Poem – To Lallie

UP those Museum steps you came, 
And straightway all my blood was flame,

O Lallie, Lallie !

The world (I had been feeling low)

In one short moment’s space did grow

A happy valley.

There was a friend, my friend, with you;

A meagre dame in peacock blue

Apparelled quaintly:

This poet-heart went pit-a-pat;

I bowed and smiled and raised my hat;

You nodded–faintly.

My heart was full as full could be;

You had not got a word for me,

Not one short greeting;

That nonchalant small nod you gave

(The tyrant’s motion to the slave)

Sole mark’d our meeting.

Is it so long ? Do you forget

That first and last time that we met?

The time was summer.

The trees were green; the sky was blue;

Our host presented me to you–

A tardy comer.

You look’d demure, but when you spoke

You made a little, funny joke,

Yet half pathetic.

Your gown was grey, I recollect,

I think you patronized the sect

They call “æsthetic.”

I brought you strawberries and cream,

And plied you long about a stream

With duckweed laden ;

We solemnly discussed the — heat.

I found you shy and very sweet,

A rosebud maiden.

Ah me, to-day! You passed inside

To where the marble gods abide:

Hermes, Apollo,

Sweet Aphrodite, Pan; and where,

For aye reclined, a headless fair

Beats all fairs hollow.

And I, I went upon my way,

Well — rather sadder, let us say;

The world looked flatter.

I had been sad enough before,

A little less, a little more,

What does it matter? 

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