Beautiful women, beautiful boats and beautiful days on the river!

Ye distant spires, ye antique towers,

That crown the watery glade,

Where grateful Science still adores

Her Henry’s holy shade;

And ye, that from the stately brow

Of Windsor’s heights th’ expanse below

Of grove, of lawn, of mead survey,

Whose turf, whose shade, whose flowers among

Wanders the hoary Thames along

His silver-winding way.

My heart was light and whole aboard –

As I sculled swift by Harleyford

The rain began to patter –

But when I saw in Hurley Lock

That Naiad in the gingham frock,

‘Twas quite another matter !


The banks are soft with mud and slosh,

And shiny is each mackintosh,

Each hat and coat well soaken:

My spirits droop, and as I scan

That beauty in a trim randan,

I fear my heart is broken !


She hath a graceful little head,

Her lips are ripe and round and red,

Her teeth are short and pearly;

And on a rosy sun-kissed cheek

Her dimples play at hide-and-seek,

Within the lock at Hurley !


I strive to make a mental note,

The while she lounges in her boat

Beneath the big umbrella.

I wonder if she’s Gwendoline,

Or Gillian or Geraldine,

Or Sylvia, or Stella?


Is she engaged to Stroke or Bow?

I would they could assure me now

She loves to flirt with others !

Will stalwart Sculls e’er claim her hand?

How gladly would I understand

Her crew are naught but brothers !


Her hat with lilies is bedight

Her voice is low, her laugh is light,

Her figure slight and girly.

How cheerfully I’d take a trip,

With such a Pilot for my ship,

And sail away from Hurley !


I wonder if her heart is true?

I know her eyes are peerless blue,

Long lashes downward sweeping;

A snow-white ruff around her throat,

Beneath her pouting petticoat

A little foot out-peeping.


O, is she wooed and is she won,

Or is she very fond of fun?

I make a thousand guesses !

A sweet young face, so full of hope,

A dainty hand on tiller-rope,

And raindrops in her tresses.


Three tiny rosebuds lightly rest

Within the haven of her breast –

Her locks are short and curly.

The sun is gone !  Down comes the rain !

I leave my heart cleft well in twain

Within the Lock at Hurley !

About henry tapper

Founder of the Pension PlayPen,, partner of Stella, father of Olly . I am the Pension Plowman
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