    It is all as I knew it would happen,
      Yet, no; there is something I miss—
    The eloquent words I intended
      To speak in a moment like this.

    They were tender, and soft, and poetic,
      And I thought, “As I timidly speak,
    She will smile, and a blush sympathetic
      Will crimson the rose in her cheek.”

    And now that we sit here together,
      I only—do all that I can—
    Converse on the ball and the weather,
      While she opens and closes her fan.

    What I thought to have said seems audacious,
      Her ear it would surely offend;
    She would turn from me, no longer gracious,
      And frown my delight to an end.

    Far better to talk of the weather,
      Or ponder in rapture supreme:
    ’Tis so joyous to sit here together,
      So pleasant to wake and to dream!

    Contented, long hours we could measure,
      Forgetting, forgotten by all;
    Nor envy the dancers their pleasure
      For ours is the best of the ball.
                    _William Sawyer._



THE BALLAD OF DEAD LADIES

(_Translation from François Villon, 1450_)


    TELL me now in what hidden way is
      Lady Flora the lovely Roman?
    Where’s Hipparchia, and where is Thais,
    Neither of them the fairer woman?
      Where is Echo, beheld of no man,
    Only heard on river and mere,—
      She whose beauty was more than human?...
    But where are the snows of yester-year?

    Where’s Heloise, the learned nun,
      For whose sake Abeillard, I ween,
    Lost manhood and put priesthood on?
      (From love he won such dule and teen!)
      And where, I pray you is the Queen
    Who will’d that Buridan should steer
      Sew’d in a sack’s mouth down the Seine?...
    But where are the snows of yester-year?

    White Queen Blanche, like a queen of lilies,
      With a voice like any mermaiden,—
    Bertha Broadfoot, Beatrice, Alice,
      And Ermengarde the lady of Maine,—
      And that good Joan whom Englishmen
    At Rouen doom’d and burn’d her there,—
      Mother of God, Where are they then?...
    But where are the snows of yester-year?

    Nay, never ask this weak, fair lord,
      Where they are gone, nor yet this year,
    Save with thus much for an overword,—
      But where are the snows of yester-year?
                    _Dante Gabriel Rossetti._



FEMININE ARITHMETIC


    _Laura_

    ON me he shall ne’er put a ring,
      So, mamma, ’tis in vain to take trouble—
    For I was but eighteen in spring,
      While his age exactly is double.

    _Mamma_

    He’s but in his thirty-sixth year,
      Tall, handsome, good-natured and witty,
    And should you refuse him, my dear,
      May you die an old maid without pity!

    _Laura_

    His figure, I grant you, will pass,
      And at present he’s young enough plenty;
    But when I am sixty, alas!
      Will not he be a hundred and twenty?
                     _Charles Graham Halpine._



A TRIFLE


    I KNOW not why, but ev’n to me
    My songs seem sweet when read to thee.

    Perhaps in this the pleasure lies—
    I read my thoughts within thine eyes.

    And so dare fancy that my art
    May sink as deeply as thy heart.

    Perhaps I love to make my words
    Sing round thee like so many birds,

    Or, Maybe, they are only sweet
    As they seem offerings at thy feet.

    Or haply, Lily, when I speak,
    I think, perchance, they touch thy cheek,

    Or with a yet more precious bliss,
    Die on thy red lips in a kiss.

    Each reason here—I cannot tell—
    Or all perhaps may solve the spell.

    But if she watch when I am by,
    Lily may deeper see than I.
                    _Henry Timrod._



FLIGHT


    O MEMORY! that which I gave thee
      To guard in thy garner yestreen—
    Little deeming thou e’er could’st behave thee
      Thus basely—hath gone from thee clean!
    Gone, fled, as ere autumn is ended
      The yellow leaves flee from the oak—
    I have lost it forever, my splendid
                Original joke.

    What was it? I know I was brushing
      My hair when the notion occurred:
    I know that I felt myself blushing
      As I thought, “How supremely absurd!
    How they’ll hammer on floor and on table
      As its drollery dawns on them—how
    They will quote it”—I wish I were able
                To quote it just now.

    I had thought to lead up conversation
      To the subject—it’s easily done—
    Then let off, as an airy creation
      Of the moment, that masterly pun.
    Let it off, with a flash like a rocket’s;
      In the midst of a dazzled conclave,
    Where I sat, with my hands in my pockets,
                The only one grave.

    I had fancied young Titterton’s chuckles,
      And old Bottleby’s hearty guffaws
    As he drove at my ribs with his knuckles,
      His mode of expressing applause:
    While Jean Bottleby—queenly Miss Janet—
      Drew her handkerchief hastily out,
    In fits at my slyness—what can it
                Have all been about?

    I know ’twas the happiest, quaintest
      Combination of pathos and fun:
    But I’ve got no idea—the faintest—
      Of what was the actual pun.
    I think it was somehow connected
      With something I’d recently read—
    Or heard—or perhaps recollected
                On going to bed.

    What had I been reading? The _Standard_:
      “Double Bigamy”; “Speech of the Mayor.”
    And later—eh? yes! I meandered
      Through some chapters of “Vanity Fair.”
    How it fuses the grave with the festive!
      Yet e’en there, there is nothing so fine—
    So playfully, subtly suggestive—
                As that joke of mine.

    Did it hinge upon “parting asunder?”
      No, I don’t part my hair with my brush.
    Was the point of it “hair”? Now I wonder!
      Stop a bit—I shall think of it—hush!
    There’s hare, a wild animal—stuff!
      It was something a deal more recondite:
    Of that I am certain enough;
                And of nothing beyond it.

    Hair—locks! There are probably many
      Good things to be said about those.
    Give me time—that’s the best guess of any—
      “Lock” has several meanings, one knows.
    Iron locks—iron-gray-locks—a “deadlock”—
      That would set up an everyday wit:
    Then of course there’s the obvious “wedlock”;
                But that wasn’t it.

    No! mine was a joke for the ages;
      Full of intricate meaning and pith;
    A feast for your scholars and sages—
      How it would have rejoiced Sydney Smith!
    ’Tis such thoughts that ennoble a mortal;
      And, singling him out from the herd,
    Fling wide immortality’s portal—
                But what was the word?

    Ah me! ’tis a bootless endeavor.
      As the flight of a bird of the air
    Is the flight of a joke—you will never
      See the same one again, you may swear.
    ’Twas my firstborn, and O how I prized it!
      My darling, my treasure, my own!
    This brain and none other devised it—
                And now it has flown.
                     _Charles Stuart Calverley._



LOVE


    CANST thou love me, lady?
      I’ve not learn’d to woo;
    Thou art on the shady
      Side of sixty, too.
    Still I love thee dearly!
      Thou hast lands and pelf:
    But I love thee merely
      Merely for thyself.

    Wilt thou love me, fairest?
      Though thou art not fair;
    And I think thou wearest
      Someone-else’s hair.
    Thou could’st love, though, dearly;
      And, as I am told,
    Thou art very nearly
      Worth thy weight in gold.

    Dost thou love me, sweet one?
      Tell me that thou dost!
    Women fairly beat one,
      But I think thou must.
    Thou art loved so dearly:
      I am plain, but then
    Thou (to speak sincerely)
      Art as plain again.

    Love me, bashful fairy!
      I’ve an empty purse:
    And I’ve “moods,” which vary;
      Mostly for the worst.
    Still, I love thee dearly:
      Though I make (I feel)
    Love a little queerly,
      I’m as true as steel.

    Love me, swear to love me
      (As you know, they do)
    By yon heaven above me
      And its changeless blue.
    Love me, lady, dearly,
      If you’ll be so good;
    Though I don’t see clearly
      On what ground you should.

    Love me—ah! or love me
      Not, but be my bride!
    Do not simply shove me
      (So to speak) aside!
    P’raps it would be dearly
      Purchased at the price;
    But a hundred yearly
      Would be very nice.
                    _Charles Stuart Calverley._



SINCE WE PARTED


    SINCE we parted yester eve,
    I do love thee, love, believe,
    Twelve times dearer, twelve hours longer,
    One dream deeper, one night stronger,
    One sun surer,—thus much more
    Than I loved thee, love, before.
                    _Owen Meredith._



A KISS—BY MISTAKE


    UPON the railway train we met—
      She had the softest, bluest eyes,
    A face you never could forget—
      “Sixteen” with all that that implies.
    I knew her once a little girl,
      And meeting now a mutual friend,
    Our thoughts and hearts got in a whirl;
      We talked for miles without much end,

    I threw my arms around the seat
      Where, just in front, she sideways sat,
    Her melting eyes and face to meet—
      (And no one wondered much at that),
    For soon the station where she left
      Would on the sorrowing vision rise,
    And I at least should feel bereft;
      I thought a tear stood in her eyes.

    She was but kith, not kin of mine;
      Ten years had passed since last we met,
    And when in going she did incline
      Her face ’twas natural to forget,
    It seemed so like a child I knew—
      I met her half way by mistake;
    And coming near those eyes of blue,
      She gently kissed me—by mistake!

    She saw her error, and straightway ran
      With flaming blushes, rosy red;
    I should not be one-half a man
      If thoughts of wrong came in my head;
    In fact, I’d take that very train
      And travel daily for her sake,
    If she would only come again
      And gently kiss me—by mistake!
                    _Joel Benton._



A GAME OF FIVES


    FIVE little girls, of Five, Four, Three, Two, One:
    Rolling on the hearthrug, full of tricks and fun.

    Five rosy girls, in years from Ten to Six:
    Sitting down to lessons—no more time for tricks.

    Five growing girls, from Fifteen to Eleven:
    Music, Drawing, Languages, and food enough for seven!

    Five winsome girls, from Twenty to Sixteen:
    Each young man that calls, I say “Now tell me which you _mean_!”

    Five dashing girls, the youngest Twenty-one:
    But, if nobody proposes, what is there to be done?

    Five showy girls—but Thirty is an age
    When girls may be engaging, but they somehow don’t engage.

    Five dressy girls, of Thirty-one or more:
    So gracious to the shy young men they snubbed so much before!

           *       *       *       *       *

    Five _passé_ girls—Their age? Well, never mind!
    We jog along together, like the rest of human kind:
    But the quondam “careless bachelor” begins to think he knows
    The answer to that ancient problem “how the money goes!”
                                                    _Lewis Carroll._



A VALENTINE

(_Sent to a friend who complained that I was glad enough to see him
when he came, but didn’t seem to miss him if he stayed away._)


    AND cannot pleasures, while they last,
    Be actual unless, when past,
    They leave us shuddering and aghast,
      With anguish smarting?
    And cannot friends be firm and fast,
      And yet bear parting?

    And must I then, at Friendship’s call,
    Calmly resign the little all
    (Trifling, I grant, it is and small)
      I have of gladness,
    And lend my being to the thrall
      Of gloom and sadness?

    And think you that I should be dumb,
    And full _dolorum omnium_,
    Excepting when you choose to come
      And share my dinner?
    At other times be sour and glum
      And daily thinner?

    Must he then only live to weep,
    Who’d prove his friendship true and deep?
    By day a lonely shadow creep,
      At night-time languish,
    Oft raising in his broken sleep
      The moan of anguish.

    The lover, if for certain days
    His fair one be denied his gaze,
    Sinks not in grief and wild amaze,
      But, wiser wooer
    He spends the time in writing lays,
      And posts them to her.

    And if the verse flow free and fast,
    Till even the poet is aghast,
    A touching Valentine at last
      The post shall carry,
    When thirteen days are gone and past
      Of February.

    Farewell, dear friend, and when we meet,
    In desert waste or crowded street,
    Perhaps before this week shall fleet,
      Perhaps to-morrow,
    I trust to find your heart the seat
      Of wasting sorrow.
                      _Lewis Carroll._



THE WEDDING DAY


I

    SWEETHEART, name the day for me
    When we two shall wedded be.
    Make it ere another moon,
    While the meadows are in tune,
    And the trees are blossoming,
    And the robins mate and sing.
    Whisper, love, and name a day
    In this merry month of May.

        No, no, no,
    You shall not escape me so!
    Love will not forever wait;
    Roses fade when gathered late.


II

    Fie, for shame, Sir Malcontent!
    How can time be better spent
    Than in wooing? I would wed
    When the clover blossoms red,
    When the air is full of bliss,
    And the sunshine like a kiss.
    If you’re good I’ll grant a boon:
    You shall have me, sir, in June.

        Nay, nay, nay,
    Girls for once should have their way!
    If you love me, wait till June:
    Rosebuds wither, picked too soon.
                    _Edmund Clarence Stedman._



EDGED TOOLS


    WELL, Helen, quite two years have flown
      Since that enchanted, dreamy night,
    When you and I were left alone,
      And wondered whether they were right
    Who said that each the other loved;
      And thus debating, yes and no,
    And half in earnest, as it proved,
      We bargained to pretend ’twas so.

    Two sceptic children of the world,
      Each with a heart engraven o’er
    With broken love-knots, quaintly curled,
      Of hot flirtations held before;
    Yet, somehow, either seemed to find,
      This time, a something more akin
    To that young, natural love,—the kind
      Which comes but once, and breaks us in.

    What sweetly stolen hours we knew,
      And frolics perilous as gay!
    Though lit in sport, Love’s taper grew
      More bright and burning day by day.
    We knew each heart was only lent,
      The other’s ancient scars to heal:
    The very thought a pathos blent
      With all the mirth we tried to feel.

    How bravely when the time to part
      Came with the wanton season’s close,
    Though nature with our mutual art
      Had mingled more than either chose,
    We smothered Love, upon the verge
      Of folly, in one last embrace,
    And buried him without a dirge,
      And turned, and left his resting-place.

    Yet often (tell me what it means!)
      His spirit steals upon me here,
    Far, far away from all the scenes
      His little lifetime held so dear;
    He comes: I hear a mystic strain
      In which some tender memory lies;
    I dally with your hair again;
      I catch the gleam of violet eyes.

    Ah, Helen! how have matters been
      Since those rude obsequies, with you?
    Say, is my partner in the sin
      A sharer of the penance too?
    Again the vision’s at my side:
      I drop my head upon my breast,
    And wonder if he really died,
      And why his spirit will not rest.
                    _Edmund Clarence Stedman._



WITCHCRAFT


    OUR great-great-grandpapas had schooled
      Your fancies, Lita, were you born
    In days when Cotton Mather ruled
      And damask petticoats were worn!
    Your pretty ways, your mocking air,
      Had passed, mayhap, for Satan’s wiles—
    As fraught with danger, then and there,
      To you, as now to us your smiles.

    Why not? Were inquest to begin,
      The tokens are not far to seek:
    _Item_—the dimple of your chin;
      _Item_—that freckle on your cheek.
    Grace shield his simple soul from harm
      Who enters yon flirtation niche,
    Or trusts in whispered counter-charm,
      Alone with such a parlous witch!

    Your fan a wand is, in disguise;
      It conjures, and we straight are drawn
    Within a witches’ Paradise
      Of music, germans, roses, lawn.
    So through the season, where you go,
      All else than Lita men forget:
    One needs no second-sight to know
      That sorcery is rampant yet.

    Now, since the bars no more await
      Fair maids that practise sable arts,
    Take heed, while I pronounce the fate
      Of her who thus ensnares men’s hearts:
    In time you shall a wizard meet
      With spells more potent than your own,
    And you shall know your master, Sweet,
      And for these witcheries atone.

    For you at his behest shall wear
      A veil, and seek with him the church,
    And at the altar rail forswear
      The craft that left you in the lurch;
    But oft thereafter, musing long,
      With smile and sigh, and conscience-twitch,
    You shall too late confess the wrong—
      A captive and repentant witch.
                    _Edmund Clarence Stedman._



TOUJOURS AMOUR


    PRITHEE tell me, Dimple-Chin,
    At what age doth love begin?
    Your blue eyes have scarcely seen
    Summers three, my fairy queen,
    But a miracle of sweets,
    Soft approaches, sly retreats,
    Show the little archer there,
    Hidden in your pretty hair;
    When didst learn a heart to win?
    Prithee tell me, Dimple-Chin!

    “Oh!” the rosy lips reply,
    “I can’t tell you if I try.
    ’Tis so long I can’t remember:
    Ask some younger lass than I!”

    Tell, O tell me, Grizzled-Face,
    Do your heart and head keep pace?
    When does hoary Love expire,
    When do frosts put out the fire?
    Can its embers burn below
    All that chill December snow?
    Care you still soft hands to press,
    Bonny heads to smooth and bless?
    When does Love give up the chase?
    Tell, O tell me, Grizzled-Face?

    “Ah!” the wise old lips reply,
    “Youth may pass, and strength may die;
    But of Love I can’t foretoken:
    Ask some older sage than I!”
               _Edmund Clarence Stedman._



DICTUM SAPIENTI


    THAT ’tis well to be off with the old love
      Before one is on with the new
    Has somehow passed into a proverb,—
      But I never have found it true.

    No love can be quite like the old love,
      Whate’er may be said for the new—
    And if you dismiss me, my darling,
      You may come to this thinking, too.

    Were the proverb not wiser if mended,
      And the fickle and wavering told
    To be sure they’re on with the new love
      Before they are off with the old?
                    _Charles Henry Webb._



UNDOWERED


    THOU hast not gold? Why, this is gold
      All clustering round thy forehead white;
    And were it weighed, and were it told,
      I could not say its worth to-night!

    Thou hast not wit? Why, what is this
      Wherewith thou capturest many a wight,
    Who doth forget a tongue is his,
      As I well-nigh forgot to-night?

    Nor station? Well, ah, well! I own
      Thou hast no place assured thee quite;
    So now I raise thee to a throne;
      Begin thy reign, my Queen, to-night.
                      _Harriet McEwen Kimball._



THE LOVE-KNOT


    TYING her bonnet under her chin,
    She tied her raven ringlets in;
    But not alone in the silken snare
    Did she catch her lovely floating hair,
    For tying her bonnet under her chin,
    She tied a young man’s heart within.

    They were strolling together up the hill,
    Where the wind comes blowing merry and chill;
    And it blew the curls, a frolicsome race,
    All over the happy peach-colored face,
    Till, scolding and laughing, she tied them in,
    Under her beautiful dimpled chin.

    And it blew a color, bright as the bloom
    Of the pinkest fuchsia’s tossing plume,
    All over the cheeks of the prettiest girl
    That ever imprisoned a romping curl,
    Or, tying her bonnet under her chin,
    Tied a young man’s heart within.

    Steeper and steeper grew the hill;
    Madder, merrier, chillier still
    The western wind blew down and played
    The wildest tricks with the little maid,
    As, tying her bonnet under her chin,
    She tied a young man’s heart within.

    O western wind, do you think it was fair
    To play such tricks with her floating hair?
    To gladly, gleefully do your best
    To blow her against the young man’s breast,
    Where he as gladly folded her in,
    And kissed her mouth and her dimpled chin?

    Ah! Ellery Vane, you little thought,
    An hour ago, when you besought
    This country lass to walk with you,
    After the sun had dried the dew,
    What perilous danger you’d be in,
    As she tied her bonnet under her chin
                      _Nora Perry._



VERS DE SOCIÉTÉ


    THERE, pay it, James! ’tis cheaply earned;
      My conscience! how one’s cabman charges!
    But never mind, so I’m returned
      Safe to my native street of Clarges.
    I’ve just an hour for one cigar
      (What style these Reinas have, and what ash!)
    One hour to watch the evening star
      With just one Curaçoa-and-potash.

    Ah me! that face beneath the leaves
      And blossoms of its piquant bonnet!
    Who would have thought that forty thieves
      Of years had laid their fingers on it!
    Could you have managed to enchant
      At Lord’s to-day old lovers simple,
    Had Robber Time not played gallant,
      And spared you every youthful dimple!

    That Robber bold, like courtier Claude,
      Who danced the gay coranto jesting,
    By your bright beauty charmed and awed,
      Has bowed and passed you unmolesting.
    No feet of many-wintered crows
      Have traced about your eyes a wrinkle;
    Your sunny hair has thawed the snows
      That other heads with silver sprinkle.

    I wonder if that pair of gloves
      I won of you you’ll ever pay me!
    I wonder if our early loves
      Were wise or foolish, Cousin Amy?
    I wonder if our childish tiff
      Now seems to you, like me, a blunder!
    I wonder if you wonder if
      I ever wonder if you wonder.

    I wonder if you’d think it bliss
      Once more to be the fashion’s leader!
    I wonder if the trick of this
      Escapes the unsuspecting reader!
    And as for him who does or can
      Delight in it, I wonder whether
    He knows that almost any man
      Could reel it off by yards together!

    I wonder if—What’s that? A knock?
      Is that you, James? Eh? What? God bless me!
    How time has flown! It’s eight o’clock,
      And here’s my fellow come to dress me.
    Be quick, or I shall be the guest
      Whom Lady Mary never pardons;
    I trust you, James, to do your best
      To save the soup at Grosvenor Gardens.
                    _H. D. Traill._



A LETTER OF ADVICE


    WHEN you love—as all men will—
      Sing the theme of your devotion,
    Sue—and vow—and worship still—
      Overflow with deep emotion,
    Bow to Cupid’s sweet decrees,
      Lightly wear the happy fetter,
    Bend the knee and plead! But please,
      Do not write your love a letter!

    Ah! most tempting it may be:
      Ink flows free—and pens will write,
    And your passion fain you’d see
      Plainly mapped in black and white.
    Yet refrain from shedding ink,
      If you can:—’tis wiser—better.
    Ere you pen a sentence, think!
      Do not write your love a letter.

    Hearts may cool, and views may change—
      Other scenes may seem inviting,
    But a heart can’t safely range
      If committed ’tis to writing.
    What you’ve written is a writ,
      Holds you closely as a debtor.
    Will she spare you? Not a bit!
      Do not write your love a letter!

    Think of Breach of Promise cause,
      Think of barristers provoking,
    Leading you to slips and flaws,
      Turning all your love to joking.
    If you’ve written aught, they’ll be
      Safe to find it as a setter—
    Then you’ll wish you’d hearkened me—
      Do not write your love a letter!

    Oh, those letters read in Court!
      How the tender things seem stupid!
    How deep feeling seems but sport!
      How young Momus trips up Cupid!
    Take my warning then—or soon,
      O’er your folly you’ll be fretter,
    Saying, “Why, poor, foolish spoon,
      Did I write my love a letter?”
                      _Thomas Hood, Jr._



AT THE LATTICE


            BEHIND the curtain,
            With glance uncertain,
    Peeps pet Florence as I gaily ride;
            Half demurely,
            But, though purely
            Most, most surely
    Wishing she were riding, riding by my side.

            In leafy alleys,
            Where sunlight dallies,
    Pleasant were it, bonnie, to be riding rein by rein;
            And where summer tosses,
            All about in bosses,
            Velvet verdant mosses,
    Still more pleasant, surely, to dismount again.

            O thou Beauty!
            Hanging ripe and fruity
    At the muslined lattice in the drooping eve,
            Whisper from the casement
            If that blushing face meant,
            “At the cottage basement,
    Gallant, halt, I come to thee; I come to never leave.”

            But if those coy lashes
            Stir for whoso dashes
    Past the scented window in the fading light,
            Close the lattice, sweetest;
            Darkness were discreetest;
            And, with bridle fleetest,
    I will gallop onwards, unattended through the night.
                                           _Alfred Austin._



FRENCH WITH A MASTER


    TEACH you French? I will, my dear!
    Sit and con your lesson here.
    What did Adam say to Eve?
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre._

    Don’t pronounce the last word long;
    Make it short to suit the song;
    Rhyme it to your flowing sleeve,
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre_.

    Sleeve, I said, but what’s the harm
    If I really meant your arm?
    Mine shall twine it (by your leave),
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre_.

    Learning French is full of slips;
    Do as I do with the lips;
    Here’s the right way, you perceive,
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre_.

    French is always spoken best
    Breathing deeply from the chest;
    Darling, does your bosom heave?
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre._

    Now, my dainty little sprite,
    Have I taught your lesson right?
    Then what pay shall I receive?
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre._

    Will you think me overbold
    If I linger to be told
    Whether you yourself believe
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre_.

    Pretty pupil, when you say
    All this French to me to-day,
    Do you mean it, or deceive?
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre._

    Tell me, may I understand,
    When I press your little hand,
    That our hearts together cleave?
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre._

    Have you in your tresses room
    For some orange-buds to bloom?
    May I such a garland weave?
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre._

    Or, if I presume too much
    Teaching French by sense of touch,
    Grant me pardon and reprieve!
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre._

    Sweetheart, no! you cannot go!
    Let me sit and hold you so;
    Adam did the same to Eve,—
    _Aimer, aimer; c’est à vivre_.
                    _Theodore Tilton._



ON AN INTAGLIO HEAD OF MINERVA


    THE cunning hand that carved this face,
      A little helmeted Minerva—
    The hand, I say, ere Phidias wrought,
      Had lost its subtle skill and fervour.

    Who was he? Was he glad or sad?
      Who knew to carve in such a fashion?
    Perchance he shaped this dainty head
      For some brown girl that Scorned his passion.

    But he is dust: we may not know
      His happy or unhappy story:
    Nameless and dead these thousand years,
      His work outlives him—there’s his glory!

    Both man and jewel lay in earth
      Beneath a lava-buried city;
    The thousand summers came and went,
      With neither haste, nor hate, nor pity.

    The years wiped out the man, but left
      The jewel fresh as any blossom.
    Till some Visconti dug it up,
      To rise and fall on Mabel’s bosom.

    O Roman brother! see how Time
      Your gracious handiwork has guarded;
    See how your loving, patient art
      Has come, at last, to be rewarded.

    Who would not suffer slights of men
      And pangs of hopeless passion also,
    To have his carven agate-stone
      On such a bosom rise and fall so!
                    _Thomas Bailey Aldrich._



THE LUNCH


    A GOTHIC window, where a damask curtain
    Made the blank daylight shadowy and uncertain:
    A slab of agate ore four Eagle-talons
    Held trimly up and neatly taught to balance:
    A porcelain dish, o’er which in many a cluster
    Black grapes hung down, dead ripe and without lustre:
    A melon cut in thin, delicious slices:
    A cake that seemed mosaic-work in spices:
    Two China cups with golden tulips sunny,
    And rich inside with chocolate like honey:
    And she and I the banquet-scene completing
    With dreamy words—and very pleasant eating.
                      _Thomas Bailey Aldrich._



THE WITCH IN THE GLASS


    “MY mother says I must not pass
              Too near that glass;
    She is afraid that I will see
    A little witch that looks like me,
    With a red, red mouth to whisper low
    The very thing I should not know!”

