A Victorian love letter has been discovered in the Dorset Echo's archives.

How it got there is a mystery, but our hearts certainly skipped a beat when we discovered it.

The letter dates back to the 1860s and is addressed Richard Luckham, owner of the mill at Upwey, which was featured in Thomas Hardy's The Mayor of Casterbridge.

The letter appears to be a poem and is from a woman to Mr Luckham. This mill owner wasn't quite the swarthy young stereotype who ladies would have been swooning over - at the time of writing he was in his mid 60s!

The poem reads: "I am only a little silent because if I share'd your mirth

One of his loving whispers might drown in the strains of earth.

I am only a little graver but you must not call me sad.

It would grieve him up in heaven for he likest to see me glad.

Sometimes when I miss him sorest, I wish I were safe there too

But it's easy for him to be patient and I have my task to do.

I cannot forget my lover but you must not think my heart is either chilled or broken,

Though he and I are apart.

It is only a little weary, a little lonely to wait

But when ever my task is finished

We shall meet at the Golden Gates."

This is a wonderful piece of romantic verse to share in these pages. Thanks to Anita Murray for deciphering the writing and Mark Vine for his research.