Atalanta in Camden-Town

Author: Lewis Carroll  | Date: 1869


AY, ’twas here, on this spot,

In that summer of yore,

Atalanta did not

Vote my presence a bore,

Nor reply to my tenderest talk "She had heard all that

nonsense before".

She’d the brooch I had bought

And the necklace and sash on,

And her heart, as I thought,

Was alive to my passion;

And she’d done up her hair in the style that the Empress

had brought into fashion.

I had been to the play

With my pearl of a Peri-

But, for all I could say,

She declared she was weary,

That "the place was so crowded and hot, and she couldn’t

abide that Dundreary".

Then I thought "Lucky boy!

’Tis for you that she whimpers!"

And I noted with joy

Those sensational simpers:

And I said "This is scrumptious!"- a phrase I had learned

from the Devonshire shrimpers.

And I vowed "’Twill be said

I’m a fortunate fellow,

When the breakfast is spread,

When the topers are mellow,

When the foam of the bride-cake is white, and the fierce

orange blossoms are yellow!"

O that languishing yawn!

O those eloquent eyes!

I was drunk with the dawn

Of a splendid surmise-

I was stung by a look, I was slain by a tear, by a tempest

of sighs.

Then I whispered "I see

The sweet secret thou keepest.

And the yearning for ME

That thou wistfully weepest!

And the question is ’License or Banns?’ though undoubtedly

Banns are the cheapest."

"Be my Hero," said I,

"And let me be Leander!"

But I lost her reply-

Something ending with "gander"-

For the omnibus rattled so loud that no mortal could quite

understand her.

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Chicago: Lewis Carroll, Atalanta in Camden-Town Original Sources, accessed May 25, 2024,

MLA: Carroll, Lewis. Atalanta in Camden-Town, Original Sources. 25 May. 2024.

Harvard: Carroll, L, Atalanta in Camden-Town. Original Sources, retrieved 25 May 2024, from