Jenifer's Love

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Small is my secret-let it pass-
 Small in your life the share I had,
Who sat beside you in the class,
 Awed by the bright superior lad:
 Whom yet with hot and eager face
 I prompted when he missed his place.

For you the call came swift and soon:
 But sometimes in your holidays
You meet me trudging home at noon
 To dinner through the dusty ways,
 And recognized, and with a nod
 Passed on, but never guessed-thank God!

Truly our ways were separate.
 I bent myself to hoe and drill,

Yea, with an honest man to mate,
 Fulfilling God Almighty's will;
 And bore him children. But my prayers
 Were yours-and, only after, theirs.

While you-still loftier, more remote,
 You sprang from stair to stair of fame,
And you've a riband on your coat,
 And you've a title to your name;
 But have you yet a star to shine
 Above your bed, as I o'er mine?

© Sir Arthur Quiller-Couch