Phantasmagoria and Other Poems/Atalanta in Camden-Town

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ATALANTA IN CAMDEN-TOWN.

 

 Ay, 'twas here, on this spot,
 In that summer of yore,
 Atalanta did not
 Vote my presence a bore,
Nor reply, to my tenderest talk, she had 'heard all
 that nonsense before.'

 She'd the brooch I had bought
 And the necklace and sash on,
 And her heart, as I thought,
 Was alive to my passion;
And she'd done up her hair in the style that the
 Empress had brought into fashion.


 I had been to the play
 With my pearl of a Peri—
 But, for all I could say,
 She declared she was weary,
That 'the place was so crowded and hot', and she
 'couldn't abide that Dundreary.'

 Then I thought "'Tis for me
 That she whines and she whimpers!"
 And it soothed me to see
 Those sensational simpers,
And I said "This is scrumptious!"—a phrase I had
 learned from the Devonshire shrimpers.

 And I vowed "'Twill be said
 I'm a fortunate fellow,
 When the breakfast is spread,
 When the topers are mellow,
When the foam of the bride-cake is white, and the
 fierce orange-blossoms are yellow."


 O that languishing yawn!
 O those eloquent eyes!
 I was drunk with the dawn
 Of a splendid surmise—
I was stung by a look, I was slain by a tear, by a
 tempest of sighs.

 And I whispered "I guess
 The sweet secret thou keepest,
 And the dainty distress
 That thou wistfully weepest;
And the question is 'License or banns?' though
 undoubtedly banns are the cheapest."

 Then her white hand I clasped,
 And with kisses I crowned it:
 But she glared and she gasped,
 And she muttered "Confound it!"—
Or at least it was something like that, but the noise
 of the omnibus drowned it.