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(30 January 1782 - 20 December 1866 / Colchester, England)

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Frances Keeps Her Promise

'MY Fanny, I have news to tell,
Your diligence quite pleases me;
You've work'd so neatly, read so well,
With cousin Jane you may take tea.

'But pray remember this, my love,
Although to stay you should incline,
And none but you should think to move,
I wish you to return at nine. '

With many thanks the attentive child
Assured mamma she would obey:
Whom tenderly she kiss'd, and smiled,
And with the maid then went away.

Arrived, the little girl was shown
To where she met the merry band;
And when her coming was made known,
All greet her with a welcome bland.

They dance, they play, and sweetly sing,
In every sport each one partakes;
And now the servants sweetmeats bring,
With wine and jellies, fruit and cakes.

Then comes papa, who says, 'My dears,
The magic lantern if you'd see,
And that which on the wall appears,
Leave off your play, and follow me.'

While Frances too enjoy'd the sight,
Where moving figures all combine
To raise her wonder and delight,
She hears, alas! the clock strike nine.

'Miss Fanny's maid for her is come.' –
'Oh dear, how soon!' the children cry;
They press, but Fanny will go home,
And bids her little friends good bye.

'See, dear mamma, I have not stay'd;'
'Good girl, indeed,' mamma replies,
'I knew you'd do as you had said,
And now you'll find you've won a prize.

'So come, my love, and see the man
Whom I desired at nine to call.'
Down stairs young Frances quickly ran,
And found him waiting in the hall.

'Here, Miss, are pretty birds to buy,
A parrot or macaw so gay;
A speckled dove with scarlet eye:
A linnet or a chattering jay.

'Would you a Java sparrow love?'
'No, no, I thank you,' said the child;
'I'll have a beauteous cooing dove,
So harmless, innocent, and mild. '

'Your choice, my Fanny, I commend,
Few birds can with the dove compare:
But lest it pine without a friend,
I give you leave to choose a pair.

Submitted: Thursday, April 01, 2010


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