Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
Good-night to the Season
By Winthrop Mackworth Praed
So runs the world away.—Hamlet.

GOOD-NIGHT to the Season! ’T is over!
  Gay dwellings no longer are gay;
The courtier, the gambler, the lover,
  Are scattered like swallows away:
There’s nobody left to invite one        5
  Except my good uncle and spouse;
My mistress is bathing at Brighton,
  My patron is sailing at Cowes:
For want of a better employment,
  Till Ponto and Don can get out,        10
I’ll cultivate rural enjoyment,
  And angle immensely for trout.
Good-night to the Season!—the lobbies,
  Their changes, and rumours of change,
Which startled the rustic Sir Bobbies,        15
  And made all the Bishops look strange;
The breaches, and battles, and blunders,
  Performed by the Commons and Peers;
The Marquis’s eloquent thunders,
  The Baronet’s eloquent ears;        20
Denouncings of Papists and treasons,
  Of foreign dominion and oats;
Misrepresentations of reasons,
  And misunderstandings of notes.
Good-night to the Season!—the buildings        25
  Enough to make Inigo sick;
The paintings, and plasterings, and gildings
  Of stucco, and marble, and brick;
The orders deliciously blended,
  From love of effect, into one;        30
The club-houses only intended,
  The palaces only begun;
The hell, where the fiend in his glory
  Sits staring at putty and stones,
And scrambles from story to story,        35
  To rattle at midnight his bones.
Good-night to the Season!—the dances,
  The fillings of hot little rooms,
The glancings of rapturous glances,
  The fancyings of fancy costumes;        40
The pleasures which fashion makes duties,
  The praisings of fiddles and flutes,
The luxury of looking at Beauties,
  The tedium of talking to mutes;
The female diplomatists, planners        45
  Of matches for Laura and Jane;
The ice of her Ladyship’s manners,
  The ice of his Lordship’s champagne.
Good-night to the Season!—the rages
  Led off by the chiefs of the throng,        50
The Lady Matilda’s new pages,
  The Lady Eliza’s new song;
Miss Fennel’s macaw, which at Boodle’s
  Was held to have something to say;
Mrs. Splenetic’s musical poodles,        55
  Which bark “Batti Batti” all day;
The pony Sir Araby sported,
  As hot and as black as a coal,
And the Lion his mother imported,
  In bearskins and grease, from the Pole.        60
Good-night to the Season!—the Toso,
  So very majestic and tall;
Miss Ayton, whose singing was so-so,
  And Pasta, divinest of all;
The labour in vain of the ballet,        65
  So sadly deficient in stars;
The foreigners thronging the Alley,
  Exhaling the breath of cigars;
The loge where some heiress (how killing!)
  Environed with exquisites sits,        70
The lovely one out of her drilling,
  The silly ones out of their wits.
Good-night to the Season!—the splendour
  That beamed in the Spanish Bazaar;
Where I purchased—my heart was so tender—        75
  A card-case, a pasteboard guitar,
A bottle of perfume, a girdle,
  A lithographed Riego, full-grown,
Whom bigotry drew on a hurdle
  That artists might draw him on stone;        80
A small panorama of Seville,
  A trap for demolishing flies,
A caricature of the Devil,
  And a look from Miss Sheridan’s eyes.
Good-night to the Season!—the flowers        85
  Of the grand horticultural fête,
When boudoirs were quitted for bowers,
  And the fashion was—not to be late;
When all who had money and leisure
  Grew rural o’er ices and wines,        90
All pleasantly toiling for pleasure,
  All hungrily pining for pines,
And making of beautiful speeches,
  And marring of beautiful shows,
And feeding on delicate peaches,        95
  And treading on delicate toes.
Good-night to the Season!—Another
  Will come, with its trifles and toys,
And hurry away, like its brother,
  In sunshine, and odour, and noise.        100
Will it come with a rose or a briar?
  Will it come with a blessing or curse?
Will its bonnets be lower or higher?
  Will its morals be better or worse?
Will it find me grown thinner or fatter,        105
  Or fonder of wrong or of right,
Or married—or buried?—no matter:
  Good-night to the Season—good-night!

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