Behind the curtain,
With glance uncertain,
Peeps pet Florence as I gaily ride;
Half demurely,
But, though purely,
Most, most surely
Wishing she were riding, riding by my side.

In leafy alleys,
Where sunlight dallies,
Pleasant were it, bonnie, to be riding rein by rein;
And where summer tosses,
All about in bosses,
Velvet verdant mosses,
Still more pleasant, surely, to dismount us and remain.

O thou Beauty!
Hanging ripe and fruity
At the muslined lattice in the drooping eve,
Whisper from the casement
If that blushing face meant,
``At the cottage basement,
Gallant, halt, I come to thee; I come to never leave.''

But if those coy lashes
Stir for whoso dashes
Past the scented window in the fading light,
Close the lattice, sweetest;
Darkness were discreetest;
And, with bridle fleetest,
I will gallop onwards, unattended, through the Night.

More verses by Alfred Austin

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