Pearson’s Magazine (UK), July 1905



Men say that I’m in clover;
 They envy me my lot.
No sickness bowls me over,
 Dyspepsia plagues me not.
No money cares pursue me,
 My income grows apace,
Yet sad am I, and gloomy—
 I trumped my Hester’s ace.

Ah, give me ink and pen; I
 Will sketch that direful scene.
The Major cut a ten, I
 A three, Miss Jones a queen.
My Hester drew a seven.
 We thus sat face to face,
Which seemed to me like heaven,
 Until I trumped her ace.

We played. I started finely:
 The hand I held was good.
My Hester smiled divinely;
 Seraphic was her mood,
Benign each lovely feature,
 Until I fell from grace.
Lost, miserable creature—
 I trumped her only ace!

How did I come to play so?
 Did madness sap my brain?
Yes, I’m inclined to say so.
 How else can I explain?
My joy was all too fleeting:
 It lasted but a space,
And then—my heart stopped beating—
I saw I’d trumped her ace!

The Major chuckled grimly
 (How can such brutes exist?);
I saw the table dimly,
 As through an inky mist:
No words that I could utter
 Had met the awful case.
With incoherent mutter,
 I gathered up that ace.

Alas! my peerless Hester,
 They won the “game and rub.”
When, later, I addressed her
 I met an icy snub.
I left—as she requested.
 A blot upon the race,
Her attitude suggested,
 Was he who trumped an ace.

She freed me from my fetters—
 That’s how she put the thing;
She gave me back my letters,
 My presents, and the ring.
She could not “love and honour”
 A man so wholly base
As to put trump upon her
 Best card—her only ace.

So now my life is blighted,
 I’ve drained the bitter cup;
With passion unrequited
 My soul is eaten up.
As bride I hoped to claim her,
 But now my fond embrace
She scorns. And who can blame her ?—
 I trumped her only ace.