Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
To Mabel
By Edward Sandford Martin
UPON this anniversaree,
My little godchild, aged three,
My compliments I make to thee,
      Quite heedless.
And that you ’ll throw them now away,        5
But treasure them some future day,
Are platitudes, the which to say
      Is needless.
You small, stout damsel, muckle mou’d,
With cropped tow-head and manners rude,        10
And stormy spirit unsubdued
      By nurses,
Where you were raised was it in vogue
To lisp that Tipperary brogue?
Oh, you ’re a subject sweet, you rogue,        15
      For verses!
Last Sunday morning when we stayed
At home you got yourself arrayed
In Lyman’s clothes and turned from maid
      To urchin.        20
And when we all laughed at you so,
You eyed outside the falling snow,
And thought your rig quite fit to go
      To church in.
Play on, play on, dear little lass!        25
Play on till sixteen summers pass,
And then I’ll bring a looking-glass,
      And there be-
Fore you on your lips I’ll show
The curves of small Dan Cupid’s bow,        30
And then the crop that now is “tow”
      Shall “fair” be.
And then I’ll show you, too, the charms
Of small firm hands and rounded arms,
And eyes whose flashes send alarms        35
      Right through you;
And then a half-regretful sigh
May break from me to think that I,
At forty years, can never try,
      To woo you.        40
What shall I wish you? Free from ruth,
To live and learn in love and truth,
Through childhood’s day and days of youth,
      And school’s day.
For all the days that intervene        45
’Twixt Mab at three and at nineteen,
Are but one sombre or serene
      All Fool’s Day.

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