Dear Abby: The letter in your column containing a "naughty" poem someone had written in a classmate's yearbook in 1925 reminded me of a poem I found written on a blank page in "Barnes' Brief History of the United States." (This book was copyrighted in 1885.)
The handwriting, although that of an adolescent, was beautifully penned, with a lot of flourishes and squiggles to decorate it.This particular book had apparently been used to pass signals between students. Some were in poetry. A most entertaining example follows:
"When you and I our love shall part
"Shall leave a blot in both our hearts
"I to the silent grave shall go, and
"Sleep my last as others do.
"All this, my love, I want to say, but
"Night doth call, and I obey.
"With meditation read these lines;
"You will in them a question find.
"Sweet is the question; mind it well.
"Heart to heart, so fare thee well!"
In the margin is written, "Read the first word of every line going down; it poses the question: 'When shall I sleep all night with you, sweetheart?"'
Someone else wrote, "Some said he would before many nights." And in yet another hand was written, "You bet he did!"
Oh, those Victorians! See? History can be fun!
- Dennis C. Hunt, Fresno, Calif.
Dear Dennis: Those Victorians were indeed a lusty lot. However, human behavior hasn't changed much since then. And not only can history be fun, it oft repeats itself.
Dear Abby: Dogs are fine; I have nothing against them. But should people sleep with them?
I was a widow when I married a widower who has two small dogs, and Abby, they sleep with him in his bed every night. He says he and his first wife always let the dogs sleep with them.
I just can't seem to get used to this. Don't get me wrong, I like dogs - but I don't like having them in my bed. During the night, the dogs walk on us (my husband sleeps right through it, but I can't). If I put them out and close our door, they cry and scratch on the door until he lets them in.
Please print this letter in your column. My husband never misses it.
Dear Irritated: You have my sympathy. A bit of unsolicited advice: Regardless of how irritated you become, don't make the mistake of asking your husband to make a choice between you and the dogs.
P.S. Could your husband train the dogs to sleep in a basket or on a rug BESIDE the bed?
Dear Abby: Thank you for printing the name of that sailor kissing the nurse in Times Square on VJ-Day. For almost 50 years, my wife had insisted that I was the sailor.
The fact that I was about 5,000 miles west of Times Square flying off a short runway on Ford Island in the Pacific Ocean didn't deter her. Now she knows I was true-blue.
- John Sweeney, Phoenix