A Delicious Interruption

A poem by James Whitcomb Riley

All were quite gracious in their plaudits of
Bud's Fairy; but another stir above
That murmur was occasioned by a sweet
Young lady-caller, from a neighboring street,
Who rose reluctantly to say good-night
To all the pleasant friends and the delight
Experienced, - as she had promised sure
To be back home by nine. Then paused, demure,
And wondered was it very dark. - Oh, no! -
She had come by herself and she could go
Without an escort. Ah, you sweet girls all!
What young gallant but comes at such a call,
Your most abject of slaves! Why, there were three
Young men, and several men of family,
Contesting for the honor - which at last
Was given to Cousin Rufus; and he cast
A kingly look behind him, as the pair
Vanished with laughter in the darkness there.

As order was restored, with everything
Suggestive, in its way, of "romancing,"
Some one observed that now would be the chance
For Noey to relate a circumstance
That he - the very specious rumor went -
Had been eye-witness of, by accident.
Noey turned pippin-crimson; then turned pale
As death; then turned to flee, without avail. -
"There! head him off! Now! hold him in his chair! -
Tell us the Serenade-tale, now, Noey. - There!"

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