by Phoebe Carey
O To be back in the beautiful shadow
Of that old maple-tree down in the meadow,
Watching the smiles that grew dearer and dearer,
Listening to lips that grew nearer and nearer!
O to be back in the crimson-topped clover,
Sitting again with my Archie, my lover!
O for the time when I felt his caresses
Smoothing away from my forehead the tresses,
When up from my heart to my cheek went the blushes,
As he said that my voice was as sweet as the thrush's, --
When he said that my eyes were bewitchingly jetty,
And I told him 'twas only my love made them pretty.
Talk not of maiden reserve and of duty,
Or hide from my vision such wonderful beauty;
Pulses above may beat calmly and even, --
We have been fashioned for earth, and not heaven;
Angels are perfect, -- I am but a woman;
Saints may be passionless -- Archie is human.
Talk not of heavenly, down-dropping blisses, --
Can they fall on the brow like the rain of soft kisses?
Preach not the promise of priests and evangels, --
Love-crowned, I ask not the crown of the angels;
All that the wall of pure jasper incloses
Makes not less lovely the white bridal roses.
Tell me that when all this life shall be over,
I shall still love him, and he be my lover, --
That in meadows far sweeter than clover or heather
My Archie and I shall sit always together,
Loving eternally, wed ne'er to sever, --
Then you may tell me of heaven for ever!
Source:The Poems Of Phoebe Carey
New York: Hurst And Company