Puslapio vaizdai

Church, Army, Navy, Physic, Law ;

Maid, Mistress, Master, Valet ; Long locks, gray hairs, bald heads, and a',

They bob—in “Cupid's Alley.”

Strange pairs ! To laughing, fresh Fifteen

Here capers Prudence thrifty; Here Prodigal leads down the green

A blushing Maid of fifty;
Some treat it as a serious thing,

And some but shilly-shally;
And some have danced without the ring

(Ah me !)-in “Cupid's Alley."

And sometimes one to one will dance,

And think of one behind her ;
And one by one will stand, perchance,

Yet look all ways to find her ;
Some seek a partner with a sigh,

Some win him with a sally;
And some, they know not how nor why,

Strange fate of “Cupid's Alley."

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And some will dance an age or so

Who came for half a minute ;
And some, who like the game, will go

Before they well begin it;

And some will vow they ’re “ danced to death,”

Who (somehow) always rally; Strange cures are wrought (mine author saith),

Strange cures !-in “Cupid's Alley."

It may be one will dance to-day,

And dance no more to-morrow;
It may be one will steal away

And nurse a life-long sorrow;
What then? The rest advance, evade,

Unite, dispart, and dally,
Re-set, coquet, and gallopade,

Not less-in “Cupid's Alley."

For till that City's wheel-work vast

And shuddering beams shall crumble ;And till that Fiddler lean at last

From off his seat shall tumble ;-
Till then (the Civic records say),

This quaint, fantastic ballet
Of Go and Stay, of Yea and Nay,

Must last—in “Cupid's Alley."



(The Scene is in a garden,-where you please,

So that it lie in France, and have withal
Its gray-stoned pond beneath the arching trees,

And Triton huge, with moss for coronal.
A PRINCESS,-feeding Fish. To her Denise.)

THE PRINCESS. 'HESE, DENISE, are my Suitors!





These fish. I feed them daily here at morn and night With crumbs of favour,-scraps of graciousness, Not meant, indeed, to mean the thing they wish, But serving just to edge an appetite.

(Throwing bread.) Make haste, Messieurs ! Make haste, then! Hurry. See,See how they swim ! Would you


say, confess, Some crowd of Courtiers in the audience hall, When the King comes ?


You ’re jesting!


Not at all. Watch but the great one yonder! There's the Duke ;Those gill-marks mean his Order of St. Luke; Those old skin-stains his boasted quarterings. Look what a swirl and roll of tide he brings ; Have you not marked him thus, with crest in air, Breathing disdain, descend the palace-stair? You surely have, DENISE.


I think I have.
But there's another, older and more grave, –
The one that wears the round patch on the throat,
And swims with such slow fins. Is he of note?

THE PRINCESS. Why that's my good chambellanwith his seal. A kind old man !-he carves me orange-peel In quaint devices at refection-hours, Equips my sweet-pouch, brings me morning flowers, Or chirrups madrigals with old, sweet words, Such as men loved when people wooed like birds And spoke the true note first. No suitor he, Yet loves me too,—though in a graybeard's key.

Look, Madam, look !-a fish without a stain !

O speckless, fleckless fish! Who is it, pray,
That bears him so discreetly?


FONTENAY. You know him not? My prince of shining locks ! My pearl !--my Phoenix !—my pomander-box! He loves not Me, alas! The man 's too vain ! He loves his doublet better than my suit,His graces than my favours. Still his sash Sits not amiss, and he can touch the lute Not wholly out of tune


Ai! what a splash! Who is it comes with such a sudden dash Plump i' the midst, and leaps the others clear?

Ho! for a trumpet! Let the bells be rung!
Baron of Sans-terre, Lord of Prés-en-Cieux,
Vidame of Vol-au-Vent-"et aultres lieux !
Bah! How I hate his Gasconading tongue !
Why, that 's my bragging Bravo-Musketeer-
My carpet cut-throat, valiant by a scar
Got in a brawl that stands for Spanish war :-
His very life's a splash!

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