The Poetical Works of Thomas Hood, by Thomas Hood

Lines to Mary.

Old Bailey Ballads.

(At No. 1, Newgate. Favored by Mr. Wontner.)

O Mary, I believed you true,

And I was blest in so believing;

But till this hour I never knew —

That you were taken up for thieving!

Oh! when I snatch’d a tender kiss,

Or some such trifle when I courted,

You said, indeed, that love was bliss,

But never owned you were transported!

But then to gaze on that fair face —

It would have been an unfair feeling

To dream that you had pilfered lace —

And Flint’s had suffered from your stealing!

Or when my suit I first preferred,

To bring your coldness to repentance,

Before I hammer’d out a word,

How could I dream you heard a sentence!

Or when with all the warmth of youth

I strove to prove my love no fiction,

How could I guess I urged a truth

On one already past conviction!

How could I dream that ivory part,

Your hand — where I have look’d and linger’d,

Altho’ it stole away my heart,

Had been held up as one light-fingered!

In melting verse your charms I drew,

The charms in which my muse delighted —

Alas! the lay I thought was new.

Spoke only what had been indicted!

Oh! when that form, a lovely one,

Hung on the neck its arms had flown to,

I little thought that you had run

A chance of hanging on your own too.

You said you pick’d me from the world,

My vanity it now must shock it —

And down at once my pride is hurled,

You’ve pick’d me — and you’ve pick’d a pocket!

Oh! when our love had got so far,

The banns were read by Doctor Daly,

Who asked if there was any bar —

Why did not some one shout “Old Bailey”?

But when you robed your flesh and bones

In that pure white that angel garb is,

Who could have thought you, Mary Jones,

Among the Joans that link with Darbies?

And when the parson came to say,

My goods were yours, if I had got any,

And you should honor and obey,

Who could have thought —“O Bay of Botany!”

But oh! — the worst of all your slips

I did not till this day discover —

That down in Deptford’s prison ships,

O Mary! you’ve a hulking lover!

http://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/h/hood/thomas/poetical-works/poem117.html

Last updated Friday, March 7, 2014 at 20:51