They parted, and Athletes had not left
her very far,
Ere again he puffed the odours of a casual cigar;
But he oftentimes lamented, as to manhood’s years he grew,
‘What a pity such a stunner was so spoilt by being blue!’
And Aesthesis, as she watched him with
his swinging manly stride,
The ‘double-blue’ Athletes, of Trinity the pride,
Found it difficult entirely to eradicate love’s dart,
As she listened to thy Lecture, Slade Professor of Fine Art.
And Ruskin, and the warblings of Whistler
and Burne Jones,
And symphonies in colours, and sunset’s silent tones,
Move her not as once they moved her, for she weeps in sorrow sore,
‘O had I loved Athletes less, or he loved culture more!’
As hard at work I trimmed the midnight
Yfilling of mine head with classic lore,
Mine hands firm clasped upon my temples damp,
Methought I heard a tapping at the door;
‘Come in,’ I cried, with most unearthly rore,
Fearing a horrid Dun or Don to see,
Or Tomkins, that unmitigated bore,
Whom I love not, but who alas! loves me,
And cometh oft unbid and drinketh of my tea.
‘Come in,’ I rored; when suddenly
A magick form before my dazzled eyes:
‘Or do I wake,’ I asked myself ‘or doze’?
Or hath an angel come in mortal guise’?
So wondered I; but nothing mote surmise;
Only I gazed upon that lovely face,
In reverence yblent with mute surprise:
Sure never yet was seen such wondrous grace,
Since Adam first began to run his earthlie race.
Her hands were folded on her bosom meek;
Her sweet blue eyes were lifted t’ward the skie;
Her lips were parted, yet she did not speak;
Only at times she sighed, or seemed to sigh:
In all her ’haviour was there nought of shy;
Yet well I wis no Son of Earth would dare,
To look with love upon that lofty eye;
For in her beauty there was somewhat rare,
A something that repell’d an ordinary stare.
Then did she straight a snowycloth disclose
Of samite, which she placed upon a chair:
Then, smiling like a freshly-budding rose,
She gazed upon me with a witching air,
As mote a Cynic anchorite ensnare.
Eftsoons, as though her thoughts she could not smother,
She hasted thus her mission to declare:—
’Please, these is your clean things I’ve brought instead of brother,
‘And if you’ll pay the bill you’ll much oblige my mother.’
She wore a sweet pink bonnet,
The sweetest ever known:
And as I gazed upon it,
My heart was not my own.
For—I know not why or wherefore—
A pink bonnet put on well,
Tho’ few other things I care for,
Acts upon me like a spell.