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George Burgess
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A Victorian Scrapbook

A Scrapbook of Newspaper Articles Compiled by George Burgess (1829-1905)

Victorian Poetry

A Model Love-Letter

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Transcript from original newspaper article: -


O thou whose virgin heart I wish to please,
My dearest, sweetest, loveliest, best Louise!
When gudgeons build their nest on mountain tops,
And hungry fishermen catch mutton-chops;

When lobsters upon currant-bushes grow,
And rivulets with milk and honey flow;
When turkeys from their spits shall fly to greet me,
And roast-pigs cry aloud, “O come and eat me!”

When “Mountain-dew” shall need no distillation,
And “double-ex” be brew’s by in-spiration;
When geese live on their livers, and papa
Shall buy from them his pates-de-foie-gras;

When pigs to philosophic truths awaken,
And furnish plentiful extracts from Bacon;
When “Bulls and bears” shall neither growl nor gore,
And “lame ducks” waddle on the Change no more;

When gamblers’ “pigeons” win back all they’ve lost,
And Peter Flinks sells watches at prime cost;
When “Brindle” goes to market with her cheeses,
And no one but her sells, unless she pleases;

When bears exchange their skins for current money,
And bees grow rich by manufacturing honey;
When beavers trade in furs, and shopping maids
Bargain with silk-worms for their new brocades;

When ladies teem with wit, and never show it,
Look beautiful as angels – and do not know it;
When ancient maidens cease to sigh for youth,
And politicians aim to tell the truth;

When spendthrifts learn to reckon cent per cent,
And misers cease to mourn their money spent;
When rivers upward from their sources fly,
And pump the mighty depths of ocean dry;

When all the lofty mountain fall, right slap!
And tumble down into the valleys’ lap;
When polar suns cook beefsteaks, slice by slice,
And Esquimaux to Guinea go for ice;

When steamers o’er the Alpine heights shall go,
And railroads cross the Gulf of Mexico;
When little pigs shall learn to build a sty,
And cherries ripen for our Christmas pie;

When Turkey carpets, woven all complete,
Shall be the grass that grows beneath your feet;
When wool shall float in fleecy clouds about you. –
Then, dearest – only then – I’ll cease to love you!

G. S. C.

A Model Love Letter