    “Alack for all your mother’s care!
              A bird of the air,
    A wistful wind, or (I suppose)
    Sent by some hapless boy—a rose,
    With breath too sweet, will whisper low
    The very thing you should not know!”
                    _Sarah Morgan Bryan Piatt._



TO PHŒBE


    “GENTLE, modest, little flower,
      Sweet epitome of May,
    Love me but for half-an-hour,
      Love me, love me, little Fay.”
    Sentences so fiercely flaming
      In your tiny shell-like ear,
    I should always be exclaiming,
      If I loved you, Phœbe, dear!

    “Smiles that thrill from any distance
      Shed upon me while I sing!
    Please ecstaticise existence;
      Love me, oh, thou fairy thing!”
    Words like these, outpouring sadly,
      You’d perpetually hear,
    If I loved you, fondly, madly;—
      But I do not, Phœbe, dear!
                  _William Schwenck Gilbert._



MY LOVE AND MY HEART


    OH, the days were ever shiny
      When I ran to meet my love;
    When I press’d her hand so tiny
      Through her tiny tiny glove.
    Was I very deeply smitten?
      Oh, I loved like anything!
    But my love she is a kitten,
      And my heart’s a ball of string.

    She was pleasingly poetic,
      And she loved my little rhymes;
    For our tastes were sympathetic,
      In the old and happy times.
    Oh, the ballads I have written,
      And have taught my love to sing!
    But my love she is a kitten,
      And my heart’s a ball of string.

    Would she listen to my offer,
      On my knees I would impart
    A sincere and ready proffer
      Of my hand and of my heart.
    And below her dainty mitten
      I would fix a wedding ring—
    But my love she is a kitten,
      And my heart’s a ball of string.

    Take a warning, happy lover,
      From the moral that I show;
    Or too late you may discover
      What I learn’d a month ago.
    We are scratch’d or we are bitten
      By the pets to whom we cling.
    Oh, my love she is a kitten,
      And my heart’s a ball of string.
                    _Henry S. Leigh._



TO A COUNTRY COUSIN


    CRUEL Cousin Kate, you ask me
      For a lyric or a lay.
    How tyrannical to task me,
      Cousin Kate, in such a way.
    Pardon me, I pray, and pity—
      (Oh, do anything but frown!)
    For I can’t be wise or witty
      In an album out of town

    No, my Pegasus will canter
      Only here on civic stones;
    In the country I instanter
      Come to grief and broken bones.
    Be it mine to sing the city,
      Where I seek my mild renown;—
    But I can’t be wise or witty
      In an album out of town.

    Small my power and small my will is
      Rural sympathies to win;
    Ludgate my sublimest hill is,
      And my fields are Lincoln’s Inn
    All the Muses in committee,
      Pouring inspiration down,
    Cannot make me wise or witty
      In an album out of town.

    London life in many phases
      I describe for Cockney friends;
    Lead me out among the daisies
      And my versifying ends.
    I can favor with a ditty
      Jones, and Robinson, and Brown;
    But I can’t be wise or witty
      In an album out of town.

    Cousin, hear my supplication;
      Give me something else to do.
    Is there aught in all creation
      I would not attempt for you?
    Ask my life, my cruel Kitty:
      Bid me hang, or bid me drown;
    But I can’t be wise or witty
      In an album out of town.
                    _Henry S. Leigh._



THE FAMILY FOOL


    OH! a private buffoon is a light-hearted loon,
      If you listen to popular rumour;
    From morning to night he’s so joyous and bright,
      And he bubbles with wit and good humour!
    He’s so quaint and so terse, both in prose and in verse;
      Yet though people forgive his transgression,
    There are one or two rules that all Family Fools
      Must observe if they love their profession.
            There are one or two rules,
              Half-a-dozen, maybe,
            That all family fools,
            Of whatever degree,
      Must observe, if they love their profession.

    If you wish to succeed as a jester, you’ll need
      To consider each person’s auricular:
    What is all right for B. would quite scandalize C.
      (For C. is so very particular);
    And D. may be dull, and E.’s very thick skull
      Is as empty of brains as a ladle;
    While F. is F sharp, and will cry with a carp,
      That he’s known your best joke from his cradle!
            When your humour they flout,
              You can’t let yourself go;
            And it _does_ put you out
              When a person says, “Oh!
      I have known that old joke from my cradle!”

    If your master is surly, from getting up early
      (And tempers are short in the morning),
    An inopportune joke is enough to provoke
      Him to give you, at once, a month’s warning.
    Then if you refrain, he is at you again,
      For he likes to get value for money,
    He’ll ask then and there, with an insolent stare,
      “If you know that you’re paid to be funny?”
            It adds to the tasks
              Of a merryman’s place,
            When your principal asks,
              With a scowl on his face,
      If you know that you’re paid to be funny?

    Comes a Bishop, maybe, or a solemn D.D.—
      Oh! beware of his anger provoking
    Better not pull his hair—don’t stick pins in his chair;
      He won’t understand practical joking.
    If the jests that you crack have an orthodox smack,
      You may get a bland smile from these sages;
    But should it, by chance, be imported from France,
      Half-a-crown is stopped out of your wages!
            It’s a general rule,
              Though your zeal it may quench
            If the Family Fool
              Makes a joke that’s too French,
      Half-a-crown is stopped out of his wages!

    Though your head it may rack with a bilious attack,
      And your senses with toothache you’re losing,
    Don’t be mopy and flat—they don’t fine you for that
      If you’re properly quaint and amusing!
    Though your wife ran away with a soldier that day
      And took with her your trifle of money;
    Bless your heart, they don’t mind—they’re exceedingly kind—
      They don’t blame you—as long as you’re funny!
            It’s a comfort to feel
              If your partner should flit,
            Though you suffer a deal,
              _They_ don’t mind it a bit—
      They don’t blame you—so long as you’re funny!
                                       _W. S. Gilbert._



AN INTERLUDE


    IN the greenest growth of the May-time,
      I rode where the woods were wet,
    Between the dawn and the day-time;
      The spring was glad that we met.

    There was something the season wanted,
      Though the ways and the woods smelt sweet;
    The breath at your lips that panted,
      The pulse of the grass at your feet.

    You came, and the sun came after,
      And the green grew golden above;
    And the May-flowers lightened with laughter,
      And the meadow-sweet shook with love.

    Your feet in the full-grown grasses
      Moved soft as a weak wind blows;
    You passed me as April passes,
      With face made out of a rose.

    By the stream where the stems were slender,
      Your light foot paused at the sedge;
    It might be to watch the tender
      Light leaves in the spring-time hedge.

    On boughs that the sweet month blanches
      With flowery frost of May;
    It might be a bird in the branches,
      It might be a thorn in the way.

    I waited to watch you linger,
      With foot drawn back from the dew,
    Till a sunbeam straight like a finger
      Struck sharp through the leaves at you.

    And a bird overhead sang “Follow,”
      And a bird to the right sang “Here”;
    And the arch of the leaves was hollow,
      And the meaning of May was clear.

    I saw where the sun’s hand pointed,
      I knew what the bird’s note said;
    By the dawn and the dew fall anointed,
      You were queen by the gold on your head.

    As the glimpse of a burnt-out ember
      Recalls a regret of the sun,
    I remember, forget, and remember
      What love saw done and undone.

    I remember the way we parted,
      The day and the way we met;
    You hoped we were both broken-hearted,
      And knew we should both forget.

    And May with her world in flower
      Seemed still to murmur and smile
    As you murmured and smiled for an hour;
      I saw you twice at the stile.

    A hand like a white-wood blossom
      You lifted and waved, and passed,
    With head hung down to the bosom,
      And pale, as it seemed, to the last.

    And the best and the worst of this is,
      That neither is most to blame,
    If you’ve forgotten my kisses,
      And I’ve forgotten your name.
                _Algernon Charles Swinburne._



A MATCH


    IF love were what the rose is,
      And I were like the leaf,
    Our lives would grow together
    In sad or singing weather,
    Blown fields or flowerful closes,
      Green pleasure or grey grief;
    If love were what the rose is,
     And I were like the leaf.

    If I were what the words are,
      And love were like the tune,
    With double sound and single
    Delight our lips would mingle,
    With kisses glad as birds are
      That get sweet rain at noon;
    If I were what the words are,
      And love were like the tune.

    If you were Life, my darling,
      And I, your love, were Death,
    We’d shine and snow together
    Ere March made sweet the wreath
    With daffodil and starling
      And hours of fruitful breath;
    If you were Life, my darling,
      And I, your love, were Death.

    If you were thrall to Sorrow,
      And I were page to Joy,
    We’d play for lives and seasons
    With loving looks and treasons,
    And tears of night and morrow,
      And laughs of maid and boy;
    If you were thrall to Sorrow,
      And I were page to Joy.

    If you were April’s lady,
      And I were lord in May,
    We’d throw with leaves for hours,
    And draw for days with flowers,
    Till day like night were shady,
      And night were bright like day;
    If you were April’s lady,
      And I were lord in May.

    If you were queen of pleasure
      And I were king of pain,
    We’d hunt down Love together,
    Pluck out his flying feather,
    And teach his feet a measure,
      And find his mouth a rein;
    If you were queen of pleasure,
      And I were king of pain.
               _Algernon Charles Swinburne._



CAPRICE


I

    SHE hung the cage at the window:
      “If he goes by,” she said,
    “He will hear my robin singing,
      And when he lifts his head,
    I shall be sitting here to sew,
    And he will bow to me, I know.”

    The robin sang a love-sweet song,
      The young man raised his head;
    The maiden turned away and blushed:
      “I am a fool!” she said,
    And went on ’broidering in silk
    A pink-eyed rabbit, white as milk.


II

    The young man loitered slowly
      By the house three times that day;
    She took her bird from the window:
      “He need not look this way.”
    She sat at her piano long,
    And sighed, and played a death-sad song.

    But when the day was done, she said,
      “I wish that he would come!
    Remember, Mary, if he calls
      To-night—I’m not at home.”
    So when he rang, she went—the elf!—
    She went and let him in herself.


III

    They sang full long together
      Their songs love-sweet, death-sad;
    The robin woke from his slumber,
      And rang out, clear and glad.
    “Now go!” she coldly said; “’tis late”;
    And followed him—to latch the gate.

    He took the rosebud from her hair,
      While, “You shall not!” she said;
    He closed her hand within his own,
      And, while her tongue forbade,
    Her will was darkened in the eclipse
    Of blinding love upon his lips.
                   _William Dean Howells._



THE MINUET


    GRANDMA told me all about it,
    Told me so I couldn’t doubt it,
    How she danced—my Grandma danced!—
                    Long ago.
    How she held her pretty head,
    How her dainty skirt she spread,
    Turning out her little toes;
    How she slowly leaned and rose—
                    Long ago.

    Grandma’s hair was bright and sunny;
    Dimpled cheeks, too—ah, how funny!
      Really quite a pretty girl,
                    Long ago.
    Bless her! why she wears a cap,
    Grandma does, and takes a nap
    Every single day; and yet
    Grandma danced the minuet
                    Long ago.

    Now she sits there rocking, rocking,
    Always knitting Grandpa’s stocking—
      (Every girl was taught to knit
                    Long ago),
    Yet her figure is so neat,
    And her ways so staid and sweet,
    I can almost see her now
    Bending to her partner’s bow,
                    Long ago.

    Grandma says our modern jumping,
    Hopping, rushing, whirling, bumping,
      Would have shocked the gentle folk
                    Long ago.
    No—they moved with stately grace,
    Everything in proper place,
    Gliding slowly forward, then
    Slowly curtseying back again.
                    Long ago.

    Modern ways are quite alarming,
    Grandma says; but boys were charming—
      Girls and boys I mean, of course—
                    Long ago.
    Bravely modest, grandly shy,—
    She would like to have us try
    Just to feel like those who met
    In the graceful minuet
                    Long ago.

    With the minuet in fashion,
    Who could fly into a passion?
      All would wear the calm they wore
                    Long ago.
    In time to come, if I, perchance,
    Should tell my grandchild of our dance,
    I should really like to say,
    “We did it, dear, in some such way,
                    Long ago.”
                    _Mary Mapes Dodge._



A STREET SKETCH


    UPON the Kerb, a maiden neat—
    Her hazel eyes are passing sweet—
          There stands and waits in dire distress:
        The muddy road is pitiless,
    And ’busses thunder down the street!

    A snowy skirt, all frills and pleat;
    Two tiny, well-shod, dainty feet
          Peep out, beneath her kilted dress,
                  Upon the Kerb.

    She’ll first advance, and then retreat,
    Half-frightened by a hansom fleet.
          She looks around, I must confess,
          With marvellous coquettishness!—
    Then droops her eyes and looks discreet,
                  Upon the Kerb!
                    _J. Ashby-Sterry._



SAINT MAY

A CITY LYRIC


    ST. ALOYS THE GREAT is both mouldy and grim,
    Not knowing the road there, you’ll long have to search
    To find your way into this old city church;
    Yet on fine Sunday mornings I frequently stray
    There to see a new saint, whom I’ve christened St. May.

    Of saints I’ve seen plenty in churches before—
    In Florence or Venice they’re there by the score;
    Agnese, Maria—the rest I forget—
    By Titian, Bassano, and brave Tintoret:
    They none can compare, though they’re well in their way,
    In maidenly grace with my dainty St. May.

    She’s young for a saint, for she’s scarcely eighteen,
    And ne’er could wear peas in those dainty _bottines_;
    Her locks are not shaven, and ’twould be a sin
    To wear a hair-shirt next that delicate skin;
    Save diagonal stripes on a dress of light gray,
    Stripes ne’er have been borne by bewitching St. May.

    Then she’s almost too plump and too round for a saint,
    With sweet little dimples that Millais might paint;
    She has no mediæval nor mortified mien,
    No wimple of yellow, nor background of green,
    A nimbus of hair throws its sunshiny ray
    Of glory around the fair face of St. May.

    What surquayne or partlet could look better than
    My saint’s curly jacket of black Astracan?
    What coif than her bonnet—a triumph of skill—
    Or alb than her petticoat edged with a frill?
    So sober, yet smiling—so grave, yet so gay,
    Oh, where is a saint like my charming St. May?
                                   _J. Ashby-Sterry._



PET’S PUNISHMENT


    OH, if my love offended me,
      And we had words together,
    To show her I would master be,
      I’d whip her with a feather!

    If then she, like a naughty girl,
      Would tyranny declare it,
    I’d give my pet a cross of pearl,
      And make her always bear it.

    If still she tried to sulk and sigh,
      And threw away my posies,
    I’d catch my darling on the sly,
      And smother her with roses!

    But should she clench her dimpled fists,
      Or contradict her betters,
    I’d manacle her tiny wrists
      With dainty golden fetters.

    And if she dared her lips to pout—
      Like many pert young misses—
    I’d wind my arm her waist about,
      And punish her—with kisses!
                      _J. Ashby-Sterry._



HER LETTER


    I’M sitting alone by the fire,
      Dressed just as I came from the dance,
    In a robe even _you_ would admire—
      It cost a cool thousand in France;
    I’m be-diamonded out of all reason,
      My hair is done up in a queue:
    In short, sir, “the belle of the season”
      Is wasting an hour on you.

    A dozen engagements I’ve broken;
      I left in the midst of a set;
    Likewise a proposal, half spoken,
      That waits—on the stairs—for me yet.
    They say he’ll be rich—when he grows up—
      And then he adores me indeed.
    And you, sir, are turning your nose up,
      Three thousand miles off, as you read.

    “And how do I like my position?”
      “And what do I think of New York?”
    “And now, in my higher ambition,
      With whom do I waltz, flirt, or talk?”
    “And isn’t it nice to have riches,
      And diamonds and silks, and all that?”
    “And isn’t it a change to the ditches
      And tunnels of Poverty Flat?”

    Well, yes—if you saw us out driving
      Each day in the Park, four-in-hand—
    If you saw poor dear mania contriving
      To look supernaturally grand—
    If you saw papa’s picture, as taken
      By Brady, and tinted at that—
    You’d never suspect he sold bacon
      And flour at Poverty Flat.

    And yet, just this moment when sitting
      In the glare of the grand chandelier—
    In the bustle and glitter befitting
      The “finest _soirée_ of the year”—
    In the mists of a _gaze de Chambéry_,
      And the hum of the smallest of talk—
    Somehow, Joe, I thought of the “Ferry,”
      And the dance that we had on “The Fork”;

    Of Harrison’s barn, with its muster
      Of flags festooned over the wall;
    Of the candles that shed their soft lustre
      And tallow on head-dress and shawl;
    Of the steps that we took to one fiddle;
      Of the dress of my queer _vis-a-vis_,
    And how I once went down the middle
      With the man that shot Sandy McGee;

    Of the moon that was quietly sleeping
      On the hill, when the time came to go;
    Of the few baby peaks that were peeping
      From under their bedclothes of snow;
    Of that ride—that to me was the rarest;
      Of—the something you said at the gate.
    Ah, Joe, then I wasn’t an heiress
      To “the best-paying lead in the State!”

    Well, well, it’s all past; yet it’s funny
      To think, as I stood in the glare
    Of fashion and beauty and money,
      That I should be thinking, right there,
    Of some one who breasted high water,
      And swam the North Fork, and all that,
    Just to dance with old Folinsbee’s daughter,
      The Lily of Poverty Flat.

    But goodness! what nonsense I’m writing!
      (Mama says my taste still is low),
    Instead of my triumphs reciting,
      I’m spooning on Joseph—heigh-ho!
    And I’m to be “finished” by travel—
      Whatever’s the meaning of that—
    Oh! why did papa strike pay gravel
      In drifting on Poverty Flat?

    Good-night—here’s the end of my paper;
      Good-night—if the longitude please—
    For maybe, while wasting my taper,
      Your sun’s climbing over the trees.
    But know, if you haven’t got riches,
      And are poor, dearest Joe, and all that,
    That my heart’s somewhere there in the ditches,
      And you’ve struck it—on Poverty Flat.
                      _Francis Bret Harte._



AVICE


    THOUGH the voice of modern schools
            Has demurred,
    By the dreamy Asian creed
            ’Tis averred,
    That the souls of men, released
    From their bodies when deceased,
    Sometimes enter in a beast,—
            Or a bird.

    I have watched you long, Avice,—
            Watched you so,
    I have found your secret out;
            And I know
    That the restless ribboned things,
    Where your slope of shoulder springs,
    Are but undeveloped wings,
            That will grow.

    When you enter in a room,
            It is stirred
    With the wayward, flashing flight
            Of a bird;
    And you speak—and bring with your
    Leaf and sun-ray, bud and blue,
    And the wind-breath and the dew,
            At a word.

    When you called to me my name,
            Then again
    When I heard your single cry
            In the lane,
    All the sound was as the “sweet”
    Which the birds to birds repeat
    In their thank-song to the heat
            After rain.

    When you sang the Schwalbenlied,—
            ’Twas absurd,—
    But it seemed no human note
            That I heard;
    For your strain had all the trills,
    All the little shakes and stills,
    Of the over-song that rills
            From a bird.

    You have just their eager, quick
            Airs _de tête_,
    All their flush and fever-heat
            When elate;
    Every bird-like nod and beck,
    And a bird’s own curve of neck
    When she gives a little peck
            To her mate.

    When you left me, only now,
            In that furred,
    Puffed, and feathered Polish dress,
            I was spurred
    Just to catch you, O my sweet,
    By the bodice trim and neat,—
    Just to feel your heart-a-beat,
            Like a bird.

    Yet alas! Love’s light you deign
            But to wear
    As the dew upon your plumes,
            And you care
    Not a whit for rest or hush;
    But the leaves, the lyric gush,
    And the wing-power, and the rush
            Of the air.

    So I dare not woo you, sweet,
            For a day,
    Lest I lose you in a flash,
            As I may;
    Did I tell you tender things,
    You would shake your sudden wings;—
    You would start from him who sings,
            And away.
                       _Austin Dobson._



A SONG OF THE FOUR SEASONS


    WHEN Spring comes laughing
      By vale and hill,
    By wind-flower walking
      And daffodil,—
    Sing stars of morning,
      Sing morning skies,
    Sing blue of Speedwell,—
      And my Love’s eyes.

    When comes the Summer,
      Full-leaved and strong,
    And gay birds gossip
      The orchard long,—
    Sing hid, sweet honey
      That no bee sips;
    Sing red, red roses,—
      And my love’s lips.

    When Autumn scatters
      The leaves again,
    And piled sheaves bury
      The broad-wheeled wain,—
    Sing flutes of harvest
      Where men rejoice;
    Sing rounds of reapers,—
      And my Love’s voice.

    But when comes winter
      With hail and storm,
    And red fire roaring
      And ingle warm,—
    Sing first sad going
      Of friends that part;
    Then sing glad meeting,—
      And my Love’s heart.
                  _Austin Dobson._



IN TOWN

“_The blue fly sung in the pane._”—TENNYSON.


    TOILING in Town now is “horrid”
      (There is that woman again!)—
    June in the zenith is torrid,
      Thought gets dry in the brain.

    There is that woman again:
      “Strawberries! fourpence a pottle!”
    Thought gets dry in the brain;
      Ink gets dry in the bottle.

    “Strawberries! fourpence a pottle!”
      Oh for the green of a lane!—
    Ink gets dry in the bottle;
      “Buzz” goes a fly in the pane!

    Oh for the green of a lane,
      Where one might lie and be lazy!
    “Buzz” goes a fly in the pane;
      Bluebottles drive me crazy!

    Where one might lie and be lazy,
      Careless of Town and all in it!—
    Bluebottles drive me crazy:
      I shall go mad in a minute!

    Careless of Town and all in it,
      With some one to soothe and to still you,
    I shall go mad in a minute,
      Bluebottle, then I shall kill you!

    With some one to soothe and to still you,
      As only one’s feminine kin do,—
    Bluebottle, then I shall kill you:
      There now! I’ve broken the window!

    As only one’s feminine kin do,—
      Some muslin-clad Mabel or May!—
    There now! I’ve broken the window!
      Bluebottle’s off and away!

    Some muslin-clad Mabel or May,
      To dash one with _eau de Cologne_;—
    Bluebottle’s off and away,
      And why should I stay here alone?

    To dash one with _eau de Cologne_,
      All over one’s eminent forehead;
    And why should I stay here alone?
      Toiling in Town now is “horrid.”
                     _Austin Dobson._



WHEN I SAW YOU LAST, ROSE


    WHEN I saw you last, Rose,
      You were only so high;—
    How fast the time goes!

    Like a bud ere it blows,
      You just peeped at the sky,
    When I saw you last, Rose!

    Now your petals unclose,
      Now your May-time is nigh;—
    How fast the time goes!

    And a life—how it grows!
      You were scarcely so shy,
    When I saw you last, Rose!

    In your bosom it shows
      There’s a guest on the sly;
    How fast the time goes!

    Is it Cupid? Who knows!
      Yet you used not to sigh,
    When I saw you last, Rose;—
    How fast the time goes!
                    _Austin Dobson._



TO “LYDIA LANGUISH”

“_Il me faut des emotions._”—BLANCHE AMORY


    YOU ask me, Lydia, “whether I,
    If you refuse my suit, shall die,”
      (Now pray don’t let this hurt you!)
    Although the time be out of joint,
    I should not think a bodkin’s point
      The sole resource of virtue;
    Nor shall I, though your mood endure,
    Attempt a final Water-cure
      Except against my wishes;
    For I respectfully decline
    To dignify the Serpentine,
      And make _hors-d’œuvres_ for fishes;
    But if you ask me whether I
      Composedly can go,
    Without a look, without a sigh,
      Why, then I answer—No.

    “You are assured,” you sadly say
    (If in this most considerate way
      To treat my suit your will is),
    That I shall “quickly find as fair
    Some new Neæra’s tangled hair—
      Some easier Amaryllis.”
    I cannot promise to be cold
    If smiles are kind as yours of old
      On lips of later beauties;
    Nor can I, if I would, forget
    The homage that is Nature’s debt,
      While man has social duties;
    But if you ask shall I prefer
      To you I honour so,
    A somewhat visionary Her,
      I answer truly—No.

    You fear, you frankly add, “to find
    In me too late the altered mind
      That altering Time estranges.”
    To this I make response that we
    (As physiologists agree)
      Must have septennial changes;
    This is a thing beyond control,
    And it were best upon the whole
      To try and find out whether
    We could not, by some means, arrange
    This not-to-be-avoided change
      So as to change together:
    But, had you asked me to allow
      That you could ever grow
    Less amiable than you are now,—
      Emphatically—No.

    But—to be serious—if you care
    To know how I shall really bear
      This much-discussed rejection,
    I answer you. As feeling men
    Behave, in best romances, when
      You outrage their affection;—
    With that gesticulatory woe,
    By which, as melodramas show,
      Despair is indicated;
    Enforced by all the liquid grief
    Which hugest pocket-handkerchief
      Has ever simulated;
    And when, arrived so far, you say
      In tragic accents “Go,”
    Then, Lydia, then ... I still shall stay,
      And firmly answer—No.
                       _Austin Dobson._



THE OLD SEDAN CHAIR


    IT stands in the stable-yard, under the eaves,
    Propped up by a broom-stick and covered with leaves:
    It once was the pride of the gay and the fair,
    But now ’tis a ruin,—that old Sedan chair!

    It is battered and tattered,—it little avails
    That once it was lacquered, and glistened with nails;
    For its leather is cracked into lozenge and square,
    Like a canvas by Wilkie,—that old Sedan chair!

    See,—here came the bearing-straps; here were the holes
    For the poles of the bearers—when once there were poles;
    It was cushioned with silk, it was wadded with hair,
    As the birds have discovered,—that old Sedan chair!

