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Dear Old Girl

A Cento Poem by Beverly Stock.

Long past a sunny day in June when the song birds had begun,

When the preacher said the words that made the two of us just one,

The moon came stealing up upon us, rising up the hill,

Ev’rything around me seemed reverent and still.

And you were a faithful wife through our changing scenes of life,

Till the master said your work here on earth was done

Your voice, a gentle calling of the forest whippoorwill.

Then, I longed to hold your hand in mine, feather light and still.

I remember well, how red robin sang above you,

Yes, dear girl, it spoke of how I love you,

Through the trees the winds were singing soft and low,

Seemed to come and whisper that your love was true.

The blinding tears were falling as I thought of my lost pear,

For my broken heart is calling for you, dear old girl.

Come again, be my own now, sweetheart, please do,




This poem is a Cento comprised of lyrics from two songs both originating in 1903:

Dear Old Girl was composed by Richard Henry Buck, lyrics, and Theodore Morse, music. The song satisfied the need for entertainment centered around the piano, like sentimental songs performed by groups, barbershop quartets and home harmonizers.


Ida, a song by Eddie Leonard, one of the last great minstrels, wrote this song shortly before being fired . Although Eddie was the best performing this song, other vaudevillians used “Ida” in their acts, establishing it as a standard of the time.


Both songs are in the American Song Treasury, a volume of songs in the public domain.




Beverly Stock is an American poet living in St. Louis. Her work has been published on ClassicalPoets.org, at theChainedMuse.com, on Persimmontree.Org, and on the Webzine Lighten Up Online.

Dear Old Girl

© 2020 Beverly Stock


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