Puslapio vaizdai

FRANK (in the grass). Jove, what a day! Black Care upon the crupper

Nods at his post, and slumbers in the sun ; Half of Theocritus, with a touch of Tupper,

Churns in my head. The frenzy has begun !

Sing to us then. Damætas in a choker,

Much out of tune, will edify the rooks.

Sing you again. So musical a croaker

Surely will draw the fish upon the hooks.


JACK. Sing while you may. The beard of manhood still is

Faint on your cheeks, but I, alas ! am old. Doubtless you yet believe in Amaryllis ;

Sing me of Her, whose name may not be told.

Listen, O Thames! His budding beard is riper,

Say—by a week. Well, Lawrence, shall we sing?

Yes, if you will. But ere I play the piper,

Let him declare the prize he has to bring.

JACK. Hear then, my Shepherds. Lo, to him accounted

First in the song, a Pipe I will impart ;This, my Beloved, marvellously mounted,

Amber and foam,- -a miracle of art.

Lordly the gift. O Muse of many numbers,

Grant me a soft alliterative song !

FRANK. Me too, O Muse! And when the Umpire slumbers,

Sting him with gnats a summer evening long.

Not in a cot, begarlanded of spiders,

Not where the brook traditionally “purls,"
No, in the Row, supreme among the riders,

Seek I the gem,—the paragon of girls.

Not in the waste of column and of coping,

Not in the sham and stucco of a square, -
No, on a June-lawn, to the water sloping,

Stands she I honour, beautifully fair.

Dark-haired is mine, with splendid tresses plaited

Back from the brows, imperially curled ;
Calm as a grand, far-looking Caryatid,

Holding the roof that covers in a world.

Dark-haired is mine, with breezy ripples swinging

Loose as a vine-branch blowing in the morn;
Eyes like the morning, mouth for ever singing,

Blithe as a bird new risen from the corn.

Best is the song with music interwoven:

Mine's a musician,-musical at heart, -
Throbs to the gathered grieving of Beethoven,

Sways to the light coquetting of Mozart.

Best? You should hear mine trilling out a ballad,

Queen at a pic-nic, leader of the glees,
Not too divine to toss you up a salad,

Great in Sir Roger danced among the trees.

LAWRENCE. Ah, when the thick night flares with drooping torches,

Ah, when the crush-room empties of the swarm,

Pleasant the hand that, in the gusty porches,

Light as a snow-flake, settles on your arm.

Better the twilight and the cheery chatting,-

Better the dim, forgotten garden-seat,
Where one may lie, and watch the fingers tatting,

Lounging with Bran or Bevis at her feet.

All worship mine. Her purity doth hedge her

Round with so delicate divinity, that men,
Stained to the soul with money-bag and ledger,

Bend to the goddess, manifest again.

FRANK. None worship mine. But some, I fancy, love her,

Cynics to boot. I know the children run, Seeing her come, for naught that I discover,

Save that she brings the summer and the sun.

Mine is a Lady, beautiful and queenly,

Crowned with a sweet, continual control,
Grandly forbearing, lifting life serenely

E’en to her own nobility of soul.

Mine is a Woman, kindly beyond measure,

Fearless in praising, faltering in blame:
Simply devoted to other people's pleasure,-

Jack's sister Florence, ,—now you know her name.

LAWRENCE. “Jack's sister Florence !” Never, Francis, never.

Jack, do you hear? Why, it was she I meant. She like the country! Ah, she's far too clever~

FRANK. There you are wrong. I know her down in Kent.

LAWRENCE. You'll get a sunstroke, standing with your head bare.

Sorry to differ. Jack,—the word 's with you.

FRANK. How is it, Umpire? Though the motto 's threadbare,

Cælum, non animum—is, I take it, true.

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Souvent femme varie,as a rule, is truer ;

Flattered, I 'm sure,—but both of you romance.
Happy to further suit of either wooer,

Merely observing—you have n't got a chance.

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