Verse > Anthologies > T. H. Ward, ed. > The English Poets > Vol. IV. Wordsworth to Rossetti
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
Thomas Humphry Ward, ed.  The English Poets.  1880–1918.
Vol. IV. The Nineteenth Century: Wordsworth to Rossetti
 
A Letter of Advice
By Winthrop Mackworth Praed (1802–1839)
 
From Miss Medora Trevilian, at Padua, to Miss Araminta Vavasour, in London

YOU tell me you ’re promised a lover,
  My own Araminta, next week;
Why cannot my fancy discover
  The hue of his coat and his cheek?
Alas! if he look like another,        5
  A vicar, a banker, a beau,
Be deaf to your father and mother,
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’
 
Miss Lane, at her Temple of Fashion,
  Taught us both how to sing and to speak,        10
And we loved one another with passion,
  Before we had been there a week:
You gave me a ring for a token;
  I wear it wherever I go;
I gave you a chain,—is it broken?        15
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’
 
O think of our favourite cottage,
  And think of our dear Lalla Rookh!
How we shared with the milkmaids their pottage,
  And drank of the stream from the brook;        20
How fondly our loving lips faltered,
  ‘What further can grandeur bestow?’
My heart is the same;—is yours altered?
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’
 
Remember the thrilling romances        25
  We read on the bank in the glen;
Remember the suitors our fancies
  Would picture for both of us then.
They wore the red cross on their shoulder,
  They had vanquished and pardoned their foe—        30
Sweet friend, are you wiser or colder?
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’
 
You know, when Lord Rigmarole’s carriage,
  Drove off with your Cousin Justine,
You wept, dearest girl, at the marriage,        35
  And whispered ‘How base she has been!’
You said you were sure it would kill you,
  If ever your husband looked so;
And you will not apostatize,—will you?
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’        40
 
When I heard I was going abroad, love,
  I thought I was going to die;
We walked arm in arm to the road, love,
  We looked arm in arm to the sky;
And I said ‘When a foreign postilion        45
  Has hurried me off to the Po,
Forget not Medora Trevilian:
  My own Araminta, say “No”!’
 
We parted! but sympathy’s fetters
  Reach far over valley and hill;        50
I muse o’er your exquisite letters,
  And feel that your heart is mine still;
And he who would share it with me, love,—
  The richest of treasures below,—
If he ’s not what Orlando should be, love,        55
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’
 
If he wears a top-boot in his wooing,
  If he comes to you riding a cob,
If he talks of his baking or brewing,
  If he puts up his feet on the hob,        60
If he ever drinks port after dinner,
  If his brow or his breeding is low,
If he calls himself ‘Thompson’ or ‘Skinner,’
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’
 
If he studies the news in the papers        65
  While you are preparing the tea,
If he talks of the damps or the vapours
  While moonlight lies soft on the sea,
If he ’s sleepy while you are capricious,
  If he has not a musical ‘Oh!’        70
If he does not call Werther delicious,—
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’
 
If he ever sets foot in the City
  Among the stockbrokers and Jews,
If he has not a heart full of pity,        75
  If he don’t stand six feet in his shoes,
If his lips are not redder than roses,
  If his hands are not whiter than snow,
If he has not the model of noses,—
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’        80
 
If he speaks of a tax or a duty,
  If he does not look grand on his knees,
If he ’s blind to a landscape of beauty,
  Hills, valleys, rocks, waters, and trees,
If he dotes not on desolate towers,        85
  If he likes not to hear the blast blow,
If he knows not the language of flowers,—
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’
 
He must walk—like a god of old story
  Come down from the home of his rest;        90
He must smile—like the sun in his glory
  On the buds he loves ever the best;
And oh! from its ivory portal
  Like music his soft speech must flow!—
If he speak, smile, or walk like a mortal,        95
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’
 
Don’t listen to tales of his bounty,
  Don’t hear what they say of his birth,
Don’t look at his seat in the county,
  Don’t calculate what he is worth;        100
But give him a theme to write verse on,
  And see if he turns out his toe;
If he ’s only an excellent person,—
  My own Araminta, say ‘No!’
 
 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
  PREVIOUSNEXT  
 
Loading
Click here to shop the Bartleby Bookstore.

Shakespeare · Bible · Strunk · Anatomy · Nonfiction · Quotations · Reference · Fiction · Poetry
© 1993–2014 Bartleby.com · [Top 150] · Subjects · Titles · Authors