“The Surprise” by Frances Sargent Osgood

by Ann Neilson

The Surprise. 
By Frances S. Osgood
From Godey’s Lady’s Book, Volume 39, November, 1849, pg. 362.

They stood within a curtain’s shade,
Apart from all, and thus he spake:
“Sweet cousin, wouldst thou know the maid,
For whom my fondest wishes wake?”

A moment glowed her youthful cheek,
A moment flashed her timid eyes,
In mute reply—she dared not speak—
Alas, how soon her sweet hope dies!

“I’ll lead thee to her—yonder, dearest!”
He took her hand, ’twas marble cold;
They crossed the hall: “What is’t thou fearest?
Look up, Carille—my love behold!”

With sudden pride, she dashed aside
The curls that hid her drooping brow?
“I welcome her!” she proudly cried,
And raised her eyes—what sees she now?

No high born dame, to mock her shame,
No rival, robed in rich array;
Back to her cheek the blushes came,
And swiftly rose her pulse’s play.

Before her stood, in simple guise,
Reflected by a mirror bright,
Her own slight form!—her own dark eyes
Gave back her gaze of wild delight!