Number One

By Thomas Hood


It’s very hard!—and so it is,
To live in such a row,—
And witness this that every Miss
But me, has got a Beau.—
For Love goes calling up and down,
But here he seems to shun;
I ‘m sure he has been asked enough
To call at Number One!

I’m sick of all the double knocks
That come to Number Four!—
At Number Three, I often see
A lover at the door;—
And one in blue, at Number Two,
Calls daily like a dun,—
It ‘s very hard they come so near
And not to Number One!

Miss Bell I hear has got a dear
Exactly to her mind,—
By sitting at the window pane
Without a bit of blind;—
But I go in the balcony,
Which she has never done,
Yet arts that thrive at Number Five
Don’t take at Number One!

‘Tis hard with plenty in the street,
And plenty passing by,—
There’s nice young men at Number Ten,
But only rather shy;—
And Mrs. Smith across the way
Has got a grown-up son,
But la! he hardly seems to know
There is a Number One!

There’s Mr. Wick at Number Nine
But he’s intent on pelf,
And though he’s pious will not love
His neighbour as himself.—
At Number Seven there was a sale—
The goods had quite a run!
And here I’ve got my single lot
On hand at Number One!

My mother often sits at work
And talks of props and stays,
And what a comfort I shall be
In her declining days:—
The very maids about the house
Have set me down a nun,
The sweethearts all belong to them
That call at Number One!

Once only when the flue took fire,
One Friday afternoon,
Young Mr. Long came kindly in
And told me not to swoon:—
Why can’t he come again without
The Phœnix and the Sun!—
We cannot always have a flue
On fire at Number One!

I am not old! I am not plain!
Nor awkward in my gait—
I am not crooked, like the bride
That went from Number Eight:—
I’m sure white satin made her look
As brown as any bun—
But even beauty has no chance,
I think, at Number One!

At Number Six they say Miss Rose
Has slain a score of hearts,
And Cupid, for her sake, has been
Quite prodigal of darts.
The Imp they show with bended bow,
I wish he had a gun!—
But if he had, he’d never deign
To shoot with Number One.

It’s very hard, and so it is
To live in such a row!
And here’s a ballad singer come
To aggravate my woe:—
O take away your foolish song
And tones enough to stun—
There is “Nae luck about the house,”
I know, at Number One!

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