Your picture hanging on my neck,
Up with my men I rushed;
We made an awful charge:
And then my horse, “The Lady Bess,”
Dropped, and—my leg was crushed!
The blood of battle in my veins
(A blue-coat dragged me out),—
But I remembered you;
I kissed your picture—did you know?
And yelled, “For the redoubt!”
The Twenty-fourth, my scarred old dogs,
Growled back, “He’ll put us through;
We’ll take him in our arms:
Our picture there—the girl he loves,
Shall see what we can do.”
The foe was silenced—so were
I lay upon the field,
Among the Twenty-fourth;
Your picture, shattered on my breast,
Had proved “The Colonel’s Shield.”
A FEW IDLE WORDS.
So, I must believe that I loved you once!
These letters say so;
And here is your picture—how you have changed!
It was long ago.
The gloss is worn from this lock of black
You can have them all,
And with these treasures a few idle words,
That I will not recall.
What a child I was when you met me first!
Was I handsome then?
I think you remember the very night,
It was half-past ten,
When you came upstairs, so tired of the
And tired of the wine;
You said you loved lilies (my dress was white),
And hated to dine.
The dowagers nodded behind their fans;
I played an old song;
You told an old tale, I thought it so new,
And I thought so long.
True, I had read the “Arabian Nights,”
And “Amadis de Gaul;”
But I never had found a modern knight
In our books at the Hall.
You tore your hand with the thorns of
That looped up my sleeve,
And a drop of red blood fell on my arm—
You asked, “Do you grieve?”
That drop of your blood made mine flow
But you sipped your tea
With a nonchalant air, and balanced the spoon,
And balanced poor me,
In the scale with my stocks, and farms,
Did it tremble at all?
When my cousin, the heir, turned up one day,
We both had a fall!
Well, we meet again, and I look at you
With a quiet surprise;
I think your ennui possesses me now,
And am quite as wise.
To me it was only a dream of love,
A defeat to you:
It was not your first, may be not your last—
Here, take them—Adieu!
This chain of white arms round the room—
The demon waltz—bewilders me:
Or am I drunk with this good wine?
Vive la compagnie!
“My friend, young Highboys, have
“O yes: how do? good brandy here!”
The wretch’s mother, in her youth,
Was famous for her beer!