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A GAGE D'AMOUR.

(HORACE, III, 8.)

"Martiis cælebs quid agam Kalendis,

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'HARLES,-for it seems you wish to know,

You wonder what could scare me so,
And why, in this long-locked bureau,

With trembling fingers,-
With tragic air, I now replace
This ancient web of yellow lace,
Among whose faded folds the trace

Of perfume lingers.

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Friend of my youth, severe as true,
I guess the train your thoughts pursue ;
But this my state is nowise due

To indigestion ;
I had forgotten it was there,
A scarf that Some-one used to wear.
Hinc illa lacrima,-so spare

Your cynic question.

Some-one who is not girlish now,
And wed long since. We meet and bow;
I don't suppose our broken vow

Affects us keenly;
Yet, trifling though my act appears,
Your Sternes would make it ground for tears ;
One can't disturb the dust of years,

And smile serenely.

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“My golden locks” are gray and chill,
For hers,-let them be sacred still ;
But yet, I own, a boyish thrill

Went dancing through me,
Charles, when I held yon yellow lace ;
For, from its dusty hiding-place,
Peeped out an arch, ingenuous face

That beckoned to me.

We shut our heart up, now-a-days,
Like some old music-box that plays
Unfashionable airs that raise

Derisive pity;
Alas, ,-a nothing starts the spring ;
And lo, the sentimental thing
At once commences quavering

Its lover's ditty.

Laugh, if you like. The boy in me, -
The boy that was,-revived to see
The fresh young smile that shone when she,

Of old, was tender.
Once more we trod the Golden Way,-
That mother you saw yesterday,
And I, whom none can well portray

As young, or slender.

She twirled the flimsy scarf about
Her pretty head, and stepping out,
Slipped arm in mine, with half a pout

Of childish pleasure.
Where we were bound no mortal knows,
For then you plunged in Ireland's woes,
And brought me blankly back to prose

And Gladstone's measure.

Well, well, the wisest bend to Fate.
My brown old books around me wait,
My pipe still holds, unconfiscate,

Its wonted station.
Pass me the wine. To Those that keep
The bachelor's secluded sleep
Peaceful, inviolate, and deep,

I pour libation.

CUPID'S ALLEY.

A MORALITY.

0, Love's but a dance,

Where Time plays the fiddle!
See the couples advance, -
0, Love's but a dance!
A whisper, a glance,

Shall we twirl down the middle ?" 0, Love's but a dance,

Where Time plays the fiddle !

IT

T runs (so saith my Chronicler)

Across a smoky City;
A Babel filled with buzz and whirr,

Huge, gloomy, black and gritty; Dark-louring looks the hill-side near,

Dark-yawning looks the valley, But here 'tis always fresh and clear,

For here—is “Cupid's Alley."

And, from an Arbour cool and green,

With aspect down the middle, An ancient Fiddler, gray and lean,

Scrapes on an ancient fiddle ;

Alert he seems, but aged enow

To punt the Stygian galley ;With wisp of forelock on his brow,

He plays-in "Cupid's Alley."

All day he plays,-a single tune !

But, by the oddest chances,
Gavotte, or Brawl, or Rigadoon,

It suits all kinds of dances ;
My Lord may walk a pas de Cour

To Jenny's pas de Chalet ;-
The folks who ne'er have danced before,

Can dance-in “Cupid's Alley ”

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And here, for ages yet untold,

Long, long before my ditty,
Came high and low, and young and old,

From out the crowded City;
And still to-day they come, they go,

And just as fancies tally,
They foot it quick, they foot it slow,

All day-in “Cupid's Alley."

Strange dance! 'Tis free to Rank and Rags;

Here no distinction flatters,
Here Riches shakes its money-bags,

And Poverty its tatters ;

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