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Will sure afford a much more free

Mode of communication.
I'm tantalized and cribbed and checked

In making love by letter:
I know a style more brief, direct-

And generally better!
By permission.

H. C. BUNNER.

“ POSSUM”-I CAN.

HER eyes are as blue as the heart of a berg;

If tears from their channels e'er ran,
If they melted an instant, it was not in ruth

For sorrows of love or of man.

I've wondered ofttimes—she's so frostily fair

If blood in her veins really ran ; While sipping an ice I've asked myself where

Ice ended and woman began.

“My heart,” she once told me, “is dead as

a stone, Or missing in Nature's nice plan; Some women, perhaps, can not live without

hearts," Her eyes spoke a haughty “I can."

The stingiest sultan would lay at her feet

The wealth of a whole Ispahan. Independent in fortune as well as in soul,

She scorns every suppliant man.

Her coach, of all turn-outs this year at the

Springs,
Was drawn by the handsomest span;
Her crest on its panels, a leopard passant,

Her motto is “ Possum”-I can.

Regarding the carriage with critical air

Up-spoke our head-waiter, black Dan : “Some folks, maybe, can't see no difference

between Dat ting and a 'possum--I can.

Why, dat ain't no 'possum; it's more like a

cat, Or Spot, dar, your pert black-and-tan: I ought to know 'possums—I'se hunted 'em

till Each 'possum in Georgia knows Dan.

“ Curusest ob varmints dar is in dis world

Is 'possums and women,” said Dan; “Dey's nebber so sleek, so indif'rent, and

cool, As when dey's deceibing some man.

“I'members de fust one dat ever I cotched

It tried de same little ole plan:
I found it like dead at the foot ob a tree;

Says I, No dead'possums for Dan'

“Was walking away when it opened one eye,

Larfed back ob its paw, and den—ran! • Can't come it,' it said, plain as eber you

heard ; Says I, 'Missus 'Possum, I can.'”

The tale was a short one, and not too refined,

As told by our swart Caliban:
It fed, by the thought it aroused in my mind, ,

The fire of my hopes like a fan.
Could she play at 'possum, her heart all alive

And craving the love of a man,
Worth love and worth trust, can I credit the

thought? My heart made me answer—“I can.” Her soul is alive, and now tell me, my heart,

Canst rise to the fate like a man, Receiving thy doom or thy bliss from her

lips? Again I heard, “ Possum-I can." You can love?" The answer is easily

guessed (Fit rallying-cry for a clan), It came with a kiss, and a ring with the crest A leopard : 'twas “ Possum-I can!”

LIZZIE W. CHAMPNEY.

PAST AND PRESENT; OR, ROMANCE

VERSUS REALITY.

A Duet.

HE (shutting his Froissart with a slap).
“OH, for the days of olden time,

When, true to knightly duty,
The champion roved through every clime

To win the smile of Beauty !
'Neath moonlit skies his midnight spent,

In place of ball-rooms choky,
And through triumphal arches went,

Instead of hoops at croquet!”

SHE (smiling maliciously).
“Ha, ha! nice figure you'd have made

'Mid Syria's heat and slaughter,
Who growl at seventy in the shade,

And long for seltzer-water!

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