I thought that Life was worth the living,I thought that Love was worth the giving.
Sweet, do you wonder how I knowWhat you knew doubtless years ago.
That Life is made up of follies and vices,And Love pour passer le temps suffices?
For though you are young, so young, you goTo the play or ball in a boddice low,
And your hair still curls in a childish way,And you laugh and sing and jest all day,
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.Though mine would flush and my voice would fail,
O Sweet, if ever I tried to speakThe 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.
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,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!)
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.