The Modest Couple

When man and maiden meet, I like to see a drooping eye,
I always droop my own - I am the shyest of the shy.
I'm also fond of bashfulness, and sitting down on thorns,
For modesty's a quality that womankind adorns.

Whenever I am introduced to any pretty maid,
My knees they knock together, just as if I were afraid;
I flutter, and I stammer, and I turn a pleasing red,
For to laugh, and flirt, and ogle I consider most ill-bred.

But still in all these matters, as in other things below,


The M'Camley Mixture

Jack M'Camley,
Lank and long,
Ox-persuader,
Billabong.
Bluff and hearty
Sort o' party,
Got the "blanky" habit strong!

Says the parson,
Bright old bird,
"Why'd you use that
Horrid word? -
(Jack looked grinful) -
Not say sinful,
But most vulgar and absurd!"

"It's the blanky
Church, betwixt
You and me, that
Got me fixed!"
Says M'Camley,
"In our fam'ly


The Martinet

Some time ago, in simple verse
I sang the story true
Of CAPTAIN REECE, the MANTELPIECE,
And all her happy crew.

I showed how any captain may
Attach his men to him,
If he but heeds their smallest needs,
And studies every whim.

Now mark how, by Draconic rule
And HAUTEUR ill-advised,
The noblest crew upon the Blue
May be demoralized.

When his ungrateful country placed
Kind REECE upon half-pay,
Without much claim SIR BERKELY came,
And took command one day.


The Marriage of Sir Gawaine

King Arthur lives in merry Carleile,
And seemely is to see;
And there with him queene Guenever,
That bride soe bright of blee.

And there with him queene Guenever,
That bride so bright in bowre:
And all his barons about him stoode,
That were both stiffe and stowre.

The king a royale Christmasse kept,
With mirth and princelye cheare;
To him repaired many a knighte,
That came both farre and neare.

And when they were to dinner sette,
And cups went freely round;


The Magic Net

Do I see a contest yonder?
See I miracles or pastimes?
Beauteous urchins, five in number,
'Gainst five sisters fair contending,--
Measured is the time they're beating--
At a bright enchantress' bidding.
Glitt'ring spears by some are wielded,
Threads are others nimbly twining,

So that in their snares, the weapons
One would think, must needs be captured,
Soon, in truth, the spears are prison'd;
Yet they, in the gentle war-dance,
One by one escape their fetters
In the row of loops so tender,


The Magic Cup

THE worst of ills, with jealousy compared,
Are trifling torments ev'ry where declared.

IMAGINE, to yourself a silly fool,
To dark suspicion grown an easy tool;
No soft repose he finds, by night or day;
But rings his ear, he's wretched ev'ry way!
Continually he dreams his forehead sprouts;
The truth of reveries he never doubts.
But this I would not fully guaranty,
For he who dreams, 'tis said, asleep should be;
And those who've caught, from time to time, a peep,
Pretend to say--the jealous never sleep.


The Mad Yak

I am watching them churn the last milk they'll ever get from me.
They are waiting for me to die;
They want to make buttons out of my bones.
Where are my sisters and brothers?
That tall monk there, loading my uncle, he has a new cap.
And that idiot student of his--
I never saw that muffler before.
Poor uncle, he lets them load him.
How sad he is, how tired!
I wonder what they'll do with his bones?
And that beautiful tail!
How many shoelaces will they make of that!


The Mad Gardener's Song

He thought he saw an Elephant,
That practised on a fife:
He looked again, and found it was
A letter from his wife.
'At length I realise,' he said,
The bitterness of Life!'

He thought he saw a Buffalo
Upon the chimney-piece:
He looked again, and found it was
His Sister's Husband's Niece.
'Unless you leave this house,' he said,
'I'll send for the Police!'

He thought he saw a Rattlesnake
That questioned him in Greek:
He looked again, and found it was
The Middle of Next Week.


the lost women

i need to know their names
those women i would have walked with
jauntily the way men go in groups
swinging their arms, and the ones
those sweating women whom i would have joined
after a hard game to chew the fat
what would we have called each other laughing
joking into our beer? where are my gangs,
my teams, my mislaid sisters?
all the women who could have known me,
where in the world are their names?


The Lost Pleiad

NOT in the sky,
Where it was seen
So long in eminence of light serene,—
Nor on the white tops of the glistering wave,
Nor down in mansions of the hidden deep,
Though beautiful in green
And crystal, its great caves of mystery,—
Shall the bright watcher have
Her place, and, as of old, high station keep!

Gone! gone!
Oh! nevermore, to cheer
The mariner, who holds his course alone
On the Atlantic, through the weary night,
When the stars turn to watchers, and do sleep,


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