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Our Laura's Turk still kept his eyes upon her,
Less in the Mussulman than Christian
Which seems to say, “ Madam, I do you honour,
“And while I please to stare, you'll please to stay;" Could staring win a woman, this had won her,
But Laura could not thus be led astray,
The morning now was on the point of breaking,
A turn of time at which I would advise
Ladies who have been dancing, or partaking
In any other kind of exercise,
The ball-room ere the sun begins to rise,
I've seen some balls and revels in my time,
And staid them over for some silly reason, And then I looked, (I hope it was no crime,)
To see what lady best stood out the season ; And though I've seen some thousands in their prime,
Lovely and pleasing, and who still may please on, I never saw but one, (the stars withdrawn,) Whose bloom could after dancing dare the dawn.
The name of this Aurora I'll not mention,
Although I might, for she was nought to me More than that patent work of God's invention,
A charming woman, whom we like to see; But writing names would merit reprehension, Yet if
like to find out this fair she, At the next London or Parisian ball You still may mark her cheek, out-blooming all.
Laura, who knew it would not do at all
To meet the daylight after seven hours sitting Among three thousand people at a ball,
To make her curtsey thought it right and fitting ; The count was at her elbow with her shawl,
And they the room were on the point of quitting, When lo! those cursed gondoliers had got Just in the very place where they should not.
In this they're like our coachmen, and the cause
Is much the same—the crowd, and pulling, hauling, With blasphemies enough to break their jaws,
They make a never intermitted bawling.
And here a sentry stands within your calling;
The Count and Laura found their boat at last,
And homeward floated o'er the silent tide,
Discussing all the dances gone and past ;
The dancers and their dresses, too, beside ; Some little scandals eke: but all aghast
(As to their palace stairs the rowers glide,) Sate Laura by the side of her Adorer, When lo! the Mussulman was there before her.
“ Sir," said the Count, with brow exceeding grave,
“ Your unexpected presence here will make “ It necessary for myself to crave
“Its import? But perhaps ’tis a mistake; “I hope it is so; and at once to wave
“ All compliment, I hope so for your sake; “ You understand my meaning, or you shall.” “ Sir," (quoth the Turk) “ 'tis no mistake at all.
“ That lady is my wife!" Much wonder paints
The lady's changing cheek, as well it might; But where an Englishwoman sometimes faints,
Italian females don't do so outright; They only call a little on their saints,
And then come to themselves, almost or quite ; Which saves much hartshorn, salts, and sprinkling faces, And cutting stays, as usual in such cases.
She said, -what could she say? Why not a word:
But the Count courteously invited in
“ Such things perhaps, we'd best discuss within,” Said he,“ don't let us make ourselves absurd
“ In public, by a scene, nor raise a din, For then the chief and only satisfaction “ Will be much quizzing on the whole transaction.”