[Editor: This poem, by Bessie Vickery, regarding Valentine’s Day, was published in the Alexandra & Yea Standard; Gobur, Thornton, and Acheron Express (Alexandra, Vic.), 13 February 1880.]
St. Valentine’s Day.
St. Valentines day has come again,
And faces are pressed to the window pane;
We are waiting to hear the loud double knock,
That comes so regular at ten o’clock.
Ah, now he is turning the end of the street;
How full is his bag, and how slow seem his feet;
He has letters to leave at one, three, and four,
But at last he approaches our own cottage door,
He is smilingly handing our letters to Jane,
When Alice flies down like a wee hurricane
Then up she comes bounding, three steps at a time,
With a laugh and a shout she tosses me mine,
There is one for Walter, and two for Will,
There are five for Janet, and three for Nell.
And one for wee Maudie from a sweetheart of seven,
Who thinks her an angel come straight down from heaven.
I lay down my own to study each face,
As they open each envelope, cover, and case.
Walter turns red, as he discloses to view,
A party, whose name is no doubt known to you
On his pitchfork he’s bearing to regions below
A redheaded youth, with a face full of woe.
But loud is Will’s laugh, when his first he descried
To be a fat butler, with a mouth a yard wide,
Still louder he laughs when the next one he shows,
Lean open mouthed donkey dressed up in boys’ clothes,
The other faces I scan, and smiles are on all,
From Janet, the stately, to Maudie the small.
When at last in my room they leave me alone,
With a proud happy heart I open my own,
Suffice it to say, none nicer could be,
Than the pretty love tokens now smiling at me.
But ’tis time now to close, lest of me you should tire.
And that I acknowledge I do not desire,
So to all my young friends who read this short rhyme
I wish many a pretty and sweet valentine.
Alexandra & Yea Standard; Gobur, Thornton, and Acheron Express (Alexandra, Vic.), 13 February 1880, p. 3
descried = past tense of “descry”: to see something, especially something difficult to detect (e.g. they descried a small scar on his body)
party = a person, an individual, an entity (especially with regards to a contract or a legal matter)
regions below = Hell
St. = (abbreviation) Saint
’tis = (archaic) a contraction of “it is”
wee = little, very small, diminutive, e.g. “the wee child” (the small child), “the wee hours of the morning” (the small hours of the morning, i.e. the early hours of the morning)
[Editor: Changed “boys clothes” to “boys’ clothes”, “none nicer could he” to “none nicer could be”.]