Daisy's Valentines.

A poem by Henry Austin Dobson

All night through Daisy's sleep, it seems,
Have ceaseless "rat-tats" thundered;
All night through Daisy's rosy dreams
Have devious Postmen blundered,
Delivering letters round her bed,--
Mysterious missives, sealed with red,
And franked of course with due Queen's-head,--
While Daisy lay and wondered.

But now, when chirping birds begin,
And Day puts off the Quaker,--
When Cook renews her morning din,
And rates the cheerful baker,--
She dreams her dream no dream at all,
For, just as pigeons come at call,
Winged letters flutter down, and fall
Around her head, and wake her.

Yes, there they are! With quirk and twist,
And fraudful arts directed;
(Save Grandpapa's dear stiff old "fist,"
Through all disguise detected;)
But which is his,--her young Lothair's,--
Who wooed her on the school-room stairs
With three sweet cakes, and two ripe pears,
In one neat pile collected?

'Tis there, be sure. Though truth to speak,
(If truth may be permitted),
I doubt that young "gift-bearing Greek"
Is scarce for fealty fitted;
For has he not (I grieve to say),
To two loves more, on this same day,
In just this same emblazoned way,
His transient vows transmitted?

He may be true. Yet, Daisy dear,
That even youth grows colder
You'll find is no new thing, I fear;
And when you're somewhat older,
You'll read of one Dardanian boy
Who "wooed with gifts" a maiden coy,--
Then took the morning train to Troy,
In spite of all he'd told her.

But wait. Your time will come. And then,
Obliging Fates, please send her
The bravest thing you have in men,
Sound-hearted, strong, and tender;--
The kind of man, dear Fates, you know,
That feels how shyly Daisies grow,
And what soft things they are, and so
Will spare to spoil or mend her.

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