Poetry Explorer

Classic and Contemporary Poetry

ARRIVALS AT A WATERING-PLACE, by                 Poet Analysis     Poet's Biography
First Line: I play a spade. - such strange new faces
Last Line: I'm not at home if people call.


"I play a spade. -- Such strange new faces
Are flocking in from near and far;
Such frights! -- (Miss Dobbs holds all the aces) --
One can't imagine who they are:
The lodgings at emormous prices, --
New donkeys, and another fly;
And Madame Bonbon out of ices,
Although we're scarcely in July:
We're quite as sociable as any,
But one old horse can scarcely crawl;
And really, where there are so many,
We can't tell where we ought to call.

"Pray who has seen the odd old fellow
Who took the Doctor's house last week? --
A pretty chariot, -- livery yellow,
Almost as yellow as his cheek;
A widower, sixty-five, and surly,
And stiffer than a poplar-tree;
Drinks rum and water, gets up early
To dip his carcass in the sea;
He's always in a monstrous hurry,
And always talking of Bengal;
They say his cook makes noble curry; --
I think, Louisa, we should call.

"And so Miss Jones, the mantua-maker,
Has let her cottage on the hill! --
The drollest man, -- a sugar-baker
Last year imported from the till;
Prates of his 'orses and his 'oney,
Is quite in love with fields and farms;
A horrid Vandal, -- but his money
Will buy a glorious coat of arms;
Old Clyster makes him take the waters;
Some say he means to give a ball;
And after all, with thirteen daughters,
I think, Sir Thomas, you might call.

"That poor young man! -- I'm sure and certain
Despair is making up his shroud;
He walks all night beneath the curtain
Of the dim sky and murky cloud;
Draws landscapes, -- throws such mournful glances;
Writes verses, -- has such splendid eyes;
An ugly name, -- but Laura fancies
He's some great person in disguise! --
And since his dress is all the fashion,
And since he's very dark and tall,
I think that out of pure compassion,
I'll get Papa to go and call.

"So Lord St. Ives is occupying
The whole of Mr. Ford's hotel!
Last Saturday his man was trying
A little nag I want to sell.
He brought a lady in the carriage;
Blue eyes, -- eighteen, or thereabouts; --
Of course, you know, we hope it's marriage,
But yet the femme de chambre doubts.
She looked so pensive when we met her,
Poor thing! -- and such a charming shawl! --
Well! till we understand it better,
It's quite impossible to call!

"Old Mr. Fund, the London Banker,
Arrived to-day at Premium Court;
I would not, for the world, cast anchor
In such a horrid dangerous port;
Such dust and rubbish, lath and plaster, --
(Contractors play the meanest tricks) --
The roof's as crazy as its master,
And he was born in fifty-six;
Stairs creaking -- cracks in every landing, --
The colonnade is sure to all;
We shan't find post or pillar standing,
Unless we make great haste to call.

"Who was that sweetest of sweet creatures
Last Sunday in the Rector's seat?
The finest shape, -- the loveliest features, --
I never saw such tiny feet!
My brother, -- (this is quite between us)
Poor Arthur, -- 'twas a sad affair;
Love at first sight! -- she's quite a Venus,
But then she's poorer far than fair;
And so my father and my mother
Agreed it would not do at all;
And so, -- I'm sorry for my brother! --
It's settled that we're not to call.

"And there's an author, full of knowledge;
And there's a captain on half-pay;
And there's a baronet from college,
Who keeps a boy and rides a bay;
And sweet Sir Marcus from the Shannon,
Fine specimen of brogue and bone;
And Doctor Calipee, the cannon,
Who weighs, I fancy, twenty stone:
A maiden lady is adorning
The faded front of Lily Hall: --
Upon my word, the first fine morning,
We'll make a round, my dear, and call.'

Alas! disturb not, maid and matron,
The swallow in my humble thatch;
Your son may find a better patron,
Your niece may meet a richer match:
I can't afford to give a dinner,
I never was on Almack's list;
And, since I seldom rise a winner,
I never like to play at whist:
Unknown to me the stocks are falling,
Unwatched by me the glass may fall:
Let all the world pursue its calling, --
I'm not at home if people call.






Discover our Poem Explanations and Poet Analyses!


Other Poems of Interest...



Home: PoetryExplorer.net