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YEARS—years ago—ere yet my dreams

Had been of being wise or wittyEre I had done with writing themes,

Or yawned 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 Lily.

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-0 Heaven, her danc


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 wondered where she'd left her sparrows.

She talked, of politics or prayers,
Or Southey's prose, or Wordsworth's son-

Of danglers—or of dancing bears,

Of battles or the last new bonnets;

By candlelight, at twelve o'clock,

To me it mattered not a tittle ;
If those bright lips had quoted Locke,

I might have thought they murmured 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 laughed; I soon found out

That ancient ladies have no feeling;
My father frowned; 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 sketched; 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 Catalini jealous :
She touched the organ; I could stand

For hours and hours to blow the bellows.

She kept an album, too, at home,

Well filled 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 flattered, worshiped, bored;

Her steps were watched, her dress was noted; Her poodle dog was quite adored,

Her sayings were extremely quoted.
She laughed, and every heart was glad,

As if the taxes were abolished ;
She frowned, and every look was sad,

As if the Opera were demolished.

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 molded; She wrote a charming hand-and oh!

How sweetly all her notes were folded !

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