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My First Valentine

From the Omaha Daily Bee, February 14, 1914. By K. L. Daniher.

Now dawns the day of all the year when Cupid’s court holds sway,
And pictured hearts in true love knots are sent upon their way
To bear a tender message from the bashful, love-lorn swain
Unto his chosen lady-love, her favor thus to gain;
Then backward through the mists of years my thoughts are prone to stray,
Though fifty mile-stones mark the path, it seems but yesterday—
As dreamily I muse upon the ardor that was mine
When I, with mingled hopes and fears, sent my first valentine.

She was my favorite at school—a winsome little maid,
With nut-brown hair all plaited in a smooth, beribboned braid.
Still graven in my mem’ry are the colors that she wore,
The checkered pink sunbonnet and the snowy pinafore;
And when the shops resplendent shone with arrow-punctured hearts,
And roguish, chubby Cupids making havoc with their darts,
I fain would render homage to the little miss of nine,
And breathe my admiration in a dainty valentine.

Ah, me! What changes time has wrought since that bright winter day
When in my charmer’s desk I placed my valentine so gay.
Where once the little school house stood, a modern structure towers,
And there my children’s children spent their busy schooltime hours.
The little lass? Why bless your heart! She sits beside me now,
The nut-brown hair is silver, banded low upon her brow;
Fair sweetheart of my boyhood’s days, my heart is still her shrine—
Though fifty years have flown since then, she’s still my Valentine.

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