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An April Fool Of Long Ago.

Jean Blewett 1862 (Janet McKishnie Scotia, Kent County, Ontario) – 1934 (Chatham)

In powdered wig and buckled shoe,
Knee-breeches, coat and waistcoat gay,
The wealthy squire rode forth to woo
Upon a first of April day.
 
He would forget his lofty birth,
His spreading acres, and his pride,
And Betty, fairest maid on earth,
Should be his own - his grateful bride.
 
The maid was young, and he was old;
The maid was good to look upon.
Naught cared she for his land or gold,
Her love was for the good squire's son.
 
He found her as the noonday hush
Lay on the world, and called her name.
She looked up, conscious, and her blush
A tender interest did proclaim.
 
For he was Hubert's sire, and she
To keep a secret tryst did go.
He said: "Methinks she cares for me" -
That April fool of long ago.
 
The flattered squire his suit did press
Without delay. "Say, wilt thou come,"
He said, with pompous tenderness,
"And share my wealth and grace my home?"
 
"Kind sir," the lovely Betty cried,
"I'm but a lass of low degree."
"The love that is controlled by pride
Is not true love at all," quoth he.
 
"I hold a man should woo and wed
Where'er he wills - should please himself."
"There is the barrier strong," she said,
"Of pedigree, and place, and pelf.
 
"Could one so lowly hope to grace
Your home?" Right proud his air and tone:
"You're pure of heart and fair of face;
Dear Betty, you would grace a throne!"
 
"Since you so highly think of me" -
Her tears and laughter were at strife -
"You will not mind so much, maybe,
That I am Hubert's promised wife."
 
Pale went the good squire's florid cheek,
His wrath flamed out - but Betty stood,
Brown-haired, red-lipped, blue-eyed and meek,
A sight to make a bad man good.
 
She won on him. "But why this guile -
This secrecy?" His voice was rough.
"We feared," she whispered, with a smile,
"You would not think me good enough."
 
"An April fool am I. Come, come -
My offer stands. As Hubert's wife,"
He laughed, "you'll share my wealth and home
And brighten up a lonely life."
 
He kissed her cheek and rode away.
Unbroken was his heart, I wist,
For he was thinking of a day -
A day back in youth's rosy mist -
 
And of a form and of a face.
"My dear, dead love," he whispered low,
The while he rode at sober pace,
That April fool of long ago.
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Submitted on August 03, 2020

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Jean Blewett

Jean McKishnie Blewett (4 November 1862 – 19 August 1934) was a Canadian journalist, author and poet. Blewett was born Janet McKinshie in Scotia, Kent County, Ontario in 1862 to Scottish immigrants (some sources say 1872). She attended St. Thomas Collegiate and in 1879 married Bassett Blewett and published her first novel, Out of the Depths. In 1896, she won a $600 prize from the Chicago Times-Herald for her poem "Spring". Blewett was a regular contributor to The Globe, a Toronto newspaper and in 1898 became editor of its Homemakers Department. In 1919, assisted by the Imperial Order of the Daughters of the Empire, she published a booklet titled Heart Stories to benefit war charities. During this time she regularly lectured on topics such as temperance and suffragism. She used the pseudonym Katherine Kent for some of her writing. In 1925 Blewett was compelled by ill-health to retire her editorship. For two years she lived with a daughter in Lethbridge, Alberta, before returning to Toronto in 1927. She died in 1934 in Chatham, Ontario. After her death, fellow female journalist Bride Broder wrote in tribute: There is a simplicity about Mrs. Blewett's prose and verse that has made a wide appeal, and her gay-hearted attitude to life, the humorous twists she gave to little things, made her very welcome as a speaker at women's gatherings. In all her writings she touched on the things that appeal to women everywhere and, in doing so, won the admiration of men readers also. Her brother, Archie P. McKishnie, was also a noted writer.  more…

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