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Now all this happiness, beyond a doubt, By this silk hat I hold was brought about, Or by its brother. Poor old English tile ! Many have sneered at thy ungainly style; Many, with ridicule and gibe—why not?Have dubbed thee “stove-pipe,” called thee
“chimney-pot." They, as æsthetes, are not far wrong, maybe; But I, for all that thou hast done for me, Raise thee, in spite of nonsense sung or said, With deep respect, and place thee on my head. From Harper's Magazine, by permission. Translation of
MRS. E. W. LATIMER.
JUST A LOVE-LETTER.
NEW YORK, July 20, 1883. DEAR GIRL:
The town goes on as though It thought you still were in it;
The gilded cage seems scarce to know
That it has lost its linnet.
The clock keeps on a-ticking;
Persistent weeds are pricking.
I thought 'twould never come—the Spring
Since you had left the city;
At last the skies took pity.
Daily decreasing distance-
Without your kind assistance.
Aunt Van, of course, still holds the fort:
I've paid the call of duty;
'Twas '34 and fruity.
Of linen brown and wrinkled ;
I smelt in spots about the room
The pungent camphor sprinkled. I sat upon the sofa where
You sat and dropped your thimbleYou know you said you didn't care;
But I was nobly nimble. On hands and knees I dropped, and tried
To-well, I tried to miss it: You slipped your hand down by your side
You knew I meant to kiss it!
Aunt Van, I fear we put to shame
Propriety and precision; But, praised be Love, that kiss just came
Beyond your line of vision.
Because 'tis surreptitious,
So dimpled, dear, delicious.
I found the Drive deserted;
The water-trough beside the way
Sad and superfluous spurted. I stood where Humboldt guards the gate,
Bronze, bumptious, stained, and streakyThere sat a sparrow on his pate,
A sparrow chirp and cheeky.
Ten months ago! Ten months ago!
It seems a happy second, Against a lifetime lone and slow,
By Love's wild time-piece reckonedYou smiled, by Aunt's protecting side,
Where thick the drags were massing, On one young man who didn't ride,
But stood and watched you passing.
I haunt Purssell's—to his amaze
Not that I care to eat there, But for the dear clandestine days
When we two had to meet there. Oh, blessèd is that baker's bake,
Past cavil and past question:
I ate a bun for your sweet sake,
And memory helped digestion. The Norths are at their Newport ranch;
Van Brunt has gone to Venice; Loomis invites me to the Branch,
And lures me with lawn tennis. O bustling barracks by the sea !
O spiles, canals, and islands ! Your varied charms are naught to me
My heart is in the Highlands ! My paper trembles in the breeze
That all too faintly flutters Among the dusty city trees,
And through my half-closed shutters: A northern captive in the town,
Its native vigor deadened,
Your dear pale cheek it reddened.
I'll write no more! A vis-à-vis
In halcyon vacation