Once a Week (magazine)/Series 1/Volume 8/One way of looking at it

ONE WAY OF LOOKING AT IT.

I thought you always knew it well
(Although indeed you never said so)—
I thought you knew I dared not tell,
And that was why you toss’d your head so:

For I have often heard you say
You hate to see a fellow sighing,
To hear him stammer all the day,
And hint mysteriously at dying.

And if I have adored you so,
I thought you knew I couldn’t help it;
I could no more escape my woe
Than Joseph could his empty well-pit.

It wasn’t fair of you at all:
You moved so light and play’d so neatly,
And set your foot upon the ball,
And croquet’d me, I know, completely!

Why did you let me look such things,
And whisper o’er our melting ices,
If converse with you only brings
This most objectionable crisis?

I wish I had not loved, for then
Perhaps you would not be offended,
Nor fling me back my heart again,
Nor tell me thus that all is ended!

Oh yes! Sir John’s a charming catch—
His stud, his balance at his banker’s,
Unlike himself, are hard to match;
And I have but one horse at Spanker’s!

He will not house you in some den,
Served by a footman single-handed—
He has such store of maids and men
As your position, love, demanded:

And so, I quite approve your choice;
I won’t regret my wasted wooing;
I’ll think your sweet soprano voice
Has warn’d me from my own undoing:

And yet I know, that when too late—
Just as the spectre came to Priam—
You’ll learn to rue your splendid fate,
And wish yourself as free as I am.

Arthur J. Munby.