Jenny Kissed Me

Jenny kissed me when we met,
Jumping from the chair she sat in;
Time, you thief, who love to get
Sweets into your list, put that in!
Say I'm weary, say I'm sad,
Say that health and wealth have missed me,
Say I'm growing old, but add,
Jenny kissed me.

by James Henry Leigh Hunt

Comments (12)

I cannot remember the exact story behind this poem but as best as I can remember it commemorates a moment when Leigh Hunt, the poet, who had been quite ill, visits the family of his friend, another poet whose name I don’t recall, and is greeted in the manner he recounts by the poets wife, Jenny, normally a rather reserved and cold person but whom in this moment of happy relief, seeing their friend recovered, casts aside her usual inhibitions and kisses him in joy at his survival.
Jenny is my adorable grandaughter, Chera, who jumped up from her chair and kissed me when she saw me.
I find it rather sad. An old man recalls one moment of love he once had that is lost forever.
Found this poem in a flyer while skiing in Vermont a week or so ago (Feb 2016) . It was accompanied by a beautiful picture in silhouette of an older gentleman sitting next to a wood/coal stove, stooped slightly over, reading a book, and his wife, dressed in a beautiful full-skirted dress, leaning over and looking into a large soup kettle on top of the stove that she was stirring. You can't imagine how well the poem and the picture go together. I made a Valentine out of both with a little help from Photoshop, Adobe FrameMaker and my scanner printer. My wife was very touched as I changed the name in the poem to hers. We are both in our 70s. Fortunately, health has not missed us, but I love this poem.
I first read this poem in a magazine when I was 15. I was so impressed by it, really touched my heart, that I decided if I ever had a girl I would name her Jenny. Sixteen years later after 2 boys....Jenny was born! I am now in my 70's & it is so true when I say I'm growing old but add, Jenny kissed me.
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