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To Miss Cornish

They tell me, lady, that to-day
On that unknown Australian strand--
Some time ago, so far away--
Another lady joined the band.
She joined the company of those
Lovelily dowered, nobly planned,
Who, smiling, still forgive their foes
And keep their friends in close command.

She, lady, as I learn, was one
Among the many rarely good;
And destined still to be a sun
Through every dark and rainy mood:-
She, as they told me, far had come,
By sea and land, o'er many a rood:-
Admired by all, beloved by some,
She was yourself, I understood.

But, compliment apart and free
From all constraint of verses, may
Goodness and honour, grace and glee,
Attend you ever on your way--
Up to the measure of your will,
Beyond all power of mine to say--
As she and I desire you still,
Miss Cornish, on your natal day.


Robert Louis Stevenson

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