Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 9/"Tempora mutantur"

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Once a Week, Series 1, Volume IX (1863)
"Tempora mutantur"
by A. M. Beamish
2718452Once a Week, Series 1, Volume IX — "Tempora mutantur"
1863A. M. Beamish


First waltz? let me see; with much pleasure!”
She handed her fan to her aunt;
How we whirl’d to the deux-temps’ swift measure,
I fain would describe; but I can’t.

An oarsman would say that we “spurted;”
A sportsman, we “went like a bird;”
I shall merely remark that we flirted
In a manner extremely absurd.

And when all my twirling was over,
And I and my pipe were alone,
My heart, I began to discover,
Had ceased to be wholly my own.

As Paddy would say, “More by token,”
Our hearts must be made of tough clay,
For mine’s been a hundred times broken,
And here it is beating to-day!

And now I sit here in my attic,
Alone, with a cold in my head,
And think, although somewhat rheumatic,
Of dancing in days that are dead.

A waltz, and but one! ’twas but little
To live in my mem’ry so long;
But, at twenty, one’s heart is as brittle
As one’s love of sensation is strong.

I pick’d up a flow’ret which, drooping,
Had fall’n from the wreath it had graced;
At present, just fancy me stooping—
I’m over four feet round the waist!

The programme which held her sweet surname,
I gazed on with tenderest looks;
Just now, I am certain that her name
Would move me far less than my cook’s.

It comes to us all, that sad season,
When a man has his waistcoats made wide,
And his wife ceases strumming the keys on,
And carries her keys by her side;

When we will go to sleep after dinner,
And perhaps at odd times in the day;
When the hair on our head’s getting thinner,
And our beard and our whiskers get grey;

When we can’t hold our horse with a snaffle;
When our waltzing’s no longer our forte;
These sad recollections I’ll baffle
With a bumper of crusted old Port.

M. B.