    “Where’s Troy?” says the poet! Look,—under the seat,
    Is a nest with four eggs,—’tis the favored retreat
    Of the Muscovy hen, who has hatched, I dare swear,
    Quite an army of chicks in that old Sedan chair!

    And yet—can’t you fancy a face in the frame
    Of the window,—some high-headed damsel or dame,
    Be-patched and be-powdered, just set by the stair,
    While they raise up the lid of that old Sedan chair?

    Can’t you fancy Sir Plume, as beside her he stands,
    With his ruffles a-droop on his delicate hands,
    With his cinnamon coat, with his laced solitaire,
    As he lifts her out light from that old Sedan chair?

    Then it swings away slowly. Ah, many a league
    It has trotted ’twixt sturdy-legged Terence and Teague;
    Stout fellows!—but prone, on a question of fare,
    To brandish the poles of that old Sedan chair!

    It has waited by portals where Garrick has played;
    It has waited by Heidegger’s “Grand Masquerade”;
    For my Lady Codille, for my Lady Bellair,
    It has waited—and waited, that old Sedan chair!

    Oh, the scandals it knows! Oh, the tales it could tell
    Of Drum and Ridotto, of Rake and of Belle,—
    Of Cock-fight and Levee, and (scarcely more rare!)
    Of Fête-days at Tyburn, that old Sedan chair!

    “Heu! _quantum mutata_,” I say as I go.
    It deserves better fate than a stable-yard, though!
    We must furbish it up, and dispatch it—“With care,”—
    To a Fine-Art Museum—that old Sedan chair!
                       _Austin Dobson._



“LE ROMAN DE LA ROSE”


    POOR Rose! I lift you from the street,—
      Far better I should own you
    Than you should lie for random feet
      Where careless hands have thrown you.

    Poor pinky petals, crushed and torn!
      Did heartless Mayfair use you,
    Then cast you forth to lie forlorn,
      For chariot-wheels to bruise you?

    I saw you last in Edith’s hair,
      Rose, you would scarce discover
    That I she passed upon the stair
      Was Edith’s favoured lover.

    A month—“a little month”—ago—
      O theme for moral writer!—
    ’Twixt you and me, my Rose, you know,
      She might have been politer;

    But let that pass. She gave you then—
      Behind the oleander—
    To one, perhaps, of all the men—
      Who best could understand her,—

    Cyril, that, duly flattered, took,
      As only Cyril’s able,
    With just the same Arcadian look
      He used, last night, for Mabel;

    Then, having waltzed till every star
      Had paled away in morning,
    Lit up his cynical cigar,
      And tossed you downward, scorning.

    Kismet, my Rose! Revenge is sweet,—
      She made my heart strings quiver;
    And yet—You sha’n’t lie in the street;
      I’ll drop you in the river.
                      _Austin Dobson._



NINETY-NINE IN THE SHADE


    O FOR a lodge in a garden of cucumbers!
      O for an iceberg or two at control!
    O for a vale which at mid-day the dew cumbers!
      O for a pleasure-trip up to the pole!

    O for a little one-story thermometer,
      With nothing but zeroes all ranged in a row!
    O for a big double-barreled hygrometer,
      To measure this moisture that rolls from my brow!

    O that this cold world were twenty times colder!
      (That’s irony red-hot, it seemeth to me);
    O for a turn of its dreaded cold shoulder!
      O what a comfort an ague would be!

    O for a grotto frost-lined and rill-riven,
      Scooped in the rock under cataract vast!
    O for a winter of discontent even!
      O for wet blankets judiciously cast!

    O for a soda-fount spouting up boldly
      From every hot lamp-post against the hot sky!
    O for proud maiden to look on me coldly,
      Freezing my soul with a glance of her eye!

    Then O for a draught from a cup of cold pizen,
      And O for a resting-place in the cold grave!
    With a bath in the Styx where the thick shadow lies on
      And deepens the chill of its dark-running wave.
                       _Rossiter Johnson._



BRIGHTON PIER


    WHICH is the merriest place to love,
      Whether it be for a day or year;
    Where can we slip, like a cast-off glove,
    The care that hovers our world above?
      Come and be taught upon Brighton Pier!

    Wandering waves on the shingle dash,
      The sky’s too blue for a thoughtless tear;
    Danger is nothing but pessimist trash,
    And the morning’s made for a healthy splash:
      Come for a header from Brighton Pier!

    Filled with life, see the children race,
      Motherly hearts they quake with fear,
    Meeting the breezes face to face!
    Whether we’re steady or “go the pace,”
      Let us be young upon Brighton Pier!

    Here she comes with her love-lit eyes,
      Hearts will throb when a darling’s near;
    Would it be well to avoid her—wise?
    Every fool in the wide world tries,
      But love must win upon Brighton Pier!

    Lazily lost in a dream we sit—
      Maidens’ eyes are a waveless mere—
    There’s many a vow when seagulls flit,
    And many a sigh when lamps are lit,
      And many a kiss upon Brighton Pier.

    Dear old friends of the days long fled,
      Why did you vanish and leave me here?
    Girls are marrying, boys are wed,
    Youth is living, but I seem dead,
      Kicking my heels upon Brighton Pier!
                       _Clement Scott._



A CONTRADICTION

“_Varium et mutabile semper Fœmina!_”—VIRGIL


    THEY say she’s like an April day,
    All sun and shower, grave and gay,
    Just half in love, and half in play,
                Like other misses.
    Go to! They tell a pack of lies;
    For I have heard her heart-drawn sighs,
    And I have seen her inmost eyes,
                And felt her kisses!

    They think her laugh is over-bold,
    And hint her smiles are bought for gold;
    Dull heretics have thought her cold,
                As is the fashion.
    Ah me! when we together stole
    Across the weald to leafy Knole,
    ’Twas there she showed to me her soul
                And all her passion!

    They vow her life is tossed about
    From ball to picnic, play to rout;
    A careless butterfly, no doubt,
                That scandal crushes.
    What could we answer, if ’twere said
    That Time and Fate two lovers led
    To lily-streams at Maidenhead,
                Among the rushes?

    Her reputation shivered most
    Last night at supper, when our host
    Made her of careless lips the toast
                And reigning goddess.
    But I, who know my love, dare say
    She thought of home, and tried to pray
    Before her handmaid slipped away
                Her satin bodice.

    Your silly worldings all forget
    Her depth of hidden life, and bet
    They’ve never met her equal yet
                In fact or fiction.
    But I, who love in secret, sit
    Unweaving webs that Fate has knit
    To bind me to so exquisite
                A contradiction.
                       _Clement Scott._



RONDEL


    KISS me, sweetheart; the Spring is here
      And Love is Lord of you and me.
      The blue-bells beckon each passing bee;
    The wild wood laughs to the flowered year:
    There is no bird in brake or brere,
      But to his little mate sings he,
    “Kiss me, sweetheart; the Spring is here,
      And Love is Lord of you and me!”

    The blue sky laughs out sweet and clear,
      The missel-thrush upon the tree
      Pipes for sheer gladness loud and free;
    And I go singing to my dear,
      “Kiss me, sweetheart; the Spring is here,
    And Love is Lord of you and me.”
                                 _John Payne._



WHITE, PILLARED NECK


I

    WHITE, pillared neck; a brow to make men quake;
      A woman’s perfect form;
    Like some cool marble, should that wake,
      Breathe, and be warm.


II

    A shape, a mind, a heart
      Of womanhood the whole;
    Her breath, her smile, her touch, her art,
      All—save her soul.
                       _Richard Watson Gilder._



JANET


I

    I REMEMBER
    That November
    When the new November child
    On this old world woke and smiled.


II

    Here’s a woman,
    Sweet and human,
    And they call her Janet, now,—
    I can’t make it out, I vow


III

    It only seems
    One night of dreams;
    Years they say; how _do_ they plan it?
    What’s become of Little Janet?


IV

    Never mind;
    She’s good; she’s kind;
    Age can never bend or win her;
    There’s a heart of youth within her.
                         _Richard Watson Gilder._



FOR A FAN


    EACH of us answers to a call;
    Master or mistress have we all.
    I belong to lovely Anne;
    Dost thou wish _thou_ wert a fan?
    Thus to be treasured, thus to be prest,
    Pleasuring thus, and thus caressed?
                       _Richard Watson Gilder._



BALLADE OF SUMMER


    WHEN strawberry pottles are common and cheap,
    Ere elms be black, or limes be sere,
    When midnight dances are murdering sleep,
    Then comes in the sweet o’ the year
    And far from Fleet Street, far from here,
    The Summer is Queen in the length of the land,
    And moonlit nights they are soft and clear,
    When fans for a penny are sold in the Strand!

    When clamour that doves in the lindens keep
    Mingles with musical plash of the weir,
    Where drowned green tresses of crowsfeet creep,
    Then comes in the sweet o’ the year!
    And better a crust and a beaker of beer,
    With rose hung hedges on either hand,
    Than a palace in town and a prince’s cheer,
    When fans for a penny are sold in the Strand!

    When big trout late in the twilight leap,
    When cuckoo clamoureth far and near,
    When glittering scythes in the hayfield reap,
    Then comes in the sweet o’ the year!
    And it’s oh to sail, with the wind to steer,
    While kine knee-deep in the water stand,
    On a highland loch, on a Lowland mere,
    When fans for a penny are sold in the Strand!


ENVOY

    Friend, with the fops while we dawdle here,
    Then comes in the sweet o’ the year!
    And the summer runs out, like grains of sand,
    When fans for a penny are sold in the Strand!
                                         _Andrew Lang._



COLINETTE


    FRANCE your country, as we know;
      Room enough for guessing yet,
    What lips now or long ago,
      Kissed and named you—Colinette.
    In what fields from sea to sea,
      By what stream your home was set,
    Loire or Seine was glad of thee,
      Marne or Rhone, O Colinette?

    Did you stand with “maidens ten,
      Fairer maids were never seen,”
    When the young king and his men
      Passed among the orchards green?
    Nay, old ballads have a note
      Mournful we would fain forget;
    No such sad old air should float
      Round your young brows, Colinette.

    Say, did Ronsard sing to you.
      Shepherdess to lull his pain,
    When the court went wandering through
      Rose pleasances of Touraine?
    Ronsard and his famous Rose
      Long are dust the breezes fret;
    You, within the garden close,
      You are blooming, Colinette.

    Have I seen you proud and gay,
      With a patched and perfumed beau,
    Dancing through the summer day,
      Misty summer of Watteau?
    Nay, so sweet a maid as you
      Never walked a minuet
    With the splendid courtly crew;
      Nay, forgive me, Colinette.

    Not from Greuze’s canvases
      Do you cast a glance, a smile;
    You are not as one of these,
      Yours is beauty without guile.
    Round your maiden brows and hair
      Maidenhood and Childhood met,
    Crown and kiss you, sweet and fair,
      New art’s blossom, Colinette.
                       _Andrew Lang._



BALLADE OF DEAD LADIES

(_After Villon_)


    NAY, tell me now in what strange air
    The Roman Flora dwells to-day;
    Where Archippiada hides, and where
    Beautiful Thais has passed away?
    Whence answers Echo, afield, astray,
    By mere or stream,—around, below?
    Lovelier she than a woman of clay;
    Nay, but where is the last year’s snow?

    Where is wise Héloise, that care
    Brought on Abeilard, and dismay?
    All for her love he found a snare,
    A maimed poor monk in orders grey;
    And where’s the Queen who willed to slay
    Buridan, that in a sack must go
    Afloat down Seine,—a perilous way—
    Nay, but where is the last year’s snow?

    Where’s that White Queen, a lily rare,
    With her sweet song, the Siren’s lay?
    Where’s Bertha Broad-foot, Beatrice fair?
    Alys and Ermengarde, where are they?
    Good Joan, whom English did betray
    In Rouen town, and burned her? No,
    Maiden and Queen, no man may say;
    Nay, but where is the last year’s snow?


ENVOY

    Prince, all this week thou need’st not pray,
    Nor yet this year the thing to know.
    One burden answers, ever and aye,
    “Nay, but where is the last year’s snow?”
                                      _Andrew Lang._



IL BACIO


    KISS! Hollyhock in Love’s luxuriant close!
      Brisk music played on pearly little keys;
      In tempo with the witching melodies
    Love in the ardent heart repeating goes.

    Sonorous, graceful Kiss, hail! Kiss divine!
      Unequalled boon, unutterable bliss!
      Man, bent o’er thine enthralling chalice, Kiss,
    Grows drunken with a rapture only thine!

    Thou comfortest as music does, and wine,
      And grief dies smothered in thy purple fold.
      Let one greater than I, Kiss, and more bold,
    Rear thee a classic, monumental line.

    Humble Parisian bard, this infantile
      Bouquet of rhymes I tender half in fear. . . .
      Be gracious, and in guerdon, on the dear
    Red lips of One I know, a light and smile!
                                     _Paul Verlaine._



SUR L’HERBE


    “THE abbé rambles.”—“You, marquis,
      Have put your wig on all awry.”—
    “This wine of Cypress kindles me
      Less, my Camargo, than your eye!”

    “My passion”—“Do, mi, sol, la, si.”—
      “Abbé, your villainy lies bare.”—
    “Mesdames, I climb up yonder tree
      And fetch a star down, I declare.”

    “Let each kiss his own lady, then
      The others.”—“Would that I were, too,
    A lap-dog!”—“Softly, gentlemen!”—
      “Do, mi.”—“The moon!—Hey, how d’ye do?”
                            _Paul Verlaine._



THE ROMANCE OF A GLOVE


    HERE on my desk it lies,
    Here as the daylight dies,
    One small glove just her size—
      Six and a quarter;
    Pearly gray, a colour neat,
    _Deux boutons_ all complete,
    Faint scented, soft and sweet;
      Could glove be smarter?

    Can I the day forget,
    Years ago, when the pet
    Gave it me?—where we met
      Still I remember;
    Then ’twas the summer time;
    Now as I write this rhyme
    Children love pantomime—
      ’Tis December.

    Fancy my boyish bliss
    Then when she gave me this,
    And how the frequent kiss
      Crumpled its fingers;
    Then she was fair and kind,
    Now, when I’ve changed my mind,
    Still some scent undefined
      On the glove lingers.

    Though she’s a matron sage,
    Yet I have kept the gage;
    While, as I pen this page,
      Still comes a goddess,
    Her eldest daughter, fair,
    With the same eyes and hair;
    Happy the arm I swear,
      That clasps her bodice.

    Heaven grant her fate be bright,
    And her step ever light
    As it will be to-night,
      First in the dances.
    Why did her mother prove
    False when I dared to love?
    Zounds! I shall burn the glove!
      This my romance is.
                _H. Savile Clarke._



IF


    OH, if the world were mine, Love,
      I’d give the world for thee!
    Alas! there is no sign, Love,
      Of that contingency.

    Were I a king—which isn’t
      To be considered now,—
    A diadem had glistened
      Upon thy lovely brow.

    Had fame with laurels crowned me,—
      She hasn’t up to date,—
    Nor time nor change had found me
      To love and thee ingrate.

    If death threw down his gage, Love,
      Though Life is dear to me,
    I’d die, e’en of old age, Love,
      To win a smile from thee.

    But being poor we part, Dear,
      And love, sweet love, must die,—
    Thou wilt not break thy heart, Dear;
      No more, I think, shall I.
                    _James Jeffrey Roche._



DON’T


    YOUR eyes were made for laughter,
      Sorrow befits them not;
    Would you be blithe hereafter,
      Avoid the lover’s lot.

    The rose and lily blended
      Possess your cheeks so fair;
    Care never was intended
      To leave his furrows there.

    Your heart was not created
      To fret itself away,
    Being unduly mated
      To common human clay.

    But hearts were made for loving,—
      Confound philosophy!
    Forget what I’ve been proving,
      Sweet Phyllis, and love me.
                _James Jeffrey Roche._



ON REREADING TÉLÉMAQUE

“_Calypso could not console herself_”


    I PLACE thee back upon the shelf,
      O Fénelon, how scant thy knowledge,
    Who seemed as Solomon himself
      To me, a callow youth at college!

    No need to say thou wert a priest;
      No need to own that I am human;
    Mine this advantage is—at least
      I’ve learned the alphabet of Woman.

    And yet but half the truth is told:
      I do thee wrong, sagacious Mentor,—
    Calypso could not be consoled
      Until another man was sent her!
                    _James Jeffrey Roche._



VALENTINE


    GREAT Antony, I drink to thee,
      The Roman lover bold,
    Who knew the worth of love and earth
      And gave the dross for gold.

    Rich Antony, I envy thee,
      Who hadst a world to stake,
    And, win or lose, didst bravely choose
      To risk it for Her sake.

    Poor Antony, I pity thee,
      So small a world was thine,
    I’d scorn to lay the prize to-day
      Before my Valentine!
                    _James Jeffrey Roche._



BIFTEK AUX CHAMPIGNONS


    MIMI, do you remember—
      Don’t get behind your fan—
    That morning in September
      On the cliffs of Grand Manan,
    Where to the shock of Fundy
      The topmost harebells sway
    (_Campanula rotundi—
      folia_: _cf._ Gray)?

    On the pastures high and level,
      That overlook the sea,
    Where I wondered what the devil
      Those little things could be
    That Mimi stooped to gather,
      As she strolled across the down,
    And held her dress skirt rather—
      Oh, now, you needn’t frown.

    For you know the dew was heavy,
      And your boots, I know, were thin;
    So a little extra brevi-
      ty in skirts was sure, no sin.
    Besides, who minds a cousin?
      First, second, even third,—
    I’ve kissed ’em by the dozen,
      And they never once demurred.

    “If one’s allowed to ask it,”
      Quoth I, “_Ma belle cousine_,
    What have you in your basket?”
      Those baskets white and green
    The brave Passamaquoddies
      Weave out of scented grass,
    And sell to tourist bodies
      Who through Mt. Desert pass.

    You answered, slightly frowning,
      “Put down your stupid book—
    That everlasting Browning!—
      And come and help me look,
    _Mushroom_ you spik him English,
      I call him _champignon_:
    I’ll teach you to distinguish
      The right kind from the wrong.”

    There was no fog on Fundy
      That blue September day;
    The west wind, for that one day,
      Had swept it all away.
    The lighthouse glasses twinkled,
      The white gulls screamed and flew,
    The merry sheep-bells tinkled,
      The merry breezes blew.

    The bayberry aromatic,
      The papery immortelles
    (That give our grandma’s attic
      That sentimental smell,
    Tied up in little brush-brooms)
      Were sweet as new-mown hay,
    While we went hunting mushrooms
      That blue September day.
                      _Henry Augustin Beers._



AN EXPLANATION


    HER lips were so near
      That what—else could I do?
    You’ll be angry, I fear,
    But her lips were so near—
    Well, I can’t make it clear,
      Or explain it to you,
    But—her lips were so near
      That—what else could I do?
                    _Walter Learned._



MARJORIE’S KISSES


    MARJORIE laughs and climbs on my knee,
    And I kiss her and she kisses me,
    I kiss her, but I don’t much care,
    Because, although she is charming and fair,
            Marjorie’s only three.

    But there will come a time, I ween,
    When, if I tell her of this little scene,
    She will smile and prettily blush, and then
    I shall long in vain to kiss her again,
            When Marjorie’s seventeen.
                      _Walter Learned._



MISS NANCY’S GOWN


    IN days when George the Third was King
      And ruled the Old Dominion,
    And Law and Fashion owned the sway
      Of Parliament’s opinion,
    A good ship brought across the sea
      A treasure fair and fine,—
    Miss Nancy’s gown from London Town,
      The latest Court design!

    The plaited waist from neck to belt
      Scarce measured half a span;
    The sleeves, balloon-like, at the top
      Could hold her feather fan;
    The narrow skirt with bias gore
      Revealed an ankle neat,
    Whene’er she put her dainty foot
      From carriage step to street!

    By skilful hands this wondrous gown
      Of costliest stuff was made,
    Cocoons of France on Antwerp looms
      Wrought to embossed brocade,
    Where roses red and violets
      In blooming beauty grew,
    As if young May were there alway,
      And June and April too!

    And from this bower of delight
      Miss Nancy reigned a Queen,
    Nor one disloyal heart rebelled
      In all her wild demesne:
    The noble House of Burgesses
      Forgot its fierce debate
    O’er rights of Crown, when Nancy’s gown
      Appeared in Halls of State!

    Through jocund reel, or measured tread
      Of stately minuet,
    Like fairy vision shone the bloom
      Of rose and violet,
    As, hand in hand with Washington,
      The hero of the day,
    The smiling face and nymph-like grace
      Of Nancy led the way!

    A century, since that gay time
      The merry dance was trod,
    Has passed, and Nancy long has slept
      Beneath the churchyard sod;
    Yet on the brocade velvet gown
      The rose and violet
    Are blooming bright as on the night
      She danced the minuet!
                   _Zitella Cocke._



“LE DERNIER JOUR D’UN CONDAMNÉ”


    OLD coat, for some three or four seasons
      We’ve been jolly comrades, but now
    We part, old companion, forever;
      To fate, and the fashion, I bow.
    You’d look well enough at a dinner,
      I’d wear you with pride at a ball;
    But I’m dressing to-night for a wedding—
      My own—and you’d not do at all.

    You’ve too many wine-stains about you,
      You’re scented too much with cigars,
    When the gaslight shines full on your collar
      It glitters with myriad stars,
    That wouldn’t look well at my wedding;
      They’d seem inappropriate there—
    Nell doesn’t use diamond powder.
      She tells me it ruins the hair.

    You’ve been out on Cozzen’s piazza
      Too late, when the evenings were damp,
    When the moon-beams were silvering Cro’nest,
      And the lights were all out in the camp.
    You’ve rested on highly-oiled stairways
      Too often, when sweet eyes were bright.
    And somebody’s ball dress—not Nellie’s—
      Flowed ’round you in rivers of white.

    There’s a reprobate looseness about you;
      Should I wear you to-night, I believe,
    As I come with my bride from the altar,
      You’d laugh in your wicked old sleeve,
    When you felt there the tremulous pressure
      Of her hand, in its delicate glove,
    That is telling me shyly, but proudly,
      Her trust is as deep as her love.

    So, go to your grave in the wardrobe,
      And furnish a feast for the moth,
    Nell’s glove shall betray its sweet secrets
      To younger, more innocent cloth.
    ’Tis time to put on your successor—
      It’s made in a fashion that’s new;
    Old coat, I’m afraid it will never
      Sit as easily on me as you.
                      _George A. Baker._



MY WOOING


    ONE evening, many months ago,
      We two conversed together;
    It must have been in June or so,
      For sultry was the weather.
    The waving branches made the ground
      With lights and shadows quiver;
    We sat upon a grassy mound
      That overhung a river.

    We thought, as you’ve perhaps inferred,
      Our destinies of linking:
    But neither of us spoke a word,
      For each of us was thinking.
    Her ma had lands at Skibbereen,
      Her pa estates in Devon;
    And she was barely seventeen,
      And I was thirty-seven.

    We gathered blossoms from the bank,
      And in the water flung them:
    We watched them as they rose and sank
      With flakes of foam among them.
    As towards the falls in mimic face
      They sailed—these heads of clover—
    We watched them quicken in their pace,
      We watched them tumble over.

    We watched them; and our calm repose
      Seemed calmer for their troubles;
    We watched them as they sank and rose
      And battled with the bubbles.
    We noticed then a little bird,
      Down at the margin, drinking:
    But neither of us spoke a word,
      For each of us was thinking.

    At length I thought I fairly might
      Declare my passion frantic:
    (The scenery, I’m sure, was quite
      Sufficiently romantic.)
    I’d heard a proverb short and quaint
      My memory—though shady—
    Informed me it began with “faint,”
      And finished up with “lady.”

    I summoned then the pluck to speak:
      (I felt I’d have to, one day,
    I only saw her once a week,
      And this was only Monday.)
    I called her angel, duck, and dove,
      I said I loved her dearly,
    My words—the whisperings of Love—
      Were eloquent, or nearly.

    I told her that my heart was true,
      And constant as the river:
    I said, “I’ll love you as I do,
      ‘For ever and for ever!’
    Oh! let me hear that voice divine—”
      I stopped a bit and listened;
    I murmured then, “Be mine, be mine,”
      She said, “I won’t!”—and isn’t.
                      _Edwin Hamilton._



WINTRY PARIS


    OH, the dingy winter days!
    Oh, the woven blues and greys!
      Oh, the drizzles and the puddles and the freezing!
    Nippy Paris to New York
    Is a sinker to a cork
      Superstition and tradition all her pleasing.

    Oh, the glacial Gallic gloom
    In a candle-darkened room
      Sends the spirit of a Gothamite to zero
    When I found the fire dead
    And sped shuddering to bed.
      How I longed to dream of burning Rome and Nero!

    Don’t believe them when they say
    The Parisians all are gay;
      Not a capital where gaiety so rare is.
    Why, I positively think
    My Manhattan blues are pink
      When contrasted with the blues I had in Paris.
                                           _Anonymous._



THE ROSE


    MY Lilla gave me yestermorn
    A rose, methinks in Eden born,
    And as she gave it, little elf!
    She blush’d like any rose herself.
    Then said I, full of tenderness,
      “Since this sweet rose I owe to you,
    Dear girl, why may I not possess
      The lovelier Rose that gave it too?”
                                _Anonymous._



INDECISION


          DO I love her?
    Dimpling red lips at me pouting,
    Dimpling shoulders at me flouting;
          No, I don’t!

          Do I love her?
    ’Prisoned in those crystal eyes
    Purity forever lies;
          Yes, I do!

          Do I love her?
    Little, wild and wilful fiction,
    Teasing, torturing contradiction;
          No, I don’t!

          Do I love her?
    With kind acts and sweet words she
    Aids and comforts poverty;
          Yes, I do!

          Do I love her?
    Quick she puts her cuirass on,
    Stabs with laughter, stings with scorn;
          No, I don’t!

          Do I love her?
    No! Then to my arms she flies,
    Filling me with glad surprise;
          Ah, yes I do!
                      _Anonymous._



LOGIC


I. HER RESPECTABLE PAPA’S

    “MY Dear, be sensible. Upon my word,
    This—for a woman even—is absurd.
    His income’s not a hundred pounds, I know.
    He’s not worth loving.”—“But I love him so.”


