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And I—soon managed to find
Weak points in the flower-fence facing, Was forced to put up a blind
And be safe in my corset-lacing.
No harm! It was not my fault
If you never turned your eyes' tail up, As I shook upon E in alt.,
Or ran the chromatic scale up:
For spring bade the sparrows pair,
And the boys and girls gave guesses, And stalls in our street looked rare
With bulrush and watercresses.
Why did not you pinch a flower
In a pellet of clay and fling it ? Why did not I put a power
Of thanks in a look, or sing it ?
I did look, sharp as a lynx,
(And yet the memory rankles) When models arrived, some minx
Tripped up-stairs, she and her ankles.
But I think I gave you as good!
“ That foreign fellow,—who can know How she pays, in a playful mood,
For his tuning her that piano ?”
Could you say so, and never say
“Suppose we join hands and fortunes, And I fetch her from over the way,
Her, piano, and long tunes and short tunes ?”
No, no: you would not be rash,
Nor I rasher and something over : You ’ve to settle yet Gibson's hash,
And Grisi yet lives in clover.
But you meet the Prince at the Board,
I’m queen myself at bals-paré, I've married a rich old lord,
And you ’re dubbed knight and an R. A.
Each life 's unfulfilled, you see ;
It hangs still, patchy and scrappy: We have not sighed deep, laughed free,
Starved, feasted, despaired,—been happy.
And nobody calls you a dunce,
And people suppose me clever : This could but have happened once,
And we missed it, lost it for ever.