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Curly gold locks cover foolish brains,
Billing and cooing is all your cheer; Sighing and singing of midnight strains, Under Bonnybell's window-panes,—
Wait till you come to Forty Year.
Forty times over let Michaelmas pass,
Grizzling hair the brain doth clear--
Then you know a boy is an ass,
Then you know the worth of a lass,
Once you have come to Forty Year.
Pledge me round, I bid ye declare,
All good fellows whose beards are gray,
Did not the fairest of the fair
Common grow and wearisome ere
Ever a month was pass'd away?
The reddest lips that ever have kiss'd,
The brightest eyes that ever have shone,
May pray and whisper, and we not list,
Or look away, and never be miss'd,
Ere yet ever a month is gone.
Gillian's dead, God rest her bier!
How I loved her twenty years syne!
Marian's married, but I sit here
Alone and merry at Forty Year,
Dipping my nose in the Gascon wine.
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY.
THE MANLY HEART.
SHALL I, wasting in despair,
Die because a woman's fair?
Or my cheeks make pale with care
'Cause another's rosy are?
Be she fairer than the day
Or the flowery meads in May
If she be not so to me,
What care I how fair she be?
Shall my foolish heart be pined
'Cause I see a woman kind;
Or a well-disposéd nature
Joinéd with a lovely feature?
Be she meeker, kinder, than
Turtle-dove or pelican,
If she be not so to me,
What care I how kind she be?
Shall a woman's virtues move
Me to perish for her love?
Or her merit's value known
Make me quite forget mine own?
Be she with that goodness blest
Which may gain her name of Best;
If she seem not such to me,
What care I how good she be?
'Cause her fortune seems too high, Shall I play the fool and die?
Those that bear a noble mind
When they want of riches find,
Think what with them they would do
Who without them dare to woo;
And unless that mind I see,
What care I though great she be?
Great or good, or kind or fair,
I will ne'er the more despair;
If she love me, this believe,
I will die ere she shall grieve;
If she slight me when I woo,
I can scorn and let her go;
For if she be not for me,
What care I for whom she be ?
COULD I HER FAULTS REMEMBER.
COULD I her faults remember,
Forgetting every charm,
Soon would impartial Reason
The tyrant Love disarm.
But when, enraged, I number
Each failing of her mind,
Love, still, suggests each beauty,
And sees, while Reason's blind.
RICHARD BRINSLEY SHEridan.
TAKE, OH TAKE THOSE LIPS AWAY.
TAKE, oh take those lips away
That so sweetly were forsworn,
And those eyes, the break of day,
Lights that do mislead the morn!
But my kisses bring again,
Seals of love, though seal'd in vain.
Hide, oh hide those hills of snow
Which thy frozen bosom bears,
On whose tops the pinks that grow
Are yet of those that April wears.
But first set my poor heart free,
Bound in those icy chains by thee.
TELL me where is Fancy bred,
Or in the heart, or in the head?
How begot, how nourished?
It is engender'd in the eyes,
With gazing fed; and Fancy dies
In the cradle where it lies:
Let us all ring Fancy's knell;
I'll begin it,-Ding, dong, bell,
-Ding, dong, bell.
SHE WALKS IN BEAUTY.
SHE walks in beauty like the night
Of cloudless climes and starry skies;
And all that's best of dark and bright
Meets in her aspect and her eyes;
Thus mellow'd to that tender light
Which heaven to gaudy day denies.
One shade the more, one ray the less,
Had half impair'd the nameless grace