"Come, tell me," says Rosa, as kissing and kist,
One day she reclined on my breast;
"Come, tell me the number, repeat me the list
"Of the nymphs you have loved and carest."--
Oh Rosa! 'twas only my fancy that roved,
My heart at the moment was free;
But I'll tell thee, my girl, how many I've loved,
And the number shall finish with thee.
My tutor was Kitty; in infancy wild
She taught me the way to be blest;
She taught me to love her, I loved like a child,
But Kitty could fancy the rest.
This lesson of dear and enrapturing lore
I have never forgot, I allow:
I have had it by rote very often before,
But never by heart until now.
Pretty Martha was next, and my soul was all flame,
But my head was so full of romance
That I fancied her into some chivalry dame,
And I was her knight of the lance.
But Martha was not of this fanciful school,
And she laughed at her poor little knight;
While I thought her a goddess, she thought me a fool,
And I'll swear she was most in the right.
My soul was now calm, till, by Cloris's looks,
Again I was tempted to rove;
But Cloris, I found, was so learned in books
That she gave me more logic than love.
So I left this young Sappho, and hastened to fly
To those sweeter logicians in bliss,
Who argue the point with a soul-telling eye,
And convince us at once with a kiss.
Oh! Susan was then all the world unto me,
But Susan was piously given;
And the worst of it was, we could never agree
On the road that was shortest to Heaven.
"Oh, Susan!" I've said, in the moments of mirth,
"What's devotion to thee or to me?
"I devoutly believe there's a heaven on earth,
"And believe that that heaven's in thee!"