II. HER MOTHER’S

    “You silly child, he is well made and tall;
    But looks are far from being all in all.
    His social standing’s low, his family’s low,
    He’s not worth loving.”—“And I love him so.”


III. HER ETERNAL FRIEND’S

    “Is that he picking up the fallen fan?
    My Dear! he’s such an awkward, ugly man!
    You must be certain, pet, to answer ‘No.’
    He’s not worth loving.”—“And I love him so.”


IV. HER BROTHER’S

    “By Jove, were I a girl—thro’ horrid hap—
    I wouldn’t have a milk-and-water chap.
    The man has not a single spark of ‘go,’
    He’s not worth loving.”—“Yet, I love him so.”


V. HER OWN

    “And were he everything to which I’ve listened;
    Though he were ugly, awkward (and he isn’t)—
    Poor, low-born, and destitute of ‘go,’
    He is worth loving, for I love him so!”
                                      _Punch._



CONVERSATIONAL


    “HOW’S your father?” came the whisper,
      Bashful Ned the silence breaking;
    “Oh, he’s nicely,” Annie murmured,
      Smilingly the question taking.

    Conversation flagged a moment,
      Hopeless Ned essayed another:
    “Annie, I—I,” then a coughing,
      And the question, “How’s your mother?”

    “Mother? Oh, she’s doing finely!”
      Fleeting fast was all forbearance,
    When in low, despairing accents,
      Came the climax, “How’s your parents?”
                      _Anonymous._



IF YOU WANT A KISS, WHY, TAKE IT


    THERE’S a jolly Saxon proverb
      That is pretty much like this—
    That a man is half in heaven
      If he has a woman’s kiss.
    There is danger in delaying,
      For the sweetness may forsake it;
    So I tell you, bashful lover,
      If you want a kiss, why, take it.

    Never let another fellow
      Steal a march on you in this;
    Never let a laughing maiden
      See you spoiling for a kiss.
    There’s a royal way to kissing,
      And the jolly ones who make it
    Have a motto that is winning,—
      If you want a kiss, why, take it.

    Any fool may face a cannon,
      Anybody wear a crown,
    But a man must win a woman
      If he’d have her for his own.
    Would you have the golden apple,
      You must find the tree and shake it;
    If the thing is worth the having,
      And you want a kiss, why take it.

    Who would burn upon a desert
      With a forest smiling by?
    Who would change his sunny summer
      For a bleak and wintry sky?
    Oh, I tell you there is magic,
      And you cannot, cannot break it;
    For the sweetest part of loving
      Is to want a kiss, and take it.
                      _Anonymous._



EDUCATIONAL COURTSHIP


    SHE was a Boston maiden, and she’d scarcely passed eighteen,
    And as lovely as an houri, but of grave and sober mien,
    A sweet encyclopædia of every kind of lore,
    Though love looked coyly from behind the glasses that she wore.

    She sat beside her lover, with her elbow on his knee,
    And dreamily she gazed upon the slumbering summer sea,
    Until he broke the silence, saying, “Pray, Minerva, dear,
    Inform me of the meaning of the Thingness of the Here?

    “I know you’re just from Concord, where the lights of wisdom be,
    Your head crammed full to bursting with their philosophy,—
    Those hairy-headed sages and maids of hosiery blue;
    Then solve me the conundrum, love, that I have put to you.”

    She smiled a dreamy smile, and said, “The Thingness of the Here
    Is that which is not passed and hasn’t yet arrived, my dear.
    Indeed,” the maid continued, with a calm, unruffled brow,
    “The Thingness of the Here is just the Thingness of the Now.”

    A smile illumed the lover’s face; then, without undue haste,
    He slid a manly arm around the maiden’s slender waist,
    And on her cherry lips impressed a warm and loving kiss,
    And said, “Love, this is what I call the Nowness of the This.”
                                                       _Anonymous._



KISSING’S NO SIN


    SOME say that kissing’s a sin;
      But I think it’s nane ava,
    For kissing has wonn’d in this warld
      Since ever there was twa.

    O, if it wasna lawfu’
      Lawyers wadna allow it;
    If it wasna holy,
      Ministers wadna do it.

    If it wasna modest,
      Maidens wadna tak’ it;
    If it wasna plenty,
    Puir folks wadna get it.
                     _Anonymous._



THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD


    WHAT’S the best thing in the world?
    June-rose, by May-dew impearled;
    Sweet south-wind, that means no rain;
    Truth, not cruel to a friend;
    Pleasure, not in haste to end;
    Beauty, not self-decked and curled
    Till its pride is over-plain;
    Light, that never makes you wink;
    Memory, that gives no pain;
    Love, when, _so_, you’re loved again.
    What’s the best thing in the world?—
    Something out of it, I think.
                               _Anonymous._



HER NEIGHBOURS


    THEY lingered at her father’s door,
      The moon was shining bright,
    And to the maiden o’er and o’er
      The youth had said, “Good night.”

    But still reluctant to depart,
      Her tiny hand he pressed,
    While all the love that filled his heart
      His ardent looks confessed.

    At length she closer to him crept,
      Her eyes upon him bent,
    And softly asked, “How have you kept,
      Thus far, the fast of Lent?”

    He smiled, and, as a manly arm
      Around her waist he threw,
    He said, “I’ve done no neighbour harm—
      Pray, tell me, how have you?”

    “Oh! better far, I’m sure,” she said,
      The charming little elf.
    “I’ve loved (she blushed and bent her head)
      My neighbour as myself.”

    “Who is your neighbour?” questioned he,
      As to his breast he drew
    The gentle maid, and blushing, she
      With one word answered—“You.”
                      _Anonymous._



TO CELIA

(_Who refuses to be drawn into an argument_)


    DEAR, if you carelessly agree,
      With that so irritating air,
    To every word that falls from me—
    Dear, if you care

    To drive a lover to despair
      With bland “Oh, yes,” and “Ah, I see,”—
    Why, do it, if you like—so there!

    It vindicates my theory
      No woman’s wise as well as fair;
    And yet ... how clever you can be,
      Dear, if you care!
                      _E. H. Lacon Watson._



IN FOR IT


    I ROSE betimes, and donned a suit
      Of clothes, whose fit immaculate
    Was not a question for dispute,
      Whose cut was far above debate.
    I breakfasted, or rather tried,
      But strange my appetite behaving,
    A., B. and S. alone supplied
            My feeble craving.

    I fidgeted about the place,
      I smoothed my hat some twenty times,
    I almost cursed the clock’s slow pace
      And listened for the neighb’ring chimes—
    I stretched my gloves—they were a pair
      Of lemon kids, extremely “fetching”;
    And so I used peculiar care
            About the stretching.

    ’Twas past eleven when my friend
      Arrived, and took me ’neath his wing,
    For he had promised to attend
      Upon me kindly, and “to bring
    Me smiling to the scratch,” as he
      Was pleased to term it, being merry,
    ’Twas quite another thing with me;
            ’Twas diff’rent, very.

    We drove to Church, and there I found
      Myself the object of each gaze;
    I hardly dared to look around,
      I felt completely in a maze—
    We had to wait, I dropped my hat,
      Then split a glove in very flurry,
    Grew hot, and wished devoutly that
            The rest would hurry.

    When all was o’er, we had to face
      A grinning crowd’s rude gaping stare,
    I strove to don unconscious grace,
      And look as if I didn’t care—
    We braved it out, got home, and then
      There came a plethora of kissin’:
    Of course I took good care the men
            Did not join this in.

    We next were victims of a meal,
      A melancholy sad pretence,
    And I thereat was made to feel
      How hard it is to utter sense:
    The carriage came at last, and we
      For not a single moment tarried,
    And driving off, it dawned on me
            That I was married.
                      _Somerville Gibney._



KIRTLE RED


    A DAMSEL fair, on a summer’s day—
      —Sing heigh, sing ho, for the summer!
    Sat under a tree in a kirtle gray,
    Singing, “Somebody’s late at tryst to-day;
    Gather ye rosebuds while ye may,
      Or the leaves may fall in summer!”

    Answered a little bird overhead—
      As birds will do in summer;
    “Some body _has_ kept tryst,” it said,
    “With somebody else in a kirtle red,
    And they are going to be marrièd.”
      Sing heigh, sing ho, for the summer!

    “With all my heart, little bird,” said she;
      Sing heigh, sing ho, for the summer!
    “He’s welcome to kirtle red for me;
    Somebody’s fast, while somebody’s free!
    There’s nothing, no, nothing, like libertie!”
      —Sing heigh, sing ho, for the summer!
                      _W. H. Bellamy._



A BAGATELLE


    A BAGATELLE! Ah, Mistress Prue,
    So gaily laughing all life through,
      You call it that, the flower you fling
      Lightly aside, the song you sing,
    The fan, the glove no longer new.

    But to your careless eyes of blue
    A bow, a heart that’s fond and true,
      Is, like your glove, that worthless thing—
                                A bagatelle.

    While I who prize your glove, your shoe,
    The rose that o’er your lips you drew,
      Hold worthless spring’s fresh blossoming,
      Hold worthless life’s whole offering,
    Because my love is but to you
                                A bagatelle.
                      _James G. Burnett._



A LOVE TEST


    SWEET, do you ask me if you love or no?
    Soon will your answers to my questions show:
    If in your cheeks hot blushes come and go,
    Like rose-leaves shaken on new-fallen snow;
    If tender sorrows in your heart arise,
    And sudden teardrops tremble in your eyes;
    If from my presence you would sigh to part,
    Believe me, darling, I have touched your heart.

    If when I speak your blue-veined eyelids sink,
    And veil the thoughts you scarcely dare to think:
    If when I greet you, hardly you reply,
    And when we part, but breathe a faint “Good-bye!”
    If your sweet face to mine you cannot raise,
    Yet fear not so to meet another’s gaze;
    If all these things to make you glad combine,
    Believe me, darling, that your heart is mine.
                                 _Carl Herlozssohn._



THE MISTAKEN MOTH


    ’MID the summer flush of roses
          Red and white,
    Sat a damsel fair, a very
          Pretty sight;
    Till a butterfly, so smart,
    With a flutter and a dart,
    Kissed her mouth and made her start
          In a fright.

    “Ah, forgive me!” begged the insect,
          “If you please;
    I assure you that I didn’t
          Mean to tease.
    I but took your rosebud lip
    For the rose wherein I dip,
    All its honey sweet to sip
          At mine ease.”

    Said the beauty, to the moth,
          “You may try
    To excuse your forward conduct,
          Sir, but I
    Wish it clearly understood
    That such roses are too good
    To be kissed by every rude
          Butterfly!”
                 _Translated from Wegener._



MY PRETTY NEIGHBOR


    IF you’ve nothing, dear, to tell me,
      Why, each morning passing by,
    With your sudden smiles compel me,
    To adore you, then repel me,
      Pretty little neighbor, why?
    Why if you have naught to tell me,
      Do you so my patience try?

    If you’ve nothing sweet to teach me,
      Tell me why you press my hand?
    I’ll attend if you’ll impeach me
    Of my sins, or even preach me
      Sermons hard to understand;
    But if you have naught to teach me,
      Dear, your meaning I demand!

    If you wish me, love, to leave you,
      Why forever walk my way?
    Then, when gladly I receive you,
    Wherefore do I seem to grieve you?
    Must I then, in truth, believe you
      Wish me, darling, far away?
    Do you wish me, love, to leave you?
      Pretty little neighbor, say!
                   _Translated from Wegener._



IF


    IF a man could live a thousand years,
      When half his life had passed,
    He might, by strict economy,
      A fortune have amassed.

    Then having gained some common-sense,
      And knowledge, too, of life,
    He could select the woman who
      Would make him a true wife.

    But as it is, man hasn’t time
      To even pay his debts,
    And weds to be acquainted with
      The woman whom he gets.
                    _H. C. Dodge._



TO MISTRESS PYRRHA


    WHAT perfumed, posie-dizened sirrah,
            With smiles for diet,
    Clasps you, O fair but faithless Pyrrha,
            On the quiet?
    For whom do you bind up your tresses,
            As spun-gold yellow,—
    Meshes that go with your caresses,
            To snare a fellow?

    How will he rail at fate capricious,
            And curse you duly,
    Yet now he deems your wiles delicious,—
            You perfect, truly!
    Pyrrha, your love’s a treacherous ocean;
            He’ll soon fall in there!
    Then shall I gloat on his commotion,
            For I have been there!
                      _Eugene Field._



THE TEA-GOWN


    MY lady has a tea-gown
      That is wondrous fair to see,—
    It is flounced and ruffed and plaited and puffed,
      As a tea-gown ought to be;
    And I thought she must be jesting
      Last night at supper when
    She remarked by chance, that it came from France,
      And had cost but two pounds ten.

    Had she told me fifty shillings,
      I might (and wouldn’t you?)
    Have referred to that dress in a way folks express
      By an eloquent dash or two;
    But the guileful little creature
      Knew well her tactics when
    She casually said that that dream in red
      Had cost but two pounds ten.

    Yet our home is all the brighter
      For the dainty, sentient thing,
    That floats away where it properly may,
      And clings where it ought to cling;
    And I count myself the luckiest
      Of all us married men
    That I have a wife whose joy in life
      Is a gown at two pounds ten.

    It isn’t the gown compels me
      Condone this venial sin;
    It’s the pretty face above the lace,
      And the gentle heart within.
    And with her arms about me
      I say, and say again,
    “’Twas wondrous cheap,”—and I think a heap
      Of that gown at two pounds ten!
                      _Eugene Field._



A PARAPHRASE


    HOW happens it, my cruel miss,
      You’re always giving me the mitten?
    You seem to have forgotten this:
      That you no longer are a kitten!

    A woman that has reached the years
      Of that which people call discretion
    Should put away all childish fears
      And see in courtship no transgression.

    A mother’s solace may be sweet,
      But Hymen’s tenderness is sweeter;
    And though all virile love be meet,
      You’ll find the poet’s love is metre.
                      _Eugene Field._



A LEAP-YEAR EPISODE


    CAN I forget that winter night
      In eighteen eighty-four,
    When Nellie, charming little sprite,
      Came tapping at the door?
    “Good evening, miss,” I blushing said,
      For in my heart I knew—
    And, knowing, hung my pretty head—
      That Nellie came to woo.

    She clasped my big red hand, and fell
      Adown upon her knees,
    And cried: “You know I love you well,
      So be my husband, please!”
    And then she swore she’d ever be
      A tender wife and true—
    Ah, what delight it was to me
      That Nellie came to woo!

    She’d lace my shoes and darn my hose
      And mend my shirts, she said;
    And grease my comely Roman nose
      Each night on going to bed;
    She’d build the fires and fetch the coal,
      And split the kindling, too—
    Love’s perjuries o’erwhelmed her soul
      When Nellie came to woo.

    And as I blushing, gave no check
      To her advances rash,
    She twined her arms about my neck,
      And toyed with my moustache;
    And then she pleaded for a kiss,
      While I—what could I do
    But coyly yield me to that bliss
      When Nellie came to woo?

    I am engaged, and proudly wear
      A gorgeous diamond ring,
    And I shall wed my lover fair
      Some time in gentle spring.
    I face my doom without a sigh—
      And so, forthsooth, would you,
    If you but loved as fond as I
      The Nellie who came to woo.
                    _Eugene Field._



BALLADE OF LADIES’ NAMES


    BROWN’S for Lalage, Jones for Lelia,
      Robinson’s bosom for Beatrice glows,
    Smith is a Hamlet before Ophelia.
      The glamour stays if the reason goes!
      Every lover the years disclose
    Is of a beautiful name made free.
      One befriends, and all others are foes.
    Anna’s the name of names for me.

    Sentiment hallows the vowels of Delia;
      Sweet simplicity breathes from Rose;
    Courtly memories glitter in Celia;
      Rosalind savours of quips and hose,
      Araminta of wits and beaux,
    Prue of puddings, and Coralie
      All of sawdust and spangled shows;
    Anna’s the name of names for me.

    Fie upon Caroline, Madge, Amelia—
      These I reckon the essence of prose!—
    Cavalier Katharine, cold Cornelia,
      Portia’s masterful Roman nose,

      Maud’s magnificence, Totty’s toes,
    Poll and Bet with their twang of the sea,
      Nell’s impertinence, Pamela’s woes!
    Anna’s the name of names for me.

ENVOY

    Ruth like a gillyflower smells and blows,
      Sylvia prattles of Arcadee,
    Sybil mystifies, Connie crows,
      Anna’s the name of names for me!
                      _W. E. Henley._



BALLADE OF JUNE


    LILACS glow, and jasmines climb,
      Larks are loud the livelong day.
    O the golden summer-prime!
      June takes up the sceptre of May,
      And the land beneath her sway
    Glows, a dream of flowerful closes,
      And the very wind’s at play
    With Sir Love among the roses.

    Lights and shadows in the lime
      Meet in exquisite disarray.
    Hark! the rich recurrent rhyme
      Of the blackbird’s roundelay!
      Where he carols, frank and gay,
    Fancy no more glooms or proses;
      Joyously she flits away
    With Sir Love among the roses.

    O the cool sea’s slumbrous chime!
      O the links that beach the bay,
    Tricked with meadow-sweet and thyme,
      Where the brown bees murmur and stray!
      Lush the hedgerows, ripe the hay!
    Many a maiden, binding posies,
      Finds herself at Yea-and-Nay
    With Sir Love among the roses.


ENVOY

    Boys and girls, be wise, I pray!
      Do as dear Queen June proposes,
    For she bids you troop and stay
      With Sir Love among the roses.
                    _W. E. Henley._



BALLADE MADE IN THE HOT WEATHER


    MOUNTAINS that frisk and sprinkle
      The moss they overspill;
    Grass that the breezes crinkle;
      The wheel beside the mill,
      With its wet, weedy frill;
    Wind-shadows in the wheat;
    A water-cart in the street;
      The fringe of foam that girds
    An islet’s ferneries;
      A green sky’s minor thirds—
    To live, I think of these!

    Of ice and glass the tinkle,
      Pellucid, silver-shrill;
    Peaches without a wrinkle;
      Cherries and snow, at will
      From china bowls that fill
    The senses with a sweet
    Incuriousness of heat;
      A melon’s dripping sherds;
    Cream-clotted strawberries;
      Dusk dairies set with curds—
    To live, I think of these!

    Vale-lily and periwinkle;
      Wet stone-crop on the sill;
    The look of leaves a-twinkle
      With windlets clear and still;
      The feel of a forest rill
    That wimples fresh and fleet
    About one’s naked feet;
      The muzzles of drinking herds;
    Lush flags and bulrushes;
      The chirp of rain-bound birds—
    To live, I think of these!


ENVOY

    Dark aisles, new packs of cards,
    Mermaidens’ tails, cool swards,
      Dawn dews and starlit seas,
    White marbles, whiter words—
      To live, I think of these!
                     _W. E. Henley._



A ROSE


    ’TWAS a Jacqueminot rose
      That she gave me at parting;
    Sweetest flower that blows.
    ’Twas a Jacqueminot rose.
    In the love garden close,
      With the swift blushes starting,
    ’Twas a Jacqueminot rose
      That she gave me at parting.

    If she kissed it, who knows—
      Since I will not discover,
    And love is that close,
    If she kissed it, who knows?
    Or if not the red rose
      Perhaps then the lover!
    If she kissed it, who knows,
      Since I will not discover.

    Yet at least with the rose
      Went a kiss that I’m wearing!
    More I will not disclose,
    Yet at least with the rose
    Went whose kiss no one knows,—
      Since I’m only declaring,
    “Yet at least with the rose
      Went a kiss that I’m wearing.”
                     _Arlo Bates._



TO MINNIE

(_With a Hand Glass_)


    A PICTURE-FRAME for you to fill,
      A paltry setting for your face,
    A thing that has no worth until
      You lend it something of your grace,

    I send (unhappy I that sing
      Laid by awhile upon the shelf)
    Because I would not send a thing
      Less charming than you are yourself.

    And happier than I, alas!
      (Dumb thing, I envy its delight)
    ’Twill wish you well, the looking-glass,
      And look you in the face to-night.
                      _Robert Louis Stevenson._



AN AMERICAN GIRL


    SHE’S had a Vassar education,
      And points with pride to her degrees;
    She’s studied household decoration:
      She knows a dado from a frieze,
      And tells Corots from Boldonis;
    A Jacquemart etching, or a Haden,
      A Whistler, too, perchance might please
    A free and frank young Yankee maiden.

    She does not care for meditation;
      Within her bonnet are no bees;
    She has a gentle animation,
      She joins in singing simple glees.
      She tries no trills, no rivalries
    With Lucca (now Baronin Raden),
      With Nilsson or with Gerster; she’s
    A free and frank young Yankee maiden.

    I’m blessed above the whole creation,
      Far, far, above all other he’s;
    I ask you for congratulation
      On this the best of jubilees:
      I go with her across the seas
    Unto what Poe would call an Aiden,—
      I hope no servant’s there to tease
    A free and frank young Yankee maiden.


ENVOY

    Princes, to you the western breeze
      Bears many a ship and heavy laden,
    What is the best we send in these?
      A free and frank young Yankee maiden.
                     _Brander Matthews._



LARKS AND NIGHTINGALES


    ALONE I sit at eventide:
      The twilight glory pales,
    And o’er the meadows far and wide
      Chant pensive bobolinks.
    (One might say nightingales!)

    Song-sparrows warble on the tree,
      I hear the purling brook,
    And from the old “manse o’er the lea”
      Flies slow the cawing crow.
    (In England ’twere a rook!)

    The last faint golden beams of day
      Still glow on cottage panes,
    And on their lingering homeward way
      Walk weary laboring men.
    (Oh, that we had swains!)

    From farm-yards, down fair rural glades
      Come sounds of tinkling bells,
    And songs of merry brown milkmaids,
      Sweeter than oriole’s.
    (Yes, thank you—Philomel’s!)

    I could sit here till morning came,
      All through the night hours dark,
    Until I saw the sun’s bright flame
      And heard the chickadee.
    (Alas! we have no lark!)

    We have no leas, no larks, no rooks,
      No swains, no nightingales,
    No singing milkmaids (save in books):
      The poet does his best—
    It is the rhyme that fails!
                   _Nathan Haskell Dole._



CAELI


    IF stars were really watching eyes
    Of angel armies in the skies,
    I should forget all watchers there,
    And only for your glances care.

    And if your eyes were really stars,
    With leagues that none can mete for bars
    To keep me from their longed-for day,
    I could not feel more far away.
                    _Francis William Bourdillon._



LADY MINE


    LADY mine, most fair thou art
      With youth’s gold and white and red;
    ’Tis a pity that thy heart
      Is so much harder than thy head.

    This has stayed my kisses oft,
      This from all thy charms debarr’d,
    That thy head is strangely soft,
      While thy heart is strangely hard.

    Nothing had kept us apart—
      I had loved thee, I had wed—
    Hadst thou had a softer heart
      Or a harder head.

    But I think I’ll bear Love’s smart
      Till the wound has healed and fled,
    Or thy head is like thy heart,
      Or thy heart is like thy head.
                    _Herbert Edwin Clarke._



THE RIPEST PEACH[A]


    THE ripest peach is highest on the tree—
    And so her love, beyond the reach of me,
    Is dearest in my sight. Sweet breezes, bow
    Her heart down to me where I worship now!

    She looms aloft where every eye may see
    The ripest peach is highest on the tree.
    Such fruitage as her love I know, alas!
    I may not reach here from the orchard grass.

    I drink the sunshine showered past her lips
    As roses drain the dewdrop as it drips.
    The ripest peach is highest on the tree,
    And so mine eyes gaze upward eagerly.

    Why—why do I not turn away in wrath
    And pluck some heart here hanging in my path?—
    Love’s lower boughs bend with them—but, ah me!
    The ripest peach is highest on the tree.
                      _James Whitcomb Riley._


FOOTNOTE:

[A] From “Old-Fashioned Roses,” copyright 1906. Used by special
permission of the publishers, The Bobbs-Merrill Company.



“I JOURNEYED SOUTH TO MEET THE SPRING”


    I JOURNEYED South to meet the Spring
      To feel the soft tide’s gentle rise
    That to my heart again should bring,
    Foretold by many a whispering wing,
      The old, the new, the sweet surprise.

    For once, the wonder was not new—
      And yet it wore a newer grace:
    For all its innocence of hue,
    Its warmth and bloom and dream and dew,
      I had but left—in Helen’s face.
                      _Robert Underwood Johnson._



BEFORE THE BLOSSOM


    IN the tassel-time of spring
    Love’s the only song to sing;
      Ere the ranks of solid shade
    Hide the bluebird’s flitting wing,
      While in open forest glade
    No mysterious sound or thing
      Haunt of green has found or made,
    Love’s the only song to sing.

    Though in May each bush be dressed
    Like a bride, and every nest
      Learn Love’s joyous repetend,
    Yet the half-told tale is best
      At the budding,—with its end
    Much too secret to be guessed,
      And its fancies that attend
    April’s passion unexpressed.

    Love and Nature communing
    Gave us Arcady. Still ring—
      Vales across and groves among—
    Wistful memories, echoing
      Pans far-off and fluty song
    Poet! nothing harsher sing;
      Be, like Love and Nature, young
    In the tassel-time of spring.
                _Robert Underwood Johnson._



LOVE IN THE CALENDAR


    WHEN chinks in April’s windy dome
      Let through a day of June,
    And foot and thought incline to roam,
      And every sound’s a tune;
    When Nature fills a fuller cup,
      And hides with green the gray,—
    Then, lover, pluck your courage up
      To try your fate in May.

    Though proud she was as sunset clad
      In Autumn’s fruity shades,
    Love too is proud, and brings (gay lad!)
      Humility to maids.
    Scorn not from nature’s mood to learn,
      Take counsel of the day:
    Since haughty skies to tender turn,
      Go try your fate in May.

    Though cold she seemed as pearly light
      Adown December eves,
    And stern as night when March winds smite
      The beech’s lingering leaves;
    Yet Love hath seasons like the year,
      And grave will turn to gay,—
    Then, lover, hearken not to fear,
      But try your fate in May.

