How lovely the elder brother’s Life all laced in the other’s,
Lóve-laced!—what once I well Witnessed; so fortune fell.
When Shrovetide, two years gone,
Our boys’ plays brought on Part was picked for John,
Young Jóhn: then fear, then joy Ran revel in the elder boy.
Their night was come now; all Our company thronged the hall;
Henry, by the wall,
Beckoned me beside him:
I came where called, and eyed him By meanwhiles; making my
Turn most on tender byplay.
For, wrung all on love’s rack,
My lad, and lost in Jack,
Smiled, blushed, and bit his lip;
Or drove, with a diver’s dip,
Clutched hands down through clasped knees— Truth’s tokens tricks like these,
Old telltales, with what stress He hung on the imp’s success.
Now the other was bráss-bóld:
Hé had no work to hold His heart up at the strain;
Nay, roguish ran the vein.
Two tedious acts were past;
Jack’s call and cue at last;
When Henry, heart-forsook,
Dropped eyes and dared not look.
Eh, how áll rúng!
Young dog, he did give tongue!
But Harry—in his hands he has
His tear-tricked cheeks of flame For fond love and for shame.
Ah Nature, framed in fault,
There ’s comfort then, there ’s salt;
Nature, bad, base, and blind,
Dearly thou canst be kind;
There dearly thén, deárly,
I’ll cry thou canst be kind.