In this beautiful short piece from The Janitor’s boy, and Other Poems, little Nathalia tells how she and her friend fell a sudden romantic attraction for a handsome ice-cream seller. Very sensuously, she calls him “very scrumptious,” as if he was an ice-cream. Here Flatbush is a neighbourhood of Brooklyn in New York City.
Now Marjory is seven years,
And I am nine and more.
We went a-strolling after cream
Into a Flatbush store.
The handsome clerk said “Ladies, yes,
I’ll serve you with a rush.”
He looked so very scrumptious that
We both began to blush.
He smiled at us, we smiled at him.
And then we went away:
We were so captivated, yes,
That we forgot to pay.
Of course we could have sauntered back,
And settled, don’t you see,
But oh, we could not stain romance
With monetary fee.
Source: Nathalia Clara Ruth Crane, The Janitor’s boy, and Other Poems. Thomas Seltzer, New York (1924). Digital version on Internet Archive.