Pine, Rose and Fleur de Lis

by Susie Frances Harrison


 

OF LOVE IN REPROOF


 

I thought that Life was worth the living,
I thought that Love was worth the giving.

Sweet, do you wonder how I know.
What you knew doubtless years ago,

That Life is made up of follies and vices,

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And Love pour passer le temps suffices?

For though you are young, so young, you go
To the play or ball in a boddice low,

And your hair still curls in a childish way,
An you laugh and sing and jest all day,

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Yet are you older far than me;
You are not young as a woman should be

In maiden lore of down-dropt eyes;
Nor would your cheeks pale in a pure surprise

Were I to tell you a tender tale,

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Though mine would flush and my voice would fail,

O Sweet, if ever I tried to speak
The passion that makes us both fierce and weak.

It is left me to think what a woman might be,
Had she your eyes, your laugh of glee,

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Your hair too—spirals of glossy brown,
I remember the day you took it down—

With just this difference—hear me, Sweet,
Am I hard who yesterday knelt at your feet?—

Her mind should be pure and her heart be young,

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With trust in her eyes and truth on her tongue.

Once will I crush your hands in mine,
(I had thought my mother’s ring not too fine

For the dear third finger, but back, my pearl,
You were meant for a purer if plainer girl!)

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And once will I kiss you, you’ll let me, I know,
(And that is bitter) before I go.

What! you move away! Well, perhaps it is best;
Your lips are not made to make men rest.