Portrait of Henry Timrod

Henry Timrod

Dec 8, 1828 - Oct 6, 1867



by Henry Timrod

O Florabel! I know you well!
You cannot cheat me with your smiles;
That downcast lash, those sidelong looks,
Are baits to catch me in your wiles.
And spite of all you would affect,
And all that distant mien denies,
I read what you would never tell,
In the arch beauty of your eyes.

O Florabel! I know you well!
Your voice is very sweet and low;
But, right or wrong, I dare to think
It is by no means always so.
And you can talk, as ladies talk,
Of stars, and gems, and flowers, and books,
But I am very sure I see
Less thought than mischief in your looks.

Yes, Florabel! I know you well!
I read at sight each girlish art;
When that sweet brow is most sedate,
I know you're laughing in your heart.
And when you turn to hear me speak,
And seem so very pleased to hear,
I guess the jest upon myself
You're keeping for another's ear.

O Florabel! I know you well!
You love to flatter and to please,
But at your home I do suspect
They call you plague, and scold, and tease,
With names I do not care to speak,
Lest you should turn them into praise, --
In short, to sum my charges up,
You have the most provoking ways.

O Florabel! 'twould please me well
To see you once or twice alone;
Concealed behind a curtain, I
Might catch at last a natural tone.
I hate the art that veils each thought,
I am not cheated by your wiles;
You have not touched my heart at all,
And shall not blind me with your smiles.


Copyright 1860
Ticknor And Fields, Boston