19th Century

A Young Lady’s Heart | Pierce Egan the Younger

The following poem, ‘In a Young Lady’s Heart’, was written by Pierce Egan the Younger in 1843 and published in The Era. It has been transcribed by Stephen Basdeo in 2021 especially for Reynolds’s News and Miscellany.[1]

In a young lady’s heart, once a secret was lurking;

It toss’d and it tumbled, it long’d to get out;

The lips half betrayed it by smiling and smirking,

And the tongue was impatient to blab it, no doubt.

But honour look’s gruff on the subject, and gave it

In charge to the teeth, so enchantingly white –

Should the captive attempt an elopement to save it

By giving the lips an admonishing bite.

‘Twas said, and twas settled, and honour departed;

Tongue quiver’d and trembled and dared not rebel,

When right to its tip, secret suddenly started,

And, half in a whisper, escaped from its cell,

Quoth the teeth, in a pet, we’ll be even for this;

And they bit very sweetly above and beneath;

But the lips at that instant were bribed with a kiss

And they popped out the secret in spite of the teeth.

[1] Pierce Egan, ‘In a Young Lady’s Heart’, The Era, 16 April 1843, p.6.