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Saturday, April 12, 2008

Hey Lydia, Guess Who Likes You!

Each year (usually around Valentine's Day) elementary-school students in Haverhill, Mass., pass on a message from a former pupil.

Yesterday morning the students descended on the historic Walnut Cemetery and remembered schoolboy emotions that ran through the heart of Haverhill's favorite son, John Greenleaf Whittier, when he was around their age.

It has become a tradition in Haverhill with local students gathering around the gravestone of Lydia Ayer to recite a poem by Whittier recalling his childhood sweetheart and a moment following a school spelling bee when she confesses, "I'm sorry that I spelt the word: I hate to go above you, because — the brown eyes lower fell — because, you see, I love you!" [Link]

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