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

He looked so melancholy sitting there,
I laughed outright. “How well you act a part;
You look the very picture of despair!
You’ve missed your calling, sir! suppose you start
Upon a starring tour, and carve your name
With Booth’s and Barrett’s on the heights of Fame
But now, tabooing nonsense, I shall send
For you to help me entertain my friend,
Unless you come without it. ‘Cronies?’ True,
Wanting our ‘private chats’ as cronies do.
And we’ll take those, while you are reading Greek,
Or writing ‘Lines to Dora’s brow’ or ‘cheek.’
But when you have an hour or two of leisure,
Call as you now do, and afford like pleasure.
For never yet did heaven’s sun shine on,
Or stars discover, that phenomenon,
In any country, or in any clime:
Two maids so bound, by ties of mind and heart,
They did not feel the heavy weight of time
In weeks of scenes wherein no man took part.
God made the sexes to associate:
Nor law of man, nor stern decree of Fate,
Can ever undo what His hand has done,
And, quite alone, make happy either one.
My Helen is an only child:- a pet
Of loving parents: and she never yet
Has been denied one boon for which she pleaded.
A fragile thing, her lightest wish was heeded.
Would she pluck roses? They must first be shorn,
By careful hands, of every hateful thorn,
And loving eyes must scan the pathway where
Her feet may tread, to see no stones are there.
She’ll grow dull here, in this secluded nook,
Unless you aid me in the pleasant task
Of entertaining. Drop in with your book –
Read, talk, sing for her sometimes. What I ask,
Do once, to please me: then there’ll be no need
For me to state the case again, or plead.
There’s nothing like a woman’s grace and beauty
To waken mankind to a sense of duty.”

“I bow before the mandate of my queen:
Your slightest wish is law, Ma Belle Maurine,”
He answered, smiling, “I’m at your command;
Point but one lily finger, or your wand,
And you will find a willing slave obeying.
There goes my dinner bell! I hear it saying
I’ve spent two hours here, lying at your feet,
Not profitable, maybe–surely sweet.
All time is money; now were I to measure
The time I spend here by its solid pleasure,
And that were coined in dollars, then I’ve laid
Each day a fortune at your feet, fair maid.
There goes that bell again! I’ll say good-bye,
Or clouds will shadow my domestic sky.
I’ll come again, as you would have me do,
And see your friend, while she is seeing you.
That’s like by proxy being at a feast;
Unsatisfactory, to say the least.”

He drew his fine shape up, and trod the land
With kingly grace. Passing the gate, his hand
He lightly placed the garden wall upon,
Leaped over like a leopard, and was gone.

And, going, took the brightness from the place,
Yet left the June day with a sweeter grace,
And my young soul, so steeped in happy dreams,
Heaven itself seemed shown to me in gleams.
There is a time with lovers, when the heart
First slowly rouses from its dreamless sleep,
To all the tumult of a passion life,
Ere yet have wakened jealousy and strife.
Just as a young, untutored child will start
Out of a long hour’s slumber, sound and deep,
And lie and smile with rosy lips and cheeks,
In a sweet, restful trance, before it speaks.
A time when yet no word the spell has broken,
Save what the heart unto the soul has spoken,
In quickened throbs, and sighs but half suppressed
A time when that sweet truth, all unconfessed,
Gives added fragrance to the summer flowers,
A golden glory to the passing hours,
A hopeful beauty to the plainest face,
And lends to life a new and tender grace.
When the full heart has climbed the heights of bliss,
And, smiling, looks back o’er the golden past,
I think it finds no sweeter hour than this
In all love-life. For, later, when the last
Translucent drop o’erflows the cup of joy,
And love, more mighty than the heart’s control,
Surges in words of passion from the soul,
And vows are asked and given, shadows rise
Like mists before the sun in noonday skies,
Vague fears, that prove the brimming cup’s alloy;
A dread of change–the crowning moment’s curse,
Since what is perfect, change but renders worse:
A vain desire to cripple Time, who goes
Bearing our joys away, and bringing woes.
And later, doubts and jealousies awaken,
And plighted hearts are tempest-tossed and shaken.
Doubt sends a test, that goes a step too far,
A wound is made, that, healing, leaves a scar,
Or one heart, full with love’s sweet satisfaction,
Thinks truth once spoken always understood,
While one is pining for the tender action
And whispered word by which, of old, ’twas wooed.

But this blest hour, in love’s glad, golden day,
Is like the dawning, ere the radiant ray
Of glowing Sol has burst upon the eye,
But yet is heralded in earth and sky,
Warm with its fervour, mellow with its light,
While Care still slumbers in the arms of night.
But Hope, awake, hears happy birdlings sing,
And thinks of all a summer day may bring.

In this sweet calm, my young heart lay at rest,
Filled with a blissful sense of peace; nor guessed
That sullen clouds were gathering in the skies
To hide the glorious sun, ere it should rise.