    And you whose art it is to hide
      The constant love you feel:
    Beware, lest overmuch of pride
      Your happiness shall steal.
    No longer pout, for May is here,
      And hearts will have their way;
    Love’s in the calendar, my dear,
      So yield to fate—and May!
                    _Robert Underwood Johnson._



MY GRANDMOTHER’S TURKEY-TAIL FAN


    IT owned not a color that vanity dons
      Or slender wits choose for display;
    Its beautiful tint was a delicate bronze,
      A brown softly blended with gray.
    From her waist to her chin, spreading out without break,
      ’Twas built on a generous plan:
    The pride of the forest was slaughtered to make
      My grandmother’s turkey-tail fan.

    For common occasions it never was meant:
      In a chest between two silken cloths
    ’Twas kept safely hidden with careful intent
      In camphor to keep out the moths.
    ’Twas famed far and wide through the whole country side,
      From Beersheba e’en unto Dan;
    And often at meeting with envy ’twas eyed,
      My grandmother’s turkey-tail fan.

    Camp-meetings, indeed, were its chiefest delight.
      Like a crook unto sheep gone astray
    It beckoned backsliders to re-seek the right,
      And exhorted the sinners to pray.
    It always beat time when the choir went wrong,
      In psalmody leading the van.
    Old Hundred, I know, was its favorite song—
      My grandmother’s turkey-tail fan.

    A fig for the fans that are made nowadays,
      Suited only to frivolous mirth!
    A different thing was the fan that I praise,
      Yet it scorned not the good things of earth.
    At bees and at quiltings ’twas aye to be seen;
      The best of the gossip began
    When in at the doorway had entered serene
      My grandmother’s turkey-tail fan.

    Tradition relates of it wonderful tales.
      Its handle of leather was buff.
    Though shorn of its glory, e’en now it exhales
      An odor of hymn-books and snuff.
    Its primeval grace, if you like, you can trace:
      ’Twas limned for the future to scan,
    Just under a smiling gold-spectacled face,
      My grandmother’s turkey-tail fan.
                     _Samuel Minturn Peck._



VALENTINE


    IF thou canst make the frost be gone,
      And fleet away the snow
      (And that thou canst, I trow);
    If thou canst make the spring to dawn,
    Hawthorn to put her brav’ry on,
    Willow, her weeds of fine green lawn,
      Say why thou dost not so—
            Aye, aye!
            Say why
      Thou dost not so!

    If thou canst chase the stormy rack,
      And bid the soft winds blow
      (And that thou canst, I trow);
    If thou canst call the thrushes back
    To give the groves the songs they lack,
    And wake the violet in thy track,
      Say why thou dost not so—
            Aye, aye!
            Say why
      Thou dost not so!

    If thou canst make my winter spring,
      With one word breathed low
      (And that thou canst, I know);
    If in the closure of a ring
    Thou canst to me such treasure bring,
    My state shall be above a king,
      Say why thou dost not so—
            Aye, aye!
            Say why
      Thou dost not so!
                    _Edith Matilda Thomas._



A VALENTINE


    OH! little loveliest lady mine,
    What shall I send for your valentine?
    Summer and flowers are far away;
    Gloomy old Winter is king to-day;
    Buds will not blow, and sun will not shine:
    What shall I do for a valentine?

    I’ve searched the gardens all through and through
    For a bud to tell of my love so true;
    But buds are asleep, and blossoms are dead,
    And the snow beats down on my poor little head:
    So, little loveliest lady mine,
    Here is my heart for your valentine!
                    _Laura Elizabeth Richards._



ON A HYMN-BOOK


    OLD hymn-book, sure I thought I’d lost you
      In the days now long gone by;
    I’d forgotten where I tossed you:
      Gracious! how I sigh.

    In the church a thin partition
      Stood between her pew and mine;
    And her pious, sweet contrition
      Struck me as divine.

    Yes, remarkably entrancing
      Was she in her sable furs;
    And my eyes were always glancing
      Up, old book, to hers.

    Bless you, very well she knew it,
      And I’m sure she liked it too;
    Once she whispered, “Please don’t do it,”
      But her eyes said, “Do.”

    How to speak—to tell my passion?
      How to make her think me true?
    Love soon found a curious fashion,
      For he spoke through you.

    How I used to search your pages
      For the words I wished to say;
    And received my labour’s wages
      Every Sabbath day.

    Ah, how sweet it was to hand her
      You, with lines I’d marked when found!
    And how well I’d understand her
      When she blushed and frowned.

    And one day, old book, you wriggled
      From my hand and, rattling fell
    Upon the floor; and she—she giggled,
      Did Miss Isabel.

    Then when next we met out walking,
      I was told in fearful tones,
    How she’d got a dreadful talking
      From the Reverend Jones.

    Ah me! No man could resist her
      In those sweet and buried years,
    So I think—I think I kissed her,
      Just to stop her tears.

    Jones I gave a good sound chaffing;
      Called his sermon dry as bones;
    Soon fair Isabel was laughing—
      Said she hated Jones.

    It was after that I lost you,
      For I needed you no more;
    Somewhere—anywhere I tossed you
      On a closet floor.

    Reverend Samuel still preaches;
      Isabel her past atones;
    In his Sunday-school she teaches—
      Mrs. Samuel Jones.
                   _W. J. Henderson._



THE BALLADE OF THE SUMMER-BOARDER


    _LET all men living on earth take heed,
      For their own soul’s sake, to a rhyme well meant;
    Writ so that he who runs may read—
      We are the folk that a-summering went,
      Who while the year was young were bent—
    Yea, bent on doing this self-same thing
      Which we have done unto some extent.
    This is the end of our summering._

    We are the folk who would fain be freed
      From wasteful burdens of rate and rent—
    From the vampire agents’ ravening breed—
      We are the folk that a-summering went.
      We hied us forth when the summer was blent
    With the fresh faint sweetness of dying spring,
      A-seeking the meadows dew besprent
    This is the end of our summering.

    For O the waiters that must be fee’d,
      And our meat-time neighbour, the travelling “gent”;
    And the youth next door with the ophicleide!
      We are the folk that a-summering went!
      Who from small bare rooms wherein we were pent,
    While birds their way to the southward wing,
      Come back, our money for no good spent—
    This is the end of our summering.


ENVOY

    Citizens! list to our sore lament—
      While the landlord’s hands to our raiment cling—
    We are the folk that a-summering went:
      This is the end of our summering.
                                      _H. C. Bunner._



INTERESTING


    I ROWED her out on the broad bright sea,
    Till the land lay purple upon our lee.

    The heavens were trying the waves to outshine,
    With never a cloud to the far sea-line.

    On the reefs the billows in kisses broke—
    But oh, I was dying for one small smoke.

    She spoke of the gulls and the waters green—
    But what is nature to Nicotine?

    She spoke of the tides, and the Triton myth;
    And said Jones was engaged to the blonde Miss Smith.

    She spoke of her liking lemon on clams;
    And Euclid, and parallelograms.

    For her face was fair and her eyes were brown,
    And she was a girl from Boston town.

    And I rowed and thought—but I never said—
    “Does Havana tobacco trouble your head?”

    She talked of algæ—she talked of sand—
    And I thought: “Tobacco you cannot stand.”

    She talked of the ocean-steamer’s speed—
    And I yearned for a whiff of the wicked weed.

    And at last I spoke, between fright and fret:
    “Would you mind if I smoked a cigarette?”

    She dropped her eyes on the ocean’s blue,
    And said: “Would you mind if I smoked too?”
                      _H. C. Bunner._



THE WAY TO ARCADY


    OH, what’s the way to Arcady,
      To Arcady, to Arcady;
    Oh, what’s the way to Arcady,
      Where all the leaves are merry?

    Oh, what’s the way to Arcady?
    The spring is rustling in the tree—
    The tree the wind is blowing through—
      It sets the blossoms flickering white.
    I knew not skies could burn so blue
      Nor any breezes blow so light.
    They blow an old-time way for me,
    Across the world to Arcady.

    Oh, what’s the way to Arcady?
    Sir Poet, with the rusty coat,
    Quit mocking of the song-bird’s note.
    How have you heart for any tune,
    You with the wayworn russet shoon?
    Your scrip, a-swinging by your side,
    Gapes with a gaunt mouth hungry-wide.
    I’ll brim it well with pieces red,
    If you will tell the way to tread.

    Oh, I am bound for Arcady,
    And if you but keep pace with me
    You tread the way to Arcady.

    And where away lies Arcady,
    And how long yet may the journey be?

    Ah, that (quoth he) I do not know—
    Across the clover and the snow—
    Across the frost, across the flowers—
    Through summer seconds and winter hours.
    I’ve trod the way my whole life long,
      And know not now where it may be;
    My guide is but the stir to song,
    That tells me I cannot go wrong,
      Or clear or dark the pathway be
      Upon the road to Arcady.

    But how shall I do who cannot sing?
      I was wont to sing, once on a time—
    There is never an echo now to ring
      Remembrance back to the trick of rhyme.

    ’Tis strange you cannot sing (quoth he),
    The folk all sing in Arcady.

    But how may he find Arcady
    Who hath nor youth nor melody?

    What, know you not, old man (quoth he)—
      Your hair is white, your face is wise—
      That Love must kiss that Mortal’s eyes
    Who hopes to see fair Arcady?
    No gold can buy you entrance there;
    But beggared Love may go all bare—
    No wisdom won with weariness;
    But Love goes in with Folly’s dress—
    No fame that wit could ever win;
    But only Love may lead Love in
      To Arcady, to Arcady.

    Ah, woe is me, through all my days
      Wisdom and wealth I both have got,
    And fame and name, and great men’s praise,
      But Love, ah, Love! I have it not.
    There was a time, when life was new—
      But far away, and half forgot—
    I only know her eyes were blue;
      But Love—I fear I knew it not.
    We did not wed, for lack of gold,
    And she is dead, and I am old.
    All things have come since then to me,
    Save Love, ah, Love! and Arcady.

    Ah, then I fear we part (quoth he),
    My way’s for Love and Arcady.

    But you, you fare alone, like me;
      The gray is likewise in your hair.
      What love have you to lead you there,
    To Arcady, to Arcady?

    Ah, no, not lonely do I fare;
      My true companion’s Memory.
    With Love he fills the Spring-time air;
      With Love he clothes the Winter tree.
    Oh, past this poor horizon’s bound
      My song goes straight to one who stands—
    Her face all gladdening at the sound—
      To lead me to the Spring-green lands,
    To wander with enlacing hands.
    The songs within my breast that stir
    Are all of her, are all of her.
    My maid is dead long years (quoth he),
    She waits for me in Arcady.

    Oh, yon’s the way to Arcady,
      To Arcady, to Arcady;
    Oh, yon’s the way to Arcady,
      Where all the leaves are merry.
                     _H. C. Bunner._



DA CAPO


    SHORT and sweet, and we’ve come to the end of it—
      Our poor little love lying cold.
    Shall no sonnet, then, ever be penned of it?
      Nor the joys and pains of it told?
    How fair was its face in the morning,
      How close its caresses at noon,
    How its evening grew chill without warning,
      Unpleasantly soon!

    I can’t say just how we began it—
      In a blush, or a smile, or a sigh;
    Fate took but an instant to plan it;
      It needs but a moment to die.
    Yet—remember that first conversation,
      When the flowers you had dropped at your feet
    I restored. The familiar quotation
      Was—“Sweets to the sweet.”

    Oh, their delicate perfume has haunted
      My senses a whole season through.
    If there was one soft charm that you wanted
      The violets lent it to you.
    I whispered you, life was but lonely:
      A cue which you graciously took;
    And your eyes learned a look for me only—
      A very nice look.

    And sometimes your hand would touch my hand,
      With a sweetly particular touch;
    You said many things in a sigh, and
      Made a look express wondrously much.
    We smiled for the mere sake of smiling,
      And laughed for no reason but fun;
    Irrational joys; but beguiling—
      And all that is done!

    We were idle, and played for a moment
      At a game that now neither will press:
    I cared not to find out what “No” meant;
      Nor your lips to grow yielding with “Yes.”
    Love is done with and dead; if there lingers
      A faint and indefinite ghost,
    It is laid with this kiss on your fingers—
      A jest at the most.

    ’Tis a commonplace, stale situation,
      Now the curtain comes down from above
    On the end of our little flirtation—
      A travesty romance for Love,
    If he climbed in disguise to your lattice,
      Fell dead of the first kisses’ pain:
    But one thing is left us now; that is—
      Begin it again.
                      _H. C. Bunner._



THE MAID OF MURRAY HILL


    SAINT Valentine, Saint Valentine!
      I love a maid of New York town,
    And every day, on my homeward way,
      She walks the Avenue down.
    At five o’clock, dear Saint, she goes
      Tripping down Murray Hill,
    And the hands of the clock in the old brick spire
      Stand still, stand still, stand still!

    Saint Valentine, Saint Valentine!
      Oh, could you know how fair a maid—
    So trim of dress, and so gold of tress,
      You’d know why I’m afraid.
    I see her pass, I smile and bow,
      As I go up Murray Hill,
    And I say to a foolish hope of mine:
      Be still, be still, be still!

    Saint Valentine, Saint Valentine,
      Oh, could you see how close her gown
    Binds tight and warm about her form,
      This maid of New York town,
    You’d know a mountain would to me
      Be less than Murray Hill,
    If only around her my arm could slip,
      And she’d stand still, stand still.

    Saint Valentine, Saint Valentine!
      She is so fair, so rich, so great,
    I have no right to think what might
      Be this poor clerk’s estate.
    And yet the bells in yon brick spire,
      As we pass on Murray Hill,
    They ring, they ring—she’s not for me—
      And still—and still—and still—
                      _H. C. Bunner._



KITTY’S SUMMERING


    HAVE you seen e’er a sign of my Kitty?
      Have you seen a fair maiden go by
    Who was wed in this summer-struck city
      About the first week in July?
    How fair was her face there’s no telling;
      She was well-nigh as wealthy as fair,
    And of marble and brick was her dwelling
      On the North side of Washington Square.

    Have you seen her at Newport a-driving?
      Have you seen her a-flirt at the pier?
    Is she written among the arriving
      At the Shoals or the Hamptons this year?
    Or out where the ocean bird flutters
      Are the sea-breezes tossing her hair?
    For closed are the ancient green shutters
      In the house on North Washington Square.

    So you, too, are trying to find her?
      Then climb up these stairways with me,
    That twist and grow blinder and blinder,
      Till the skylight near heaven you see.
    Is the sun my dull studio gilding?
      Ah, no, it is Kitty sits there—
    She has moved to the Studio Building
      On the South side of Washington Square.
                                    _H. C. Bunner._



FORFEITS


    THEY sent him round the circle fair,
    To bow before the prettiest there.
    I’m bound to say the choice he made
    A creditable taste displayed;
    Although—I can’t say what it meant—
    The little maid looked ill-content.

    His task was then anew begun—
    To kneel before the wittiest one.
    Once more that little maid sought he,
    And went him down upon his knee.
    She bent her eyes upon the floor—
    I think she thought the game a bore.

    He circled then—his sweet behest
    To kiss the one he loved the best.
    For all she frowned, for all she chid,
    He kissed that little maid, he did.
    And then—though why I can’t decide—
    The little maid looked satisfied.
                      _H. C. Bunner._



WHEN WILL LOVE COME?


    SOME find Love late, some find him soon,
      Some with the rose in May,
    Some with the nightingale in June,
      And some when skies are grey;
    Love comes to some with smiling eyes,
      And comes with tears to some;
    For some Love sings, for some Love sighs,
      For some Love’s lips are dumb.
    How will you come to me, fair Love?
      Will you come late or soon?
    With sad or smiling skies above,
      By light of sun or moon?
    Will you be sad, will you be sweet,
      Sing, sigh, Love, or be dumb?
    Will it be summer when we meet,
      Or autumn ere you come?
                     _Pakenham Beatty._



HELIOTROPE


    AMID the Chapel’s chequered gloom
      She laughed with Dora and with Flora
    And chattered in the lecture-room—
      That saucy little sophomora!
    Yet while, as in her other schools,
      She was a privileged transgressor,
    She never broke the simple rules
      Of one particular professor.

    But when he spoke of varied lore,
      Paroxytones and modes potential,
    She listened with a face that wore
      A look half fond, half reverential.
    To her, that earnest voice was sweet,
      And, though her love had no confessor,
    Her girlish heart lay at the feet
      Of that particular professor.

    And he had learned, among his books
      That held the lore of ages olden,
    To watch those ever-changing looks,
      The wistful eyes, the tresses golden,
    That stirred his pulse with passion’s pain
      And thrilled his soul with soft desire,
    And bade fond youth return again,
      Crowned with its coronet of fire.

    Her sunny smile, her winsome ways,
      Were more to him than all his knowledge,
    And she preferred his words of praise
      To all the honours of the college.
    Yet “What am foolish I to him?”
      She whispered to her heart’s confessor.
    “She thinks me old and grey and grim,”
      In silence pondered the professor.

    Yet once when Christmas bells were rung
      Above ten thousand solemn churches,
    And swelling anthems grandly sung
      Pealed through the dim cathedral arches;
    Ere home returning, filled with hope,
      Softly she stole by gate and gable,
    And a sweet spray of heliotrope
      Left on his littered study table.

    Nor came she more from day to day
      Like sunshine through the shadows rifting:
    Above her grave, far, far away,
      The ever silent snows were drifting;
    And those who mourned her winsome face
      Found in its stead a sweet successor
    And loved another in her place—
      All, save the silent old professor.

    But, in the tender twilight grey,
      Shut from the sight of carping critic,
    His lonely thoughts would often stray
      From Vedic verse and tongues Semitic,
    Bidding the ghost of vanished hope
      Mock with its past the sad possessor
    Of the dead spray of heliotrope
      That once she gave the old professor.
                      _Harry Thurston Peck._



BORDERLAND


    AND have you been to Borderland?
    Its country lies on either hand
      Beyond the river I-forget.
    One crosses by a single stone
    So narrow one must pass alone,
      And all about its waters fret—
      The laughing river I-forget.

    Beneath the trees of Borderland
    One seems to know and understand,
      Beside the river I-forget,
    All languages of men and birds;
    And all the sweet, unspoken words
      One ever missed are murmured yet
      By that sweet river I-forget.

    One hears there many things afar
    From cities where strange peoples are,
      Beyond the river I-forget;
    And stranger things are in the air,
    But what they are one does not care,
      For Hope lies sleeping and Regret
      Beside the river I-forget.

    Some day together hand in hand
    I’ll take you there to Borderland,
      Beyond the river I-forget;
    Some day when all our dreams come true,
    One kiss for me and one for you,
      We’ll watch the red sun sink and set
      Across the river I-forget.
                 _Herman Knickerbocker Vielé._



EPITHALAMIUM


    THE marriage bells have rung their peal,
      The wedding march has told its story.
    I’ve seen her at the altar kneel
      In all her stainless, virgin glory;
    She’s bound to honor, love, obey,
      Come joy or sorrow, tears or laughter.
    I watched her as she rode away,
      And flung the lucky slipper after.

    She was my first, my very first,
      My earliest inamorata,
    And to the passion that I nursed
      For her I well nigh was a martyr.
    For I was young, and she was fair,
      And always gay and bright and chipper,
    And, oh, she wore such sunlit hair,
      Such silken stockings! such a slipper!

    She did not wish to make me mourn—
      She was the kindest of God’s creatures;
    But flirting was in her inborn,
      Like brains and queerness in the Beechers.
    I do not fear your heartless flirt—
      Obtuse her dart and dull her probe is;
    But when girls do not mean to hurt,
      But _do_—_Orate tunc pro nobis!_

    A most romantic country place;
      The moon at full, the month of August;
    An inland lake across whose face
      Played gentle zephyrs, ne’er a raw gust.
    Books, boats, and horses to enjoy,
      The which was all our occupation;
    A damsel and a callow boy—
      There! now you have the situation.

    We rode together miles and miles,
      My pupil she, and I her Chiron;
    At home I reveled in her smiles
      And read her extracts out of Byron.
    We roamed by moonlight, chose our stars
      (I thought it most authentic billing),
    Explored the woods, climbed over bars,
      Smoked cigarettes and broke a shilling.

    An infinitely blissful week
      Went by in this Arcadian fashion;
    I hesitated long to speak,
      But ultimately breathed my passion.
    She said her heart was not her own;
      She said she’d love me like a sister;
    She cried a little (not alone);
      I begged her not to fret, and—kissed her.

    I lost some sleep, some pounds in weight,
      A deal of time, and all my spirits,
    And much—how much I dare not state—
      I mused upon that damsel’s merits.
    I tortured my unhappy soul,
      I wished I never might recover;
    I hoped her marriage bells might toll
      A requiem for her faithful lover.

    And now she’s married, now she wears
      A wedding-ring upon her finger;
    And I—although it odd appears—
      Still in the flesh I seem to linger.
    Lo, there my swallow-tail, and here
      Lies by my side a wedding favor;
    Beside it stands a mug of beer,
      I taste it—how divine its flavor!

    I saw her in her bridal dress
      Stand pure and lovely at the altar;
    I heard her firm response—that “Yes,”
      Without a quiver or a falter.
    And here I sit and drink to her
      Long life and happiness, God bless her!
    Now fill again. No heel-taps, sir;
      Here’s to—Success to her successor!
                            _E. S. Martin._



INFIRM


    “I WILL not go,” he said, “for well
    I know her eyes’ insidious spell,
    And how unspeakably he feels
    Who takes no pleasure in his meals.
    I know a one-idea’d man
    Should undergo the social ban,
    And if she once my purpose melts
    I know I’ll think of nothing else.

    “I care not though her teeth are pearls—
    The town is full of nicer girls!
    I care not though her lips are red—
    It does not do to lose one’s head!
    I’ll give her leisure to discover,
    For once, how little I think of her;
    And then, how will she feel?” cried he—
    And took his hat and went to see.
                      _E. S. Martin._



WORDS, WORDS, WORDS


    I LOVED a maid (oh, she was fair of face!)
      But common words above
      Was my true love—
    So I was silent for a little space—
    Yet, ’gainst the day I meant that she should hear me,
    I sought for stately words that might endear me.

    My ardent lips, I vowed, should not repeat
      What countless lovers swear:—
      “Oh, thou art fair!”
    I scorned to merely say, “I love thee, Sweet!”
    So spent long days with rhetoric and tutor,
    In framing sentences I dreamed might suit her.

    Oh, how I pondered what she best might hear!
      Words should like jewels shine
      To make her mine—
    No commonplaces must offend her ear:
    But while for proper words my passion tarried
    I learned the maiden some one else had married!
                      _Margaret Deland._



THE BLUEBELL


    IN love she fell,
    My shy Bluebell,
      With a strolling Bumblebee;
    “I love you so,”
    He whispered low,
      “Sweet, give your heart to me!”

    “I love but you,
    And I’ll be true,
      Oh, give me your heart, I pray?”
    She bent her head,—
    “I will,” she said;
      When, lo, he flew away!
                _Margaret Deland._



A MODERN MARTYRDOM


    THE Weverwend Awthur Murway Gween,
      They say is verwy clevah;
    And sister Wuth could heah him pweach,
      Fohevah and fohevah.
    And I went down to heah him pweach,
      With Wuth and my Annette,
    Upon the bwave, hewoic deaths
      The ancient mawtahs met;
    And as he wepwesented them,
      In all their acts and feachaws,
    The ancient mawtahs, dontcherknow?
      Were doocid clevah cweachaws.

    But, aw deah me! They don’t compah
      In twue hewoic bwavewy,
    To a bwave hewo fwiend of mine,
      Young Montmowenci Averwy.
    He earned foah dollahs everwy week,
      And not anothah coppah;
    But this bwave soul wesolved to dwess
      Pwe-eminently pwoppah.
    So this was all the food each day,
      The bwave young cweachaw had—
    One glaws of milk, a cigawette,
      Foah cwackers, and some bwead.

    He lived on foahteen cents a day,
      And cherwished one great passion:
    The pwecious pwoject of his soul,
      Of being dwessed in fashion.
    But when he’d earned a suit entiah,
      To his supweme chagwin,
    Just then did shawt-tailed coats go out,
      And long-tailed coats come in;
    But naught could bweak his wigid will
      And now, I pway you, note,
    That he gave up his glaws of milk
      And bought a long-tailed coat.

    But then the fashion changed once moah,
      And bwought a gwievous plight;
    It changed from twousers that are loose
      To twousers that are tight.
    Then his foah cwackers he gave up,
      He just wenounced their use;
    And changed to twousers that are tight
      From twousers that are loose.
    And then the narrow-toed style shoes
      To bwoad-toed changed instead;
    Then he pwocured a bwoad-toed paih,
      And gave up eating bwead.

    Just then the bwoad-bwimmed style of hat
      To narrow bwims gave way;
    And so his twibulations gwew,
      Incweasing everwy day.
    But he pwocured a narrow bwim,
      Of verwy stylish set;
    But bwave, bwave soul! he had to dwop
      His pwecious cigawette.
    But now when his whole suit confohmed
      To fashion’s wegulation
    For lack of cwackers, milk, and bwead,
      He perwished of stahvation.

    Thus in his owah of victowry,
      He passed on to his west—
    I weally nevah saw a cawpse
      So fashionably dwessed.
    My teahs above his well-dwessed clay
      Fell like the spwingtime wains;
    My eyes had nevah wested on
      Such pwoppah dwessed wemains.
    The ancient mawtahs—they were gwand
      And glowious in their day;
    But this bwave Montmowenci was
      As gweat and gwand as they.
                    _Sam Walter Foss._



A CORSAGE BOUQUET


    MYRTILLA, to-night,
      Wears Jacqueminot roses,
    She’s the loveliest sight!
    Myrtilla to-night:—
    Correspondingly light
      My pocket-book closes.
    Myrtilla, to-night
      Wears Jacqueminot roses.
                  _Charles Henry Lüders._



THE BALLAD OF CASSANDRA BROWN


    THOUGH I met her in the summer, when one’s heart lies ‘round at ease
    As it were in tennis costume, and a man’s not hard to please;
    Yet I think at any season to have met her was to love,
    While her tones, unspoiled, unstudied, had the softness of the dove.

