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AUTHOR'S NOTE.

The distinctive features of this little collection, culled from “THE TABLETS OF THE HEART," are these :

1. The bringing together in a single volume of complete poems, extracts of

some length, and brief aphoristic bits. 2. The juxtaposition of poems and passages distinctly serious with others as

distinctly comic. 3. The including of a large number of little pieces and pithy extracts

especially suitable for transcription. This last feature will, it is hoped, enable the collection to win its way into the good graces of those who, wishing to send a card-souvenir on Valentine's Day, prefer to the ready-made verses a few lines chosen by themselves and inscribed on the back of the card in their own hand.

Not a few little pieces, specially written for the performance of this pleasant duty, and sprinkled over the pages of this volume, are the copyright of the Publishers, Messrs. Raphael Tuck and Sons,—with whom the elevation of the standard, both literary and artistic, of cards appropriate to the several seasons, has been an object steadily and most successfully pursued.

PREFACE.

When Authors indite or Compilers select,

It's surely a matter of reason and right To indicate clearly the class they expect

To welcome their work with effusive delight. So, waiving all circumlocutory fuss,

Meanderings, mazes, and lurchings askew, My aim and intention I specify thus

This book is for You.

Poor Damon, sunk deep in the quagmire of love,

Fast losing in girth, while increasing in sighs, For whom all the blue of the world-arch above Laughs saucily forth from two mischievous eyes,

, I come to the rescue—by hook or by crook,

I'll pull you, old fellow, triumphantly through ; The whole art of wooing's set forth in my book

The book is for You.

And you,

little Phyllis, whose tip-tilted nose Goes up a good inch when of Damon we speak, Yet whose quick-beating heart is so hard to compose

If Damon but whisper, “ The tea's rather weak;” I bring you a trifle of sweets to the sweet,

With nutmeg and lemon the whole to imbue ; Here's Love's Vade-mecum, revised and complete

The book is for You.

And

you, Master Cynic, who turn with a sneer From Damon reproaching his mistress unkind, Averring the fever is brief, though severe,

And never leaves anything nasty behind, I'll vow that you treasure a shawl-pin or muff,

A tress of bright hair, in some secret purlieu, So in spite of your second-hand cynical stuff,

The book is for You.

And you, Sir, who say that life's glamour is o'er

You doziest, prosiest, plumpest of men; Who have long ago reckoned that troublesome score

The second that comes of the three score and tenWhose lads will soon wander each Jack to his Jill,

Whose girls will soon hear the Old Story anewTheir mother's your sweetheart-confess it, Sir !-still;

The book is for You.

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And you, for whom life-once so glowing and sweet

Is only the dream of a dream that is fled; Whose shivering spirit still crouches for heat

O'er the ashes of hopes that lie whitened and dead; O you for whom earth has no blossom beside

One flower that revives not, though tears be its dew, O loving and faithful, O tender and tried !

The book is for You.

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And you who, too happy for comment or praise,

By the spell of a ring on a delicate hand,
Have passed from the earth and its commonplace ways

To a beautiful, love-litten, mystical land :-
O triumphing Bridegroom and rose-hearted Bride,

Two souls that by blending to perfectness grew,
Disdain not the garland my fingers have tied-

The book is for You.

From the smooth-pated sage to the ringleted elf,

From the judge on the bench to the rogue at the bar, From the clown to whom bacon is poetry's self

To the exquisite being who dines on a star, From the beauty with pearls on her pearlier breast

To the beauty whose gems are a nose-ring or two, Love rules ;—so, without reservation or test,

The book is for YOU.

F. L.

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