|When verdant fancies first enshrine
Fair maidenhood in dreams divine,
The awkward graces of the youth
Are signboards setting forth the truth.
His dingy shoes your glances greet
Like mirrors fastened to his feet.
His hair he curries and he clears
The real estate from out his ears.
His finger nails obtain relief
From their insignia of grief.
His buttonholes no longer stare
Untenanted from everywhere.
But seedy coat and grimy vest
Give way before his Sunday best.
His cap, the darling of his heart,
Is told that bosom friends must part;
And in its place a stylish hat
Smiles down upon his loud cravat.
His manners also come to life;
He eats no longer with his knife.
His hands bear evidence of soap;
He ceases saying "Yep" and"Nope."
He catches cold and, strange to say,
A handkerchief comes into play.
He tramples on some lady's toe,
But begs her pardon bowing low.
In short an outlaw, reckless, wild,
Is Evolu'tion's favored child;
And by an unsuspected plan
There comes to light the gentleman
The force is ancient as the race
By which this miracle takes place.
The magic talisman thereof
Is simply this___ a lover's love.
The sages tell us love is blind:
Perhaps he is, but he can find
With wondrous certainty the best
That slumbers in the youthful breast.
__Harry Edward Mills.
Harry Edward Mills
(Fort Scott: Sunflower Press. 1901)