Where have they gone to--the little girls,
With natural manners and natural curls?
Who love their dollies and like their toys,
And talk of something besides the boys?

Little old women in plenty we find,
Mature in manners and old of mind ;
Little old flirts who talk of their beaux,
And vie with each other in stylish clothes.

Once in the beautiful long ago,
Some dear little children I used to know ;
Girls who merry as lambs at play,
And laughed and rollicked the livelong day.

They thought not at all of the style of their clothes ;
They never imagined that boys were beaux;
Other girls' brothers and mates were they,
Splendid fellows to help them play.

Where have they gone to? If you see
One of them, anywhere, send her to me;
I would give a medal of purest gold
To one of those dear little girls of old,
With an innocent heart and an open smile,
Who knows not the meaning of flirt or style.

                                        [Ella Wheeler Wilcox]

Charlotte Home-Democrat 22 Jan. 1886: 1.

Courtesy of John M. Freiermuth.

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