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An Old Sweetheart of Mine by James Whitcomb Riley

An Old Sweetheart of Mine

James Whitcomb Riley

Drawings by Howard Chandler Christy

Decorations by Virginia Keep

The Bobbs-Merrill Company Publishers Indianapolis

Copyright, 1888-1899-1902 James Whitcomb Riley

Copyright, 1902 The Bowen-Merrill Company

An Old Sweetheart of Mine

INSCRIBED

To GEORGE C. HITT

The beginning of whose steadfast friendship was marked by the first publication of these verses which now, expanded by writer, honored by publisher and masterfully graced by artist, seem to be a worthier symbol of the author's grateful and affectionate regard for his earliest friend

List of Illustrations

I Frontispiece--An Old Sweetheart of Mine.

II A fair, illusive vision that would vanish into air

III The _then_ of changeless sunny days--The _now_ of shower and shine

IV The old bookshelves and prints along the wall

V I find the smiling features of an old sweetheart of mine

VI Its fate with my tobacco and to vanish with the smoke

VII When my truant fancies wander with that old sweetheart of mine

VIII The voices of my children and the mother as she sings

IX For I find an extra flavor in Memory's mellow wine

X O childhood days enchanted! O the magic of the spring

XI To--smile, behind my lesson, at that old sweetheart of mine

XII A face of lily-beauty, with a form of airy grace

XIII When first I kissed her, and she answered the caress

XIV I slipped the apple in it--and the teacher didn't know

XV She gave me her _photograph_, and printed "Ever Thine"

XVI And again I feel the pressure of her slender little hand

XVII Where the vines were ever fruited, and the weather ever fine

XVIII And she my faithful sweetheart till the golden hair was gray

XIX The door is softly opened, and--my wife is standing there

_The ordered intermingling_ _of the real and the dream,--_ _The mill above the river,_ _and the mist above the stream;_ _The life of ceaseless labor,_ _brave with song and cheery call--_ _The radiant skies of evening,_ _with its rainbow o'er us all._


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