“An Old Sweetheart Of Mine”

On the antiquing trip Saturday with Donna, I purchased an old book, copyrighted 1902.

It’s true, the cover isn’t in good shape, and several of the pages are torn.

book 3-10-2014 3-07-52 PM

But the poem and illlustrations are so sweet, I just couldn’t resist. Oh, and the price wasn’t bad: $5.00.

I’ve been struggling with just how to post about it, because the poem is very long – too long to show here in it entirety. I’ve decided to just share a few of the illustrations and my favorite verses from the poem.

The writer is at home in his study, his wife and children in another room, and he reminisces about an old sweetheart.

As one who cons at evening o’er an album all alone,
And muses on the faces of the friends that he has known,
So I turn the leaves of fancy till, in shadowy design,
I find the smiling features of an old sweetheart of mine.

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Though I hear, beneath my study, like a fluttering of wings,
The voices of my children, and the mother as she sings,
I feel no twinge of conscience to deny me any theme
When Care has cast her anchor in the harbor of a dream.

mother and children 3-10-2014 3-43-15 PM.bmp-001

I can see the pink sunbonnet
and the little, checkered dress
She wore when first I kissed her
and she answered the caress.

I give my treasures to her –all, —
My pencil – blue-and-red; –
And, if little girls played marbles,
Mine should all be hers instead! –

children at school 3-10-2014 3-48-13 PM

When we should live together in a cozy little cot
Hid in a nest of roses, with a fairy garden-spot,
Where the vines were ever fruited, and the weather ever fine,
And the birds were ever singing for that old sweetheart of mine:

When I should be her lover forever and a day,
And she my faithful sweetheart till the golden hair was gray;
And we should be so happy that when either’s lips were dumb
They would not smile in Heaven till the other’s kiss had come.

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But, ah! my dream is broken by a step upon the stair,
And the door is softly opened, and — my wife is standing there;
Yet with eagerness and rapture all my visions I resign
To greet the living presence of that old sweetheart of mine.

wife 3-10-2014 4-01-51 PM

….sigh….

~These Days Of Mine~

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16 responses to ““An Old Sweetheart Of Mine”

  1. Beautiful. I remember James Whitcomb Riley from high school but had never read this poem.

  2. Sweet……and it’s one of those things that touches our hearts – a bit of good old-fashioned romance! Lovely verse…sighing is definitely in order…..

    Pam

  3. Such a sweet find Dianna! The illustrations are beautiful. I am drawn to book illustrations, especially children’s books. I collect books just for illustrations and follow several book illustrators. Need to google James Whitcomb Riley.

  4. I remember my mother reciting “Little Orphant Annie” by him.

  5. I agree – SIGH!! The illustrations are just as beautiful as the sentiment in the poem. I recognized the author’s name from high school also. I think I appreciate the poetry so much more now than I did then.

  6. A lovely poem…and who could resist those illustrations…so different from today. And don’t you love the nice litte twist in the ending?!

  7. Dianna, thanks for sharing this lovely book! I loved reading this!

  8. I adore real old books. Most of mine are equine related but I have a few that are not. The book you found is so lovely. Thanks for sharing it with us.
    ~d.

  9. I really like the style here, but I’m unfamiliar with the writer.. I don’t remember reading him in school..
    Time for research !!

  10. Oh I love that book. I’d never heard of it before. It’s a true treasure you found. I love how it ends. What fun and his true heart of the love of his wife echoes n his words. Thanks for sharing, you gave me a nice smile for the day. 🙂

  11. That is a great find.

  12. Isn’t this dear? Just the world we’d wish for ourselves!

  13. What a sweet and lovely find. It pulls at your heart. Love it.

  14. Great find! I really like old books like this one.

  15. I love this one Dianna! I kept thinking it was unrequited love when all along his wife was his sweetheart from long ago. Would that we all feel that way into old age about our chosen ones. What a beautiful little book and the illustrations are superb.

  16. I love this author. I remember reading this years ago. He had some other beautiful poems too. There’s one called “Out to Old Aunt Mary’s” that’s so sweet. Is that one in this book? Love the old fashioned images! ~ Sheila

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