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Through the Meadow


  The summer sun was soft and bland,
  As they went through the meadow land.

  The little wind that hardly shook
  The silver of the sleeping brook
  Blew the gold hair about her eyes,--
  A mystery of mysteries!
  So he must often pause, and stoop,
  And all the wanton ringlets loop
  Behind her dainty ear--emprise
  Of slow event and many sighs.

  Across the stream was scarce a step,--
  And yet she feared to try the leap;
  And he, to still her sweet alarm,
  Must lift her over on his arm.

  She could not keep the narrow way,
  For still the little feet would stray,
  And ever must he bend t' undo
  The tangled grasses from her shoe,--
  From dainty rosebud lips in pout,
  Must kiss the perfect flowér out!

  Ah! little coquette! Fair deceit!
  Some things are bitter that were sweet.


William Dean Howells