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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,
Of battles or the last new bonnets;
By candlelight, at twelve o'clock,
To me it mattered not a tittle ;
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."
That ancient ladies have no feeling;
See any happiness in kneeling?
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 made the Catalini jealous :
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 recipes for elder-water.
Her steps were watched, her dress was noted; Her poodle dog was quite adored,
Her sayings were extremely quoted.
As if the taxes were abolished ;
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 !