Page images
PDF
EPUB

But tho', my dear friend, she's no older,
In her face it may plainly be seen, Sir,

That this angel at five,

Will, if she's alive,
Be a goddess at fifteen, Sir.

Sir Charles H. Williams.

CCXIII,

TO MY COUSIN ANNE BODHAM, ON RECEIVING

FROM HER A PURSE.

My gentle Anne, whom heretofore,
When I was young, and thou no more

Than plaything for a nurse,
I danced and fondled on my knee,
A kitten both in size and glee,

I thank thee for my purse.
Gold pays the worth of all things here;
But not of love ;—that gem's too dear

For richest rogues to win it ;
I therefore, as a proof of love,
Esteem thy present far above
The best things kept within it.

William Cowper.

CCXIV.

SKETCH OF A YOUNG LADY FIVE MONTHS

OLD.

My pretty, budding, breathing flower,

Methinks, if I to-morrow
Could manage, just for half an hour,

Sir Joshua's brush to borrow,
I might immortalise a few

Of all the myriad graces
Which Time, while yet they all are new,

With newer still replaces.

I'd paint, my child, your deep blue eyes,

Their quick and earnest flashes ; I'd paint the fringe that round them lies,

The fringe of long dark lashes ; I'd draw with most fastidious care

One eyebrow, then the other, And that fair forehead, broad and fair,

The forehead of your mother. I'd oft retouch the dimpled cheek

Where health in sunshine dances ; And oft the pouting lips, where speak

A thousand voiceless fancies; And the soft neck would keep me long,

The neck, more smooth and snowy Than ever yet in schoolboy's song

Had Caroline or Chloe.

Nor less on those twin rounded arms

My new-found skill would linger,
Nor less upon the rosy charms

Of every tiny finger ;
Nor slight the small feet, little one,

So prematurely clever
That, though they neither walk nor run,

I think they'd jump for ever.
But then your odd endearing ways-

What study e'er could catch them?
Your aimless gestures, endless plays-

What canvas e'er could match them? Your lively leap of merriment,

Your murmur of petition,
Your serious silence of content,

Your laugh of recognition.
Here were a puzzling toil, indeed,

For Art's most fine creations !
Grow on, sweet baby; we will need,

To note your transformations,
No picture of your form or face,

Your waking or your sleeping,
But that wh Love shall daily trace,

And trust to Memory's keeping.

Hereafter, when revolving years

Have made you tall and twenty,
And brought you blended hopes and fears,

And sighs and slaves in plenty,
May those who watch our little saint

Among her tasks and duties,
Feel all her virtues hard to paint,
As now we deem her beauties.

Winthrop M. Praed.

CCXV.

TO A GIRL IN HER THIRTEENTH YEAR.

Thy smiles, thy talk, thy aimless plays,

So beautiful approve thee,
So winning light are all thy ways,

I cannot choose but love thee.
Thy balmy breath upon my brow

Is like the summer air,
As o'er my cheek thou leanest now,

To plant a soft kiss there.
Thy steps are dancing toward the bound

Between the child and woman,
And thoughts and feelings more profound,

And other years are coming :
And thou shalt be more deeply fair

More precious to the heart,
But never canst thou be again

That lovely thing thou art !
And youth shall pass, with all the brooci

Of fancy-fed affection ;
And grief shall come with womanhood,

And waken cold reflection.
Thou'lt learn to toil, and watch, and weep,

O’er pleasures unreturning,
Like one who wakes from pleasant sleep

Unto the cares of morning.
Nay, say not so ! nor cloud the sun

Of joyous expectation,
Ordain'd to bless the little one--
The freshling of creation !

Sidney Walker.

CCXVI.

[ocr errors]

WRITTEN 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 life (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 vow'd, and not allow'd

To flirt e'en with your fan,
Here end, as just a friend, I must-
I'm not a single man.

Thomas Hood.

CCXVII.

VALENTINE.

To the Honble. M. C. Stanhope.

Hail, day of music, day of Love, On earth below, in air above. In air the turtle fondly moans, The linnet pipes in joyous tones; On earth the postman toils along, Bent double by huge bales of song, Where, rich with many a gorgeous dye, Blazes all Cupid's heraldry-Myrtles and roses, doves and sparrows, Love-knots and altars, lamps and arrows. What nymph without wild hopes and fears The double rap this morning hears ! Unnumbered lasses, young and fair, From Bethnal Green to Belgrave Square, With cheeks high flush'd, and hearts loud beating Await the tender annual greeting. The loveliest lass of all is mineGood morrow to my Valentine ! Good morrow, gentle child! and then Again good morrow, and again, Good morrow following still good morrow, Without one cloud of strife or sorrow.

« PreviousContinue »