Atalanta In Camden -Town Poem by Lewis Carroll

Atalanta In Camden -Town

Rating: 3.1

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.

Atalanta In Camden -Town
Ian Fraser 26 February 2009

This is a very unusual Lewis Carroll poem in that the element of fantasy appears to be almost completely absent. It's very tempting to speculate in fact whether the 'I' in the poem could be Dodgson himself. If it is then it is extremely interesting to note that he appears to be as equally able to satirize himself as he was the rest of his contemporaries.

4 0 Reply
Laura Burns 16 September 2014

A take-off on Swinburne's Atalanta in Calydon.

3 0 Reply
Bernard F. Asuncion 21 June 2018

Such a great write by Lewis Carroll👍👍👍

1 0 Reply
Sourav Roy 21 June 2018

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... amazing dear poet.

1 0 Reply
Great Reader 21 June 2018

A great poem in story style, loved

1 0 Reply
Amy 26 March 2022


0 0 Reply
fehahoh209 fehahoh209 24 March 2022


0 0 Reply
Chinedu Dike 24 March 2022

An interesting story nicely crafted with conviction.

0 0 Reply
Haidee Majola 21 June 2018

A brilliant piece. Thanks for sharing.

0 0 Reply
Susan Williams 21 June 2018

Well, I got a good laugh out of it. I was interested in many of the questions raised by comments below but have nothing to add to their discussion but to say it is good to see some educated comments posted instead of the flood of ugliness and filth and fguyjo; k'ihuyyfv klkuih comments that have been posted lately and that PH is allowing to remain. Makes a mockery of this site for those of us who are serious about literature.

0 0 Reply
Error Success