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From The Humorous Poetry of the English Language from Chaucer to Saxe, with Notes, Explanatory and Biographical, by James Parton; Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1884; pp. 70-71.





O MARYANNE, you pretty girl,
    Intent on silky labor,
Of sempstresses the pink and pearl,
    Excuse a peeping neighbor !

Those eyes, forever drooping, give
    The long brown lashes rarely ;
But violets in the shadows live, —
    For once unvail them fairly.

Hast thou not lent that flounce enough
    Of looks so long and earnest ?
Lo, here ’s more “penetrable stuff,”
    To which thou never turnest.

Ye graceful fingers, deftly sped !
    How slender, and how nimble !
O might I wind their skeins of thread,
    Or but pick up their thimble !

How blest the youth whom love shall bring,
    And happy stars embolden,
To change the dome into a ring,
    The silver into golden !

Who ’ll steal some morning to her side
    To take her finger’s measure,
While Maryanne pretends to chide,
    And blushes deep with pleasure.

Who ’ll watch her sew her wedding-gown,
    Well conscious that it is hers,
Who ’ll glean a tress, without a frown,
    With those so ready scissors.

Who ’ll taste those ripenings of the south,
    The fragrant and delicious —
Don’t put the pins into your mouth,
    O Maryanne, my precious !

I almost wish it were my trust
    To teach how shocking that is ;
I wish I had not, as I must,
    To quit this tempting lattice.

Sure aim takes Cupid, fluttering foe,
    Across a street so narrow ;
A thread of silk to string his bow,
    A needle for his arrow !


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