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I think I hear you mutter, then,
While through the sand-heaps wading: Well, let me once get home again, And deuce take all crusading!''
“You heartless thing! but you have ne'er
Perused, like me, their storyWho knew no task they would not dare,
No pain when crowned with glory; And, glowing o'er those pages dear,
I've wished, with heart o'erladen, I were a Spanish cavalier
And you my chosen maiden!”
"O Fred, you goose! I ne'er could bide
Unseen behind a grating, Nor bear forever at my side
A prim duenna waiting.
And then this face you say you prize,
Some horrid Moor might eye it, And whisk me off before your eyes—’
HE (fiercely). “I'd like to see him try it!”
Then, too, in that stern age, you know,
No opera, ball, nor fashion, No lovely sleighing in the snow,
No novels filled with passion.
It must have been diverting
With ne'er a chance of flirting !”
“Of course, that's the thing you require !
But men had then a chance, dear, To win their spurs through gore and mire
In Palestine or France, dear:
And when the stubborn fray was done,
His lady crowned the winner, And"
SHE. “Pawned the spurs his strife had won,
To buy their Sunday dinner!”
HE (angrily), “Too bad, by Jove! of all I say
You will make fun—"
“ Poor fellow ! He sees en beau our fathers' day,
But ours in jaundiced yellow. Your knights, good sir (whose spurs of gold
Were all the wealth they carried), Oft found their chosen maidens' cold,
And lived (or died) unmarried !
“But never mind, dear Fred; for, though
I sometimes like to tease you,
I'd never say a word, you know,
That really could displease you;
And vow he'll ne'er endure it,
FREE, OR CAGED.
A Cousinly Duet.
FLORA (with significant emphasis).
And here's your water handy;
Your little self a dandy!
You're wiser far than some I know,
Who, home and comfort scorning, Through every sort of danger go,
And won't take friendly warning.
FRANK (de fiantly).
Can leave to those who need 'em;
The wanderer's life of freedom! And
Better far at home to stay Than burn abroad or shiver; There's nothing there can match our bay,
Or beat our Hudson River!
FRANK (wth profound irony). Forth, then, O Frank! in vent'rous bark
Round Coney Island sailing,