« PreviousContinue »
••You think, because my life is rude 310 I take no note of sweetness:
I tell you love has naught to do
With meetness or unmeetness.
". Itself its best excuse, it asks
No leave of pride or fashion 315 When silken zone or homespun frock
It stirs with throbs of passion.
".. You think me deaf and blind: you bring
Your winning graces hither
As free as if from cradle-time 320 We two had played together.
“ You tempt me with your laughing eyes,
Your cheek of sundown's blushes,
A music as of thrushes.
««• The plaything of your summer sport,
The spells you weave around me
Nor leave me as you found me.
"6" You go as lightly as you came, 330
Your life is well without me;
Like prison-walls about me?
16 No mood is mine
seek a fe, Or daughter for my mother: 335 Who loves you loses in that love
All power to love another!
“I dare your pity or your scorn,
With pride your own exceeding ;
I fling my heart into your lap 340 Without a word of pleading.'
" She looked up in his face of pain
So archly, yet so tender:
“Will you forgive the lender ?
345 "Nor frock nor tan can hide the man;
And see you not, my farmer,
Behind this silken armor ?
"I love you: on that love alone, 350 And not my worth, presuming,
Will you not trust for summer fruit
The tree in May-day blooming ?'
“ Alone the hangbird overhead,
His hair-swung cradle straining, 355 Looked down to see love's miracle,
The giving that is gaining.
" And so the farmer found a wife,
His mother found a daughter:
There looks no happier home than hers 360 On pleasant Bearcamp Water.
“ Flowers spring to blossom where she walks
The careful ways of duty;
Are flowing curves of beauty.
" Our homes are cheerier for her sake,
Our door-yards brighter blooming,
Is sweeter for her coming.
Unspoken homilies of peace 370
Her daily life is preaching;
Is her unconscious teaching.
" And never tenderer band than hers
Unknits the brow of ailing; 375 Her garments to the sick man's ear
Have music in their trailing.
" And wher, in pleasant harvest moons,
“ The youthful huskers gather, Or sleigh-drives on the mountain ways
Defy the winter weather,
In sugar-camps, when south and warm
The winds of March are blowing,
The maple's blood is flowing,
385 “ In summer, where some lilied pond
Its virgin zone is bearing,
Lights up the apple-paring,
« The coarseness of a ruder time
Her finer mirth displaces,
Each rustic sport she graces.
“ Her presence lends its warmth and health
To all who come before it. 395 If woman lost us Eden, such
As she alone restore it.
“For larger life and wiser aims
The farmer is her debtor;
Who holds to his another's heart 400
Must needs be worse or better.
6. Through her his civic service shows
A purer-toned ambition;
The man and politician.
“ In party's doubtful ways he trusts
Iler instincts to determine;
Recalls Christ's Mountain Sermon.
“ He owns her logic of the heart, 410
And wisdom of unreason,
The needed word in season.
“He sees with pride her richer thought,
Her fancy's freer ranges; 415 And love thus deepened to respect
Is proof against all changes.
" And if she walks at ease in ways
His feet are slow to travel,
What his may scarce unravel,
• Still clearer, for her keener sight
Of beauty and of wonder,
He dwelt from childhood under.
“ And higher, warmed with summer lights,
Or winter-crowned and hoary,
Its inner veils of glory.
“ He has his own free, bookless lore, 430 The lessons nature taught him,
The wisdom which the woods and hills
And toiling men have brought him:
“ The steady force of will whereby
Her flexile grace seems sweeter; 435 The sturdy counterpoise which makes
Her woman's life completer:
" A latent fire of soul which lacks
No breath of love to fan it;
And wit, that, like his native brooks, 440 Plays over solid granite.
“ How dwarfed against his manliness
She sees the poor pretension,
Of fashion and convention!
445 “How life behind its accidents
Stands strong and self-sustaining,
The losing and the gaining.