Charles Stuart Calverley

(22 December 1831 – 17 February 1884 / Martley, Worchestershire)

Ode--'On A Distant Prospect' Of Making A Fortune


Now the 'rosy morn appearing'
Floods with light the dazzled heaven;
And the schoolboy groans on hearing
That eternal clock strike seven:-
Now the waggoner is driving
Towards the fields his clattering wain;
Now the bluebottle, reviving,
Buzzes down his native pane.

But to me the morn is hateful:
Wearily I stretch my legs,
Dress, and settle to my plateful
Of (perhaps inferior) eggs.
Yesterday Miss Crump, by message,
Mentioned 'rent,' which 'p'raps I'd pay;'
And I have a dismal presage
That she'll call, herself, to-day.

Once, I breakfasted off rosewood,
Smoked through silver-mounted pipes -
Then how my patrician nose would
Turn up at the thought of 'swipes!'
Ale,--occasionally claret, -
Graced my luncheon then:- and now
I drink porter in a garret,
To be paid for heaven knows how.

When the evening shades are deepened,
And I doff my hat and gloves,
No sweet bird is there to 'cheep and
Twitter twenty million loves:'
No dark-ringleted canaries
Sing to me of 'hungry foam;'
No imaginary 'Marys'
Call fictitious 'cattle home.'

Araminta, sweetest, fairest!
Solace once of every ill!
How I wonder if thou bearest
Mivins in remembrance still!
If that Friday night is banished
Yet from that retentive mind,
When the others somehow vanished,
And we two were left behind:-

When in accents low, yet thrilling,
I did all my love declare;
Mentioned that I'd not a shilling -
Hinted that we need not care:
And complacently you listened
To my somewhat long address -
(Listening, at the same time, isn't
Quite the same as saying Yes).

Once, a happy child, I carolled
O'er green lawns the whole day through,
Not unpleasingly apparelled
In a tightish suit of blue:-
What a change has now passed o'er me!
Now with what dismay I see
Every rising morn before me!
Goodness gracious, patience me!

And I'll prowl, a moodier Lara,
Through the world, as prowls the bat,
And habitually wear a
Cypress wreath around my hat:
And when Death snuffs out the taper
Of my Life, (as soon he must),
I'll send up to every paper,
'Died, T. Mivins; of disgust.'

Submitted: Tuesday, April 13, 2010

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