Fugitive Verses
Popular Reprinted Poetry from Nineteenth Century Newspapers

"The Young Widow" by Robert Josselyn

Source of witness transcribed: Southern Sentinel (Plaquemine, Louisiana)

Date of witness transcribed: 1 August 1857

Notes about this poem: "The Young Widow" was printed in at least 200 newspapers during the nineteenth century. It can be found using ID 18034 in this table of most widely-reprinted poems.

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The Young Widow

  • She is modest, but not bashful,
  • Free and easy, but not bold,
  • Like an apple, ripe and mellow,
  • Not too young and not too old;
  • Half inviting half repulsive,
  • Now advancing, and now shy;
  • There is mischief in her dimple,
  • There is danger in her eye.

  • She has studied human nature;
  • She is schooled in all its arts;
  • She has taken her diploma,
  • As the mistress of all hearts.
  • She can tell the very moment
  • When to sigh and when to smile;
  • O, a maid is sometimes charming,
  • But a window, all the while!

  • Are you sad? how very serious
  • Will her handsome face become;
  • Are you angry? she is wretched,
  • Lonely, friendless, tearful, dumb;
  • Are you mirthful? how her laughter,
  • Silver-sounding, will ring out,
  • She can lure, and catch, and play you
  • As the angler does the trout.

  • Ye old bachelors of forty,
  • Who have grown so bold and wise;
  • Young Americans of twenty,
  • With the love-locks in your eyes;
  • You may practise all the lessons
  • Taught by Cupid since the fall,
  • But I know a little widow,
  • Who could win and fool you all!

JACKSON, Miss., May 1st, 1857.