Page images

My shuddering partner cried “ O Ciel !

How could they,—in such weather ?”
Was she a Blue ?-I put my trust

In strata, petals, gases ;
A boudoir-pedant? I discussed

The toga and the fasces;
A Cockney-Muse ? I mouthed a deal

Of folly from Endymion ;
A saint? I praised the pious zeal

Of Messrs. Way and Simeon;
A politician ?-it was vain

To quote the morning paper; The horrid phantoms came again,

Rain, Hail, and Snow, and Vapour. Flat flattery was my only chance :

I acted deep devotion, Found magic in her

in her every glance, Grace in her every motion ; I wasted all a stripling's lore,

Prayer, passion, folly, feeling,
And wildly looked upon the floor,

And wildly on the ceiling;
I envied gloves upon her arm

And shawls upon her shoulder;
And, when my worship was most warm,-

She—“never found it colder.”
I don't object to wealth or land,

And she will have the giving
Of an extremely pretty hand,

Some thousands, and a living.
She makes silk purses, broiders stools,

Sings sweetly, dances finely,
Paints screens, subscribes to Sunday-schools,

And sits a horse divinely.

But to be linked for life to her!

The desperate man who tried it
Might marry a Barometer,
And hang himself beside it!



OU'LL come to our Ball;—since we

parted I've thought of you more than I'll

say; Indeed, I was half broken-hearted

For a week, when they took you away. Fond fancy brought back to my slumbers,

Our walks on the Ness and the Den, And echoed the musical numbers Which

you used to sing to me then. I know the romance, since its over,

'Twere idle, or worse, to recall ; I know you're a terrible rover,

But, Clarence, you'll come to our Ball!

It's only a year, since, at college,

You put on your cap and your gown; But, Clarence, you're grown out of knowledge,

And changed from the spur to the crown: The voice that was best when it faltered

Is fuller and firmer in tone, And the smile that should never have altered

Dear Clarence—it is not your own: Your cravat was badly selected,

Your coat don't become you at all ; And why is your hair so neglected ?

You must have it curled for our Ball.

[ocr errors]

I've often been out upon Haldon,

To look for a covey with pup; I've often been over to Shaldon, To see how


boat is laid up: In spite of the terrors of Aunty,

I've ridden the filly you broke;
And I've studied your sweet little Dante
In the shade of your

favourite oak: When I sat in July to Sir Lawrence,

I sat in your love of a shawl ;
And I'll wear what you brought me from Florence,

Perhaps, if you'll come to our Ball.
You'll find us all changed since you vanished,

We've set up a National School ;
And waltzing is utterly banished,

And Ellen has married a fool;
The Major is going to travel,

Miss Hyacinth threatens a rout,
The walk is laid down with fresh gravel,

Papa is laid up with the gout ;
And Jane has gone on with her easels,

And Anne has gone off with Sir Paul;
And Fanny is sick with the measles,

And I'll tell you the rest at the Ball. You'll meet all your Beauties; the Lily,

And the Fairy of Willow-brook Farm; And Lucy, who made me so silly ·

At Dawlish, by taking your arm; Miss Manners, who always abused you

For talking so much about Hock,
And her sister, who often amused you

By raving of rebels and Rock;
And something which surely would answer,

An heiress quite fresh from Bengal ;

So, though you were seldom a dancer,

You'll dance, just for once, at our Ball.
But out on the World ! from the flowers

It shuts out the sunshine of truth:
It blights the green leaves in the bowers,

It makes an old age of our youth ;
And the glow of our feeling, once in it,

Like a streamlet beginning to freeze, Though it cannot turn ice in a minute,

Grows harder by sudden degrees: Time treads o'er the graves of affection;

Sweet honey is turned into gall; Perhaps you have no recollection

That ever you danced at our Ball ! You once could be pleased with our ballads,-.

To-day you have critical ears ; You once could be charmed with our salads

Alas! you've been dining with Peers ; You trifled and flirted with many,

You've forgotten the when and the how; There was one you liked better than any

Perhaps you've forgotten her now. But of those you remember most newly,

Of those who delight or enthrall, None love you a quarter so truly

As some you will find at our Ball. They tell me you've many who flatter,

Because of your wit and your song ; They tell me- -and what does it matter ?

You like to be praised by the throng. They tell me you're shadowed with laurel ;

They tell me you're loved by a Blue; They tell me you're sadly immoral—

Dear Clarence, that cannot be true !

But to me you are still what I found

you, Before you grew clever and tall ; And you'll think of the spell that once bound you, And you'll come—won't you come ?—to our Ball!



OU used to talk," said Miss MacCall,

“ Of Aowers, and flames, and Cupid; But now you never talk at all ;

You're getting vastly stupid : You'd better burn your Blackstone, sir,

You never will get through it ; There's a Fancy Ball at Winchester,

Do let us take you to it !”

I made that night a solemn vow

To startle all beholders ;
I wore white muslin on my brow,

Green velvet on my shoulders;
My trousers were supremely wide,

I learnt to swear“ by Allah!” I stuck a poniard by my side,

And called myself " Abdallah."


Oh, a fancy ball's a strange affair !


of silks and leathers, Light heads, light heels, false hearts, false hair,

Pins, paint, and ostrich feathers :
The dullest duke in all the town

To-day may shine a droll one ;
And rakes who have not half-a-crown

Look royal in a whole one.

« PreviousContinue »