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Poem by Charles Stuart Calverley
'She was a phantom,' &c. In lone Glenartney's thickets lies couched the lordly stag, The dreaming terrier's tail forgets its customary wag; And plodding ploughmen's weary steps insensibly grow quicker, As broadening casements light them on towards home, or home-brewed liquor. It is (in fact) the evening--that pure and pleasant time, When stars break into splendour, and poets into rhyme; When in the glass of Memory the forms of loved ones shine - And when, of course, Miss Goodchild's is prominent in mine. Miss Goodchild!--Julia Goodchild!--how graciously you smiled Upon my childish passion once, yourself a fair-haired child: When I was (no doubt) profiting by Dr. Crabb's instruction, And sent those streaky lollipops home for your fairy suction! 'She wore' her natural 'roses, the night when first we met' - Her golden hair was gleaming 'neath the coercive net: 'Her brow was like the snawdrift,' her step was like Queen Mab's, And gone was instantly the heart of every boy at Crabb's. The parlour-boarder chasseed tow'rds her on graceful limb; The onyx decked his bosom--but her smiles were not for him: With ME she danced--till drowsily her eyes 'began to blink,' And _I_ brought raisin wine, and said, 'Drink, pretty creature, drink!' And evermore, when winter comes in his garb of snows, And the returning schoolboy is told how fast he grows; Shall I--with that soft hand in mine--enact ideal Lancers, And dream I hear demure remarks, and make impassioned answers:- I know that never, never may her love for me return - At night I muse upon the fact with undisguised concern - But ever shall I bless that day: (I don't bless, as a rule, The days I spent at 'Dr. Crabb's Preparatory School.') And yet--we two MAY meet again--(Be still, my throbbing heart!) - Now rolling years have weaned us from jam and raspberry tart:- One night I saw a vision--'Twas when musk-roses bloom I stood--WE stood--upon a rug, in a sumptuous dining-room: One hand clasped hers--one easily reposed upon my hip - And 'BLESS YE!' burst abruptly from Mr. Goodchild's lip: I raised my brimming eye, and saw in hers an answering gleam - My heart beat wildly--and I woke, and lo! it was a dream.
Charles Stuart Calverley
Charles Stuart Calverley's other poems:
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