Puslapio vaizdai



O, Love's but a dance,

Where Time plays the fiddle!

See the couples advance,

O, Love's but a dance!

A whisper, a glance,

"Shall we twirl down the middle?"

O, Love's but a dance,

Where Time plays the fiddle!


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 "

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;

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."

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.)


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 not say, confess,

Some crowd of Courtiers in the audience hall,

When the King comes?

You're jesting!

« AnkstesnisTęsti »