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Poem by Walter Savage Landor

* * *

      Yes; I write verses now and then,
      But blunt and flaccid is my pen,
      No longer talkt of by young men
                            As rather clever:

      In the last quarter are my eyes,
      You see it by their form and size;
      Is it not time then to be wise?
                            Or now or never.

      Fairest that ever sprang from Eve!
      While Time allows the short reprieve,
      Just look at me! would you believe
                            'Twas once a lover?

      I cannot clear the five-bar gate,
      But, trying first its timber's state,
      Climb stiffly up, take breath, and wait
                            To trundle over.

      Thro' gallopade I cannot swing
      The entangling blooms of Beauty's spring:
      I cannot say the tender thing,
                            Be 't true or false,

      And am beginning to opine
      Those girls are only half-divine
      Whose waists yon wicked boys entwine
                            In giddy waltz.

      I fear that arm above that shoulder,
      I wish them wiser, graver, older,
      Sedater, and no harm if colder
                            And panting less.

      Ah! people were not half so wild
      In former days, when, starchly mild,
      Upon her high-heel'd Essex smiled
                            The brave Queen Bess.

Walter Savage Landor

Walter Savage Landor's other poems:
  1. Ianthe! You Are Call'd to Cross the Sea!
  2. Twenty Years Hence My Eyes May Grow
  3. Once, and Once Only, Have I Seen Thy Face
  4. The Gates of Fame and of the Grave
  5. Ternissa! You Are Fled!

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