Thomas Bailey Aldrich

(November 11, 1836 – March 19, 1907 / Portsmouth, New Hampshire)

Fannie - Poem by Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Fannie has the sweetest foot
Ever in a gaiter boot!
And the hoyden knows it,
And, of course, she shows it-
Not the knowledge, but the foot-
Yet with such a modest grace,
Never seems it out of place,
Ah, there are not many
Half so sly, or sad, or mad,
Or wickeder than Fannie.

Fannie has the blackest hair
Of any of the village girls;
It does not shower on her neck
In silken or coquettish curls.
It droops in folds around her brow,
As clouds, at night, around the moon,
Looped with lilies here and there,
In many a dangerous festoon.
And Fannie wears a gipsy hat,
Saucily-yes, all of that!
Ah, there are not many
Half so sly, or sad, or mad,
Or wickeder than Fannie.

Fannie wears an open dress-
Ah! the charming chemisette!
Half concealing, half revealing
Something far more charming yet.
Fannie draper her breast with lace,
As one would drape a costly vase
To keep away mischevious flies;
But lace can't keep away one's eyes,
For every time her bosom heaves,
Ah, it peepeth through it;
Yet Fannie looks the while as if
Never once she knew it.
Ah, there are not many
Half so sly, or sad, or mad,
Or innocent than Fannie.

Fannie lays her hand in mine;
Fannie speaks with naivete,
Fannie kisses me, she does!
In her own coquettish way.
Then softly speaks and deeply sighs,
With angels nestled in her eyes.
In the merrie month of May,
Fannie swears sincerely
She will be my own wife,
And love me dearly, dearly
Ever after all her life.
Ah, there are not many
Half so sly, or sad, or mad,
As my true-hearted Fannie.


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Poem Submitted: Thursday, April 8, 2010



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