Accept, dear girl, this little token,
And if between the lines you seek,
You’ll find the love I’ve often spoken
The love my dying lips shall speak.
Our little ones are making merry
O’er am’rous ditties rhymed in jest,
But in these words (though awkward very)
The genuine article’s expressed.
You are as fair and sweet and tender,
Dear brown-eyed little sweetheart mine,
As when, a callow youth and slender,
I asked to be your Valentine.
What though these years of ours be fleeting?
What though the years of youth be flown?
I’ll mock old Tempus with repeating,
“I love my love and her alone!”
And when I fall before his reaping,
And when my stuttering speech is dumb,
Think not my love is dead or sleeping,
But that it waits for you to come.
So take, dear love, this little token,
And if there speaks in any line
The sentiment I’d fain have spoken,
Say, will you kiss your Valentine?
~ Eugene Field (1850-1895)