    At request she read us poems, in a nook among the pines,
    And her artless voice lent music to the least melodious lines;
    Though she lowered her shadowing lashes, in an earnest reader’s
          wise,
    Yet we caught blue gracious glimpses of the heavens that were her
          eyes.

    As in Paradise I listened. Ah, I did not understand
    That a little cloud, no larger than the average human hand,
    Might, as stated oft in fiction, spread into a sable pall,
    When she said that she should study elocution in the fall.

    I admit her earliest efforts were not in the Ercles vein:
    She began with “Lit-tle Maaybel, with her faayce against the paayne,
    And the beacon-light a-trrremble—” which, although it made me wince,
    Is a thing of cheerful nature to the things she’s rendered since.

    Having learned the Soulful Quiver, she acquired the Melting Mo-o-an,
    And the way she gave “Young Grayhead” would have liquefied a stone;
    Then the Sanguinary Tragic did her energies employ,
    And she tore my taste to tatters when she slew “The Polish Boy.”

    It’s not pleasant for a fellow when the jewel of his soul
    Wades through slaughter on the carpet, while her orbs in frenzy
          roll:
    What was I that I should murmur? Yet it gave me grievous pain,
    When she rose in social gatherings and “searched among the slain.”

    I was forced to look upon her, in my desperation dumb—
    Knowing well that when her awful opportunity was come
    She would give us battle, murder, sudden death at very least—
    As a skeleton of warning, and a blight upon the feast.

    Once, ah! once I fell a-dreaming; some one played a polonaise
    I associated strongly with those happier August days;
    And I mused, “I’ll speak this evening,” recent pangs forgotten
          quite.
    Sudden shrilled a scream of anguish: “Curfew SHALL not ring
          to-night!”

    Ah, that sound was as a curfew, quenching rosy warm romance!
    Were it safe to wed a woman one so oft would wish in France?
    Oh, as she “cull-imbed” that ladder, swift my mounting hope came
          down.
    I am still a single cynic; she is still Cassandra Brown!
                                                  _Helen Gray Cone._



FROM THREE FLY LEAVES


    AH Phyllis! did I only dare
      To hope that, as the years go by,
    And you, a maid divinely fair,
      The cynosure of every eye,
    Have fixed the wandering minds of men,
      And found a fare for scores of hearses,
    You still will open, now and then,
      My little book of verses;

    Or did I, bolder yet, aspire
      To hope that any phrase of mine,
    Aglow with memory’s cheering fire
      Will burn within that heart of thine;
    Although my brow be bare of bays,
      My coffers not replete with gain,
    I shall not—what’s the foolish phrase?—
      Have written quite in vain.
                      _J. K. Stephen._



QUESTION AND ANSWER


    THE QUESTION

    THE river is flowing,
      The stars coming forth:
    Great ruddy clouds going
      From westward to north.

    The rushes are waving,
      The water’s still blue:
    And I am behaving
      Decorously too:

    The amorous zephyr
      Breathes soft in our ear:
    Who hears not is deafer
      Than adders, my dear:

    Ah! list to the whisper
      Of waters and sky!
    Thames, vagabond lisper
      Grows subtle and sly.

    How trebly delicious
      The air-draughts we quaff:
    The hour is propitious:—
      Oh! ... why do you laugh?


THE ANSWER

    Ask the sky why it flushes,
      The clouds why they glow:
    The weir why it gushes,
      The reeds why they grow:

    The moon why it rises,
      The sun why it sets:
    Her why she surprises,
      Him why he forgets:

    The star why it twinkles,
      The west why it shines:
    The brow why it wrinkles,
      The heart why it pines:

    Mankind why they blunder,
      The corn why there’s chaff:
    Ask yourself why you wonder—
      Not me why I laugh!
                    _J. K. Stephen._



A RHYME FOR PRISCILLA


    DEAR Priscilla, quaint and very
      Like a modern Puritan,
    Is a modest, literary,
      Merry young American:
    Horace she has read, and Bion
      Is her favorite in Greek;
    Shakespeare is a mighty lion
      In whose den she dares but peek;
    Him she leaves to some sage Daniel,
      Since of lions she’s afraid,—
    She prefers a playful spaniel,
      Such as Herrick or as Praed;
    And it’s not a bit satiric
      To confess her fancy goes
    From the epic to a lyric
      On a rose.

    Wise Priscilla, dilettante,
      With a sentimental mind,
    Doesn’t deign to dip in Dante
      And to Milton isn’t kind;
    L’Allegro, Il Penseroso
      Have some merits she will grant,
    All the rest is only so-so,—
      Enter Paradise she can’t!
    She might make a charming angel
      (And she will if she is good),
    But it’s doubtful if the change’ll
      Make the Epic understood:
    Honey-suckling, like a bee she
      Goes and pillages his sweets,
    And it’s plain enough to see she
      Worships Keats.

    Gay Priscilla,—just the person
      For the Locker whom she loves;
    What a captivating verse on
      Her neat-fitting gowns or gloves
    He could write in catching measure,
      Setting all the heart astir!
    And to Aldrich what a pleasure
      It would be to sing of her,—
    He, whose perfect songs have won her
      Lips to quote them day by day.
    She repeats the rhymes of Bunner
      In a fascinating way,
    And you’ll often find her lost in—
      She has reveries at times—
    Some delightful one of Austin
      Dobson’s rhymes.

    O Priscilla, sweet Priscilla,
      Writing of you makes me think,
    As I burn my brown Manila
      And immortalize my ink,
    How well satisfied these poets
      Ought to be with what they do
    When, especially, they know it’s
      Read by such a girl as you:
    I who sing of you would marry
      Just the kind of girl you are,—
    One who doesn’t care to carry
      Her poetic taste too far,—
    One whose fancy is a bright one,
      Who is fond of poems fine,
    And appreciates a light one
      Such as mine.
               _Frank Dempster Sherman._



THE OLD COLLECTOR


    ’TIS strange to look across the street
    And feel that we no more shall greet
    Our middle-aged, precise, and neat,
            Old-fashioned neighbor.
    It seems, in his unlighted hall,
    His much-prized pictures on the wall
    Must miss his presence, and recall
            His loving labor.

    His manner was serene and fine,
    Fashioned on some Old-World design.
    His wit grew keener with the wine,
            And kindlier after;
    And when the revelry rang high,
    No one could make more apt reply;
    Yet, though they sometimes marked his sigh,
            None heard his laughter.

    He held as foolish him who dotes
    On politics or petticoats;
    He vowed he’d hear no talk of votes
          Or silly scandals.
    No journeys tempted him; he swore
    He held his world within his door,
    And there he’d dwell till life was o’er,
          Secure from vandals.

    “Why should I roam the world again?”
    He said. “Domingo shows me Spain;
    The dust of travel then were vain.
          What springtime chances
    To match my Corot there! One glance
    Is worth a year of actual France.
    The real ne’er equals the romance,
          Nor fact our fancies.”

    His walls were decked with maidens fair—
    A Henner with rich auburn hair;
    A Reynolds with the stately air
          That fits a beauty;
    There glanced a Greuze with girlish grace;
    And yonder, with the strong, calm face,
    The peasant sister of her race,
          Whose life is duty.

    He valued most the sunny day
    Because it lighted his Dupré,
    And showed his small Meissonier
          In proper fashion.
    And tender was the glance he bent
    Upon his missal’s ornament,
    Whereon some patient monk had spent
          His artist passion.

    I used to love to see him pass
    His fingers o’er some rare old glass.
    He never took delight _en masse_;
          He loved each treasure:
    The precious bronzes from Japan,
    The rugs from towered Ispahan,
    His rose-tint Sèvres, his famous fan—
          Each had its pleasure.

    And so he held that Art was all;
    Yet when Death made the solemn call,
    Before the desk in his long hall
          They found him sitting.
    Within the hands clasped on his breast
    An old daguerreotype was pressed—
    A sweet-faced, smiling girl, and dressed
          In frills befitting.

    Naught of his story can we know,
    Nor whose the fault so long ago,
    Nor with what meed of weal or woe
          His love was blended.
    Yet o’er his rare Delft mantel-tiles
    Bellini’s sweet Madonna smiles
    As though she knew the weary miles
          For him are ended.
                      _Beatrice Hanscom._



THE LAST DITCH


    LOVE, through your varied views on Art
      Untiring have I followed you,
    Content to know I had your heart
      And was your Art-ideal, too.

    As, dear, I was when first we met.
      (’Twas at the time you worshipped Leighton,
    And were attempting to forget
      Your Foster and your Noel Paton.)

    “Love rhymes with Art,” said your dear voice,
      And, at my crude, uncultured age,
    I could but blushingly rejoice
      That you had passed the Rubens stage.

    When Madox Brown and Morris swayed
      Your taste, did I not dress and look
    Like any Middle Ages maid
      In an illuminated book?

    I wore strange garments, without shame,
      Of formless form and toneless tones,
    I might have stepped out of the frame
      Of a Rossetti or Burne-Jones.

    I stole soft frills from Marcus Stone,
      My waist wore Herkomer’s disguise,
    My slender purse was strained, I own,
      But—my silk lay as Sargent’s lies.

    And when you were abroad—in Prague—
      ’Mid Cherets I had shone, a star;
    Then for your sake I grew as vague
      As Mr. Whistler’s ladies are.

    But now at last you sue in vain,
      For here a life’s submission ends:
    Not even for you will I grow plain
      As Aubrey Beardsley’s “lady friends.”

    Here I renounce your hand—unless
      You find your Art-ideal elsewhere;
    I _will not_ wear the kind of dress
      That Laurence Housman’s people wear!
                      _E. Nesbit._



BE YE IN LOVE WITH APRIL-TIDE


    BE ye in love with April-tide?
        I’ faith, in love am I!
      For now ’tis sun, and now ’tis shower,
      And now ’tis frost, and now ’tis flower,
    And now ’tis Laura laughing-eyed,
      And now ’tis Laura shy!

    Ye doubtful days, O slower glide!
        Still smile and frown, O sky!
      Some beauty unforeseen I trace
      In every change of Laura’s face;—
    Be ye in love with April-tide?
        I’ faith, in love am I!
                     _Clinton Scollard._



STRAWBERRIES


    AGAIN the year is at the prime
      With flush of rose and cuckoo-croon;
    Care doffs his wrinkled air, and Time
      Foots to a gamesome tune.
        So, ho, my lads, an’ if you will
        But follow underneath the hill,
          It’s strawberries! strawberries!
        You shall feast, and have your fill!

    The elder clusters promise wine
      Where dips the path along the lane;
    The early lowing of the kine
      Floats in a far refrain;
        You will forget to dream indeed
        Of fruit that Georgian loam-lands breed
          In strawberries! strawberries!
        That wait for us in Martin’s mead.

    Then haste, before the sun be high,
      And, haply, catch the morning star;
    For, ere the cups of dew be dry,
      The berries sweetest are.
        And if, perchance, a rustic lass
        In merriment a-milking pass,
          It’s strawberries! strawberries!
        On her lips as in the grass.
                      _Clinton Scollard._



APPLIED ASTRONOMY


    HE took me out to see the stars,
      That astronomic bore;
    He said there were two moons near Mars,
      While Jupiter had four.

    I thought of course he’d whisper soon
      What fourfold bliss ’twould be
    To stroll beneath that fourfold moon
      On Jupiter with me.

    And when he spoke of Saturn’s ring,
      I was convinced he’d say
    That was the very kind of thing
      To offer me some day.

    But in a tangent off he went
      To double stars. Now that
    Was most suggestive, so content
      And quite absorbed I sat.

    But no, he talked a dreary mess,
      Of which the only fraction
    That caught my fancy, I confess,
      Was “mutual attraction.”

    I said I thought it very queer
      And stupid altogether,
    For stars to keep so very near,
      And yet not come together.

    At that he smiled, and turned his head;
      I thought he’d caught the notion.
    He merely bowed good-night and said,
      Their safety lay in motion.
                           _Esther B. Tiffany._



COURTSHIP


    IT chanced, they say, upon a day,
      A furlong from the town,
    That she was strolling up the way
      As he was strolling down—
    She humming low, as might be so,
      A ditty sweet and small;
    He whistling loud a tune, you know,
      That had no tune at all.
        It happened so—precisely so—
        As all their friends and neighbours know.

    As I and you perhaps might do,
      They gazed upon the ground;
    But when they’d gone a yard or two
      Of course they both looked round.
    They both were pained, they both explained
      What caused their eyes to roam;
    And nothing after that remained
      But he should see her home.
        It happened so—precisely so
        As all their friends and neighbours know.

    Next day to that ’twas common chat,
      Admitting no debate,
    A bonnet close beside a hat
      Was sitting on a gate.
    A month, not more, had bustled o’er,
      When, braving nod and smile,
    One blushing soul came through the door
      Where two went up the aisle.
        It happened so—precisely so—
        As all their friends and neighbours know.
                        _Frederick Langbridge._



EYES OF BLACK AND EYES OF BLUE

(_From the Viceroy_)


    ONE day I swear by the eyes of black,
      The next by the eyes of blue;
    ’Tis in merry black eyes that the love-light lies,
      But the blue are more apt to be true.
    The dusky-eyed maid has a laughing look
      That can make you the world forget, my boy;
    But the gentle blue eye never causes a sigh,
      And it rarely denotes the coquette, my boy.

      Eyes of black or eyes of blue,
    Devil a bit does it matter I say!
      If I love one to-day, why to-morrow I may
    Have a caprice for the brown or the gray.
      So here is a toast to the feminine host,
    The blue eyes for me or the black for you.
      The one for a time I shall think sublime,
    And then if you like I will change with you.

    One day I sing of the raven curls,
      The next of the ringlets fair.
    Be mine the brunette of the tresses jet,
      Mine the Hebe of golden hair.
    For the gypsy-like maid has a heart that’s warm,
      You are lucky indeed if you’re hers, my boy;
    But there’s many a blonde can be equally fond,
      If you’re only the one she prefers, my boy.

      Raven hair or hair of gold,
    Devil a bit does it matter I say!
      If I love one to-day, why to-morrow I may
    Have a caprice for the auburn gay;
      So here is a toast to the feminine host,
    Blond ringlets for me and the black for you.
      The one for a time I shall think sublime,
    And then if you like I will change with you.
                                  _Harry B. Smith._



HER FAULTS

(_From the Mandarin_)


    MY sweetheart has her faults in plenty,
      Which I perceive with much distress;
    For instance, she is only twenty,
      And one would think her even less;
    While I may mention it between us—
      (Excuse the confidence betrayed)—
    Her form is plagiarized from Venus,
      And no acknowledgment is made.
    Her hair is much too fine and curly;
      Her lips are merely Cupid’s bow;
    Her teeth absurdly white and pearly;
      But still we all have faults, you know.

    So, spite of this and spite of that,
      Whate’er betide, whate’er befall,
    These things let others cavil at;
      I love my sweetheart, faults and all.

    From such defects this little lady
      Of mine is anything but free.
    Her lashes are “extremely shady,”
      Her eyes are “much too deep for me.”
    Two dimples have been thought too many
      For one small maiden to possess.

    Her rivals wish she hadn’t any;
      But what’s a dimple more or less?
    Her voice attracts o’er much attention
      Because of its melodious ring.
    Her foot—but that I shall not mention—
      It’s such a very little thing.

    Yes, spite of that and spite of this,
      Whate’er betide, whate’er befall,
    Though others may perfection miss,
      I love my sweetheart, faults and all.
                      _Harry B. Smith._



A MODERN DIALOGUE


    SCENE—_On Manhattan Island._ _Time—To-day._

    _Hour—Ten-thirty._ _Persons of the play:_

    SIBYL. _A dream of beauty, half awake,
         In filmy disarray—about to take
         Her morning tub. In speech with her the while
         Is _ROBERT._ He is dressed in riding style._

    SIBYL—Why, Bob, it’s _you_! They got your name all wrong.
          I’m sorry that I made you wait so long.

    BOB—  Only six minutes by my watch—it’s true
          A minute seems a year, awaiting you!
          But Time is merciful and I rejoice
          That I am still alive to hear your voice.

    SIBYL—A very pretty speech, for you, indeed.
          But what extenuation can you plead
          For waking ladies at the break of day
          From peaceful slumbers, sir!

    BOB—          Oh, come, I say!
          It’s half-past ten!

    SIBYL—        Well, it was nearly three
          Before I got to bed!

    BOB—          Good gracious me!
          I’m sure I’d no idea it was so late.
          Why, I was riding in the Park at eight
          And looked for you. I own I felt abused;
          Last night you said——

    SIBYL—        I beg to be excused
          From keeping foolish promises, when made
          At two A. M., by moonlight. I’m afraid
          My memory’s no better than a sieve.
          So you expected me? The Lord forgive
          Your trusting soul!

    BOB—          It is His _metier_!

    SIBYL—Don’t be outrageous, or I’ll run away.

    BOB—  Ah, no; don’t go. I will be good, I swear!
          ’Twas a quotation, Heine, or Voltaire,
          Or some fool cynic fellow. By the way,
          If you have nothing on, what do you say
          To breakfasting with Peg and me at noon
          At the Casino?

    SIBYL—        Well, that’s rather soon;
          I can’t be ready for an hour or more.

    BOB—  Come as you are, you know that I adore
          Your ladyship in any sort of gown;
          Besides, there’s not another soul in town.
          Come as you are; there’ll only be we three.

    SIBYL—Well, I like that! It’s fortunate for me
          This is a telephone, and not that new
          Invention one can talk and _see_ through, too!
          What’s that you said?

    BOB—           I didn’t speak at all
          I only _thought_.

    SIBYL—         Well, _don’t_! Suppose we call
          The breakfast half-past one instead of noon?

    BOB (_joyously_)—
          Then you will come?

    SIBYL—      I swear!

    BOB—      Not by the moon?

    SIBYL (_laughing_)—
          No, you may count on me. Now I must fly.
          One-thirty—don’t forget—Good by!

    BOB—            Good by!
                   (_They ring off._)

                              _Oliver Herford._



THE POET’S PROPOSAL


    “PHYLLIS, if I could I’d paint you
      As I see you sitting there,
    You distracting little saint, you,
      With your aureole of hair.
    If I only were an artist,
      And such glances could be caught,
    You should have the very smartest
      Picture frame that can be bought!

    “Phyllis, since I can’t depict your
      Charms, or give you aught but fame,
    Will you be yourself the picture?
      Will you let me be the frame?
    Whose protecting clasp may bind you
      Always——”

    “Nay,” cried Phyllis; “hold,
      Or you’ll force me to remind you
    Paintings must be framed with gold!”
                      _Oliver Herford._



TRUTH


    PERMIT me, madame, to declare
    That I never will compare
    Eyes of yours to Starlight cold,
    Or your locks to Sunlight’s gold,
    Or your lips, I’d have you know,
    To the crimson Jacqueminot.

    Stuff like that’s all very fine
    When you get so much a line;
    Since I don’t, I scorn to tell
    Flattering lies. I like too well
    Sun and Stars and Jacqueminot
    To flatter them, I’d have you know.
                      _Oliver Herford._



THE BACHELOR GIRL


    HERE’S to the Bachelor Girl
      Who fain her charms would cloister.
    She is a precious pearl
      That will not leave the oyster.
    She is a proud sweet-pea
      That scorns to be a vine,
    And lean upon a tree
      Or round a stick entwine.
    “What! lean upon a stick!
      Oh, no! I’m not that sort—
    I will grow branches thick
      And be my own support!”
    Beware, O pearl of price,
      Lest you be cast to swine;
    O proud sweet-pea, think twice
      Ere you refuse to twine!
    O Bachelor Girl, we drink
      Confusion to your plan;
    Beware, lest Fate shall link
      You to a Spinster Man!

    O change, ere ’tis too late,
      The Choker tall and silly,
    The tweeds—the hat we hate,
      For something soft and frilly!
    Take off the stockings blue,
      (We will avert our gaze),
    Then will we drink to you
      Long life—and happy days!
                     _Oliver Herford._



THE SEA


    SHE was rich, and of high degree;
    A poor and unknown artist he.
    “Paint me,” she said, “a view of the sea.”

    So he painted the sea as it looked the day
    That Aphrodite arose from its spray;
    And it broke, as she gazed on its face the while,
    Into its countless-dimpled smile.
    “What a poky, stupid picture!” said she;
    “I don’t believe he can paint the sea!”

    Then he painted a raging, tossing sea,
    Storming, with fierce and sudden shock,
    Wild cries, and writhing tongues of foam,
    A towering, mighty fastness-rock.
    In its sides, above those leaping crests,
    The thronging sea-birds built their nests.
    “What a disagreeable daub!” said she;
    “Why, it isn’t anything like the sea!”

    Then he painted a stretch of hot, brown sand,
    With a big hotel on either hand
    And a handsome pavilion for the band—
    Not a sign of the water to be seen
    Except one faint little streak of green.
    “What a perfectly exquisite picture!” said she;
    “It’s the very image of the sea!”
                      _Eva L. Ogden._



IN PHILISTIA


    OF all the places on the map,
    Some queer and others queerer,
    Arcadia is dear to me,
    Philistia is dearer.

    There dwell the few who never knew
    The pangs of heavenly hunger,
    As fresh and fair and fond and frail
    As when the world was younger.

    If there is any sweeter sound
    Than bobolinks or thrushes,
    It is the frou-frou of their silks—
    The roll of their barouches.

    I love them even when they’re good,
    As well as when they’re sinners—
    When they are sad and worldly wise
    And when they are beginners.

    (I say I do; of course the fact,
    For better or for worse, is,
    My unerratic life denies
    My too erotic verses).

    I dote upon their waywardness,
    Their foibles and their follies.
    If there’s a madder pate than Di’s,
    Perhaps it may be Dolly’s.

    They have no “problems” to discuss,
    No “theories” to discover;
    They are not “new;” and I—I am
    Their very grateful lover.

    I care not if their minds confuse
    Alastor with Aladdin;
    And Cimabue is far less
    To them than Chimmie Fadden.

    They never heard of William Blake,
    Nor saw a Botticelli;
    Yet one is, “Yours till death, Louise,”
    And one, “Your loving Nelly.”

    They never tease me for my views,
    Nor tax me with my grammar;
    Nor test me on the latest news,
    Until I have to stammer.

    They never talk about their “moods,”
    They never know they have them;
    The world is good enough for them,
    And that is why I love them.

    They never puzzle me with Greek,
    Nor drive me mad with Ibsen;
    Yet over forms as fair as Eve’s
    They wear the gowns of Gibson.
                    _Bliss Carman._



BETWEEN THE SHOWERS


    Between the showers I went my way,
    The glistening street was bright with flowers;
    It seemed that March had turned to May
                        Between the showers.

    Above the shining roofs and towers
      The blue broke forth athwart the gray;
    Birds carolled in their leafless bowers.

    Hither and thither, swift and gay,
      The people chased the changeful hours;
    And you, you passed and smiled that day,
                        Between the showers.
                                  _Amy Levy._



GRACE’S CHOICE


    WHEN first I saw fair-featured Grace,
      In dainty tailor-fashioned gown,
    I fell in love with her sweet face,
      And pooh-poohed at her escort, Brown.
      The fellow’s rich, but such a clown!
    I did not fear he’d rival me—
      I, Reginald de Courcy Drowne,
    With wealth and—looks and pedigree.

    I set the man a red-hot pace;
      It was the talk of all the town;
    I knew that I was loved by Grace—
      I knew it by that yokel’s frown.
      My ancestors won great renown,
    While Brown has no ancestral tree.
      I knew I could the fellow down,
    With wealth and—looks and pedigree.

    She’s married now; has rare point lace,
      And jewels fit to deck a crown.
    The man who calls her “darling Grace,”
      Is not the fellow they call Brown.
      No, I’m the happiest man in town.
    I knew she’d not say no to me,
      One rarely sees Dame Fortune frown
    On wealth and—looks and pedigree.


ENVOY

    You thought that Grace would marry Brown,
      As in most ballades that you see,
    But she did not. For her no clown—
      But wealth and—looks and pedigree.
                      _Charles Battell Loomis._



TO VIOLET

(_With a Bunch of Namesakes_)


    THERE is a maid—I am afraid
      To give her name to you—
    Who makes great pets of violets—
      I wish I were one, too.

    Once in her youth, this all is truth,
      She took some up to smell;—
    In some strange way the records say,
      Into her eyes they fell——

    And there they stayed—they never fade—
      She looks at me—sometimes,—
    And then—Oh, then I seize my pen
      And fall to writing rhymes.

    But, sad mischance! My consonants
      Desert—four vowels, too;
    A, E, O, I, take wings, that’s why
      My rhymes are filled with U.
                    _Robert Cameron Rogers._



HER BONNET


        WHEN meeting-bells began to toll,
        And pious folk began to pass,
        She deftly tied her bonnet on,
        The little, sober meeting lass,
    All in her neat, white-curtained room, before her tiny
             looking-glass.

        So nicely, round her lady-cheeks,
        She smoothed her hands of glossy hair,
        And innocently wondered if
        Her bonnet did not make her fair—
    Then sternly chid her foolish heart for harbouring such fancies
             there.

        So square she tied the satin strings,
        And set the bows beneath her chin;
        Then smiled to see how sweet she looked;
        Then thought her vanity a sin,
    And she must put such thoughts away before the sermon should begin.

        But, sitting ’neath the preachèd Word,
        Demurely in her father’s pew,
        She thought about her bonnet still,—
        Yes, all the parson’s sermon through,—
    About its pretty bows and buds which better than the text she knew.

        Yet sitting there with peaceful face,
        The reflex of her simple soul,
        She looked to be a very saint—
        And maybe was one, on the whole—
    Only that her pretty bonnet kept away the aureole.
                                   _Mary E. Wilkins._



A SONG


    I will not say my true love’s eyes
      Outshine the noblest star;
    But in their depth of lustre lies
      My peace, my truce, my war.

    I will not say upon her neck
      Is white to shame the snow;
    For if her bosom hath a speck
      I would not have it go.

