Verse > Anthologies > Fuess and Stearns, eds. > The Little Book of Society Verse
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Fuess and Stearns, comps.  The Little Book of Society Verse.  1922.
 
The Minuet
By Mary Mapes Dodge
 
GRANDMA told me all about it,
Told me so I could n’t doubt it,
How she danced—my Grandma danced!—
            Long ago.
How she held her pretty head,        5
How her dainty skirt she spread,
Turning out her pretty toes;
How she slowly leaned and rose—
            Long ago.
 
Grandma’s hair was bright and sunny;        10
Dimpled cheeks, too—ah, how funny!
Really quite a pretty girl,
            Long ago.
Bless her! why, she wears a cap,
Grandma does, and takes a nap        15
Every single day; and yet
Grandma danced the minuet
            Long ago.
 
Now she sits there rocking, rocking,
Always knitting Grandpa’s stocking—        20
(Every girl was taught to knit
            Long ago.)
Yet her figure is so neat,
And her ways so staid and sweet,
I can almost see her now        25
Bending to her partner’s bow,
            Long ago.
 
Grandma says our modern jumping,
Hopping, rushing, whirling, bumping,
Would have shocked the gentle folk        30
            Long ago.
No—they moved with stately grace,
Everything in proper place,
Gliding slowly forward, then
Slowly curtseying back again,        35
            Long ago.
 
Modern ways are quite alarming,
Grandma says; but boys were charming—
Girls and boys I mean, of course,—
            Long ago.        40
Bravely modest, grandly shy,—
She would like to have us try
Just to feel like those who met
In the graceful minuet
            Long ago.        45
 
With the minuet in fashion,
Who could fly into a passion?
All would wear the calm they wore
            Long ago.
In time to come, if I, perchance,        50
Should tell my grandchild of our dance,
I should really like to say,
“We did it, dear, in some such way,
            Long ago.”
 
 
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