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Stedman and Hutchinson, comps. A Library of American Literature:
An Anthology in Eleven Volumes. 1891.
Vols. IX–XI: Literature of the Republic, Part IV., 1861–1889

Love’s Young Dream

By George Augustus Baker (1849–1906)

[Born in New York, N. Y., 1849. Died, 1906. Point-Lace and Diamonds. 1875.]

THANK you—much obliged, old boy.

Yes, it’s so; report says true.

I’m engaged to Nell Latine—

What else could a fellow do?

Governor was getting fierce;

Asked me, with paternal frown,

When I meant to go to work,

Take a wife, and settle down.

Stormed at my extravagance,

Talked of cutting off supplies—

Fairly bullied me, you know—

Sort of thing that I despise.

Well, you see, I lost worst way

At the races—Governor raged—

So, to try and smooth him down,

I went off, and got engaged.

Sort of put up thing, you know—

All arranged with old Latine—

Nelly raved about it first,

Said her “pa was awful mean!”

Now it’s done we don’t much mind—

Tell the truth, I’m rather glad;

Looking at it every way,

One must own it isn’t bad.

She’s good-looking, rather rich,—

Mother left her quite a pile;

Dances, goes out everywhere;

Fine old family, real good style.

Then she’s good, as girls go now,

Some idea of wrong and right,

Don’t let every man she meets

Kiss her, on the self-same night.

We don’t do affection much,

Nell and I are real good friends,

Call there often, sit and chat,

Take her ’round, and there it ends.

Spooning! Well, I tried it once—

Acted like an awful calf—

Said I really loved her. Gad!

You should just have heard her laugh.

Why, she ran me for a month,

Teased me till she made me wince:

“Mustn’t flirt with her,” she said,

So I haven’t tried it since.

’Twould be pleasant to be loved

Like you read about in books—

Mingling souls, and tender eyes—

Love, and that, in all their looks;

Thoughts of you, and no one else;

Voice that has a tender ring,

Sacrifices made, and—well—

You know—all that sort of thing.

That’s all worn-out talk, they say,

Don’t see any of it now—

Spooning on your fiancée

Isn’t good style, anyhow.

Just suppose that one of us—

Nell and me, you know—some day

Got like that on some one else—

Might be rather awkward—eh!

All in earnest, like the books—

Wouldn’t it be awful rough!

Jove! if I—but pshaw, what bosh!

Nell and I are safe enough.

Some time in the Spring, I guess;

Be on hand to wish us joy?

Be a groomsman, if you like—

Lots of wine—good-bye, old boy.