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Maurine – Part 1 [I Sat And Sewed, And Sang Some Tender Tune]
by [?]

I paused: and Vivian leaned his massive head
Against the pillar of the portico,
Smiled his slow, sceptic smile, then laughed, and said:
“Nay, surely not–if what you say be so.
You’ve made a statement, but no proof’s at hand.
Wait–do not flash your eyes so! Understand
I think you quite sincere in what you say:
You love your friend, and she loves you, to-day;
But friendship is not friendship at the best
Till circumstances put it to the test.
Man’s, less demonstrative, stands strain and tear,
While woman’s, half profession, fails to wear.
Two women love each other passing well –
Say Helen Trevor and Maurine La Pelle,
Just for example.
Let them daily meet
At ball and concert, in the church and street,
They kiss and coo, they visit, chat, caress;
Their love increases, rather than grows less;
And all goes well, till ‘Helen dear’ discovers
That ‘Maurine darling’ wins too many lovers.

And then her ‘precious friend,’ her ‘pet,’ her ‘sweet,’
Becomes a ‘minx,’ a ‘creature all deceit.’
Let Helen smile too oft on Maurine’s beaux,
Or wear more stylish or becoming clothes,
Or sport a hat that has a longer feather –
And lo! the strain has broken ‘friendship’s tether.’
Maurine’s sweet smile becomes a frown or pout;
‘She’s just begun to find that Helen out.’
The breach grows wider–anger fills each heart;
They drift asunder, whom ‘but death could part.’
You shake your head? Oh, well, we’ll never know!
It is not likely Fate will test you so.
You’ll live, and love; and, meeting twice a year,
While life shall last, you’ll hold each other dear.
I pray it may be so; it were not best
To shake your faith in woman by the test.
Keep your belief, and nurse it while you can.
I’ve faith in woman’s friendship too–for man!
They’re true as steel, as mothers, friends, and wives:
And that’s enough to bless us all our lives.
That man’s a selfish fellow, and a bore,
Who is unsatisfied and asks for more.”
“But there is need of more!” I here broke in.
“I hold that woman guilty of a sin,
Who would not cling to, and defend another,
As nobly as she would stand by a brother.
Who would not suffer for a sister’s sake,
And, were there need to prove her friendship, make
‘Most any sacrifice, nor count the cost.
Who would not do this for a friend is lost
To every nobler principle.”
“Shame, shame!”
Cried Vivian, laughing, “for you now defame
The whole sweet sex; since there’s not one would do
The thing you name, nor would I want her to.
I love the sex. My mother was a woman –
I hope my wife will be, and wholly human.
And if she wants to make some sacrifice,
I’ll think her far more sensible and wise
To let her husband reap the benefit,
Instead of some old maid or senseless chit.
Selfish? Of course! I hold all love is so:
And I shall love my wife right well, I know.
Now there’s a point regarding selfish love,
You thirst to argue with me, and disprove.
But since these cosy hours will soon be gone,
And all our meetings broken in upon,
No more of these rare moments must be spent
In vain discussions, or in argument.
I wish Miss Trevor was in–Jericho!
(You see the selfishness begins to show.)
She wants to see you?–So do I: but she
Will gain her wish, by taking you from me.
‘Come all the same?’ that means I’ll be allowed
To realize that ‘three can make a crowd.’
I do not like to feel myself de trop.
With two girl cronies would I not be so?
My ring would interrupt some private chat.
You’d ask me in and take my cane and hat,
And speak about the lovely summer day,
And think–‘The lout! I wish he’d kept away.’
Miss Trevor’d smile, but just to hide a pout
And count the moments till I was shown out.
And, while I twirled my thumbs, I would sit wishing
That I had gone off hunting birds, or fishing,
No, thanks, Maurine! The iron hand of Fate,
(Or otherwise Miss Trevor’s dainty fingers,)
Will bar my entrance into Eden’s gate;
And I shall be like some poor soul that lingers
At heaven’s portal, paying the price of sin,
Yet hoping to be pardoned and let in.”