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We studied hard in our styles,

Chipped each at a crust like Hindoos, For air, looked out on the tiles,

For fun, watched each other's windows.


You lounged, like a boy of the South,

Cap and blouse—nay, a bit of beard too; Or you got it, rubbing your mouth

With fingers the clay adhered to.


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 eye's 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,

Anel 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.



You're my friend :
I was the man the Duke spoke to ;
I helped the Duchess to cast off his yoke, too ;
So, here's the tale from beginning to end,
My friend!


Ours is a great wild country :
If you climb to our castle's top,
I don't see where your eye can stop ;
For when you've passed the corn-field country,
Where vineyards leave off, flocks are packed,
And sheep-range leads to cattle-tract,
And cattle-track to open-chase,
And open-chase to the very base
O’ the mountain where, at a funeral pace,
Round about, solemn and slow,
One by one, row after row,
Up and up the pine-trees go,
So, like black priests up, and so
Down the other side again
To another greater, wilder country,
That's one vast red drear burnt-up plain,
Branched through and through with many a vein
Whence iron 's dug, and copper 's dealt ;
Look right, look left, look straight before,
Beneath they mine, above they smelt,
Copper-ore and iron-ore,
And forge and furnace mould and melt,
And so on, more and ever more,
Till at the last, for a bounding belt,
Comes the salt sand hoar of the great sea-shore,
-And the whole is our Duke's country.


I was born the day this present Duke was-
(And O, says the song, ere I was old !)
In the castle where the other Duke was-
(When I was happy and young, not old !)
I in the kennel, he in the bower:
We are of like age to an hour.
My father was huntsman in that day;
Who has not heard my father

That, when a boar was brought to bay,
Three times, four times out of five,
With his huntspear he'd contrive
To get the killing-place transfixed,
And pin him true, both eyes betwixt ?
And that's why the old Duke would rather
He lost a salt-pit than my father,
And loved to have him ever in call;
That 's why my father stood in the hall
When the old Duke brought bis infant out
To show the people, and while they passed
The wondrous bantling round about,
Was first to start at the outside blast

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