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A Billet Doux by George Moses Horton |

A Billet Doux

by George Moses Horton


DEAR MISS: Notwithstanding the cloud of doubts which overshadows the mind of adoring fancy, when I trace that vermillion cheek, that sapphire eye of expressive softness, and that symmetrical form of grace, I am constrained to sink into a flood of admiration beneath those heavenly charms. Though, dear Miss, it may be useless to introduce a multiplicity of blandishments, which might either lead you into a field of confusion, or absorb the truth of affection in the gloom of doubts; but the bell of adulation may be told from the distance of its echo, and cannot be heard farther than seen. Dear Miss, whatever may be the final result of my adventurous progress, I now feel a propensity to embark on the ocean of chance, and expand the sail of resolution in quest of the distant shore of connubial happiness with one so truly lovely. Though, my dearest, the thunders of parental aversion may inflect the guardian index of affection from its favorite star, the deviated needle recovers its course, and still points onwards to its native poll. Though the waves of calumny may reverberate the persevering mind of the sailing lover, the morning star of hope directs him through the gloom of trial to the object of his choice.


My brightest hopes are mix'd with tears,

Like hues of light and gloom;

As when mid sun-shine rain appears,

Love rises with a thousand fears,


To pine and still to bloom.

When I have told my last fond tale

In lines of song to thee,

And for departure spread my sail,

Say, lovely princess, wilt thou fail

To drop a tear for me?


O, princess, should my votive strain

Salute thy ear no more,

Like one deserted on the main,

I still shall gaze, alas! but vain,

On wedlock's flow'ry shore.


Born in 1798, George Moses Horton is the author of The Hope of Liberty and Naked Genius. He died in Philadelphia in 1883.


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