Oh, is there not one maiden breast
Which does not feel the moral beauty
Of making worldly interest
Subordinate to sense of duly?
Who would not give up willingly
All matrimonial ambition,
To rescue such a one as I
From his unfortunate position?
Oh, is there not one maiden here,
Whose homely face and bad complexion
Have caused all hopes to disappear
Of ever winning man’s affection?
To such a one, if such there be,
I swear by Heaven’s arch above you,
If you will cast your eyes on me,—
However plain you be—I’ll love you!
The air is charged with amatory numbers—
Soft madrigals, and dreamy lovers’ lays.
Peace, peace, old heart! Why waken from its slumbers
The aching memory of the old, old days?
Time was when Love and I were well acquainted.
Time was when we walked ever hand in hand;
A saintly youth, with worldly thought untainted,
None better-loved than I in all the land!
Time was, when maidens of the noblest station,
Forsaking even military men,
Would gaze upon me, rapt in adoration—
Ah, me, I was a fair young curate then!
Had I a headache? sighed the maids assembled;
Had I a cold? welled forth the silent tear;
Did I look pale? then half a parish trembled;
And when I coughed all thought the end was near!
I, had no care—no jealous doubts hung o’er me—
For I was loved beyond all other men.
Fled gilded dukes and belted earls before me!
Ah, me! I was a pale young curate then!
Take a pair of sparkling eyes,
Hidden, ever and anon,
In a merciful eclipse—
Do not heed their mild surprise—
Having passed the Rubicon.
Take a pair of rosy lips;
Take a figure trimly planned—
Such as admiration whets
(Be particular in this);
Take a tender little hand,
Fringed with dainty fingerettes,
Press it—in parenthesis;—
Take all these, you lucky man—
Take and keep them, if you can.
Take a pretty little cot—
Quite a miniature affair—
Hung about with trellised vine,
Furnish it upon the spot
With the treasures rich and rare
I’ve endeavored to define.
Live to love and love to live
You will ripen at your ease,
Growing on the sunny side—
Fate has nothing more to give.
You’re a dainty man to please
If you are not satisfied.
Take my counsel, happy man:
Act upon it, if you can!
THE FIRST LORD’S SONG.
When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to an Attorney’s firm.
I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
And I polished up the handle of the big front door.
I polished up that handle so successfullee
That now I am the Ruler of the Queen’s Navee!