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An Unmarried Female
by [?]

I never shall forget the first piece of her poetry I ever see. Josiah Allen and I had both on us been married goin’ on a year, and I had occasion to go to his trunk one day, where he kept a lot of old papers, and the first thing I laid my hand on was these verses. Josiah went with her a few times after his wife died, on Fourth of July or so, and two or three camp-meetin’s and the poetry seemed to be wrote about the time we was married. It was directed over the top of it, “Owed to Josiah,” just as if she were in debt to him. This was the way it read:


“Josiah, I the tale have hurn,
With rigid ear, and streaming eye,
I saw from me that you did turn,
I never knew the reason why.
Oh, Josiah,
It seemed as if I must expiah.

“Why did you–oh, why did you blow
Upon my life of snowy sleet,
The fiah of love to fiercest glow,
Then turn a damphar on the heat?
Oh, Josiah,
It seemed as if I must expiah.

“I saw thee coming down the street,
She by your side in bonnet bloo,
The stuns that grated ‘neath thy feet,
Seemed crunching on my vitals, too.
Oh, Josiah,
It seemed as if I must expiah.

“I saw thee washing sheep last night,
On the bridge I stood with marble brow.
The waters raged, thou clasped it tight,
I sighed, ‘should both be drownded now’-
I thought, Josiah,
Oh, happy sheep to thus expiah.”

I showed the poetry to Josiah that night after he came home, and told him I had read it. He looked awful ashamed to think I had seen it, and, says he, with a dreadful sheepish look: “The persecution I underwent from that female can never be told; she fairly hunted me down. I hadn’t no rest for the soles of my feet. I thought one spell she would marry me in spite of all I could do, without givin’ me the benefit of law or gospel.” He see I looked stern, and he added, with a sick-lookin’ smile, “I thought one spell, to use Betsey’s language, ‘I was a gonah.'”

I didn’t smile. Oh, no, for the deep principle of my sect was reared up. I says to him in a tone cold enough to almost freeze his ears: “Josiah Allen, shet up; of all the cowardly things a man ever done, it is goin ’round braggin’ about wimmin likin’ ’em, and follern’ ’em up. Enny man that’ll do that is little enough to crawl through a knot-hole without rubbing his clothes.” Says I: “I suppose you made her think the moon rose in your head and set in your heels. I daresay you acted foolish enough round her to sicken a snipe, and if you makes fun of her now to please me, I let you know you have got holt of the wrong individual.

“Now,” says I, “go to bed”; and I added, in still more freezing accents, “for I want to mend your pantaloons.” He gathered up his shoes and stockin’s and started off to bed, and we hain’t never passed a word on the subject sence. I believe when you disagree with your pardner, in freein’ your mind in the first on’t, and then not to be a-twittin’ about it afterward. And as for bein’ jealous, I should jest as soon think of bein’ jealous of a meetin’-house as I should of Josiah. He is a well-principled man. And I guess he wasn’t fur out o’ the way about Betsey Bobbet, though I wouldn’t encourage him by lettin’ him say a word on the subject, for I always make it a rule to stand up for my own sect; but when I hear her go on about the editor of the Augur, I can believe anything about Betsey Bobbet.