    My love is as a woman sweet,
      And as a woman white;
    Who’s more than this is more than meet
      For me and my delight.
                      _Norman R. Gale._



LES PAPILLOTTES


        EULALIA sat before the glass
          While Betty smoothed her hair.
        The mirror told her how she was
          Attractive, young and fair;
    Curtius was telling her the same
    In rosy note, where he confessed his flame.

        She read with a satiric eye
          Of passion, hope and pain;
        Then, careless tossed the poor note by;
          Then, took it up again,
    And systematically tore,
    And folded each strip carefully in four,

        And handed in fine scorn each bit
          Of rapture to the maid,
        Who wot how to dispose of it.
          The beauty, disarrayed,
    Now crept in bed, blew out the light
    Her locks in pink curl-papers for the night.

        She slept; and with each gentle breath
          The paper in her hair
        Soft rustled, and, the story saith,
          Repeated to the air
    Whate’er stood on it fervent thing—
    As if the lover’s self were whispering.

        And through her dream she heard it say,
          The twist o’er her left ear,—
        “I vow that I must love alway
          The dearest of the dear.”
    And o’er her forehead spoke a twist,
    “That stolen glove I’ve kissed and over-kissed.”

        Said one, “Thou are the loveliest;
          Thy beauty I adore.”
        Another, smaller than the rest,
          Sighed, “Love, love,” o’er and o’er.
    And one said, “Pity my sad plight!”
    So Curtius’ passion pleaded all the night.

        Eulalia waking in the morn,
          Large-eyed, sat up in bed,
        While vows the tend’rest that be sworn
          Still whispered in her head;—
    A dreamy bliss her soul possessed,—
    She rang for Betty; and before she dressed,

        Upon a subtly perfumed sheet,
          As Curtius’ own, blush-pink,
        She penned with crow-quill small and neat,
          And perfumed crow-black ink,
    In flowing hand right tidily,
    The proper, simple message, “Come at three.”
                                   _Gertrude Hall._



UPON GRACIOSA, WALKING AND TALKING


    When as abroad, to greet the morn,
      I mark my Graciosa walk,
    In homage bends the whisp’ring corn,
                Yet to confess
                Its awkwardness
      Must hang its head upon the stalk.

    And when she talks, her lips do heal
      The wounds her lightest glances give:—
    In pity then be harsh, and deal
                Such wounds that I
                May hourly die,
      And, by a word restored, live.
                    _A. Quiller-Couch._



HER VALENTINE


    WHAT, send her a valentine? Never!
      I see you don’t know who “she” is.
    I should ruin my chances forever;
      My hopes would collapse with a fizz.

    I can’t see why she scents such disaster
      When I take heart to venture a word;
    I’ve no dream of becoming her master,
      I’ve no notion of being her lord.

    All I want is to just be her lover!
      She’s the most up-to-date of her sex,
    And there’s such a multitude of her,
      No wonder they call her complex.

    She’s a bachelor, even when married,
      She’s a vagabond, even when housed;
    And if ever her citadel’s carried
      Her suspicions must not be aroused.

    She’s erratic, impulsive and human,
      And she blunders,—as goddesses can;
    But if she’s what they call the New Woman,
      Then I’d like to be the New Man.

    I’m glad she makes books and paints pictures,
      And typewrites and hoes her own row,
    And it’s quite beyond reach of conjectures
      How much further she’s going to go.

    When she scorns, in the L-road, my proffer
      Of a seat and hangs on to a strap;
    I admire her so much, I could offer
      To let her ride up on my lap.

    Let her undo the stays of the ages,
      That have cramped and confined her so long!
    Let her burst through the frail candy cages
      That fooled her to think they were strong!

    She may enter life’s wide vagabondage,
      She may do without flutter or frill,
    She may take off the chains of her bondage,—
      And anything else that she will.

    She may take me off, for example,
      And she probably does when I’m gone.
    I’m aware the occasion is ample;
      That’s why I so often take on.

    I’m so glad she can win her own dollars
      And know all the freedom it brings.
    I love her in shirt-waists and collars,
      I love her in dress-reform things.

    I love her in bicycle skirtlings—
      Especially when there’s a breeze—
    I love her in crinklings and quirklings
      And anything else that you please.

    I dote on her even in bloomers—
      If Parisian enough in their style—
    In fact, she may choose her costumers,
      Wherever her fancy beguile.

    She may box, she may shoot, she may wrestle,
      She may argue, hold office or vote,
    She may engineer turret or trestle,
      And build a few ships that will float.

    She may lecture (all lectures but curtain)
      Make money, and naturally spend,
    If I let her have her way, I’m certain
      She’ll let me have mine in the end!
                      _Richard Hovey._



STORY OF THE GATE


    ACROSS the pathway, myrtle-fringed,
    Under the maple, it was hinged—
            The little wooden gate;
    ’Twas there within the quiet gloam,
    When I had strolled with Nelly home,
            I used to pause and wait.

    Before I said to her good-night,
    Yet loath to leave the winsome sprite
            Within the garden’s pale;
    And there, the gate between us two,
    We’d linger as all lovers do,
            And lean upon the rail.

    And face to face, eyes close to eyes,
    Hands meeting hands in feigned surprise,
            After a stealthy quest,—
    So close I’d bend, ere she’d retreat,
    That I’d grow drunken from the sweet
            Tuberose upon her breast.

    We’d talk—in fitful style, I ween—
    With many a meaning glance between
            The tender words and low;
    We’d whisper some dear, sweet conceit,
    Some idle gossip we’d repeat,
            And then I’d move to go.

    “Good-night,” I’d say; “Good-night—good-by!”
    “Good-night”—from her with half a sigh—
            “Good-night!” “Good-night!” And then
    And then I do not go, but stand,
    Again lean on the railing, and—
            Begin it all again.

    Ah! that was many a day ago—
    That pleasant summer-time—although
            The gate is standing yet;
    A little cranky, it may be,
    A little weather-worn—like me—
            Who never can forget.

    The happy “End”? My cynic friend,
    Pray save your sneers—there was no “end.”
            Watch yonder chubby thing!
    That is our youngest, hers and mine;
    See how he climbs, his legs to twine
            About the gate and swing.
                      _Harrison Robertson._



TWO TRIOLETS


I

(_What He Said_)

    THIS kiss upon your fan I press,
      Ah! Saint Nitouche, you don’t refuse it,
    And may it from its soft recess,
    This kiss upon your fan I press,
    Be blown to you a shy caress
      By this white down whene’er you use it;
    This kiss upon your fan I press,
      Ah! Saint Nitouche, you don’t refuse it.


II

(_What She Thought_)

    To kiss a fan!
      What a poky poet!
    The stupid man
    To kiss a fan,
    When he knows that—he—can,
      Or ought to know it.
    To kiss a fan!
      What a poky poet!
                 _Harrison Robertson._



A BALLADE OF OLD SWEETHEARTS


    WHO is it that weeps for the last year’s flowers
      When the wood is aflame with the fires of spring,
    And we hear her voice in the lilac bowers
      As she croons the runes of the blossoming?
      For the same old blooms do the new years bring,
    But not to our lives do the years come so,
      New lips must kiss and new bosoms cling.—
    Ah! lost are the loves of the long ago.

    Ah me! for a breath of those morning hours
      When Alice and I went a-wandering
    Through the shining fields, and it still was ours
      To kiss and to feel we were shuddering—
      Ah me! when a kiss was a holy thing—
    How sweet were a smile from Maud, and oh!
      With Phyllis once more to be whispering—
    Ah! lost are the loves of the long ago.

    But it cannot be that old Time devours
      Such loves as was Annie’s and mine we sing,
    And surely beneficent heavenly powers
      Save Muriel’s beauty from perishing;
      And if in some golden evening
    To a quaint old garden I chance to go,
      Shall Marion no more by the wicket sing?—
    Ah! lost are the loves of the long ago.


L’ENVOI

    In these lives of ours do the new years bring
      Old loves as old flowers again to blow?
    Or do new lips kiss and new bosoms cling?—
      Ah! lost are the loves of the long ago.
                    _Richard Le Gallienne._



AMOUR DE VOYAGE


    AND I was a man who could write you rhyme
      (Just so much for you, nothing more),
    And you were the woman I loved for a time—
      Loved for a little, and nothing more,
    We shall go our ways when the voyage is o’er,
      You with your beauty and I with my rhymes,
    With a dim remembrance rising at times
      (Only a memory, nothing more)
    Of a lovely face and some worthless rhymes.

    Meantime till our comedy reaches its end
      (It’s comic ending, and nothing more)
    I shall live as your lover who loved as a friend—
      Shall swear true love till Life be o’er.
    And you, you must make believe and attend,
      As the steamer throbs from shore to shore.

    And so, we shall pass the time for a little
      (Pass it in pleasure, and nothing more),
    For vows, alas! are sadly brittle,
      And each may forget the oaths that we swore.
    And have we not loved for an age, and age?
      And was I not yours from shore to shore?
    From landing-stage to landing-stage
      Did I not worship and kneel and adore?
    And what is a month in love but an age?
      And who in their senses would wish for more?
                                   _Rudyard Kipling._



THE LOVERS’ LITANY


    EYES of gray—a sodden quay,
    Driving rain and falling tears,
    As the steamer wears to sea
    In a parting storm of cheers.
      Sing, for Faith and Hope are high—
      None so true as you and I—
      Sing the Lovers’ Litany:—
      “_Love like ours can never die!_”

    Eyes of black—a throbbing keel,
    Milky foam to left and right;
    Whispered converse near the wheel
    In the brilliant tropic night.
      Cross that rules the Southern Sky!
      Stars that sweep and wheel and fly
      Hear the Lovers’ Litany:—
      “_Love like ours can never die!_”

    Eyes of brown—a dusty plain
    Split and parched with heat of June,
    Flying hoof and tightened rein,
    Hearts that beat the old old tune.
      Side by side the horses fly,
      Frame we now the old reply
      Of the Lovers’ Litany:—
      “_Love like ours can never die!_”

    Eyes of blue—the Simla Hills
    Silvered with the moonlight hoar;
    Pleading of the waltz that thrills,
    Dies and echoes round Benmore.
      “_Mabel_,” “_Officers_,” “_Good-by_,”
      Glamour, wine, and witchery—
      On my soul’s sincerity,
      “_Love like ours can never die!_”

    Maidens, of your charity,
    Pity my most luckless state.
    Four times Cupid’s debtor I—
    Bankrupt in quadruplicate.
      Yet, despite this evil case,
      And a maiden showed me grace,
      Four-and-forty times would I
      Sing the Lovers’ Litany:—
      “_Love like ours can never die!_”
                      _Rudyard Kipling._



A LENTEN CALL


    ’TWAS the second of March, in the present year,
      And the morning after a revel,
    When the world and the flesh made a party call,
      Accompanied by the Devil.

    Their coats were creaseless, their “patents” shone,
      And the Devil smiled most sweetly,
    To think that a carefully built-up shoe,
      Hid his cloven hoof completely.

    They rang the bell at Society’s door,
      Sent in their names and stood waiting,
    The usual warm reception there
      Serenely anticipating.

    But the white-capped maid returned and said
      In a voice demurely level,
    That her mistress was not at home that day
      To the World, the Flesh or the Devil.

    The World and the Flesh grew pale—as well
      They might do, with propriety—
    For they’d be in a parlous state, without
      The countenance of Society.

    And even the Devil looked half-perplexed
      Till he cried—“Ah! I see the reason!
    It is one of Society’s yearly fads,
      And this is the Lenten season.”

    Then they all three laughed, both loud and long,
      For it certainly did relieve them
    To think that after some forty days
      Society would receive them;

    And that the unwonted quiet would give
      New zest to each after-revel,
    When Society opened her doors again
      To the World, the Flesh and the Devil.
                      _Hilda Johnson Wise._



HELEN’S FACE A BOOK


    HELEN’S face is like a book—
      Charming, all its pages.
    Helen’s face is like a book;
    What’s the story I forsook,
    When on Helen’s face I look,
      When her smile engages?

    There I read an old romance;
      Here, I see one living!
    There, I read an old romance,
    But in Helen’s lightest glance
    Far a livelier tale enchants,
      Wild excitement giving!

    What is printer’s ink to me?
      Commas, dots and dashes!
    What is printer’s ink to me,
    If with Helen I may be,
    Exclamation points to see
      Underneath her lashes?
                  _Gelett Burgess._



THE BUTTERFLY’S MADRIGAL


    LOVE-for-a-day, come let’s be gay!
      Love, for a day, thy lips are smiling!
    Love-for-a-week, our bliss we’ll seek,
      Love, for a week, dull care beguiling!
    Love-for-a-year, be true my dear!
      Love, for a year—and then we’ll sever;
    Love for a day or year we may,
      But Love for aye—ah, never!
                    _Gelett Burgess._



BALLADE OF THE DEVIL-MAY-CARE


    FREE as the wandering pike am I,
      Many the strings to my amorous bow,
    More than a little inclined to fly
      Butterfly lovering, to and fro;
      Happy wherever the flowers blow,
    With the dew on the leaf, and the sunshine above,
      Terribly wrong and unprincipled? No,
    Life is too short to be “dead in love!”

    Not for me is the lover’s sigh;
      Fools are they to be worrying so!
    Sipping my fill of the honey I fly
      Butterfly lovering, to and fro.
      I skim the cream, and let all else go;
    Gather my roses, and give a shove
      Over my shoulder at dutiful woe,—
    Life is too short to be “dead in love!”

    So, while the fanciful hours go by,
      I gayly reap what the simpletons sow.
    Fresh with their bloom are the fruits I try,
      Butterfly lovering, to and fro.
      Then here’s to the lady who wears her beau
    On and off, like a dainty glove!
      And here’s to the zephyrs that all-ways blow—
    Life is too short to be “dead in love!”


ENVOY

    Prince, who cares for the coming snow,
    Butterfly lovering to and fro?
    Why should a man be a turtle-dove?
    Life is too short to be “dead in love!”
                      _Gelett Burgess._



BALLADE OF DREAMS TRANSPOSED


    SOME may like to be shut in a cage,
      Cooped in a corner, a-tippling tea,
    Some may in troublesome toil engage;
      But the luck of a rover’s the thing for me!
      Over the mountain and over the sea,
    Now in the country and now in the town,
      And when I’m wrinkled and withered, maybe,
    Then I’ll marry and settle down.

    Some may pore over printed page
      And never know bird, nor beast, nor tree,
    Watching the world from book or stage;
      But the luck of a rover’s the thing for me!
      So ho! for the forest, and ho! for the lea,
    And ho! for the river and prairie brown,
      And ho! for a gay long jubilee,—
    Then I’ll marry and settle down.

    Why should I wait till a gray old age
      Brings me chance to be rich and free?
    I have no money—it makes me rage;
      But the luck of a rover’s the thing for me!
      Though oft, with my lover upon my knee
    (She has frolicsome eyes and a fetching gown!)
      I fear if my heart’s to be held in fee,—
    Then I’ll marry and settle down.


ENVOY

    Prince, my sweetheart will not agree,—
    But the luck of a rover’s the thing for me!
    She says I must stay, and I fear her frown,—
    Then I’ll marry and settle down.
                    _Gelett Burgess._



VILLANELLE OF HIS LADY’S TREASURE


    I TOOK her dainty eyes, as well
      As silken tendrils of her hair:
    And so I made a Villanelle!

    I took her voice, a silver bell,
      As clear as song, as soft as prayer;
    I took her dainty eyes as well.

    It may be, said I, who can tell,
      These things shall be my less despair?
    And so I made a Villanelle!

    I took her whiteness virginal
      And from her cheek two roses rare:
    I took her dainty eyes as well.

    I said: “It may be possible
      Her image from my heart to tear!”
    And so I made a Villanelle.

    I stole her laugh, most musical:
      I wrought it in with artful care;
    I took her dainty eyes as well;
    And so I made a Villanelle.
                    _Ernest Dowson._



L’ENVOI


    GO, pretty Rose, and to her tell
      All I would say, could I but see
    The slender form I know so well,
      The roguish eyes that laughed at me.

    And when your fragrance fills the room,
      Tell her of all I hope and fear;
    With every breath of sweet perfume,
      Whisper my greetings in her ear.

    But, Roses, stay—there is one thing
      You must not mention (don’t forget,
    For it might be embarrassing),
      And that is, you’re not paid for yet!
                            _E. B. Reed._



A MERRY BLUE-EYED LADDIE


    A MERRY blue-eyed laddie goes laughing through the town,
      Singing, “Hey, but the world is a gay, gay, place!”
    And every little lassie smooths her tumbled locks a-down,
    And brings out all her dimples and hides away her frown,
      And lays aside her broom and mop, the bonnie boy to chase,
      Singing, “Hey, but the world is a gay, gay place!”

    But away the blue-eyed laddie goes to seek another town,
      Singing, “Hey, but the world is a gay, gay place!”
    Then every dimple vanishes, and back comes every frown,
    And every little lassie folds away her Sunday gown,
      With tear-drops trickling sadly down her woful little face,
      Sighing, “Hey, but the world is a sad, sad place!”
                                     _Juliet Wilbour Tompkins._



DANCE TIME


    IT’S I live in a very wise town
    As all wise people know:
    They read, they write, they read all day
    As orchard-trees do grow.

    Said I,—I was a young thing then,
    And a foolish young thing, too,—
    “I will not spend my little life thus;
    There’s much I’d rather do.

    “For I would rather look at you
    This way, with happy looks,
    Than lose the stars from my two eyes
    With poring over books.

    “I’d rather far be red and white
    For stupid folks to see
    Than write nine books for little dull worms
    To eat them, leisurely.

    “And I would rather have it said
    When all my days are through,
    ‘O she was good to see and hear
    And say Good-morning to!’

    “When learning makes you white and red
    And fresh as west-winds blow,
    I may spend sun and candle-light
    To learn what they all know.

    “But O, the wise in this wise town,
    They have no longer prime.
    And there are fewer wise men, now,
    Than once upon a time!”

         _Josephine Preston Peabody Marks._



HOW LIKE A WOMAN


    I WANTED you to come to-day—
      Or so I told you in my letter—
    And yet, if you had stayed away,
      I should have liked you so much better.
    I should have sipped my tea unseen,
      And thrilled at every door-bell’s pealing,
    And thought how nice I could have been
      Had you evinced a little feeling.

    I should have guessed you drinking tea
      With someone whom you loved to madness;
    I should have thought you cold to me,
      And revelled in a depth of sadness.
    But, no! you came without delay—
      I could not feel myself neglected:
    You said the things you always say,
      In ways not wholly unexpected.

    If you had let me wait in vain,
      We should, in my imagination,
    Have held, what we did not attain,
      A most dramatic conversation.
    Had you not come, I should have known
      At least a vague anticipation,
    Instead of which, I grieve to own,
      You did not give me one sensation.
                _Caroline and Alice Duer._



A VIGNETTE


    CUPID, playing blind man’s buff,
      Seized my Psyche’s floating tresses.
    Here is silken clue enough
      To dispense with any guesses.
    This is Psyche’s golden fleece:
    She’s my prisoner, past release.
      But the lookers-on declare
      Love was caught in Psyche’s hair.
                      _Caroline Duer._



INDEX OF TITLES


                                                                    PAGE
  AGE OF WISDOM, THE                   _William Makepeace Thackeray_  82
  All things Except Myself I Know      _François Villon_               6
  American Girl, An                    _Brander Matthews_            241
  Amour de Voyage                      _Rudyard Kipling_             318
  Amy’s Cruelty                        _Elizabeth Barrett Browning_   68
  Applied Astronomy                    _Esther B. Tiffany_           291
  Ask and Have                         _Samuel Lover_                 59
  At the Lattice                       _Alfred Austin_               151
  Avice                                _Austin Dobson_               177

  BACHELOR GIRL, THE                   _Oliver Herford_              300
  Bagatelle, A                         _James G. Burnett_            228
  Ballad of Bouillabaisse, The         _William Makepeace Thackeray_  83
  Ballad of Cassandra Brown, The       _Helen Gray Cone_             278
  Ballad of Dead Ladies, The           _Dante Gabriel Rossetti_      125
  Ballade Made in the Hot Weather      _W. E. Henley_                238
  Ballade of Dead Ladies (After
      Villon)                          _Andrew Lang_                 199
  Ballade of Dreams Transposed         _Gelett Burgess_              325
  Ballade of June                      _W. E. Henley_                237
  Ballade of Ladies’ Names             _W. E. Henley_                236
  Ballade of Old Sweethearts, A        _Richard Le Gallienne_        317
  Ballade of Summer                    _Andrew Lang_                 196
  Ballade of the Devil-May-Care        _Gelett Burgess_              323
  Ballade of the Summer-Boarder, The   _H. C. Bunner_                254
  Be Ye in Love with April-Tide?       _Clinton Scollard_            289
  Because                              _Edward Fitzgerald_            73
  Before the Blossom                   _Robert Underwood Johnson_    246
  Belle of the Ball-Room, The          _Winthrop Mackworth Praed_     64
  Best of the Ball, The                _William Sawyer_              123
  Best Thing in the World, The         _Anonymous_                   223
  Between the Showers                  _Amy Levy_                    304
  Beware!                              _Henry Wadsworth Longfellow_   70
  Biftek aux Champignons               _Henry Augustin Beers_        206
  Bluebell, The                        _Margaret Deland_             274
  Borderland                           _Herman Knickerbocker Vielé_  269
  Bracelet, The                        _Robert Herrick_               16
  Brighton Pier                        _Clement Scott_               191
  Butterfly’s Madrigal, The            _Gelett Burgess_              323

  CAELI                                _Francis William Bourdillon_  244
  Caprice                              _William Dean Howells_        167
  Certain Young Lady, A                _Washington Irving_            37
  Cherry-Ripe                          _Richard Allison_              11
  Clubs                                _Theodore Hook_                48
  Colinette                            _Andrew Lang_                 198
  Comfort                              _Mortimer Collins_            119
  Commination                          _Walter Savage Landor_         36
  Conceit, A                           _Mortimer Collins_            122
  Contradiction, A                     _Clement Scott_               192
  Contrast, The                        _Charles Morris_               24
  Conversational                       _Anonymous_                   219
  Coquette, The. A Portrait            _John Godfrey Saxe_            96
  Corsage Bouquet, A                   _Charles Henry Lüders_        277
  Courtship                            _Frederick Langbridge_        292
  Cupid                                _Ben Jonson_                    4
  Cupid and Campaspe                   _John Lilly_                    8
  Cupid Mistaken                       _Matthew Prior_                23

  DA CAPO                              _H. C. Bunner_                260
  Dance Time                           _Josephine Preston Peabody
                                            Marks_                   329
  Defiance                             _Walter Savage Landor_         35
  “Dernier Jour d’un Condamné, Le”     _George A. Baker_             212
  Despairing Lover, The                _William Walsh_                22
  Dictum Sapienti                      _Charles Henry Webb_          144
  Ditty, A                             _Sir Philip Sydney_             8
  “Don’t”                              _James Jeffrey Roche_         204
  Dorothy Q. A Family Portrait         _Oliver Wendell Holmes_        78

  EDGED TOOLS                          _Edmund Clarence Stedman_     140
  Educational Courtship                _Anonymous_                   221
  Epithalamium                         _E. S. Martin_                270
  Exchange, The                        _Samuel T. Coleridge_          34
  Explanation, An                      _Walter Learned_              209
  Eyes of Black and Eyes of Blue
      (from “The Viceroy”)             _Harry B. Smith_              293

  FAMILY FOOL, THE                     _William Schwenck Gilbert_    160
  Fanny; or, The Beauty and the Bee    _Charles Mackay_               88
  Feminine Arithmetic                  _Charles Graham Halpine_      127
  Flight                               _Charles S. Calverley_        129
  Flower of Love Lies Bleeding, The    _Richard Henry Stoddard_      116
  For a Fan                            _Richard Watson Gilder_       196
  Forfeits                             _H. C. Bunner_                265
  French with a Master                 _Theodore Tilton_             152
  From Three Fly Leaves                _J. K. Stephen_               280

  GAME OF FIVES, A                     _Lewis Carroll_               135
  Garden Fancies. The Flower’s Name    _Robert Browning_              89
  Gold Room, The. An Idyl              _Bayard Taylor_               118
  Grace’s Choice                       _Charles Battell Loomis_      305

  HANDSOMEST MAN IN THE ROOM, THE      _William Macquorn Rankine_    102
  Helen’s Face a Book                  _Gelett Burgess_              322
  Heliotrope                           _Harry Thurston Peck_         266
  Henchman, The                        _John Greenleaf Whittier_      76
  Her Bonnet                           _Mary E. Wilkins_             307
  Her Faults (from “The Mandarin”)     _Harry B. Smith_              295
  Her Letter                           _Francis Bret Harte_          174
  Her Lips                             _Walter Savage Landor_         35
  Her Neighbors                        _Anonymous_                   224
  Her Valentine                        _Richard Hovey_               311
  How Like a Woman                     _Caroline and Alice Duer_     330

  “I JOURNEYED SOUTH TO MEET THE
      SPRING”                          _Robert Underwood Johnson_    246
  I Must Come Out Next Spring          _Thomas Haynes Bayley_         55
  I Remember, I Remember               _Phœbe Cary_                  115
  I’d Be a Butterfly                   _Thomas Haynes Bayley_         54
  If                                   _James Jeffrey Roche_         203
  If                                   _H. C. Dodge_                 231
  If You Want a Kiss, Why, Take It     _Anonymous_                   220
  Il Bacio                             _Paul Verlaine_               200
  In For It                            _Somerville Gibney_           225
  In Philistia                         _Bliss Carman_                302
  In Town                              _Austin Dobson_               181
  Indecision                           _Anonymous_                   217
  Infirm                               _E. S. Martin_                273
  Interesting                          _H. C. Bunner_                256
  Interlude, An                        _Algernon Charles Swinburne_  162
  Invitation, An                       _Théophile Gautier_            86

  JANET                                _Richard Watson Gilder_       195
  Justine, You Love Me Not!            _John Godfrey Saxe_            98

  KIRTLE RED                           _W. H. Bellemy_               227
  Kiss, A—By Mistake                   _Joel Benton_                 134
  Kissing’s No Sin                     _Anonymous_                   223
  Kitty’s Summering                    _H. C. Bunner_                264

