The hours creep on apace, My guilty heart is quaking! Oh, that I might retrace The step that I am taking! Its folly it were easy to be showing, What I am giving up and whither going. On the one hand, papa's luxurious home, Hung with ancestral armour and old brasses, Carved oak and tapestry from distant Rome, Rare "blue and white" Venetian finger-glasses, Rich oriental rugs, luxurious sofa pillows, And everything that isn't old, from Gillow's. And on the other, a dark and dingy room, In some back street with stuffy children crying, Where organs yell, and clacking housewives fume, And clothes are hanging out all day a-drying. With one cracked looking-glass to see your face in, And dinner served up in a pudding basin!
A simple sailor, lowly born, Unlettered and unknown, Who toils for bread from early morn Till half the night has flown! No golden rank can he impart-- No wealth of house or land-- No fortune save his trusty heart And honest brown right hand! And yet he is so wondrous fair That love for one so passing rare, So peerless in his manly beauty, Were little else than solemn duty! Oh, god of love, and god of reason, say, Which of you twain shall my poor heart obey!