Fly Leaves eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 55 pages of information about Fly Leaves.

Children, when they see thy supple
   Form approach, are out like shots;
Half-a-bar sets several couple
   Waltzing in convenient spots;

Not with clumsy Jacks or Georges: 
   Unprofaned by grasp of man
Maidens speed those simple orgies,
   Betsey Jane with Betsey Ann.

As they love thee in St. Giles’s
   Thou art loved in Grosvenor Square: 
None of those engaging smiles is
   Unreciprocated there.

Often, ere yet thou hast hammer’d
   Through thy four delicious airs,
Coins are flung thee by enamour’d
   Housemaids upon area stairs: 

E’en the ambrosial-whisker’d flunkey
   Eyes thy boots and thine unkempt
Beard and melancholy monkey
   More in pity than contempt.

Far from England, in the sunny
   South, where Anio leaps in foam,
Thou wast rear’d, till lack of money
   Drew thee from thy vineclad home: 

And thy mate, the sinewy Jocko,
   From Brazil or Afric came,
Land of simoom and sirocco —
   And he seems extremely tame.

There he quaff’d the undefiled
   Spring, or hung with apelike glee,
By his teeth or tail or eyelid,
   To the slippery mango-tree: 

There he woo’d and won a dusky
   Bride, of instincts like his own;
Talk’d of love till he was husky
   In a tongue to us unknown: 

Side by side ’twas theirs to ravage
   The potato ground, or cut
Down the unsuspecting savage
   With the well-aim’d cocoa-nut:-

Till the miscreant Stranger tore him
   Screaming from his blue-faced fair;
And they flung strange raiment o’er him,
   Raiment which he could not bear: 

Sever’d from the pure embraces
   Of his children and his spouse,
He must ride fantastic races
   Mounted on reluctant sows: 

But the heart of wistful Jocko
   Still was with his ancient flame
In the nutgroves of Morocco;
   Or if not it’s all the same.

Grinder, winsome grinsome Grinder! 
   They who see thee and whose soul
Melts not at thy charms, are blinder
   Than a trebly-bandaged mole: 

They to whom thy curt (yet clever)
   Talk, thy music and thine ape,
Seem not to be joys for ever,
   Are but brutes in human shape.

’Tis not that thy mien is stately,
   ’Tis not that thy tones are soft;
’Tis not that I care so greatly
   For the same thing play’d so oft: 

But I’ve heard mankind abuse thee;
   And perhaps it’s rather strange,
But I thought that I would choose thee
   For encomium, as a change.


I know not why my soul is rack’d
   Why I ne’er smile as was my wont: 
I only know that, as a fact,
      I don’t. 
I used to roam o’er glen and glade
   Buoyant and blithe as other folk: 
And not unfrequently I made
      A joke.

Project Gutenberg
Fly Leaves from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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