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THIS missive, daintily ornate,

Directed as in copperplate,

Which three envelopes guard;

Surmounted with a little bow,

A snowy true-love knot, I know

Contains a wedding-card.

I know them well from days of yore,

And, grumbling, vote these things a bore;

Not in themselves unpleasant,

But as entailing gloves and hat,

And painfully suggesting that

Inevitable present.

Only last fall, - how keen the shock! -

When Chloe wed, I sent a clock,

As fine as I was able;

Then on the day, with feelings changed,

Found six upon the mantel ranged

And mine beneath the table.

Spoons, paintings, dressing-cases, rings, -

These everybody always brings,

And finer, - 't is my lot!

All know these wedding-gifts by rote;

I 'll send 'em flowers, with a note

From theirs sincerely. - What!

"Mr. and Mrs. Leigh request

That you will honor as a guest

The wedding of their daughter,

Miss Amy Leigh to Mr. John

P. Smith; your presence - " (There 's a pun!)

And so the fellow's caught her.

I'm calm; I bear it; yet if I

Should let escape one little sigh,

No stoic well could blame me;

For still the memory abides

Of wintry parties, wintry rides,

With thee, most fickle Amy.

Ah, brief vacation! that thy joys

Should first upon the balance poise,

Then plunge in melancholy!

And sadder thought, as pleasures fly,

To feel their loss occasioned by

One's own unaided folly.

I 'll tell the tale; though hard to bear,

My grief may lighten if I share

Its burden with another.

I spent three weeks, last winter, with

The Leighs, - and met this J. P. Smith,

A friend of Amy's brother.

Like ships to Sindbad's loadstone peak,

Both were attracted (so to speak),

And like said ships were "smashed."

(One likes a good, square simile!)

But somehow Smith was foiled by me

Whene'er our interests clashed.

I saw him watch with jealous glance

His idol, as in rapturous dance

She rested on my arm;

He could n't sing; I could and she!

(Lord, those duets!) 't was plain to see

He meditated harm.

One glorious afternoon - despair!

As Richard says, "a day so fair

And foul, I have not known," -

Our sleigh drove off in dashing style,

Down the long road, and Smith, the while,

Another way alone.

The horse was spirited, but light

My rein; and, finding one hand quite

Sufficient him to guide,

The other, having naught to do,

Stole round her waist and closer drew

The damsel to my side.

We talked just as they always do,

Of golden days and lovers true,

In language most romantic;

Until our beast, scared by a row

Of haystacks, tipped us in the snow

And started off quite frantic.

We rose and shook ourselves; and then

Quoth she, "You carelessest of men,

How could you bungle so!"

I answered, "There'd have been no harm,

If you could just have let my arm

Alone, as well you know."

We quarrelled. Both of us waxed warm

As we grew cold; a dreadful storm

Arose betwixt us twain;

The maiden all in tears dissolved,

Till last we solemnly resolved

We ne'er would meet again.

Then Smith came up, by merest chance,

And Amy, with a withering glance,

Drove off, nor longer tarried;

Leaving me there to walk, to fill

My cup - Well, well, I 'm heart-whole still! -

And so they 're to be married.

C. A. M.

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