[Editor: This poem for children, by Eva Oakley, was published in Willie Wagtail, Two Little Romances and Other Verses (1945).]
“Two Little Romances”
A CONFESSION — Bob tells Ben about Nell.
“I meet a lovely lady fair,
When I go walking out each day;
She has a wealth of golden hair,
And, on her lips, a smile does play.
Her eyes are of the deepest blue,
And, pink as roses, are her cheeks;
I know she is both good and true;
Her voice is soft whene’er she speaks.
’Twixt ruby lips, show teeth of pearl;
She carries herself like a queen,
And, on her brow, a tiny curl,
Beneath her bonnet quaint, is seen,
And now, my bosom swells with pride;
The reason is, that lovely Nell
Has promised she will be my bride,
And dwell with me down in the dell.”
MARRIED — Some months later, Bob and Ben meet again — and Bob says to Ben —
“Let me now take you to the home,
Wherein I dwell with Nell;
For we’ve been married quite a while,
And live down in the dell.
That pretty porch, across the way,
Is where you enter in,
With roses climbing overhead;
Birds making joyful din.
Across the hall, let us now step,
And gaze into that room,
Where lovely pictures meet the eye,
And flowers, from vases, loom.
Outside, the garden looks so gay,
With sweetest fragrance, free,
And my Nell! She knows how to cook!
Perhaps you’ll stay to tea.”
THE PETS — They meet once more: Bob says —
“Why! Here we are again, old chap!
And I am glad we’ve met;
You must take tea with Nell and me;
Each of us has a pet.
I’ll introduce them both to you;
I think you’ll love them too;
Mine is a dog, and hers, a cat;
They’re Prince and Chinky Foo.
They make good company for Nell,
While I’m away all day;
But, soon as they see me come home,
Both bound along to play.
Well! Here we are right back again,
And see! Our pals have heard —
‘Down, Prince! Down, Chink! Please, don’t be rude.’
They’re beauties? Yes! My word!”
THE FAMILY GROWS.
Another meeting, and Bob says —
“I have not seen you for so long;
It must be nigh four years;
But you’ve been travelling around:
Still! Now you’re home! Three cheers!
I wrote to you about our boy,
And also, of our girl;
She’s like her mother, even to
That tiny golden curl,
Which, from beneath her bonnet, strays,
And pretty teeth, like pearl.
My boy is just like me, they say,
And Nell just beams with pride,
Because she says, ‘We’re there again,
All over, side by side.’”
THE LETTER — Bob writes to Ben.
“Dear Ben, I’m writing this to you,
To ask you home to tea,
On Monday next; my sister, Jean,
I’m hoping we will see.
She has not been home long, you know,
From many years abroad;
I promised that you two would meet,
So, now, I’ve kept my word.
You’ve seen, her picture, and you think,
You’ll get on well together:
Oh, well! Old Chap! I wish you luck,
And hope ’twill be nice weather.
Then, maybe, you can see her home,
As I once saw my Nell;
I’m looking forward to it all,
From your old friend, Bob Bell.”
BEN AND JEAN ARE ENGAGED, so Ben writes to Bob.
“Dear Bob, I simply could not wait,
Until we met again,
And so, to write this note to you,
I’ve taken up my pen.
Your sister Jean and I will, soon,
Again come round to tea,
If you will have us, Bob, old friend;
I’m sure you will agree.
For we have now become engaged,
And, in the Spring, we’ll wed;
When I asked Jean to be my wife,
The answer, ‘Yes!’ was said.
I am so happy, Bob, and feel
Thankful to you and Nell,
For helping us in every way,
Your grateful friend, Ben Kell.”
THE WEDDING — Ben and Jean are Married.
Soon, Ben and Jean were married,
In the little country kirk;
All went so smoothly, and the folk
Took holiday from work.
Dear little Nell was flower girl,
And Bobbie was the page;
A tiny bird trilled music sweet,
From a big, golden cage.
A honeymoon, down by the sea,
They took, and then came home,
To the nice cottage they had bought,
And never wished to roam,
For they had pets and children too,
Who filled the place with laughter;
So, all of them were filled with joy,
And were happy ever after.
Eva Oakley, Willie Wagtail, Two Little Romances and Other Verses, Melbourne: Austral Printing & Publishing Company, , pp. 7-11
dell = a small valley, dale, or glen, especially one with many trees; a secluded wooded hollow
din = a loud noise which continues for a significant amount of time, especially an unpleasant noise
gay = happy, joyous, carefree; well-decorated, bright, attractive (in modern times it may especially refer to a homosexual, especially a male homosexual; can also refer to something which is no good, pathetic, useless)
kirk = a church (the term is especially used in Scotland and northern England); (capitalised) the Kirk, i.e. the Church of Scotland (Presbyterian), distinct from the Church of England (Anglican) or the Scottish Episcopal Church
nigh = near, close, especially regarding time or place (e.g. “the time was nigh”); approaching, nearly; almost
’twill = (archaic) a contraction of “it will”
’twixt = (vernacular) a contraction of “betwixt” (i.e. between) (may be spelt with or without an apostrophe: ’twixt, twixt)
whene’er = (vernacular) a contraction of “whenever”