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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
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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