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Poem by Frederick Locker-Lampson
The Pilgrims of Pall Mall
My little Friend, so small and neat, Whom years ago I used to meet In Pall Mall daily; How cheerily you tripp’d away To work, it might have been to play, You tripp’d so gaily. And Time trips too.—This moral means, You then were midway in the teens That I was crowning: We never spoke, but when I smil’d At morn or eve, I know, dear child, You were not frowning. Each morning when we met, I think, Some sentiment did us two link— Nor joy, nor sorrow: And then at eve, experience-taught, Our hearts fell back upon the thought,— We meet to-morrow! And you were poor; and how? and why? How kind to come! it was for my Especial grace meant! Had you a parlour next the stars, A bird, some treasur’d plants in jars, About your casement? You must have dwelt au cinquième, Like little darling What’s-her-name,— Eugène Sue’s glory: Perchance, unwittingly, I’ve heard Your thrilling-toned Canary-bird From that fifth storey. I’ve seen some changes since we met; A patient little seamstress yet, With small means striving, Have you a Lilliputian spouse? And do you dwell in some doll’s house? —Is baby thriving? Can bloom like thine—my heart grows chill— Have sought that bourne unwelcome still To bosom smarting? The most forlorn—what worms we are!— Would wish to finish this cigar Before departing. I sometimes to Pall Mall repair, And see the damsels passing there; But though I try to Obtain one glance, they look discreet, As though they’d someone else to meet,— As have not I too? Yet still I often muse upon Our many meetings—come and gone! July—December! Now let us make a tryste, and when, Dear little soul, we meet again, In some serener sphere, why then— Thy Friend remember!
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