Poets of John Company/The Chee-Chee Ball

WILLIAM HENRY ABBOTT.

1820–1869.

The Chee-Chee Ball.

The Chee-Chees held high festival in old Domingo's Hall,
And I was there, tho' I was not invited to the ball;
But they receiv'd me kindly, all owing, as I trust.
To my appearance proving me one of the "upper crust."

And merrily I pass'd the time, although 'twas somewhat slow—
I danced like mad each polka, with lots of heel and toe:
For Chee-Chees think that polkas are very like Scotch reels.
And that to dance them properly you must kick up your heels.

And there was one, a petite belle, a modest little girl.
Her hair was twisted down her cheeks in many a spiral curl;
Her teeth were polish'd ivory, her eyes were very bright.
And the little thing look'd blacker from being dress'd in white.

And ever as I saw this girl, I mark'd a little man
Whom lovingly she ogled behind her pretty fan:
They always danced together, or, as far as I could see.
When they couldn't dance together they stood up vis-a-vis.

Now while the supper disappear'd, I sought for fresher air,
My nose 'mid Kentish hop-grounds rear'd is not the nose to bear
The scent of oil of cocoanut with that of bad perfume.
And the odour of hot dishes in a densely crowded room.


And while I stroll'd alone outside I started at the sound
Of whispering voices near me—I turn'd and gazed around;
Yes, there they were, that happy pair, their steps they slowly traced.
Her arm was on his shoulder, and his was round her waist;

And, wandering by thus lovingly, their words fell on my ear,—
For he had slightly raised his voice, not thinking I was near,
And the very moon look'd clearer, and brighter shone each star,—
As the little man imploringly said—"Betsy, bolo hah!"

I turn'd and quickly left the spot, I did not like to stay,
To be, as I must else have been, in those two lovers' way;
(To spoil such sport has ever been from my intention far)
And as I walk'd away I heard her gently murmur "Hah."