She comes upstairs, Tall, dark, smiling, Her book of British poetry Clasped close to her soft breast. Her coat is white, Her smile, youth and joy. Her eyes twinkle; No other girl's eyes have twinkled so. Yet-- and yet again, no, 'Tis not true; For every lass I've loved, Were her eyes brown or deepest blue, Had sparkling eyesight, too. Her smile is warm and true Yet galls me like a cinch And impales my heart On a shaft of purest joy. I love this creature, This woman, this collegiate maid, Sweetest of gentle girls... Though, perhaps, I praise overmuch. She is--must be!--human But too much so! Why do I mourn my inability To win her dear? Why do I mope in self-pity For one, when, persevering, I doubtless could have another Just as good as she? Just as good? I--I am not sure... She treds the stairs mortal; She breathes earthly air; Three times daily must she eat And by night she sleeps gently, Dreaming mortal dreams. Oh, to see her face Sleep-softened, purged of fear and care! To see, to feel, to kiss But not awaken. I raise her to godhood: She stands atop the holy mount, Divine and adorable. Yet, her bare foot Leaves markings in the sand. Am I wrong to love this woman? Love and love Yet never tell it, Never say it in any way Save a smile on the stairs? Commitment. I dare not speak, nor even hint, That I find her company Worth ten-thousand times a thousand Other maids'. Such simple things mean so much: A single flower held in love, A breath of air, a glance, A touch-- On the stairway, a smile. Doth she mean overmuch? How can I tell without telling? I cannot. She pierces me with her joy All unknowingly. I pierce myself with her joy Knowing all the while. Oh, for a moment of her life! An instant to know the truth! She comes upstairs Smiling, smiling.
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