Eheu Fugaces!

A poem by William Schwenck Gilbert

The air is charged with amatory numbers
Soft madrigals, and dreamy lovers' lays.
Peace, peace, old heart! Why waken from its slumbers
The aching memory of the old, old days?

Time was when Love and I were well acquainted.
Time was when we walked ever hand in hand;
A saintly youth, with worldly thought untainted,
None better-loved than I in all the land!
Time was, when maidens of the noblest station,
Forsaking even military men,
Would gaze upon me, rapt in adoration
Ah, me, I was a fair young curate then!

Had I a headache? sighed the maids assembled;
Had I a cold? welled forth the silent tear;
Did I look pale? then half a parish trembled;
And when I coughed all thought the end was near!
I, had no care no jealous doubts hung o'er me
For I was loved beyond all other men.
Fled gilded dukes and belted earls before me!
Ah, me! I was a pale young curate then!

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