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A Valentine [from an Old Lover]

Estelle, when you and I were rising nine
Perhaps you’d rather I suppressed the date
I spent a shilling on a valentine
And left it for you at the garden gate.
Therein my heart was imaged in a bower
Of tinsel roses, with a tender verse on;
I followed it in less than half an hour
Impatient for your gratitude in person.
 
You ran and kissed my cheek with candied lips,
A habit, by the way, you’ve since neglected;
You gambolled up and down in little skips,
Yet failed to do the thing that I expected.
It should have been a give-and-take affair;
You had my tinsel heart, while I had not one,
And when I asked for yours, to make it square,
You playfully remarked you hadn’t got one.
 
I was appalled my little bosom heaved
Such disappointment did not seem correct.
With rising tears I felt myself deceived
And lost my temper at your base neglect.
‘I’ll have mine back I paid for it, it’s mine!’
I cried. We fought and tore the paper frilling.
By dint of nail you kept that valentine,
And left me howling for my wasted shilling.
 
Since then how many years have slipped away?
And time has tamed my temper to submission.
You’re tall and dignified, and yet to-day
I find myself in just the same position.
The heart from out my bosom you’ve decoyed,
Though day by day with strenuous endeavour
I would recall it to its aching void.
I strive in vain my heart is yours for ever.
Other works by Jessie Pope ...



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