Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

THREE AND ONE.

Shall use it awhile as a thing of pleasure,
Bruise it, and break it, and cast it aside.
And she who is loved as a sweet friend only
Shall find it bleeding upon the ground,
And being herself so sad and lonely,

Shall strive through pity to heal the wound. And after a time, when she's hushed its grieving, She shall take it, with all its wounds and scars, And hide it away in her breast, believing

'Tis the richest treasure under the stars.

19

But the three walk on o'er the sunlit meadows,
And dream all life is a summer land;
And they pass by one who sits in the shadows,
And sees not the webs in her bony hand.
And so we all, while the days are flitting,
Plan out a future of joys and pains,
And see not Fate in the shadows sitting,
Knotting and tying the tangled skeins.
The vows we vow with a fond "Forever,"
The pledge we deem there can naught befall,
Fate with a touch of her hand can sever.
Ah me! 'tis folly to plan at all.

Those that we love may the soonest fail us;

We may grow to worship where now we hate; And what do our plans and dreams avail us?

Better to leave it all with Fate.

ELLA WHEELER.

WHY.

Why do I love you? I don't know!
They say Love never gives a reason;
But that he has one I don't doubt,

Do you? You do!

That's downright treason

Not always, let me tell you, sir,

Love practiced such excess of prudence; 'Twas once his custom to explain

The why and wherefore to his students. And how to solve each puzzling case

He taught by rule and illustration; But skeptics such as you have made

Love shy of giving demonstrations.

Why foolish mortals love at all,

Why we two hold each other dearest, How long 'twill last, and where 'twill end, You'd like to know, you precious querist?

You never will! I'll tell you that,

Yet still maintain my first assertion: Love understands what he's about,

And blinds you first, for his diversion.

Ah, why do I love you? If I knew,

I would not tell you-no, no, never! For souls like yours were made to seek, And mine to hide, you see, forever.

A WOMAN'S QUESTION.

There's little, sir, you don't find out,
But since that little makes life pleasant,
I think I'll keep it secret still,

And so keep you, too, for the present.
MARY T. LATHROP.

A WOMAN'S QUESTION.

Do you know you have asked for the costliest

thing

Ever made by the hand above

A woman's heart and a woman's life,

And a woman's wonderful love?

21

Do you know you have asked for this priceless thing

As a child might ask for a toy? Demanding what others have died to win, With the reckless dash of a boy.

You have written my lesson of duty out;
Manlike, you have questioned me.
Now stand at the bar of my woman's soul,
Until I shall question thee.

You require your mutton shall always be hot,
Your socks and your shirts be whole;

I require your heart shall be true as God's stars,
And pure as heaven your soul.

You require a cook for your mutton and beef;

I require a far better thing.

A seamstress you're wanting, for stockings and

shirts;

I look for a man, and a king.

A king for a beautiful realm called home,
And a man that the maker, God,
Shall look upon as He did the first,
And say, "It is very good."

I am fair and young, but the rose will fade
From my soft, young cheek one day;
Will you love me then, 'mid the falling leaves,
As you did 'mid the bloom of May?

Is your heart an ocean, so strong and deep
I may launch my all on its tide?

A loving woman finds heaven or hell
On the day she is made a bride.

I require all things that are grand and true,
All things that a man should be;

If you give this all, I would stake my life
To be all you demand of me.

If you cannot do this, a laundress and cook
You can hire, with little to pay;

But a woman's heart and a woman's life
Are not to be won that way.

ELIZABETH BARRETT BROWNING.

THE HEART SKEIN.

THE HEART SKEIN.

Slip, yes, slip your skein, my Kitty,
O'er my hands, and wind, and wind
All the while, with little pity,
Tangling, tangling heart and mind.
Kitty, eyes upon the wool,
Not on me, my beautiful.

Now you drop your eyes completely,
Winding, winding dreamily;
Wherefore, wherefore smile so sweetly
On a thing that cannot see?
If you must smile, smile this way,
I will bear it as I may.

Ah, the rosebud fingers flitting

Swift about the colored ball!

How my heart beats time while sitting! Still I try to bear it all.

Kitty, do you know or care

'Tis my heart you're winding there?

23

Kitty, I am in a vision,

All the world to mist doth die;

Only in an air Elysian

Little fairy fingers fly.

Surely, if they flit too near,

I shall catch and kiss them dear.

« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »