February. — We grown ones have had another amusing time in a Valentine party, which the children’s aunt and cousins had. Each lady and gentleman wrote a Valentine for a name that had been drawn beforehand, and which was sealed up when drawn. Then, when the evening of the party came, the Valentines were all thrown together and drawn again,— those of the ladies by the gentlemen, and the gentlemen’s by the ladies; and each gentleman presented to the lady who received his a bouquet, and each lady fastened a ribbon bow on the shoulder of the gentleman who received hers. The two funny Valentines which follow were written for the two gentlemen’s names which came to our share.
The first gentleman, a little while before, had personated the character of a lady in a little play; and he went also by the sobriquet of the “Modern Raphael,” which explains the allusion in the verses: —
1. ” Boggs! ” — What a name!
Yet ’tis all the same
In poetry or verse;
And I truly rejoice
That I had no choice,
Or perchance it might have been worse.
2. In the nick of time,
I have found a rhyme
To couple with my Boggs j
And I would have him believe,
On St. Valentine’s Eve,
That my Muse is chorused by frogs I
S. My Boggs, alas!
Has an alias,
And passes for Julia Standwell;
But the name I prefer
Both for him and for her
Is the mud-cm Raphael.
4. But sweet Valentine,
I am ever thine,
Let the name be what it may;
And I venture to hope
That your fair eyes may ope
On many returns of this day.
The other gentleman had acted in the same play the part of a widow, Mrs. Juniper,
1. Dear Mrs. Juniper, I hope you may not prefer
Any other damsel to me;
But, if it is so, I’ll not give you my bow,
However disappointed you be.
2. A widow like yon, I know should be true
To her long-lost Juniper-berry;
But in Carnival-time it would not be a crime
To join me in making so merry.
8. And oh! hear me declare, — with thy raven hair,
And thy cheeks as red as a poppy,
If thou wilt but be mine for this one Valentine
I’ll never again be un-HOPPY!
The aunt and cousins had a very lively time at the Carnival this year: it was the first time they had seen it, and they thought it delightful. They had a large balcony which would hold twenty persons, and we all of us went several times. Nannine and Gianina particularly enjoyed it very much. As they are larger, they can do more and more every year, being able to throw the confetti now, or toss a bouquet very nicely.
Source: Child-life In Italy, 1866