A Story of Hiram
In Three Parts.
PART I. SHE.
There is always a "she" in the story Of love or of war or of glory; Whenever, in prose or in verse, A tale you attempt to rehearse, Would you tell of things humanly human, It is best to begin with the woman.
This woman was Geraldine—truly A woman, not learned unduly, So said the male parties who knew her, Save those so unwise as to woo her; They said it was certainly shocking That eyes could be merry and mocking When meant to be melting and tender;— That a maiden so fragile and slender, And needing so much a defender. Should laugh at their ardent devotion, And call love "a ridiculous notion."
She had—so they vowed—too much knowledge;
It had come through her going- to college;
For, when asked where she learned to be charming,
To be wise, and yet never alarming,
To win men, and never to tire 'em.
Her answer was always, "At Hiram!"
When asked where she learned how to fire 'em,
She still answered gaily, "At Hiram!"
Ah me, she was lovely! When, often. Her glance for a moment would soften. You were ready to call her a fairy. An elf-maiden, witching and airy, A creature of visions-and-dream-stufif, A kind of fresh-peaches-and-cream-stuff. The charmingest kind of a creature— So charming you just couldn't reach her.
She said she was old—^O', so very!
And her lashes dropped low o'er her merry
Brown eyes, until they were hid. "O,
I'm an old, old, old college widow;
I'm an antediluvian, truly."
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