  LADY MINE                            _Herbert Edwin Clarke_        244
  Larks and Nightingales               _Nathan Haskell Dole_         242
  Last Ditch, The                      _E. Nesbit_                   288
  Love Me Not for Comely Grace         _Anonymous_                    17
  Lawyer’s Invocation to Spring, The   _Henry Howard Brownell_       104
  Leap-Year Episode, A                 _Eugene Field_                236
  Lenten Call, A                       _Hilda Johnson Wise_          321
  L’Envoi                              _E. B. Reed_                  327
  Letter of Advice, A                  _Thomas Hood, Jr._            149
  Lilian                               _Alfred Tennyson_              75
  Lines in a Young Lady’s Album        _Thomas Hood_                  60
  Logic                                _Anonymous_                   218
  Loulou and Her Cat                   _Frederick Locker-Lampson_    106
  Love                                 _Thomas Hood_                  63
  Love                                 _Charles S. Calverley_        132
  Love and Age                         _Thomas L. Peacock_            46
  Love Disposed Of                     _Robert Traill Spence Lowell_  93
  Love in a Cottage                    _Nathaniel Parker Willis_      71
  Love in the Calendar                 _Robert Underwood Johnson_    247
  Love-Knot, The                       _Nora Perry_                  146
  Love Test, A                         _Carl Herlozssohn_            229
  Lover’s Litany, The                  _Rudyard Kipling_             319
  Lunch, The                           _Thomas Bailey Aldrich_       155

  MABEL, IN NEW HAMPSHIRE              _James Thomas Fields_          94
  Maid of Murray Hill, The             _H. C. Bunner_                262
  Margaret and Dora                    _Thomas Campbell_              36
  Marjorie’s Kisses                    _Walter Learned_              209
  Match, A                             _Algernon Charles Swinburne_  165
  Martial in London                    _Mortimer Collins_            123
  Merry, Blue-Eyed Laddie, A           _Juliet Wilbur Tompkins_      328
  Minuet, The                          _Mary Mapes Dodge_            168
  Miss Nancy’s Gown                    _Zitella Cooke_               210
  Mistaken Moth, The                   _Translated from Wegener_     229
  Modern Dialogue, A                   _Oliver Herford_              296
  Modern Martyrdom, A                  _Sam Walter Foss_             275
  My Aunt’s Spectre                    _Mortimer Collins_            121
  My Grandmother’s Turkey-Tail Fan     _Samuel Minturn Peck_         249
  My Love and My Heart                 _Henry S. Leigh_              157
  My Mistress’s Boots                  _Frederick Locker-Lampson_    110
  My Pretty Neighbor                   _Translated from Wegener_     230
  My Wooing                            _Edwin Hamilton_              213

  NAMES                                _Samuel T. Coleridge_          34
  Nice Correspondent! A                _Frederick Locker-Lampson_    112
  Ninety-nine in the Shade             _Rossiter Johnson_            190

  OH, TELL ME HOW TO WOO THEE          _Robert Graham_                27
  Old Collector, The                   _Beatrice Hanscom_            285
  Old Rhyme, An                        _Anonymous_                    17
  Old Sedan Chair, The                 _Austin Dobson_               186
  On a Girdle                          _Edmund Waller_                18
  On a Hymn Book                       _W. J. Henderson_             252
  On an Intaglio Head of Minerva       _Thomas Bailey Aldrich_       154
  On Rereading Télémaque               _James Jeffrey Roche_         205

  PACK CLOUDS AWAY                     _Thomas Heywood_               13
  Papillottes, Les                     _Gertrude Hall_               309
  Paraphrase, A                        _Eugene Field_                234
  Pet’s Punishment                     _J. Ashby-Sterry_             173
  Phillida and Corydon                 _Nicholas Breton_              10
  Piccadilly                           _Frederick Locker-Lampson_    107
  Poem of Every Day Life, A            _Albert Riddle_                91
  Poet’s Proposal, The                 _Oliver Herford_              299
  Protest, The                         _James Russell Lowell_        101

  QUESTION AND ANSWER                  _J. K. Stephen_               281

  RACES, THE                           _George Ellis_                 29
  Reason, Folly and Beauty             _Thomas Moore_                 41
  Reminiscence, A                      _James Freeman Clarke_         81
  Rhyme for Priscilla, A               _Frank Dempster Sherman_      283
  Ripest Peach, The                    _James Whitcomb Riley_        245
  “Roman de la Rose, Le”               _Austin Dobson_               188
  Romance of a Glove, The              _H. Savile Clarke_            202
  Rondeau                              _Leigh Hunt_                   45
  Rondel                               _John Payne_                  194
  Rosalind’s Madrigal                  _Thomas Lodge_                  5
  Rose, A                              _Arlo Bates_                  240
  Rose, The                            _Anonymous_                   216
  Rosette                              _Béranger_                     43

  SAINT MAY: A CITY LYRIC              _J. Ashby-Sterry_             171
  Scherzo                              _James Russell Lowell_        101
  Sea, The                             _Eva L. Ogden_                301
  Send Back My Long-Stray’d Eyes
      to Me                            _John Donne_                   12
  Shall I, Wasting in Despair          _George Wither_                14
  She Is So Pretty                     _Béranger_                     44
  Sigh No More (from “Much Ado
  About Nothing”)                      _William Shakespeare_           9
  Since We Parted                      _Owen Meredith_               134
  Sing Heigh-Ho!                       _Charles Kingsley_             99
  Snowdrop                             _William Wetmore Story_       100
  Song                                 _Sir Charles Sedley_           21
  Song                                 _John Shaw_                    38
  Song                                 _William Cullen Bryant_        51
  Song, A                              _Norman R. Gale_              308
  Song from “The Duenna”               _Richard Brinsley Sheridan_    28
  Song from “Twelfth Night”            _William Shakespeare_           9
  Song of the Four Seasons, A          _Austin Dobson_               179
  Stolen Fruit                         _Leigh Hunt_                   45
  Story of the Gate                    _Harrison Robertson_          314
  Strawberries                         _Clinton Scollard_            290
  Street Sketch, A                     _J. Ashby-Sterry_             170
  Summer Song, A                       _Mortimer Collins_            120
  Sur l’Herbe                          _Paul Verlaine_               201

  TEA-GOWN, THE                        _Eugene Field_                232
  Terrible Infant, A                   _Frederick Locker-Lampson_    105
  There’s a Time to Be Jolly           _Charles Godfrey Leland_      114
  Time I’ve Lost in Wooing, The        _Thomas Moore_                 39
  Time of Roses, The                   _Thomas Hood_                  62
  Tiresome Spring!                     _Béranger_                     42
  To a Country Cousin                  _Henry S. Leigh_              158
  To Althea (from Prison)              _Richard Lovelace_             19
  To Anne                              _William Maxwell_              51
  To Celia                             _Ben Jonson_                    3
  To Celia                             _E. H. Lacon Watson_          225
  To Helen                             _Winthrop Mackworth Praed_     64
  To Lady Anne Hamilton                _Hon. William R. Spencer_      32
  To “Lydia Languish”                  _Austin Dobson_               184
  To Minnie (With a Hand Glass)        _Robert Louis Stevenson_      241
  To Mistress Pyrrha                   _Eugene Field_                232
  To Mrs. Leigh Upon Her Wedding Day   _George Canning_               33
  To My Love                           _Sir John Suckling_            18
  To Phœbe                             _William Schwenck Gilbert_    156
  To the Virgins to Make Much of Time  _Robert Herrick_               15
  To Violet. With a Bunch of
      Namesakes                        _Robert Cameron Rogers_       306
  Toujours Amour                       _Edmund Clarence Stedman_     143
  Trifle, A                            _Henry Timrod_                128
  Truth                                _Oliver Herford_              299
  Two Triolets                         _Harrison Robertson_          316

  UNDOWERED                            _Harriet McEwen Kimball_      145
  Upon Graciosa, Walking and Talking   _A. T. Quiller-Couch_         311

  VALENTINE                            _James Jeffrey Roche_         206
  Valentine                            _Edith Matilda Thomas_        250
  Valentine, A                         _Lewis Carroll_               137
  Valentine, A                         _Laura Elizabeth Richards_    251
  Vers de Société                      _H. D. Traill_                147
  Vignette, A                          _Caroline Duer_               331
  Villanelle of His Lady’s Treasures   _Ernest Dowson_               326

  WAY TO ARCADY, THE                   _H. C. Bunner_                257
  Wedding Day, The                     _Edmund Clarence Stedman_     139
  What Is London’s Last New Lion?      _Thomas Haynes Bayly_          53
  When I Loved You                     _Thomas Moore_                 40
  When I Saw You Last, Rose            _Austin Dobson_               183
  When Will Love Come?                 _Pakenham Beatty_             266
  White, Pillared Neck                 _Richard Watson Gilder_       194
  Why Don’t the Men Propose?           _Thomas Haynes Bayly_          57
  Wintry Paris                         _Anonymous_                   215
  Witch in the Glass, The              _Sarah Morgan Bryant Piatt_   156
  Witchcraft                           _Edmund Clarence Stedman_     142
  Word That Makes Us Linger, A         _Frederick Locker-Lampson_    109
  Words, Words, Words                  _Margaret Deland_             273



INDEX OF AUTHORS


    ALDRICH, THOMAS BAILEY                        PAGE
        On an Intaglio Head of Minerva             154
        The Lunch                                  155

    ALLISON, RICHARD
        Cherry-Ripe                                 11

    ASHBY-STERRY, J.
        A Street Sketch                            170
        Saint May: A City Lyric                    171
        Pet’s Punishment                           173

    AUSTIN, ALFRED
        At the Lattice                             151


    BAKER, GEORGE A.
        “Le Dernier Jour d’un Condamné”            212

    BATES, ARLO
        A Rose                                     240

    BAYLY, THOMAS HAYNES
        What Is London’s Last New Lion?             53
        I’d Be a Butterfly                          54
        I Must Come Out Next Spring                 55
        Why Don’t the Men Propose?                  57

    BEATTY, PAKENHAM
        When Will Love Come?                       266

    BEERS, HENRY AUGUSTIN
        Biftek aux Champignons                     206

    BELLAMY, W. H.
        Kirtle Red                                 227

    BENTON, JOEL
        A Kiss—By Mistake                          134

    BÉRANGER
        Tiresome Spring!                            42
        Rosette                                     43
        She Is So Pretty                            44

    BOURDILLON, FRANCIS WILLIAM
        Caeli                                      244

    BRETON, NICHOLAS
        Phillida and Corydon                        10

    BROWNELL, HENRY HOWARD
        The Lawyer’s Invocation to Spring          104

    BROWNING, ELIZABETH BARRETT
        Amy’s Cruelty                               68

    BROWNING, ROBERT
        Garden Fancies. The Flower’s Name           89

    BRYANT, WILLIAM CULLEN
        Song                                        51

    BUNNER, H. C.
        The Ballade of the Summer-Boarder          254
        Interesting                                256
        The Way to Arcady                          257
        Da Capo                                    260
        The Maid of Murray Hill                    262
        Kitty’s Summering                          264
        Forfeits                                   265

    BURGESS, GELETT
        Helen’s Face a Book                        322
        Ballade of the Devil-May-Care              323
        The Butterfly’s Madrigal                   323
        Ballade of Dreams Transposed               325

    BURNETT, JAMES G.
        A Bagatelle                                228


    CALVERLEY, CHARLES S.
        Flight                                     129
        Love                                       132

    CAMPBELL, THOMAS
        Margaret and Dora                           36

    CANNING, GEORGE
        To Mrs. Leigh Upon Her Wedding Day          33

    CARMAN, BLISS
        In Philistia                               302

    CARROLL, LEWIS
        A Game of Fives                            135
        A Valentine                                137

    CARY, PHŒBE
        I Remember, I Remember                     115

    CLARKE, HERBERT EDWIN
        Lady Mine                                  244

    CLARKE, H. SAVILE
        The Romance of a Glove                     202

    CLARKE, JAMES FREEMAN
        A Reminiscence                              81

    COLERIDGE, SAMUEL T.
        The Exchange                                34
        Names                                       34

    COLLINS, MORTIMER
        Comfort                                    119
        A Summer Song                              120
        My Aunt’s Spectre                          121
        A Conceit                                  122
        Martial in London                          123

    CONE, HELEN GRAY
        The Ballad of Cassandra Brown              278

    COOKE, ZITELLA
        Miss Nancy’s Gown                          210


    DELAND, MARGARET
        Words, Words, Words                        273
        The Bluebell                               274

    DOBSON, AUSTIN
        Avice                                      177
        A Song of the Four Seasons                 179
        In Town                                    181
        When I Saw You Last, Rose                  183
        To “Lydia Languish”                        184
        The Old Sedan Chair                        186
        “Le Roman de la Rose”                      188

    DODGE, H. C.
        If                                         231

    DODGE, MARY MAPES
        The Minuet                                 168

    DOLE, NATHAN HASKELL
        Larks and Nightingales                     242

    DONNE, JOHN
        Send Back My Long-Stray’d Eyes to Me        12

    DOWSON, ERNEST
        Villanelle of His Lady’s Treasures         326

    DUER, CAROLINE
        A Vignette                                 331

    DUER, CAROLINE AND ALICE
        How Like a Woman                           330

    ELLIS, GEORGE
        The Races                                   29


    FIELD, EUGENE
        The Tea-Gown                               232
        To Mistress Pyrrha                         232
        A Paraphrase                               234
        A Leap-Year Episode                        236

    FIELDS, JAMES THOMAS
        Mabel, in New Hampshire                     94

    FITZGERALD, EDWARD
        Because                                     73

    FOSS, SAM WALTER
        A Modern Martyrdom                         275


    GALE, NORMAN R.
        A Song                                     308

    GAUTIER, THÉOPHILE
        An Invitation                               86

    GIBNEY, SOMERVILLE
        In For It                                  225

    GILBERT, WILLIAM SCHWENCK
        To Phoebe                                  156
        The Family Fool                            160

    GILDER, RICHARD WATSON
        White, Pillared Neck                       194
        Janet                                      195
        For a Fan                                  196

    GRAHAM, ROBERT
        Oh, Tell Me How to Woo Thee                 27


    HALL, GERTRUDE
        Les Papillottes                            309

    HALPINE, CHARLES GRAHAM
        Feminine Arithmetic                        127

    HAMILTON, EDWIN
        My Wooing                                  213

    HANSCOM, BEATRICE
        The Old Collector                          285

    HARTE, FRANCIS BRET
        Her Letter                                 174

    HENDERSON, W. J.
        On a Hymn Book                             252

    HENLEY, W. E.
        Ballade of Ladies’ Names                   236
        Ballade of June                            237
        Ballade Made in the Hot Weather            238

    HERFORD, OLIVER
        A Modern Dialogue                          296
        The Poet’s Proposal                        299
        Truth                                      299
        The Bachelor Girl                          300

    HERLOZSSOHN, CARL
        A Love Test                                229

    HERRICK, ROBERT
        To the Virgins to Make Much of Time         15
        The Bracelet                                16

    HEYWOOD, THOMAS
        Pack Clouds Away                            13

    HOLMES, OLIVER WENDELL
        Dorothy Q. A Family Portrait                78

    HOOD, THOMAS
        Lines in a Young Lady’s Album               60
        The Time of Roses                           62
        Love                                        63

    HOOD, THOMAS, JR.
        A Letter of Advice                         149

    HOOK, THEODORE
        Clubs                                       48

    HOVEY, RICHARD
        Her Valentine                              311

    HOWELLS, WILLIAM DEAN
        Caprice                                    167

    HUNT, LEIGH
        Rondeau                                     45
        Stolen Fruit                                45


    IRVING, WASHINGTON
        A Certain Young Lady                        37


    JOHNSON, ROBERT UNDERWOOD
        Before the Blossom                         246
        “I Journeyed South to Meet the Spring”     246
        Love in the Calendar                       247

    JOHNSON, ROSSITER
        Ninety-nine in the Shade                   190

    JONSON, BEN
        To Celia                                     3
        Cupid                                        4


    KIMBALL, HARRIET MCEWEN
        Undowered                                  145

    KINGSLEY, CHARLES
        Sing Heigh-Ho!                              99

    KIPLING, RUDYARD
        Amour de Voyage                            318
        The Lover’s Litany                         319


    LANDOR, WALTER SAVAGE
        Defiance                                    35
        Her Lips                                    35
        Commination                                 36

    LANG, ANDREW
        Ballade of Summer                          196
        Colinette                                  198
        Ballade of Dead Ladies (After Villon)      199

    LANGBRIDGE, FREDERICK
        Courtship                                  292

    LEARNED, WALTER
        An Explanation                             209
        Marjorie’s Kisses                          209

    LE GALLIENNE, RICHARD
        A Ballade of Old Sweethearts               317

    LEIGH, HENRY S.
        My Love and My Heart                       157
        To a Country Cousin                        158

    LELAND, CHARLES GODFREY
        There’s a Time to Be Jolly                 114

    LEVY, AMY
        Between the Showers                        304

    LILLY, JOHN
        Cupid and Campaspe                           8

    LOCKER-LAMPSON, FREDERICK
        A Terrible Infant                          105
        Loulou and Her Cat                         106
        Piccadilly                                 107
        A Word That Makes Us Linger                109
        My Mistress’s Boots                        110
        A Nice Correspondent!                      112

    LODGE, THOMAS
        Rosalind’s Madrigal                          5

    LONGFELLOW, HENRY WADSWORTH
        Beware!                                     70

    LOOMIS, CHARLES BATTELL
        Grace’s Choice                             305

    LOVELACE, RICHARD
        To Althea (From Prison)                     19

    LOVER, SAMUEL
        Ask and Have                                59

    LOWELL, JAMES RUSSELL
        Scherzo                                    101
        The Protest                                101

    LOWELL, ROBERT TRAILL SPENCE
        Love Disposed Of                            93

    LÜDERS, CHARLES HENRY
        A Corsage Bouquet                          277


    MACKAY, CHARLES
        Fanny; or, The Beauty and the Bee           88

    MARKS, JOSEPHINE PRESTON PEABODY
        Dance Time                                 329

    MARTIN, E. S.
        Epithalamium                               270
        Infirm                                     273

    MATTHEWS, BRANDER
        An American Girl                           241

    MAXWELL, WILLIAM
        To Anne                                     51

    MEREDITH, OWEN
        Since We Parted                            134

    MOORE, THOMAS
        The Time I’ve Lost in Wooing                39
        When I Loved You                            40
        Reason, Folly and Beauty                    41

    MORRIS, CHARLES
        The Contrast                                24


    NESBIT, E.
        The Last Ditch                             288


    OGDEN, EVA L.
        The Sea                                    301


    PAYNE, JOHN
        Rondel                                     194

    PEACOCK, THOMAS L.
        Love and Age                                46

    PECK, HARRY THURSTON
        Heliotrope                                 266

    PECK, SAMUEL MINTURN
        My Grandmother’s Turkey-Tail Fan           249

    PERRY, NORA
        The Love-Knot                              146

    PIATT, SARAH MORGAN BRYAN
        The Witch in the Glass                     156

    PRAED, WINTHROP MACKWORTH
        The Belle of the Ball-Room                  64
        To Helen                                    64

    PRIOR, MATTHEW
        Cupid Mistaken                              23


    QUILLER-COUCH, A. T.
        Upon Graciosa, Walking and Talking         311


    RANKINE, WILLIAM MACQUORN
        The Handsomest Man in the Room             102

    REED, E. B.
        L’Envoi                                    327

    RICHARDS, LAURA ELIZABETH
        A Valentine                                251

    RIDDLE, ALBERT
        A Poem of Every-day Life                    91

    RILEY, JAMES WHITCOMB
        The Ripest Peach                           245

    ROBERTSON, HARRISON
        Story of the Gate                          314
        Two Triolets                               316

    ROCHE, JAMES JEFFREY
        If                                         203
        “Don’t”                                    204
        On Rereading Télémaque                     205
        Valentine                                  206

    ROGERS, ROBERT CAMERON
        To Violet. With a Bunch of Namesakes       306

    ROSSETTI, DANTE GABRIEL
        The Ballad of Dead Ladies                  125


    SAWYER, WILLIAM
        The Best of the Ball                       123

    SAXE, JOHN GODFREY
        The Coquette. A Portrait                    96
        Justine, You Love Me Not!                   98

    SCOLLARD, CLINTON
        Be Ye in Love with April-Tide              289
        Strawberries                               290

    SCOTT, CLEMENT
        Brighton Pier                              191
        A Contradiction                            192

    SEDLEY, SIR CHARLES
        Song                                        21

    SHAKESPEARE, WILLIAM
        Sigh No More (from “Much Ado About
            Nothing”)                                9
        Song from “Twelfth Night”                    9

    SHAW, JOHN
        Song                                        38

    SHERIDAN, RICHARD BRINSLEY
        Song from “The Duenna”                      28

    SHERMAN, FRANK DEMPSTER
        A Rhyme for Priscilla                      283

    SMITH, HARRY B.
        Eyes of Black and Eyes of Blue (from
              “The Viceroy”)                       293
        Her Faults (from “the Mandarin”)           293

    SPENCER, HON. WILLIAM R.
        To Lady Anne Hamilton                       32

    STEDMAN, EDMUND CLARENCE
        The Wedding Day                            139
        Edged Tools                                140
        Witchcraft                                 142
        Toujours Amour                             143

    STEPHEN, J. K.
        From Three Fly Leaves                      280
        Question and Answer                        281

    STEVENSON, ROBERT LOUIS
        To Minnie (With a Hand Glass)              241

    STODDARD, RICHARD HENRY
        The Flower of Love Lies Bleeding           116

    STORY, WILLIAM WETMORE
        Snowdrop                                   100

    SUCKLING, SIR JOHN
        To My Love                                  18

    SWINBURNE, ALGERNON CHARLES
        An Interlude                               162
        A Match                                    165

    SYDNEY, SIR PHILIP
        A Ditty                                      8


    TAYLOR, BAYARD
        The Gold Room. An Idyl                     118

    TENNYSON, ALFRED
        Lilian                                      75

    THACKERAY, WILLIAM MAKEPEACE
        The Age of Wisdom                           82
        The Ballad of Bouillabaisse                 83

    THOMAS, EDITH MATILDA
        Valentine                                  250

    TIFFANY, ESTHER B.
        Applied Astronomy                          291

    TILTON, THEODORE
        French with a Master                       152

    TIMROD, HENRY
        A Trifle                                   128

    TOMPKINS, JULIET WILBUR
        A Merry Blue-Eyed Laddie                   328

    TRAILL, H. D.
        Vers de Société                            147


    VERLAINE, PAUL
        Il Bacio                                   200
        Sur l’Herbe                                201

    VIELÉ, HERMAN KNICKERBOCKER
        Borderland                                 269

    VILLON, FRANÇOIS
        All Things Except Myself I Know              6


    WALLER, EDMUND
        On a Girdle                                 18

    WALSH, WILLIAM
        The Despairing Lover                        22

    WATSON, E. H. LACON
        To Celia                                   225

    WEBB, CHARLES HENRY
        Dictum Sapienti                            144

    WEGENER, Translated from
        The Mistaken Moth                          229
        My Pretty Neighbor                         230

    WHITTIER, JOHN GREENLEAF
        The Henchman                                76

    WILKINS, MARY E.
        Her Bonnet                                 307

    WILLIS, NATHANIEL PARKER
        Love in a Cottage                           71

    WISE, HILDA JOHNSON
        A Lenten Call                              321

    WITHER, GEORGE
        Shall I, Wasting in Despair                 14



ANTHOLOGIES BY CAROLYN WELLS

    Each 16mo.      Leather, $1.50 _net._      Cloth, $1.25 _net._


    “_Carolyn Wells is a natural-born humorist as well as a
    humorous anthologist. Anthologies before Carolyn Wells took
    to making them were grave and formidable things._”—N. Y.
    TIMES REVIEW.


A Vers de Société Anthology

This book, the fifth in Miss Wells’ popular series of anthologies,
contains the cream of that department of verse which can be described
adequately only by the French term, “Vers de Société.” From François
Villon to the present time almost all the great writers are
represented. Miss Wells shows again her anthological discretion in her
unerring sense for the interesting and significant.


A Whimsey Anthology

“It is a book for a blue novel—being certain to counteract it—and it
is a book of value to those who get up entertainments or like the
fantastic in literature.”—From the Rochester _Democrat and Chronicle_.


A Satire Anthology

“The cream of rhymed satire from Aristophanes to Oliver Herford. Shows
the same intelligence and good taste as her preceding volumes.”—N. Y.
_Globe_.


A Parody Anthology

“Constructed on an excellent plan and with good discretion,
rendering it an excellent work of reference, as well as one of
entertainment.”—Boston _Herald_.


A Nonsense Anthology

“Few could be better fitted for the task than one whose precept
and verse assure her attitude towards this important department of
literature.”—New York _Evening Post_.

    CHARLES SCRIBNER’S SONS, Publishers

       *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber’s Notes:

Obvious punctuation errors repaired. In the notes below, where changes
in indentation have been noted, the transcriber checked other resources
in an attempt to be as faithful as possible to the original author’s
intent.

Page xiv, Table of Contents, “Luders” changed to “Lüders” (A Corsage
Bouquet _Charles Henry Lüders_)

Page 41, “reason” changed to “Reason” (While Reason took)

Page 71, “Beware”, fourth stanza, “She is fooling thee!”, moved to
match alignment of rest of poem. Originally it was lined up with the
indented lines above it.

Page 161, “Wish” changed to “With” (With a scowl on)

Page 166, line “And tears of night and morrow,” moved to be flush with
left margin to match layout of rest of poem’s stanza. Original was
lined up with indented verses.

Page 192, stanza break added above final stanza of “Brighton Pier.”

Page 310, “on” changed to “one” (Said one, “Thou are the loveliest)

Page 341, page reference for “Sea, The” added.

Page 347, “Cæli” changed to “Caeli” in Index of Authors to match text
usage.

Page 348, Indexes, “Theophile” changed to “Théophile” to match usage in
text. Also on page 350.

Page 350, “Beranger” changed to “Béranger” in Indexes to match usage in
text. Also twice on 341 and once on 347.





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