"Under the trees!" Who but agrees
That there is magic in words such as these?
Promptly one sees shake in the breeze
Stately lime-avenues haunted of bees:
Where, looking far over buttercupp'd leas,
Lads and "fair shes" (that is Byron, and he's
An authority) lie very much at their ease;
Taking their teas, or their duck and green peas,
Or, if they prefer it, their plain bread and cheese:
Not objecting at all though it's rather a squeeze
And the glass is, I daresay, at 80 degrees.
Some get up glees, and are mad about Ries
And Sainton, and Tamberlik's thrilling high Cs;
Or if painters, hold forth upon Hunt and Maclise,
And the tone and the breadth of that landscape of Lee's;
Or if learned, on nodes and the moon's apogees,
Or, if serious, on something of AKHB's,
Or the latest attempt to convert the Chaldees;
Or in short about all things, from earthquakes to fleas.
Some sit in twos or (less frequently) threes,
With their innocent lambswool or book on their knees,
And talk, and enact, any nonsense you please,
As they gaze into eyes that are blue as the seas;
And you hear an occasional "Harry, don't tease"
From the sweetest of lips in the softest of keys,
And other remarks, which to me are Chinese.
And fast the time flees; till a ladylike sneeze,
Or a portly papa's more elaborate wheeze,
Makes Miss Tabitha seize on her brown muffatees,
And announce as a fact that it's going to freeze,
And that young people ought to attend to their Ps
And their Qs, and not court every form of disease:
Then Tommy eats up the three last ratafias,
And pretty Louise wraps her robe de cerise
Round a bosom as tender as Widow Machree's,
And (in spite of the pleas of her lorn vis-a-vis)
Goes to wrap up her uncle - a patient of Skey's,
Who is prone to catch chills, like all old Bengalese:-
But at bedtime I trust he'll remember to grease
The bridge of his nose, and preserve his rupees
From the premature clutch of his fond legatees;
Or at least have no fees to pay any M. D.s
For the cold his niece caught, sitting under the Trees.