The lady at the corner wicket Sold me a stamp, I stooped to lick it, And on the envelope to stick it; A spinster lacking girlish grace, Yet sweetly sensitive, her face Seemed to en-star that stodgy place.
Said I: "I've come from o'er the sea To ask you if you'll marry me - That is to say, if you are free. I see your gentle features freeze; 'I do not like such jokes as these,' You seem to say . . . Have patience, please.
I saw you twenty years ago; Just here you sold me stamps, and Oh Your image seemed to haunt me so. For you were lovely as a rose, But I was poor, and I suppose At me you tilted dainty nose.
Ah, well I knew love could not be, So sought my fortune o'er the sea, Deeming that you were lost to me. Of sailing ships a mate was I, From oriental ports to ply . . . Ten years went past of foreign sky.
But always in the starry night I steered my course with you in sight, My dream of you a beacon light. Then after a decade had sped I cam again: 'What luck? I said, 'Will she be here and free to wed?'
Oh it was on a morn of Spring, And I had in my purse a ring I bought in Eastern voyaging, With thought of you and only you; For I to my love dream was true . . . And here you were, your eyes of blue.
The same sun shining on your brow Lustered you hair as it does now, My heart was standing still, I vow. I bought a stamp, my eyes were bent Upon a ring you wore - I went Away as if indifferent.
Again I sailed behind the mast, And yet your image held me fast, For once again ten years have passed. And I am bronzed with braid of gold; The rank of Captain now I hold, And fifty are my years all told.
Yet still I have that ruby ring I bought for you that morn of Spring - See, here it is, a pretty thing. . . . But now you've none upon your finger; Why? I don't know - but as I linger I'm thinking : Oh what can I bring her.
Who all my life have ploughed the ocean, A lonely man with one devotion - Just you? Ah, if you'd take the notion To try the thing you ought to wear, It fits so well. Do leave it there.
And here's a note addressed to you. Ah yes, quite strangers are we two, But - well, please answer soon . . . Adieu!
* * * * * * * * * *
Oh no, you never more will see Her selling stamps at Wicket Three: Queen of my home, she's pouring tea.