Frederick Locker-Lampson

Rotton Row

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I hope I'm fond of much that's good,
As well as much that's gay;
I'd like the country if I could;
I love the Park in May:
And when I ride in Rotten Row,
I wonder why they call'd it so.
A lively scene on turf and road;
The crowd is bravely drest:
The Ladies' Mile has overflow'd,
The chairs are in request:
The nimble air, so soft, so clear,
Can hardly stir a ringlet here.

I'll halt beneath those pleasant trees, --
And drop my bridle-rein,
And, quite alone, indulge at ease
The philosophic vein:
I'll moralise on all I see --
Yes, it was all arranged for me!

Forsooth, and on a livelier spot
The sunbeam never shines.
Fair ladies here can talk and trot
With statesmen and divines:
Could I have chosen, I'd have been
A Duke, a Beauty, or a Dean.

What grooms! What gallant gentlemen!
What well-appointed hacks!
What glory in their pace, and then
What Beauty on their backs!
My Pegasus would never flag
If weighted as my Lady's nag.

But where is now the courtly troop
That once rode laughing by?
I miss the curls of Cantelupe,
The laugh of Lady Di:
They all could laugh from night to morn,
And Time has laugh'd them all to scorn.

I then could frolic in the van
With dukes and dandy earls;
Then I was thought a nice young man
By rather nice young girls!
I've half a mind to join Miss Browne,
And try one canter up and down.

Ah, no -- I'll linger here awhile,
And dream of days of yore;
For me bright eyes have lost the smile,
The sunny smile they wore: --
Perhaps they say, what I'll allow,
That I'm not quite so handsome now.

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Frederick Locker-Lampson