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 “Lucky boy!

            ’Tis for you that she whimpers!”

         And I noted with joy

            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.

         Then I whispered “I see

            The sweet secret thou keepest.

         And the yearning for ME

            That thou wistfully weepest!

And the question is ‘License or Banns?’,

      though undoubtedly Banns are the cheapest.”

         “Be my Hero,” said I,

            “And let me be Leander!”

         But I lost her reply—

            Something ending with “gander”—

For the omnibus rattled so loud that no

      mortal could quite understand her.

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