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Perhaps, unwittingly, I've heard
Your thrilling-toned canary-bird
From some third story.
I've seen great changes since we met;
A patient little seamstress yet,
With small means striving,
Have you a Liliputian spouse?
And do you dwell in some doll's house?
Is baby thriving?
My heart grows chill; can bloom like thine
Have past from this dear world of mine
To one far meeter?
To one whose promised joys are worth
The best, and more, of Mother Earth,
And is it sweeter?
Sometimes I to Pall Mall repair,
And see the damsels passing there;
But if I try to
Obtain one glance, they look discreet,
As though they'd some one else to meet;
As have not I too?
Yet still I often think upon
Our many meetings, come and gone!
Now let us make a tryst, and when,
Dear little soul, we meet again,
The mansion is preparing, — then
Thy friend remember!
ST. JAMES'S STREET.
NT. JAMES'S Street, of classic fame!
St. James's Street? I know the name!
I think I've passed along it!
Why, that's where Sacharissa sighed
When Waller read his ditty;
Where Byron lived, and Gibbon died,
And Alvanley was witty.
A famous street. It skirts the Park
Where Rogers took his pastime ;
Come, gaze on fifty men of mark,
And then call up the fast time!
The plats at White's, the play at Crock's,
The bumpers to Miss Gunning;
The bonhomie of Charlie Fox,
And Selwyn's ghastly fuuning.
The dear old street of clubs and cribs,
As north and south it stretches,
Still smacks of Williams' pungent squibs,
And Gillray's fiercer sketches;
The quaint old dress, the grand old style, The mots, the racy stories;
The wine, the dice, -the wit, the bile, The hate of Whigs and Tories.
At dusk, when I am strolling there,
Dim forms will rise around me;
Old Pepys creeps past me in his chair,
And Congreve's airs astound me !
And once Nell Gwynne, a frail young sprite,
Looked kindly when I met her;
I shook my head, perhaps, but quite
Forgot to quite forget her.
The street is still a lively tomb
For rich and gay and clever;
The crops of dandies bud, and bloom,
And die as fast as ever.
Now gilded youth loves cutty-pipes,
And slang that's rather rancid,
It can't approach its prototypes
In tone, - or so I've fancied.
In Brummell's day of buckle shoes,
Starch cravats, and roll collars,
They'd fight, and woo, and bet, - and lose
Like gentlemen and scholars :
I like young men to go the pace,
I half forgive old Rapid;
These louts disgrace their name and race, -
So vicious and so vapid!
Worse times may come. Bon ton, alas!
Will then be quite forgotten,
And all we much revere will pass
From ripe to worse than rotten;
Rank weeds will sprout between yon stones,
And owls will roost at Boodle's,
And Echo will hurl back the tones
Of screaming Yankee Doodles.
I like the haunts, and many such,
Where wit and wealth are squandered,
The gardened mansions, just as much,
Where grace and rank have wandered,
The spots where ladies fair and leal
First ventured to adore me !
And something of the like I feel
For this old street before me.
ROTTEN ROW, HYDE PARK.
HOPE I'm fond of much that's good,
As well as much that's gay;
I'd like the country if I could,
I like the Park in May:
And when I ride in Rotten Row,
I wonder why they called it so.
A lively scene on turf and road,
The crowd is smartly drest:
The Ladies' Mile has overflowed,
The chairs are in request:
The nimble air, so soft and clear,
Can hardly stir a ringlet here.
I'll halt beneath these pleasant trees
And drop my bridle-rein,
And, quite alone, indulge at ease
The philosophic vein :
I'il moralize on all I see,
I think it all was made for me!
Forsooth, and on a nicer spot
The sunbeam never shines;
Young ladies here can talk and trot
With statesmen and divines:
Could I have chosen, I'd have been
A Duke, a Beauty, or a Dean!
What grooms! what gallant gentlemen!
What well-appointed hacks!
What glory in their pace, and then
What beauties on their backs!
My Pegasus would never flag
If weighted as my lady's nag.
But where is now that courtly troop
Who once rode laughing by?
I miss the curls of Cantilupe,
The smile of Lady Di:
They all could laugh from night to morn, And Time has laughed them all to scorn.
I then could frolic in the van
With dukes and dandy earls;
I then was thought a nice young man
By rather nice young girls;
I've half a mind to join Miss Browne,
And try one canter up and down.