William Schwenck Gilbert

1836 - 1911 / London / England

Eheu Fugaces -- !

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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