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A DEAD LETTER.
"A cœur blessé-l'ombre et le silence."
H. DE BALZac.
DREW it from its china tomb;-
An old, old letter,-folded still!
That glimmering in the sultry haze,
Slumbered like Goldsmith's Madam Blaize,
A queer old place! You'd surely say
Had planned it in Dutch William's day
The yew-trees still,
So trim it was.
With pious care perverted,
Grew in the same grim shapes; and still The lipless dolphin spurted;
Still in his wonted state abode
Only,-as fresh young Beauty gleams
For idle mallet, hoop, and ball
And, tossed beside the Guelder rose,
"A place to love in,-live,—for aye, If we too, like Tithonus,
Could find some God to stretch the gray, Scant life the Fates have thrown us;
"But now by steam we run our race,
"The time is out of joint.' Who will,
"Dear John (the letter ran), it can't, can't be, For Father 's gone to Chorley Fair with Sam, And Mother 's storing Apples,-Prue and Me
Up to our Elbows making Damson Jam: But we shall meet before a Week is gone,— "Tis a long Lane that has no Turning,' John!
"Only till Sunday next, and then you'll wait
Behind the White-Thorn, by the broken StileWe can go round and catch them at the Gate,
All to Ourselves, for nearly one long Mile; Dear Prue won't look, and Father he 'll go on, And Sam's two Eyes are all for Cissy, John!
"John, she 's so smart,-with every Ribbon new, Flame-coloured Sack, and Crimson Padesoy :
As proud as proud; and has the Vapours too,
"My Dear, I don't think that I thought of much Before we knew each other, I and you;
And now, why, John, your least, least Finger-touch,
This was the matter of the note,
A long-forgot deposit,
Piled with a dapper Dresden world,—
Ah, heart that wrote! Ah, lips that kissed!