by Ada Cambridge
Come, go and practise-get your work-
Do something, Nelly, pray.
I hate to see you moon about
In this uncertain way!
Why do you look so vacant, child?
I fear you must be ill.
Surely you are not thinking of
That Captain Cameron still?
Ah, yes-I fear'd so! You may blush;
I blush for you, my dear;
And it is scarce a week ago
Since Gerald brought him here-
The day he fell in the hunting-field,
And his pretty horse was lamed.
O child-and with your bringing up!
You ought to be ashamed.
Last night I saw you watching him,
And you danced with him thrice;
You turn'd quite red when he spoke to you-
Such manners are not nice.
You, Nelly Gray, should not be seen
(I don't wish to be harsh)
Running wild, like the servant-girls,
For a red coat and moustache.
Not that he isn't a gentleman
From spur to shako-brim-
I know good blood when I see it-yes,
I will say that for him.
He does not swagger, nor lisp, nor flirt-
Has none of those vulgar ways;
And he does not talk like a stable-boy,
As the fashion is nowadays.
In fact, I admire him very much-
My dear, you need not fret-
I do; he's very different from
The rest of Gerald's set.
He's very handsome, certainly-
I don't mind saying so.
He reminds me a bit of your uncle, when
I met him long ago.
He had a silky, long moustache
Of just that golden shade;
And broad Greek brows, with a tint of bronze,
That Indian suns had made.
He was a soldier, too, you know-
As big and strong and tall:
He'd just come home when I saw him first
At Lady Talbot's ball.
I remember when we were introduced;
By stealth I look'd him o'er-
Such haughty, indolent, gentle eyes,
I never saw before!
I felt so strange when he look'd at me;
I cannot tell you why-
But I seem'd to feel he was mine, to keep
And love, till I should die.
'Twas very odd-in a moment, too,
Before I knew his name!
But, Nelly-O how the world was changed
And brighten'd, when he came!
I was so restless all that night;-
I did not want to see,
I felt where he moved about the room
While he was away from me.
I was jealous-I could not help it,
Although I struggled hard-
Of the other girls, whose favour'd names
Were written on his card;
They were so rich, and I was poor;
They were so grandly dress'd,
And I so dowdy; and yet, and yet,
I thought he liked me best.
The last long hour he danced with them,
And oh I miss'd him so!
And then I heard our carriage call'd,
And I knew that I must go.
A big lump rose up in my throat
That I could hardly bear;
But, passing through the vestibule,
I saw him standing there.
I knew not where he came from,
But I felt no surprise
When he look'd down from his stately height
With his grave and quiet eyes,
And held his hand for a mute good-night
That said all words could say;-
Ah, love! he made me happy then
For ever and for aye.
Well, well,-but this is nonsense;
How I am running on!-
His golden hair grew thin and grey,
And now he's dead and gone.
There, go and dress for dinner, child;
It's getting late, you see;
And-perhaps I'll ask young Cameron
If he'll come in to tea.
Last updated January 14, 2019