Here you will find the Long Poem First Love of poet William Schwenck Gilbert
A clergyman in Berkshire dwelt, The REVEREND BERNARD POWLES, And in his church there weekly knelt At least a hundred souls. There little ELLEN you might see, The modest rustic belle; In maidenly simplicity, She loved her BERNARD well. Though ELLEN wore a plain silk gown Untrimmed with lace or fur, Yet not a husband in the town But wished his wife like her. Though sterner memories might fade, You never could forget The child-form of that baby-maid, The Village Violet! A simple frightened loveliness, Whose sacred spirit-part Shrank timidly from worldly stress, And nestled in your heart. POWLES woo'd with every well-worn plan And all the usual wiles With which a well-schooled gentleman A simple heart beguiles. The hackneyed compliments that bore World-folks like you and me, Appeared to her as if they wore The crown of Poesy. His winking eyelid sang a song Her heart could understand, Eternity seemed scarce too long When BERNARD squeezed her hand. He ordered down the martial crew Of GODFREY'S Grenadiers, And COOTE conspired with TINNEY to Ecstaticise her ears. Beneath her window, veiled from eye, They nightly took their stand; On birthdays supplemented by The Covent Garden band. And little ELLEN, all alone, Enraptured sat above, And thought how blest she was to own The wealth of POWLES'S love. I often, often wonder what Poor ELLEN saw in him; For calculated he was NOT To please a woman's whim. He wasn't good, despite the air An M.B. waistcoat gives; Indeed, his dearest friends declare No greater humbug lives. No kind of virtue decked this priest, He'd nothing to allure; He wasn't handsome in the least, - He wasn't even poor. No - he was cursed with acres fat (A Christian's direst ban), And gold - yet, notwithstanding that, Poor ELLEN loved the man. As unlike BERNARD as could be Was poor old AARON WOOD (Disgraceful BERNARD'S curate he): He was extremely good. A BAYARD in his moral pluck Without reproach or fear, A quiet venerable duck With fifty pounds a year. No fault had he - no fad, except A tendency to strum, In mode at which you would have wept, A dull harmonium. He had no gold with which to hire The minstrels who could best Convey a notion of the fire That raged within his breast. And so, when COOTE and TINNEY'S Own Had tootled all they knew, And when the Guards, completely blown, Exhaustedly withdrew, And NELL began to sleepy feel, Poor AARON then would come, And underneath her window wheel His plain harmonium. He woke her every morn at two, And having gained her ear, In vivid colours AARON drew The sluggard's grim career. He warbled Apiarian praise, And taught her in his chant To shun the dog's pugnacious ways, And imitate the ant. Still NELL seemed not, how much he played, To love him out and out, Although the admirable maid Respected him, no doubt. She told him of her early vow, And said as BERNARD'S wife It might be hers to show him how To rectify his life. "You are so pure, so kind, so true, Your goodness shines so bright, What use would ELLEN be to you? Believe me, you're all right." She wished him happiness and health, And flew on lightning wings To BERNARD with his dangerous wealth And all the woes it brings.