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A GAGE D'AMOUR.
(HORACE, III, 8.)
"Martiis cælebs quid agam Kalendis,
'HARLES,-for it seems you wish to know,
You wonder what could scare me so,
With trembling fingers,-
Of perfume lingers.
Friend of my youth, severe as true,
To indigestion ;
Your cynic question.
Some-one who is not girlish now,
Affects us keenly;
And smile serenely.
“My golden locks” are gray and chill,
Went dancing through me,
That beckoned to me.
We shut our heart up, now-a-days,
Its lover's ditty.
Laugh, if you like. The boy in me, -
Of old, was tender.
As young, or slender.
She twirled the flimsy scarf about
Of childish pleasure.
And Gladstone's measure.
Well, well, the wisest bend to Fate.
Its wonted station.
I pour libation.
0, Love's but a dance,
Where Time plays the fiddle!
“Shall we twirl down the middle ?" 0, Love's but a dance,
Where Time plays the fiddle !
T runs (so saith my Chronicler)
Across a smoky City;
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,
It suits all kinds of dances ;
To Jenny's pas de Chalet ;-
Can dance-in “Cupid's Alley ”
And here, for ages yet untold,
Long, long before my ditty,
From out the crowded City;
And just as fancies tally,
All day-in “Cupid's Alley."
Strange dance! 'Tis free to Rank and Rags;
Here no distinction flatters,
And Poverty its tatters ;