Her Answer

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Her Answer  (1886) 
by Samuel Williams Cooper

On my right at a dinner sat Mollie,
On my left there was little May Belle
Who is always so sparkling and jolly,
And who likes me, I fancy quite well.

The former somehow spoke of ages;
"Now, what would you take me to be?"
I asked, She replied, "Of life's pages
I suppose you have turned twenty-three".

Miss Belle, on my left, was abstracted,
And did not our words overhear,
Nor knew she the answer expected
As I whispered quite low in her ear,

"And what would you take me for, Mary?"
And then this small maiden perverse,
From out of abstraction, quite wary,
Responded - "For better or worse".