Winthrop Mackworth Praed
The Talented Man
Dear Alice! you'll laugh when you know it, --
Last week, at the Duchess's ball,
I danced with the clever new poet, --
You've heard of him, -- Tully St. Paul.
Miss Jonquil was perfectly frantic;
I wish you had seen Lady Anne!
It really was very romantic,
He is such a talanted man!
He came up from Brazenose College,
Just caught, as they call it, this spring;
And his head, love, is stuffed full of knowledge
Of every conceivable thing.
Of science and logic he chatters,
As fine and as fast as he can;
Though I am no judge of such matters,
I'm sure he's a talented man.
His stories and jests are delightful; --
Not stories or jests, dear, for you;
The jests are exceedingly spiteful,
The stories not always quite true.
Perhaps to be kind and veracious
May do pretty well at Lausanne;
But it never would answer, -- good gracious!
Chez nous -- in a talented man.
He sneers, -- how my Alice would scold him! --
At the bliss of a sigh or a tear;
He laughed -- only think! -- when I told him
How we cried o'er Trevelyan last year;
I vow I was quite in a passion;
I broke all the sticks of my fan;
But sentiment's quite out of fashion,
It seems, in a talented man.
Lady Bab, who is terribly moral,
Has told me that Tully is vain,
And apt -- which is silly -- to quarrel,
And fond -- which is sad -- of champagne.
I listened, and doubted, dear Alice,
For I saw, when my Lady began,
It was only the Dowager's malice; --
She does hate a talented man!
He's hideous, I own it. But fame, love,
Is all that these eyes can adore;
He's lame, -- but Lord Byron was lame, love,
And dumpy, -- but so is Tom Moore.
Then his voice, -- such a voice! my sweet creature,
It's like your Aunt Lucy's toucan:
But oh! what's a tone or a feature,
When once one's a talented man?
My mother, you know, all the season,
Has talked of Sir Geoffrey's estate;
And truly, to do the fool reason,
He has been less horrid of late.
But today, when we drive in the carriage,
I'll tell her to lay down her plan; --
If ever I venture on marriage,
It must be a talented man!
P.S. -- I have found, on reflection,
One fault in my friend, -- entre nous;
Without it, he'd just be perfection; --
Poor fellow, he has not a sou!
And so, when he comes in September
To shoot with my uncle, Sir Dan,
I've promised mamma to remember
He's only a talented man!
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(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
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