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" He's sweetest friend, or hardest foe,
Best angel, or worst devil ;
I can't be merely civil !
“ You trust a woman who puts forth,
Her blossoms thick as summer's ?
Who casts it to new-comers ?
“ Such love 's a cowslip-ball to fling,
A moment's pretty pastime;
The first time and the last time.
“ Dear neighbour of the trellised ouse,
A man should murmur never,
Till doted on for ever ! ”
She was not as pretty as women I know,
My Kate. Such a blue inner light from her eyelids outbroke, You looked at her silence and fancied she spoke :
When she did, so peculiar yet soft was the tone,
My Kate. She never found fault with you, never implied Your wrong by her right; and yet men at her side Grew nobler, girls purer, as through the whole town The children were gladder that pulled at her gown-
My Kate. None knelt at her feet confessed lovers in thrall; They knelt more to God than they used,—that was all ; If you praised her as charming, some asked what you
meant, But the charm of her presence was felt when she went
My Kate. The weak and the gentle, the ribald and rude, She took as she found them, and did them all good : It always was so with her : see what you have ! She has made the grass greener even here . . ith her grave
My Kate. My dear one !-when thou wast alive with the rest, I held thee the sweetest and loved thee the best : And now thou art dead, shall I not take thy part As thy smiles used to do for thyself, my sweet Heart
My Kate ?
A FALSE STEP
SWEET, thou hast trod on a heart.
Pass! there's a world full of men And women as fair as thou art
Must do such things now and then.
Malice, not one can impute ;
In the way of a fair woman's foot ?
Nor was it a thorn that could rend : Put up thy proud underlip !
'Twas merely the heart of a friend. And yet peradventure one day
Thou, sitting alone at the glass, Remarking the bloom gone away,
Where the smile in its dimplement was, And seeking around thee in vain
From hundreds who flattered before, Such a word as, “ Oh, not in the main
Do I hold thee less precious, but more !” Thou 'lt sigh, very like, on thy part,
« Of all I have known or can know, I wish I had only that Heart
I trod upon ages ago !”
I HAVE a smiling face, she said,
I have a jest for all I meet,
And all its flowers are sweet,-
Grief taught to me this smile, she said,
And Wrong did teach this jesting bold; These flowers were plucked from garden-bed
While a death-chime was tolled
Which slurs the sunshine half a mile,
As souls behind a smile.
Such brightness dying suns diffuse :
The sign of what I lose,
If I dared leave this smile, she said,
And take a moan upon my mouth,
And let my tears run smooth,
I fain your bitter world would leave.
Who do not, therefore, grieve ! The yea of Heaven is yea, she said.
But in your bitter world, she said,
Face-joy's a costly mask to wear ;
And rounded to despair :
Ye weep for those who weep? she said-
Ah fools ! I bid you pass them by.
Go, weep for those whose hearts have bled
What time their eyes were dry. Whom sadder can I say? she said.
A YEAR'S SPINNING. He listened at the porch that day,
To hear the wheel go on, and on ; And then it stopped, ran back away,
While through the door he brought the sun:
But now my spinning is all done. He sat beside me, with an oath
That love ne'er ended, once begun : I smiled-believing for us both,
What was the truth for only one.
And now my spinning is all done. My mother cursed me that I heard A young man's wooing as I
spun : Thanks, cruel mother, for that word,
For I have, since, a harder known !
And now my spinning is all done.
Both voices to mine ear would drown:
It was the silence made me groan ! And now my spinning is all done. Bury me twixt
grave (Who cursed me on her death-bed lone) And my dead baby's (God it save !)
Who, not to bless me, would not moan.
And now my spinning is all done. A stone upon my heart and head,
But no name written on the stone !