The Old Love-Letters

Constance Naden

To-day I've discovered a treasure
Tied up with a ribbon of blue;
That record of pain and of pleasure,
A packet of old billets-doux.

The note-paper, quite out of fashion,
The date of ten summers ago,
Recall the unreasoning passion
Of juvenile rapture and woe.

No face was so lovely as Minnie's,
I praised it in prose and in verse;
Her curls were like piles of new guineas,
Alas, she had none in her purse!

I loved her for beauty and kindness,
I grieved when I fancied her cold,
But Cupid, quite cured of his blindness,
Now takes a good aim at the gold.

To fair Lady Flora, the heiress,
I've offered my love and my life;
Repenting of ancient vagaries,
I'll settle to wealth and a wife.

The heat of my boyhood is banished
Alike from my heart and my head;
The comet for ever has vanished,
But fireworks will answer instead.

I've kept all my ardent effusions,
Appeal, protestation, and vow:
I'm cured of my youthful delusions,
And can't write such love-letters now.

The thing was excessively silly,
But then we were only eighteen,
And she was all rose-bud and lily,
And I was uncommonly green.

I'm happy to say she was fickle,
She blighted my love with a frown;
It withered, ere Time with his sickle
Could cut the first blossoming down.

We parted, how well I remember
That gloomy yet fortunate day!
It seemed like the ghost of December,
Aroused by the frolics of May.

I shook myself loose from her fetters,
(I did not express it so then);
'Twas well she returned me the letters,
For now I can use them again.

I am not afraid of detection,
I cast all my scruples away;
The embers of former affection
Shall kindle the fire of to-day.

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