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Post Office Romance

 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.

by Robert William Service
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