In a moment, the nostalgic strains of "Those Endearing
Young Charms" filled the house. He joined in with
singing on the next verse:
"Believe me, if all those endearing young charms,
Which I gaze on so fondly today,
Were to change with tomorrow, and fleet in my arms,
Like fairy gifts fading away,
Thou wouldst still be adored as this moment thou art,
Let thy loveliness fade as it will;
And around the dear ruin, each wish of my heart
Would entwine itself verdantly still!
In the kitchen, Amanda could not help smiling at
John's want of tact. She knew she was being wooed but
she abandoned her usual caution in this area to enjoy
the serenade to the full.
"It is not while beauty and youth are thine own,
And thy cheeks unprofaned by a tear,
That the fervor and faith of a soul can be known,
To which time will but make thee more dear!
No, the heart that has truly loved never forgets,
But as truly loves on to the close;
As the sunflower turns on her god, when he sets,
The same look which she turned when he rose!"
By now, Amanda was standing at the doorway behind him.
She applauded and sat down beside him on the bench. "Very
nice. Did you take lessons?"
"My mother tried to give me lessons, but I really
picked it up on my own. I never learned to read music very
well. I played by ear when she thought I was reading it.
I was always afraid she'd find out."
Impressed, Amanda raised her eyebrows.
"Do you play at all?" he asked.
"No. Christine took lessons. She grew up playing this
piano and brought it here when she married."
"I could teach you – my own approach, that is."
"Not by tomorrow," she replied practically.
"We could have lesson one done tonight."
"And when would lessons two and three be?"
"As soon as possible," he replied smugly.
5 months later