Ada Cambridge (Cross) ( ())

Aunt Dorothy's Lecture

Come, go and practiseget your work
   Do something, Nelly, pray.
I hate to see you moon about
   In this uncertain way!
Why do you look so vacant, child?
   I fear you must be ill.
Surely you are not thinking of
   That Captain Cameron still?

Ah, yesI fear'd so! You may blush;
   I blush for you, my dear;
And it is scarce a week ago
   Since Gerald brought him here
The day he fell in the hunting-field,
   And his pretty horse was lamed.
O childand with your bringing up!
   You ought to be ashamed.

Last night I saw you watching him,
   And you danced with him thrice;
You turn'd quite red when he spoke to you
   Such manners are not nice.
You, Nelly Gray, should not be seen
   (I don't wish to be harsh)
Running wild, like the servant-girls,
   For a red coat and moustache.

Not that he isn't a gentleman
   From spur to shako-brim
I know good blood when I see ityes,
   I will say that for him.
He does not swagger, nor lisp, nor flirt
   Has none of those vulgar ways;
And he does not talk like a stable-boy,
   As the fashion is nowadays.

In fact, I admire him very much
   My dear, you need not fret
I do; he's very different from
   The rest of Gerald's set.
He's very handsome, certainly
   I don't mind saying so.
He reminds me a bit of your uncle, when
   I met him long ago.

He had a silky, long moustache
   Of just that golden shade;
And broad Greek brows, with a tint of bronze,
   That Indian suns had made.
He was a soldier, too, you know
   As big and strong and tall:
He'd just come home when I saw him first
   At Lady Talbot's ball.

I remember when we were introduced;
   By stealth I look'd him o'er
Such haughty, indolent, gentle eyes,
   I never saw before!
I felt so strange when he look'd at me;
   I cannot tell you why
But I seem'd to feel he was mine, to keep
   And love, till I should die.

'Twas very oddin a moment, too,
   Before I knew his name!
But, NellyO how the world was changed
   And brighten'd, when he came!
I was so restless all that night;
   I did not want to see,
I felt where he moved about the room
   While he was away from me.

I was jealousI could not help it,
   Although I struggled hard
Of the other girls, whose favour'd names
   Were written on his card;
They were so rich, and I was poor;
   They were so grandly dress'd,
And I so dowdy; and yet, and yet,
   I thought he liked me best.

The last long hour he danced with them,
   And oh I miss'd him so!
And then I heard our carriage call'd,
   And I knew that I must go.
A big lump rose up in my throat
   That I could hardly bear;
But, passing through the vestibule,
   I saw him standing there.

I knew not where he came from,
   But I felt no surprise
When he look'd down from his stately height
   With his grave and quiet eyes,
And held his hand for a mute good-night
   That said all words could say;
Ah, love! he made me happy then
   For ever and for aye.

Well, well,but this is nonsense;
   How I am running on!
His golden hair grew thin and grey,
   And now he's dead and gone.
There, go and dress for dinner, child;
   It's getting late, you see;
Andperhaps I'll ask young Cameron
   If he'll come in to tea.

Ada Cambridge (Cross)'s other poems:
  1. The Future Verdict
  2. The Season
  3. Awake
  4. Honour
  5. The Magic Wand

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