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She showed me how to descend,

And returned again to the house;

Into the garden I went,

My eyes on the gravel bent,
Till I came to the walk's abrupt bend.

I suddenly looked o'er the glades,
And could not advance a step;
I stood there, foolishly dazed,
For a moment completely amazed,

At the sight of such beautiful maids.

Two lovely creatures at play,

Brightened all like the lightning's flash;

Though their heads were half turned from me,

Yet the beauty I could see,
Made me glad I had come that way.

VI.

Annie, whose ringlets fell

In shining masses of jet,
Round a brow clear, open, and fair,

As a pearl mid diamonds set.

Annie, whose eyes flashed bright,

Of a dark, rich, hazel hue, Like leaves in Autumn fallen,

Glistening in morning dew.

Annie, whose form was cast

In symmetry, softness, and grace,

Whose figure and stature matched
With the charms of her sunlit face.

Annie, the first-born child,
The pride of a happy home,

Gently and kindly reared,
To her eighteenth summer had come.

VII.

Eva, o'er whose shoulders
Streamed masses of golden hair,

Left to float on the breezes,
And shade her forehead fair.

Eva, whose eyes, like Annie's,
Flashed hazel, dark and serene,

With a light as mild and soft
As e'er greeted summer scene.

Eva, whose form not yet

Had grown to womanly mould,

Whose cheeks bloomed beautifully fair, 'Neath the tresses of shining gold.

Eva, whose years had scarce

Matured her beauty and grace, Stood lovely amidst bright beams,

With a smile on her beautiful face.

VIII.

There was on Annie's lips

The slightest expression of pride,

A curl of conscious worth,
And conscious beauty beside.

There flashed from the depth of her eyes

A spark of power and will, Not to be easily curbed;

'Twas that held me so still.

On Eva's face a smile

Of sweet recognition appeared; Frank and free as the morn,

When the lark in the cloud is heard.

A softened light in her eye,

Speaking the warmth of the soul;

Her movements were childlike still,
But owning a perfect control.

Both seemed conscious at once
. Of some one standing there,
And turning, gazed at me
With a half-inquiring air.

But Eva instantly knew,
And offered a hand as white,

As surf on the pebbly shore,
In September's clear moonlight.

Annie also drew near,
Greeted me with a smile;

But a little more reserved,
In a modest, maidenly style.

IX.

Both girls remembered old times When we met but two years ago; Years past, although only two,

Seemed spent in distant climes.

Those, happy hours spent,

With two little maidens bright,
Vanished in a corner of thought,

Into memory's store-rooms went.

Now, revived once more

By the cheerful voices and smiles,

All returned bright and gay, And sweet recollections bore.

I joined them in their game;

Croquet is charming in May.

Fashionable, too, it has grown, And deserves its present fame.

Healthful in open air,

Played 'neath a summer sky,

When the grass is short and dry, And nature blooms smiling and fair.

At once relieving the mind,

Improving the bodily health.

Arise! sick man, and play,
The advantages soon you will find.

True! you can flirt while you play;

Young people are ever the same.

Love lends soul to a game, On a smiling summer's day.

We played for a brief half-hour, »

Till a dinner-bell ringing we hear;
Then into the house we go,

Each adorns with a favourite flower.

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