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About this Poem 

From Ballads and Songs (London: Cassell and Company, 1896).

 

WHAT MAKES MY HEART TO THRILL AND GLOW?

  THE MAYFAIR LOVE-SONG.

 Winter and summer, night and morn,
    I languish at this table dark;
  My office window has a corn-
    er looks into St. James's Park.
  I hear the foot-guards' bugle-horn,
    Their tramp upon parade I mark;
  I am a gentleman forlorn,
    I am a Foreign-Office Clerk.

  My toils, my pleasures, every one,
    I find are stale, and dull, and slow;
  And yesterday, when work was done,
    I felt myself so sad and low,
  I could have seized a sentry's gun
    My wearied brains out out to blow.
  What is it makes my blood to run?
    What makes my heart to beat and glow?

  My notes of hand are burnt, perhaps?
    Some one has paid my tailor's bill?
  No: every morn the tailor raps;
    My I O U's are extant still.
  I still am prey of debt and dun;
    My elder brother's stout and well.
  What is it makes my blood to run?
    What makes my heart to glow and swell?

  I know my chief's distrust and hate;
    He says I'm lazy, and I shirk.
  Ah! had I genius like the late
    Right Honorable Edmund Burke!
  My chance of all promotion's gone,
    I know it is,—he hates me so.
  What is it makes my blood to run,
    And all my heart to swell and glow?

  Why, why is all so bright and gay?
    There is no change, there is no cause;
  My office-time I found to-day
    Disgusting as it ever was.
  At three, I went and tried the Clubs,
    And yawned and saunter'd to and fro;
  And now my heart jumps up and throbs,
    And all my soul is in a glow.

  At half-past four I had the cab;
    I drove as hard as I could go.
  The London sky was dirty drab,
    And dirty brown the London snow.
  And as I rattled in a cant-
    er down by dear old Bolton Row,
  A something made my heart to pant,
    And caused my cheek to flush and glow.

  What could it be that made me find
    Old Jawkins pleasant at the Club?
  Why was it that I laughed and grinned
    At whist, although I lost the rub?
  What was it made me drink like mad
    Thirteen small glasses of Curaço?
  That made my inmost heart so glad,
    And every fibre thrill and glow?

  She's home again! she's home, she's home!
    Away all cares and griefs and pain;
  I knew she would—she's back from Rome;
    She's home again! she's home again!
  "The family's gone abroad," they said,
    September last they told me so;
  Since then my lonely heart is dead,
    My blood I think's forgot to flow.

  She's home again! away all care!
    O fairest form the world can show!
  O beaming eyes!  O golden hair!
    O tender voice, that breathes so low!
  O gentlest, softest, purest heart!
    O joy, O hope!—"My tiger, ho!"
  Fitz-Clarence said; we saw him start—
    He galloped down to Bolton Row.

This poem is in the public domain. 

This poem is in the public domain. 

William Makepeace Thackeray

William Makepeace Thackeray, born July 18, 1811, was an English writer best known for his novels, particularly The History of Henry Esmond, Esq. (The Mershon Company Publishers, 1852) and Vanity Fair (Bradbury and Evans, 1848). While in school, Thackeray began writing poems, which he published in a number of magazines, chiefly Fraser and Punch. He died on December 24, 1863.

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  WERTHER had a love for Charlotte
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  Would you know how first he met her?
    She was cutting bread and butter.

  Charlotte was a married lady,
    And a moral man was Werther,
  And, for all the wealth of Indies,
    Would do nothing for to hurt her.

  So he sighed and
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  Some love the matin-chimes, which tell
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  For when I see a smoking fish,
    Or capon drown'd in gravy,
  Or noble haunch on silver dish,
    Full glad I sing my ave.

  My pulpit is an alehouse bench
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  Christmas is here:
  Winds whistle shrill,
  Icy and chill,
  Little care we:
  Little we fear
  Weather without,
  Sheltered about
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  Once on the boughs
  Birds of rare plume
  Sang, in its bloom;
  Night-birds are we:
  Here we carouse,
  Singing like them,
  Perched round the stem
  Of