Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 3/Won!
A start—a pause—a flutter and a sigh,
A voice that trembles in the common greeting;
The hurried clasp of an unready hand,
That once was frankly offered at your meeting.
I saw you, little Annie-yes, I know,
He’s Charlie’s friend, just landed from Bengal,
He’s very fond of Charlie, ah! and so
He stay’d till last at Charlie’s sister’s ball.
You danced eight times together-am I right
“He’s such a perfect waltzer”—nothing more?
You met a week ago this very night,
And I have—known you all your lifetime o’er!
Forgive me that I played the list’ner, dear,
And heard him win your love, amongst your flowers;
You had forgotten I was prisoned here,
A poor lone cripple all these festive hours.
He’s very winsome, honest-eyed, and tall,
The cross for valour’s roll contains his story.
On my pain-stricken brow no wreath will fall,
I reap in Life’s grim battle all but glory.
Dearie, don’t kneel, and hide those kind grey eyes
I am not grieving, look me in the face.
Why, who am I, that I should claim the prize,
Who never could have started in the race?
He’s waiting for you, Annie—leave me now
Alone with what must he a happy past.
A brother’s kiss I claim upon your brow,
God bless you, Annie, ’tis my first—and last.